A JUDGMENT & CONDEMNATION Of the Fifth-Monarchy-Men, THEIR Late Insurrection.

ALSO, How far the Guilt of that Fact may justly be im­puted to Those that are commonly distin­guished by the Names of Independents, Pres­byterians, Anabaptists and Quakers.

Set forth in a LETTER to a Friend.

By a Moderate GENTLEMAM.

Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.
The Throne shall be established by Righteousness.

LONDON: Printed in the Year MDCLXI.

A Judgement and Condemnation Of the Fifth-Monarchy-Men, THEIR Late Insurrection.

VAnity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, All is vanity: and saith the Psalmist, Man is like to vanity; his dayes are as a shadow that passeth away. But man that is born of a wo­man is not onely of few days, as Job saith, but also full of trouble. Who is able to reckon up the manifold Calamities, Evils and Miseries that poor man doth necessarily yeild to? yea, even wise men as well as fools; good men as well as evil. But how infinite and hideous are those evils that men expose themselves to through the Prevalencie of their own lusts and appetites, which when they have once conceiv'd and brought forth sin, do afterward bring forth death! And besides these, there is yet another sort of evils which [Page 2] helps to fill up the measure of mans misery, and which befall him as he is a man (for Humanum est errare) and that is error, of the mistake of the understanding fa [...]lty, in iudging Truth to be falshood, or Falshood Truth. The first sort of [...] is common to most [...] and [...]. These [...] is in the fullest sence peculiar to bad men, who are habituated to the following of the allurements of the flesh, rather then the dictates of reason and true religion. But good men are not wholly free from the mischiefs that attend their negligence and remisness in admitting even presumptuous sins. But the third sort of evils that proceed from Ignorance, both wel-minded and ill-minded men are subject to, with this diffe­rence, that the goodness and compassion of the Almighty will not suffer the well-minded to erre damnably and finally. An Example of one sinning damnably through Ignorance, we have in the Apostle Paul, who saith of himself, that he was a Blasphemer, a persecutor of the Church, and injurious; but he obtained mercy, because he did it ignorantly, in unbeliefe. And whose heart, that hath yet any humane blood, doth not bleed within him, to behold the most deplorable Effects of the damnable ignorance of some men in this our day, who pro­fessing themselves to be servants and subjects of Jesus, who is Prince of peace, do notwithstanding through mistaken zeal, expose and destroy both themselves and others, in breaking peace, and making war! Thus though the Gospel is a Go­spel of peace, yet accidentally it brings not peace on earth, but a sword; and that which makes it most sad, is this, that the in­jury is done not by the world against the professors of Christ (as it was wont to be) but by those miserable professors against the world, yea even their brethren.

The Moralists, and Divines too, divide ignorance into two kinds; vincible and invincible ignorance: invincible is that, when the Truth lies so deeply hid, and is so subtle and intri­cate, or at least our means of information, or Capacities are so slender and weak; and on the contrary the arguments for Er­ror so plausible, and our education and converse so prevalent, [Page 3] that it is either utterly impossible, or very near an impossibli­lity, for such men to find out the truth. In this case, accor­ding as it comes neerer to, or is more remote from absolute impossibility, it doth more or less excuse. But where there are sufficient means of knowledge, a competent capacity, the truth is obvious, and no greater impediments then such as good men do commonly overcome in this case, the ignorance is vincible: and if it be a matter of necessary concernment, there must needs be some secret lust or vice, or notable negligence in men, that hinders them from the knowledge of the Truth in that particular; and so they are found defaulty in their wills, and demeriting punishment more or less, according to the degree of their voluntary malignity.

These things premis'd and consider'd, the horrid facts, with the great pretensions of the Fifth-Monarchy-Men, aforemen­tioned, to the Reign of Christ, proclaiming Jesus King, even with despair of life, and the violent impulse they appear to have had to this strange worke, as also their dayly converse with holy Scriptures, frequent watchings, fastings and prayers, it will easily appear that what they have done, they have ig­norantly done, and as sometime the Jews, yea, Paul himself, having a Zeal of God, but not according to knowledge: But if we weigh on the other hand, the means they have had of know­ing the truth in this point, the many grave men and elaborate Treatises of a contrary judgement, with which they might and ought to have convers'd; the Emergent Acts of Divine Go­vernment amongst us, crossing their imaginations, and frustra­ting their expectations; the clearness and perspicuity of the contrary duty of peaceableness, patient suffering, loving their enemies, and the like, it may as readily be concluded, there was some inordinate lust of Domination, Envie, Rashness, Impati­ence, or the like, which they ought to have mortify'd and did not, that led them into this gross mistake.

Upon the whole matter, my Judgement is, That instead of insulting and railing upon them, in Accusations which the An­gels [Page 4] would not use, when contending with the devil; Let our hearts melt over them in pity and compassion. Let us pray for them that yet remain in the Land of the Living, as our Lord did in a much worse case, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

As for our own part, let us lay our Hands upon our Hearts, and diligently consider, with sobriety and modesty, what our Opinions are, in matters of Religion; especially such as are of great concernment to the Honour of God, and our own and others welfare! Let us examine our selves by their En­sample! Do we not entertain, and severely hold, and think them justly deserving punishment that hold the contrary to some Doctrines and Practises which perhaps we never took half the pains to search into, nor made a third part of those Prayers to beg direction in, as these have done, that are thus mistaken? Let us not then think, that to kill men by an un­just Law, or starve them in Prison, or otherwise destroy them, (though therein we are perswaded we do well, as these did) are infinitely less evil then what they have done. Much less let's imagine, that because men are sometime mistaken in their Zeal, that therefore it's good to be luke-warm, or to cast on Religion as a melancholy fancie, and which exposes men to needless Hazards and Self-denials: Let's not tread the Blood of Christ under our feet, or count it a common thing, because of some Mens folly, who adore it: Neither let us shut our eyes, and give up our selves, with the Papists, to a blinde Faith and Devotion; and to be led in Religion, as the Governour shall please, because in the following our own Judgements we may mistake: For, besides that God loves not these blinde Sacri­fices, he hath commanded us in these matters to call no man Master upon earth; for one is our Master, even Christ: and all are commanded to come unto him, and learn of him, who is meek and lowly, ready to teach us, upbraiding none.

But further, if we reckon the hainousness of sin, by the ma­lignity of the will, as we ought, and not by the greatness of [Page 5] the matter wherein the offence is; what shall we say of those sins that are committed wittingly and willingly, in compari­son of this, that's done through a false perswasion? Shall the killing men in Duels, or in willful Drunkenness or heedless, Anger, be counted among venial sins? Shall the defiling the Marriage-Bed, Murthering-false-witness, and grinding Extor­tion, and prophane swearing and forswearing, be deemed such Peccadillo's, being done against full knowledge, and with de­liberation? Shall we think that those upon whom the Tower of Shiloh fell, were greater sinners then all that were in Jerusalem? Christ tells us, Nay, but except we repent, we shall all likewise perish.

Methinks this sad Example gives a sore che [...]k to the pra­ctice of late times, wherein men have been and are very rea­dy to place the chief of Religion, if not the whole of it, in some Opinion or Practice, (which if it be true and good, is yet of lesser moment) and in respect of that, to neglect or under-value all other parts of Faith and Profession; thus with the Scribes and Pharisees, tything mint, and anise, and cummin; with neglect of the weightier matters of the Law, Justice, Mer­cy, and Faith. Is it not an Epidemical Errour, To think that Salvation depends more upon Truth of Judgement, then Ho­liness of Conversation? Whereas it is certain that at Erro­nious man may be saved; but an Unholy man shall certainly be damned. Do not many men think God must needs accept, their Publike VVorship, although they seem even to worship the Devil at home, by all manner of Prophaneness? Do not our Allo-Baptists lay a greater stress upon the point of Ba­ptism, then any other part of Divine Doctrine, or Holy Con­versation? For surely one great evil of these men we speak of was. Their over-weening that Doctrine of the Civil Reigne of Christ over the Kingdoms of the World, placing as it were, all a Christians Duty, in the promoting thereof. Let us also take heed of those affections that might possibly have Influence in precipitating them into this Mischief. Let as beware of singularity and prejudice. In Controversal [Page 6] matters of Concernment, let us keep an Ear for each party, and not espouse one side, before we understand either: He that swallows those Doctrines and Patterns he first meets with, it is rather by Chance then Choice, if he light one the Truth. As for the unconstant and changing person, it is to be wish'd, he would set himself to be incorporated and united with some one good and profitable Principle; so would he not suffer so much for the future. The Apostle Paul teaches us how to avoid both this Whirle-pool of Levity, and the Quicksand of Prepossession, when he bids us, Try all things, and hold fast that which is good.

Your next enquiry is, whether I think this fact of these Monarchy-Men may not justly reflect such guilt upon the whole Party of those that serv'd the remnant of the Long-Par­liament, and the Protectors, known by the distinctions of Inde­pendents, Presbyterians, Anabaptists and Quakers, as to make them uncapable of some part of that indulgence which is shew'd them in the Act of Oblivion, and other his Majesties Declarations; and the rather, because the Protector in the case of an insurrection against his Government, mulct the whole Party? &c.

I will say little to that Act of the Protector; only I remem­ber it was not then approved even by many of his own Party, as being of dangerous consequence. But as to this, I do freely give you my judgement, that in equity it cannot be imputed as aforesaid, and that for these Reasons.

These are the very men that were drawing out into the field in Arms, under there royal stan­dard in Olivers ti [...].First, It's well known that this Sedi­tious Party have been constant Adversa­ries of the whole Party, under both those Denominations, of Commonwealths-Men, and Protectoreans, ever since the breaking up of the Little Parliament. Now there is no shew of Reason, that having been at distance so long, (though [Page 7] once Friends) that the one should suffer for the other, but every one to bear his own burthen.

Secondly, They are professedly of differing Princi­ples, in matters of Government.

For first, They differ with both the sorts afore­named, in that they all hold themselves obliged to submit to the Government which the Will of GOD shall put them under; and the Protecto­reans seem to like Monarchy better then another Go­vernment. The Commonwealths-Men think the King hath a Commonwealth-Title to the Crown, be­ing chosen to it by the Unanimous Consent of the Peoples Representative in Parliament: So that no Prince in the World hath a better Title. But these on the contrary (as the Event sadly manifests) thinke themselves obliged to oppose all Government, but that of the Saints, as they call it: and judge the Consent of the People in general, no Consent; forasmuch as Saints onely have Right to Electi­on of Governours and Government.

The Commonwealths-Men could wish that all Men were Saints, or at least, that the Saints onely might Govern; But they judge, that till CHRIST come with an Irresistable Power, to give the Government of the World to the Saints, they must still follow that Old General Rule, ‘Do unto Others, as Ye would they should do unto You.’ They that are not Politically Unsociable, should [Page 8] not be deprived of Their Share in Civil Socie­ty.

Again, These admit of Humane Prudence in ac­comodating Laws to the Condition, Temper, Cu­stomes, Clymate, &c. of the People; and herein would have the Rules of the Jewish Common­wealth, and Christian Precepts to bear sway as much as conveniently may be; but that in Munici­pal Laws, God has left men liberty of Creating Hu­mane Ordinances, as the State shall require. The o­ther, leave no such liberty, but would have the Ju­dicial Laws of the Jewish State severely obser­ved.

Thirdly, this sort of men have been as far ingag'd in the suppressing of the Tumult; and thereby have shewn as much dislike of the Fact, as the rest of their Neighbours, and as their trust did per­mit.

Lastly, I have heard, that upon their Examination at Guild-Hall, before the Lieutenant, they have vin­dicated the men I am vindicating, from having any Hand of Conspiracy, or Correspondence with them in this matter. Some of them saying, There were not one Hundred in all England that ever knew of their PLOT, and denying that they had any Confe­derates, either in City or Country, from whom they did, or could expect any Assistance in their At­tempt.

[Page 9] Wherefore seeing the case is so, that the fault can­not reasonably and equitably be charged upon them in any measure, I perswad my self that our Coun­sellours will give no such Advice, as (if they give this) will make sufferers more thousands of Inno­cents, then there were Individuals of Nocents, in that strange Enterprize.


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