A LETTER SENT TO GENERAL MONK, To St. Albons the 29 of January.

VVHEREIN The Antient Government of England founded upon MAGNA CHARTA, and the Peti­tion of Right, is vindicated and proved to be a popular and free Commonwealth; All the marks of Soveraignty being in the people.

TOGETHER VVith an Expedient for admitting the Members excluded in 48, and composing all differences, and setling the Nation upon a sure Basis of PEACE.

LONDON, Printed for the Author, 1659.

A LETTER TO GENERAL MONK.

Right Honourable,

THis Letter was intended you, before yours to the Devonshire Gentlemen came forth, and therefore it may not be looked on as an answer, though in it you may find your objections answered, and an expedient proposed for future Settlement, which will be more for your honour to close with, than to joyn with an interest averse to the Spirit of the Nation. The credit of your Letter hath given birth to 100000. per mensem, and if you should not hasten filling up the House without laying snares for honest consciencious men, its feared it may involve us in a speedy war, & lest this inten­ded new Government might pretend to have somthing of freedom in it which the People wanted, I have consider­ed our former constitution, without raveling into matter of fact since the year 40, and have stated the cause of the Commonwealth, as its now in the Parliament House, and under the consideration of the wisest, soberest, and [Page 4] most judicious out of the House; wherein a way of Settlement may be proposed, and prosecuted, as nigh as possible to the satisfaction of all persons concerned; the pi [...]lars of the peoples liberty being these two excellent Laws Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, do so well preserve the property and liberty of all sorts and ranks of men, that the single person could not legally incroach upon the Nobility and Gentry, nor they upon the Com­monalty, each had such a check upon other, that they were a ballance each to other, and were as necessary to each other as the hand to the head, or the head to the feet, each contributing his part to make a compleat & free Common-wealth, more free than which, never was any. For the single person was so limited and bounded by his oath to Govern according to Law, and by Law no former Law or Statutes can be repealed, no new one made or in­troduced, but what is moved in the popular counsell, and there debated and considered whether it be for the good of the People. And if upon the debate it be not found in all, or in part pro bona Publica, its laid aside. Secondly, the single person had no power to take from them the least part of their Estates without their own consents in Parliament, nor to imprison their persons without the cause be signified in the warrant, and then it ought to be by a legal Magistrate, which in a certain time is bound to prosecute, which being not done, the person cannot be denyed a Habeas Corpus, and the Judge is bound to set him at Liberty, the party grieved hath a good Action against the Officers that illegally imprisoned him, notwithstanding the Kings Warrant under Hand and Seal; For the Government doth so well provide against Tyrranny and Arbitrarinesse, that whatever person puts the Kings illegal commands in ex­ecution shall suffer for breach of the Law, and the Kings Warrant cannot justifie him, and upon that reason was that antient maxime grounded.

[Page 5]That the King can do no wrong, which has only re­lation to his politique capacity; So that it is very per­spicuous to every eye, that the Government of this Nation is a popular and free Common-wealth, all the marks of Soverainty being in the people, for the ne­gative voyce and execative part of the Government, in the intervals of Parliament they were no way a dimi­nution of the peoples freedom; for what ever emer­gency the single person had, he could raise no money but by Parliament, and in Parliament they never con­seded to raise any money, except the King gratified them in their desires, that is, to grant those Laws they proposed, so that he was necessarily, and conse­quently constrained to grant their Laws, otherwise his necessities were left unredressed; As to the Militia, it was placed in mens hands of Estates and Interest, the Officers being men of quality, the Souldiery were composed of the Farmer and Yeoman, who cannot be thought would joyn against Law and Reason with the Lust and Ambition of any single person, to abridge themselves and their posterity of any just freedom they injoyed as their Birthright. Besides they had no parti­cular obligation to obleage them to the King, for they were not his mercinaries raised to support his Preroga­tive, but those that lived upon their own Estates, and were put in trust to preserve the peace of the Country according to Law, both against forein invasions, and domestick insurrections; and it were a thing impossi­ble to imagine that they could ever be so besotted, as to change their Liberty for Slavery, as some do vainly dream; On the contrary it hath been too evident in our Hemisfere of late years, how easy it is to per­swade and lead mercenary Souldiers to the subvertion both of Law and Religion, and to convert those that were raised for the strength, defence, and liberty of the Commonwealth, to become the absolute Lords and [Page 6] Masters thereof; the late sad experience of this truth I shall leave to your serious consideration. I acknow­ledge that several Kings have attempted, making themselves absolute, but in perusal of the History, you shall find that no King of England since Henry the 3ds. time, who first granted the Charter, hath ever got­ten by contending with his Subjects, but lost; and their Favorets and Counsellers were brought to ignominious deaths. It will be too long for a Letter to recite the particulars, and we see the great Charter confirmed 32 times by Act of Parliament; Sir, It's judged that a people with good Laws, and good Majestrates, may live happily under a Monarchy, Astrocrasie or Demo­crasie; the form of Government, neither adds nor di­minisheth, for we shall find in History both applau­ded and condemned, it is good Laws and good Magistrates only gives the difference; and therefore no wise good man will be an instrument to change a Law or Government upon a people, a­gainst the genious and spirit of the people, for princi­pally every body operates to his own good; If the greatest part of the men of interest, of honesty, and wisdom, center in a Government (excepting only some few which are biassed by sinister and selfish principals;) It is both the duty and wisdom of every honest and good man, to contribute as much as lies in him to the strengthening of their interest. I have but a word more, the Government of this Nation is Parliamentary; Par­liaments elected, sitting and voting freely, that every Member chosen by the people may freely sit and vote before he is adjudged uncapable by a Legal and fair Tryal, that no Member may be obstructed by a force without: God hath made you instrumental in remove­ing one force, that you may be truly instructed in the State of the case, to remove all force from this present Parliament; I recommend you to Mr. Prynnes book, [Page 7] The Cause of the secluded Members Vindicated; You will meet with objections and obstructions, and they hang simply upon those two great propositions. First, how to secure both Lives and Estates of all that have acted since 47. Secondly, and how to maintain the good old Parliaments cause, undertaken for the good of the Sub­ject in the year 40. I have a short expedient to offer you; As to the first, that you will endeavour that six of the secluded Members, viz. Mr. Pierepoint, Mr. Crew, Sir William Waller, Sir Gilbert Garret, Serjeant Maynard, and Mr. Ansley, may be Commissioners appointed of the one side; Lord St. Iohn, Sir Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Mr. VVeaver, Mr. Letchmore, Colonel Morley, Colonel Hutchinson, on the other part; and in case there should be any difference, wherein they should not agree, that three moderate men may be chosen as Umpires for the healing our Breaches, and composing these differences amongst us; Whereby this poor Nation may hope for a settlement: It hath been your honour to stand in the gap, to resist the most wicked and arbitrary design that ever was laid to insnare a people; It is now your wis­dom and interest to espouse the interest and good of this Nation for a future consistency and settlement, and therefore you ought not to seek the pleasing of some few selfish ambitious persons, to the disgust of the whole; Follow your wonted moderation and wisdom, but give not your Country cause to believe you will leave them destitute of a friend in this day of trouble. When you come to London, you will find your self Courted by all parties; The Lord be your Councel and Guide, for you now walk upon the edge of a knife, but he that walks uprightly walks surely. As to You second, if the Parlia­ment be left free, and the Persons and Estates of all that have acted under any Government since 47. be secured by an Act of Oblivion and indempnity, and an assurance of any Estate that hath been made over by the present Au­thority, [Page 8] or any Authority which acted since the first in­terruption, either by re-imbursement of the money, with use, or confirmation of the Estate by Act of Parliament; Who can distrust that Parliament, (which hath a pub­lick Spirit) that managed the heat of the War from 42. to 47. against the late Kings interest? But they will set­tle the Nation upon a Basis of Righteousnesse, and Pub­lick preservation against all Tyrany and Tyrannical usur­pation whatsoever; I crave pardon for this trouble, and beseech you for God and your poor Countries sake, that you be not slow to consider some expedient, that may be righteous and equal for the setling of this Nation, which will give you increase of Honour, as you increase in years here, and leave you a Reputation full of Glory to Posterity. I Remain

Right Honourable Your most Affectionate Humble Servant, H.N.
FINIS.

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