A strong MOTIVE To the passing of a Generall Pardon, AND ACT of OBLIVION Found in a Parcell of PROBLEMES, Selected out of a greater bundle lately Published by P. D.

For the present use of all the Members of both Houses of PARLIAMENT, But more especi­ally of those in City, Countrey, and Army, and in Parliament too (if there be any) that have lately expressed their fiercenesse in pressing for Justice against Delinquents.

JOHN 8.7.

Let him that is without sinne among you cast the first stone.

LUKE 13.2.

Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, be­cause they suffered such things? &c.

Printed in season. In the yeare 1648.

A strong Motive to the passing of a Generall Pardon and Act of Oblivion.

1. PROBLEME. WHether the practising and endeavouring to over-awe that Soveraigne Majesty in which a State hath placed the whole arbitrary legislative power, whether they have placed it in one, or in the Major part of many persons consenting in one, be not the highest treason that can be committed in any State. And whether this may nor be done by seditious tumults of the common people, as well as by men of higher rank. And likewise whether the con­triving, and endeavouring to do the same things by cunning, and malitious practices, be not a hainous crime also, though of an in­ferior nature?

II Whether the refusing to deliver up notorious Delinquents to justice, be not a just cause of making War with rigor against a whole City, or Countrey so protecting them, though no otherwise par­taking in the sinne, in the judgement of God himself in the Cases of Gabeah of Benjamin, and of the City of Abel protecting Sheba: And whether protectors of such Delinquents have good ground to promise themselves agood issue of such a Warre, by their prospe­rous successe in a battell, or two, if they do well consider the for­mer of those stories?

III Whether the keeping of persons duly accused from being brought to a due legall tryall, either upon presumption of their in­nocence [Page 3]in respect of their former good life, and fame, or for their good deserts, or for feare and jealousy of undue proceedings against them, or upon pretence of some questionable privilege, or all these laid together, can amount to any more then a probable ground of a just defensive Warre; And whether it be safe to run into a de­monstrable great sinne in the general, upon a probable ground that in this, or that speciall Case it is no sinne?

IV Whether it be probable that in a well-established government of long continuance, the māner of legal proceeding in any common, great, criminal cause should be doubtful, or unknown: And admit­ting it to be so in some case fallen forth, whether all and every of the respective States in whom the Legislative power is, being as­sembled together at the time, be not bound in conscience to agree the difference by such an indifferent Law, or Ordinance, as may be en­acted by their joynt consent, rather then to go to war one against another, and to draw the whole State into partialities upon such an occasion.

V Whether he who giveth the first stop to the proceeding of justice according to law in that Cause, which thereupon becomes a pre­tence to begin a just Civil War, and will not agree to remove that stop, be not the offender. And whether the other, though he hap­pen to be the aggressor in the action at War, as he was to have been Plaintife in the action at Law, if the cause had been tryed by Law, yet be not on the defensive part in the War.

VI Whether the justice of every action at Worre, as well as at Law, doth not depend intirely upon the tryall of the point in issue be­tween the parties: and whether all other, whether interessed per­sons, or by-standers, ought not to take that as it may be found in their respective Declarations, manifestoes, and other pleadings, leaving the judgement of secret motives to God, who only can judge of their hearts, & who may judge otherwise of the justice of Wars, then man may, because he seeth not, as man seeth. And whether they be not bound in conscience to give equall credit, to the re­spective Declarations of both parties; in all matters of fact that have not fallen within their own private, certain knowledge; and [Page 4]to use the same waights, and measures in pondering the validity of their respective allegations, and to judge of them without passion, prejudice, or partiality.

VII Whether they who at one time have allowed, or approved of the same proceedings, or actions, in themselves or others of their own opini­on or party, which at another time they have condemned with seve­rity, and punished with rigor in others of a contrary opinion or par­ty, in the managerie of one and the same true, or pretended cause of rindx; War, have not in so doing pronounced sentence of condemnation against themselves; or can have any wel-grounded hope long to escape the hea­vie judgement of God, and his revenging hand, for this so wicked par­tiality, how holy, righteous, or sober soever they may be in other passages of their lives. And whether they who will by no means agree that others should haue an act of Oblivion in this world, for those faults, or crimes whereof themselves are no lesse guily th [...]n their neighbours, can have any hope of pardon for their own transgressions, of either sort, in that world which is to come.

VIII Whether in the late great controversy between his Majesty and his two Houses of Parliament, it was not the duty of every good Christian and loyall subject of this Kingdome, desirous to approve his heart to God, and his actions to men, especially to those whom God hath set over him, to that end before he took any part in the Warre carefully to peruse, and with indifferency to weigh the respective allegations, contained in those severall Declarations published by the Kings Majesty on the one part, and by the Lords and Commons on the other part, since the first breach between them; and particularly those whereby they have respe­ctivly given to the people of this Kingdom, and the whole world, an account of the Reasons of their having taken up Armes, wher­of that of his Majesty beareth date 12. Aug. 1642. being also the date of the Proclamation whereby his Majesty gave notice of his resolution to set up his standard at Notingham upon the 22th of the same month: And that of the Parliament was set forth in the same month I think before his Majestyes.

IX Whether' by the perusall of the said respective Declarations, [Page 5]and of the Preface of the Ordinance of the Lords and Commons for a weekly Assesement of 4. March 1642. it be not most evi­dent, that his Majesty, and his two Houses of Parliament do both pretend to have taken up defensive Armes, and in defence of all and every the same things; And whether it be not also evident, that his Majesty in his said Declaration maketh the protecting of Delin­quents, whom he nameth from being brought to a Tryall by their Peeres according to the Law of the Land, the only cause of the set­ting up of his standard, and raising defensive Armes against them, and as many of his subjects as would rise in Rebellion against his Majesty, and the Law, in behalfe of the said pretended offendors and in justification of their actions specisied at large, and alledged to be High misdemeanors, and Treason. And whether the three causes, upon which onely the Lords, and Commons pretend to justifie their having taken up defensive Armes, in their said Decla­ration of the fourth of March 1642, be not also reducible to one, to wit, that of bringing notorious offenders to condigne punish­ment, whose practises are set forth at length in their Declaration of the fourth of Aug. 1642, and of whom they then named none but the Lord Digby. For the pretended violence, and destructi­on of the said Lords and Commons, and of the Parliament, and the pretended foraigne invasion of this Kingdome (which are the other two Causes) neither were then, nor by Law could have been charged on his Majesty, but on the said Lord Digby, and o­ther unnamed Incendiaries; And whether it be not thereby manifest, that there were two Actions at War on foot at the same time, the one between the King, and his Parliament, the other between the Parliament, and his Majestie.

X Whether upon the whole matter, Whereas it was alleaged on both sides, that they took up Armes in defence of his Majesties per­son, of the true Protestant Religion, (which words ought to be understood of that which in this Kingdome is established for true) of the Lawes, and Liberties of the Kingdome, and of the power, and Privilege of Parliament, The truth be not, That the last on­ely, to wit, the Privilege of Parliament, was in Question; (if the [Page 6]question were about matter of right) none of the former having been, or having on either side been said to be, in any danger other­wise, then as the freedom of Parliament was by both sides preten­ded, to have bin intended to be by the other impeached. And whe­ther, freedome being the maine Privilege of Parliament, and the providing for the freedome of the Parliament, and of all other Assem­blies, having been said to belong to the King by the Prelates, Earles, Barons, and the Communalty of this Realme assembled in Parlia­ment at Westminster, of purpose to take advice of this busines, in the seventh year of King Edward the first, And that by the Statute then made it was declared, that it is the Kings part through his Roy­all seigniory straitly to defend force of armour, and all other force a­gainst his peace, and to punish them which shall do contrary, according to the Lawes, and usages of this Realm, and that all the Subjects thereof are thereunto bound to aide the King, as their Soveraigne Lord, at all seasons when need shall be, Whether I say in the late action at War, (taken as commenced on the part of the parliament,) the onely point of fact in issue were not, whether his Majesty either did proceed, or would have proceeded according to the Laws, and Usages of this Realme, in the accusation of the Lord Kimbolton, (now Earle of Manchester,) and of the five Members of the House of Commons, charged with an indeavour by force, and terror to compell the Parliament to joyn with them in their Traiterous Designes, and with having to that end actually raised & countenanced Tumults against the King, & Parliament. I say would have proceeded, Because his Majesty taking notice that some conceived it disputable, whe­ther his proceedings against the persons aforesaid by his Atturney were legall, and agreeable to the Privileges of Parliament, was pleased to wave those his proceedings, and to Declare That when the minds of men were composed, he would proceed against them in an unquestionable way. And whether in the late action at Warre, ta­ken as commenced on his Majesties part, the onely point of fact in is­sue were not, whether his Majesty did ever refuse to deliver the Lord Dighy, or any other duly accused Incendiary to a Legall try­al, before the beginning of the Warre.

XI Whether the sixth Article preferred against the said accused Members, be not by his Majesty avowed to be the chiefe head of their charge, as well in his Majesties said Declaration, as in the Articles themselves, the said Article being comprised in these words, That for the compleating of their traiterous designes, they have endeavoured, as farre as in them lay, by force; and terror to com­pell the Parliament to joyne with them in their traiterous designes, and to that end have actually raised, and countenanced tumults against the King, and Parliament. And whether the main charge against the Lord Digby, and other Incendiaryes in the Parliaments said De­claration of the fourth of August. 1642. be not the very same. viz. their combinning to bury the happinesse of this kingdome in the ruine of this Parliament, and by forcing it to cut up the freedome of Parliament by the root, as it is expressed page 494. And whether the maine charge of the Army against the eleven Members be not to the same effect. And whether in common discourse some do not charge Others to be as guilty of the same crime, as any of the ac­cused by the Army, by the Houses, or by his Majesty.

XII Whether they who in their private judgements have absolved the Speakers of the two Houses, (in which they are but the sha­dowes of his Majesties sacred person) from all blame, in what they did the last summer, can with much equity, or justice con­demne his Majesty, for having withdrawn himselfe from the tu­mults at Westminster, when time was, allowing all to be true which hath been alleaged by his Majesty, and others in his behalfe, for mo­tives inducing him thereunto. And whether any thing, and what, and how much is wanting to make the retirement of part of the Members of both Houses, to an old Army, which had refused to be disbanded at their appointment, a just parallel to the retirement of a much greater part of the Members of both Houses to Yorke, or Oxford, and there contributing their assistance toward the raising and maintaining of an Army. And whether if this last mentioned Army had found no more opposition in their march to Westminster and through London, then the forementioned army did the last year, the said Members needed to have done any more, then was then act­ed [Page 8]by the General, and Officers of the said Armie, for the compas­sing of their defigne.

*** Defuerunt nonnulla Aliquid eorum adjectum.

XIII Whether the violence offered to both Houses by some of the Presbyterian party, when time was, was not greater in shew, though not in truth, then that of the Army; And greater in truth then that of his Majestyes coming to the House of Commons to demand the five Members thereof. And whether there have not been a greater violation of the FREEDOME of Parliament then any of the former, taking the Parliament for an entire Body, hav­ing the King for the head thereof, and not for the two Houses, which are called the Parliament, as the body of a man without a head is called the body: or for the House of Peers alone, which is sometime called the Parliament, as that part of a mans body which is about his heart is called his body. And —

**** Reliqua desiderantnt.

XIV Whether upon the whole matter any thing can be more equi­table, then that either all persons that may be found guilty of any intention of over-awing, or over-ruling the parliament, may be pardoned: Or else that due and equall justice may passe upon all, as hath been long since propounded in the Considerations, and lately in the Project for an equitable and lasting Peace. Which God grant.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.