A Copy of a LETTER; Written to one of the Members of Parliament now sitting: Wherein is contained a serious reflection, upon the fal­lacies and disingeniousness of the Army, in their se­ven Unalterable Fundamentals, lately published. As also a seasonable Caution to all Governours, for their better securing themselves and the Nation, from being made any more a prey to the lusts and will of the Army, and their Adherents.


HAving lately perused those few Princi­ples, agreed on (as it was said) by the Generall Councill of Officers, and published for the people's view, under the Title of, Vnalterable Fun­damentals; I thought it my duty, as a Member of this Common-wealth, to give in my sense hereof, together with these Cautions following. Providence having so or­dered it, (I hope for the best) that after this second, and therefore most shamefull defection of one part of the Ar­my, you are now in a hopefull way of being established, in that fulness of power you have laid claim to, and I hope will improve, through grace, to the establishment of the Laws of God and the Nation, and the vindication of the people from Oppression and Tyranny. For God having done so much in mercy for you, it is now in the expectation of all men, what you in duty will do for him and his people.

Before I come to the Fundamentalls here mentioned, I shall premise this Quaerie touching the Authors there­of, Whether they are not the unfittest men to be makers of unalterable Fundamentalls, that have been the greatest [Page 2]Breakers of Fundamentalls themselves, and such too as were thought as Unalterable, as both by the consent of the People, and the Wisdom and authority of Gover­nours, could be effected.

1 The first particular agreed on, for an unalterable Fun­damentall, is, That there shall be no Kingship exercised in these Nations. But because I know not how to answer Tautoligies, I shall joyn this, and the Proposition follow­ing together, viz.

2 That they will not have any single Person, to exercise the Of­fice of chief Magistrate in these Nations. For what is King­ship, but a single Person exercising the Office of chief Magistrate in these Nations; and if there be no single Per­son, there can be no King. To these two then I answer, It is not the Formall part in the word, King, or in that single number, One, which hath been so long engaged against; but the Substantiall part, in that latitude of Power, and Arbitraines of Government, the Spirit and life of Tyranny; which, be it in one, or in two, or in twenty, is the same burden and oppression, to the free born people of this Common-wealth. Monar­chy being rejected and laid aside, rather as an opportu­nity and fitness for Tyranny to seat it self in, than as Ty­ranny it self; which doubtless may be found in any form, which is farthest distant from it, where Persons are cor­rupt, and Laws be defective.

3 That an Army may be continued, and be conducted, so as it may secure the Peace of these Nations; and not be disbanded, nor the Conduct thereof altered, but by consent of the said Conservators appointed. I answer, That forasmuch as Au­thority of it self is but a name, and meer formall thing, without the soul and spirit of Government, which is strength to compell, whatsoever Authority shall com­mand. Therefore I must assert these two Positions, as un­alterable Maxims.

1. That the Parliament, which is owned as the Su­pream Authority of the Nation; and their Army, which, in truth, is the strength and sinues of this Authority, must be so much one, as that the Army, our of that inte­rest and influence which the Parliament hath over it, by [Page 3]way of necessity, must acknowledge and yield up thereunto the right, of giving definitive sentence, and power of juding what is fit and reasonable, for the people of this Nation, usurped of late by part of the Army, and their Adherants.

2. This must be done so really, without any more contra­diction or opposition, than any private man, who is not of the Army, shall use, in his own behalfe, who is onely pas­sive herein. Otherwise, to own any Supream Power above the Army, is a gross contradiction.

4 That no imposition may be upon the consciences of them, that fear God. This, because it is unalterable, it hath need to be more fully and plainly expressed; that is to say, That no imposition shall be upon the consciences of those, whom the Supream Authority shall adjudge to fear God, and not what the Army shall determine herein.

5 That their be no House of Peers. Observe what care is ta­ken, to make up their Fundamentalls of words onely, that they may keep themselves loose in the things themselves. It is not another House they resolve against, but a House of Peers: 'Tis a House of Lords, forsooth, and not a House shall Lord it over us, that they will venture for ever to declare against. As long as they will not have a House of Peers, although they have the same, and far greater power exercised in other persons, and names, 'tis sufficient and fair enough.

6 That the Legislative and Executive Powers shall be distinct, and not in the same hands. That any may see of what mettle their Fundamentalls are made of. This Sixth Proposition hath broken the neck of the Fifth already; for there, they declare against a House of Peers, and yet here, they say, they will have another Assembly distinct from the Parliament; to whom, if you give no more power than the House of Peers had, then are they as needless as youMarch 19. 1648. An Act for abolishing the House of Peers. Voted the House of Peers to be: If you give them more power than the House of Peers had, then what becomes of your priviledges of Par­liament? Then let me tell you, Your Rump (as they call it) is not worth a—

7 That both the Assemblies of the Parliament shall be elected by the people of this Common-wealth, duly qualified. The Army should have made one Fundamentall more, that is to say, [Page 4]That the Army should be for ever deemed, the onely duly qualified people of this Common-wealth; and then the next Fundamentall comes in plainly and sincerely, without any fraud or jugling, viz. That both the Assemblies of the Palia­ment shall be elected by the people of this Common-wealth, duly qualified; that is to say, with Red-coats, Muskets, Swords, and Pikes. Otherwise, we have great cause to fear, that they who have so long assumed this Title, as peculiar to them­selves, will never disclaim it at the election of Parlia­ments.

Now, Sir, Fearing that Party, which hath so shamefully fallen away from you, hath yet too great an interest in many persons among you; yea, seeing daily so many of them, as to outward appearance, admitted into grace and favour with the Parliament, and thorough the carelesnesse of some, into places of chiefest trust in this Common-wealth, I can­not but give you, as already a brief account of their unalte­rable Fundamentalls, so now, likewise a short and seasonable Caution for your future dealing with them.

It is no lesse wise, then old saying, First try, and then trust; God hath given you a fair triall, both of your Friends and Enemies, if you make not aright advantage, Destruction will come upon you without pitty.

Take notice, there are many now, will come in unto you daily, compelled by necessity, not affection, who will by consequence no longer remain with you, then that bond of necessity lasteth; Be well advised, concerning those that have appeared against you, though now they cry you up ne­ver so loud, 'tis to do themselves good, and not you, that they now carry a face of friendship towards you.

They will now be treating with you a pace, but treat with no more then you must needs; You are now able to stand upon your owne leggs, it will engage the Nation the more for you, the lesse you comply with the Enemies of their Peace, their Religion, their Laws, and their Liberty: besides, by this means you pay the Defected party all their Arrears, without putting the Nation to any further charge, which wil be accounted as a just punishment upon them, who have in­terrupted you; and in you a fatherly care, and provident re­spect to the purses of the People, (so much already exhau­sted) [Page 5]which they will draw the freelier, (as being the better able) to pay off all those that have been instruments of your re-establishment; Remember what Principles they are of, and then consider, what faith they are like to keep with you.

As first, they do affirm, That Lawes, Acts, and Statutes, vid. Army's Plea for their present Practise are binding or not binding, as they appear to the Army, to relate or conduce to common and publick right or wrong, pag. 3.

2. They absolve the Common-wealth from their obligations to your Laws, which they shall adjudge to be destructive to their interest and advantage, ibid.

3. That as all Lawes, Statutes, Acts, and Ordinances; so all Covennants, Engagements, Promises, and Protestations; all Ac­knowledgments, Subscriptions, Vows, and Oaths; all and all manner of Obligations and Expressions thereof, are onely binding unto the Publick safety, not at all to the persons of Governonrs, or Governments, but with reference thereunto. Of which Pub­lick safety, these men have affirmed, That it belongs to them­selves, whom they call the People, and not to the Parliament, who are their Governours, to judge of, which their late proceedings do sufficiently testifie. pag. 4.

4. That the Souldiery may lawfully hold the hands of their Generall, if they shall say, he turns the Canon against them; though it appear to their Generall, and all the world besides, he doth not so, pag. 6.

5. That it is no resistance of Magistracy, for an Army to pre­serve the publick, naturall, and undoubted rights of the People, against their lawfull Magistrates, pag. 6.

6. That they ought not to deliver the Sword out of their hands, for the sacrificing of that cause, which God, by his Pro­vidence, hath put into their hands, for its protection and de­fence, pag. 23.

7. That the making of an inconditionate Promise and En­gagement, is sin; and that the keeping of it is sin also, pag. 24.

8. That the Parliament are not proper Judges of what is con­venient to he done for common interest, in the case of the Souldie­ry, but that common in erest must be the onely judge, pag 26.

9. That though in other cases you are the onely Judges, as in that of Sir George Booth; yet, in their cases, you are not to be Judges, as in that of the nine Officers of the Army, pag. 27.

10. That by a Parliament must be meant the Major part of a Parliament, and not the Minor, pag. 28.

11. That they may as well be Judges to turn you out of the House, as they were allowed to be Judges, to turn the Major part out before, pag. 29.

12. And lastly, I shall cite you this one more out of their Declaration, Octob. 27. 1659. viz. That the People, by electing Members to represent them in Parliament, had cut that Knot with their own Sword, which by no other waies was capable to be dissolved or broken.

Out of this brief Collection, you may easily inform your selfe, what obedience they are like to give, what faith they are like to keep, and what safety you are like to have among this disobedient, and faithlesse crew of Mutiners; who owning no other Law then their owne Will, no other pow­er then their owne Sword, will never become subject to the Lawes of the Nation, or the sword of the Magistrate, untill the body of them shall be dissolved into their first Princi­palls.

Nor can I think, I leave you safe here, without putting you in mind of those their adherents, whom they call the Sectaries; These indeed are the men, have effected your in­terruption more then any, opposing your Principles as much as your Power. Who thorough some men's Carelesnesse, and their own Diligence, have crept unawares into the most considerable places, both of Trust, and Power in these Na­tions; And who could not but read your Destiny, that be­held this over-sight in you. Grow wise, then by Experi­ence, and Remember to put those into places of Trust and Power, that are of your owne principles; This is your Duty, your Honour, your Safety, your Interest. And you have good reason to believe, that they that think themselves above the Ordinances of God, will never cordially submit to the Ordinances of Man. Religion among those that are zealous, is counted their chief interest, for this they will not stick to venture their Estates, their Reputation, and all that is dear unto them; so that their shall be neither Oath, nor Covenant, nor Promises, but this like the Pope, shall be alwaies ready, with some to give them a dispensation who 'tis feared, have too many among them of the Jesuits crew, [Page 7]who will easily dispute them into this belief, that they do God good service, (when occasion shall serve) to keep no faith with you, whom they esteem as Heretiques.

Men of different principles, can never unite at the heart, though with flattering Lips, and a double Tongue, they may speak every one to his Neighbour, yet they will disco­ver themselves in their proper seasons.

Divide not the victory with them, who would fain get a hank upon the Government, not that they intend to be with you any longer, then under your shadow, and present pro­tection; they may provide for themselves, and their friends safety, till in time they may grow up, to over-top you again, (as ill weeds grow apare). What ever leaves they may now put forth, their naturall fruits will not bear proportion to.

And now I hope, having known what it is to be kept out of the house your selves, and having made such bitter com­plaints against them that were your Disturbers; Now I say, I hope you will pitty your brethren of the Long Parliament, and not do to them, as you would not have others do unto you: Though they are not Majores natu, yet they are Ma­jores numero, to whom the birth right, in the naturall course of the Law, undoubtedly belongeth. The very essence of former Parliaments, and what is it indeed among your selves? what is it among every private Committee, or meeting of men of Authority, that challengeth to it selfe the Authority of doing, without any contradiction; but the greater number: till you acknowledge your backslidings in full, as the Army did theirs but in part, and call in the Major part of the house, as they did the Minor part onely, till your Repentance be unfained, and your Reformation perfect, you will never be established in the peoples Love, and what security can you have in the peoples Fear? which must be maintained by the power of an Armies inconstancy, who can with the same breath, both blesse, and curse their Masters.

God hath set you once more in your places, it may be, to see if you will set others in theirs also. Remember your Repentance in the day of your distresse; There were some of you, when the Army had turned you out, condemned your selves for not taking the rest of your fellow Members [Page 8]in. As the Army gave you that Opportunity, to see your faults, so God hath now given you his opportunity, wherein you may mend them.

Do not then falsly imagine your selves at your journies end, nor take up your rest in your imperfect number; but know that you are not set up as the summary end, and per­fection of Government, but onely as a fit opportunity, and probable way, wherein a more perfect Government may be obtained and established; which, as it is your duty to en­deavour to effect, so it will be your chiefest glory to bring to Perfection.


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