QUAERIES PROPOSD FOR THE AGITATORS in the Army (or their Assistants elsewhere, who are intrusted, or do intermeddle in those high matters of Peace and Warre) more than foure Moneths ago, and now published in pursuit of satisfaction, and with intent of profit towards all, and the State.

I.

SEeing that they (like former Law-givers, who painted Religion and Justice according to the variety of their own passions) are also men and therefore vain and irresolute Authours, what hopes can they hold forth unto us of any such general policy, or publike pro­vision, as shall subsist without other aid, (than springeth up of his own proper root, by the seed of universall reason, planted in every man that is not unna­tural) and serve to reduce by degrees all our Lawes into such a forme of equitable Polytey, that all shall ealy understand, how it is more for their profit to obey then break them.

II.

Seeing Wisedom will never subordinate her selfe unto our sense and understanding, but that we reason rashly and discourse at ran­dum, she engaging our Consultation in such trouble and incertainty, as staggereth our resolution: whether is there any one of them, that hath such a forme of the total frame in his head, as safely and surely to range into order so many several pieces without incurring the curse, which by confusion of Languages came upon Babels Brick-layers, in their frivolous and fantasticall Enterprise of raising that high-towering Pyramis.

III.

When your Complaint against the Lawes and Government shall be acknowledged as just and rational; have you any commodious forme of combining society, so answerable to the rules of equity, that no parties concerned in the alteration how considerable soever, shall have any just occasion to complain.

IV.

Seeing that in all the Sects which we know, whether Pontifical, Episcopal, or Presbyterial, Brownist, Anabaptist, or Independent: the rules of our life are continually ill ordered, with a very partial relation and imperfect description of our duty; then whether have you any general rule of good education, or methode of moral in­struction, which may be admirable to all Opinionists (of how dif­ferent inclination and practise soever they be) and sufficient to com­pleat the vertues and happinesse of a common Polyte.

V.

In case they have no such methode, what Councel will they call or hold so to discusse the doubt, as without partiality or prejudice (which forme of education hath implanted in the spirit) to pitch upon that which is so equal to all particulars, as never shall exalt ignorance, weaknesse or hypocrisie, in envie or competition of sufficiency, knowledge or sincerity.

VI.

Seeing that your exquisite wits and more penetrating spirits are so unsettled in their opinions and customes, that it is hard to finde any of them orderly and sociable, what more sufficient meanes have you (then other men) so to compose the State, as that the diversity of opinions (whereby the minde once exempted, from the tyranny of custome scattereth her selfe in a thousand divers wayes) shall con­duce to the most noble and pleasant exercise of the spirit, without any prejudice to publike justice, or the common polytes.

VII.

In case some by the extremity of a curious search, after the first and universal causes do fall into savage opinions, what reason have you able to regular our customes and manners, or what rule of life and conscience is able to rancounter or convince them.

VIII.

Seeing that perfidious representatives, for deserting their princi­ples, disappointing our trust, and destroying our rights and liberties [Page 3] deserves all opposition and punishment, as the worst kinde of traite­rous thieves and murderous malefactours, are they not as sottish and malicious, who from passion, interest, and opinionative presumption, study how to promote the distemper and confusion, without any pro­bability of absolute cure or general amendment of condition. And are not all such much more wicked and pernicious, as shall abuse their pretentions unto base ends, actively striving in their cause, to subvert all government without any care of returning the same, or any further scope than to binde up the breaches of their own estate, by enlarging those of the body politickes.

IX.

Seeing we have found by the sad experience in the change of men the selfe-same or semblable manners, so that these and those, great and small, past and present, have all trode in the same steps, aiming onely at the fair white of their own sole interest; how can you as­sure us, that your greedinesse is more capable of moderation, than that of other men, (who of power, riches, or pleasures embrace more than they can graspe or hold) or that you can better bridle your passi­ons, than ever could your predecessours, or which is necessary upon such an exigent, that you will alwayes preferre vertue, truth, and goodnesse, before all inordinate appetites for your selves and poste­ritie.

X.

Seeing that envie is no lesse ordinary in the meaner sort than scorne and indignation in the great and mighty: how can the Com­manders secure us and themselves against the common Souldiers, viz. that they shall not rebell against the Law of Nature, in abominating all ability of brain and spirit, exceeding their own proportion, and so farre imitate those brutish Ephesians (who banished Hermodorus) as by degrees to establish something answerable to the Ostracisme, when it was so abused in Athens.

XI.

Finding it evident both by our zealous Preachers, and the precisest of Sectarian Pretenders, that there is small or no correspondency be­tween Precept and Practise; how can you overcome and encoun­ter this inveterate custome, wherein men let Precepts and Lawes fol­low their way, whilest they keep another course, both by iniquity of life and contrariety of opinion and judgement.

XII.

Whether such refined lawes of life and rules of conscience, as might suffice to rectifie this base and monstrous deformity, would not also prove the most compendious way of composing all matters, and de­termining all differences as touching land or estate. If so be some of the wisest amongst us were appointed to decide them at the first sight, without tying them to presidents and consequences; or what necessity is there that our lives and consciences should be go­verned by one Law, and our lands and estates by another.

XIII.

Whether are they so farre convinced of their ignorance, weak­nesse, and irresolution, as to renounce those priviledges, viz. to sway, appoint, or establish, except by the common consent of that society whereof they are citisens. And whether they conceive this World to be a meer School of Inquisition, preferring search upon a sense of ignorance and incertainty before false and mistaken Principles: Or in case the temper of Plebeians (who in number alwayes exceed the apprehensive) be found unfit for the stronger nutriment of refined reason, and framed onely to common ways, received by Authority of Law and reverence of antient custome: whether ought not your more capacious spirits (as sympathising members of society) if not to move according to their measure, by stooping to the lure of anothers bare lesson, yet so farre to condiscend as never to provoke them with scorne or insultation? No man (in my conceit) can ima­gine any wilfull or intended mischiefe from this Army; for then of all others they should become most vitious, wicked, and odious, to cast themselves into examples whereof they both felt and punished the horrour and mischiefe: but seeing their late Opposites (lead on by the blinde fury of some popular Rabbies and impetuous Plebei­ans) have bewayed their zealous ignorance and unheedinesse, in at­tempting what they understood not. Such Quaeres may serve to awa­ken the Armies circumspection, and if they will make plain and open profession, in answer to prarticulars, methinketh it might prove so satisfactory to all indifferent men, as may convince moderat opponents, and becalme the passionate clamours of all spitefull adversaries. A Copie of these Quaeres I left in the Army, at the desire of one or two amongst them, more than two moneths ago. The occasion of composing them was thus, having perused two An­swers [Page 5] to the first Eight Quaeres, the one very briefe, but not fully home to the businesse: the other large enough, but relying wholly upon our national Law, without once lanching into the natural, the proper meanes of satisfying such Proposals. I then scribbled out my conception in answer to the same, annexing these as more pertinent, charitable, and impartial, tending to prevent their steering at hazard, the fate of all such as have no certain or known Port to sail unto. But fearing in such a super fluity to surfet the world with so large a Pam­phlet, I forbare to publish any thing besides a certain subitane appre­hension, printed for the better pursute of more full and ample satis­faction, both to my selfe and others in the main.

XIV.

Seeing that Wat Tyler, when waited upon and worshipped, by clownes, fooles, and false knaves, was known to utter words to the same purpose & effect, which Caesar spake when he said, debere homines consideratius jam loqui secum, ac pro legibus habere (que) dicat, id est, that thence forward men must more deeply Ponder, How and what they spake unto him; taking and approving his answers and sentences, for Laws; and resolutions And considering withall how the spirit of Kings and Mechanicks is cast in one kind of mould; that later in all likely hood by the basenesse of his breeding, being more in bon­dage to ignorance cruelty, envy and injustice.

How will you clear it unto us, that none of these, who presume to steere your counsells, are impatient of and opposite unto all poli­ticke superiority? whensoever it refuseth to take his instruction? or do serve his turn industriously labouring the disgrace of al ma­gistrates, one after another (under which we are placed by ancient custome and unsearchable providence which he despiseth) And for this end as a cunning Boutefue casting abroad the smoaking brands of envy hatred and contention, which seldome faile to fill the minds of neighbours and followes with fiercenesse, malice and combustion, And hath already so farre prevailed, to the subversion of government and Abolition of order here in England, that it fully inableth not base malignants? but even the better sort of Royalists, to brave us as yet, with unanswerable reproaches Or that never a one of them, are aemulous of Caesar in an Antipodian or opposite kind of Ochlocrati­call ambition aiming at eminency and superiority by popular con­fusion, as he did by the conquest and ruine of his Countrey; And as [Page 6] ready to rejoyce in the rubbage of all our ruinous Disorders, as ever was the other to brag of making that bravest Republique of Rome, A shapelesse Masse, besides the name or lumpe receiuing neither shew nor forme of several members, alwayes distinguished in any wel-or­dered Bodie.

XV.

Have you found out a way or mean of judging by Law, chu­sing by reason, and advancing men onely by personal merit: so that every one (excepting the fault of his own idlenesse, weaknesse, or debauchery,Lib. ep. 1. epist. 18. Mea (con­tendere no­li) stulti­tiam pati­untur opes tibi parvu­lares est. may live by Law, and not in such a way of meer re­compence and curtesie, as maketh the wise oftentimes to turne fool, to honour him that is so soothing the defects, and flattering the vices of some proud Worldling, who arrogateth all to the prerogative of his fortune, as Horace hath well expressed; or against the rights of truth and honesty, to yield all advantages of authority to a wilfull or ignorant Patron, on whom his livelihood chiefly dependeth.

To my wel-beloved Friends the Agitators with their Assistants in the Army, Citie or elsewhere.

GEnerous Souldiers, or Souldiers and Gentlemen having used heretofore, bluntly to bespeak men of greater state, and higher quality, it would ill beseem me to make my passage unto men of no-better breeding than my selfe, by parasitical addresses and insinuati­ons, a meer ceremony of civility, yet more pernitious to society, than those other which are now abolished, leaving the same with pride and hypocrisie both which I hope you do abominate, together with that childish ambition, of vain-glorious men, who by a magistral and tyrannical countenance make great apperance of more then is in them A copy of these Quaeries, was at the desire of one or two, left a­mongst you, more than two Moneths ago, from a charitable conceit that without a sad consideration of such particulars, you could never suffice for those publike ends you have pretended; gaining thereby beliefe and good will from a miserable People, very apt to mistake; though yet they never found other than increase of grievances under the change of Oppressours: for to vindicate our English Nation so deeply ingaged in disgrace, and to free our neckes from all manner of yoakes, which fraud and violence hath fastened upon us, requireth perfect intelligence of truth, justice, and pietie, together with the happiest Modell of external order and humane politey: of which if [Page] you have any knowledge, it must not take its forme from your opi­nion, more than from that of the Presbyterians, (which you accuse as selfe particular, and therefore traiterous and pernitious, though their pretences be very paralell to your expressions in your Papers) but from the evidence of universal reason unto which this inquisition may urge and direct you, pressing for such an ample expression of your desires, as may not onely exclude all jealousie of your intenti­ons, but almost justifie the imitation of Pericles, who unable to carry the People by perswasion, drive them by force to that which was best for their own welfare and the common felicity. Now should you once appear insufficient to speake satisfyingly unto such particulars, your general professions, would never give so much evidence of pub­like ends, as may acquit you from being accessory to the prodigal ex­pence of so much money and bloud, (which I am confident was free­ly powred out by some, without any further aime, than to the inter­est of all and the State, for publike justice and preservation) much lesse approve and justifie your knowledge, truth, and sincerity, as meriting all advantage of Power and Authority to act over us, and to execute vengeance upon your Opponents. Seeing you have no more appearance of the best Politie, than had the Authour of Plain English, who having imbated the People with seditious Passages, hath for some yeares space, brought us to play at Blinde man Bufle, almost to the bane of the Body Politicke. In which Tragical Passages,Wherein alwayes Ne maje­statis le­dentem maneat Pena, ma­jestas ver­tenda. Iure enim semil vio­lato secun­do at ter­tio id violan­dum quod ne nisi vio­letur; id ol [...]m lae­sum tur p [...] habeatur & infame &c. some of you, siding with you or assistant unto you are coceited by the more sa­gacious have slily acted their parts, not onely by framing and promoting a root­ing Petition, striking altogether at alteration, but often after, that by courting the Parliament according to the sense and inclination of those Members, who intended perchance to imploy the Sectaries, as we do outcast persons in executi­on, who yet patronize the Parliament in every particular (during the dread of the Cavaliers, whose bitter hostility at that time united their mindes and divi­ded intention) endeavouring to make all their adversaries extremely odious: and (as some assert) to imbitter mens mindes against His Majesty more than was either just or reasonable making account thereby to imbarque the Parlia­ment in such disadvantage, that according to the common maxime of Policy usual in such cases, they could never returne dry-shod: Nor to their ends have they omitted by partial reasons (savouring of poor smattering in Apostolical Scriptures) in the common peril, to reconcile the Protestant to the Puritan, not sparing by calumnious reproaches against the best and honestest of the Episcopal Preachers to sacrifice unto the spite and envie of the People, as unto wicked spirits ever ready to accept of such offerings, nor did they neglect upon any oportunity, to move and urge the Parliament (more powerfully by the propensi­ty of some flexible parties) to vote and act according to the emergency of oc­casion, hoping not onely to draw them into contradictions, but also so farre to intrench upon the standing Lawes as might gradatim induce them to trample up on them, in fear of absolute condemnation by them, and at the worst afford suf­ficient [Page] matter to fetch them over (perchance sometimes against their affections) to approve and promote further designes, maugre the reluctancy of plain men, and common people (as they call them) who grew still more distasted with the smart and trouble of alteration. And then upon appearance of popular disaffection towards the Parliament, like cunning Oratours they dandle them with words, as the onely people jealous of their honour, flat­tering their persons with parasitical apologies and attributions, as soothing their authority as never guilty of the least injury to any just interest either at home or abroad: watchfully keeping in the mean space a catalogue of all these actions, votes, and ordinances (which in my conceit are onely justifiable, either by supreme reason of state, in resistance of danger­ous innovation, or else by a certain aime at a known, just, and intaxable constitution) as so many steps of discent towards their designe, howsoever obscure, hazzardous or destructive; so that all they do is under condition that those at the helme shall steer according to the cunning and direction, of such as themselves, who stand like Masters on the quarter-deck; and onely looking on will needs understand more than the gamesters. And when they distelish their doings, they urge against them these very votes and actions which were per­chance obtained (if not extorted) by their own instance and importunity, talking against them as the worst of Tratours now apostatising from the publike, in refusing to act for and according to their purpose, who call themselves the godly, honest, and wel-affected the good and pretious of the land, unto whose interest and satisfaction the ease and estates of all other men must in some kinde or other be alwayes subordinate; which clew of discourse or consi­deration, might have carried our selfe gainsaying Observatour, out of that Labyrinth of Court Logicke, wherein he lost himselfe to exclamation and astonishment, for that some Lords and Commons have served the Designe of such as these whilest they onely aimed at their own, and that such as these were so forward in promoting their desires, because they were so vehemently affected to their own; was the strongest ingredient in Mr. Pyms magical incantation which carried on the businesse in contempt of the most mercurial spirits, stupi­fying those vigilant wits, and terrifying those resolute hearts, amongst the Royalists; maugre the Kings Authority, the Commons oppression and the majority of such a peo­ple, who were perchance incapable of any such furious motive, as is the burning love of novelty, with eager appetite towards alteration. But who so shall seriously consider the va­riation of such. One while making the Parliament the supreme power of this Nation, unto whom as the highest Authority, by the peoples deputation, the General and the Army (as servants of the people) are under pain of Treason to be in all things responsible; another while clamouring against it, as a den of thieves, or nest of Traitours; who have lost all the essence of Authority, reteining nothing but the meer name, unto which no obedience is due; but absolute withdrawing of trust, under pain of being thought partakers with the murder­ers, he (I say) whoever shall observe them sometime magnifying and applauding, then a­gain reproaching and threatning the same Parliament, as if it must go and come, be high or low, base or honourable, according to the the interest of their businesse, shall evidently see that for all their clinging to, or closing with the House of Commons, they will be found un­to the Parliament in a small space no other than as the Ivie that ruines the wall that it im­braceth. But to speak unto your selves more particularly, if neither your hearts nor braines, have any thing in readinesse to hold out in way of resolution to the like honest and necessary inquisition than all your ingagements will hardly appear, any other than conspi­racy against the State, as a meer combination of some silly humorists, carried on against ar­bitrary power, by the blindnesse of their own selfewill, to satisfie the spite of an eager minde and revengeful malice; nor shall your pretence for the publique be otherwise interpreted, than as that of the Apostolical Purse-bearer, who grudging his Lord and Master the honour and pleasure of so good and sweet an ointment, handsomely covered his envie and covetous­nesse under professed affection of charity to the poor, for the still sad experience of smal rea­lity [Page] towards the publike, hath occasioned sundry persons to conceive, that such kind of flourishes, are but studied pretences, which may serve as a stalking horse to some amongst you; who are esntinally aiming at ther owne hidden ends, making vse of you and others as aptest instruments for such intent, and having neither care nor fear of burning others houses to roast their own beefe, under the fairest cloak of extreame cha­rity so often professed. Or if such notions entring into your noddles, were never yet throughly understood it may bee thought an insufferable insolence self-over-weaning, so to ar-e rogate unto your selves and partizans, as if all were palpablr injustice, & inexpiable treason, which did either oppose, or might disappoint your ends and purposes. When for ough-that appeareth, upon the sitting, you are found so full of partirality, ignorance, and uncertainty, that it doth embolden us you felowes, and abate the fear of these your betters, who went before you, which will much aggravate those audacious passa­ges (singled out of severall Pamphlets by Squire Pryn, and our Scottish Brethren) that foolishly did open defiance to Royall Majesty, as if they were but entring an ordinary quarrell with one of their equals, for though some wise and high-spirited men, may only mock at their rashnesse and presumption, yet if unfit for reply to such Proposals, such frantike ebullitions will be thought to arise, rather from rancorous spite against Principality, then any rationall hope of better regling our so­ciety. Nor upon such supposall shall ye be onely charged with ignorance and presumption, in not feeling the misery of your own fate or ambitious affectation, to keep a fumbling in State affaires, for which you are as fit as a meere sculler in the River of Thames to navigate a ship in the Ocean, without ever stu­dying his Plats-compasse, and opticall or Geometricall Instru­ments. For being little verst in politicall speculations, and ne­ver bred in the schoole of Experience.

How shall your statizing capacity exceed the measure of your conversation with able Ministers and Councellours of State, the ordinary meane for a practicall understanding of all Politicall businesse? except you prove State intelligencer, (as some boast of Scripture sense) to flow upon you by inspi­ration; you will be found not unlike those infants, whose na­tural [...] [...] were cut out for the Cart or Plow. Shop or VVarehouse; & yet he the Parents vvealth or ambition, find themselves after, [...] entangled amongst a distracted multitude of Bookes and papers, vvhich aggravateth t [...] guilt of great presumption, in [...] against thi lavv of nature, and the most brazen opinion [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 10] to the sense of that most truly noble, and most pithy Saty­rist.

Publica lex hominum natura (que) continet hoc fas,
Vt teneat vetitos, inscitia debilis actus.
Navem si poscit sibi peronatus arator
Luciferirudis; clamat Mèlicerta perîsse
Frontem de rebus.

But you shall be accused also of malignity; for if it were the opinion not only of Plato, but (as Plutarch affirmeth) of Favonious, that an honest man can never allow of that Refor­mation, which disturbeth and hazardeth the whole estate, or that any malady in a Common-wealth should be encountred with so deadly a drug, as is the destroying Serpent of Civill war, then how should you answer the inditement of sottish malig­nity, in curing Diseases by death and particular Faults, by uni­versall confusion, still pulling down all persons and things, not knowing what to plant in their places.

Therefore, in fine, if the shoulders of your sufficiency sinke under the burden of such demands, never thinke to censure and controle, to sway and appoint. But if I may perswade you, who (in the conscience of my most essentiall qualities, igno­rance, and weaknesse) dare not urge any thing quit ingeniously those usurped Priviledges, and discreetly addresse your selves unto the conduct of some wise councell of peace and war, ra­ther then to raigne as a kindle of chieftaines in the dangerous conduct of staggering troopes & ignorant soules, who are ea­sily excited to audacious enterprises. Alwayes observed (which you should consider) to be. 1. Prima speci laeta. 2 Tractatu dura 3. Eventu tristia. First, whatsoever faire hopes may bee holden forth unto you, that the work is Gods, who will carry it on; yet I do not see how any rationall Christian in all your Regiments, can ever in such a case, promise any succour sim­ply Gods, without and beyond your own co-operation. For though some hath observed, that fortuna facilio [...]em aliquando praebet actionibus nonnullis even um, quas ipsa s [...]la, abditissima ratione propagavit. Yet how should the God of order, and of the spirits of all flesh, ever espouse that enterprise, which through the apparent ignorance or malignity of the mannagers, tend­eth only to confusion, and to the absolute destruction of the [Page 11] best of Creatures, unto which he hath given corporall being and preservation. Therefore, (I think) you may attribute this confidence to more then Jewish arrogance, or to the supersti­tious vanity of some Pharisaicall Zealots, who, by the prolixi­ty of a battalogious Prayer are still soliciting the great Jeho­vah (as the worst of Gentiles did their Jupiter) to interesse himself in their undertakings; never truly examining their pre­sent estate & action. But be it vitious, or unlawfull, they im­plore his ayde) as doe also thieves, traytors, and murtherers) whensoever their weaknesse wanteth assistance; yea, they bold­ly promise that unto themselves, which appertaineth not, but to the humble, wise, and upright, When they are considerative­ly active, & impartially affected in their machinations. Second­ly, tractatu dura, State-affaires are so intricate, that the ablest Statists can never so canvase every seame in the peace conclu­ded, but that they leave some scope of quarrell, which may by Politicians be easily pickt from some particulars in the Arti­cles. What hope soever then you have, of faire and ready pas­sage, yet once entred, you shall find them so severall, casuall, & confounded, as will dazle and astonish your spirits, with the consideration of so many, divers, & contrary lusters, except it prove so, I will ever hereafter assert that lesser, vivacious spirits and vulgar wits, are found more fit and happy for the mannagery of State-affaires.

Therefore if you presume upon the first appearance represented a far off, and meet not that which is seven times worse then the sonne of Anak, before you arrive at your Earthly Chanaan; then let all the people ever look upon me as a false Prophet, knowing nothing at the present, and yet presuming of the future, which is indeed but a vehement opinion, though violent in perswasion, and so transporting me; because I strongly conceit, whatsoever cleare­nesse of truth, or forme of happy constitution you do fancie, when e­ver you reach towards it by actuall attempt and resolution, many difficulties will impeach your passage, and new Quaries will start up, able to stray, lose or beset you. Thirdly, Eventu tristia, If you glory in any successe hitherto, or some of you like him in the 52 Psalm. You are in that beholden to the worst and vilest of the ma­lignants. For had not their innovating in Church and State, occa­ssioned [Page 12] grievous suspitions against his Majesty, in the mindes of quiet, moderate; and truly conscientious men, then had your Army been stop in the current, before any expense of treasure & bloud: you be so taken with their accidentall efficacy (by which you are fand have been of secret esteeme) that you will freely endeavour to fulfill the Prophesie of plaine English (who in a godly manner ex­plodeth Monarchy, when he had administred, both matter and oc­casion to the same) And so in way of recompence; kindly gratifie how, either by advancing their tyrannie, or (as they scornfully speake) your own, both policy and dependant Anarchy. Then take heed, that you prove not as a candle burnt to the socket, flashing with more then its ordinary light, but presently extinct, leaving also an ill sent, and unpleasant favour behind it. If this be the best fruit of your first and latest baffling (whereby all Magistrates have been disgraced, all lawes subverted, the Kingdom embroyled, our treasure exhausted, and now more then ever, the minds of peo­ple chafed & imbittered, with almost in expiable hatred one a­gainst one another.) Then sure (in my conceit) neither your first nor last motion or mannagery was either from God, or according to him. Tis true, by your passionate stickling, and multiplicity of phantasticall opinions, you have armed them with more argu­ments for Popery, & tyrannie, then any of them before your stiring did falsly understand. But if you make them our masters, it will be concluded, that ignorance, envie, pride, & avarice, ruleth the stern of your actions, whilest tendernesse of conscience is meerly preten­ded.

Moreover, you are the men chiefly insisted upon, as the onely seditious & turbulent spirits, contemptible in number, inconside­rable in fortune and reputation But so uni [...]ed conspiracy against ecular Majesty, as to carry on a monstrous designe to the admira­tion of Europe, for the which you might (perchance) have bin late­ly sacrificed, to pacifie the wrath of some kind of people, & expiate the offence of your selve & others, in hope of conciliating the King into better conditions, if not unto the Nationall Covenant.

Had not your active vigilance so opportunely taken oc­casion by the foretop, which never since as it is said you wist how to use, or well to improve I.E. so wisely, honestly, & lawfully, that without injustice or cruelty, you might accom­plish [Page 13] such an alteration, as should not onely afford universal satisfaction, but also exalt our untappy Albion, unto more then pristine repute amongst all those Nations where she is now despised. Herein you are comparable into Hanniball, but I hope in heart and spirit, you will at the length prove parallel to these gallant honest spirits, in ancient and most excellent times, both Greekes and Romans; That have al­wayes lightly esteemed all their own, in relation to the gen [...] ­rall interest of their Countrey; for else you can never be fra­med to any friendly composure. And if you intend to quar­rell by standing; for I suppose, that in condemning all ty­ranny over the spirit, you do not denye but that our estate, actions, travell and life, ought to be accomodate to the ser­vice of humane society, and alwayes responsible unto justice, and the common opinion, when custome and law hath con­firmed it; for you know not what (besides the tendernesse of your Conscience) then you will (in my fancy) find it a most dangerous and desperate businesse wherein you can never secure, much lesse exalt your own persons; except your consci­ences be so far cauterized, as to adventure your selvs for glory and profit, as if it were for the opinion of the Gospel of Je­sus Christ, and in that vigour of spirit or extravagance, freely to resolve upon more hellish villanies then ever Matchiavil could devise, or any tyrant, or traytor put in practise. And all this upon such uncertainty, as can never yeeld any unde­fraimed assurance to the spirit, nor the least of sanctuary to the person, in every place, with mortall hatred, all wayes pursued, except you hope to captivate all your own Coun­treymen, of different or contrary minds; and with remorce­lesse cruelty to mortifie the distasted, and un [...]amed spirits of the English; into more then Turkish stupidity, that they may freely bow, as the elder Camells, to all burdens which are offered them.

Vpon which promises, may I not well say, that so long as you are led on, by paradoxicall humourists, and philodoxi­call opinionists; or much enthrauled to your own singular, and municipall conceits, you will be found as unmeet for the mannaging of such matters, as ever was meer souldier to [Page 14] play the medico; and no more apt or able to deale with the troubled and law-broken state of England; then is a Shop Prentice-boy, to back, sit, and guide a skittish and loose bro­ken Jade, when he hath neither bridle nor saddle, in which sence, were it not against my practise to guide and controule, I would point you to a certaine Philosophicall fancy much fitter (me thinketh) for you to ponder on, then for him, into whom the excellent Poet doth apply it.

Optat Ephippia bospiger, Optat arare caballus,
Quam scit uter (que) libens aequm est exerceat artem.

This going tends somthing against the graine of my humour, I desire to end as I began with inquisition, giving you all scope and liberty to lash and correct me, surely then tell me when I first heare from you; why, I may not justly denominate all those gid­dibraind fellowes, whosoever upon some appearance of truth presented at distance to their understanding, are so far transpor­ted with presumption of knowledge, that to promote or establish their opinion, they will furiously attempt any alteration, without ever considering the danger of subversion, and difficulty of redu­cing us to better condition, 2. Whether all such arrogant simplici­ans (as thus usurpe the authority of judging) are not in all reason obliged, not only to find the errour and fault of what they would abolish, but also the truth and utility of what they would bring in, and so to preserve themselves, (as Mr. Burton preffered to the Archbishop Who for all the wit supposed in him by the superstitious adorers of wealth and dignity, had neither strength of brain, nor spirit, to a­void the envy of peo­ple, in wrac­king his ma­lice upon him by a Parliament.) with ropes about their neckes, as it was or­dained amongst the Thurians, that if their device were not ap­proved of all, they should presently suffer due punishment for their seditious saucinesse, and turbulant presumption.

3. What do you think of the conceit of Calavius, that wise Magistrate in Capus, of whom we read in Sir Water Rawleys, was it not both ingenious and honest? yea such as the sage and prudent, many yeares since, might well have improved, to the cu­ring of many distempers, and preventing of those disorders, by which we are become so distracted, that England is called the Bedlam of Europe, and London the Bedlam of England. Or whe­ther you deeme it either meet or possible, yet now to be put in practise. At one meane yet remaining for preventing the utter [Page 15] subversion of all Magistracie, upon which must follow great mis­chiefe & perdition, or the death of our body politike, by the sudden operation of our mortall and intestine Diseases. God have mercy on our Land, and graciously prevent these yet piteous turmoyles, & hideous desolations, which all your drivers of designes are drawing upon us: So that if we survive this sicknesse, I shall not hereafter dispaire of any politicall condition, be the State never so tossed to and fro with all manner of motions & alterations: for were it not that I conceive the preservation of a State, to exceed my appre­hension, so that we may subsist beyond my imagination, I should give our body for dead in no possibility of recovering, nor in age of any policy, to which purpose I have some speciall arguments as Iopine; the speculation whereof, makes mee often very pensive, And he who can without perturbation behold the now approach­ing ruines of his Countrie, exceedeth much the hight of my spirit mind or constancy. And thus in hope to find you courteous, pitti­full, and compassionate, as all true Christians are and ought to be, I heartily bid you farewell, And (if I may usurp your now famed compliment) subscribe my selfe one of yours and the Kingdomes humble servants.

Richard Jackson.
POSTSCRIPT

WHat an age do we now live in? that a private man must run a double danger, in indeavouring any thing towards the pub­like, of shame, and payne, reproach and punishment, the farther in seeming ambitious to be a foole or with perill seen [...] print, the latter in attempting what is not tolerated by order of the State, that toucheth me a little, for so much as I feele no glory, but what is superficiall, and infused by the treason of my complexion; for few there be from whom I may in reason expect so much as ap­probation; not from the very learned, because I am not so pedan­ticall, as to imitate Mr. Prin, who is ever honouring his reading and memory, at the charge of his reason and understanding, not from Plebeians or meer Commoners, who can never discover the force or comlines, of a quaint, sharpe, or solid discourse, perchance amongst the middle sort, there may be found some well borne minds, or regular wits, strong enough by their naturall temper to [Page 16] take me in the right sence, and then surely to afford me, either friendly rebuke, or else favour and protection. But this much troubleth me; who am exceeding desirous in such things, to be directed by the word, order, without further question or inqui­sition) that I now come out against it. Know therefore, that in o­bedience to unto order, I carryed my Papers unto the learned Licenser, who after perusall could not instance in any particular clause to be expunged, as containing matter either scandalous, rayling, or seditious; much lesse savouring of heresie, schisme, or superstition. But the timorous old man durst not meddle, because times are so tickle: and many men of every party so waspish and touchy, with whose spite and envie I must now wrestle, though unwilling to deale with such an adversary, who of old was dee­med inexpugnable; And unto whom it is to no purpose to speake the truth Therefore in this rashnesse, partly occasioned by my sud­den departure into the Country, I appeale and freely submit unto my proper Iudges in the Parliament, which I shall desire to ho­nour, as wisest councel or the justest judicature: so God blesse me from the feare of all swearing Gamesters, who get their damnation by purchase.

Curtious Reader. I desire thee to passe by some faults escaped in Printing, by reason of the Authours absence.

Imprinted at LONDON, 1647.

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