PLAIN DEALING: OR The unvailing of the opposers of the Present Government and Governors.

In Answer of several things affirmed by Mr. Vavasor Powell and others: SHEWING,

  • 1. That there is no reason to oppose or finde fault with the present Government.
  • 2. That there is not any Scripture that doth justifie their opposing the present Government.
  • 3. That the Word of God is for the present Government and Gover­nors, and requireth us to own them and to be subject to them.
  • 4. That the holy Scriptures are against the opposition that is made against the present Government and Governors.
  • 5. Reasons to prove that his Highnesse Oliver Cromwell and the Right Honourable his Councel ought to execute the Legisla­tive Power.

By Samuel Richardson.

I speak as unto wise men, judge what I say, 1 Cor. 10. 15.
If I have spoken evil, bear witnesse of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? Joh. 18. 23.
He that is first in his own cause seemeth just, but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him, Prov. 18. 17.
Prove all things, hold fast that which is good, 1 Thess. 1. 21.

London, Printed by E. C. and are to be sold by John Clarke at the Entrance into Mercers Chappel at the lower end of Cheapside, 1656.

PLAIN DEALING: OR, The unvailing of the opposers, &c.

I Have seen great wickednesse under the title of a Word for God: and in a paper called a Testimony on truths behalf: I have seen many untruths. In former times, the Church of Rome covered and carried on all her filthi­nesse and abominations under the name of holy Mother the Church; and seeing now one Church will not do, it is carried on under the name of divers Churches; and lest that should fail and come short, they adde divers Christians. It hath been a true proverb, In the name of God all evill begin: so the Mandates against the Lollards. Richard by the grace of God, &c. in behalf of holy Mo­ther the Church by the Kings authority cause William &c. to be ar­rested and sent to us, that they with their pernicious doctrine do not infect the people of God; so that the naming the Grace of God, ho­ly Mother, Church and people of God, then they were imboldened to condemn and burn the people of God.

Mr. Powell and a few others do say that they have neither heart nor hand to the present Government, is it not therefore necessary to make it appear that they ought to have both their hearts and hands to it, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake? and that Nature, Rea­son, and the Word of God requireth the same; and that their opposing the present Government and Governors is not without sinning against God and men, and that the cause of their dissatisfaction is grounded up­on ignorance and mistake, as is evident in the proof of these four par­ticulars following (in which the Reasons of their dissatisfaction are answered.)

The first is, That there is no Reason to oppose or find fault with the present Government.

This is proved, first from the Government it self.

1. In that it is so ballanced and framed, that it provides for the good of all, there being not any thing in it but that which is for the liberty, safety, and welfare of the people. And,

2. That whatsoever good may be done in any Government, may be done in this.

[Page 4] 3. It is not possible for this Nation to enjoy more liberty, benefit, and freedome in thing civil and religious then we do and may enjoy in the present Government, as considered in the Instrument.

1. For things civil we enjoy great peace and freedome, we quietly sit down under our own vines and eat the fruit thereof, and enjoy our relations, &c. That which some complain of is Excise and Taxes, there is no cause to finde fault with the present Government for them, seeing they were before this government had any being, and greater then now, and in as much as this Nation is divided into parties, each desiring to suppresse the other, no one of them if they had the upper hand could keep it without an Army, and an Army cannot be main­tained without Taxes, or Free-quarter or plunder, which is ten times worse; yet Mr. Powel and others call it but a pretence of necessity to continue Taxes, &c. And as things are, tell me what civil priviledge can ye have more then ye have; and there are evident reasons to make it appear, that if the Kings party had the upper hand, there would be a greater charge and tax upon the people then now there is; and if the Taxes were more then they are, if necessity required them, there were no reason to complain of the Government or his Highnesse for them, because not his Highnesse but the people reap the benefit of the Taxes; also the present income by them is not enough to defray the charge of the publick.

2. For freedome in Religion it is so great it is even unspeakable, for under the present Government we enjoy more liberty then we have enjoyed or have heard that ever any of this nation hath enjoyed since it was a nation; we enjoy as much liberty as can be expected, as much as can be given, as much as lawfully may be desired, if that which is expressed in the instrument of government be performed.

1. Under this Government we may serve God according to our understandings and consciences, and be as holy and Religious as we can be, we are not forced to be of the opinion and Religion that the Magistrate is of, right or wrong, and to change when he changeth his, or else be persecuted; now men are not tempted to sin or play the hypo­crites to avoid persecution, now men are ready to shew what they are, and if evil they may be avoided.

2. Ye say ye are Christians and have right to the things of Christ, and who hinders ye of them? if ye would have liberty, protection, countenance and assistance of the Magistrate, ye have it, what would ye have more of the Magistrate for the advancement of Christs King­dome?

3. This government maketh room and giveth place to the Go­vernment of Christ in the world, because it medleth not with making nor imposing lawes formerly made in matters of Religion: therefore it is a great mistake to think this government doth oppose and hinder the government of Christ, and untruly said, that we were ten thou­sand times further from our liberty then afore, Mr. Powell saith [Page 5] that we are deprived of our freedome more then in the daies of wicked Kings, and that the blessed cause and noble principles are altogether laid aside: is not Religion a blessed cause, and is it not a noble principle to deny the civill Magistrate a coer [...]ive power in matters meerly Religious? and seeing the Magistrate owns this principle, how is it denied? if you would have greater liberty then we enjoy, tell us what is that liberty you would have; I know no liberty that is denied, except you would have liberty to destroy us and your selves, where could ye expect so great liberty as the people of God now enjoy, but in and by this Govern­ment.

4. There is no ground to beleeve that the people of this Nation would ever have given us this freedome, or that any Parliament chosen by them would ever give us this freedome, seeing the Ministers and Magistrate, cannot see that the bond betwixt Magistrate and people is essentially ci­vill: I see therefore no way to enjoy this freedome but from God; in this way therefore we should as gladly accept of it as good newes from a far countrey. In as much as,

5. This Government preserveth the lives of the Saints and others; if our nation and other nations had had this government, the people of God should not have been so abused as they have been; they have been greatly tortured and put to death, some put into a red hot Iron chair, others torn with wilde horses, some starved, devoured of beasts, cast in­to mines, beheaded, put into cold ponds all night in winter, a hundred of them have died with cold and hunger upon a mountain in a night, stripes, scourgings, stonings, plates of Iron burning hot, dungeons, wracks, stranglings, prisons, teeth of beasts, gridirons, gibbets, gallowes, tos­sings upon horns of buls, drowning, whipt, roasted, hanged, burnt, choaked, putting out their eyes, sawn asunder, and crucified, and many other tortures, one of which one would not chuse to suffer for a world though all that can be inflicted are not to be refused for Christ: in one day two thousand Christians have been put to death, and seventeen thou­sand in one moneth, sixteen thousand were martyred in Persia, two thou­sand burned together in a Church in Arabia, 6666 souldiers suffered for Christ, and in France, Spain, and Britain, rivers have been coloured with the bloud of Christians; all the Apostles of Jesus Christ were put to death, except John, he was banished to Patmus, and put into a tun of scolding oyle yet did live: the Apostle James the son of Zebede marty­red, James the son of Alpheus stoned, James the brother of our Lord stoned to death, Bartholomew beheaded, Matthias stoned and beheaded, Thomas slain with a dart, Peter and Andrew were crucified, Matthew martyred with a spear, Philip crucified and stoned, Mark burned, Paul beheaded under Nero, Peter stoned, Simon Zelot crucified in Britain, and all for Religion, three Papists and three Protestants died in Smithfield in one day in Henry the 8. daies, they were carried thither two upon a hurdle, one a Papist and one a Protestant: if we esteem not freedome from these mise­ries, a great mercy, our eyes are blinded and our hearts are hardned: we [Page 6] need to remember and consider these things, that we may know what we enjoy, and that this present Government prevents these miseries, and therefore God doth know that I do believe the present Government is the most excellent and blessed civil Government that ever England did enjoy; therefore I say in answer to Mr. Powell, it's evident they were well advised that framed and accepted it, and there was sufficient cause to warrant the alteration of the former; this Government is worth as much as our lives are worth, What good will all this world do me if I am to be hanged for an Heretick? the best of the people of God have in all ages been esteemed and called so; freedome from corporal punishments in matters meerly religious, is one of the greatest outward blessings we can enjoy.

6. This Government in the instrument provides to make sure this blessed liberty, for the future that no Parliament shall meddle with this our liberty, without which we should have been at a great uncertainty; for if one Parliament or Governour had given us this freedome, the next might have stripped us of it, and so have put us or ours into as bad a con­dition as ever we were under the Bishops tyranny.

7. This liberty in Religion preserves the lives of men in preventing wars, for the most of the wars in the world have been occasioned for Religion.

Secondly, We have the testimony of many that were unsatisfied, that now upon further consideration do witnesse with us, that there is no reason to oppose the Government; & some that are not satisfied have wearied them­selves, and see they can do no good of it, resolve to be quiet and to minde their own businesse, so that the opposition doth not increase but decrease, and the strength of opposers groweth weaker and weaker.

Thirdly, The words and actions of the greatest opposers of the present Government, declare that they want a reason for their opposing it.

1. Because they finde fault and expresse great dislike, but do not shew us a Reason, if they had any, sure they would let us see it.

2. Because they have had several meetings in private with themselves, and they cannot agree what to have, if they could have their own desires; by which it appears they are to seek of a reason of their opposition; if it were not so, they would shew reason against that they oppose, and shew a more excellent way with reasons to prove it so, which they have not done nor can do.

3. Because they shun and refuse to examine and debate the difference with us when desired, which shewes they are not provided with a Reason for their practise, as those that have not studied the point: and also it shewes that their opposition is not from a greater light, but from discontent, being disappointed and crossed, they complain and beget complainers that complain at they know not what.

Fourthly, Their words want reason, to say a man do not do all he should, therefore the government is unlawfull, or he doth somethings amisse therefore he is no lawfull Governour; if there is reason in this reasoning, it is above my Reason.

If I promise to pay a sum of money in silver and I pay it in gold, is [Page 7] there any reason to call me deceiver and to charge me of breach of pro­mise, covenants and ingagements; it will appear the cause in difference is so, and that this Government is a fulfilling of their promises, and in that way or in a better.

Is there any reason to charge his Highnesse with having the Govern­ment in one single person contrary to promise, when there is no such thing, for the Government in the Instrument is in three estates, and if it were only in him and his Councel, they are more then one single person.

Is there any reason to finde fault with the title of Protector, seeing the word Saviours is as great, and the word Gods is greater, I said ye are gods, Psal. 82. 6. I did not think it lawfull to give the title of Protector to any man, and so I said to his Highnesse, and therefore I left out that word in my late apologie: since I did see that my ignorance was the cause of that mistake, and the former place and Mr. John Mores observation on Neh. 9. 27. did satisfie me, and may satisfie any in this doubt.

Is there any reason to beleeve that those very few who oppose the Go­vernment have a greater light or more love or zeal to God or man, then those many that fear God in this nation, that own and submit unto the present Government and Governors?

Are they like to prevail or to do any good, that can make it no way to ap­pear that they have any call either from God or man, Scripture or Reason, nor can agree among themselves what to have, though they may sign a paper without knowing what it is.

There is no reason to desire to alter or change the Government unlesse it were for a better; we have not a better; if they have, we desire they would let us see it; they cry Crucifie this Government, we cry, What evill hath it done? they cry, Crucifie it, crucifie it, we desire to know what we shall have in stead thereof: they say; Down with this and trust God what we shall have; if we should counsel them to make away all their estates, and trust God what they shall have for themselves, do you think they would do it? do they think that those in authority or any man in his wits are so foolish to cast away this Government before they know how to have a better?

There is no reason to alter this Government, because if the Govern­ment should be altered and changed as they desire, it would either be to no purpose, or else be for the worse, and tend to our ruine, and to destroy that which God hath built up; for if it should be put into the hands of another or more, if he or they be of the same minde the present Gover­nors are of, then although the persons are not the same, our condition will be the same; and if they be of other judgements and affections, where are we then but in a condition of ruine and destruction? I wish from my heart that we could see when we are well, and that we could more blesse and praise the God of heaven that we are so well as we are.

5. They that oppose the present Government call us that are for it apostates, flatterers, self-ended time-servers; we answer, our Lord Je­sus was called Beelzebub the servant is not above his Lord. But first, [Page 8] is there any strength or reason in such language to convince us? So they condemn my Apologie and me for it, but they shew me not wherein I have erred, all the answer I can get Mr Spitlehouse saith I am Elymas, that satisfieth me that they can give me no better answer; he gave a fuller answer, that said he had answered and confuted Bellarmin by telling him that be lied; so in stead of their bringing forth their strong Rea­sons, as Isa. 41. 21. to bring forth strong railing and lying like mur­murers and complainers speak great swelling words, Jud. 16. 8. that make a great noise, pride, pomp, luxury, lasciviousnesse, &c. but not mention wherein and prove it is so, I think the English of it is that they will tell us in particulars wherein when they know.

The second is, That there is not any Scripture that doth justifie their opposing the present Government.

This is proved, 1. Because the Word of God doth not condemn any form of civil government, therefore it condemns not this; there is no form of civil government in Christs Testament, requiring all nations to observe the same, let those that say otherwise shew us if they can in Christs Te­stament the form of civil government they would have.

Mr. Powell saith this government is not according to Gods Word; if so, then the Word of God is against it exprest, or by consequence expres­ly it is not; if they say it is by consequence, we desire to see those Scri­ptures from whence those consequences are drawn: for the late Bishops did affirm, that the Altar, Crosse and Surplice was commanded in Scripture, to prove it they alledged 1 Cor. 14. 40. Let ull things be done decently and in order; we said we could see no Altar, Crosse, Surplisse in that Text; they replyed they were there by consequence; such consequence it's like they have against this government, and as well carried to the text, not fetched from it.

2. Because Mr. Powell and others that oppose the present Govern­ment, do not profess to have any word of Scripture for their so doing. For,

1. Mr. Powell &c. saith they have waited to see if God by his provi-might might alter our mindes; so that it's evident their opposition was not grounded upon the Word of God; if it were, they should not need have waited to see if God would alter their mindes.

2. They say, we hope God hath directed us; they say not, we are sure, nor that the Word of God is against it; the hopes of many have failed, they should to the law and to the testimony, and be ashamed to maintain any thing that is uncertain and doubtfull, and to teach any thing that they cannot finde in the word of God.

3. They also alledge that the words and acts of men are against this Goveenment; so that it appears they cannot say the words and acts of God are against it. So,

4. They alledge for their opposing the government, We finde in our consciences, if they could have found any thing in the Word of God against it, we should have heard of it in both ears: many and grievous [Page 9] evils have ben seen in the consciences of many; I would know of them that in as much as the word of God doth not condemn this Government, how comes is to passe that their consciences are offended at it, seeing not any thing can binde conscience but the Word of God, that only being the ground and rule of conscience, How readest thou? all moral persons have a wicked conscience full of scrupulosity; no one should be offended at any thing, untill they can say the Word of God doth condemn it; therefore I condemn it, and it offends me; and if this rule be observed, there will not be any offended at the present Government. So they,

5. Alledge their reall apprehensions: what are they but reall mistakes that flow from ignorance and passion?

6. So they alledge to justifie their opposition many Churches and names of beleevers as they say, which were needlesse to do if they had the Word of God to charge us with, that alone were sufficient. Also,

7. They call it their Testimony, and well they may, because it is none of Gods.

As for the names ye mention (and say ye might have had more names: why did ye not take them, though they are to no purpose?) I have looked over all the names, William Jones, and John Morgan, &c. and can see neither Scripture nor Reason in them to prove that which ye desire; and whereas ye say your paper might have come sooner to our hands, but &c. it is come soon enough; and it had been more for your credit, if it had not come at all.

They might have alledged for their opposition of this Government, &c.

First, Their dreams against it, which were the workings of their spirits when their bodies were asleep; and of that which a man would have to be, he dreams it is; so he that was a hungry dreamed he did eat, &c.

Secondly, The lustings of their spirits to envy: Do you think the Scri­pture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy, Jam. 4. 5.

Thirdly, The visions (not of God, but) of their own hearts.

Fourthly, Their unquiet natures cannot skill of peace.

Fifthly, Want of consideration of, and thankfulnesse for the many and great mercies we enjoy, and want of faith and patience to wait Gods time for the rest.

The third is, That the Word of God is for the present Government and Governors, and requireth us to own it and them, and to be subject to them.

This is proved 1. Because there is no power but of God: The powers that be, are of God, Rom. 13. 1. there is no civill power in these three Nati­ons above this, therefore this is the higher power which we are to own and be subject unto the present Government is a power, and therefore of God; therefore they said untrue it was not of God, nor ac­cording to his Word: He that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation, Rom. 13. 2. The Scripture condemns them that despise Government, 2 Pet. 2. 10. Jud. 8.

[Page 10] 2. The battle is not to the strong, Eccles. 9. 11. therefore they say not true that say Oliver Cromwell set up himself by policy and strength of the Army.

3. The Scripture saith God doth it, he setteth up whom he will, Luk. 1. 52. Dan. 4. 27. Prov. 8. 16. Jer. 10. 23. If a sparrow fall to the ground, it is not without your Father, then much more is not this Government without your Father; for by strength shall no man prevail, 1 Sam. 2. 9. 7. 8. It is a branch of flattery to ascribe the doing of those things to man, which he never did nor can do, and is idolatry to give that to Man which is proper only to God. Man would have hindred this Govern­ment but could not, God could but would not; therefore he willed it and caused it to be: Many devices are in mens hearts, yet the counsell of the Lord shall stand, Prov. 19. 21. If God had not willed it, it could not have been, for God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, Ephes. 1. 11. therefore all things that do happen, do come absolutely and of necessity; that which cometh even, by providence, cometh by the order and ap­pointment of God, Act. 2. 23. & 4. 28. and hath more in it then per­mission.

4. The Lord saith, in the last daies, viz the daies of the Gospel, Isa. 2. 2. I will restore thy Judges as at first, Isa. 1. 26. how that was, see Judg. 2. 16, 18 that man the Lord raised up and was with, so as to make a chief instrument in delivering his people from their enemies; the Lord made that man their judge and counsellor, so was Gideon and De­bora, &c. the Lord hath raised up Oliver Cromwell, and hath been won­derful with him, and made him a chief instrument in delivering us from our enemies in England, Scotland and Ireland, and God hath set him up and made him chief Governour over these three Nations; therefore he is a Judge and Counsellor as at the first, and is a fulfilling of that pro­mise. One of the opposers said, that there was but three waies to come to government, Election of people, Birth, and Conquest; it is evident there is a fourth, which is best of all, and that is Gods choice; so Moses was made a ruler by God over Israel, or not so at all; if he had been made so by the people they would never have said to him as some said then as now, ye take too much upon you, who made thee a Ruler and Judge over us? Act. 7. 27. 35. which is in effect as much as to say, ye are very willing and forward to set up your self (God perswades Japhet to dwell in the tents of Shem) ye take it, viz. it was not given you; too much, viz. its more then comes to your share, we know no call ye have to that place: it seems they thought he had no call unlesse he had their call, and was of their making, because they saw not God in it; they eyed to see how much there was of man in it, and finding nothing of self in it, rejected him: the lesse of man, the more of God; God never hath much glory in those things in which there is much of man: it is a sure rule where any great thing is effected, and there is little or nothing of man in it, there is much of God in those things, and in them God is more seen, ac­knowledged and honoured: all the works of God are by con [...]raries.

[Page 11] 5. God hath owned the present Government and Governours, there­fore we should own them and not oppose them: the event sheweth which side God is of, for they shall fight against thee, but they shall not pre­vail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee, Ier. 1. 19. Some have laid down their Commissions, several have condemned Go­vernment and Governors, and cursed them, some have preached against them, and written against them, and called to God against it and them, many have consulted and plotted against them, tumults have been ga­thered together, and armed men have risen in several places in one time, notwithstanding it stands and they against all opposition, no weapon formed against it prospers, God hath wholly withdrawn himself from their prayers as against the Government and Governors, the enemies are disappointed and confounded; God is Lord of Hosts, he by his strength stilleth the tumults of the people, Psal. 65 6, 7. He setteth the bounds of the people, Deut. 32. 8. beyond which they cannot passe: so the Govern­ment, and Governors, and we, are preserved, blessed be God for the same.

Therefore Mr. Powell said not true in saying that this Government is not of Gods approbation; but it's but his say so, because he doth not al­ledge neither Scripture nor Reason to prove it so: one speaking of Re­ligion, was required to prove by Scripture that he said; answered, I say it, as if it were enough that he said so; we must take that or nothing where no more is to be had; so here it seems they think their say so is enough to confirm their conceited self-willed and ignorant affirmations in which they abound in.

6. Gods approbation of this Government and Governours hath appea­red, in that the souldiers have owned it, the Emperors have been chosen by the souldiers.

7. The Government and Governers hath been owned by God and man in that it hath been consented unto, not only by the greatest and most considerable persons in this Nation, but also by the people in generall, by their owning him, and their obedience to him and the Government; what is all this but Gods owning the Government and Governors?

God hath testified his owning them, and we are to follow the Lord which way soever he goeth; therefore we are to own them and assist them with our persons and estates, lest we sin and suffer for it, as the Citizens of that great City of Constantinople did, who refused to part with so much money as was necessary to oppose their enemies, though they were besought with tears to do it, they would not, neither freely nor by force, they stood for the priviledge of the subject; it was not their priviledge to keep that money that the publick stood in need of though they thought so; it was their ruine there, not parting with some of their estates, they lost that goodly City, and lost all their money and treasure, and their lives also; the enemy seeing so great treasure and supply wondred at their folly.

[Page 12] The fourth is, That the holy Scriptures are against the opposition that is made against the present Government and Governors.

This is proved, 1. Because the Scripture saith, Put them in minde to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey Magistrates, Tit. 3. 1, 2. In resisting the powers they resist the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation, Rom. 13. 2.

Object. If so, then ye sinned in resisting the late King, and so resisted the ordinance of God.

1. To this I answer three things, the first is, That our resistance was but a defensive war, which a King of England approved of when against himself. See Acts Monuments Church 3 book end pag. 74.

2. Also the late King in beginning the war, became guilty of all the bloud shed in it; if that had been all, there was sufficient cause for that to cut him off.

3. Also the King was one with Antichrist, against whom we are commanded to make war.

2. The opposers of the present Government, &c. sin in that they do not seek the peace of the Nation, but in stead thereof they disturb and indanger the peace of it; for if they who were in captivity in a strange land were to pray and seek the peace of that place, Jer. 29. 7. then much more ought the opposers and we to seek and pray for the peace of our native Countrey, where we are not captives, but enjoy very great liberties and priviledges: and that which is my duty to do, I may promise to my power to do; and if I seek not the peace of the place I sin: the opposers are so far from seeking the peace of it, that they are not willing that others seek it, that they shoot their sharp arrowes, bitter words at those that oppose their opposition.

3. The opposers sin in that they neglect to own the work God is a do­ing in this generation, which is a part of that generation work appoin­ted for us to do: some that now oppose have owned Gods work, and now appear to leave following the Lord, and cease owning the work God is now a doing, and seek what in them lies to hinder God and man in that work.

4. The opposers sin, because in so doing ye nourish the works of the flesh, which ye should mortifie and crucifie; The works of the flesh are manifest, in their opposition, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, Gal. 5. 19, 20. One of them said in the pulpit, he wondred wo­men could lye so quietly by their husbands and not provoke them, &c, which tended to the destruction of humane society: Is this to preach Je­sus Christ and him crucified, or rather is that preaching that crucifie Christ? They also shew us what lieth in the bottome of their hearts, we see like end like means, all is nought, God is not with you herein, to you it is not given; what ye extraordinarily insinuate God with us and gards of Angels, do ye think God will not take care of his great name? will God leave his people and bring to nothing the many and great de­liverances he hath given us? He that hath begun our enemies ruine, will if they repent not make an end, Psal. 140. 4, 8.

[Page 13] 5. They sin in that they say against his Highnesse whether it be true or false; if it be true, ye uncover your fathers nakednesse, this God condemns Ezek. 22. 10 He was cursed that saw his fathers nakednesse and told it, and he blessed that covered it, Gen. 21. 22, 23, 26, 27.

6. Ye sin in that ye act contrary to the Word of the Lord, Mat. 18. 15. but in stead thereof ye rail like mad men, for so ye are judged to be by many that hear you.

7. Ye sin in that ye speak and affirm many things which are untrue to carry on your design, and to make the Government and those in autho­rity and us odious.

1. Ye say ye are persecuted for Christ and for Religion, this I have proved false in my late Apologie, and that in so saying ye persecute his Highnesse, as Gal. 3. 29, 30. Act. 22. 14. & 9. 4. & 5. 1. Mr. Feak saith the words of his Mittimus are to commit &c. in order to the peace and safety of the Nation, by which it appears it is not for Reli­gion.

2. So they say that the Saints are committed for their consciences: this is untrue, for they are imprisoned for their words, that oppose the pre­sent Government and Governors, is a thing of great concernment, and indangering the civil peace, to deny the authority under which we live; to oppose the Government and civill Magistrate causeth debate, debate causeth a difference, difference causeth divisions and sidings of parties, sidings of parties causeth envie and jealousies, and condemning of each other, and that causeth variance, and variance greatly distracts mens mindes, distractions of mens mindes maketh seditions, seditions bring in tumults, tumults work insurrections and rebellion, insurrections make de­populations and desolations, and bring utter ruine and destruction of mens states and lives and the whole N [...]tion. The offence some of them commit tends to this, every Governor is bound by the law of nature to use the means to preserve the peace and welfare of the people: some of their words that oppose the Government, &c. strike at both, and it were a great sin in those in authority to suffer it; if the good man of the house will not suffer his house to be digged through, much lesse is their practise to be suffered; if a good man do ill, it is so much the worse; for so much as he is in esteem or eminent for knowledge or goodnesse, so much the more evill and dangerous and taking is the evill that he doth; and so much the more care and means is to be used to prevent the sprea­ding of that evil, and so much the greater punishment he deserves that commits the evill, saints are to be under the temporall sword. His High­nesse hath shewed great love, patience and forbearance to those that oppose and abuse him, and indanger all, untill there appear no remedy or hope of gaining them, nor that they will be quiet, and even then he dealeth friendly with them in that they are only secured and not put to no tor­ture; and that to prevent further danger, for that man that hath spoken most against him and much abused him, &c. though he should not con­fesse his fault in so doing, yet if he stould promise to be quiet and peace­able [Page 14] for the future, he would freely forgive him and quickly set him at li­berty, which sheweth that all that is aimed at is the preservation of the peace and safety of the people, this is no hard measure, yet for this he is blamed, if they say they detest the imprisonment of the Saints, they plead it is their conscience to oppose &c. and their testimony, but that is no argument to exempt any from punishment, if it were, there should no one be punished for any fault whatsoever, though it were insurrecti­ons, adultery and murder, that is some mens conscience and testi­mony.

3. So they say men are committed for they know not what: this is also untrue, they and others know it is for speaking and indangering the civill peace, or for not promising to be peaceable. So Mr. Powell com­plains because they are not brought to their trial, it's well for some of them they are not brought to their triall, if they should they might suffer: the Bishop of Canterbury petitioned to be brought to his triall, they granted his Petition, and cut off his head, but not without cause.

4. One of them said, that day the Government was proclaimed, that it should not continue a year, ye see it hath continued longer, therefore it was from a lying spirit, or at best from a mistake, yet he will go on in opposing it.

5. They say the Army fought against the late King because he was King, if they did so, they did ill, but I do not beleeve they were so sim­ple; if the being a King is unlawfull, why are we required to pray for Kings? why should Christ and Saints be Kings? he hath made us Kings, Rev. 5. 10. I was never against Kingly government, but against their coersive power in matters meerly religious.

6. They say the King lost his life because he was King: no, it was for beginning the war, and the guilt of the bloud shed in it, &c.

7. Mr. Powell saith we build again what before we destroyed: this is also untrue, for they have destroyed corporall punishments in matters religious, and that is not built again; also I know some call the triets Antichristian, but I do not see them prove it.

So they say it was but a pretended necessity, for the doing that his Highnesse hath done. So they might say of David eating the shew-bread, Mat. 12. So some of them had a hand in breaking up the first Parlia­ment: I aske them if they opposed the Parliament upon a pretended ne­cessity? there is ground to beleeve he would not have done some things that he hath done, if absolute necessity of preventing evill and danger had not occasioned it: how can they judge of the greatnesse of the neces­sity, that are ignorant of the designers their designs, their causes and their circumstances and tendencies? Surely those who frequently judge of the measure of the necessity and so judge unwisely and unjustly of the necessity, and censure and condemn others.

9. Mr. Powell saith, these men who now build what they did once de­stroy, and justifie what they did once condemn; witnesse their own wri­tings, particularly the Declaration of the Officers and Souldiers of the [Page 15] English Army, August 1. 1650. pag. 7. 12. whereof the Lord Cro [...]well was Generall, the words whereof are as followeth: ‘We are perswaded in our consciences, that the late King and his Monarchy was one of the ten hornes of the beast spoken of Rev. 17. 13, 14, 15. and that we were called forth by the Lord to be instrumental to bring about that which was our continuall prayer unto God, viz. the destruction of Antichrist and the deliverance of his Church and people; and upon this single account we ingaged not knowing the deep policies of worldly states-men, and have ever since hazarded our lives in the high places in the field (where we have seen many wonders of the Lord) against all the opposers of the work of Jesus Christ, whom we have all along seen going with us and making our way plain before us, and having these things singly in our eye, namely the destruction of Antichrist, the advancement of the Kingdome of Christ, the deliverance of his Church, and the establishment thereof in the use of his Ordinances in purity according to his Word, and the just civill liberties of English men.’

1. Observe, It saith the late King was one of the ten horns of the beast, not as he was King, nor as he was chief Governor, but because he gave his power, viz. his horn, his strength, to the beast, (the false Church of Rome may be called a beast for her beastlinesse) the Lord Bishops and Popes Priesthood, and so became one with Antichrist of whom they were: the late King and his Monarchy was a mixt power Civill and Ecclesi­asticall together, he assume the title of Defender of the Faith, (which the Pope gave to Henry 8. King of England) Supreme in all causes Civill and Ecclesiasticall head of the Church, and so assumed the name and office of Jesus Christ to be a law-giver in matters of Religion; for what the Bi­shops did herein, was by and under his authority; all which is proper on­ly to Jesus Christ, he is the head of his Church, Col. 1. 18. Ephes. 4. 15. he is the only Law-giver in matters of Religion, Jam. 1. 12. therefore it is blasphemy to give the titles of Iesus Christ to the King; therefore it is said the names of blasphemy was upon the head of the beast.

2. With his horn, viz. power, the late King pushed and goared the people of God, persecuted the Saints for not yeelding subjection to Anti­christs lawes; he had an imposing spirit in matter of Religion, which is the spirit of Antichrist: and such a King and Monarchy is not set up, nor desired.

3. They declare Gods call to endevour the destruction of Antichrist: and this they have done in part in destroying him and that wicked Go­vernment; God requireth his people to make war with Babylon, Anti­christ, the army of the Dragon, to shoot at her spare no arrowes, Ier. 50. 14. God ordaineth his arrowes against the persecuters, Psal. 7. 13. they that are with the Lamb, Rev. 14. 1. are to make war with the Dragon and his army; and there is great joy in the army of the Lamb, to wound a chief officer, as a Major Generall as the late King was in [Page 16] the army of the dragon, and I saw him wounded and fell, I shouted for joy.

4. It saith that they sought the destruction of Antichrist: this they have done (as for the outward part of it in England) in separating Ci­vill power, and excluding the Ecclesiasticall.

5. It saith, they sought the deliverance of the Church and people of God: this is effected in that they have done, and in delivering us from the late Kings party or others that seek our ruine.

6. It saith, they sought the advancement of the Kingdome of Christ: now it's advanced indeed above all things in the world, and as highly advanced as the Magistrate can advance it, in that the Magistrate is not set above it, nor have they set any thing else above it; men have liberty to preach and print, pray and practise whatsoever makes for the advance­ment thereof, there is none to hinder them.

7. It saith, they sought to establish the Church in use of ordinances in purity according to the word of God: this is effected in freeing the Church from mens humane inventions in Gods worship.

8. It saith, the destruction of Antichrist was singly in their eye when they engaged: then it appears it was not in their eye to destroy Kingly Government, also they did not ingage against any other form of civill Go­vernment, or the being of any chief Governour that was only civill, there­fore if they had set up a King with civill power, it had been no breach of this engagement.

9. They say they did not know the deep policies of men; I desire they may know them so as to prevent them, and whatsoever policy or any thing else in any man or men, that is not for the glory of God and the good of these Nations: the Lord in mercy confound and destroy all such policies and designs; and to this I beleeve his Highnesse &c. is willing to say Amen.

10. It saith, they ingaged for the just liberties of English men: this is done in part, and is a doing and will be done in Gods time and way. therefore they have not broke their ingagement; and if this ingagement had not been cited, I should not have been so fully satisfied of their keeping of it as now I am, and I appeal to any that are sober and wise, whether this Government or any thing that is set up by those in authori­ty, is a breach of this engagement, and yet this ingagement is culled out from the rest as a witnesse against them; so that it seems, if this be kept, all is kept: and seeing this their proof faileth, which they call their wit­nesse, therefore their saying that his Highnesse hath built what he destroyed, and justifie what he did once condemn, and that they have been fighters against the things they now practise, are all untruths.

11. Mr. Powell speaking of his Highnesse, saith pride, luxury, lascivi­ousnesse, changing of principles, forsaking the good waies, justice and holi­nesse, are to be read in your forehead: was there ever the like seen to cast out so many great charges at once and alledge nothing in the world to prove them, only a bare saying that they are to be seen in his forehead, [Page 17] I looked in his forehead and I saw no such, things; but it may be they mean it is to be seen in his title of Protector; if that be their meaning, that is very untrue, his title of Protector being lawfull, as is above pro­ved, is no proof of it; I cannot finde in Scripture that ever any of Christs Disciples, much lesse Ministers gave such language.

12. Mr. Powell saith, the blessed cause and noble principles are now laid aside, and another cause and interest contrary to it is espoused: this is also untrue: and whereas ye say it is so as ye conceive; it appears ye have no ground to say so, neither from Scripture nor Reason, nor any experi­ence, but a bare conceit, viz. a meer evill imagination of the vanity of their mindes.

13. Ye say the Government overthrew the very foundation of a Common-wealth: this is untrue, for it is the only way and foundation of a Common-weal, and good of all, having equall liberty.

14. Mr. Powell charges his Highnesse with slighting and blaspheming the Spirit of God: Oh great and terrible charge! what is the reason ye expresse not, wherein and how it may appear? and seeing ye only say so, we are to conclude it is a false charge till it be proved; ye cry out of hard dealing by reproaches, yet herein ye exceed above all that ever I read or heard of.

15. Ye say that we have mens persons in admiration, because of advan­tage, serve for wages, as if our owning the present Government was con­trary to our understandings and consciences: this I know and beleeve is untrue, and am fully perswaded that we have more light of conscience and comfort in owning and pleading for the present. Government, then they have in opposing it.

16. Ye say that tithes are a Popish innovation: that is not true, for they are Jewish; and if they were required upon a civill account, I do beleeve that it cannot be made to appear that such requiring of them, is neither Jewish, nor Popish, nor unlawfull.

17. Ye say that the prayers of the Saints are against his Highnesse: this is not true, though yours be against him also, their words plainly imply, that they esteem no man a Saint but themselves.

18. Ye say ye did not intend to pull down one person to set up another, (some must be set up if we have any government at all) in that ye say, nor an unrighteous power to promote another; in saying the present Power is an unrighteous power, ye say not truly, first prove it so if you can, and then say it; so ye meddle not with judging his ends and others ends in stead of jndging your selves.

19. Ye say the changing the late Government was unadvised and un­warrantable: we say the contrary; I did think that you were against joining the Antichristian power with the civill sword.

20. So one of the opposers said in a pulpit, speaking of his Highnesse, said that he was the son of a begger, which is neither true in it self nor com­paratively; for he was the son of a Gentleman an Esquire, and was offered to be knighted and refused it; he had a considerable estate of yearly means [Page 18] more then enough; his father was a Knight Sir Henry Cromwell and had an estate of yearly means of Sixteen thousand pounds a year; Sir Philip and Sir Oliver were brothers to his Highnesse Father; the said Sir Oliver Cromwell his Highnesse Unkle had twelve thousand pounds a year in old Rents, and his Highnesse Mother was Sister to Sir Thomas Stewart, who was of the kindred and Family of the late King: We glory not in the flesh, we glory in God, in being children of God, heirs of heaven and of an eternal and unspeakable waight of glory: but this is said to convince them, that what they say is false, and that they and others may see by what spirit they are led, in opposing him. It is a poor cause that cannot be carryed on without lying: but what if his Highnesse had been the poorest man in the world? then there would have appeared the more of God in raising him so high; think ye that we are the lesse to love and esteem Iesus Christ because he and his parents were very poor; that there was no room for such poor people in the inne, but in a stable, fitter for a horse then a family though poor. Is there any reason to bring that for a charge against a chief Governour that is not true, and if true, is no fault at all? poverty is none; what reason is there to gratifie and please the enemis of God, to cause them to rejoyce and to pour contempt upon the way of God for exalting them of low degree: Love covers a multitude of sins, 1 Pet. 4. 8. and want of love makes those sins that are none.

21. There was a book printed called a Declaration of Members of se­verall Churches, and a number of names as of one congregation, and there was not one of that congregation signed it; this I can prove: is not this a way of lying and dissimulation? Saith the Lord, I am against them that cause my people to erre by their lies, they shall not profit, Ier 33. 32.

Thus I have given you a proof of some of the evils ye are carryed away with, and that which is here said is enough to prove that death and destru­ction is in your paths, you are fallen, you are fallen, and almost, if not altogether become one in opposing with those that God hath sufficiently witnessed against: know that God is for us, and that ye sight against God, therefore ye cannot prosper: his Highnesse may say to each of you, For­bear thee from medling with God who is with me, that he destroy thee not, 2 Chron. 35. 21, 22. I be seech you consider what I say, and weigh it in the sight of God with a calm and Christian spirit; and harden not your necks against the truth, as you will answer it to the great Iudge. Oh that you would lie down in the dust and acknowledge your iniquity, and return unto God by unfaigned repentance; hast to do it, lest Gods fury break forth like fire upon you, and there be no quenching: your return would rejoyce us much, as being welwishers to your souls and bodies, though I must declare against your sins, designs, and way, because ye have call an odium upon all the people of God that do own and submit to the present Government, charged us with hypocrisie and dissimulation, and by your so doing ye cast an odium upon the Name of Christ which we professe, your lies are manifest, your carriage is not in meeknesse, nor are your souls possessed with patience; ye are murmuters and complainers without cause, [Page 19] you father your words and actions in opposing to be of God and from the holy Spirit of God, which is a blaspheming of the Spirit of God: you are very unjust and unreasonable to charge his Highnesse so deeply and falsly, because you never did nor can prove what you say to be true; Are ye so greatly deluded to think that such preaches and printings as ye make against the Government and Governors will do any good, except only to discover your madnesse and folly to all men? I know you are great trans­gressors, and disclaim all your opposition of the Government, &c. ye grieve the faithfull in that ye cause divisions and dissensions contrary to the doctrine ye have heard and learnt; therefore we desire and warn all that fear the Lord, and all others that desire their outward safety to withdraw from you and avoid you, as those that by good words and fair speeches de­ceive the hearts of the simple and are causers of divisions, as Rom. 16. 17, 18. and that ye by your opposition strengthen the hands of the wick­ed, and harden the late Kings party in their evill opposing, and ye ap­prove, and justifie, and own by your practise all the opposition that hath been made against the people of God, and so are partakers of their sin, and are liable to their punishments: submit to God, seek meeknesse, con­sider Rom. 14. 19. Jam. 3. 18. if ye will not desist, your wilfulnesse in op­posing will prove your sorrow, if not your ruine.

And for the late Kings party, I desire they would consider that God hath witnessed against them in the destruction and ruine of the late King and many of them, some say there hath been slain about eight hundred thousand in the late vvar in the three nations; to whom must all this bloud be laid, but upon them which begun the war, and that was the late King and those that sided with him. Say not he had cause to do that he did; what ever the cause was he should not have begun a war, and God hath judged him for it: they have had many times the advantage of us in number and otherwise; there hath been of their side many that have not wanted skill nor will, resolution nor courage, they have had severall times plain field battels, and several times tryed for it; from whence is it that they have so often lost the day and have not prevailed nor can pre­vail? it is plain enough expressed, I would they could see it, in Jer. 1. 19. its time for them to consider that they have had multitudes of plots and devices, and all fruitlesse; know ye not that many of you have been de­stroyed and ruined? and if ye will still fight against God, it will be your ruine also; if ye are willing to be destroyed, yet pity your wives and little ones, who are like to suffer and perish by your ruine: for their and your own good, cease opposing and plotting I beseech you submit to God, Psal. 66. 3. and be preserved, if ye oppose ye perish, they that have thought otherwise have been often deceived; Do ye not see, the more ye oppose, the worse ye are? for now ye have lesse favour and more charged then afore, yet do not think that ye are too hardly dealt with by his Highnesse late proclamation, &c. he dealt too kindely and friendly with you till be did see that you were the worse for kindnesse, and that the requitall ye gave him was to seek his life and our ruine, for which ye deserve to die; [Page 20] therefore ye may be content and glad ye scape as ye do, it is not fit to let you have a way and means to nourish you and inable you to seek our ruine. If ye will be quiet and peaceable, favour will be given you that you may live and your families: I fear you would hardly extend that favour to us if you were in our condition and we in yours. Seeing God hath so often witnessed against you, be at last afraid of his tokens, as Psal. 65. 8. before it be too late, I advise you for your good, it will be well for you if God will give you eyes to see it, and hearts to receive it.

I say to all that oppose the present Government and Governors; why are ye so offended at his Government? what evill hath he done? and why are ye so offended at his Highnesse? what hath he done? whom hath he wronged? what hath he got by his great place, but great care, trouble, danger, reproaches, and that for seeking the welfare of others? are ye an­gry for his doing his duty, for seeking the welfare and preservation of himself and others? is not his interest and safety one and the same with the interest and safety of the people of God? the welfare of the one is in the other, and all in God.

True, there are three great oppressions not yet removed that many com­plain of, though they were not caused by this Government, but were be­fore it, and we hope and wait for a redresse therein; the first will be re­moved, if that which is said in the Instrument concerning the mainte­nance of the States Ministers be performed; the second will be removed if some way may be to prevent the great corruption in the Law and the Ministers of it; I hear they are upon it: the other will be removed if the Souldiers Arreers, publick Faith, and Debts of the Nation may be paid; if the State cannot pay it, it is fit the losse and burden be borne equally by this Nation according to their ability; if it cannot be so paid in one year, it may in many years; they may stay that can spare it: many of those that had great sums due to them, have not bread to eat, to them it is a great grievance to want their due; and if they that are so oppressed be silent, their oppression will cry to God for help: we are not out of hope of remedy in these things, because his Highnesse aimeth at the ge­nerall good of the nation, and just liberty of every man: he also is a godly man, one that feareth God and escheweth evill, though he is, nor no man else, without humane frailey; he is faithfull to the Saints and to these Nations in whatsoever he hath undertaken from the beginning of the wars, he hath owned the poor despised people of God, and advanced many of them to a better way and means of living; he hath been an ad­vocate for the Christians, and hath done them much good in writing, speaking, pleading for their liberty to the long Parliament, and fighting for their liberty; he with others hath hazarded his life, estate, family, and since he hath refused great offers of wealth and worldly glory for the sake and welfare of the people of God: God hath given him more then ordinary wisdome, strength, courage, and valour; God hath been al­waies with him, and given him great successes; he is fitted to bear bur­dens, and to endure all opposition and contradictions, that may stand [Page 21] with publique safety; he is a terror to his enemies, he hath a large heart, spirit and principle, that will hold all that fear the Lord, though of dif­ferent opinions and practises in Religion, and seek their welfare; it is the honour of Princes to pity the miserable, to relieve the oppressed and wrongs of the poor; he is humble and despiseth not any because poor, and is ready to hear and help them; he is a mercifull man, full of pity and bounty to the poor, a liberall heart is more precious then heaven and earth; he gives in money to maimed souldiers, widowes, and orphans, and poor families, a thousand pound a week to supply their wants; nothing in man more resembleth the nature of God, then a pitifull nature to supply others wants; he is not a lover of money, that is a singular and extraor­dinary thing; I never observed in any so little love of money, if he have to spare, and know others that are in want, he will give and not hoard up money as some do; and if he had never so much money, he would lay it out for the benefit of these Nations to the best of his skill; I am perswaded that there is not a better friend to these Nations and people of God among men, and that the people of God are not beholding to any man on earth so much as they are to him, and that there is not any man so much unjustly censured and abused as he is; and some that now finde fault with him may live to see and confesse, that what I have herein written is truth, and when he is gathered to his fathers, shall weep for want of him. Oh that we had more thankfull hearts for the multi­tude of his mercies that we enjoy, and God grant his Highnesse long to be over us, and that he may never want a heart, power nor time to do those things that are for the glory of God and the good of these Nations. The day will come that his Highnesse shall be out of the reach of all reproaches, cares, pain and trouble, and shall enjoy an exceeding and eternall weight of glory, where his joy and peace shall be sweet, full, and eternall, and be for ever with the Lord, where are ri­vers of pleasures, happinesse and glory for evermore.

I do think my self bound in nature, reason, and religion, to own, speak, and write as I do in defence of the present Government and Governors, for these reasons, besides what I have said.

1. A man is to plead for his neighbour, Job. 16. 21. He that hath friends must shew himself friendly, Prov. 18. 24. and to praise him when need re­quires it, Let another man praise thee, and not thy own mouth; a stranger, and not thy own lips, Prov. 17. 2. Paul being accused, said, I ought to have been commended by you, 2 Cor. 12. 11. I and others owe him this service as a neighbour, as a friend, as a Christian, as he is under God, our chief Go­vernor and Protector; for us to hear him so abused, reviled, and unjust­ly condemned, and be silent, is not only unjust, but very unchristian, un­naturall, and unreasonable, and a great discouragement to his Highnesse, for us not to do so much as speak in his behalf.

2. His service and suffering for us in the late wars, and his great care, pains and danger for us, deserves much more of every one of us, then to speak and write for him.

[Page 22] 3. Others speaking against him unjustly, constraineth us to witnesse the truth against them, though I expect to be greatly blamed for it by them: I consider Heb. 12. 2, 3, 4.

4. There are severall things printed against his Highnesse which are not true, which those that are unborn may see it's necessary that they also see an answer to them, and know that as some did write against him, that there were others that would write for him.

5. We ought to seek the peace of the place where we live: when there was a stir against Moses, as now there is, Caleb stilled the people, Numb. 13. 30.

6. Self-preservation admits us not to be silent, seeing others not only hazarding our estates and our lives, but also indangering the ruine of the three Nations; I love the safety and quiet of my Countrey, and to use means for the safety of my self and others.

7. In charity to others, seeing them through mistakes sin and endanger their estates, liberties and lives, means is to be used to prevent it, this be­ing one to inform, reclaim and save them, and so to discharge our duty to God and man.

8. Lest our silence should be a consent, or interpreted so, and be an incouragement to them in their evill way, to bear witnesse against their sin, and clear our souls from guilt: because these are the present truths we are to own, every work being beautifull in its season.

Reasons to prove that his Highnesse Oliver Cromwell and the Right Ho­nourable his Councell ought to execute the Legislative Power.

1. Because his Highnesse and Councell is in a capacity to exercise the said Power, which is ground sufficient for them to exercise it: he who is able to do good without commission, need no commission to do it: if I were able to remove all the oppressions under the sun, I would not aske nei­ther leave, power nor commission to do it; power and commission is gi­ven to effect that good which cannot be effected without it; there is no ground to think the poor man had a commission to deliver the City, yet he did do it and was commended for the same, Eccles. 9. 15, 16.

2. God by his providence setting them in the highest place, is Gods call to execute the highest power, which is Legislative; they are called Gods, because they have a power to make and give forth Lawes for civill peace and welfare of the people; the exercise of which is a chief part of their duty in that place; and the reasons that justifieth their being chief Go­vernors, requireth and doth justifie their exercising of this power; and that which will justifie and secure his Highnesse and Councell in that they have done, will do the same for the exercising of his power.

3. The sum and substance of the Law of the Land requireth their exer­cise of this power; The safety of the people is the supreme Law, so that what­soever is for the safety and welfare of the people, ought to be done, whe­ther it be by taking away bad Lawes, or making good Lawes.

4. The necessity of these nations is such in generall, that it doth daily [Page 23] stand in need of the exercise of the said power, also many greatly suffer by reason of the want thereof, there being many grievances which can­not be removed without it; some seeking relief in their severall causes are informed, that it belongs to those that have the Legislative Power to relieve them; therefore as great a necessity as there is of relieving the op­pressed, so great a necessity there is of the exercise of this power; for without this their oppression cannot be removed, and their necessities are such as cannot admit of any delay, much lesse to stay till the next Par­liament, if they should, who knoweth whether they will help or no? I be­held the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter, on this side of their oppressors there was power but they had no comforter, Eccles. 4. 1. So that his Highnesse and Councell knowing the necessity of this power, should be convinced in conscience that it is their duty to exercise it; God requireth to do as they would be done unto, and to love their neighbour as themselves, the argument for the exercising of the said power, is the ex­treme necessities of others requireth it, and there is not any thing that doth more tempt those that are for this power to be against it, then the the not exercising the said power to relieve these grievances.

5. The Law of God requireth the exercise of this power, for it re­quireth that oppressions and things hurtful and grievous be removed, that so the oppressed be relieved, but this cannot be done without this power, therefore the exercise of the said power is necessary and required by the Law of God.

6. There is iniquity by a law, there be some lawes unjust, others ill framed, there be tricks in the Law which cause great sufferings and ini­quity in the officers, that iniquity in stead of justice runneth down like a mighty stream, and hath so continued a long time, and there is no way to stop it but in the exercise of the said power, in making a new Law to help the one and hinder the other.

7. The end of power is to prevent evill and do good: the exercise of this power would both prevent much evill and do much good; and as this is the greatest among men, so the exercise of it is able to effect the greatest good; and in as much as there is not any great excellent and singular good thing can be effected without it, so much the greater necessity there is, that his Highnesse and Councell should exercise the said power.

8. There is not any unwilling that his Highnesss and Councell should exercise the said power, but those that are unwilling that they should exercise any power at all, and also evill doers desire it not, lest it should hinder their evill proceedings; those that are for the having any power, desire to have it in its greatest perfection.

9. His Highnesse Oath expressed in the instrument, is so far from hindring their exercise of the said power, that it ingageth them thereun­to; for his Highnesse is ingaged to cause justice to be equally admini­stred, then he must of necessity exercise this power, else justice will not be equally administred: the 8. Article in the instrument refers to Article 30. his Highnesse is to make Lawes and Ordinances for the peace [Page 24] and welfare of these Nations where it shall be necessary, which shall be binding and in force untill the Parliament meet, and order shall be taken concerning the same; therefore although the Parliament hath met, yet in asmuch as they have not taken order concerning the same, his High­nesse and Councell is to exercise the said power untill order be taken for the same; also some say they were no Parliament because they made no Sessions.

10. A course in it self singular and unjustifiable, by reason of some circumstances falling in, may not only become lawfull, but a duty: So Phinchas act was an exercise of power though he was no Magistrate, Numb. 25. 7. 8. God commended it, and rewarded it, 11, 12, 13. Psal. 106. 30. 31. So David eat the shew bread which was not lawfull for him to eat, Mat. 12. Necessity made it lawfull.

Some say the Law is against it, and that it is not good to alter a law, but to alter a bad law and make a new Law for the peace and welfare of the Nation, is not ill but well: God is pleased to alter and change some things in his own Law and make new ones; and must the lawes of men admit of no change? men and their lawes are not perfect, times, per­sons and cases alter, and require alteration; the late dispensations of God in these Nations have been carried on contrary to the letter of the Law, the safety of the people of God hath lain in crossing the letter of the Law, which hath occasioned his Highnesse to do that he hath done for the welfare of the people of God.

A serious and solemn Protestation.

I Samuel Richardson do take God to witnesse, that I have not written any thing herein, but that which I beleeve with all my heart is true; and if I knew that this should be the last hour that I should live in this world, and so were to have no more benefit by this Government, nor of any thing in this world, I do beleeve I should witnesse to the truth of these things, and rejoyce that I had left this witnesse against the opposition that is made against the present Government and Governors: and I beleeve that which I have written is just and necessary, and that which is my duty to God and man to write of his Highnesse and Government as I have done. I have the evidence and testimony of my conscience grounded up­on the Word of God as I have expressed: I am satisfied, let men think and say of me, and do to me what they please, the will of God be done: and that I speak the truth from my heart herein, I appeal to him that knoweth all things, that searcheth the heart, and tryeth the reins, and weigheth the spirits and actions of men.

So be it.

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