THE MODERATOR EXPECTING SVDDEN PEACE, OR CERTAINE RUINE.

Directed by Reason, Arising out of the Consideration of what hath already happened, Our present Condition, and the most likely Consequents of These.

— Tales Casus Cassandra canebat.
— Quem tum vates Cassandra moveret?
Virgil. Aeneid. Lib. 3.
Cedamus Phoebo, & moniti meliora sequamur.

LONDON, Printed Anno Domini, 1642.

THE MODERATOR EXPECTING Sudden PEACE, OR Certaine RVINE.

A Amongst the many complaints posterity may justly take up a­gainst us, it shall never be said, that we did all wilfully blind the eyes of our reason, and would not see the Euills, which with an unveiled face shewed themselves, in their full horror, before they came upon us. For my part, if I must perish, my fate and want of prevention not of foresight shall betray me to it; whilst the results of our designes, and the miseries that must necessarily be­fall us, offer themselves so easily to our apprehension, before we feele them. But it is not our meere contemplative providence, but a discreet exercise of it, that can be able to rescue us from the ruine that attends us. And though it is not the pious care of a few single men, that can save even themselves, much lesse the perishing state, whose decayed Fabrick is on every side undermined, and ready to fall in [...] yet surely it is every mans duty to lend his best assistance to the common safety, because if we perish it must be by our owne hands. And since it is at out owne election what shall become of us? Let us call reason to advise with, let us throughly looke into our condition: And these sad and serious considerations, may perhaps reclaime many of us from the eager pursuit of things, which we have too violently fancied to our selves, out of conveniency, necessity, or some other politique reaches, to advantage our selves or the pub­lique. We are now arrived almost to the extremity of ill; and yet some beleeve that there is a way to grow better, by growing worse. I pray Heaven this Para­dox may not undoe us.

But before we set one foot forward, and march on to the considerations which are before us, let us make a stand, and take a review of the actions and successe, which we have already had, in the high contestations between Prince and People.

VVarres, like diseases, are a long while working upon the humors, before [Page 3]they discover themselves: And there are indeed many things of conse quence, that did secretly fore run and usher in this Warre, which I shall at most but touch upon. The curious searching into these things may perhaps inflame, can­not qualifie our distempers. Our proper interest now is to get out of these miseries, to which we seem to have been unhappily betrayed, by endeavouring without successe, (saith one,) or providence, (saith another,) or enough of both (saith a third, for thus boldly men discourse now) a high and Imperious refo mation; which by the cunning use that Delinquents, the Prelacy, and the Agents for Prerogative have made of it, hath in stead of removing, created new opposites: and those have so fasted themselves, that they cannot be over­throwne without more then endangering the very foundations of the Com­mon-wealth. And we are making so much haste to the Ruine, which that grand Engineer the Jesuite hath this many yeeres been designing for us, that we have two Armies fighting against themselves, for the common good: and they are now growne both so considerable, that it is almost impossible that any good can be effected by them, untill very many thousands more shall fall by the Sword; and, how we shall call any thing good, that shall be bought at so bloody a price. I know not. Let us but trace the foot-steps of our mis-fortunes, and we shall see by what degrees we are grown into these extremities. And how we have (is it were by inches) engaged our selves into new and desperate mis­chiefes. How one extreame hath begot another: And whilst we have had one designe to overcome a prevailing evill, we have by that raised up a worse. I have heard that Poison hath sometimes been wrought out by a contrary poyson; but the wary Phisitian holds the cure but desperate, and scarce can tell, which is most destructive the Medicine or the Disease: For where the contestation is so violent, it seldome happens that it doth not destroy the Patient. To come closer: It seemes our peace was so corrupt, that it was held requisite it must be lanced with the Sword. I pray Heaven our Chirurgions cut not so farre, that instead of letting out Putrifaction; they let not out our very Vitals, by too deep, too wide a wound. But I shal make haste to my promise, which is to make it evident, how destructive this kind of Decision hath been and must be to us; which will appeare from the first Overtures of it, and in every thing that hath happened since.

When the Militia, the Navy, and the Ports (which were the common strength of the Kingdome) were first put into new confiding hands (whether out of prevention or preparation) I looked upon this action, as like to that Cloud, which first shewed it selfe to the Prophets sanvant, to be as big as a mans hand; and I feared that I should afterward see it darken all our Heavens, all our happinesse: and at last fall into fatall and bloody showers. Iealousie of this na­sure is the Fore-runner and Inflamer of all Mischiefe; when this discovered it [Page 4]selfe so plainly in the King; and had so divided not onely the Head from the Members, but the Members amongst themselves: he that did not then feare consequences of a high and dangerous nature, was too secure; and surely never considered, that a Parliament is the Genius of the State; and when that was poysoned with jealousie: it subtilly mingled it selfe with every County as de­riving it from the Representatives. Here the people might take the first notice of the contestation; And from that time they encountered each other with in­vective Declarations (worse then Gun-shot) which heightned the quarrell, and invited the amuzed people to lay aside their peace; and shew themselves, on which side they would rather choose to hazard their fortunes. Here began the first eager Division: for by this means, the discountenanced Gentry (who were removed from their Commands, and so, from the usuall respect they had in their Country) fastned themselves in opinions opposite to the Parliamentary proceedings: And the common people, disputing over earnestly of these things) did at last, according to the reason they were able to see, discourse themselves into a resolute conceit of things, which as their passions and hu­mours led them) they have all this while prosecuted.

The Subjects being now stirred, and divided: The great Gamesters of the State goe higher; The more active of the Parliament are accused by the King of Treason: The Kings Advisers, to whose Councels He seemed most to ad­here are impeached by the Parliament for Traitors. And now they hold them­selves concerned to stand, or fall, with those that both sides aymed at. So that it is time that they be further asunder: for distance affords many advan­tages to worke a Designe higher, or else may be a meanes to compose those differences, which are still renewing, whilst the Antagonists are together. The King therefore removes Northward, to finde out that safety, which (he saith) is denyed him here: and to gaine a party to ballance those, whom already he accounts his Enemies.

Thus the Scene begins to alter; and instead of reforming (the proper worke of Parliament:) we shall see it busied and almost puzled in saving (for so they call it) a distressed Church and State. And from henceforth, we must looke up­on it as a Councell of War, and must not expect to finde it punctuall in the ob­servance of any fixed Law: but that Common Law, called Salus populi, must be produced as a generall warrant for all their undertakings: And that Statute Law enacted even by Nature it selfe, called Lex necessitatis; must be made to justifie all manner of severity and violence. And this must be all the satisfacti­on, the complaining Subject shall be able to obtaine.

The most eminent discovery of this Warre; which openly offered it selfe to the consideration of the People, was that great contention about the Town of Hull. And although it cost not much blood; yet was it made an occasion to [Page 5]ingage the businesse very far. The Warre was sooner seen to the people, then the Reasons of it: and though they could not define what the quarrell was; yet they begin to finde that they must end it, and seele the effects of it. And, to startle them the more, their doubts are nourished and increased by the well penned papers from the North: and in a few monthes, are perswaded to un­believe that, which the Actions, and the sense of many yeeres before, had almost confirmed in them. Thus, the King perceives, that to defend the pro­perty and liberty of his Subjects, (though but with the shadow of them) with promises and protestations, catches the affections of his credulous People; and almost recovers and fixes them in their obedience. How much then, will they be his, when these promised blessings shall be theirs in earnest?

And what advantage have we had by any thing hath yet been acted by the sword? what present reparation or what likly hopes, hath the abused subject for the expence of so many millions? for the losse of so much bloud? and for dangerous hazard of their peace? that jewell which indeed we know not how to value, untill it be lost? Some of the Malignants bloud hath been had, though bought with as much of the adverse party. Our Townes have been yielded and recovered on both sides; whole Countries have been plundred; thousands have been undon; Skirmishes we have had in many places. A set Battaile (the wish of our Sonnes of Mars) hath been fought with almost equall losse aud suc­cesse; as if Heaven had told us wee are both in fault; both worthy of an overthrow, but neither of us of victory: the best part of a yeere hath beene made up happy whilest every day saw new Tragedies. And after all this, how much nearer, nay how much farther of, are we from the Peace, or from the Endes we seemed to aime at? The quarrell by all this, is but inflamed; jea­lousies grow higher; Malice growes stronger; Poverty comes upon us like an armed man: Humanity is almost turned to cruelty, and Nature and friend­ship, are not able to restraine our inconsiderate fury. The Sword must here­after become chiefe Justice; and will dispence with and controll all Law. From hence-forth Robbery shall change its name, and be called no more a crime then borrowing: the killing of our Country men must be called valour, and a service to the State: the opposing our selves against the chiefe Fort and strength of the subject, the great councell of Parliament, must be cal­led Allegiance and duty: disobedience to the commands of our Prince, must be called Loyalty: and in briefe, (such is the tyranny of Warre) we must see an inversion of all order, Consusion in all our services to Heaven and Earth; and a Chaos, in stead of that admirable composure which many yeares of peace had ere now fixed this state in; if those that have of late times beene over us, had done their partes: How like to these calamities the miseries we have felt already, are, the sad experience of too many may witnesse; who have drinke [Page 6]deep of this bitter Cup: But the dregs are as yet behind; in which every surviver must have a share, if Heaven will have us to pledge its vengeance farther.

Although such times as these will searce give us leave to call any thing our own; yet I hope they will let us enjoy the use of our reason still, which shall alwayes lead my Faith, and expectation in such open affaires as these. And when that shall tell me how requisite the prosecution of this War is, and how it may advantage the state, I shall be convinced; but untill then. I shall be ob­stinate in this opinion (hoping that it will not a [...] out to to be against the sence of the Parliament: That a peace warily conclud [...]d by an Accomodation must be the happiest issue that can be given to these Differences.

But, ere I lettled my selfe in this opinion, I enquired out (as far as possible I could) all the conveniences and inconveniences, that W [...]r or P [...]ce may beget, and as wel as my reason would give me leave, have weighed, which are likely to be the heaviest. And I hope I shall be excused by every one, that shall descend into these following Considerations.

First, what probably this War aimes at, in this conjecture, it will befit us to be very modest, and rather to thinke, then to speake out: we shall not there­fore examine what all yance (I meane in the birth of it) there is betwixt this, and that with the Scots. Now whether the prerogative commenced it, to pro­tect it selfe against an invading power, which seemed to threaten it, (as some would have it) or to perfect the designe of many yeares before, to be absolute master of the people, (as others conceive) or whether the Parliament begun it to secure themselves, and fetch in Delinquents, (as we are bid believe) or to confirm that by the sword, which no other assurance could ever make good un­to them; and to bring the government some-what neere to an Aristocracie (as some have suggested;) Or whether indeed this reason of the War be a Mis­celany of all these. But how justifiable, how necessary, and on which side this War was defensive or offensive, I shall not undertake to debate or determine. These are dangerous mysteries, not to be pried into. It wil be enough for us to enquire how far it tends to the generall good; by what hath already happe­ned, and what must happen in the prosecution of it.

We must believe (where ere this War began) that it was levied by well weighed pollicy, and upon considerate grounds; and we must not conceite but the designe was only to secure the Kingdome, and rescue it, from some E­nemies that are in the bosome of it, which have malignantly thwarted the long-looked for blessings of this Parliament. And it is confessed (though not agreed on) by both Armies, that our Religion, Lawes, Liberties, and whatsoever is or should be deare unto us, lies at the stake; and that they weare their Swords only to defend these: and that these cannot be safe, unlesse one of them prove victorious.

Thus our cause is much like a riddle; It were surely better for us, to have it understood by the deliberation and wisdome of a parley, then by such meanes as Alexander used to unty the Gordian knot, the violence of the sword. If Re­ligion be the principall reason; how few hopes have we to see it rectified by War which is the nu [...]ce of barbarisme. The Souldier the instrument of this kind of reformation (after he shall be a little more ve sed in his rude profession we shall scarce ever finde devoted to any thing of Religion besides the pretence and noyse of it, in their talke, only to set a glosse upon their quarrell: from them we must looke for little else, but prophanation and sacriledge. And suppose these men of War prove more civill and pious then all other Souldiers before them what religion shall we expect to be exercised during this War, which wil be a continuing Holy-day to all licentiousnesse? when as in this necessitated intermission of strict government how many new fancied religions boldly dis­cover themselves? how little reverence, and how much prophanation have we seen? Religion is a child of peace, and if an aged peace have the fostering of it, it will be hard to keepe it cleare from innovations, and superstition, (the en­deavours of the idle Clergy) and that state that cannot, or will not remove these mischiefes without the sword, endangers the very body of it, whilst it would only lop off the extravagancies.

Such effects as these, we can only looke for, when a lasting War shall un­dertake to compose a divided Church: it may (some have thought) happen otherwise, if the designe be so advisedly laid and so rigorously prosecuted that the execution of it shal be suddaine.

But, it will be told me, when the Parliaments Army hath gotten the victo­ry, and all oppositions, shall be removed, so that they may without interrup­tion reach their ends, such a Reformation will be effected, as shall recompence the disturbance in the gaining of it. Any man that consults with his unbiassed reason, cannot well promise this to himselfe: for we shall finde such a victory and such a reformation very doubtfull. But we will suppose them conquerors. It hath been the opinion of some; that successe may somewhat heighten their religious designes; and suggest such things as easy, and convenient, which be­fore their very imagination durst not reach at. Then they will have time to consider all their opposites, even those, who (before this reformation grew so violent) were accounted Puritans. Then it is likely, neither roote nor branch, of our old Church order shall be left nor any signe where it grew And though perhaps themselves could be contented with a more even and moderate re­formation; It may be seared that the loud people, delighting in change, and growen insolent with their successe will call for a mutation in every circum­stance and when they have found their strength, will thinke nothing enough if they have not all that their wild and unlimitted Zeale approves of.

And (if some mistaken not) the interest of the Parliament will then be, to set­tle a more tigid government (to say no more) in the Church, then will now satisfy them and all modest Protestants.

And on the contrary, our condition cannot well be such as we could wish it, if the subjects of England make the King a Conquerour whether he will or no (nor is this impossible.) Doe we believe the prelacy and the other ambitious Clergy, will then be any whit lesse insolent then they have been? will they not rather adde to, then diminish their ceremonies? will they not pretend that preaching hath seduced the people, and begat heresies? that the Pulpit was the late in cendarie to the great mischiefes, and therefore take a pious occasion to be Idle, and make the abused people believe, that the Common Prayer tends more to their salvation, then the frequency of preaching? will these men of the cassocks be lesse vitious in their lives? lesse corrupt in their Doctrine? lesse exacting in their Tythes and pretended dues, then heretofore? And, to con­clude, will it lye in the interest or the power of the King, (when he shall be busied to settle the confused Common-Wealth for his best advantage,) to bri­dle his Clergy, which ever were, are, and wil be the most considerable sticklers when any bustle or mutation happens in a state; we must then looke to finde these sort of men still like themselves, so busy as if their imployment were ra­ther to improve prerogatives, then salvation. Their predecessors (History tells us) were almost alwaies opposers of their Prince. And, (some are of opinion) that they doe otherwise now not because their Religion, but their interest is altered. And (it hath been alwaies unhappily obserued) that, their conscience followes their dependancy; and that they put their cases, and state their questi­ons, as much by the motions of the latter as the former.

And if there were ever any reason to be jealous of the incroaching power of papists, it will be then: for if the King (for his preservation, and through necessity, the reasons now urged upon this occasion) be driven to make use of them to doe his businesse and by their help become victorious; the Common people may seare that they shall hereafter see as much popery mingled in their worship as in their Armies: and those of better judgement, cannot but conceive, that when Papists have merited so much from the King that they will be more modest with him, then with God, from whom they dare challenge a requitall for their merits: and upon such a turne as this, it will be to their great advantage that the people (to whom the reputed Puritans and Round-heads must by all meanes be made [...]dioas,) will be lesse troubled, if some of those se­vere statutes against them, be repealed, or despensed with, and some other things be done in their favour; for being Bustier Subjects to the King of Eng­land (the first time, it was ever thought they could be so) then many of his Protestant Subjects.

Such consequences as these we must look for on both sides, if the partiall sword, and not the indifferent Synod must be the Ecclesiasticall reformer.

The Religion which all moderate men (and I thinke most, and best) desire, is that which both sides promise; and yet that which wee cannot well expect from either side, should it become absolute. It is such a one as may be found out betwixt them both; and (wee may hope) may make all men happy, if it be tempered with a reasonable yeelding on both sides. But if the decision must be by blood and victory, the prevailers are then bound, and perhaps, necessitated to gratifie their party with that kinde of disci­pline which their humours call for; they must looke to fasten themselves by that power, and those principles, by which they gained it. When as it is like to be quite otherwise, if peace suspend these differences; both sides must then goe on in an even and well tempered course, that they may po­litiquely hold fast that party, which their promises and faire protestations won to them. It will then be hoped, that the contention will be, which shall be most plausible; and it will be better for the people to have their affections invited then forced.

Thus we find that Religion will looke most comely, dressed in the white garments of peace, rather then the purple robes of warre. And see­ing Religion is many times but a servant to other designes, and goes before, onely to usher in some great affaire of State, in the same order it shall be followed now; and we shall in the next place examine how the State shall be bettered by a mastery of either side.

Would we have the Lawes better exercised which our Predecessors left to us? how much out of countenance Law is, when the sword domineers, we need not be informed by History. And when this warre shall see an end, with how much difficulty shall wee be rendred capable of the usuall course and benefit of it? And we know not who by that time, may become Patron and Master of our Law and Nation: or would we have new Lawes to serve our turnes now? or confirme those wee have gained this Parlia­ment? If that the sword shall draw up new Statutes; it is likely they would be but short lived, or uselesse: for no politique ties; no, not the most sacred as­surance of an oath, could ever make Princes observe the execution of them.

And it may be feared, that such violent gaining upon the Crown, may be an occasion hereafter, to wrest from us all those advantages which the Subject hath dearely bought this Parliament, under pretence that violence was the mother of them all.

Our liberties are not like to be much enlarged or secured by it, martiall Law will ere long disseize us of our Possessions, our Estates and Lives; and what Judge shall be able to redresse us? and wee must run a hazard, what kind of free-men or slaves wee must be hereafter.

So that upon all this enquirie, it is hard to bee satisfied how our Religion, Lawes or Liberties shall be improoved by such a warre as wee are ingaged in, unlesse the more pious and well-meaning party will promise certaine and sudden successe, both of which will be necessary to make it any thing likely; but of these more in the close of all.

But when we have suposed, that wee shall be bettered in all these when the warre is ended; let us with an intentive eye, looke upon the miseries which must be our entertainment whilest the war continues: That which wee have seene or heard already of it, is no more then a sad Prologue to an ensuing Tragedie, which onely tells us what wee are to expect; but the following acts thew us those bloody passages at large.

As yet the Souldier hath not devoured the Husband-mans store; but, without much trouble findes Bread for himselfe, and Provender for his Horse; but where will hee seeke it, when hee hath spoyled the springing grasse, and trampled downe, or eaten up the growing corne? The Husband-man will be affraid to venture his seed in the ground, not knowing who shall reape it; or, if hee would be so hardie, perhaps, he wants his Horses to plough, or his Hindes to helpe him.

And such will be our griefe, that wee must not looke for succour from our neighbour Counties: for every one of them is like to be the Seat of warre; and so many Armies must needs consume Cattle and Sheep, and the Farmers stocke, and so beget a famine. A famine never comes without sad companions; as the Plague, small Pox, Flux, and many more such ser­vants of death.

Thus Provision, the chiefe support of this populous Kingdome, will be suddenly wasted; and thus, those whom war spares, want or violent dis­eases will devour; and so wee shall many wayes perish without the sword, yet by it.

It is to no purpose to demonstrate how the treasure of this Land, heaped up by a long lived peace, will be suddenly powred out, and be seene no more: thus many times doth a carefull and aged father leave a hard gotten Patrimony to a scattering sonne. And, how certaine the utter decay of trade (the livelihood of the State) will be; how Art that was comming into such a perfection amongst us, will be lost, and, as it were, unlearnt; how lear­ning, the glory of our Nation, will be disesteemed and uselesse, and changed into martiall Discipline: how poverty will so generally seize almost upon all; that the violence of it will every where create us new enemies (if the Souldier spares us) which will take away our goods by the authenticke Law of necessity, and snatch away the meate from our mouthes, making hunger their warrant.

But I will pursue this common place no further; these are the generall [Page 11]consequences of warre; wee will therefore reflect more closely upon our owne more peculiar mischiefes.

If wee must put off Peace untill another time, how desperate are wee? For, those that ingage us in a warre, are not able to tell us, when, where, how, and by whom it shall end, (this the late and sad experience of other people may tell us.) The question hereafter will be, not so much, where is the Right? But where is the Power? For the Right of Power must carry the businesse. And then it will be beyond Probability that this King­dome ever recover the purity of it's Religion, it's Lawes, it's Customes, it's Government, which have beene setling about five hundred yeeres; nor let our present Superiours be angry at the conjecture; for I cannot as­sure my selfe, who shall live to strike the last blow. And it hath in all ages beene observed, that designes in warre change like Scenes in a Masque, where we see new apparitions ere we are aware of them: And the events of one yeere, may, beyond all expectation, vary, or heighten the quarrell. And it is alwayes found, that successe lifts men up above them­selves; for a prevailing power seldome knowes any bounds or modestie, the Subject will want his old sanctuary then, which our Predecessors pro­vided; for, Lawes are but the ligaments of Peace, and the Souldier will breake them like threads.

But I shall be asked, why my bold imagination hath phansied such ter­rible things as these? Wee will therefore see now gradually wee must come to such a condition as this.

And first, because wee will not undertake to define the quarrell as it now stands, largely, nor sawcily; we will conceive it thus: A working jealousie, fixed in a divided Kingdome, both sides choosing rather to die then to trust one another. From this root must necessarily spring these incon­veniences.

The most uncharitable mischiefe that a Common-wealth can be inga­ged in, is, That wee must execute the designes of our enemies up­on our selves; that the King may receive his death from the hand of a Subject whilest it is reached forth (if you will believe his Vowes) for his good and safety: that the father sending his bullet at a venture, may kill his sonne, or the sonne his father; this is probable enough: but it is impossible, that brothers, kindred and friends should not mingle in one anothers blood, (and, perhaps, purposely) wee see such an eager division in all Families. And it is so universall, that no Countie, scarce any Citie or Corporation is so unanimous, but they have division enough to undoe them­selves. And it is evident enough, that this Rent will encrease untill wee shall be quite torne in pieces: For, when the fatall sluce of bloud shall be drawne up higher; in all probabilitie, the veines of the remaining People [Page 12](swelling with revenge for their battered partie) are likely to be drained dry thorowout the Kingdome. If wee will leave our, differences to the di­spute of the Sword, wee shall not want an Umpire; one that will come in to part us, or part stakes with us. Let this Mediatour chance to be of a Re­ligion like ours, or of one quite opposite unto it; who shall pay the Soul­diers for their journey-work? Must money be raised for them? It must be digged for them; I beleeve little will be found above ground. Or must pro­mises serve the turne? The Souldier seldome returnes with such pay. Or most plunder satisfie them? This may stay their stomacks, although it be but the Reliques of our owne men of war; but will not be able to send them back againe. No; wee shall find that the interest of that State must be sa­tisfied either with our Ruine, or with mingling themselves in our Estates and Government.

Or suppose our neighbours will wink on purpose, and neglect their advantages, though it were meere sottishnesse to conceit so; upon whose purse shall our enemies at home, our owne Armies live? Must the Countries maintaine them? It must bee then by the Farmer: but hee can neither sow, nor reap, nor breed up, nor repaire his stock, in the heat of such a war as ours. Else must the Clothier do it? whence shall he have his many necessaries, and how shall he vent his clothes? If these faile, the Countries cannot be long considerable, in enduring the burthen of Ar­mies? Is it expected the Citie must doe all this? That little which they have got before hand, and make their store, is so impaired, that it will scarce maintaine themselves, unlesse it be by a continued course of trading; which, as it is now languishing, so it will be, ere that time, quite dead and buried. The Citie is as it were the stomack, which digests the trading of the whole Kingdome; and afterwards returnes to everie severall part of it, that nou­rishment which supports it: if weaknesse and obstructions be found there, a consumption soone steales upon the whole body. But suppose it were rich, and full enough to serve the turne; yet they will not let downe their milk to a violent hand: they must be stroked and humoured, else they will be stubborne. If they chance to be at discord, it will be hard to collect any considerable sums; and if that discord be heightened (by the cunning pra­ctice of any) into a mutiny amongst themselves, they will be able to undoe one another, without the help of a draining Army. Thus wee may see, our necessities will encounter and overcome us, if wee must live and dye (and living thus is worse than dying) in this lingring war. And after all these horrid executions of Fire, Sword, Famine, Pestilence, and those many other sad consequences of war; what face at the best will this Kingdome have? what a ruinous Nobilitie, what a decayed Gentrie, what a beggarly Com­monaltie will it be peopled withall? And what age shall ever see those [Page 13]Fewds eaten out, which these Civill Broyles will beget? For we shall find, that as Jealousie was the mother of them, so Malice, Hatred, and Revenge, will be the issue. And when shall a State so distempered, look for a quiet, or a safe composure? For War, like a strong disease, leaves many dregs and reliques behind it, which (though the maine Forces be disbanded, and it be no more an Army, a Fever) will punish the uncleansed body with severall fits and distempers.

We shall find that men nursed up in war grow sick of peace, and are like Tinder, ready to be inflamed into sedition, or high attempts, by everie spark which Ambition, or any other exorbitant desire lets fall. And if it shall be held a necessarie policie to hold up a war in any other place, to spend their fiefie spirits, the State will be as good as beggered to be thus rid of them: And it may be feared, that the meaner sort will forget the usuall toyle of their former professions, by the licentiousnesse in the war; and will never after be brought to endure order, or labour: and so will returne to corrupt the Common-wealth, with their lawlesse manners.

I could add many more Instances; but I think there needs no more to be urged, to shew us how miserable wee must necessarily be. Yet I must not omit the Motive which distressed Ireland offers unto us: which now repre­sents the verie Condition we must look for; if a sudden Peace do not hap­pily prevent it.

If we could look upon it, as ready to be undermined, and falling into the Ocean, so that no footing would be left there for our Adversaries, though we could not but pitie it, and our selves; yet then all our feares would bee drowned with it: but we must consider it, as one of our maine Bulwarks, gained and fortified not without infinit expence of the treasure and bloud of our Ancestors: and that it is now ready to be possessed by a dangerous enemy, who from thence will for ever batter our Peace; and it is likely, may make such breaches, as may let in hereafter (if we escape them now) as many mi­series as Ireland now groanes under. Nor are all these mischiefes which I have summoned up, more certaine, than the successe of either side is doubt­full; so that if we doe grant to satisfie such as will on both sides have it so, that nothing but the good of the State is intended; How shall we be assu­red, that that pious Partie (which truly hath the most right) shall have the successe? and how soone they will be able to accomplish it. For as I have proved, there will be nothing left us to be preserved, if it hold out long. But upon consideration, wee shall find that both the successe, and the conclusion of it, are verie uncertaine. Wee know that God many times u­seth the Sword, as well to avenge himselfe upon his People, as his People upon one another: and, that neither side have deserved so well, as to pro­mise themselves the masterie; although they dare aver, their Cause is best. [Page 14]So that I shall rather direct my judgement by Reason, than Presumptions; and shall therefore weigh these great Opposites, to find out which of them hitherto hath had the greater successe, and which hath the most probable ad­vantages at this time.

It is scarce a yeare since all affaires, of what nature soever, received their enlivening Influence from the King, through his Parliament: which like a Burning-glasse contracted the Sun beames into it selfe, and was able to give fire to almost any Designe it pleased to reflect on; but those Rayes which did then display themselves beside it, did spend themselves in vaine. During this full Authoritie, they furnished themselves with all meanes that might defend them from the Counter-plots of those, who they had reason to beleeve, could not endure the strict Reformation which was suddenly intended.

Therefore, ere the People are aware, or know why, they see all the con­siderable Ports and Ports of the Kingdome, the Navie, the Militia, and all the strength of the State sequestred from the immediate commands of the Prince. And because there is little strength in these things, unlesse they bee manned and maintained with the affections and assistance of the People, such courses are taken as may encite the most.

Therefore the first Remonstrance (the unhappie Historie of the fore-go­ing times) opened the eyes of the People (not used to see so far into such Mysteries) and discovers enough to heighten a dislike against such, as must owne those mis-carriages, and a feare, that those that heretofore contrived so many mischiefes against the State, had not yet laid downe their Designe. And that this danger should be more apparant, a concurrencie of plots and conspiracies, both from abroad and home, is discovered by many severall Intelligencers: so that scarce a day passes, in which the State seemes not to be delivered from some eminent treason.

By this time their Feares are not lesse than their Dangers, and their Re­solution growes as great as their Feare: so that any reasonable man could not beleeve that the Enemy that must doe all these fore-told mischiefes, could lodge within us and rise against us, without being suppressed in the verie infancie of the Designe. Yet wee have found, that notwithstanding all these Politique Ground-works, and Preventions; the Prophecie of the Parliament is thus far come to passe, that wee are likely to be destroyed; but it wounds us deep, when wee consider, who seeme to be partly the oc­casioners of it.

Hee therefore that shall consider all circumstances, cannot but think it almost impossible, that the King, lately so much out of favour with the People; so divested of all things that conduce to the making of a war (but Resolution, and the discontents of a few others) should bee able [Page 15]to get together so considerable an Armie, and such a party as dare shew themselves in every quarter of the Kingdome: Nor had he done it, had not his agents gathered infinite advantages which were let fall to them by some whose interests should have made them more wary. Some doe inferre out of this, That the King of England cannot complaine (though but in meere policy) but the passionate people will pity him, though they sight against themselves. If these finde themselves oppressed with the effects of such a warre, they are easily invited to change their party (as discontented men doe the ayre, and sicke men their beds) though they be never the more eased by it; and had rather submit themselves to the naturall obedience of their Prince, then to the severe and unusuall commands of any other power, though they are told, that they tend to their preservation. Thus, by weigh­ing these passed considerations wee finde that successe doth often coozen out experiences; and will not alwayes follow humane designes, thongh they seeme to be grounded upon the most right and certaintie; and after all this strugling and weakning of the Kingdome the opposion growes stronger, and the event still more dangerous and doubtfull. Yet wee will see as farre as wee can at distance, on which side advantages leane most.

The ground of such a warre as this, is the affections of the People; and upon this, both Armies are built, and kept up: wee will therefore guesse which of them hath the surest foundation. It hath been observed, the Par­liament hath made little difference, (or not the right) between the Gentry and Yeomanry, rather complying and winning upon the latter, then regar­ding or applying themselves at all to the former. And they may be thus ex­cused; they did not thinke it justice to looke upon any man according to his quality, but as hee was a Subject; I hope this was all the reason: but howsoever, it appeares not that they yet have, or are likely to gaine by this policie. The common people, could they be fixed, were onely worth the courting at such a time: but they are almost alwayes heady and vio­lent, seldome are lasting and constant in their opinions; they that are to humour them, must serve many Masters; who, though they seeme, and in­deed are, their inferiours; yet grow imperious, upon many occasions: many actions; of merit, how eminent soever, shall not prevaile with them to excuse one mistake; want of successe, though that be all the crime, makes them angry, murmuring and jealous: whereas a Gentleman is better spirited, and more resolute; and though he suffereth by it, had rather sticke to that power that will countenance him, then to that which makes no difference betwixt him and a Peasant. The Gentleman followes his Re­solution close, and wins of his silly neighbours many times, either by his power, by his example, or his discourse, when as they have an easie Faith, [Page 16]quickely wrought upon, and upon the next turne will fall off in sholes.

They are a body certainly of great consequence, when they are headed and ribbed by the Gentry; but they have a Craven or an unruly courage, (which at best may rather be called Obstinacy then Resolution) and are far lesse considerable, when the most part of the Gentry, or chiefe Citizens di­vide themselves from them.

We shall find the Parliament hath nothing to cement it selfe, to increase and fix their party, and keep it from staggering, but a little temporary reputation, and a resolution to hold fast to the publike good; and this (if things run so high as they do now) will be called rebellious stubbornesse, and be branded with the foule imputation of Treason. Whereas the King (as the chiefe Ma­ster and Dispencer of the Common-wealth) is able to fit the humor of every man that he hath a mind to take of: he hath honour for the proud, places of trust for the ambitious, inferiour offices for the busie man; favour and pro­mises, and a possibility of severall preferments, to invite all sorts of men to him: He hath the power of a Pardon to hold out like a Lure, to fetch in such as have turned taile; yet, perhaps, would come in againe, but dare not stoop till that calls them in.

The humor of changing is epidemicall; as infectious to the next neigh­bour as the Plague; and if it should spread forth about London, whence shall the supplies come? A Prince by his Agents will keepe off the aid of for­raigne States from them, but is seldome denyed some contribution towards his owne defence. And if they contribute any thing, it will be just so much as shall serve to hold up the warre; and will give it as fewell to maintaine the fire, not as water to suppresse and quench it: For they never yeeld assistance where their advantage shall not largely recompence it. And if it so fall out, that the interest of an adjoyning State shall chance to be mingled with the actions of their neighbouring subjects, their Prince will use all arts (having the most expert instruments for it) to disable or take off that party: he may quallifie that State before hand by parting with some thing he hath right unto; or may doe it, by corrupting some eminent Engineere there; some great officers, and some of the most popular men; or by kindling some divisions amongst them, so to busie them at home, that whilest their owne house seemes to be on fire, and like to burne further, they may not be at leisure to quench their neighbours flames.

There is a President that seemes to encourage very much the prosecu­tors of this warre; and that is the late successe of our brethren in Scot­land. But, I feare, if we parallel our present condition and theirs together, we shall finde, that we shall differ point-blancke in most circumstances, but the warre of the cause.

1 When their great worke first began, the three Kingdomes were generally discontented; and they all did as it were conspire to its assistance, either in se­cret or openly, conceiving it to bee their owne businesse, their owne quarrell.

Secondly, amongst our great men here, there were very few stood neere the sterne, and those not at all plausible with the people. And our chiefe Nobilitie and Gentry had no countenance shewed them at Court, and could not on the sudden be so farre engaged on that side as the service required, but joyned to­gether at the Treaty in the North to get easie conditions for them.

Thirdly, though the Kings Counsellours had been long practising to make their best advantage of a Peace, yet they knew not how to bestirre themselves properly in a Warre. Very few of them being fit to be Military states-men. Because untill then, Souldiers had never been countenanced; A man in Buffe was a rare sight in Court.

Fourthly, the Papists (although their Agents and their Purses were busie) never shewed themselves in a body.

Fifthly, the Cavalry, both at home, and from abroad, (whence many came to a more uncertaine service,) did beleeve, that they fought for their Country, and not against the King, whilest they opposed themselves against his Army.

Sixthly, they fought against another Nation (an old Enemie scarce quite reconciled) and had no Reluctancie, no feare of killing a Father, a Brother, a Kinsman (scarce a Country-man.) They (being alwayes as politique as cha­ritable) would hardly have accounted us as Brethren, had wee thwarted their Designes, we being to be thought so farre deere to them, as they may be bene­fited by us.

Seventhly, The seat of the Warre was out of their owne Confines; and they had so ordered it, that if their businesse could not be done without the prosecu­tion of it: It should be acted in another Countrey, the spoyle of which would make no tender conscience amongst them to recoile, they being to make their advantage both by inriching themselves, and weakening us.

Eighthly, they had not the controling presence of lawfull Majesty, which takes off, prevents, and counter-plots the Designes of any that are working neere to it.

And lastly, (not to looke into more private Reasons which perhaps might be urged) we shall find that the condition and temper of the People and Go­vernment of Scotland, well weighed with ours (at this time) will be very dif­ferent, and may well divert us from levelling at the same ends. And this also may be a generall answer, they being a People watchfull for their own advan­tage, had the lucke (with the Diseased in the Gospell) to step first into the [Page 16]waters after they were troubled, and found the benefit of it: Whereas those that came after tryed the Cure in vaine.

But to goe on in our Argument of Advantage or Disadvantage: When once the people shew themselves to be sensible of the smart of War, nothing can so much wipe away the remembrance of former injuries, and ingratiate any par­ty, as to be forwardest (though but in meere shew) to an Accommodation. The People (not being able to see far into the secret consequences of War, and Peace) will begin to looke upon those as their enemies whom they shall find most a­verse to Peace. And therefore though a Treaty may bring many weighty In­conveniencies to one side more then the other; yet the humouring of the people is of so much consequence that it is too great an advantage to let it bee often pressed and not received with the same seeming eagernesse. Who hath made the best use of this policie, may be seene by the effects of it.

The King is the more likely to draw to him the affections of the people, in that the pressures and miscarriages of his late Government are passed, and al­most expiated by his acknowledgement of them, and a promise of redresse, and are as it were forgotten by them, who resent more their present Grievances (not considering the difference and the quality of them) then a thousand over­passed transgressions, which are driven out of their Remembrances by aggrava­ting every mistake, every circumstance of injury and violence, which the Par­liament, either against their wil or upon necessity (the common excuse of States-men) doth commit.

The King (a Syllable, of as much advantage as another Army) in his very Name is sacred and powerfull, and shakes the consciences of many, who would else have willing hands, and ready Purses to oppose his Army. Hee hath the advantage of the written Law, which hee can use now, in his defence; and by the Authority of it, joyned with the Power of his Sword, can thunder out Accusations, and perhaps the Penalties of Trea­son against those whom he shall call his opposers. Hee hath a Counsell so well mingled, that he hath some versed and cunning in the Law, and that know how to turne it to the most necessary use: Some crafty in all the windings of State; some experienced in all the Designes of Warre. His Intelligencers are in the very Bosome of his Antagonists, or else his Agents conjure: and his owne counsells are secrets, till hee thinkes fit to divulge them. The Comman­ders of his Army are many and expert, and are not clamorous for pay, as if they served him to make him great, rather then themselves immediatly rich, and seeme to be fixed in their Faith to his service: The Nobility and Gentry about Hirn, beare their owne charges, and assist his: His Army is big enough to defend it selfe untill the Spring, the time of Action appeares: and what it is likely to be by that time, let every man judge that considers His partie a­broad, [Page 17]and almost in all Counties. And it is a fond thing certainly to thinke his Army can want Ammunition, having any Port open: or that it will want Money more then the other; If the Kingdome hath it, the Souldier will not be without it: if it have not, they must feed on free-cost.

Thus wee find by these many Circumstances, that the Parliament hath a considerable opposite. It will now be in vaine to summe up all the strength and advantages which surely are very many, that the Parliament hath got to­gether for its defence, and to goe through with its Designes; We heare so much of them every day, of their power, of their successe, that I shall not need to enlarge them. My endeavour is not to magnifie the Powers of one above tho other, but to shew how considerble they both are to undoe one another, and the whole State. Our Bells and Pamphlets have told us of Victories that have been given at Winchester, at Chichester, in York-shire, and all this while I cannot see any reason to rejoyce, or to hope the businesse is any whit neerer an end: for by all this it only appeares, that they are able to maintaine the Warre, not finish it. These petty conquests doe not so much improve the af­faires of the Parliament; as the certaine noise of the thriving forces in the West, and that yet dangerous Army now in the North, doth shake them. Which may be feared (as things are now every where) may grow able to master those parts of the Kingdome, and we know not how soone may bee ready for any other service that emergent occasions shall require.

The Result then of all that hath been said, is but this, We have seene that our Peace hath beene abused, that the abuse of it hath begot a Warre; That the Warre hath already brought in many Miseries, that those miseries are ready to encrease, even to our Ruine: And that this Ruine will be certaine, if a sudden Peace interrupt it not. Thus we now seeme to have before us a Fatall choyce, Peace or Ruine. It is time then that we looke about us: and although wee heare these struglings to be called Sedition and Rebellion on the one side, and Malignancy and Treason on the other, yet I hope it will be none of these, for the subject to looke after, and secure his endangered Being. It will surely bee somewhat excusable, if we deale a little familiarly with both sides, whilest we judge of our conditions according to the light we have, from the Results of their Actions, and their many Declarations, which we have reason to looke upon as so many appeales to the people, who (as matters now stand) are like to be the Judges, the executioners, and sufferers in this Bloody Tryall.

And whilest we are to consider our owne Interests, let us lay aside partiality, and those passions and conceits which will not give us leave to seeke Peace the neerest and the best way: Let us owne Reason, on which side soever we shall find it. It is worth a mans wonder to see on both sides men that have been al­wayes [Page 18]reckoned (and deservedly) amongst the most wise and sober; to see these bent to such extreames, that they will justifie their Party in every circumstance and so fix their opinions to one side, as if infallibilitie were inherent to it, and, as if they were not at all concerned in the Actions of the other party. I shall for my owne part rejoyce, that I am not so wise as these men, and shall be glad if I shall be of their Forme, that have indifferent wits, and middle judgements. And shall argue (as I have hitherto done) if Reason offer it selfe on both sides, unlesse some mighty Polititian shall be able to perswade me that this State may subsist in its wonted Glory and Eminency without a King, or in its happy temper of Freedome and Subjection without a Parliament. When either of these Paradoxes shall be proved. I shall silently heare extreames maintained without a reply. But I looke presently to be cryed down as guilty of that hey­nous crime, which this exorbitant Age calls Moderation. Yet ere I be condem­ned, let us goe to Issue, and we shall find upon the Tryall, how justifiable my how necessary this kind of Transgression (if it must be so stiled) now is.

The true Character of a Moderate man I conceive to be this; He is one that loves his Countrey so well, that he grieves to see it destroyed out of a saving policy, one that is not a friend to this War, not because he is afraid to dy, but because he would here­after live in an even and well poyzed Temper. One, that could never be so well sa­tisfied of the necessity why this War began, as he is now, why it should see an end; which though he longs for yet knowes not how to pray for a Victory. One that in earnest loves the King, and thinks him Essentiall to the Being of a Parliament, and the life of this, to the well-being of all hereafter. One that honours, not adores the Parliament because he sees they also are but men: & rather wishes them safe, and what they should be, then Omnipotent. One that would have his Religion nor gawdy nor stripped stark-naked. One that loves both Law and Gospell, and would gladly have those that meddle with either, to hold themselves closer to their Text. One that is e­qually asmuch afraid of the medling severe Clergy of New-England, as of the Am­bitious pragmatick Clergy of old England. One that is sorry to see it more seasonable then safe, to speake truth. One that would have Peace not as an effect of War, but of an Accommodation. To conclude he is one that is yet an admirer of Peace, and is earnest to see a farther Tryall who avoids it most & so hinders him of it: you shall then per­haps have him leave his Center, and betake himselfe to one side, as if by that he had found out his enemy.

We might take this man in pieces and examine in how many circumstances, he can (is yet) be hurtfull to the State, but we will not tye our selves to any par­ticulars, yet we shall find all or most of these Notions to be requisite in every one that will consider and follow his Interest as he is an English subject.

Our contention in generall seems to be like theirs that have gone to Law for [Page 19]some Royalties, some Priviledges in a Mannor, and have consumed all the De­mesnes to maintain the suit, & at last after great expence, & with much ado, have perhaps left to their posterity an enlarged title, but an empty estate.

We can laugh at such folly as this in others, and yet will not see it in our selves. It will ere long be our owne case, if we will not come to composi­tion.

If wee could have thought it safe to have closed, when the King see­med to open his Armes, by his offer the twentieth of January, 1641. (or since when Hee invited to a Treaty by his Message from Nottingham) or to have gone so far in a Conference, as to have knowne what was really the Difference on both sides: It is very likely our Divisions now had beene lesse and fewer: and though perhaps some scars would have yet been left unworne away, which must be the Worke of Time; yet our gaping wounds, the wide breaches which now make us Miserable, had certainly been better closed, then we can ever hope to see them hereafter. Heaven hath given us leave to see another Ianuary, another offer to a Reconciliation: Let us consider how many Mischiefs have thrust themselves upon us since the last yeare; and how many worse then those, will crowde in, if another year must go round in such Distractions.

To the earnest prosecutors of this War, that had rather loose themselves then their expectations, this may be said. When the General marched out of London, there was some Reason to hope that he might be able to performe those Instru­ctions which the Parliament furnished him with. And although if successe had gone along with the Designe, if some skirmishes, or a battaile might have fini­shed his employment, it might perhaps have turned to the quiet and advantage of the estate; yet seeing that without infinite and dangerous difficulties, that which was aimed at cannot be reached by the sword; it is good reason that it should be sheathed; and this Rule is somtimes worth-holding unto; seeing wee cannot have what we would, let us have what we may: for perhaps even that which might now be obtained, may be denied us at the next parley. For some are perswaded, that more favourable conditions might once have bin agreed on then can now be gained.

But let me not be mistaken: I cannot find yet any considerable number of men to be so far in love with peace, as to entertain it on any conditions. For most men know, that such a Peace may cut our Throats; or if it be soft, and want an edge to undoe us so quickly as the Sword: yet it may stifle all our Liberties; we may be murthered with a Feather-bed, and smothered with Ro­ses. Nor would I believe, that such an over-reaching Peace as this, is urged upon us. The subject is told that nothing is pretended to, which may make for [Page 20]his good; but it shall be granted. And I am drawn to hope the best, for these following Motives.

No Prince ever gave such ingagements to his People of a succeeding happy Government, as he hath done by his severall Remonstrances: And if experi­ence had delivered half that to us, which Eloquence would now perswade us to believe: Hee were envious to himself that would not make Bon-fires for every Declaration: yet some, (and wise men to) advise us, that whilst we are shewed these fetters of Gold, wee should not so admire the glistering of them, as to de­sire to be bound by them: but though we may thank them for their advice, yet it is hoped we shall not need it: For, besides the many Vowes registred with Heaven and Earth, we have other assurances offered to us: the first, are onely to inform and win our Reason, or our Affection, not to lead our faith; which shall be more really convinced, (as 'tis good reason it should) when he shall agree to such propositions, as all reasonable men shall be satisfied with. This (if I mistake not) we are promised. And besides; I would not be such an utter opposite to the Cavaliers, (I mean to the most disengaged Nobility and Gen­try of the Kings party;) as to believe that they can be so far transported with vanity, as to sell all the rest of the Kingdom into slavery; to purchase to them­selves some strange immunities: seeing their children if not themselves must be slaves, as well as the issue of the Round-heads; surely these will joyne (laying aside all Malice & Passion) because Posterity is concerned in it, to get safe con­ditions for this Parliament; and easie conditions for the Subject in generall. This I hopefor, although wee have seen in many the metamorphosing power of a little private interest. But if it so unhappily fall out, that any very high things be proposed, and stood upon, on the one side, without com­plying a little with necessity (which our Statesmen have hitherto been con­tented to make their Mistris, and have obeyed very far) or that reasonable and necessary things, shall not be granted on the otherside; so that, that peace, which is prayed for by so many, must be still held from us: how wretched a condition will this State at the best be reduced to? For though his Majesty make us gracious Promises, and hath perhaps contrived in his just Thoughts, an equall and easie Government, yet if this War continue it's Revels, Hee may not be left in a capacity to make us so happy, as hee would doe: For the most constant men, must be contented to change their Resolutions with the al­terations of time. And, what unexpected effects attend on War? Suppose the lengthening of this War, so shake the Estates of the Nobility, and Gentry about the King, as that there will be little left to mayntain them like them­selves, when the War is ended: Who do we think is, as it were, bound to re­paire their fortunes? And whether will not they (reduced to such Necessities) [Page 21]be contented to enlarge that Power; that may be so enabled to Revenge, and requite them, making the Publick Interest, to bend a little to theirs? And that amongst these, there will not be some Chiefs, some that unseen; and closely will winde up Prerogative, to make themselves greater? And doe we believe that the Nature and Disposition of the People will not be altered; who being tired and almost, worn out with the Contentions of the King and Parliament, will more easily undergo such things, as they would heretofore have called Slavery. And although the Prince have no ayme at it, yet before hee shall be aware, he shall find himselfe engaged, (by the Concurrencies of so many Cir­cumstances that conduce to it,) in a higher and more absolute Government: so that the Constitution of this State, will become a little unlike it selfe: and th [...]n, wee must know that Princes, and all such as have the Government of a Common-wealth, are compelled sometimes by a kind of Necessity; to disence wit [...]he setled Rules of Law, for Reason of State; and it cannot be expected th [...] a Prince, if hee be wise, as well as Pious; shall be so superstitious to the strict sence of any Protestations, as to neglect his Interest, and the present con­dition of his State; which may (as it may happen) suffer very much whilest he makes a conscience to doe things fit and requisite: And there will not then want Men of both Cownes that will prove, that conveniency and necessity shall excuse the conscience in such a case. Would we avoid these inconvenien­ces? Let us not then run the hazard of them. Let us prevent a delayed Victory by a sudden Agreement.

But, I seeme to guesse too confidently of the Successe so far off; for there is another considerable Army in the Field; and after infinite bloudshed, it is possible enough that this may bee Victorious. What must wee then ex­pect?

It is likely the nineteen Propositions wil be very reasonable things then: It will seeme requisite then, that Monarchy, or that which is called Prerogative, should be circumscribed within more popular Limits. That some Wiser, some Honester, some more Pious Men, some that are Unbyased with private respects or opinions; some that have hazarded themselves (and more) for the common good, should be Supervisors of the State; and settle it in such an order as should better please and benefit the People (such rare men as these are, the State hath had need of; I pray God a competent number of them may be found, if such an ocasion should call for them.) And who knows, whether they will be able to stay here? For, it may perhaps so fall out, that some other Politick security (not to be guessed at) may seem necessary to be innovated; (which this State hath wanted: yet perhaps not needed for many hundred years.) And Innova­tions come not alone: Rules of Government are like links in a Chaine; they [Page 22]hang one by another, and require proportion, and Evennesse; if a new one be added; it must be warily fitted to the rest; or the rest reduced as neer as can be to the Resemblance of the other. And what doe we believe will satisfie the nu­merous Victors, the People? Will not their ends and desires be as various, as their humours are now? Will they submit in their Opinions to that, which the Judgments of those in the Parliament (as many as the War and the conse­quences of it, will leave) shall agree upon? Or, will it lye in the Power of the Parliament, when the State shall be in so generall a confusion, as an expiring War must leave it in, to order the government so, that the King may Rule; and the People obey, as beseems them? I would fain assure my self that they might be able to performe all the good that they intend and promise; but, some thing like Reason, will not give me leave. I have considered, that those that undertake to stand at the Stern, though their wils, and their Ends direct them a straight course; yet they must bee contented to steere according to the wea­ther, the Winde, and Temper which they shall finde the Seas in.

Good God [...] will it not then be madnesse to fight on, if such as these are like to be the Effects of Victory? But Victory is such a word, as I know not how to use it in such a Discourse; for there can be truly no such thing in this Action: Losse will be all the gaine wee can expect from it: and we find that the prevailing Sword must weare such a Power, as can scarce be prospe­rous to the State: and our next Government must have a Tincture at the least of the humours of those that shall become Masters of the Field; which may perhaps be of our owne Nation, or of another, so uncertaine are the issues of War, It being an observation that the diffention of any people hath al­ways bin an invitation to their Neighbours. If this Warre be defensive on the Kings part, and if his Councell hath no other Designe in the holding it up, then meerly his Safety, and so much honour as may reach to the good of the People; and so far only the Affaires of the King: Wee have good reason to believe that a Peace would be welcome to him: And to hope that as he is resem­bled to Divinity, so he will reflect upon his Mercy as well as his Justice: and believe that hee may be as much honoured in forgetting the injuries of any; as he can be in the Revenge of them; especially, seeing hee shews his Grace to his Subjects, whose Ruine would indeed be his weakning; though I be­lieve this be none of Machiavils Principles. I would say more, but that I would not be so bold, as to give Instructions to a King: yet the affixing this line here in the middle, to look both wayes, can surely doe no harme.

Arma Tenenti, omnia dat, Qui Justa negat.

Nor shall I undertake to be wiser then my Teachers, and give Rules to the Parliament. I shall onely advise them to remember what they are; of whom they are made; and why they are met. And because they want the winde (the Auspicious Gale of Complying Majesty) and enough of the Tyde (the full streame of the Peoples affections,) and seeing the storm grows high; and it is fowl weather, it may be better to hale-in, and betake themselves to a Harbour, lest the State suffer Shipwrack, whilest the Helm seems to be in their hands.

But I may be a little bolder with my Fellow Subjects, and shall en­quire what truely is their Interest now, whilest their safety is thus farre endangered.

Slavery (the fear of which is accounted worse then death, by such as have been born Free-men) could never befall us, if we did not help to binde our selves by our own hands, and admit it by our own Divi­sions; The People while they hold together, are like a cast Ocean; an absolute Power cannot possibly wade through to it's ends, unlesse they fall back one from another, and become like those wonderfull Walls of Water, which gave the Israelites leave to passe through on dry Land: Should then fond English thus farre severe themselves, we should also be a wonder to Posterity. This is feared on both sides, and avoided rightly by neither. We fight to make one side Great; which being done, the other must needs be too little: If the inferiour parts of the Body, the Members of it, be made to swell beyond their due proportion, we presently dislike the Symptomes, and fear a Dropsie; And that body whose head is swelled, and made greater by ill humours, then it should be, is of a diseased Constitution, hath but weak Limbes; and almost nothing but leannesse every where else.

There may be Reason to be as well affraid of an extravagant popular Power, as the exorbitancies of Monarchy. But, whilest we endeavour to avoid the one, Let us be carefull that we do not engage our selves in the other: It were well therefore, That when Propositions shall be tendred to His Majesty, That the Nobility and Gentry, (for I hope the former Delinquents, and Papists do not advise, though they assist) which have separated themselves from the Parliament, should discover themselves without Passion, according to their true Interests, how farre they would have it stoop in their Requests: Let them consider how great, or how little they would have had the Power of Prerogative to [Page 24]have been, when they groaned under the large Extent of it, and when they had nothing in their Eye, but the meer good, and safety of the Common-wealth, which is now in the same, yet in more danger, then ever they saw it. How farre they would then have had, the abusers of their Princes Power; The destroyers of Law and Justice; The cut­throats of the State (the Monopolizers;) How farre I say, they would then have had these punished, and made Examples; How much of the insulting Clergies wings, they would then have been glad to have clip­ped. Let their zeal for a Reformation both in Church, and State, be such, in every circumstance, as it was then; and more need not be de­fired. Let them not, Because they are angry with themselves, (I mean with their Fellow Subjects,) Revenge themselves upon Posterity, by setting up against themselves, not only a larger Power, but an Authority also, even by their own Grants, by their own Swords. It lyes not in the Power of the Subject to conferre more toward their slavery, then to pull down a Parliament (upon what necessity or pretence soever) with their own hands: This shall be a lasting President, and Disparage­ment in all Ages; and a warrant to all Princes to discountenance them, since they work not better effects upon the State; and that side must be sure to own all the guilt, which shall be overthrown. A Parliament will be said to be the sole Author of these Miseries; Thus, It will be­come the disdain, which was alwayes hitherto the Darling of the People. Thus a perpetuall Prejudice shall stick upon all hereafter; and then what use shall the overborne Subject have of his Sanctuary? If it want Reverence, it will want Power; If it want Power, it will onely serve to give away our Estates, not amend them. And is it not likely when the Improvident People shall inflame their Prince in a Contestation, where themselves are so neerly concerned, That it will instruct such a one, as shall by Himself, or His Councellours hereafter, have an aym at an absolute command; to struggle with them, at any time, when they aske in Parliament for things covenient, or necessary; and to call it a Beam of His Prerogative, though it be indeed but a false Reflection of an Usurped Light? Let them seriously consider, to which side they ought in right Reason to give the most advantage, in these Propositions. When a Prince wins any thing from His People (much more when they urge it upon Him) He will be sure to hold fast what He hath, and many times Improves, never diminishes it; where­as, if the Subject gain any extraordinary thing from the Crown, (how [Page 25]necessary soever) with what difficulty is it enjoyed? How many Tricks and Invasions have the Instruments of State to cozen the People of the benefit of it?

Our Predecessors have been as much afraid of the greatnesse of their Soveraign, though over other Nations, as of the Diminution of their own Estate; and therefore did their best to diminish His Power, or Fortunes, lest by enlarging Himself upon a Neighbouring Adversary, He might forget Himself, and become too high for them. Surely then, some such care is due to the Affairs at this time; yet it must be averred. That he that robs his Prince of His honour [...], impaires the reputation of his Countrey; and he that would fix any honour in Him, which can­not be communicable to the Common-wealth, sins against both.

The Punctuallity and Nicity of the Honour and Greatnesse of the King, hath seldome been enough to hold up a Warre, with wary Sub­jects, especially among themselves; Let them take care to do things safe and honourable for the Common-wealth (of which He is chief,) and it will be impossible, That the Kings Honour, and safety, should not be mingled with it. I hope He will finde as much Honour in saving a perishing Kingdom, as if He were gaining a new one. And whilest He thus makes a Conquest on His Peoples hearts. He renders Himself greater, then His driving Councellors could make Him, were they at the end of their Designes. It were worth our joy to see Him return triumphing, with, but not over His People.

And as that Party should do their duty; so is there Reason, That they on the other side should do theirs. Let them remember that they have a King; That whilest He is in a Cloude, we are in the shade, and want that Influence which may revive the State, and make it flourish. Let no man so dote upon a Parliament, as to think it wants errours; nor conceit there can be any Government contrived so proper to the Nature and Constitution of this State, as Monarchy, so circumscribed, and quallified as ours is, by the Wisedom and care of our Predecessors, the providence of this Parliament. Let them lay aside violent conceits, and expectations; and let them believe, (having so good Reasons for it) That they will sooner reach, their Destruction, then that thorough-Reformation, which by many is aymed at.The Speech of the Chan: to Hen. 5. Let every man value the blessings of Union, by the Miseries we have undergone by Division; Let us seek Peace earnestly, but let it not, as yet, be by this Argument; Bellum faciamus, ut Pacem habeamus, nam finis Belli Pax est: but, here [Page 26]it will prove too true, That Finis hujus Belli Ruina erit. Yet, let us know, That Peace (lest we be over-reached in the match) must now be woed with circumspection: That the Managers of Treaties, are State Jugglers; and that the most Interessed men are likeliest to be em­ployed in it: That those therefore that never had any minde to the Warre, have Reason to be carefull how the Peace be concluded: That it is requisite, both sides should make themselves as considerable as they can at such a time: That to pay the Army now, is to improve the benefit of a Peace; which, at best, by this kinde of conclusion will yeild lesse advantage to the Subject, then to the King; though it be now absolutely necessary for both.

And we have Reason to make the best use of this nick of Time, and not deferre it an instant farther.

For after all this endeavour of both sides: after every one hath done his best, toward the great cure of this languishing State; the disease hath been let runne so farre, That it will almost be beyond all hope, that we shall ever see a recovery: Into so desperate a Consumption are we fallen, partly by their fault, that should have had more care of our health; in whose Power we all thought it once lay, to prepare such Preservatives for us, that we might have been setled in such a healthfull Constitution, that none of these evills could now have vexed us. Our sad Case is now such, That we have an Incensed God; an angry King; a threatning Councell; a heady Clergy; a divided Nobility; a discontented Gentry; a distempered People; a distracted Religion; an unhinged State; a confused Government; undermining Adversaries; a Civill Warre; an increase of Souldiers; consumption of Treasure; dis-union in united Kingdoms; lost Reputation; an unniversall Jea­lousie; a defection from the Principles of sound Policy; a Parliament which should be the Redresse of all these, made quite otherwise, to us, by some that have abused it: and generally such a conspiracy; such a complying of ill Symptomes; that even Miracles must be wrought, or else we perish. In a word, Such is our doubtfull condition; That even a Peace, may destroy us; But a Warre, must. We had not need then, neglect any opportunities of being happy, seeing we are so beset with misery. And we shall finde now, That both sides are somewhat evenly ballanced: And it concerns the Subject on both sides, (especially one fide) to keep them so, untill the Parley shall be concluded; which if it shall now take no effect, may justly make us despair of such an other [Page 27]Hint to a Reconcilement; For we shall scarce ever again see them so well poysed, so fit for a composure; seeing now their equall Powers may make them afraid of each other. It may be now hoped (if ever) (so that both sides will do their parts, according to their Interests;) That Truth, and Peace may conclude the Treaty. I do not mean such a Truth, as the Rigid Antagonists of both sides, intend.

Nor am Lable to give you the Character of this Truth; since it is yet to be agreed on: Yet I thus conceive of it. It is a Medium betwixt the two Extreams, which both sides seem to aym at, whilest they are at this distance: by which (if we are not decreed to confusion) Religi­on may be so setled, That our Clergy may no more be States-men, and better Church-men; That our Laiety may not intermeddle with Eccle­siasticks; That our Formalities and Ceremonies in Religion, may not drown the substance of it; and that we may not quite loose the sub­stance, to make sure not to be any more troubled with the shaddow; That to Preach often may not be counted an offence; and that to apply themselves to schisme and sedition, may not be called Preaching: that the resolved Protestant may not see his Religion so altered, so meanly dressed, as not to be like it self; Nor the weaker Protestant, see it so Gay, so full of Trym, that his humble Conscience dares scarce own it: Thus we may provide, On the one hand against the encrease of Papists, And on the other for the regaining of Separatists.

And for that other Truth, which we would have in the State: I think we can make a neerer approach to it, by no other way, then an Accommodation. State-Truth is the Brat of Imagination, and never had any reall being: no Government was ever so refined, by an innovating Reformation, but it had defects, or extravagancies; and by the mis­carriage of the succeeding States-men, quickly setled into as much (though not the same) corruption: when Ambition, and Interest shall be weeded out of the hearts of men, I will look for this Purity, this Truth. But we have heard long since. That Terras Astraea reliquit, Therefore I shall hope only to finde it in Heaven: In the mean time, we shall in vain look for Purity, in that which we call Truth, if it must be dyed in more of our Bloud. I had rather see a little, contributed to the Weal of the State, by the hands of both; then a great deal ac­cumulated by a single Power: the one I shall hope to enjoy with Peace; the other will never be kept without strong contention.

But if both sides will obstinately keep their distance: If the one [Page 28]cryes out for Peace with Honour; the other for Peace with Truth; and scorn to entertain Peace, unlesse they may have so much of both as they demand: Surely, this unhappy Nation, betwixt these their great Champions is like to loose it's Peace, Truth, and Honour.

I will now Ramble no further into their contemplations; I was big of these Thoughts, and could not be quiet untill I was delivered of them, though in my private Papers. Thus, many times doth a minde fill'd with grief, finde ease by emptying it self in Complaints, though it can meet with no other Redresse.

This Discourse, being grounded upon our immediate condition (if things must runne on in their old Carere,) may in many things, per­haps be out of date, ere a few dayes passe, and be like an Almanack, calculated for the last year; and it is very possible, (and yet not out of Levity) that ere long, I may also vary from some things, that seem now to be my opinion: For, where Reason discovers it self, I am resolved to go along with her. And there may be many Respects, to make an uninteressed man, to change his opinions; and the party, to which he seemed neerest in his Affections. The discreet, or politique carriage of a businesse, may make it worse, or better.

That cause which was the most dangerous at the first, and had the least merit in it, may through the extremities of the contrary Party, be safest, and most deserving at the last. And though an Even, and Mode­rate Man be unwilling to engage himself in Warre, on either side; yet, if it shall appear by the Perversnesse of any, That no hope, No possi­bility of Peace be left him, but by the Sword: It will then be held the best Piety to be a Souldier. Nam Pia Arma, quibus nulla, nisi in Armis, Spes est.

Difficile est Satyras non scribere.

FINIS.
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