A PETITIONARY REMONSTRANCE, PRESENTED TO O. P. FEB. 4. 1655. By J.G. D.D. A Son, Servant, and Supplicant for the CHƲRCH of ENGLAND: In behalf of many thousands his distressed Brethren (Ministers of the Gospel, and other good Schollars) who were deprived of all publique imployment, (as Ministers, or Schollars) by His DECLARATION, JAN. 1. 1655.

Psal. 122.1. For my Brethren and Companions sakes.
1 Cor. 13.2. Though I could remove Mountains, and have no chari­ty, I am nothing.
Mark 9.41. Whosoever shall give you a cup of cold water to drink in my Name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

London, Printed by Thomas Milbourn for Andrew Crook, at the Green-Dragon in Pauls-Church-yard, 1659.

THE PUBLISHER TO THE READER.

FInding by better judgements than my own, that this following Petitionary Remonstrance, to his late Highnesse O. P. (then in power) was not only a modest and charitable Address, season­able at that time, and safe at all times; but also pru­dentially pious and politick; so as it may be of good use in these times; I have presumed to make it publique; Not but I know, that it was at first written with an intent to conceale it from all eyes, but those to which it was at first presented, (which are now buried, as all humane glory will be, in dust and darknesse) yet per­ceiving that, as a Jewel, it still reteined its native lusture; and might well fit the dark, and dubious condition, wherein most Ministers in England, are thought to stand (or rather to fall) as to their liberty and livelihood; beside their reputation, and respect; All which seem to be at a very low ebb, but on a dangerous precipice, and downfal, If some men may have their will; I supposed this peice, might in no lesse be acceptable, than seaso­nable to all ingenious Christians, and worthy Readers; who still preserve any love, and respect to the flock of God, and the glory of our Israel: I mean the Reformed Religion, of the Church of England, and the faithul Ministery of it, to whom I professe my self a most affecti­onate friend and servant.

§. Whose common dangers and disadvantages, ought with rea­son to invite them prudently and speedily to compose their private differences, least while they scramble, as boyes, for the nuts of petty opinions, and some formal shadows of Religion, they (and we) lose the main substance, and grand essentials of it, not only as to holy discipline order and government, (which must first be­gin among Ministers themselves) but also as to true worship, sound doctrine, and sober reformation, which they cannot but see, and many of them confess, to be much upon the decline and abatement, both as to sanctity and solemnity: That I mention not Ministers own secular interests, as to honest subsistance, and civil respects, which no ingenuous men can well want, and no wise man will supinely neglect.

§. This is most certain, that Ministers divisions do mainly advance, as the peoples distractions, so their own diminution and destruction; for their factions and fewds among themselves, serve only as rougher hones, or whetstones, to set sharper edges on the swords and sythes of their enemies, whose desolating and implacable spite, will never be stopped or resisted, unless grave and godly Ministers, of all sides, be so far blessed of God, as (first) to recover their reason and reputation, in point of piety and po­licy, prudence and charity, by mutual correspondencies and closures, so as to concenter in some uniform way of Church-Go­vernment and Order: united, they would be as venerable, as, scat­tered, they are contemptible, like figures or cyphers, they would signifie much in their conjunction, little or nothing in their sepa­ration.

§. From hence (in the second place) they would appear to the world, not only as petty Presbyters, or Predicants, single and a­part, but as a grave and Venerable Society, and combination of learned and wise men, worthy to manage religious concernments, and to enjoy publique incouragements, from those that may have at any time Supreme Power in their hands, who will alwayes have so much, either piety or policy in their hearts, as impartially to dispense Justice and rewards to able, peaceable, and orderly Mini­sters, as well as to any other sort of deserving men, that are in any Civil or Military imployment.

§. Considering, that the Nation of England never owed to [Page]any calling of men, more, either of its happinesse or misery, than to its Clergy or Ministry, under whatever Laws or forms they may passe: Indeed they alwayes have had, and ever will have, great influence on the fate and fortunes of any people that are Christian, whose consciences first, then their estates, at last their peace and safety (publique as well as private) are so far, either maintained or undermined by their Ministers, as these find them­selves either favoured and honored, or depressed and debased, being men, that commonly have not only a good opinion of them­selves, but very quick resentments of things, apt both for their pragmatique, and speaking veine, to have a notable byass and stroke upon mens minds, and so upon publique affairs, by their tongues and pens, besides their more solemn preachings and prayings, with a devout insinuation into mens and womens con­sciences, among whom they have so much of civil and religious con­verse.

§. Hence it is, that poverty and despiciency cast upon the Mi­nistry, makes them either silly sots, and abject slaves, or else so far unquiet, as they are sensible of, and dissatisfied with their conditi­on: And how (indeed) can such men, as think themselves fit to be publique Pilots of Religion, and Conducters of Souls to hea­ven, be much concerned in the civil peace or safety of that Ship, (or Commonwealth) (how rich soever it be) where they see them­selves so pittifully imbarqued, and poorly entertained in it, that they may well hope for better prize and pillage in the common shipwrack, than for pay or profit, by any voyage that it makes, wherein they are imployed indeed as Predicants, but yet kept under as Mendicants, not permitted to have any joynt stock, or ven­ture, either of honor, or estate considerable.

§. Therefore wise men conclude it undoubtedly best, in point of State-policy, either to have no able and learned Ministers at all, whose education makes them men of parts and spirit; a project which will soon amount to no Religion at all, at least no Christi­an, and to be sure, no Reformed Religion, justly so called; for this (as times now are, full of Religious, as well as civil wars) must ever be strongly guarded, and stoutly maintained by a Spiritual Militia of well-paid, and well-fed, well-learned, and well-arm­ed Ministers, else London will soon run to Rome, and the Thames [Page]submit to Tyber, which is the [...] by some men.

§. On the other side, it will be Policy, no less than Piety, to entertain such able Schollars, and worthy Ministers, so as becomes men of good learning, useful parts, and exemplary lives, in order to maintain the Reformed Religion, which is the interest of this Nation, both secular and spiritual, civil and conscientious: To which I may justly add, that grateful respect which is due to the Sanctity and Majesty of that God and Saviour, whom able Ministers powerfully preach, and people sincerely profess, car­rying with them those inestimable and eternal blessings, which are only to be had ordinarily by those holy duties, which good Mini­sters worthily perform; and those Venerable Mysteries which they duly celebrate and dispense.

§. All which sacred and grave concernments of Gods Glo­ry, and mens Souls, your ignorant, mechanick, and hedge­creeping Teachers; your popular, poor, and Parasitick Preachers; your under-bred and under-fed Orators; your [...] E­qually, illiterate, impudent, and ridiculous Praters, will infallibly prostitute, not only to Jesuitick jeers, and Romish deision, but to all peoples vilifyings. and contempts, who easily follow those inbred principles, and impulses tending to licentiousnesse, pro­phanesse, or superstition, which makes all men (without Gods Grace) no less opposite to the true power of Preachers, (as Au­thoritative Bishops, and Pastors of Souls) than to the Power of Preaching; that is, to the Power of Godlinesse.

§. The aim therefore of this Preface, (full of respect and love to that Holy Calling by which my Soul hath profited) is only to per­swade all able Schollars, and worthy Ministers, of all sides, to such wise and Brotherly Agreements among themselves, as may by joynt Counsels, most conduce to their own honor and safety, as well as the publique peace and satisfaction, least all of them in their dispersions, and mutual depressions (one after another) come to drink of that same bitter cup, which so many of their Bre­thren lately did, in great measure, whose cause was so freely plead­ed by the Author of this Work, while many others with dumb and dry eyes looked on.

§. I passionately deprecate the like distresses falling on any those Ministers, who were either occasioners, or pittiless Spectators of [Page]their own Brethrens sore afflictions. The ambition of my prayer is, that all worthy Ministers may not only in their private places demean themselves, in all things, as become learned, pious, and prudent men: But further, that they may be so much favoured of God and man, as to have the freedome of publique Synods and Conventions, for their better understanding of each other in truth and love: In such conspicuities, no doubt, they will appear to all good Christians of the Reformed Religion, every way worthy of all publique countenance and incouragement, that Christian Magistrates may own and entertain them as Christian Ministers, subjects (indeed) as to Civil Power, in all things just and honest, yet still as Christs Agents, and Gods Embassadors, sent as from Heaven to treat with sinful mortals, in order to their eternal life and peace, Under which names, (of publique Agents and Em­bassadors) all persons are handsomely and honorably received, and used, by people not wholly barbarous, although they come but from petty Princes, and mean Seigniories, and (possibly) upon business of no great concernment, further than wonted forms and ceremonies of State, which have usually more of the craft and policy of Spies, than of the truth and reality of friends. But the design of Ministers is to promote that one thing necessary, the great and eternal interest of saving souls.

§. Till Christianity seems a fable, and Christ Jesus be thought an Impostor, his sacred Ministry and true Ministers will be in request among good Christians, especially if they would add to the certainty of their message and Commission, the order, unity, and authority of their Ordination or Mission, which would be much to their own Honor, and the peoples satisfaction, that we might know of whom we have and receive the Mysteries of Christs Kingdome. Indeed, by this means, they would every way render, not only their pains and persons, but their Profession and Calling, most consider­able to the Publique; redeeming themselves by mutual advice and assistance, from plebeian softnesse, as well as servility: Their so­litude makes them so fearful, and so servile, if they had not been scattered, they could not have been thus worried. And if some of them had not stooped so much as Camels to vulgar complian­ces, mean people had not so much got upon their backs, or load­ed them (as they have) a long time with poverty, reproach, and [Page] contempt, so far as in them lies: They will never be consider­able, till they are unanimous and uniform, in the main of their Religion, Reformation, and Function, which I heartily pray for, as a principal foundation of their own, and all the Nati­ons welfare, which deserves not to be happy, while their able Mi­nisters are miserable: Nor can it indeed be other than miserable, till worthy Ministers of the Gospel are happily settled, and wor­hily treated. Farewel.

TO HIS HIGHNESSE OLIVER, Lord Protector, &c.

SIR,

NExt to a just Zeal for Gods Glory, The Religious motives to this Addresse. and a gratefull recognition of my Saviours sufferings; the sense I have of Gods undeserved indulgence to my self, and the Compassions I own for other mens Calamities: These have put me upon this adven­ture, of presenting your Highnesse with this Peti­tionary Remonstrance; In which, having no confi­dence of any particular Interest in your Highnesses favour, pro­portionable to such an Intercession, I have yet taken upon me so much Pious presumption, as to tender it to your Highnesse in their Names, and for their sakes, who are the great Preservers, and Re­deemers of Men.

§. Which service of Charity I may, and ought to performe with the more ingenuous freedome, because I am not involved in the Distresse, as to my particular condition, which deserves to be miserable, if I had an Heart that could not be moved, or durst not take the boldnesse to move your Highnesse, The sad occa­sion of it. Mi­nisters distres­ses. in behalf of many my Fathers and Brethren; my Betters and Equals, learned, peace­able, pious, and industrious Ministers, with other good Scholars, [Page 2]whom your Highnesses late Thunder-bolt hath so strucken and asto­nished, as they are filled with grief to an Horror, and with de­jection to a Despair; (Passions (like Hell torments) not conceive­able by any but those, who are involved in the same gulf of Ca­lamity!) while they not onely fear, but evidently see themselves (with their nearest and dearest Relations) suddenly condemned by your Highness's late Edict of Jan. 1. (after so many years suffer­ings) to be for ever either sadly indigent, or sordidly imployed; or (which is worse to ingenuous men) to be supinely idle, as having nothing left, or allowed them to do, deserve or enjoy in any publique way agreeable to their liberal Education, and learned Abilities: Consequently, little or nothing can be left them to feed, clothe, and comfortably maintain themselves, and their Families; most of them being but poor men as to their temporal estates, (though many of their Souls are rich Mines of knowledge, grace, and all Vertue) having chiefly lived heretofore by Gods Blessing, and this Nations bounteous Reward upon their Learned Industry; in which consisteth the whole stock, and patrimony of most Ministers and Scholars; whose trading for wisdome commonly marrs their market for all other gain, further than what the Churches Patrimony, and the States Munificence may afford them.

§. Compassion no Conspira­cy. Whose Tragique terrors, and impending miseries so imedi­ately, and inevitably menacing them, I cannot but Remonstrate with a charitable fervour, yet with all due respect to your High­nesse: Not as hereby symbolishing with, or abetting any of these my Brethren, in any wayes mis-becoming Pious and Prudent men; but only as sympathising with such deserving persons in their undeserved consternations, which they conclude to be sad fore-run­ners of such dreadful distresses, as must needs drive them, and their whole Families upon the rocks and precipices of utter ruine; unless the mercy of God, by your Highnesses Benignity, be pleased so to in­terpose, as to preserve them, and theirs from these multi-forme miseries, which are in the face of Famine, and those necessities which attend that extreme poverty, with which they are threat­ned.

§. Upon what account Mini­sters are thus afflicted a­new. All which cannot but be the more grievous to learned, grave, and ingenuous Ministers, by how much they were now lesse expected, or upon any new account, as they humbly conceive, de­served by them. As for the old score of Malignity imputed to them, either (for their adherency to the Constitutions of the Church of England, or their Loyalty to their Soveraigne) they justly hoped; that the many difficulties already susteined by them; the infinite diminutions, which (not in the way of Law, but of Armes and force) [Page 3]have exhausted them. The Iliaedes of miseries, which for many years have oppressed them upon that account, or Cause, Their former great suffer­ings upon the old account of Malignancy. (in which they were not active, or militant, but onely passive, and constant, to the perswasions of their Consciences;) which yet exposed them to the spoiling of their goods, to the sequestring of their Estates; to the losse of their Libraries, which were their Mines and Treasuries; to the charge and squalor of Imprisonments; to long Absent­ments from their nearest Relations; or (upon their Releasemen) to the sad spectacles of their Families, and their own innumerable Ca­lamities, even to extremities of want. Horrors sufficient (God knowes) to cast ingenuous, and tender mindes into such Agony's of dejection and despair, as nothing but an Angel from Heaven, or some special measure of Grace, was capable to preserve them from cursing the day of their Birth, and the way of their Breeding; yea, from Blaspheming God, and dying; as Jobs wife most unadvi­sedly advised her afflicted Husband, when she saw his Integrity was no security from extreme, and undeserved miseries.

§. Their former imputed faults may seeme expia­ted by their past afflicti­ons. Those innumerable distresses which have formerly pressed upon most of these Ministers (ever since they applyed themselves to that cause, or crosse rather, on which they have for some years past been nailed, and crucified) those they hoped might (even in the rigour, and extremity of justice) have sufficed to have expiated any former Offences, or Jealousies taken up against them, during the heat of the late unhappy Warre; which made them criminals, or guilty rather by prejudices, providences, and preventions, than by any depravednesse of mindes, or immorality of manners ever proved against them.

§. What ever just blame, Their Plea as to the point of Malignancy imputed to them. or sinister censure they had thus in­curred upon those former seores; yet they presumed, since their pu­nishment had been greater than their iniquity, all would now in the coole of the day have been looked upon as many wayes venial, and excusable in them. Considering,

First, That the cause whereto they adhered, In their Consciences. and for which they suffered, was adopted by them without any perverse Princi­ples, or sinister ends: onely following (bona fide) that light of Con­science, which seemed to them most clearly to shine from Gods Word, from the practice of Primitive Christians, and the Lawes of the Land: All which taught them Loyalty, as a part of Christian Religion, and non-resistence of lawfull Soveraigne Power, as an indispensable duty of Christian subjects; only they had not been Catechised in such Salvoes, and State-distinctions as af­terwards were found out by other men, who seemed no lesse ten­der, and solicitous for their own Consciences.

Secondly, As to their patience, and silence. Since God saw fit to confute their secular confidences [Page 4]of any cause; and to teach them higher wisdome by afflictions, (which in the justest cause of men can never be injust, as from the hand of God) they have onely behaved themselves, as humble, and silent sufferers; patiently enduring: and devoutly undone: Not bitterly querulous; nor pragmatically perturbing the publique tranquillity; living in wayes many of them, (though very able and ample men) as little to be envyed, as much to be pittied; taking great pains for small gain, contented with such poor pittances, as are the refuse of others, lately their inferiours, but now possessed of their livings; out of which they hardly allow to their sequestred Brethren their miserable Fifts. Only their humility and content made every con­dition a competency; yea they rejoyced in their obscurity, as hoping it was accompanied, with lesse envy and more safety.

§. Their Plea for the bene­fit of the Act of Oblivion. Yet after all these meritorius miseries, so modestly endured; after the noises and tumult of warr so much allayed: after an ACT of OBLIVION, happily passed (which they say owed much to your Highness's equanimity and policy) after other men of all sorts, have been permitted to enjoy the benefit of Composition and restitution to their estates; except only Ministers to their Ecclesiastical livings; (Their Sequestrations proving Deprivations for the most part: and their Purgatory is become an Hell.) After the Storme was well over, and the bitternesse of death seemed past; after these poor Ministers had gained some little planck or rafter, possiblely a little refuse living: or a Curateship, or a School; or a Lecture, or some Chaplains place in a Gentlemans house, by which to save themselves from utter ship­wrack and sinking; yet still (beyond any other ranck of men, of the same perswasions) they are now alarumed a fresh; exposed to new conflictings with that armed man; forced to undergo again, the heat and burthen of the day, as to mans wrath, and jealously; whose very mercys may seem cruelty, and their sparing of their lives thus long, great severities; Their Distres­ses. more bit­ter than Death. while they are now brought, not to the Tarpeian Rock, whence by a sudden principitation, an end might be put to all their miseries, with their lives; But like Prometheus, they are bound alive with fatal Chains to the mountain Caucasus: where condem­ned to be idle, the vulture of famine, & all worldly calamities must be ever preying upon the bowels of themselves, their Wives and Chil­dren, being only suffered to survive their miseries, as men hung a­live in Chaines, and forced with their relations either to begge, steal, or starve. § Thus, thus, after the voyce of peace, was again heard in the land, and every man had begun to gather up his affairs, from the scattering of warr: yet now are these poor men, Sequestred Ministers, and other ejected Scholars, condemned to be utterly cast out of all as unsavory salt, by a most severe abdication, and as it were postliminious proscription, forbidding any man to receive them [Page 5]by any hospitable or charitable reception, so as to officiate, and merit any subsistence in their callings, either as Preachers, or Teach­ers, though it be but of children in a Blefry, or private Family.

A Tragedy (my Lord) so Tragical in the first aspect of it, The dread­fulnesse of the Tragedy, which threa­tens them. and so killing in the letter, that in earnest if (as a desolating storme) it should be rigorously executed, upon so many learned and Godly men, together with the many modest Matrones their Wives, and their many hopefull, as well as harmelesse children, it is not possi­ble to expresse the bitter cryes, and sad lamentations, with which it will fill the land, and all mens Hearts, that have any thing Chri­stian or humane in them.

§ So that if your Highness should be inexorable, and unremissive, as one that neither hears nor regards, the cryes of so many poore Creatures: If their teares flowing night and day, should only fall upon flints and nether-milstones, as to other mens hearts, (where iniquity abounding, Their re­course to the Divine Mercy.charity must needs grow cold) there will be no way left but to fly to God; Their just and bitter complaints, will certain­ly peirce the Heavens; and move his compassion, who is a lover of Man-kind, both in grace, and nature; whom nothing more provoke to hear the Prayers of the Oppressed then the deafnesse of men: Humane (or rather unhumane) cruelties by a kind of Antipathy or repercussion excite the divine mercies, as things that meet with the hardest repulse, and resistances downwards, do usually make the greatest rebounde and ascent upwards, so do the cryes of the deso­late and greatly afflicted, when not regarded by men in Power.

§. Be pleased to know, Their trust in God for Grace. that the Faith of these good men (who no doubt are dear and precious to God as his Jewels) is yet so much above their feares, and sufferings as to believe that the Lords Eare is not heavy, that he cannot heare, nor his hand shortned, that he will not helpe those who trust in him, and cry unto him in the bitterness of their souls: though the Vine, and Olive, and Fig-tree fail them, yet God will not: though the arme of fleshly power, be either withered and shrunck; or sireched out against them, and lie heavy upon them, yet God will not utterly forsake those, whose hearts are not onely upright before him: but endued by him, with many excellent, and speciall gifts, usefull for his glory, and his Churches good; besides those many Christian graces, which are dayly increased, as well as excercised by such sore afflictions, and fiery trials; wherein they know as the Lord can purify them, so he can protect them, either from them, or in the midst of them, as he did the Three Children when they were cast into the Furnance seven times hotter then ordinary; he can and will save their precious Souls though the dunghill be their Death bed; as is now threatned to many of these poor, but Pious men.

§ Yet we know the Lord can stir up some mercifull Obediahs to feed these distressed Prophets in their caves, For wayes of Relief. and Obscurities; and if such mercifull men be perished from the earth, either for want of ability, or heroick charity, yet there may be some mercifull ra­vens (men otherwise rapacious and tenacious enough) who shall feed these hungry Elias's, to the just reproach of those men, who being great pretenders to Godlyness, and reformation, (the truth of which is inseparable from charity, reliefe of the poor, and releasing the oppressed) do (yet) deny bread to men of understanding; and inge­nuous imployment to persons of such holy, and honest, and usefull industry; and this in a land of plenty, not only for bodily food, but also for spirituall worke, where the harvei of souls is great and able labourers not too many; good Scholars being as necessary as Souldiers: and faithfull Ministers, no lesse deserving their Salaries than Military men; These will have their wages though they do not much work; the other would be glad to have leave to work, that they might deserve and enjoy their wages.

§ But because we must not tempt God by expectance of miraculous reliefes, Their re­course to his Highnesses Clemency. till we have tryed all wayes of ordinary providence, and find them obstructed; I have thought it my duty, to use this most probable meanes to obteine your Highnesses favour, toward these worthy men; that they may have leave to tread out the corne, without having their mouths thus muzled; that they may, as well Preach, as live Christ crucified, shewing others the benefit of his Crosse, as well as bearing it themselves; That they and theirs may not be starved for want of bodily Food, while they are able, and willing to dispense the Bread of Heaven, and food of Souls, which is the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ: being Persons of no scandalous convictions, either for inabilities, or immorali­ties: Having no other imputation on them, but onely some State-jealousies, and Political-Disputes. In which, although they may possibly be still lesse satisfied in their Judgements and Consciences; yet they know how with prudence to be silent, and with peaceablenesse to live in all Godlinesse and Honesty.

For such men, Plea for such worthy men, presumed not unacceptable to his High­nesse. and Ministers, why should I be afraid, by a Charitable, and in-offensive importunity, to solicite either your Highnesses Clemency, (if they may have seemed heretofore to deserve such multiplied and renewed severities) or your Equa­nimity and Justice? if they never have, nor do deserve so hard measure as this return both of their sinne and punish­ment, after they once had publique Pardon, and never since Offended. This I do with the more courage, and confi­dence, because I well consider how bold and welcome we poor [Page 7]sinfull wretches are to the Throne of Gods Grace, when we bring no other plea for Mercy, (as from our selves) but onely the sense of our miseries; the conscience of our sins, and the confession of our unworthinesse.

§. Nor are the timorous reserves, or over cautious, The cautions silence of many, in be­halfe of these Ministers. and un­charitable costivenesse of other men, any damp or remora, but rather a spurr, and impulse to me. I see how many of all sorts dayly passe by the distressed Ministers of England, as the Levite, Priest and Pharisee did by the wounded man, unconcerned: afraid to have any regard to them, or any compassion for them; what their charity dares onely whisper to themselves; or, it may be, with some hard speeches, and odious reflections, jealously suggest to your Highnesse that have I undertaken, by Gods help, freely, and fully, to represent to You, that so your Highnesse may not be ignorant, nor remorselesse as to their calamitous condition; which is like to be such, that of all Men, they are indeed con­demned to be the most miserable in this world; if the want of all things can make those miserable, who want not the continual feast of a good Conscience, and the support of Gods Spirit to be patient.

§. But, because I know that great Statists, and wise Polititians, Two Reasons of State con­sidered, as grounds of the Declarati­on against Ministers. do not lightly apply so publique, and sharp severities in the method of Government, but either they aime at, First, exemplary punishing former Offences: Or, secondly, at preventing future Insolencies, which may endanger publique safety: (For private Feuds, and personal despights, or revenges upon any men, that are subject to their power, are impotencies, or passions, most un­worthy of great and valiant Spirits, and not incident to them, because much below them.) §. Give me leave to Remonstrate to your Highnesse, That the exercise of such Charity, Clemency, and Equanimity, as is desired by me, for such worthy Mini­sters, and other Scholars, can no way either, First, abate that Prudent Justice, which must punish Offenders, to preserve the In­nocent in peace: Nor secondly, can it incourage, for the future, such licentiousnesse, or presumption, as may any way endanger that publique tranquillity which your Highnesse professed to me was your impartial, and highest designe in Government, in which all honest men of all Principles, and Perswasions might enjoy them­selves in peace.

§. First, As to the first point of punitive State-policy; First, as to pu­nitive Justice for past Offen­ces. I hum­bly conceive it was not so much an Act of Justice and Legality. as of Military caution, and prevention, while the Interest of Parties were sadly divided in Warre; which at first inflicted so great losses and restraints, as upon others, so upon many Learned, [Page 8]Grave, and godly Ministers; not as Penalties, but Securities. And certainly, those principles, or perswasions, which first lead them to undergo so many Miseries, by the improsperity of that Cause, to which they chose to adhere, (holding themselves ob­liged thereto in Conscience by the Lawes of God and Man;) these can in no Justice of God or Man, deserve to be alwayes so sorely punished. However (possibly) in reason of State, it might for a time be rather necessary, than just, that they should be restrained, or weakned, flagrante bello; during the hot fits, and Paroxysms of war, not quia nocuerunt, but ne nocere possint.

§. Past Offences more than suf­ficiently pu­nished. Yet when this Rivalry, jealousie, and contest by Armes was once decided, and publique Oppositions were reduced to pub­lique Subjections, certainly such as were at first sufferers onely by way of caution, and prevention, do not want very just Pleas now for their liberty, and present indemnitie, notwithstanding their supposed Constancy to their former Principles: of which, as no wise man is concerned to be curiously inquisitive, so they cannot be injurious to any publique Power, and Peace, so long as they are modestly smothered, and in-offensively silenced in their own Brests or Consciences, whose Dictates, your Highnesse knows, are not under any mans Empire: Whether mens private Perswasions are to be made pub­lique Offen­ces. The ablest men cannot change their Opinions when they will, nor will honest men pretend a Change where is none. Since then their former Sufferings were made use of for the security of that side, which now prevailes sufficiently over them, as to the outward man. Since their present Constancy proceeds not from Factious pertinacy, (which is soon either subdued, or softned by sufferings) but onely from Consciencious Integrity, which is, in Wise, and Good men, as a Diamond, unmalleable and invincible. Lastly, since this is so modestly carried, as no way either invades, or affronts the pre­valent Power, or publique Peace and Safety. Surely such men may well appear rather the Objects of just Indulgence and Re­mission, than of any further renewed rigours, and endlesse coer­cions; especially since their Principles kept private, (as they are) can do no hurt; and their Ministerial abilities being made publique, may do much good.

§ Adde to this; His Highnesse declared ten­dernesse, as to Liberty of Conscience. what your Highnesse hath highly pretended to, and much sought to gaine beliefe in from the World; That no man or Magistrate, is more indulgent to reall liberty of conscience; none more tender of making rude Scrutinies into mens hearts, (which are Gods Prorogative and reserve) or of laying either rigid impositions upon mens Consciences, or penaltys on their opinions; when their Conversation is such, as becometh the Gospell and our Lawes; neither impious nor injurious, neither idle nor Pragmatick. [Page 9]All which being granted, I cannot under favour see how it can con­fist with your Highnesses many other Declarations, and Professions, to preserve rational and Religious liberty unviolated. How then (I be­seech you) should the constancy of these mens private perswasions, joyned with honesty, and innocency of life, in any equity, render them so burthensome, and intolerable to the Common-wealth, as to exclude them for ever, from all civil, and Sacred Industry, in such wayes of honest subsistence, as are sutable to their education, and abilityes?

§ Who doubts, but that in civill addictions, and adherences, His Highnesse approving of mens constan­cy to their Principles in his own Inte­rest. even your Highnesse doth passionately desire, and highly approve such servants, subjects, friends, and followers, who are not upon sinister, but sincere respects, so devoted to your Safety, Honor, Power, and Interest, that they will not easily suffer themselves to be re­moved from them, whereto they once have applied themselves, not more with prudence, (which will onely hold in the Summer, and prosperity of your affairs, and family) than with conscience, love, and gratitude: which will last in Winter and adversity; as the life and sap of Trees, doth when their leaves are faln; That vir­tue which is commendable in your Highnesses case, cannot be blameable in anothers, though an enemy, because it is a virtue. The Antiqua­ted, or obso­lete Causes of many Mini­sters suffer­ings.

§ Nor is it to be forgotten, as to the examining, of the point of Justice in many excellent Ministers, and other Scholars past sufferings; That long before the scene of our civill affaires was thus altered, and setled, as now it is, under your Highnesses Govern­ment, many of them were Silenced, Sequestred, and Ejected, out of their Livings, preferments, and Fellowships, meerly upon the score, of I know not what, Occasionall Covenants, new Ʋowes, and State Engagements; which were but temporary Stratagems; ser­ving such various, and Particular Interests, as in their times were sometimes on foot, and prevalent in their partyes and designes, All which having been long since justly antiquated, and abolished, as to their secular virtue, and civill influence; it were great pity, they should still continue their destructive power, upon any good mens consciences, Estates or Libertyes: as Comets are thought to do their malignancy, long after they are vanished, and dis-ap­pear: What justice can there be, that men should continue un­der penaltyes, when the partiall causes, or temporary occasions, of their sufferings, are quite ceased, and suppressed; nor did they suffer at first upon any morall, but onely politick considerations, as they were then presented, by severall Acters on the English Stage.

Now the Lawes, both of Tragedies, and Comedies do permit that those Actors, which in one scene, may seem judged, beaten, [Page 10]bound and killed, may in another act returne to be free, and in favour, according as the vicissitudes of humane affaires, doe variously entertaine this life of man.

§ If it be objected, Objection, as to some Mini­sters unquiet carriage Answered. (to make all Ministers, of that unsuccesfull adherency, seeme dangerous, and odious,) that some of them enjoying common freedom, and protection under your Highnesse Government; have yet behaved themselves other wayes, then became pious, peaceable, and prudent men, under power: yea, and contrary to that wisdome, which affliction should have taught them, in reference to both publique, and private peace; Yet no justice will permit, that some mens pragmatick petulancie, (who may possibly have more breath of passion in their sailes, then balast of discre­tion in the hold of their judgements,) should be imputed to all men, of that learned Tribe; who may be of the same perswasion, but of far more prudence, and moderation.

§ Nothing seemes harder measure, No Justice will punish many inno­cents for a few nocents. and remoter from Chri­stian Justice, than for a few mens sakes, (who may be infected with the itch, or leprosy, of impatient, and turbulent spirits for which they deserve to be confined, till they are healed) to shut up all others, who were not at all infected with, or are cured of their diseases; It is great pity, some mens inordinate activity, should condemne others, to utter idlenesse; and exclude such able men even from those mean imployments, (as to the emolument) to which they have cheerfully condescended, (since the frowns, and burden of the times, have greatly depressed them) in order to maintaine themselves, and their familyes: which must be un­done, if these may do nothing, for which they are apt, and proper.

§ And since all proportions of both divine, Why Mini­sters are pu­nished more than any men of the same Principles. and humane justice do assure us, that those opinions or perswasions, by which no private advantages are obteined, nor publique dangers threat­ned, cannot be such a plague, disease, or Gangrene, as are onely to becured, by these dispiritings, and exhaustings, which must needs follow extreme idlenesse, and indigence; wise men cannot sufficient­ly admire, what Councel or designe, puts your Highness upon execu­ting those high severities, only upon men of literature; Ministers; & other Scholars; denying them all such ingenious libertyes to subsist, by their honest callings; which yet are granted fully & freely to all other men; even the meanest tradesmen, and mechanicks; who are of the same principles, and prone to be much more active in asserting them; and the wonder is the greater, because your Highnesse hath in my hearing as well as many others professed, an impartiall value, of all able and good Ministers; much commending some of the Episcopall way; yea, and almost preferring them, for their Graces and Gifts.

Lastly, because your Highnesse is pleased to own your selfe, not onely as Protector in generall; but as the speciall Patrone of both the Ʋniversities, and in them of all good Literature, and Scholars, by being Chancellour of one of them, greater degree of favour may be hoped.

§ I professe to plead for no Ministers, or Scholars, Plea for Mini­sters, as to their Innocen­cy, and mul­titudes. that are scan­dalously criminous, or morally noxious; such I beleive and hope few of these men are, who now fall under the milstone of your Highnesses late Declaration, which must needs grinde them to pow­der; If it excecute what it threatens.

§ But if the most of them were persons, lesse commendable; or for some misdemenors, justly blamable, yea, and by law punishable; yet still the very multitude of them, is no small Plea; If not for totall impunity, yet for such clemency, as may not seeme an outrage of severity, and extremity of justice: what is more usual in civill and Christian States, than to suffer the edge of Justice to be blun­ted, and the stroke of it defeated, rather then over-sharply executed against the many Crouds: of offenders though they cannot oppose the siroakes of justice by force, yet they do as it were smother, and oppresse them; pinioning the armes even of just power with the cords of a man; the softer sense of humanity; and, which is more, of Christian pity; we find our blessed Saviour had more then once compassion on the multitude; not onely as necessitous, but as numerous.

§ Both which number, and necessity, multitude and misery, do here so meet together, in the Objects of my Plea, and Petition, presented before your Highnesse, that your eye could not but affect your heart, if you could at one view, behold the great quan­tities, and deplorable companies, of venerable Ministers, and other ingenious Scholars, together with their dependances, and relations, (as wives, children, servants, and necessitous kindred) all which do in­finitely dread, and earnestly deprecate those miseryes, which hang over their heads; if the Fathers or cheif of their Families, be for­bidden to work in their callings; which is to forbid them all to eat or to live, at least honestly.

§ I am confident so rufull a spectacle, (even amidst the pomp, The sad spe­ctacle of Mini­sters, and their Families, who are many thousands ready to pe­rish. and splendor of your court) would more move your Highnesse, to compassionate them, than the prospect of Xerxes his Army did that Great King, when he wept to think how a few years would moulder to dust so vast a number of valiant men; for these last must perish by the Common Law, and inevitable fate of mortality; but those many and good men, for whom I am bold to intercede, must it seemes be undone, and die meerely by their arbitrary necessityes, to which your Highnesses Declaration onely doth drive, and condemne them.

§ And which way, I beseech your Highnesse, without a miracle can these men by any unwonted industry, get livelyhood for them­selves, and their families! whose number cannot amount to lesse then, Twenty or Thirty thousand Soules; considering, that above halfe of the Ministers, and Scholars, of England, and Wales, have been, upon one account or other, Sequestred from their livings, (which are above Nine Thousand) besides Fellowships, or Free-Schooles; many other also have been wholy deprived of their Prebendaryes, Denaryes, Bishopricks, and Highest Dignityes. in the Church; who upon the first Figure, or Head, cannot be lesse then Six, or Seaven thousand persons; to each of which if we adde but four more, (which is but a small Family or retinue) they cannot but exceed the proportion I have calculated.

§ And here, Plea from his Highnesses conjugal, and paternal sense. my Lord, being your selfe reputed both a loving Husband, and a tender Father, I cannot but believe, that you are (as well as I am) extremely sensible of these conjugal, and peternal remorses, which gnaw the very bowels, and pierce the Souls of all ingenuous men in behalf of their nearest, and dearest Relations; when they shall see these involved in the same calamityes with themselves; and for their sakes, to drinke as deep of the bitter cup, as their chiefes or principals; A Gracious Christian may with gene­rous courage encounter his own death, as conclusive of his own miseries, and his enemies malice: but who can endure to be specta­tors of those lingring torments, wherewith famine must kill, their Wives, and Children; Hagar went away, that she might not be a sad spectatrix of her Son Ismaels death for want of Food.

§ As the Laws of humanity teach us to abhor such Dreadful Severityes, God abhors dreadful seve­rities on the innocent, and the nocent that are nu­merous. falling upon our Relations; so the God of Mercy would have them avoided in the justest executions; that not the Children, and so not the Wives, should beare the iniquity of the Fathers, or Husbands; yea Gods compassion pleaded against the passion, and peevishnesse of Jonah for his sparing Niniveh, (though he had denounced his wrath, and limited a day for protracting the Execution) even from the many Innocent Children, that were in that City; who the lesse they can speak the louder they do cry, by a silent, yet potent eloquence to that God, of whose mer­cyes we are assured by many Holy, and happy Tantologies, that they endure for ever.

§ Such Pious, parentall, and pathetick motives here present them­selves to your Highnesse, as from others, so from those, whose Oratory is onely in their cryes, and tears; who as tender Branches, must needs wither, both as to feeding, and breeding, if the main root, or stem of their Fathers, be either barked round, or stub­bed up, having nothing to do, and nothing to enjoy; I shall not [Page 13]need to adde, that no argument will be more Odiously, Bitterly, The triumph of Papists over the Married, Reformed, and Impove­rished Clergy. and unanswerably urged by the Papists, with their Priests, and Jesuites, against the reformed maried Clergy of England, then this; to see somany of them with their Wives, and Children, thus expo­sed to most sordid, and shamefull necessities, and indeed to perfect beggery; (for many such spectacles, my own eyes have seen, and my heart deplored) And this in a land of plenty, in a time of peace, and after so many high protestations, to maintaine the protestant, reformed Religion, and incourage the Ministers of it.

§ Thus farre (my Lord) I have led on my Petition for your High­nesse Clemency, by the limits of punitive civill Justice; without making any unhansome breach, or incroachment (I hope) upon its just power, and proportions, in regard to either the just offences, or present merits, of those learned Scholars, and worthy Ministers, for whom I have taken this boldnesse to plead; and in them for their Wives, and Children; whose numbers, and innocency, are capable to disarme the rigors of justice; although those had been actually de­served by their Husbands and Fathers, whose offences for the most part have been and are more in their perswasions, then their practises; in other mens jelousies, more then their own activities; and so their punishments hitherto have been rather cautionary, then expiatory.

§ Nor, (in the second place) will this my humble request, Second rea­son of State urged, for the care of future fasety, and publique peace, An­swered. any way (I trust,) seeme lesse consistent with your Highnesse Ʋigilancy, and Frudence, for the future Peace, and Safety of the Publique; both which in all civil societies, where men have any sense or enjoyment of things beyond Beasts, and Slaves, are best preserved as by justice, so by equanimity, and gentleness; yea, and they are soonest blasted by two great sharpnesse, and severitys, which drawing upon the very Lees or dregs of justice, (sowred with jealousies, and revenges) must needs savour much, even of injustice; For punish­ments are not more due to offenders, for their malicious Trespasses against the publique welfare, then some mercy and moderation, are due to those common mistakes, frailties, and infirmities of life, which oft overttake even worthy men, not so much by their fault, as by a kind of fate, their misfortunes or afflictions being rather tentative of their virtues, then Punitive of their Vices; whose even finfull infirmities, Rigorous seve­rities enemies to publique tranquillitie. (many times complicated with their mise­ries God himselfe is pleased so far to consider, as in the midest of judgement to remember Mercy; and even to punish them more with the relentings of a Father, then the exactions of a Judge; mercy, benignity, and compassion being no lesse beams of Divine Glory, and Majesty, than are Justice, Power, and Soveraignty: These are as the Rubies; those as the Diamonds of that Crown, which God [Page 14]wears, and indulgeth to Rulers on earth, as their Royal Coronets, whose extremities and rigors of justice, must never overlay, or exclude, their Christian charity, and moderation: The want of which St. Paul tels us is not the diminution, but the annihilation of a Christian; yea of a cheif Apostle; For without Charity I am nothing.

§ I know the grand Interest of publique peace, and safety, (which seeme the chiefe ground, and ends of that late Declaration) are not in reason, or policy, to be neglected, by such as seek the reputation of prudent statists, and their own preservation.

But (my Lord) what wise man will so farr injure the opinion, No publique danger from a few unarm­ed Ministers. gene­rally had of your Highnesses Potency, and Ʋigilancy in Government, as to think, that neither your Highnesse, nor the Common-wealth, can be in a posture of Peace, and Safety, unlesse so many learned and unarmed men; many of them Aged, and every way as unapt for warr, almost as their Wives, and Children, unlesse (I say) these be quite undone, by being silenced, and ejected, from all kind of Ministeriall, and Scholasticall imployments, which are onely sutable to their breeding, and ability, and competent to maintaine them.

§ If any man shall suggest, that such methods of extremityes, and despaires, are the proper Antidotes, if not to expell the poyson (as they esteem it) of opinions, already diffused in some Ministers spirits, and veines; yet to stop at least the spreading, and contagions of them in other men; My answer is; That, even in this point of State policy, (a depth through which few men can well wade to Heaven) I doubt not, but your Highnesse with others, hath ob­served; That some either lesse seasonable, and discrete rigors, or more immoderate severities, heretofore used against those Ministers, (whose pious, and peaceful Labours were useful to the Church of God, though their judgements in all things were not exactly conformable, to the then present constitution of England) even those asperityes have been thought great disadvantages to the peace, and safety of those Gover­nors, and that government, which then prevailed.

§ Rigorous exactions, Whether ri­gorous de­pressions be the way of Safety. and superfluous severities, are alwaies weak Reformers of wilfull men, much more of wise men; especially as to their principles, and perswasions; and these not onely inbred, but inveterate; ingrafted by education; abetted by conscience; and confuted onely by the successes, and the prosperities of those, from whom they have suffered many effects, of anger, and hostility; but few impressions either of reason, or Religion, of equity, or charity; Tru­culent methods of Government, (such as were sometimes not more excessively, then unseasonably used in the low Countries, by the Duke of Alva, and others,) where people are not more unsetled, then in many things unsatisfied, do but heighten Animosities; by a kind of antiperistasis; (as Salt, and Snow, to water) fixing, and congealing, [Page 15]the malice, and despite, as well as the opinions, and perswasions, of men; all which would sooner disperse, and evaporate in milder wayes of humanity, and moderation; as the spirits of all things do soonest and most exhale, in warmer seasons, than in cold.

§ Nor are such methods, of publique rigors, Rigours do not exstin­guish diffe­rent Princi­ples. any whit more pro­bable to hinder, or suppresse, the feared derivation, and traduct­tion, of the like principles, and passion to others: For your Highnesse well knowes; That all publique, and frequent sufferings, in persons in any repute for Piety and Learning (If born with Christian, courage, and constancy) do onely move the greater pity, and compassion to them in the minds of the spectaters, and hearers of their calamities; which are by many decryed, by most suspected, for oppressions of power, rather than just punishments, or convicti­ons; Such sad and Tragick spectacles, solicite mens curiosities, more seriously to search the grounds of so great constancy; which Justin Martyr tells by his own experience, was a great occasion, of many Heathens conversion to Christianity in primitive times; when nothing invited the world, to regard Christians, but onely their mutual love, together with their patience, and perseverance in their way; not as sullen, and obstinate, (which Marcus Aurelius, falsly imputes to them) but as deeply perswaded of the truth, and merit of their cause or profession; of which others grew so inquisitive, when they saw them so resolute.

§ From hence, by a native kind of softnesse; Yea, they ad­vance them a­mong the Vulgar, by be­ing persecu­ted. mens hearts being as it were melted, they easily runne into that mould, or frame, which first they pity, then they enquire, afterwards they commend, at last they admire; both for the magnanimity of the sufferers, and supposed merit of the cause; to which they are sooner engaged, then they well understand it, by a pricipitancy of affections; which (like a quick tide, or current) carryes them down the stream before their sailes are well spread, or trimmed: For they presume; That Cause hath something in it more than Humane, which beares up wise, and good men, so much above humane frailty, worldly principles, and secular pleasures; At last the insinuatings of mans affections, and passions, (like the motion of Screwes) secretly, but powerfully ray­seth their minds, not onely to approve the cause, but to emulate the heroick constancy of such men; which by degrees, they grow so much to love, and applaud on one side, that they easily arrive, to hating of the other, and to bitter reprochings of those, that are the implacable Authors, of such mens sufferings; in whom they thinke virtue it selfe, with Grace, and Truth, yea, Christ him­selfe, and God doth suffer; Thus opinions, true or false, usually grow, and spread more; yea, and take deeper rooting in mens hearts, not only by the reputation of their authors, and abetters, [Page 16]but also by their being pruned, and cropped, with sharper, and severer hands.

§ Your Highnesse cannot be Ignorant, The first means to allay different Par­ties, & Princi­ples in State. that the best medicine to allay the humors, and inflamations of civil dissentions in matters of Opinion, is of the same temper, and confection, with that, (which Tacitus) and other wise men, prescribe against cancerous, rumors, and scandalous libels, (which are frequently vented against persons in power, by the eructations of envious and ambitious Spirits, as those mists and foggs, which from valleys, and lowest bottoms, usually rise in the face of Heaven) Agniti adolescunt rumores; spreti exolescunt; If they be too much owned, and opposed, like torrents or land floods stopped in their courses, they gain force and credit; If they be neglected, like Squibs, they spend their force and fury, without any danger or blemish to Princes or States; who by a generous indifferency discover, not onely a just despiciency of such follies; but great confidencies of their own Integrity; and such a magnanimity as not being easily discomposed, cannot be wanting to the maine points of Safety, and Power.

§ Nothing, The Mutuall cruelties of the Guelphes, and Gibelines. we see, kept up those bloody, and bitter warres, (or assasinations, and massacrings rather) between the Guelphs and Gibe­lines; the Imperiall and Papall factions; for more then one hundred years in Italy, and other places, but onely repeated, and exorbi­tant revenges upon those, who had no other way injured each other, but by their different perswasions; one preferring the Popes Ecclesiasticall, the other the Emperours civill Power in the Empire; From this principle each party was cruelly vigilant to improve the vicissitudes of Power, & what ever advantages they could get at any time; which they used or abused rather, not as lenitives to compose differences, and recover the publique or common tranquillity; but as corrasives or sarcasmes, to eat out and wholly extirpate the rem­nant of the adverse party; to the ruing of many worthy men, many noble Families, flourishing Cities, and opulent Countries.

§ Doubtlesse, Clemency, & Equanimity, the best cal­mers of pub­lique stormes as to mens minds. not the blustrings of Boreas, but the calme Sun-shine of generall tranquillity shining equally, and indifferently, on all honest, able, and peaceable men; in any Nation or community, makes them soonest forget their past sufferings; to lay down their fewdes, to compose their differences, and to conform to that generall quiet of which they see, they may upon faire termes, have their share; Thus the Flints of civill Factions, are most easily and safely broken on softer cushions; which put between the anvill and ham­mer of Power and Oppression, are prone to strike fire, and fly in the faces of those who thus strive, not onely to dash them in peices, but to beate them to powder.

§ But here (my Lord) I cannot be so stupidly indiscreet, The Authors Apology for touching upon State Policy. as not to confess my folly, besides my fault; and to crave your Highness pardon, for this so great Impertinency; by which (as Phormio a Philosopher, who read a Lecture of military Discipline, in the presence of Hanniball, the greatest, and best Commander then in the world, to the no great commendation of his Scholarly Skill, or discretion) I may seem thus weakly, and needlesly to present before your Highnesse any methods or rules of Sate policy, in reference to publique Peace, and Safety, who are knowne both at home and abroad to be so great a Master of all Arts, both civill and Military, both in the practique and the Theorie.

§ This reflection upon my own fatuity and presumption, How neces­sityes and op­pressions Ex­asperate men. in points of State policy, justly forbids me all further needlesse importunity, of suggesting to your Highnesse what you cannot but know, how sharp an edge necessities of life nut upon those mens Spirits and activityes, who otherwise are soft and blunt enough; for having no honest employment to busy their thoughts and time, in order to get some competent support for themselves and their families; they cannot avoid to be tempted by discontent, idlenesse, and in­dulgence to project, and act, those things (though to their own utter ruine) which they hope may either put an end to their sufferings; or at least make those men suffers with them, (as Sampson did the Philistines) who shew so little compassion to them, and excercise so needless, and undeserved severities upon them; Paraxismes of anger, disdain, and revenge oft transport even calme and wise men, by oppression, (as Solomon tells us) beyond those prudent bounds, which otherwise they had set to themselves; being impatient to see themselves so afflicted, as to be despised; and so to be despised, as to be denied convenient work, and lawful wages in honest industry: which all humanity, as well as policy, allowes; yea, and in some cases commands to those, who are permitted to enjoy their liberty, beyond the confinement of a Prison. We dayly see fires that are too hot, do quench themselves, by making even little pots over boile.

§. Certainly, next Death and Hell, The Sharp Spurre of po­verty to men of Parts. nothing is more dreadful and intolerable to humane nature, than for men of skill to be de­nied employment, and men of understanding to be thereby forced to want their bread, which is not to be gotten, but in those Callings that are their proper spheares: in all other new wayes they are driven to seek their food, as wilde beasts in desolate places; which ex­etick distresses I know have forced very worthy Ministers to infinite despondencies, and almost despairs; either having no home for them­selves, and their Families; or not enduring their own small and wretched Cotages; which are to them like howling wildernesses, or hell [Page 18]it self; full of weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of Teeth, for wife, and children's want of Food convenient and other necessaries of Life: The Scripture tells us; Better are those that are slain with the Sword, than those that perish by Famine; which is a lingring and multiplied death; Gods high displeasure threatens the Sons of Eli in the same breath, not only with early and immature Deaths; but with those sharper necessities, in case they live, by which they shall be forced to croutch for a morsell of bread, and some meane imployment.

Our Henry the 8th. The Huma­nity of Henry the 8. for the Monasticks reliefe. (whom Sir Walter Rawleigh so blackly and deeply brands for a perfect Idea of Tyranny,) yet shewed (as the Lord of Cherbery tells us in the life of that King) so much Clemency, as a Prince, and charity as a Christian, to those of the Monastick Orders, when he drave them out of their well built and well honied hives, as to allow those, who tarried in England, some competent Pensions during their lives; as knowing, that the way of their recluse breeding in devout Idlenesse, had made them unfit, and so unable to get their living by any ordinary way of bodily Labour, and usual callings; to which they were indisposed, because unwonted.

Farre be it then from your Highnesse (who pretend to an higher pitch of Reformation and Religion) to take away the remaining frag­ments, How hard it is to take away the cup of cold water, yet remain­ing to many Ministers. and cups of cold water, from so many Prophets, and some of the Prophets; who are not only men and Christians; but able Ministers, as well as Professors of the Reformed Religion; Farre be it from your Highnesse (of whose bounty I know some men of as different perswasions to you as Jewes are from Christians, have tasted) to break the little cruses of oyle, and barrels of meale, which have hitherto supplied (as the smal Reserves after great Shipwracks) the necessityes of many excellent Scholars; who are good Preachers, and better lovers of the Christian and Protestant Religion: O let not so many godly and grave Ministers, have cause to impute it to your Highnesse's Declaration, that they, their Wives, and Children, must during the remainder of their miserable dayes, mingle their bread with ashes, and their drink with weeping; going downe to their Graves, oppressed with that Sorrow, which is the effect not more of unrelieved than undeserved Oppression.

§ I know it will be replyed by some; Their Charity that put Mi­nisters in Me­chanick Em­ployments. That Hungar is a sharp Weapon as well as a Sawce; That Necessity will quicken mens Inven­tion and Industry; That the Belly is a great Master of art and wit: Let these complaining Ministers (some say) dig, and plough, and thrash for their Livings: or let them turn Gibeonities, and porters, hewers of wood, and drawers of water.

Thus (indeed) the hard hearts, and withered hands of some men, (whose very mercies are cruel) are prone to mock at poor Ministers [Page 19]calamities: True; It is of Gods mercy, that any course of life, or honest labour will sustain the best of us all; who are lesse than the least of Gods mercies; and meaner than the meanest imployment, if it be blest with honesly, and competency.

§ But I beseech your Highnesse to consider; No other employments afford them Competency. That besides the hard labour, and sore travail, which must needs, in those manuall, and mechanick wayes, lie upon ingenuous persons, especially in their age and decline, who have spent most of their dayes in the shadow of their studies, amidst unactive and sedentary retirements, as con­versing only with their Pens and Books; Befides (I say) this un­comlinesse and unaptnesse; There must needs follow great incompeten­cy, as to the necessary support of themselves and their Families, in any such new way; which if it get them bread, will hardly get them any drink, befides cold water.

§ But befides all these considerations, the greatest pity is, What pity it is to bury Ministers ex­cellent Tal­lents in Si­lence. to bury the excellent gifts of those learned, pious, and Eloquent men under a Bushell, or in the Earth, of silence, sordidnesse, and obscurity; who are fit to be set in Golden Candlesticks, in the Temple of God, as burning and shining Lights; among whom Christ hath sometimes delighted to walk, and converse in the excellent graces, and usefull gifts of his Spirit.

§ How great a sinne and shame must it be, Publique Sin and Shame, to op­presse good Ministers. as well as darknesse to this Church and Nation (professing the Christian, and Refor­med Religion) not onely to behold, but to cause the faces of so many Nazarites (who have from their youth been separated, and sanctified to the speciall service of Christ, and his Church, who were heretofore whiter than snow) to cause them to contract, by sordid­nesse of living, such blacknesse and deformity, as if they had lain among the pots; among the (lixae & calones) black guard, which usually attend great mens Kitchins.

§ It is great pity, that such goodly Pillars of Gods House should be cast down to the ground, and levelled to the dust, even to the beasts, or meanest of the people: Can it be comely to see such ponde­rous and laborious oxen ploughing with Asses, which God in the Law forbad? It was a shame and reproach to King Jehojakim, that he buried the dead body of the Prophet Ʋriah in the graves of the meanest of the people: How much more will it be, to bury Mini­sters, even alive among them? That is, so to abuse and crush them, as to enforce them, either to embrace the dunghils, or converse only with clods and clowns.

§ All which burthens of life must needs press the more sadly No way of competency or comeliness for Ministers but their calling. because they are now toward the evening of their dayes, well stricken in years; their light growing dimmer, and their shadowes (both of fears and infirmities) larger: So that to [Page 20] dig they are not able, and to begg they are ashamed: I have known many of them very grave and venerable men, rather want, than ask; and contend with poverty, rather than conquer their in­genuity; Who were wonted to more tender foreheads, and a more blessed, as well as honorable way of giving, rather than receiving. If they be now driven into a desolate wildernesse, they may probably meet with Firy Serpents to sting them by adding contempt to their want. But what Manna or miraculous Food can they exspect? What rock will follow them to relieve their thirsty and fainting Souls; if they must be utterly turned out from any place as Stew­ards in Christs Family, or Dispensers of Heavenly Mysteries?

§ What commendable frauds, I boseech your Highnesse, can there be found for the sustenance of so many men, and their Relations? Who never have been, nor now are, men of any great secular dealings, or receipts, and accounts: Such as the unjust (but wise) Stexard used for his preservation; when he saw he must be cast out of all bu­fines, A provident practice which we see our Blessed Saviour com­mended; not as to the injustice and immorality of it, but as to that worldly prudence and natural policy, or sagacity; which teacheth and commandeth even Bruit Creatures, to be provident for themselves and theirs; Shewing us, that there is nothing more Bruitish and Barbarous, more Ʋmnanly and Ʋnchristian, than to neglect providing for our selves, and our Familyes; which who so doth is worse than an Infidel, and is by the truth declared as an Apostate, or denyer of the Christian Faith; Sure, if voluntary neg­ligence and improvidence be so much blamed and to be abhorred in reason and Religion; There can be nothing commendable, in forcible imposing those exauctoratings, silencings, and restraints upon honest and Industrious men, as must compel them to necessi­types, when they are more willing to take paines in their callings.

§ I might further add to the hunger and thirst of such mens out­ward condition, Famine of Souls will fol­low famished Ministers. that scarcity and famine of the word, which must necessarily follow in many places: and that leanness which is like to enter into many poor peoples Souls; to whom such able men for­merly dispensed the bread of eternal life, as the faithful Stewards of Christs family; whose absence is not so readily to be supplied with Ministers, proportionable to their abilityes, industry and gravity, as is evident in many sequestred places; where people are either almost famished: or at the best much infected with the unwholsome food of unsound doctrine; yea, what if such, as succeed these outed and able Ministers, give people stones instead of bread; and scor­pions instead of fishes! what if they affect to feed mens Souls after the vaporing of some novices, in these dayes, with empty mangers and high racks; giving them the chaffe of Juvenile Notions, and [Page 21]uselesse Speculations, instead of those saving & practical Instructions, with which those veterane Teachers, were wont to furnish and feed their Auditors both elder and younger: what account can be given to the great Bishop and Pastor of Souls, if his Sheep be starved for want of their Shepherds? If wast, and weaknesse, diseases, and death eternal fall upon mens precious Souls, for want of saving knowledge?

§ Certainly nothing should be done in civil affairs with more deliberation and circumspection, than the silencing of Christs Minisiers; Of changing the Spiritual Militia of the Ministry. and the divorcing of them from their people, where God hath placed and prospered them; every one ought to take heed what they do to those that are the servants of the most High God, and teach the way of Eternal Life. There should be no lesse care, and caution in altering, disbanding or cashiering this spiritual Militia, than in that of the secular; Nor should therein Reason of State onely be considered, but Reason of Religion, with Christs Interests, and the good of Souls; for these are of eternal concernment to poor mortals, the other but momentary.

§ Since then the temporal welfare of so many worthy Ministers, The blessings accruing to the Publique by able Mini­sters. by enjoying their liberty to officiate, is so agreeable to the Glory of God, the Honor of Jesus Christ, and the Salvation of poor Sinners, I hope they will not seem to your Highnesse inconsistent with the publique Peace and and security; yea, since there appears no probable means under God for the covenient support of so many honest and useful Preachers, besides other Scholars, but onely your Highnesse Clemency and Benignity, in indulging them their honest liberty: Since necessity drives the poor to the rich, the weak to the strong, and the miserable to the merciful; yea, even to the God of Mercy; (whom though we cannot move by any merit of our own, yet, we may by such humble importunities, as only obtrude upon him our miseries;)

§ Let it not displease your Highnesse, that I have thus far pre­sumed not onely by soft and suppliant words, but by potent and I hope prevalent reasons, to perswade you to such equanimity and charity, as may in real effect obtain some such merciful qualifica­tions, remissions, or suspensions (as to the execution of your High­nesse Declaration) That Pious and peaceable Ministers, and other Scholars may serve God, without distraction, and terror, in their wonted callings and imployments; If any civil caution be necessary, beyond your Highnesse inresistable power, and those mens both weaknesse and danger, no doubt all sober men will give it, Of revoking or remitting the rigors of Publique De­clarations. as farr as is confistent with the integrity of their consciences; and further they hope your Highnesse will not require.

§ Nor shall (I hope) that Scruple lie in the way of your High­Highnesse clemency, [Page 22]or my Brethens liberty, namely the lothnesse of States and Potentates to revoke, remit or qualify any act or edict, which they have once made publique, least by the seeming in­constancy of their councels, they should lessen the authority of their commands, and the reputations of their wisdoms.

§ But herein as your Highnesse hath in the close of your Decla­ration opened some little dore of favour and indulgence: So I trust, no severe restrictions of any Country Committees, or other Officers, shall be permitted to shut, or streighten it so, as to exclude any able unblameable and peaceable Ministers, from the service of Christ in his Church, by which they may enjoy some compe­tent subsistance, by ingenous Liberty and honest Industry in their callings. Such pious, charitable and generous Laxations or con­nivances as your Highnesse may please to permit, may amount to the favour by me desired in their behalfe, without any publique alteration or formal revocation; of which (yet) no men, never so wise, and consultive, have any cause to be ashamed, when such al­teration is for the better, either as to verity, and equity, or charity; which are not the blemishes, but the beauties and blessings of variations, private or publique.

§ What gracious heart observes not with comfort, Of Divine retractions, or Gods Re­vocations. that even God himself the highest Pattern of Wisdom, Justice, Power, and Constancy, yet, oft and easily retracteth as to the event, and ex­ecution of his Denounced Wrath; and will rather seem mutable by his repentings (which are mans impunity, not Gods mutability) than want the opportunity of magnifying his mercy to penitents; He said he would destroy them; but he did it not: yea, as willingly spared them, as he had justly threatned them; being solicitous to find a man to stand in the gap, and turn away his wrath; Nay the Divine goodnesse was glad of Moses his Intercession, though it seemed to be made with an holy kind of rudenesse; and an humble disobedience; even then when God bad him, Let me alone, that I may destroy them.

§ In like sort the Lord chose to let his passionate and peevish Jonah seem a false prophet, than himself should not appear ever­lastingly true; not so much in the letter of his declared threatnings, as in the tacit limitations and exceptions, of his mercy and pardon; which are ever to be understood by penitent sinners, though not expressed in the menaces of divine vengeance; Such gratious Re­tractations are not the least part of a sinners comfort, and of Gods Prayses.

§ The successe which Moses had with God, Moses his importunity welcome to God though angry. hath emboldned me first to seek to the throne of his Grace, by my prayers; Next to make this petitionary addresse to your Highnesse, not as asking any [Page 23] great thing for my self; but onely craving those honest freedoms for other worthy men, which are their greatest temporal ambitions; The granting of which as it cannot any way tend to the diminu­tion of your Highnesse Honor, Profit or Safety; so nor will my begging of it, any way I hope tend to your Displeasure; But rather your Highnesse will please to imitate David; who incensed with Nabals churlish ingratitude, Davids anger well pleased to be disarmed. and burning with military flames of reveng, yet, was neither unwillingly, nor unthankfully taken off from executing his intended severityes by the discreet intercession of a wise woman; for which he blesseth God and her; Certainly, none are more exorable, than generous spirits, nor any more generous than those that have gracious hearts; whose wisdome is not earthly, sensual and devilish; from their own passions, or the depths of Satan; but from above; pure, peaceable and easy to be intreated.

§ Such favorable remissions do the fears, Publique favours con­quer enemies minds. and dejections of many thousands of poor Ministers, and their Relations, now crave of your Highnesse, the granting of which cannot but procure your Highnesse many friends; and either soften or filence many enemies; leaving them without excuse hereafter; who seeing your power able to crush them: shall abuse your Clemency, which is willing to preserve them, in all wayes of honest industry, which becomes them.

§ But it is now (my Lord) high time for me to be ashamed; Apology for the pro­lixity of this Plea. not of my charity, (which maketh not ashamed) but of tedious, and excessive prolixity; considering the Sea and moles of business, which every moment presseth upon your Highnesse (yet, in some cases of great concern, as this is for Gods Glory, and the good of so many thousands good men, (yea, worthy Ministers) it would be not onely a great solacifme, but almost a great sin to be short) However this cause of shame I own; that I have been so long in remonstrating or importuning that; wherein I not only understand other persons of farre more merit and acceptance have interceded (as the Lord Primate of Armagh) but I have some cause to presume that your Highnesse own purposes have prevented me, and all mens mediation; in that you are pleased with much candor and gentle­nesse to admit of any Intercessors.

§ Of which benignity I and all the world shall then have, not only confidence but experimental assurance, when your Highnesse shall effectually remedy and actually forbid, the further crying­out, and complaining of so many worthy Ministers and their families in our Streets. A Jesuitick Jubilee, which I should not more pity, The Jesuites Jubilee. than repine to see those men enjoy, who are very sore and subtil adversaries to the Reformed Religion and it's ablest Ministers: Nor do I doubt, that your Highnesse will ever have either more cause to [Page 24] rejoyce or lesse to repent in any thing, that hath or shall be either acted, or commanded by you, than in reviving the spirits of so many men that are ready to fayl within them through distresse, next dore to despair.

§ Which favorable Indulgence to them will not only turn to an act of charity and humanity, Clemency the best sode­ring of New Soveranity. but even of true State policy too; It being one maxime given by a great master of it; Novum impe­rium inchoantibus utilis est clementiae fama; Though the power of the Sword may here lay the first foundation of new government; yet, clemency and moderation, are the chief cement and firmation of it: The ambition of the Heathen Grandees, as Alexander, Ju­lius and Augustus (first Caesars) also of Trajan, M. Aurelius, and others, sought to preserve to themselves the Honor, and to others the happinesse of their Clemency, that they might appear to man­kind, not only worshippers of warlike Deities, such as Mars and Bellona; but also of Jupiter; who was esteemed, not only the King but the helping Father of both Gods and men; whose defective name borrowed its supply from the Sacred name Jehovah; whose glory passed by in that Proclamation, The Lord gratious and merciful, &c.

§ Tertullian's generous councel is good; Christian Charity must exceed Hea­thens Huma­nity. Plus debet Christi discipulus, quam mundi philosophus, gloriae animal, et secularis aurae vile manci­pium; Christians act much below their patern, if they do not ex­ceed the best of Heathens in humanity and holinesse too; as much as their true God doth others Idols; Since they have the Word of God for their rule, the Servants of God for their copies; the Son of God for their Original, and the Nature of God for the perfect and eternal Idaea of all charity, mercy and benignity, who will also be at last their exceeding great reward.? We read that Joseph easily secured his Brethrens feares of his reveng, by telling them he feared God: intimating that he was resolved to follow God in his wayes of Mercy and Gentlenesse; David a man of Warr gives it, as one of the Characters of a good man, he is ever merciful, Our blessed Saviour enjoynes it to his Disciples; Of Mercy and Benignity in Christians. Be ye merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful; and this not onely to the just and good; but also to the bad and unjust: yea, God himself capi­tulates with such wormes as we are; If we shew mercy, we shall receive mercy, according to the measure we mete to each other: The Syrians gave the Kings of Israel this Honor; that they were merciful Kings; For such as know most of the true God, will be ready most to imitate him, in this attribute of mercy, which is above all his works.

§ As for my self (my Lord) I have more than my reward, If I have done or endeavoured, as becomes my duty to my God, and Saviour; Next to my conscience and calling; and lastly, to that [Page 25]charity which I ow my brethren, and fellow labourers; whose distresses I am sure require, though their modesty did not expect, this service from me, of which they are wholly ignorant; I know many of them, I heare of many more; whose worth is not to be measured by the false weights, and scanty measure of civil sidings and factions; These are many of them reduced to their cottages, to their dry morsels, to their water and bread of affliction; which (yet) they greatly feare to loose; So much doth a little seem to those moderate, and humble minds, who know how to be thankful, yea content, with that which is next door to nothing.

§ I should suspect my self to be no living member of Christs Body, Of Sympathy among Mini­sters. (whose very life consists in charity and compasson,) If I found in my self no sympathy, with the afflictions of so many Josephs: yea, I should not onely be ashamed, but much, and justly suspect my own plenty, and Gods undeserved bounty to me, least my table should become my snare, and my very food be digest­ed into sin; If I had no sence, and sorrow, for others hungry, and afflicted souls; It were farr better for me to be levelled to the te­nuity of the meanest of my Brethren, (that I might be experience, learn to be compassionate) than with an epicurean indifferency, and uncharitable stupidity to behold them, wanting competency, and indeed necessaries: which they must do; If your Highnesse decree that is gone forth, be rigidly executed; not against Magicians, and Astrologers, but against grave Divines, and godly Ministers of the gospel; to their utter undoing.

§ It will be favour enough, and a most ample returne of my prayers, If by this pious importunity, I have any way perswaded, Conclusion deprecating displeasure I have any way perswaded, (If need be) or confirmed your Highnesse clemency to them. Whose pardon I should now (of course) formally crave for my self, and thereby add to your Highnesse troubles by some solemne apology; which I would willingly add, if I were conscious to my self of the least fault in my designe; If there be any, it is only such as charity I hope may and will easily cover, fince it is charity only that commits it; Nor sin or shame in cha­rity. Not but that I know some moreoser polititians are prone to censure even compassion for a kind of con­spiracy, and such charity for malignancy, (like those scepticks, who not only disputed, but denyed the snow to be white) but I hope your Highnesse eye will not be lesse good because theirs are evill.

§ Onely it is fit to beg your Highnesse pardon for this my into­lerable trespassing so much upon your much oppressed time, and little leasure, by so tedious an addresse, in which (at the worst aspect) I shall yet appear as one that pays your Highness (besides other taxes) the tribute of double honor; First by owning power [Page 26]in your hand to destroy; New, by hoping for pity in your heart to preserve these Ministers, and other Scholars, in whose be­half I intercede: who, if any under Heaven, are objects fit for your Clemency, and Compassion; both for their eminent merits, and their impendent miseries.

§ I humbly leave these papers in your Highnesse hand; and your heart in Gods; who is higher than the highest: of whose mercy we all daily partake, and shall while we live on earth stand in need; whose compassions are his good pleasures, but his punish­need; Peroration. whose compassions are his good pleasures, but his punish­ments, his strange work, as not willingly afflicting the hildren of men: That your Highnesse may in this case imitate so blessed a paterne, is the prayer of

Febr. 4th 1655.
Your Highnesse humble servant, J. G.
FINIS.

A POSTSCRIPT to the READER.

Good Reader,

THou maist further understand, that at the same time, when this Addresse was made by the Author in behalfe of those Ministers of the Church of England, over whose heads this Black Cloud then hung, threatning a deluge of desola­tion, God stirred up the spirit of the then Lord Primate of Armagh, Bishop Usher, personally to intercede with the then Oliver Protector, for his clemency and indulgence toward them; It was one of the last endeavours of piety and charity, to which that great and most vengerable person, applied his most potent Interessions; fortified not onely by his pious oratory, full of exquisite reason and religion, but with his prayers and teares; For that divine prelate, who was in all things (as Nazianzen sayes of Athanasius ( [...]) rather admirable than commendable; It being bard to say whether be were doctior or melior, ornation or humilior, thought himself in nothing more concerned, then in shewing those bowels of compassion, which became such a Father of the Church, to the worthy sons and servants of it; whose afflictions he made his own; nor was he satisfied to enjoy some degrees of tranquillity and respect himself, while he saw (as Joseph) so many of his Brethren, in such great streights and tribulations; He attended (mollissima tempora fandi) the softest opportunities of mediating for them, five or six weeks in London, impatient not to shew such compassion, as became so tender an heart, and so fervent a Soul as his was; At last he was fain to retreate with little successe, and lesse hopes, than he expected and deserved, to his great grief; using this expression, to the Author of the foregoing piece, That he saw some men had onely intestina, not viscera, guts, but no bowels; Thus did this good man go with sorrow to his country retirement, and so to the grave; presaging further sharp impressions of Gods sore displeasure which would shortly and suddenly light upon this Nation; to the great darkning, as he said, [Page]of the reformed Religion, and the depression of faithful Ministers.

§ This grand example of Christian commiseration, (which that ex­cellent Primate made more illustrious by his eminent worth in all things worthy of a good Man, a good Christian, a good Minister, and a good Bishop) is worthy to be added to the Records of those many other ( [...]) most memorable and imitable actions of that Heroe, that Saint, that Angel, of the British Reformed Churches.

§ So that the Author of the foregoing Petitionary Remonstrance did not alone stand in the gap; But was, as in all things else many degrees inferiour to that incomparable Primate, so in this happy to be his second and assistant.

§ Which regards are sufficient to vindicate his endeavours from all sinister reflections; prone to fall from such eyes, as are either more cautious or more envious, and censorious than becomes good Christians; esteeming nothing prudent, which is not successful; nor valiant, which is not victorious.

§ After ages (possibly) will be better pleased to see the afflicted state of the Clergy and Church of England, thus not wholly for saken, but asserted and compassionated; at least by one so worthy a person; who was as an Army, or cloud of witnesses; who being so well acquainted with the mind of Christ, and living in the life of his Spirit; It may be a good omen that in his good time the Father of Mercy, and God of all Consolation will answere his fervent prayer; and return to plead the cause, and effectually to intercede in the behalfe of this so afflict­ed Church, and his Servants the worthy Ministers of it; who have a long time born the burthen of his sore displeasure, and the reproach of all unreasonable men: All which hath not yet drivan them to such de­spaire, but that they pray and hope, in the midst of Judgement God will Remember his Mercies, which endure for ever: To which Petition all Lovers of Truth and Peace will say, Amen.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.