A strange and terrible Sight foreseene in this Kingdome and City of London.

IT were a folly for me (thrice worthy Citizens) to make a long Oration of the misery that both you in the City, and we in the Country have al­ready sipped, and are like to drinke deepe of ere long, unlesse some spee­dy course be taken for our reliefe; for to tell you the plaine truth, it hath beene told us so oft already, unlesse more or rather better meanes had beene used for a redresse. Alas! pens are not instruments to offend Warri­ours, or to suppresse their violence; nil prodest ratio ubi vis imperat, reason is of little use where force prevailes; in down-right termes, our pens have beene too busie and our swords too sloe; if we had taken every occasion to fight as we did to write, the warre (in all probability) had been put to an end long ere this time: I will therefore forbeare to tell you what miseries you have suffered, or what meanes might have beene used for your redresse, least you say of me as our Contry-men use to say of our forces, they come too late; or least you ob­ject that against me as was against the Athenian Orator, discoursing at large of Hercules valor; quis ignorat? who knows it not? but I wil rather indevour to stir up your drooping hearts, & shake your drowsie spirits, by shewing you the mi­sery which is like in a seven fold manner to seize upon you unles you be active.

Cipio, though he had nothing but the endowments of nature, could prevaile with his Souldiers, who were but in the same spheare, having all of them the meere principle of nature onely to incite them: yet he in his extremity, used no other argument but this, estote viri libertas agitur, play now the men, for your liberty lyes at stake: and he prevailed; did he prevaile? and were his men so stout for corporall liberty? what stoutnesse there should now be raised in you (most noble Citizens) whose principals are far above the sphear of natu­re: Alas! 'tis not your corporal liberty alone that lies at stake, but also that which is spirituall; view but the worth of both and view the want, and tell me where's a peasant in the world that would not rather chuse to dy then loose them.

Your corporall liberty, is that whereby you freely injoy all that is yours with­out controule of any; this is it whereby thou injoyest thy selfe as a free-man; this is it whereby thou injoyest thy goods and whatsoever is thine without controule of any, or being ingaged to any, and this is liberty: And this same liberty your enemies fight for; but how? 'tis as they doe protest, they fight for the Protestant Religion; to destroy it; even so they fight for your free­dome; to take it from you and make you slaves; if ever they should prevaile, you might say to your riches, and to your pleasures, to your dainty dishes, and to your sumptious building, as a Spaniard with one eye said to his enemy, ha­ving [Page]put out the other, good night (sayes he) for I can see no longer; so may you say to your gay cloathes, and to your monies, for if ever they prevaile, you are like to see them no more; you must bid your ultimam valo to all your good company, you must take your leave of your soft beds; nay, I feare you must take your last-farewell of your wife, of your pretty children, and of your families. Ah! what sad sights would London see, in seeing them within her wals; you Husbands should see your Wives ravished before your faces; you that can now behold them comely and decent in aparrell, should then see them disrobed, their aparrell pulled from their backes, and they glad to cloath themselves in those dunghill-ragges put off from those filthy uncivill wretches, which follow that noisome and that ungodly cursed crew. Ah Wives! would it not be a sad sight for you to see your grave, and honest Husbands insulted o­ver by base unworthy fellowes, to see them kicke them, and beat them, and dragge them up and downe the streets; how would you indure it? to see your decent Husbands, and your now well liking Husbands, all tottered in ragges, quaking for want of garments and looking pale for want of food and lodging, and your enemies instead of relieving them, scorning at them and dispising them: you would thinke it a very poore case when you must be compelled to live aliena quadra, at another mans finding; but how much more streight and irksome will it be to you, when you shall see others glutting themselves with your provision, which you & your Family are ready to faint for, and your ene­mies drunke with your drinke, and you wanting it, and they sleeping on your beds, and you lying on the floores. Ah Children! what torment will it be to you, to see your loving Parents thus barbarously handled; it wounds my heart to thinke what will becoma of you: Your homes will be the streets, the bulks your beds, your drinke will be meere water, and to be feard your food will be what you can begge of common Souldiers. O heart of flint hath he that can­not weepe, to see the pretty children shivering and quaking in the streets, to heare them crying out for want of food and outward comforts: O dolefull sight, to see the children knocking at the prison doores inquiring for their Pa­rents, and there to heare what moanes they to each other make; the Parents shake their heads and wring their hands, the children likewise cry to them a­gaine; they sob, and sigh, and pine away, and none takes pitty on them. O let me tell you Parents, Children, Servants, all whatever you be, that beare the name or face of modesty or honesty, your day of comfort's past when they pos­sesse your City, your night of misery is come; and you must then shake hands and bid adiew to all your wonted liberty and comfort; your feasting times will then be turned into fasting times; your merry jesting times will now be turn­ed into solemne mourning and bewailing times; your drinking wine will then be turned into drinking water; your honey will be turned into gall; and to conclude, your dainty walkes will be turned into dungions, and your curious musicke into gingling cheyns: View but this monster well, and then tell me which of you but ha [...] rather dye valiantly, then live to see and to endure [...] [Page]horrid misery: Neither is this the worst that I have told you, but which is grievousest to see, and heaviest to be borne; you will assuredly be brought both you and yours into most hellish darknesse; I meane into spirituall thral­dome. London hath now the beames of heavenly light, shining more cleerly and more gloriously in it, then any City in the World; never were there more famous Ministers in it since the World stood then now at this present; never more plenty of Sermons then at this day; never more dayes of humiliation then now; never were there more Bibles in the City then now; never more liberty for Ministers to preach and people to heare then now; never in a better way for Reformation then now: But should these wicked creatures (as most certainly they will try) enter your City, your glorious light would then be turn­ed into hellish darknesse; your Ministers that now (to your comfort) you can see in the Pulpits, you will then (to your sorrow) see in the dungions; instead of praying Ministers, and preaching Ministers, and watchfull Ministers; you will have drunken Parsons, and swearing Parsons, and idle Parsons, and popish Parsons, and jeering Parsons against Jesus Christ.

O what swarmes of Euphrates vermine would be scravling and creeping in your streets; instead of Sermons, you will have railing against Reformation, and against Parliamentall proceedings and private fast dayes; you will heare Masse instead of Gods Word, and Masse Priests instead of Ministers; instead of singing Psalmes, you will have singing of ballads and songs against the Protestants, and poore praying Christians: O the oathes and those horrid blasphemies that will then be belched forth continually: Ah Christians! you must bid farewell Bible when they come into your City, you must never look to see English Bible more, nor to read more of Gods Word; you must bid farewell to all your godly company, and all manner of godlinesse in profession; never looke to meet more the Ordinances, or to have your sinnes reproved but be sure you shall have your prayers jeered, and your fasting jeered, and your zeale scoffed at. O Magistrates! O Ministers! O Ancient! O Grave! O Hus­bands! O Wives! O Parents! O Children! O Masters! O Servants! O all and every of you that make profession of Jesus Christ, and have entred into Co­venant to fight for him, for Christs sake and his Cause sake, ponder of these things; and if the consideration of these things will not move you to shut up shops, and come forth unto the helpe of the Lord against the mighty, assure your selves your posterities will rue it and Mero's curse will assuredly fall upon your head: But many I know will say, all this that is spoken concerning the enemies cruelty is but imagined, men are apt to speake the worst; sure they will not be so cruell, say some.

Give me leave to answer; we usually say seeing is beleeving; but he that writes these lines to you not onely saw, but also felt their cruelty.

[...] their heavy bloes and bloody hands, I now doe beare their blood [...] [...] their bloody and inhumane dealing, I saw them [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page]mangle others, Gentlemen of worth and quality, and yet they promised both me and them faire quarter.

I felt their punishment in hunger and cold, I felt their punishment in fetters too, they bound my hands, my necke, and heeles together, a punishment sel­dome heard of for poore prisoners, especially for a Captaine; yet this and more then this I underwent; and more, I saw them strip men aged and young, they did the like to women, maids, servants and children.

I saw the honest people wanting cloathes; the women weeping and making grievous moane to on another for want of bread to feed their children; I saw them fire houses after that they had plundered them; I saw the people goe with bleeding bodies, and fainting hearts within them, to see their houses fired to the ground, their goods consumed, and they, their wives, their children and Families having no place to put their head in: O dolefull sights to see, and malencholy tunes to heare; I dare presume there is not a man in the City, if he hath but the least sparke of good nature in him, if he did but see, the picture drawne of their ill demeanours, but he would rather die then suffer them to en­ter the City. I have not yet told you the worst; I have not told you of ravish­ing women, neither did I tell you of killing maids, with that most filthy usage.

Staffordshire women (can to their sorrow) tell you; thus we see what it is to deale with strangers, we pull thereby strange punishments on our heads: This rod was then north-wards, since it hath beene south-wards, and lately west-wards and whether it will, rove we know not; but should it get within your City, you would (I am confident) be the miserablest people under the Sunne; they doe professe themselves very mercifull in the midst of their cru­elty; all the cruelty they shew in the Country is but as a sparke to the fire, or as a drop of the bucket, in comparison of that rigour that they would shew to you: They know that England had not beene able to hold up hand against them, had not you put your hand to the worke: They know 'twas your money that maintained the warre against them; they know that you were the first moover in the worke of Reformation; they know that you opposed Bishops and Ceremonies; they know 'twas you that caused that grand Traytor to be beheaded, and therefore you shall be sure to drinke deepest in the cup of their fury: I beseech God you never see that day; for 'twill be such a time, as he will thinke himselfe most happiest that can escape with his life; is it not time then that you should bestirre you? you see how many false friends you have, how many ignoble spirits you have had all this while under the pretence of honest men and friends to the publique cause, but now have slipt the coller you see how few cordiall friends you have, and how the Kings Army or rather the Queenes Army grow more insolent every day, and how they oppresse the Country, and will you lye still? Up, up, brave noble spirits, and lye no longer like the Asse under the burthen of oppression.

You hitherto have beene active, valiant and couragious men; up therefore like your selves, take sword in hand most gallantly: Chronicle your names on [Page]earth, in Heaven for ever, for fighting valiantly for the Lord of hosts against his enemies; aged and young, masters and servants, mistresses and maids, it con­cernes you all that wish well to the Protestant Religion, your King and Coun­try, one way or other, either by purses or persons, to helpe in this great work; the vertuous maids and the young Gentlewomen of the City, shew their brave spirits in helping forward of this worke.

Whose worthy praise none can expresse or write,
Though they should beat their braines both day and night.
But Tryton broach their names the western wayes,
And Fame divulge thou it, to their high praise.

What is the matter (noble Citizens) that your hearts are downe? doe you give the day for lost? doe you thinke England is lost because Bristoll is lost.

Alas, Bristoll is not all our strength, nor all our forts, nor all our garrisons; we have the beter cause, the greater side, and the honester men; the passage to Heaven is cleere for us, so that we can goe thither and fetch what we want, but 'tis shut to them. Our Parliament is standing, our Forts are well managed; we have a pound for their shilling, twenty peeces of Ordnance for their one, we have the Seas to our selves, and all the honest Christians with us; and as for knaves and traytors going from us, lets never be sorry, for much better is their roome then their company: Seeing then we have a prize in our hands, let's make the best advantage of it whiles we may, let us strive to act effectually, study the best way, and aske the wisest counsell what to doe in so weighty a bu­sinesse.

Take that course that the Heathens were wont to take▪ when they went a­bout any weighty businesse, they still inquired at the Oracle; even so doe you in this weighty businesse of Jesus Christ, goe first to God in humiliation and prayer; Nineveh when it heard that its destruction was neer tooke this course, and prevailed with God; so doe you get as they did a decree out, that all may observe it, petition for a weekly fast; these ate extraordinary times, the wick­ed they grow vvorse and vvorse, and therefore let us be better and better; be­gin with God, and then strive to set your selves in order, for order is the strength of an Army, and of a City, but disorder is the confusion of both; take therefore away the causes of disorder, Malignants are the onely cause of disor­der in a City or Army; strive therefore to find them out, give them the Cove­nant, if they refuse to enter into covenant with you, let them not live in the City with you, be they rich, be they poore, secure them, and banish them ne­ver dispute this man is poore, and that man hath children, cast them our spare none, unmercifull and bloody is that pitty that causeth the downfall of a City.

Endeavour to remove mutinous spirits, and faint-hearted cowards, from places of trust in the Army, be he Colonell, Major, Captaine, or any other Of­ficer, let no such person stay a day by your good will, in or amongst your soul­diers. You will not imagine what a great advantage 'tis, to have all incoura­ging [Page]Officers in a Towne. I know a little Towne in England which lies northward, it was within this six weekes besieged by the Queenes Army, consistin [...] of 6000. men, there was not above 180. men in the Towne that were Musqu [...] teeres; yet these few fouhht with all that company, from six of the clock in th [...] morning till six at night, and then they scorned even when their muskets we [...] broke, and the enemies entred to parle with them, but fought with them all a­long the Towne, and at last got into the Church and there they parled with the enemy and got quarter; and those poore handfull of men being backed on by their Commanders, through Gods providence killed foure of their Colonels fifteene or sixteene of their Captaines, and two Regiments were brought so loe that they could scarce make 60. men apeece; it was verily thought that there were 1500. killed and wounded by those nine score men, whereof my selfe was one; so that resolute men in the worke are very advantagious. But on the contrary, on coward who through the perterbations of his mind, and quames of feare oppressing his heart, making his eyes beleeve he sees a 1000. when he sees but a 100. making him thinke every bush is a man, and every bullet that his enemy shoots goes through his heart; this man is enough to put a hundred scruples of feares into stout mens hearts, and so by consequenee to rout an Army or loose a Towne, as we have too late experience of it. Remove drunkards, and swearers, and scoffers at Religion, for these men that will not keepe touch with with God, be sure they will breake covenant with you if occasion be offered, which is not unattempted till now: When you have removed disorder set your selves in order, get your selves every one of you into a posture for warre, get every Company Captaines, let every man list himselfe and get as good Armes as he can, that so if an onset should be every man may doe something, and fight in some order: Looke to your workes, some say, that they are not of themselves as they should be, get men of judgement to view them, for your Workes are the strength of the City, lose them and the City is lost; let all the ditches without be levelled, have an eye to the men you trust in the Forts, see that they be religious and well grounded men; I speake bold­ly and plainly after our Country manner, because I know upon the safety of this City depends mediatly the safety of our lawes, our liberties, our lives, our Religion, our Parliament and our Synod: You for (most noble Citizens a [...] you tender these things, so shew it in your zealous contending for these things Wives put on your husbands to love themselves, you and their children, and as they love you and would have you safe, so let them use the meanes to keepe you safe, to rise all in a body and to fight against those cursed men that intend nothing but our destruction; up quickly and be doing for the Cause, and the Lord of Heaven the moover of all hearts stirre you up to the worke and prosper [...] you in it, that we may see a happy end of this unhappy warre; and this shall not onely be the prayer, but as hitherto it hath; so alwayes it shall be the utmost indeavour of your poore Servant,

J. J.

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