A LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE Lord General MONK CONTAINING The instrumental Causes of the ruine of Go­vernments and Common-wealths, with an Advertisement of our present danger by a forrein Invasion.

May it please your Exccellency,

THE true affection and high Honour I have for you amongst other your Countrey men, that desire your chiefest good, and re­joyce with you in the late happy success God hath magnified you with before his people, gives me this confidence for a humble address in those papers, which were printed last year, January 1658. they being a few sudden Notes drawn up at [Page 2]that time upon conference with some London Divines, to give timely warning of the great Displeasure of God that hang over our heads; and had our friends then in place and power considered of them, and advised with godly faithfull Ministers, what to do in a case of this importance, ruine had not come upon them so inevitably and suddenly. For your Excellency knows well, what great alternations of Government, and turning of things upside down, have been within the space of this last year in the land, very terrible in our eyes. These papers will acquaint your Excellency what great danger the Church of God & this State is in at this time, which every days experience more and more confirms the truth of: and since the impression of these papers Dr. Reynolds hath lately put sorth a Sermon of his upon the same Subject of Church-De­sertion, whose Judgement in the case is much to be reve­renced.

I do humbly beg your Christian perusal of them, and if God shall make your Excellency instrumental to so high and noble a work, as the advancement of the Gospel, true Religion, and the pure Worship of God is (which is so basely opprest in our dayes) you will be very happy; for God will surely honout those that honour him: and you, and this people shall find, that nothing doth promote the Peace, Plenty, Security, and flourishing estate of the Land, then Zeal and Forwardness to hasten the work of Gods house, which he calls for. So sayes God by his Prophet Hag­gai, when he called the people to the building of the Tem­ple, In this place will I give Peace, Hag. 2.9. saith the Lord of Hosts, that is, upon this work of building my house, and set­ting up my pure worship: you shall find, I will give you peac and establishment, and not otherwise. I will add a lit­tle to what I have said upon the case, with your Ho­nours good leave, to evince the great hazard we are in, if it be not instantly prevented. Common-wealths and Na­tions are brought to ruine by two sorts of causes, some in­trinsecal, some extrinsecal. As all the works of nature are ruined in like sort, either by causes that are within them, or that are without them. So we see a house falls either by the [Page 3]rottenness of the plates and timber-work that decay within, or by high windes, or fire that assault it from without: In like manner it is with States and Governments in this world, they come to ruine by means of distempers in their own bowels, or by the force of forrein Invaders. We have wofull experience of the one, God grant we find not at length the mischief of the other.

Internal active causes of the ruine of Governments, are,

1. Sedition amongst the great ones striving for mastery, or conspiring against those that have the Rule.

A second is Tumults of the discontented multitude, grieved with the burthen of heavy Taxes, loss of Trade, and cruell Oppressions.

A third is a phanatick spirit, or ignorant impetuous zeal in factions of Religion, which hath in many ages proved pernicious to Church and Common-wealth.

A fourth is Civil Wars, as saith the Lord by the Prophet Haggai, I will shake the heavens and the earth, Hag. 2.22. and I will o­verthrow the Throne of Kingdomes, and I will destroy the strength of the Kingdomes of the heathen, and I will over­throw the Chariots, and those that ride in them and the horses, and their Riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his bro­ther. And again, the Prophet Isaiah, Through the wrath of the Lord of Hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire, no man shall spare his brother. Isa. 9.19, 20, 21 And he shall snatch on the right hand and be hungry, and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm; Manasseh Ephraim, and Ephraim Mansseh: and they to­gether shall be againsh Judah: for all this, his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

By these cruel Tallons God in Judgement pulls down Governors and people, when both are wicked, corrupt and rebellious against God, provoking him to do Justice upon them to their confusion.

My Lord, you have seen with your eyes in these few late years of ours, how busie these Instuments have been in [Page 4]this Nation to bring it to a general ruine: God hath called you forth now at a time when the last scene is abroad, the last blowes of divine vengeance are ready to batter all in peeces, though the generality dream not of their dan­ger: for it is Gods usual course, upon the impenitency of a Nation, to go from one heavy Judgement to another till he hath utterly destroyed all, by giving up his people into captivity, and bringing upon them Forrein Nations to devour them: and this is the other extrinsecal cause of the ruine of Nations.

When forrein Nations are through Gods just Judgement called in upon them, then comes utter ruine.

Now whether our danger after all our former Calamities be such, let your Excellency draw up the conjecture from these Prognosticks.

First, When God greatens our adversaries, and makes them more potent then afore: For when our enemies have malice enough and power enough to do us mischief, then have we cause to fear them, for God hath strengthned them against us, as he strengthned the Assyrian against Is­rael, Isa. 10.56.

And now hath not Rome made her self stronge enough to the work, by the association of those two Crowns of France and Spain, and combination of all popish Princes? What think we, is the secret drift of that Conclave and bloody-slaughter-house (as we have found it) but to use the Ar­mies of those Princes to overturn the reformed Churches, especially this of England? there was a time when they had will to hurt us but no power, in the Armado and Pow­der-plot, but now alas they have too much both Will and Power, as the letters of Forrein Agents forewarn us.

A second ground of conjecture is from our implacable domestick Contests, which have continued now these 20. years, and it hath been the usual conclusion of the wisest States-men, That when a people are wearied with home-bred long Contests, then a Forreiner may break in with good success and carry all; as Malvezzi observes well of Greece, that when it was wearied with civil dissentions, then For­reiners usually made it a prey.

May not our danger be concluded from hence also? espe­cially if we consider a third ground for the conjecture.

And that is, when Forreiners carry before them a pretence or title for their just invasion.

Such was the policy of Amurath going to destroy the King of the Tartars, he took with him Islan brother of that King in the head of his Army, and by his presence the people of the Country more easily submitted to the Con­queror. The like policy used Achish King of Gath, when he purposed to carry up David in his Army against his Countrey-men. I need not say the case is much a like now, its easie to draw up the resemblance, if God over-rule not matters, and secure us and our Religion; as he did for Israel, preventing David from comming up with the Armies of the Philistines, least he should have assisted the uncircumcised against the Church and people of God, and in pursuance of his own private interest miserably have wasted his own Country: which no doubt so good a Prince abhor'd in his heart, choosing rather to wait patiently upon God for a cleer peaceable Call, then to wade to the throne in the blood of Gods precious people.

A fourth conjecture is from the multitudes of discontent­ed spirits in the Land ready to imbrace a Forreiner, as the Tarentines imbraced Pyrrus, and the ten Tribes Jeroboam with his Calves from Egypt, in hope of ease of their Taxes. The good Lord preserve his Gospel and true Religion amongst us, and choose such Governors for us as may be men after his own heart as faithfull David was.

A fith ground of conjecture is from neighbour Presidents; When God has let out the wolves upon the neighbour flocks of France, and Poland, and Germany, yea and Ireland, do we think all secure with us?

A sixth is from the Impenitency of this Nation, their rejection of God, and meet applications to him in great fasting and prayer, and true humiliation and Reformation, that we might obtain his Counsel and Protection. For when a people stand it out with God to the utmost, what is more [Page 6]likely then that God will destroy them to the utmost? I will not persume to enlarge further but to beg our Excellency spee­dily to consider what is to be done for your self and for your Country, confident of your faithfulnesse and tender care, things being so far gon as that it is almost impossible to pre­vent the common ruine: and the Lord God direct your heart thereunto, with Courage, Zeal, and resolution against all dif­ficulties, which use to accompany men of high place. Build upon the rock not upon the sand, for a house built upon the sand, cannot outstand the Tempest. How vaine were Israels shifts in this kind as the prophet Isayah notes, chap. 22? where we may see a fit president for our case: When a for­reine invasion was at hand, they opened their Armories and magazins, & prepared like wise men for the sieg; and when they saw the breaches of the Citie of David, that they were many, they repaired their bulwarkes, scoured the trenches, built their Pallizadoes; gathered about the City the waters of the lower poole both for defence, and use of water in the sieg; they numbred the houses of Jerusalem, to see which might be fortified, and those houses that were upon the walles they brake downe to make the city more impregnable. What fault was there in all this? none at all, but they left out that one thing that was more necessary then all these, as God tels them, But ye have not looked unto the Maker thereof, saith the Lord, neither had respect to him that fashioned it long ago, and in that day did the Lord God of Hosts call to weeping and to mourning, and to baldness and to girding with Sackcloth, (this was of more consequence then fortifying and prepa­ring for the war, and they had a Call from heaven to it by the danger that was approaching) yet behold joy and gladness, slaying Oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine; Let us eat and drink for to morrow we shall die.

Oh desperat impenitency! What doth God conclude hereupon? Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord of Hosts. Heer's now the like case; this people are banning one against another, they trust to their wodden walls, and filling up of the house, and listing of Regiments (for its lawfull to use the means) but in this day of [Page 7]so great danger the Lord called for our christian Armoury, mighty prayers and tears powerfull humiliation and fasting, and especially true and unfeigned Repentance, and turning from those crying sins, that call in trouble upon us, and will irresistibly and speedily ruine all: but where's this to be found? dull sottish stupid men! Surely, my Lord, I can tell you for a certain what will become of such a people: Death, and ru­ine, and confusion is at their gates: for its an infallible Note of wicked Rulers, and a wicked people, whom God will de­stroy, that they cast off fear and restrain prayer before God.Iob 15.4, 20, add 34.

Go to therefore quickly, and gather your selves together, yea gather together, O Nation, not desired, Ps. 53.1. add 5. before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, bafore the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lords anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his Judgement, seek Righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lords an­ger.

I rest, My Lord,
Your Excellencies In all humble Christian Ob­servance and faithfulness. JOHN MAƲDIT.

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