« ForrigeFortsæt »
selves, that now, having the sole disposal of their lords estates, that they would not be put out of their stewardship, until they themselves pleased: Do you think that they that did thus trust these good stewards were obliged by their stewards resolution ? Doubtless, no: But if, at any time afterwards, their lords should appoint other stewards, doubtless, they ought to officiate, and the others to shift for themselves, except they liked to entertain them the second time; and, whether this be not the present case in hand, and these as much a parliament as the other stewards, iş
10. Whether this parliament, if it needs must be so called, with seventy more gentlemen for a senate, be not like to infringe the people's rights, and give less satisfaction, than one single person with a parliament? The first reason is, this parliament of fifty or sixty, or th reabouts, and seventy more besides, have every one of them a long train; there is never a one but is a file-leader, that is, hath, at least, six or ten at his heels, to be provided for one way or other; and all hungry as hawks, ready to catch at any thing, and nothing will serve but the blood of the people, for they must be fed with something.
2. Reason. It is against the standing rules of reason, the professed principles of the army, for any power or authority to have the militia, and the command of the people's purses, which this parliament, or people, hath, which is both destructive and pernicious; though the command of the people's purse was never desired or practised by a single person; and, whether a government, settled by parliament, under one head, to execute the laws of the go. vernment so made by parliament, be not more pleasing and rational than to have a body consisting of so many heads, which is monster. like? The people, generally, doubtless, had rather have their laws executed by one person, which they love and honour, than to have a hundred, or a hundred and fifty men equal, or worse than themselves, to domineer over them, as it is too apparent they were accustomed to do: Besides, you will find, in case of any exor, bitancy in a government, that one for his trust is sooner dealed with than maný.
11. Whether the good old cause, so much talked of, be not generally mistaken? For what is this cause so much magnified, but that which you have possessed and enjoyed as free in this protec. tor's time, as in the long-parliament; nay, and more also by far? Now let us first enquire what it is: If first the basis of all our fierce and fiery contests with all sorts, as well the pulling out the longparliament themselves, as against the king and bishops, was not for liberty of conscience, and for a toleration of men of different minds in God's worship and service: Let every man examine the times, the army's declarations, and the course of things every year since the first beginning, and you will find the kindle-coal of all differences was in this, that sometimes prelacy, and then presbytery, both in England and Scotland, had an itch to be beating their fellow-servants; and; to ward the dint of their blow, presently
we still betook ourselves to our arms; if you will say the liberties of the people was a part and a principal one too: It is true it was, I believe, not only pretended, but intended also: But the people are the most proper judges; he, that is beaten, is best able to judge of the blows; and he that is diseased of the gout, or the like, he is most sensible of the ease, when he hath it; so the people, if their verdict may pass, whether the executive power in this protector, or in committees of parliament, be best; it is too `apparent, if the people, whose servants these gentlemen pretend to be, might speak and be heard, they would neither give them meat, drink, nor lodging for their work, but would be as bad as a high court of justice I fear.
PLEA FOR LIMITED MONARCHY.
See Vol. I. p. 20.
AWAKE 0 ENGLAND:
THE PEOPLE'S INVITATION TO KING CHARLES.
Being a Recital of the Ruins over-running the People and their Trades; With an opportune Advice to returu to Obedience of their Kinys,
under whoin they ever flourished.
Navita de ventis, de tauris narrat arator;
Enumerat miles vulnera; pastor oves.
“ Let mariners observe the winds, and painful ploughmen till their grounds; “Let honest shepherds feed their tiocks, whilst soldiers glory in their wounds."
And so God save all who cry, GOD SAVE THE KING.
London: Printed for Charles Prince, and are to be sold at the east end of St.
E plebeians assuming the name, not of a house, but of a
kingdom of commons, having, for twenty years, stood fearfully staring (like our innocent sheep at the barking and howl. ing of dogs and wolves) not daring to tune our pipes of pastime, which to us and them were much more acceptable musick than the shrieking trumpets and affrighting drums, that, like thunder, warn us to our cottages, as in prevention of a storm.
We, who have been robbed of that rich treasure, our liberty, and of that honest freedom, whereby we drew our wholesome country air with safety, more natural to us than parliamentary pills or military lances, even we also find ourselves to be in the condition of our poor rustick veighbour, who hearing herself abused, and in danger to be ruined by her knavish and corrupted lawyer, cried out to the judge, that, in bearing ten children, she felt not so much pain as at that time she did to hold her peace,
whilst she was wrongfully divested of her livelihood; therefore, our silence breaks forth.
But our case is far worse, for ours is already gone, even all the substance that we had; and being much against our will wasted (pot, like prodigals, upon harlots, who, nevertheless, would have shewed some remorse towards them they had ruined). Our lot is rather like theirs, who, having fallen into the merciless hands of thieves and pyrates, are left wounded and stripped, yet not at all regarded by our hard-hearted landlords, or by our leech-like law. yers, nor yet by our uncharitable clergy, who load us with duty to death, and for example are the first that fly from the trial.
Even we plebeians, beholding ourselves to be the moral of that emblem which presents the prelate praying for all, and the lawyer pleading for all, and the soldier fighting for all, and the countryman feeding all, have sadly found that we only, the despised peasants, have dearly paid for all; therefore (if losers have leave to speak) let no man censure us, if we, being brought to the hog's ordinary, to beg the husks of them who devoured the kernels and substance of our food, be yet denied that relief; that we, remem. bering when we bore obedience to our pious princes, and enjoyed a heavenly Father who provided for us, do now return to him and to our gracious king, his lawful deputy, and, with unfeigned re. pentance and humility, cry out, saying, “ O heavenly Father, O earthly divine Sovereign, we, even we, have sinned and rebelled against heaven and against thee, and are no more worthy to be called thy sons; make us yet thy servants, O God, and o King, that so, our timely repentance finding thy gracious pardon, we may become thy sons again.”
We now behold ourselves to be as the brutes in the wilderness, and hoping our lions, who by their power, and by the subtlety of their fox-like adjutants, have made themselves beastial kings over us, would, indeed, relieve and feed us according to their promises and our wants, do, on the contrary, find and feel, that, instead of help, our hunger is increased; instead of the liberty which they proclaimed, we languish in prisons, so that for the showers of joy (after which we have long gaped) our hearts are filled with heari. ness, and our tongues utter only lamentations.
The oil and honey, promised us by Oliver, is turned into gall and bitterness; Lambert's free quarterings have licked up the little that was left in our cruses ; Lawson hath lost the honour of our seas; and we who have so long feared and disclaimed, and cursed the papists, are now forced and glad to fly to a monk for safe. guard, whom, nevertheless, we worthily bless; we worship him with our bodies, and endow him with our own and others worldly goods, yea, we willingly would espouse him also, did not his order forbid him to marry kingdoms; however, we will honour him as our Joseph, for his wisdom and courage in preventing us from', devouring each other, as undoubtedly that famine, which we fore. see, and he most prudently endeavours to prevent, would bring upon us.
The world admires and derides our causeless confusions, behold. ing that the quarrels of the most mighty potentates of Europe, for crowns and kingdoms, grounded upon justice and right, are soon and happily composed, whilst our unjust and unnatural cannibal. confusions are unwilling to look towards an end.
Was our royal state and unparalleled government the garden which we intended to weed? Behold, our foolish and unskilful hands have, together with our glorious monarchs, instead of ca. lumniated evil counsellors, plucked up our inheritance in law and liberty, and swept away our freedom and safety with our Solomon's beautiful and magnificent tents; was our religion, that goodly corn-field, said to be over-run with tares and thistles, and cockle? Behold the ignorant man hath been that evil husband-man, who, refusing the wise instructions of his Lord, hath maliciously eradi. cated the wheat root and branch, and scattered over the whole field tares and thistles, and briars and thorns.
Our scriptures which instruct us, by the fall of Israel's nation, whose prophets had admonished them by judgments which they found infallible, have no where repeated to us such provocations from that people, as we have given to our God, until those, when their combinations took counsel against the Son of God, and cru. cified the Lord of Life; and surely our unchristian rebellion, or at least theirs, which have practised such treasons, have produced such effects, as no mortal man came nearer the sufferings of our Saviour's humanity, than did our royal and divine sovereign, crucified by lawyers, preachers, and soldiers.
Our magistracy and judicatures, which are the pretended sanc. tuary to our liberty, and inheritable interest to justice and right, which, by our ancient laws, were founded upon God's law, have, through usurpation of power, been intrusted in such viscous and bird-limed fingers, as none could have the benefit of them, but such as could give most for their sentence, insomuch as that, which was formerly under condemnation or bribery, hath lately grown to publick sale; whereby justice is become as valuable and common at rates as cardons at Rome.
We remember, that in the beginning of our late transcendent parliament (which none before it could reach in comparison of dangerous issues, and deadly fruits) how high the cries went against ship-money, patents, monopolies, illegal imprisonments, and such other breaches into our free-born interests, as appeared by the then condemning complaints, which searched our sores, to the worth of a sin; and yet amongst all thosc lamentations, which hooded our eyes, and deafened our ears, whilst our pockets were picked, and our wives fingers stripped, we never heard of excises, fifth and twentieth parts, sequestrations, taxes and contributions, and amongst all these oppressions, gifts to maintain foreign rebel. lions; but well we remember, that, whilst we honestly paid our tithes, we and our ministers enjoyed such a double blessing, as our souls fed upon the food, which now they want; and our mi. nisters rested contented with their dues, for which they returned
grateful hospitalities, without the new ungodly encumbrances of augmentations, whereby robbing Peter to pay Paul, many of our church doors have so lost their keys, as none have entered into them for many years.
When we paid ship-money, which amounted not to so much as one of our Friday-night suppers, in the whole year, by the pole, we had safeguard to our seas, our wool went to the workmen, our cloathing passed by the merchants to all parts of the world; re. turns were made of all things we wanted at easy rates, even to richness, glory, and plenty ; our navigation was as sure as our tra. vel from one market to another; our meanest sea-men, who took charge, had noble receptions at home and abroad; we enjoyed our houses and lands in peace, and had no complaining in our streets ; our woods were guarded by laws, and supplied by plantation ; our fleets were formidable upon all seas, and our people of all conditions, as well civil as soldiery, brought honour and dignity to our kingdoms.
Instead of these rejoicings, we are filled with howlings; our trades are generally lost, and there is none to give us work; our wool and leather, and corn, and butter, and cheese, are daily transported, and whilst we are lessened in our manufactures, and vocations and industries, we are raised in rents, and food, and taxes, and all things belonging to our livelihood; the mysteries of our crafts, and the materials of our manufactures, do find such acceptable receipt in foreign parts, as unconscionable men have brought the ruins of their own country into a trade; and those laws, which for the chief benefit of the people, and the very
life of trade, are made, are so boldly affronted, as the good patriots, who for the benefit of themselves and country, endeavour to prevent the great damages, which come by such bold attempts, are by cunning practices of clerks, and the remissness of superior officers, so discouraged, as that law, which was made to defend and encou. rage them, is carried fully against them, and the plaintiffs are sued at law, till they have neither cloke, nor coat, nor bed, nor board, nor house, but a prison to receive them ; widows wring their hands, and orphans lament, whilst there is none to deliver them; every man oppresseth his neighbour, for it seems good in his own eyes so to do, because, alas, we have no king.
If we, look into our neighbour nations, we are the subjects of their mirth, and the song of the scornful; we (as if we were all guilty) are stiled murtherers, king-killers, and the very abjects among them trample upon us, for the blasphemous people among uş have committed so horrible treasons, as ought not once to be named among us; if we turn our eyes and ears from these dismal spectacles and groans, we presently encounter another object of our sorrows, the body of our trades is anatomised, dissected, and, from the most intrinsick secrets thereof, is discovered to foreigners; all workings in wool, which together with that material have, by the providence of our ancestors, been, with all their wisdom, restrained from other nations, are now so much at liberty, and, by