A briefe vindication of the Religion and GOVERNMET OF NEVV ENGLAND Against the Presbyterie of SCOTLAND: Together with some materiall Observations worthy of Consideration.

ALthough I was not Ignorant of the Court designe, both of K. Iames, as wel as the late King Charles to involve this Nation in extreame Ignorance and slavery, and in order thereunto had for that purpose settled such Bishops and heads of the Schooles of Vni­versities, and Iudges, and heads of the Innes of Court, also as corrupted and perverted the truth of the divine Gospell, Law, and word of Christ, as well as the Common and Civill Law and word of morallitie of the Nation also; Yet when the Scots began to make their party in England; as for Gospel-Freedome and Liberty, and had entred our Country with an Army; I was not their friend therein, but greatly feared a horrid event of that miserable beginning, for these reasons.

First, because they did set their quarrell by Religion, to which it is considerable, that they that are deceived, drawn, and forc't into any Antichristian Religion, and unto any obedience on paine of the curse, and of damnation, are oftentimes through Ignorance and slavish fear, as zealous (as is verified by the Papists and Turk also) (almost) as the truly valiant Christian, that the saving Love of Christ constraineth.

Secondly, because all Gospel-Liberty, I say, and maintaine all; true Gospel-Liberty is known by its unerring marks of equality, through an­swerablenesse to each other in the Law; for a­voiding the cause of contention, and for the making sober, and continuing all men in an e­quall, externall Peace, Freedome, and godly prosperity thereby, which must first be in order to the Catholike Faith, Love, and Peace inter­nall.

Thirdly, on the contrary, the debaucht, sla­vish, and beast-like ignorant condition of the generality of the inferiour, and common sort of people of Scotland is such, that the Turks and other Infidells doe much surpasse them, both in Freedome and morality. Therefore I conceive them a sad president of Gospel peace and liberty unto us.

Fourthly, the deep conjunction and unity of that Nation in themselves, and their great wis­dome of uncrediblenesse unto all others.

Fifthly, the aptnesse of this Nation unto dis­unity and carelesnesse of its owne members, and crediblenesse unto others, as have not only been [Page 3]ever observed by other Nations; but lately suf­ficiently verified by our Invitations of the Scots. But when the late King had left the Par­liament, and levied warre against it, about halfe a year after, it pleased God that I raised a Company for the Parliament, and continued in­gaged both before, and in all the service of the Earl of Manchester, and after in the new Modell, in all five years, in which time, according as I covenanted with the Lord at my first beginning, that as I was not then rich, so should not these miserable and unnaturall wars make me rich, and although I have since had as great meanes there­to, as most men have, yet can I boast of nothing so much as of my being inabled to performe the same; And when I found that Wars were like to break forth again, and having receiv'd Christ in that his glorious office of mediation, did thereupon lay down my Commission to labour therein, and accordingly have indeavoured for a Gospel-accommodation unto all Interests, not according to the streame of my own desire, but to move all men (if it might be) to the glorious work of consideration, and triall of all things of good and evill; that every one might be per­swaded in his owne Conscience, and although I have not prevailed, yet if every one would have done the same, it could not have been a­voided no more then the glory and peace which my soule receives through my earnest discharge of my duty, for which I was created; yet can I not but greatly take blame upon my selfe, for some bitternesse of Spirit vented by me, against [Page 4]some precious men, & my dearest friends when I have thought them in the least blame thereto; but having considered many sad presidents unto those people that have gained a sword, and upon their adversaries credit have suffered them (suddenly) to share with them therein again, must greatly condemne my passion and evill thereof. And one president of many I shal here lay down.

In the late great War of the Parliament and King Charles the ninth of France, (which yet exceeds not the memory of man) after the King and Lords had on both sides deeply wearied the Nation, they then were able and closed up a bargain, that according to the ignorant desires of the Common people (for peace sake) that they should submit unto, and trust the King with their Liberties, but that the Lords should be free of all Taxes whatsoever ex­cept only that when the King should go to War, that he should command any of them a Warfare at their own cost (as to their particular expence) by which their freedom and exemption from taxes they are so greatly inriched, that some of them have purchased & gotten estats of 100000. pounds a year. Others to the value of 150000 l. a year, and yet the poor Pesants so called are at the charge of maintaining the most magnificent Court in the world, and at all times not fewer then 80000 men in Armes to inslave and keep themselves under, even more miserable then many beasts, but since the War between Spain & them not le [...] [...]hen 160000 The charge of the Navy, the Marriage of the Kings Children and all other [Page 5]Charges whatsoever, and besides all this; that interest of people which first opposed the Crown notwithstanding as large Acts of forgetfullnesse and pardons as ever were, or could be made, there was massacred and slain to the number of 10000, soules in one night; and scores of thou­sand vassalzed, ruined, and utterly captiv'd.

Why now should Consideration be wanting unto the Presbyterian that caused this war as wel as to the Independant; And seeing it is said in the Scots Covenant that wee shall reforme our Re­ligion in Doctrine, Discipline and Worshippe, according to the best reformed Churches: and also because the Religion which is practised in every State is the seale of obedience unto bon­dage or freedom. Therefore I mayntaine that the Religion which is practised in New-England ought to be our patterne, because you shall find that although it is as barren a Country as Scot­land is, which is now planted more then 200 miles in length, and yet that one shall not see a person there that begges his bread, or any to be drunk, or sweare an Oath, or that is reputed a Whore-monger by the year through [...], and like­wise, if any shall injure another, or shall but sub­tilly over-reach his neighbour in bargaining, and that this be told unto the Church, restituti­on and satisfaction is made in love (even the first day) as also if a man be knowne to live in much Covetousness, that hee is not holden worthy by the Church to beare any office there, or in the Common-wealth, and that you shall not see nor heare of one to be whipt in many moneths, or hanged in many years, will it not be said of a truth God is there, and that this is the most [Page 6]pure Religion, and peaceable Government of Christ (above all others that is yet pro­fessed) and that I have sufficiently proved the thing. But if this be not sufficient, I beseech all men to examine, if the nature of the Presbyterian Government of Scotland take more from their King then it adds unto the Ministry, so as the people gets neither knowledge or Freedom there­by, and to give you an unerring president, consider what I said in the beginning, and let any that knowes the nature of that Country judge and answer, if the debaucht slavish condition of the inferior and Common sort of people in Scotland (which is continued by the tyes of Religion) be lesse slavish and miserable then the Turks or o­ther infidells.

And I say, if every Religion that is practised in any State, ought to be judged on to be of Christ or Antichrist, accord­ing as it bringeth a sober and godly Freedome with it, and that thee remony or forme of worship is not the substance, but righteousness is the marke of Christ, And slavery which is the fruits of unrighteousness the mark of the beast; Then I conceive no man will maintaine any thing in opposition hereunto, but if any shall be pleased to oppose the truth hereof, I shall in a Christian way be ready to reply, provided we may hold to the true grounds of distinction, between good and evill; The nature of Christ and Antichrist, ac­cording to Gospel-warrant; and can it be conceived that when the debaucht person doe rightly consider the perill of his soule by his trade of evill, as also that the custome and trade of education in the dayes of those: peoples youth do inlarge their hearts through Love (not by feare) hereunto, that he will not only say, that where the same government is proclaimed to be firmely established, it ought to be im­braced above all others, and that it had been good for him to have been educated under such a meanes of grace, but will petition, as also assist the honourable Parliament to establish the like noble things with us.

And whereas some have been pleased to give out reports concerning some arrears which are holden by me, I have briefly laid downe the substance of my judgement to try­all againe. First, I hold the pure word of God, and strength of the Scriptures doe prove that God is the life, Motion, and being of all things (but all in Order) and as he did, so he doth create all things good, and no­thing evil. Secondly, that all good is that which proceeds from the perfect love of moderation, and the proper use of things according to Ggreements, by the wisdome of God in Man, for the preservation of Love, peace, and Admiration unto him the Creator. Thirdly, that all evill commeth of the imperfect love of immoderation, and the improper use of things contrary to agreement, by the wis­dome of God in Man, to the hindrance of Love, Peace and Admiration. Fourthly, that the true, Catholique, or uni­versall faith of Jesus Christ is to believe, that as God is our life, and being, so is he able, and will save to the ut­most all them that trust in him. Fifthly, that this love of moderation (Mediation or Reconciliation) is the saving love of Christ, by which he had Communion with the Father before the world was, and by which the world was made, and is still preserved and continued. Sixthly, that this universall faith of Christ is first in order to his universal love (for faith shall cease, but love shall endure.) Seventhly, that it is the nature of Christ by which we are saved, and although it is said, there is no other name then the name of Jesus only, by which we can be saved; it is true, for by his name we figure out his nature, and his name varies as the Languages do, besides we may see Christ in the fruit and Actions of a Christian; but doubt­lesse not in him that prophanely and desperately swears by it, and when his name and Nature goe together, then shall every knee bow, but if at his name only judge yee. Eightly, that understanding of God in man which proceeds onely from the Love of Moderation, for the proper use of things according to Agreement, is to be called Reason; and it is not the high conceit to work cu­rious [Page 8]works; or speak elegant words, nor yet the subtile Art to destroy one another, that is to be said of Reason: for then the Wolfe, the Bee, the Spider, the Parrot should be called rea­sonable Creatures; And the height and excellencie thereof is to be measured, according as it extends it self in a peaceable order, for the regulating and making of the most equall and just agreements. Now having received Christ as before, so walk I, or desire to walke in him, and square my reason as well as my actions by him, being at peace and in universall love with all men; but if any thing may be objected against any of this, or whatsoever else, I have or shall lay down, I doubt not but to give satisfaction either by a sober answer of justification or sudden acknowledgment of my error with much rejoycing; Now if at this and every season all things stand, and are good according to the divine decree then ought every man (who hath but the present moment of time) to endeavour the preservation thereof through the exercise of reason, of the love of moderation, & for want whereof, things which are not shal destroy things which are, and because all things may be lawful (yet not) at every season expedi­ent, but now looking at the best visible thing with us, I have free­ly taken the Ingagement, to be true and faithfull to the Common­wealth of England, without a King, or house of Lords; Touching which through God I shall not faintly endeavour to performe to the utmost; For although he that is a true Christian by nature can readily lay down his life for the most righteous Peace and freedom unto the publique; yet ought he to know that in order to the best Thing, valour, and courage must not be absent, and that Command of Christ that saith unto him, he that striketh us on one cheek, we should turn the other, hath referen [...]e unto persons, seasons, time, and place, as I might instance many wayes by his own example, and that this is only to be done, where in reason it may convert into mercy, and as among such as have partaken of the nature of Christ, and bear good will to the Gospell (by which meekness we may build them up therein (it oftententimes ought to be) but this com­mand extends not to be practised by us unto the Turks and Infi­dels, or other the sensuall persons of immoderat [...]ion, that have re­ceived Christ but nominally, to whom the true Christian is odious; And as a good man is mercifull to his beast, so is it mercy [...] in many Cases to kill his beast, as when they grow fierce and mad, and destroy others, (aswell as to sustein the life of man who keepeth the sheep from the wolves, and by his wisdome and order preserves and causeth them to increase and multiply) so is it mer­cy and righteousness in the reasonable true Christians, to raise and exercise the sword against the sensuall and immoderate persons, as­well by war as in times of Peace, for the most publique Good.


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