THE COPIES of Severall LETTERS Contrary to the opinion of the present powers, Presented to the Lord Gen. Fairfax, AND LIEƲT. GEN. CROMWELL.

By Francis White, Maior of his Ex­cellencies Regiment of Foot.

London, Printed by T. Paine for Tho. Slater, and Stephen Bowtell. 1649.

To the Reader.

HAving for some yeares been an Actor in the Affaires of the late warres, and likewise an observer of the proceedings of State, in which I have been concerned more then every private person; I have therefore, offered my Judgement, and declared my opinion in matters of highest concernment to my Lord Generall, and Lievt. Gen. Cromwell, and had no great desire to have published what I have written: But hearing by many of my friends, that it is generally reported by most that have heard of me, that I have now declined my principles, and am turned Cavalier. The reason of this Conception is, because J declared my Discent to the taking away the life of the King: But to manifest to the world, the truth and innocency of my heart, J have published these following Letters, to shew that J was of the same Judgement formerly as J now continue, as may appear in my Let­ter sent to Lievt. Gen. Cromwell, almost a yeare agoe, and what J have writ­ten to my Lord Generall, although contrary to the opinion of the present powers; J thought my self bound in Conscience to performe, to preserve my own inward peace. For although some men make no conscience of their Ingagements, Vowes, and Oaths, yet J hope, God will give me power rather to suffer death, then destroy my life. J know that my Judgement is not infallible, yet notwithstanding J must keep close to my Principles, untill J am convinced of Error; J have here decla­red my Principles and purpose, to stand in the prosecution of the publique service with faithfulnesse, whiles God by his grace doth inable me.

Francis White.

The Copie of a Letter presented to his Ex­cellency, the Lord Fairfax, Generall.

My Lord,

I Am a Member of your Army, and included in all actions done by the Disciplinary power, whiles I silently consent thereto, and I would never appear a Discenter to any thing that tends to publick good, although never so prejudiciall to my particular interest; but rather then I would submit to any thing of essentiall publick preju­dice to the people, or to destroy my inward peace, I would expose my self to a temporall destruction. For God is my witnesse, I do not so much fear them that can kil the body onely, as I do him that is able to cast both bo­die and soul into hell; so farre as I have been imployed in the common work, I have chearfully acted or born my publick testimonies, and I hope for ever shall. My Lord, I have taken notice of many Petitions from almost all the Forces in England, and from divers people of the Countreys, which supplicate for many good things, which they desire your Excellency to procure. In all which good things, I do heartily concur with their Peti­tions; but I have observed this as one thing generally desired, that they may have execution of Justice upon the King, and as far as I can perceive, it is generally intended by the Officers of the Army, and the Members of the present House of Commons, to take away the life of the King. But with submission to your Excellency, I desire leave to declare my discent, and upon grounds conscientious for these Reasons following.

  • First, Because there are no clear grounds by any Legall Autho­rity, to take away the life of the King.
  • Secondly, It is contrary to our first Ingagement, and our generall Professions, Vows, and Covenants, to God and the world.
  • Thirdly, I do not discern it will produce any generall good to the Nation, but rather the contrary.

Having declared my opinion, and the chief Reasons for the same, I desire your Lordship to read these following Lines, for the clearing of those Reasons, and the justifying my integritie and innocency in former actings.

At the first taking up of Arms, I was sensible of the oppression and in­justice which was exercised by the King and his Ministers upon the people; he exalting himself to act beyond all Laws, which his Predecessors and [Page 3]himself had bound themselves by consent to observe; He raising Arms to inforce the exercise of his power, to the maintaining an absolute tyranny over the Nation, was the chief ground of my opposing him: and I have freely acted in the affairs of War, to the subduing of his power, and the vindicating of the peoples just Rights, and claim to the disposall of the Military power without his consent. In the prosecution of this service, I have been as free from seeking revenge upon the Person of the King, as to violate my own life. The chief end I seek, is the preservation of the righteous people, with the safetie and well being of the whole, and if possible without taking away the life of Charles Steward, King of England.

First I say, I do not understand how it may be done by any Legall Au­thority according to the Kingly Government, though it may be a just thing, yet I know not how it may justly be done. I never heard of any Throne erected in the earth, either by God or men, for the judging of a King, untill the erecting of this late tribunall at Westminster. All the Judge­ment Seats, that are legally erected in this Nation, were made by King, Lords, and Commons; but the King ever did exempt himself from per­sonall judgement, by vertue of the Military, Regall, and Legislative power which he retained in himself, which was gotten by the Sword of his Pre­decessors, and kept by Traditionall dissent: although the people since the Conquest, have had the libertie of choosing Laws, so that he did not set up Laws and Judicatures legally at his will, yet there was no Law made, nor Judicatures erected, but by his will, although he agreed, the people should have the power of choosing Laws, yet he determined, that he would keep the power of confirming Laws; so that no Law was ever made with­out his will.

And if it be throughly examined; we may finde that the King hath no other right to the Military, Regall, and Legislative power, then the Sword did constitute and invest him with by divine permission, the peo­ple submitting thereto for fear, and to avoid greatest mischief. But now the King and his partie being conquered by the Sword, I beleeve the Sword may justly remove the power from him, and settle it in its origi­nall fountain next under God, the people. But to judge or execute his per­son, I do not understand any Legall Authority in being can justly do it. I doubt not but the Sword may do it, but how righteous judgement that may be, that God and future generations will judge. It is clear that the Military power is exalted above the Regall and Legislative power, and is now come to the throne of God, and under no other Legall Judgement, [Page 4]untill there be a Legall Authority erected, as is offered in the Agreement, to which it may submit. And seeing God hath in righteousnesse for the sins of the people, and their King, brought us into this unhappie conditi­on, I therefore plead with your Excellency, to use the sword with as much tendernesse as may be, to preserve the lives of men, and especially the life of the King.

And for my second reason, Because we have made generall profession of preserving his person, and whensoever any accused us of seeking the life of the King, we alwayes denyed it, untill this late Remonstrance. Now Sir, it is as reall a manifestation of a Christian, a honourable and noble spirit, as can be discovered to the world, to be true to what it doth professe, and to be the same in adversitie, as in prosperity, and in prospe­rity as it was in adversitie; and it is more honourable to save the life of a conquered enemie, then to destroy him: For if he hath prosecuted his designes according to his judgement and conscience, and were in the wrong way, it was because God suffered the Devill to blind his under­standing, that he did not know the truth, and it is better to let him live, and learne to repent, then to make hast to send him to destruction; so that his remaining alive, be not any generall prejudice, or more mischie­vous then his death would be, which would well be considered under the third reason.

I doe not understand any essentiall good can acrew to the people, by the taking away his life. For it is not so much the person that can hurt us, as the power that is made up in the Kingly office by this corrupt constitu­tion; for if the person be taken away presently, another layeth claime to the Kingly Office, and for any thing I know, hath as much right to the Dominion as his Predicessor had, and will, questionlesse, have all the assistance that this person can procure, for the attaining thereof, and will be able to doe more mischiefe, because he is at liberty, and this under your power.

Againe, This King being the King of Scotland and Ireland, according to the Lawes in being, they have an interest in his person as well as England, notwithstanding he is under our power. Now if you will iudge the King­doms of Scotland and Ireland in that which concernes their interest, where you can claime no right, it is a evident wrong, and may give them iust of­fence, and ground of quarrell against this Nation, and by this, may be of more preiudice to the whole, then can be good to the particular. I desire my Lord, that we may issue a Christian spirit, not rendring evill for evill, but rather good for evill. Although wicked men will deale wickedly with [Page 5]us, yet let us deale mercifully with them, and pardon and forgive, as wee desire God should pardon and forgive us. Jn this way J doe verily beleeve we shall be greater Conquerers then yet we have been, if we can conquer ourselves, and the affection of our enemies which this doth lead unto. My Lord, in all that I have written, J am not against the judging of the King; but J say it is by no legall Authority, but only what the Sword exalteth: although it be not an exact Marshal Court, yet it is little different, and not a Legitimate Authority to the King, yet it may as iustly iudge him, as ever he iudged the people, and may dethrone him, and divest him of all power and authority in the English Nation. And I thinke it is ne­cessary so far to proceed, and to detaine him as a prisoner at war, till hee may be delivered with safety to yourselves and the Nation. I desire your Excellencies favourable Construction of what I have written, and if it be not your Excellencies iudgement, all that I desire for my satisfaction is; That your Excellency will appoint such a Generall Councel as the Army in these parts shall be included by the Maior voice thereof, if it be not concluded according to my Judgement, yet therein shall I have my desire, because J consent to be included by the Maior part, to avoid division: If this may not be granted, then must I declare my discent, and that it is an action done by vertue of the Disciplinary power of the Army, by which J am not in this case willingly included, and so I hope I shall preserve my self in innocency and peace, and not be an instrument of the mischiefs, and evils that may be brought upon this Nation, by the taking away the blood of their King. Having taken this Freedom to write to your Excel­lency, I shall now take my leave, and remain.

Your Lordships most humble Servant, Francis White.

To the Right Honourable, His Excellency, the Lord Fairfax, Generall.

My Lord,

I Have for these six yeers been a servant to the publick in the affairs of the late Warce, and for the most part under Your Excellencies conduct; and I can speak it with confidence, that no man hath been more faithfull to the people, or to your Lordship, in the prosecution of their interest, then my self. If I have erred in this work, it hath been chiefly in too forward actings for the publick good; and I would ra­ther erre in the prosecution of my principles with zeal, then in the abusing patience with sloath, wherein I am convinced of offence, from which no man is free, I shall submit; but rather then betray innocencie with co­wardice, I would perish. My Lord, I must needs inform you, that my prin­ciples leads me to a concurrence with those people which joyned in the late Petition of the many thousands in the City of London, and parts ad­jacent, and must upon all lawfull occasions, as I will vindicate my inte­grity, use means for the accomplishing of the most essentiall parts of that Petition; and if the prosecution of such principles be offensive to your self, as to produce your Lordships prejudice, for to remain under your Excel­lencies displeasure in my imployment, as I am informed from some in neer relation to your Excellencie, I do; and that it hath been the reason of your Honors depriving me of a further trust, by putting another over me, to command your Excellencies Regiment, which I had sought and con­ducted through the greatest difficult with successe, and free from imputa­tion, or proving false to my trust in the least. If it be true that your Honor bears prejudice to me for my principles, then must I in faithfulnesse speak it, I would rather quit my imployment, then remain under your Lord­ships disaffection and jealousie in my command: my Lord, I am very sen­sible of my discouragement, and intreat your Excellency, to give me the manifestation of your affection, and acceptance for the future; or to let me know if it may not be, that I may remove my self from being a burden to your Honors proceedings. However I shall prove my self to be,

Your Lordships most humble Servant, Francis White.

To the Right Honourable Lievt. Gen. Cromwell.

Honoured Sir,

JT is not unknown to many, your great pains, and unwearied in­deavours in the publique imployment, from the first undertaking; you have appeared constant, valiant, and successful in the greatest affaires of the late war. And having through Gods blessing passed through many difficults, subduing all adversaties that opposed our just proceedings It now lieth upon you, and others of the like interest, to see the establishment of those things which we have contended for that there may be some requitall for the expence of so much Treasure and Blood. It hath ever been the consideration of all wise undertakers of a war, First, to consider the right of their cause Secondly, their abilities to mannage the same. And thirdly, that the benefits may countervail the ill convenience or prejudice, that may be sustained in the procuring successe.

What bondage oppression and injustice, we were made subject to, by the King and his Ministers; is not unknown to your selfe: and when he could no longer keepe the people in subjection, under his oppressive go­vernment, but was in danger of being cast out of his Throne he then cal­led a Parliament, which he indeavoured to make subject to his will. For the better prosecution of his principles, but failing of his expectati­ons in Councell, he indeavoured to bring his purposes to passe, by the force of the sword, and undertooke the managing a Warr against the Parliament, They seeing the evill he endeavoured to bring upon them­selves and the Nation, tooke courage to appeare faithfull to those who had intrusted them, and called in all that had bowels of mercy and com­passion to themselves or the Nation to come in to the helpe of a distres­sed State, and to maintaine their just rights and freedomes.

The Parliament did then claime, and since have claimed, a Right to determine all controversies that may arise in the Nation and that of right they might dispose of the Militia of the Kingdome as they should see cause; for in the House of Commons vertually the power of the King­dome is for to make Lawes, or repeale Lawes, and to be the finall judges. It is true, the King held a confirming voyce, and was intrusted with the Militia and the Regall power, for the protecting and administring ju­stice unto the people, but when the Parliament saw a danger of the Kings converting that power to their and the trusters distruction, they tooke upon them the disposall of the Militia, upon which the King broke with them and made a war.

God having now given successe to their cause, and invested them and their assisters with full power, it now lieth upon them, to make good all promises, if possible, the lesser giving way to the greater, and as much as in them, lyeth, indeavour to prevent future disputes and quarrells, for the welfare of posterity; and to settle the government of the Nation: So that the Regall power in what forme soever, may be subject to the Legisla­tive, and likewise to untwist those lines of bondage, which will question our just proceedings, there is no rational man that will imagine it unrea­sonable, that the Parliament should proceed to the setling the Kingdoms peace and Freedom without the King, seeing that after the conquering his Forces, and so many addresses, he will accept of nothing but what shall be agreeable to his will; the which must be a giving up the right of our cause, and advantage to the name and thing King, to recover all power in short time, and to the winding of the Nation into worse bondage and servitude then ever, to the will of the Prince, which will of necessity bee our portion, if there be not a cleare vindicating of the Rights and Free­dome of the people, in the Legislative power; which was the maine thing contended for; and it is evident, that the supream power next un­der God, is inherent in the multitude, and that there is no just authority, but what is immediately derived from God himself by divine appoint­ment, or mediately given from the people by their Representative, who of right are not subject to any particular person or persons; but may up­on grounds of common safety, alter Magistrates or Government, make new Lawes, or repeale old: Abolish Courts, or set up new, without the concurrence of King or Peeres. However this be caled new Doctrine or Levelling, it will appeare that in this is laid the foundation of the Free­dome of a Nation, in stating their Representative free and equall, invested with full power, the persons changeable successively, so that whatsoever Lawes or Burdens the people bring upon themselves, they will be of their own chusing; whatsoever custome is held contrary herto is a fruit of con­quest kept by force, and may justly be by force repelled. This is no change of principles, as is evident from the first contest. The peoples safety ar­gued the supream Law, and the House of Commons iudges of that safety and interpreters of Law and they affirming the Kings oath binding him to confirme what Laws they chuse, the Commons telling the Lords they should indevour to save a people without them, if they would not concur.

But it may be obiected, that the Ingagement at the first undertaking of the war, declared for King and Parliament, and that the Parliaments Declaration in the yeare 1646, declareth, for the maintaining of the con­stitution [Page 9]of this Kingdom, by King, Lords, and Commons, and that the Protestation and Covenant of this Kingdom and Scotland, ingageth them to maintain the Kings authority, and that they have no thoughts or in­tentions to diminish his Maiesties iust power and greatnesse.

To this I answer, that men are bound by Conscience and Honour, to make good all Ingagements so far as iustly they may, and if men be not found constant to their principles, no man can wisely put confidence in them, nor trust them farther then necessity inforceth. It will not be amisse to look over our former Ingagements, and moderately to consider what may be performed, and what not. For indeed, they are so interwoven that it will be a difficult matter to make good every particular. Therefore first consider the most generall things of greatest importance, and make good them with as much provision for particulars, as generall will permit. And in the first place, that Interest of the peoples freedom must in Iustice take place: For in all Declarations, Papers, and Covenants, it hath been the chiefe thing pretended, and there never passed any promise of intrusting the King, but in order to the peace, freedom, and security of the Kingdom; and I beleeve it was expected, that when the Kings powers should be sub­dued, he would have accepted the Parliaments conditions, which he re­fusing, is a iust ground to alter their promises, and to proceed to the setling the Kingdom in freedom, safety, and peace, without the King: the which can never probably be done, without altering the former custome in ma­king Law. For whatsoever is acted upon the former constitution, will run to the King for confirmation; so there will be no security, unlesse ye de­clare the Parliaments Ordinances good Laws, and so conduce one Estate, and take away the thing King, which name the antient Romans could not indure for the space of 400. yeares; and it will be found no small let to the settlement of our peace. For it must be time that must produce securi­ty from him and his posterity: the Army must not be a protection for ever, neither will the people indure this Parliaments perpetuity, for the continuance of either longer then necessity inforceth, is inconsistent with the peoples freedome.

And now the Souldiery having contracted much of the businesse of the Kingdom upon their Shoulders, you will be put upon the exercise of rea­son, you have already shown your strength and valour in subduing the Forces that have opposed us; and if you can now find wayes to secure your self and our assisters, from the Authorities we have resisted, you will appeare much like a compleat man in Reason.

J beseech you Sir, looke back to the first Ingagement of the Parliament [Page 10]with due consideration, and indeavour what you may, to procure the per­formance thereof. At the first raysing an Army, The Parliament decla­red it to be for the desence of the Protestant Religion, the Lawes of the Land, the Kings person, the priviledge of Parliament, the peoples just Rights and freedome; these things are spacious, and were never stated and published what is meant hereby. Some understand the Protestant Re­ligion, to be the Book of Common prayer for Worship the Episcopacie for Discipline, and the thirty nine Articles for Doctrine: But it Religion be taken in such formes, then is it in a great measure altered by the Sy­nod, in part with the Parliaments approbation, imposing the Directory for Worship, the Presbytery for Discipline, and the Confession of Faith, which they have published, for Doctrine; and in stead of Resorming, have introduced Schisme. It cannot be denyed but we were very zealous for the promoting of Religion, and I hope still are; but I feare we did not rightly understand what Religion is. Certainly, Religion in the most generall acceptation, is that profession of Worship, Discipline, and Do­ctrine which a people hold forth to the world: in the former sense it is most probable, that which we call Religion, was understood, and that which was then intended by the generall party of the Nation, was a Re­formation of what might appeare corrupt, and to free the people from those burdens in Ceremonies imposed, which many tender Consciences could not beare. But now that which we call Religion, appears to me on­ly a traditionall formall profession, and is made use of only to gain parties and Factions, under the specious pretence of Religion, thereby to gain power to rise in Dignities, for profit and honour among men. This is the Religion of Rome as at this day, pure State policie, in which is compre­hended the depth of the mystery of iniquity. Such is the Religion of the Turke, and many other Nations a meer emptie forme, in which nothing of the power of God is; and what is this alteration of Church Govern­ment, Worship, and Doctrine which some men so furiously pursue, but the cloathing of Antichrist with a new coat, changing out of one forme of the mysterie of iniquity into another. But it you seriously consider, you may understand, that Religion is not a name, but a thing; not a forme, but a power, not a notion, but a substance divine: Religion consisteth in faith, and workes of righteousnesse; Religion is properly that inward power in the soule of a man, whereby be beleeveth, and is bound to God in righteousnes and holinesse; the demonstration thereof, manitest in acts of Justice and mercy, visiting the fatherlesse and the widow, and keeping unspotted from the world; so much of this power a man hath, so much [Page 11]Religion, where there is none of this power, there is no Religion; To as many as beleeve in Jesus Christ, to them giveth he power to become the Sons of God. Now Sir, if there be a defending of the Protestant profession, let men take it in what forme they understand. I beleeve it will be the best and safest making good this Ingagement Religion is not propagated by any humane power: the Civill Magistrate may protect Christians in religious exercises, but to compell an externall Uniformity by a coersive power, seeing there is no pretended infallibility will be preposterous, and more Antichristian then is the Pope himself. Christs Kingdom is spiritu­all, and propagated only by the spirit in the administration of the word, without the help of humane force. If the Civill Magistrate exercise im­partiall justice, and tollerate religious exercise, it will be as much as Chri­stians will desire.

As for the Lawes of the land, which we are ingaged to defend, I think there are very few understand what they are in generall: we defend the lawes, if we act according to the supreame ends thereof, which is to save the people, and preserve proprietie, and dispence impartiall Ju­stice; and let the law have its course in Courts till there be a just alte­ration. But if any thing appeare contrary to these ends by the judgement of the law-makers, it can be no breach of this ingagement, to alter the same.

The third particular, was for the defence of the Kings person and the voyce went for the King and Parliament. But it seemed a strange partadox to many, how we should fight for the King, fighting against his personall commands, accompanied with his person, the best constructi­on J could make thereof, was the rescuing him from his evill councel, that led him to the ruining himselfe and the Nation, and we ever made him meerly passive, seduced by evill Councel, but it appeareth that his Followers rather acted his councel, then he theirs, but seeing he is still in safety, it can be no breach of this ingagement, if his person be kept from destruction.

The next particular is the priviledges of Parliament, and it were very good the people knew what they are, unlimited privilidges may prove as destructive as unbounded prerogative; it is reason they should be cleared and declared that future Parliaments may be prescribed, likewise for their sitting and ending, that they may not wrong posterities: and when they are rightly stated according to reason, no question, but wee shall make good this ingagement so farre as may stand with the peoples free­dome.

The fist thing, called the liberty of the subject, which is the only thing that can stand in competition, which the Prince must of necessitie be se­cured from oppressing tyrants, which can no better wayes be done then by giving all authority from their representative, to whom all ought to be accountable, they being changable by an unalterable decree, ha­ving this once setled, we may safely involve all in this common bottome of Parliaments; unlesse this be procured, we have done nothing for po­steritie; and I dare affirme, we had better have continued under arbitrary tytrany, then have contracted this miserie and oppression that the people have suffered, and still lyeth upon them.

Now Sir, that which hindreth our peace, is pride and coveteousnesse; which are the roots of all grand evils and mischiefs, the great men con­tend which shall be greatest, profit and honour blind the eyes of the wise, the people are divided upon these two heads, the King, and the Cove­nant, to which parties are contracted, and the way to compose is not compulsion, but by conviction, it is mercy and lenity conquers more up­on iugenious spirits, then austerity and force: it would not be amisse to procure what shal be done, for or with the King, for it is against the Par­liaments declared principles to keepe men in prison, any longer then ne­cessitie enforceth, untill they may have a Judiciall try all, and seeing wee have been under such bondage, that the constitution hath provided no Judicature to judge the King, and indeed he is not legally subject to the penall lawes. it will be most safe therefore to referr him to divine justice which will judge righteously, and to settle the government of the King­dome for quietnesse sake, with as much favour to the Prince, as the pub­lique safety will permit. But as he sticketh to his former principles and parties, there can be no trusting him with power, without giving up your cause, and subjecting your selves to the mercy of his will: he may be re­stored to the enjoyment of a sufficient revenue, beyond any particular person, with his wife and children to a condition of freedome, safety, and peace, the publique safety being first provided for, and may be intrusted with power if afterwards invested therewith from a future representative, in whom the fountaine of authority among men, justly is, and then can there be no deny all of being accountable thereto: Thus may the people be secured from tytrany.

The Covenant which hath been insisted upon for pollitique ends, and still is much pressed by the Scots, J beleeve, may be stuck to till the pro­moters dissert it without any forced construction, for thein sweareing an utter extirpation of popery, prelacy, with all dependance on that hirarchy. [Page 13]It will necessarily follow, that all coersive power inforcing an externall uniformitie, must be taken away, for this is the foundation of popery, this is that spirit that sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing it selle to be God, and exalting it selfe above all that is called God, by making lawes to binde the conscience in matters of faith.

And by the extirpation of the prelacy with all depen­dance on that Hierarchie, will the ordination of the Mini­strie received from them become null: For their dependance is on that Hierachy from whence they had their institution, to the office of the ministry The Prelates dare not presse this argument, because of giving advantage to their adversaries of Rome, from whence they had their own sending these two arguments from the best interpretation of the Covenant will easily beat them oft from that hold, we may justly defend the government of the Kirk of Scotland, against any that shall inforce any thing upon them contrary thereto, either in do­ctrin, discipline or worship: we may likewise endeavour to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdomes, to as neare a conformitie to the word and the example of the best Reformed Churches as is possible, still provided there be no humane force or power, exercised to this purpose, the wea­pons of the christian warfare are spirituall, not carnall, but mighty in operation to the destroying of spirituall wicked­nesse in high places, to the bringing of the thoughts and imaginations of mens hearts into subiection, according to the mind and will of God. If conscientious people were but united upon this principle, it would take off all cifferences in relation to spirituall things.

Having taken this boldnesse to write to you of matters of such general concernment in relation to the publique. Give me leave to offer my thoughts in relation to the late trans­action of affaires betweene the Army and the Parliament, which are but stifled for the present, and will questionlesse break forth to the cleare justification of the Army, and those members of Parliament that came to them or otherwise make them culpable, and justifie those Members that sate with Mr. Pellam. The Breach between them and us, was managed [Page 14]by the major part of the House, whose commands we disobeyed upon just grounds, but came not to a resistance till our way was made more cleare, by that outrage in the City Tumult, which made the Speakers and our friends fly to us for succour. After which there remained neare six score in and about London and Westminster, and not above seventy came to the Army: Now without question, the interest of the Houses Authority remained with those at London. For by the custome of the Kingdom, the House is included by fortie men, which keep their fitting according to its precedent adjournment, and they remaining, being the highest visible authority in the Kingdom. The question will be, by what au­thority we marched up to London in defiance to their com­mands, to the repelling of those Hostile powers contracted by their Authority, and how the Army shall be justified or vindi­cated in such proceedings.

That which giveth me quiet and peace of Conscience, is from these considerations.

First, That when a Companie or Society of men, who are invested with power from God and nature to preserve them­selves, and the Authorities over them command things unjust, which will prove their ruin if obeyed. It is cleare to me, necessi­ty hath no Law, they may appeale to Heaven and Earth to beare witnesse to their cause, and betake themselves to the prime Lawes of nature, to preserve and defend themselves, and may suppresse the Authority, if they persist in prosecution of things destructive to the Communicie. I know no other way of breaking tyrannicall Usurpations.

Now it is most cleare, that the Parliament put the Army upon conditions which would have proved their ruin, if they had yeelded to their will. For if they had renounced their just Petition, and swallowed that abominable Declaration, and disbanded, they had been cast upon their enemies mercy for their Indempnity, and to have trusted those that had acted by secret Councels with the King, for setling the Rights and Freedome of the Nation which we had contended for.

Secondly, The consideration of the unequall Elections and [Page 15]Constitution of the House of Commons not representing the maior part of the Nation, but Elections distributed according to the will of the King and his predecessors, so that those who did not consent, were only bound by a power of force, and the maior part not consenting, are not oblieged when there being come in competition.

Thirdly, The Houses departing from their first integrity of communicating impartial Justice, & by vertue of that act of continuance during pleasure, grew into parties and Factions, and neglected to settle the government of the Kingdom, in order to the period of their sitting, but rather its probably in­deavoured to be perpetuall Dictators, so as to deprive the Na­tion of that changeable Law making authorities which are the conservators of their Liberties, to mantain all arbitrary in themselves; this may iustly be charged upon the prevalent par­tie, that were our opposers, who secretly carried on a combi­nation to comply with the Kings interest to a more universall inslaving the people then formerly.

Having considered all proceedings of the most materiall concernment, it will necessarily come to this issue, that we have disobeyed, resisted, and repelled all the Authoritie and Go­vernment of the Kingdom, both King, Parliament, and all bounds of Law; and the authorities and government being bro­ken, it is wholly dissolved, and involved into its originall Fountain next under God the people. And the highest autho­rity that is now visible is the force of the Sword. For there is no reasonable man, but will conclude the Parliament to be under a force, mixed of two parties, that have been in opposition, one while one partie is the Parliament, another while the other, even to which the strongest power is contracted, so the stream runs, for at the time we lay at Brainford, your self, and Son in Law Ireton affirmed in my hearing, that those which remai­ned at Westminster with Mr. Pellam, were no Parliament, but some Gentlemen claiming a Parliamentary Authority. And in our Remonstrance from Kingston, we declared to the world [Page 16]they were Usurpers and Intruders, and that we would not suf­fer those who had voted to make a new warre upon us, to sit there as ours and the Kingdoms Iudges; yet since they have been acknowledged to be a Parliament, and sit here in Court to this day, and for what I know, are the chiefe fomenters of our distractions, and the Protracters of the redresses of the common grievances of the Nation. Now Sir, so long as that Remonstrance from Kingstone stands owned, J doe not conceive the Army concluded under the authority of the House, but on­ly setting the House as a skreene between them and the fiery fury of the people in the midst of the common grievances and distractions, and do yeeld obedience to the Parliament in what they command agreeable to your own judgement. And on the other hand, the Parliament and Synod, with all the Presbyterian party, with the Scots Councel, are indeavouring to get a power to bring you under the Lash, and you can look for no other, but that if they get you and the Army down, they will pay you and your accomplices for their disobedi­ence. Therefore take care to use your reason and your power to secure your selves, not only from the King and his Lawes which he still fighteth by, but likewise from the Parliament Pellamites, and their Ordinances, which you and the Army have slighted.

Now Sir, I professe for my own part, J am not over carefull J shall only use meanes to the discharge of my duty according to my judgement and reason, and whether I be any thing or nothing, it matters not; yet it behoves me to take care for the security and welfare of those poor Souldiers under my com­mand, which I have indeavoured to ingage in this common cause, which I vindicate, and shall by Gods assistance seale with my blood, by suffering if called thereunto. I value my reputa­tion as a man to stand in competition with my livelihood, but I value my principles more then life naturall, and before I would violate my conscience in matter of concernment upon mature consideration, I would suffer all the torment that men and Divels can invent.

Now Sir, to secure your self and friends, which is the chief work that lieth before you, I must needs say, I see no other way but by entring upon some way equivolent to that presen­ted in the paper, intitled The Agreement of the people. There is a necessity of setting a period to this Parliament, and change­ing the currant of the Law out of the Kings name, into the Commons, without which I can see no sure security, but by making up your Interest under the King, and receiving In­dempnity and pardon from him: which last I doe detest, and shall ever labour to prevent. If any man can hold forth any other way wherein there is a probability to obtain security, freedome, and peace, Ile acknowledge my own weaknesse, and give God thanks for raising up an Instrument for my convicti­on. I know the prosecution of the former is very dangerous and desperate, the King, Scots, and forraign States will be our Enemies, yet if you fall back you must expect ruine; and if you go forward, you can be no worse in the greatest hazzards: and it is better perishing in right wayes then in wrong.

Having thus freely discovered my principles, and offered my desires to your view, I must confesse my inabilities of ad­ding to your knowledge in things of this nature, but looking upon you as a person of power and interest I thought good to discharge my mind, and to let you know, I shall not be for­ward to exercise force for the procuring things of this nature, but only plead at oportunities in wayes of reason, and shall stand by thofe that stand for the publique interest of the Nation, and shall upon a cleare way and call ingage my life as former­ly, against such as shall indeavour to destroy honest, peaceable men, by wayes of force and violence. And if you as formerly, shall still own the Jnterest of honest people, and forbeare the exercise of rigor upon those that are friends to your self, and the Common wealth, then shall I be ready to hazzard my life for your preservation, when you shall be cast upon the greatest extremitie in the midst of your many enemies, for you may assure your self all storms are not over, and that late insurrection in London is but a fruit of that councel which will endeavour to [Page 18]raise more such there & in other places, who care not if they break all reines, and make way for that abomination that maketh desolate, rather then let go their pride and ambition: you must expect the further exercise of your faith & patience in the times of tryal that are coming up­on this Nation. But the Lord instruct, keepe and preserve you in the wayes of righteousnesse, shall be the prayers of him who desires to serve you, while you serve the publique.

Francis White.

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