A LETTER FROM A WORTHY GENTLEMAN IN YORKE-SHIRE, To His Friend a Member of the Honorable House of Commons.


  • 1 That the Parliament hath, and continually ought to use their zea­lous indeavours and heartie desires, for a thorow reformation in Church and commonwealth.
  • 2 That the same meanes the Prelates used to advance themselves to pettie deities, and to bury the honor of religion in the grave of oblivion, hath now re­moved the stones that pressed down truth and piety, and confounded their carnall wisdome.
  • 3 That the Papists in England and Ireland by their own barbarous, savage and inhumane practises, as a just requitall of their villanies, will be the actors and authours of their own Tragedies.
  • 4 Shewing though the honourable houses of parliament be by many evill affected people scorned and derided; yet they ought to goe on chearfully in the establishment of the true Religion, and suffer patiently, after the example of Christ &c.
  • 5 The enemies of the Parliament and Kingdome, are papists to root out Re­ligion the Clergie for Bishopricks and pluralities, cloaked delinquents that study day and night to make currant their counterfeit conditions.
  • 6 And lastly Advise to the Parliament to go on with alacrity but not one foot but to God, to heavenly ends, divine rules, apparant truths, in the Churches walkes, and then they shall not want the protection of the Almighty.

LONDON Printed for R. Best October 10. 1642.

WE can speculate nothing in this our Horizon but dis [...] aspects. Bella; horrida bell; horse and armes alwayes in our eyes and ears; and yet we are borne in hand with peace; it seemes armes boads it, both by the profane Souldiers of the sword, and by the licentious and starnizing professors of the Word; both saying that the houses of Parliament are in the wane already calculating that within one fortnights time, there will be an absolute change: the latter calls for all for the King as a speedy meanes to settle a present peace; and for that purpose do force through their Churches and Parishes, a Petition intituled of the Gentrie & Free holders, &c. at Hewarth-moore to the Parliament: Where no such thing was there intended, by any considerable number, but just the contrary speaking in the clouds, as though the heavens were presently to be foulded up, and that new heavens and new earth are forthwith to be moulded again, new Parliament, new Lords, mo­derate Laws, pliable Knights, and Burgesses, their mindes and manners so full of accommodation, as though in stead of vexing Puritans and tormonting Roundheads. they might rowle and tumble without stop or rub to a paradice of union and sympathy: and yet these blinde Egyptians will not see the truth of God which shines so clearly within the circumference of our Goshe [...]; nor view the guards which the blest God of Abraham, Isaack, & Iacob, nath placed about Sion; nor the firy walls which encompasse Jerusalem; neither will they deign to behold the Church of God; though as dear to him as the apple of his eye; whose fruitfull blessings hath alwaies accompanied and waited upon those that have been instruments of her good: of which number I hope your self to be, as now witnesse the constant guard of Angels dayly stopping the passages of Sathan and his adherents against you; and enlarging your hearts above humane courage inThe Lords worke at this time is reforma­tion of Church and State, and sub­version of their ene­mies. all-affrighting oppositions against your civill and sacred imployments wherein you have fully exprest your zealous endeavours, and hearty desires for a thorow Reformation both of Church and common wealth. And that this also is Gods purpose at this time it will evidently appear to any that hath observed the Lords usuall manner of working in former ages; for it is likely he hath suffered his Church and common wealth to decline, his people to be wearied with so many taxes and heavy oppressions for many yeers together to move and stir them up, like Israel in Egypt, to shake off their tirannicall yokes, and to lay hold on the first opportunity and lawfull means of their long desired freedome whereas if the Church and common wealth had continued in their perscribed formes and rules neither spiritualty nor lalty could ever have thought; much lesse have un­dertaken to involve themselves in so difficult a Laborinth as this hath been. And whereas the aspiring Clergie would have by little and little imagined themselves to have been some p [...]ety deities long ere now; if by chance look­ing down their black and earthy feet had not appeared below their white robes to male content (with the Swan) their overweaved conceits; and to frustate their owne vaine and emptie fantasies: therefore that they might still [Page] retaine some Majestie and superintendency above man, the better to insinuate their spirituall impositions, or r ther to force their tyranicall oppressions, have laboured to transform themselves into the Statues of imwortall Gods,Woe to him that saith to the wood arise, it shall teach: b [...]hold it is laid o­ve with Gold, &c and their is noe b [...]ea [...]h in it. that so for fear of their powerfull shapes, and by vertue of their shrines, their livelesse and mute professions, their non vox [...]omi [...]n implying that admirati­on O deum certè; certe imagines; m [...]ght serve to acquire some simple respects; and attract some plaine countrie reverence; But God hath drawn that vai­led curtaine to let men see they are but sonnes of the earth; too drossie substance to ascend divine clymates, too farre unsutable for heavenly copes, charactered, and pictured out by the heavenly Prophet in worthlesle crea­tures, dumb dogs, being abjects, and contemptible objects of scorn for all sorts of people: so that by that self same means whereby they had thoug [...]t to have advanced themselves and buried the power of Religion, in the grave of oblivion; it hath pleased him to effect his own ends to over­shoot t [...]m in their owne bowes, to confound their carnall wisdome, to remoove the stones that pressed down truth and piety; and to smooth the way, for the lustre and glory of his diuine worship. How miserable then areH [...]bb [...]kuk. 2 19. they who when they are highest? abuse their power to keep the people of God lowest, for though they, who should be nursing fathers and mothers to theZa [...]hariah 10. 2. [...] Church of God fo [...]sake her and become her enemies; they shall perish, yet comfort and deliverance shall appear to Gods people, either by one or o­ther. When the appointed time of m [...]rcy was come that the people of Israel should be delivered from [...]aptivit [...], [...] so [...]r [...]ered the state of earthly power afor the acomplishment of [...]s will, [...] no impediment might hinder CyrusIsaiah. 2 10. from performing of his promised deliverance; so the Lor [...] that he may worke his reformation by manumitting us from Egyptian slavery, and redeeming us [...]lachy. 2. 8. from Babylon [...]sh captivity, hath reunited England and Scotland that they may be cohelpers; hath so subjugated, and muzled the bloudhounds of Ireland that we are in no great danger of their rebellious and savage teeth, other nati­ons also having their respective prizes to p [...]ay that so your heavenly aimes mau­gre all hellish inventions whatsoevr may produee blessed and peaceable con­clusionsObjection. Answer. But [...] heare some say the case is not so cleare, as we take it be; yes i [...] is judged already, but we must temper our spirits with patience, and not think to conquer at the first stroke, nor expect to have the prize before we have runne the course. The children of Israel were sure of victorie in their peregri­nation to Canaan; and yet they were forced to strive till they got possessions let us herein exercise our faith, and knit the beginning, progresse and end to­gether, and we shall soon see, that he that begun this worke will in good time bring it to perfection: for where Christ begins to rule, he rules for ever; of his Kingdome there is no end. When the fuell-strives with the fire the heel kicks a­gainst the prick; and when the crea [...]ure advanceth himself against is Creator it [...]is easie to inferre the conquest. What if Antichrist doth march furiously, and his supports use their utmost endevours and parts to trample upon truth and pi­ety? [Page] they can extinguish their light no more then the morning clouds can doe the sunnes, which by little and little expells their gatherings, and wastes their packs, that in an instant none of them are to be seene. Can we think that he which threw the angels out of heaven, will suffer mortalls to run a contrary course without either curbe or bridle, and to prevail against heavenly pow­ers? was there ever any fierce against God and prospered? surely the rage of man contrary to his owne intendment shall turn to the praise of Christ, and furtherance of that work which God in his appointed time hath proposed toSubversion of the e­nemies. himself, as now (blessed be God) before our eyes we may see in Ireland, for could ever flesh and bloud have attempted the subversion of t [...]ose matchlesse multitudes in their own countrie, if they had not made rods for their own corre­ction & engins for their utter ruin? or could a Christians hart, so merciful, pitiful, tender, and so full of compassion, have ever thought of any bloudie enterpri­ses or destructive designes against them had they not pulled them upon their own heads by their own barbarous, savage and inhumane practises as a just re­quitall of their own villanies? As for our own Papists, they now shew of what spirit they are; They have got their heads so much into the winde that they cannot be turned by a gentle hand, whose insolencies and provocations re­bound so high, that any finger may point at the mark of their hearts by the levell of their tongues, so that we need not doubt but their judgements also will fall upon them, so soon as their treacheries are grown to full maturity▪ yet these men had they guided themselves modestly, and tempered themselves civilly, be­ing all either allied kinsmen, or intimately friendly and familiar with either one or other, how ha [...]dly could they have been rooted out by any impartiall doom? and this is the Lords doing, that they should be justly offensive, and it is marvellous in our eyes that they should be actours of their own tragedies: and yet we are so void of all sense, that we will neither see, heare, nor giveObjector. thanks to God for those things which make for our peace. Yet I heare some s [...]y, they are so farre from rooting out, that they rather encrease and riseAnswer. againe: it is true, but onely to harden them that they may receive the greater fall, for howsoever the church hath justly provoked God, yet the cause shall stand impregnable & as firm as a rock to dash in pieces all waves, & stroms of threatning oppositions. For Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords & wil not suffer dust & worms-meat alwayes to ruffle his beloved spouse, for Babylon shall fall; for strong is the Lord that hath condemned her. Nay the ParliamentObjection shall fall saies some; for almost all have left it. Just as Gedeons 32000 too manyAnswer. to fight the Lords battell, were reduced to 300 upon triall approved for a suffi­cient number to vindicate the honour of God. What if some be gone out from them who was not of them? What if God would not honour them to fight his battle against the mightie? Cannot God effect his own ends without a set number? Does not Gods glorie appeare more without meanes then with meanes; more with lesse meanes then with greater? Can God (sayesObjection. one) get none but a companie of roundheads, puritances seditious, factious, beg­garly [Page] fellowes to labour in his cause▪ who are all for scismes and their owne ends) O how far are these from discharging their duties, in giving to these pub­lickAnswer. ministers of the state the best interpretation that their actions will beare; that they invert all their honest actions, and traduce and reproach their inno­cent persons? but it is no matter, for it was Christs and [...]ohns lot, austere Iohn hath a devill, sociable Christ is a wine bibber, &c. Whereas the holinesse of the one should have procu [...]ed reverence, and the sociablenesse of the other beene rewarded with love; but it is the lot of them a [...] all christians, the dis­ciple is not above his Master. Men may doe well, but must look to heare ill; wicked men, when they learn to think well, they will learn to speak w [...]l [...]; and no marvell if man want his praise, when God is without his deserved glorie. Wheresoever Christ cometh, there will be divisions, that the verie thoughts of mens hearts may be laid open: The flesh alwayes rebells agai [...]st the spirit and endeavours to maintain its own regencie, and crieth down whatsoever crosseth it, be they lawes whether humane or divine, be they never so well framed for repairing the breaches both of Church and Common-wealth, View the oppo­sers of thi [...] Parlament, and you shall finde them like so many wilde beasts head­ing together to breake downe the septs and hedges of this vineyard; First you have the Papists encompassing both Sea and Land to roote out our religion, then have you the Clergie courting for Bishopricks and Canterbur [...]ing for plu­ralities; Thirdly, The thirstie souldier gapes with open mouth to swallow down the golden juice of this kingdome; Lastly, the cloked delinqents that dare not come neare the touch-stone, they studie day and night to make currant their counterfeit conditions: These are the aymes of these men, whose inve­ctives must carrie such credit with them as alone to condemne those men whose words may be lawes, and lives rules, for them to square their actions by, whose outward man may serve as looking glasses for them everie morning to discover the spots and stains of their colluding thoughts and corrupted conver­sations, Contraria in [...]r [...] oppos [...]a magis elucescunt, it would be lost labour to cōpare the together, aliud noctua sonat aliud cornix: They are so farre sundred, and distanced in qualities, that any purblind critick may justly carp at those tricks whereby they play their game, so that there is no hazzard at all in the cause; for sincerity will demonstrate it self in plain and untraversable evidences, and seale up its deeds with such authenticall witnesses, as that it shall not need to bribe si­nister and indirect meanes to make it transparent in the great Quest of this common wealth, Veritas non quaerit anzulos, Truth is bold and like a standard­bearer will manifest it self before all the world: let therefore your ends be heavenly, the bent and sway of your resolutions holy, winde up your soules higher and higher, soare and mount up [...]loft, and then no plots below, no stormie designes beneath, can beat you from your wished haven: for in vaine is the net spre [...]d in the sight of that th [...]t hath winges. Thus may you raise your self above the reach of humane policie; and make your self safe in spight of Sathan and his complices. I have blessed Jacob and he shall bee [Page] blessed, but can you not spare, or have you not provided, one blessing for us [...]lso? Yes promote your begun Reformation in truth and sincerity, and it will di­ [...]ert all imminent plagues whatsoever, for where there is repentance it will [...]ind up Gods hāds by his promi [...]es that he cānot powre out his vialls of wrath upon us, and where there is reformation without which there can be no re­pentance, there is a lively expression and vigorous manifestation of repentance as we may now see begun & declared in our eads. But still I heare cu [...]sings upō Meroz & the inhabitants thereof, [...]t were to be washed that every county & kin­dred would lay their hands upon their harts, & see how forward or rather frow­ard they have beene in the grand concernm [...]nts of this Church and c [...]mmon­weale, that when they which have done most may see th [...] h [...]ve but done their parts, they which have beene contrary minded may redeeme their by­gone neglects and perversenesse [...] their more earnest and present ind vours to prevent the bitter evils which the angells of God are ready to let fail upō us. Can meat satisfy the hungry wight [...] & drink appease the thirst soul if they be not tasted & digested? shall we hunger an thirst for the blessings of our king­dome, the fruits of this Paliament, and desire to be feasted with them, and w [...]ll neither compl [...] with them, nor appl [...] them to our selves, that the [...] ma [...] be fit nourishment for our livelihoods? Na like stocks and stones we lie in their way, and yet we crie out they run no faster on and like Remoraes we retard their Navig [...]tions and et want patience to expect their arrivall, we under­mine them b all assa es▪ and yet we proclame to ad the world that they goe not forward upon sure grounds; were these the helps that former S [...]ges recei­ved? or was ever such requitalls heaped upon the grave consultations of anci­ent times, [...]? how farre are we degenerated from our for­mer births and strains if we consider the mutuall correspondencie, of our fore­f [...]thers who lived together; [...], every man stud [...]e i [...]g how to ac [...]omm [...]date his neighbour in what might advance his prefer­ment, every man more officious then ot [...]er for thes common good, gird your selves therefore with unda [...]ted res [...]lutions that thee vexing distempers, being removed you ma [...] reduce us to those pristine times, so friendly in their famili­arities and sympathies, o [...] fruitfull in n [...]ighbourly passages, of intimacie and de [...]r [...]nesse, go on with alacrity, bu [...] set not one foot forward without your God; b [...] so true to heavenly ends, and fast to divine rules that no hopes or fears bee able to way you from apparent truths; for assure our selves so long as you are in the churches walkes, [...]ou shall not want the protection of the Almighty. [...] & side [...]a tulit. Hercules was but one, and what wonders he hath done same hath made report; Atlas he hath born that high and burthen Paramount, transcending all comparison and without any joynt-tenant of that unweildy weight, but you are many, vis [...], many hands make light work, and the choice workmen of our king­dome also, able if need require to build a new worlds much more skilfull [Page] to close the gappes, and binde up the wounds of a little commonwealth, a few propps upholds a ruinous house. What if Giants assault you? Sae­va [...] mo [...]stra, numer [...]sum ma [...]um docu [...]t [...]. David cut off that out-daring Goliah, and if more heady monsters of mankinde doe still bud out take notice of that conquerer, and you may know his weapons also. There is no horrid or monste­rous villany hatched either by Sea or Land, but it is mortall, it cannot exceed its growth, nor passe its limits, for space and leisure will either weare them out, or truth expell their poison, or time calcine them to their first principles againe: what if nulla lux unquam secura fu [...]erit, what if finis un [...]us mali sit gradus [...]? though every day hath threatned your fall, yet experience hath seen the furious fates to have had their owne destinies; and that the rageing and gloomie daies have often bin silenced upon faire and cleere termes, and though rest­lesse assaults as they spring up linke themselves together against you, yet if your comforts, as we hope, grow and multiply with them, you shall out-stride all their engines with invincible courage, for victory over by-gone practises promises victory over all succeding intended evills; the sharper the conflict, the more honourable shall be your conquest; when the Lord of Hoasts shall crowne your actions with trophies of everlasting fame and immortality, when after▪ yeares shall make report, how you have emulated the stoutest of times, and stood out to the hazard of your dearest blood for the reparing and vindicating the honour and glory of your great God, for the advancing your King, and preserving his Dominions, for the enacting lawes for freeing your Country from slavery and bondage. O how soveraigne then will be your present praise, digito monstrari & di [...] hic est, when every tongue shall be telling, how you and he, and the rest have done things never to be forgotten when the labour is gone, the danger out of doubt, then the glory of the cause will be your owne, haec olim meminisse iuvabit, good God a [...] hi [...] eripe flammis & iam tandem gra­vibus aerumnis statue modum finemque cladi, deliver us from all the fiery contentions of these daies, and let not the double guilt of our high ingratitude die us in our purest blood, give boundes to these mercilesse waves which threaten to ship­racke our welfare for ever, and secure our honest commerces with calme roads to safe harbours, blesse the season of the summer unto us, and grant that at last comfortable issues may flow from the well-springs of our hearty desires, that no alarum be heard by night▪ no lamentations by day, nor let dolefull dit­ties at any time hereafter ever sound out to our suceeding posterities the discor­ding jarrs of forefathers unhappy divisions.

Thus presenting my love and service unto you in the weake expressions of my apprehensions of these times, not as doubting of your constancie in your station, but that thus I thought fit to manifest my setled resolutions in this com­mon cause wherein I hope the God of heaven will not onely blesse you but also

Your Loving Cosen, R. R.
The fates foretell the starres and times decree:
That you a scourge to Papists now must be:
That you your opprest Kingdome having borne,
It being free, your selves, and it adorne
With peace, with plenty, and blessings divine,
Such as no heart can wish, or tongue define.

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