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given ordinances, that he shall not be troubled with much money or meat; and that his queen and lawful wife shall not so much as darken his door. And we have endeavoured, by open rebellion, to release him of a most troublesome life and reign, by hunting him like a partridge over the mountains; and by shooting bullets of all sizes at his person for his majesty's preservation, on purpose to make him a glorious King in another world. We have cased him of a great number of his faithful friends, loyal subjects and servants, by either charitable famishing, brotherly banishment, liberal and free imprisonment, parliamental plunder, friendly throat-cutting, and unlawful beheading and hanging, or ruinating as many as we could lay hands of, that either loved, served, or honoured him.
All these heavy burthens we have eased him of, and overladen ourselves with the usurped ponderosity of them; so that our adversaries say, that the weight of them will either break our backs, our necks, or sink us for ever: and they say, that, since the world's creation, never so good a king had so bad subjects to use him so hardly.
Fourthly, Mr. Speaker, It is questioned what we have done for the laws. There are some that are not afraid to say, that we have transforined or metamorphosed the common laws of the land, into the land's common calamities; that, instead of the common benefit which the laws in community should yield to all men in general, we have perverted those laws to the private profit of ourselves, and some other particular persons. The civil law is turned into an uncivil civil war; blasphemy, atheism, sacrilege, obsceneness, profaneness, incest, adultery, fornication, bigamy, polygamy, bastard-bearing, cuckold-making, and all sorts of beastly bawdry are so far from being punished, that they are generally connived and winked at, or tolerated by us. And those which should be the punishers of these gross and crying crimes, as judges, officials, deacons, proctors, and other officers, these are derided, Teviled, libelled against, cried down, and made a common scoffingstock of every libidinous incontinent whore, and whore-monger.
The law of God, contained in the decalogue or ten commandments, we have rased out of the church, not so much as suffering them to be read: and the new commandment, which was the last that Christ commanded, that we should love one another, we have turned that the foul contrary way, to the spoiling and murdering one another. The law of nature is most unnaturally changed to brutish, heathenish, devilish, barbarous inhumanity; parricide, fratricide, and homicide, hath been, and is by us defended, maintained, and rewarded; no affinity, consanguinity, alliance, friendship, or fellowship, hath or can secure any true protestant, or loyal subject, either of his life or goods, safety or freedom. These are the best reports, our adversaries, the malignant party, do give us.
It is farther said, that we have infringed and violated the law of arms here, and the law of nations abroad; for whereas messengers and ambassadors have always had, and ought to have free and safe passage, with fair and courteous accommodation and entertainment, which the
Turks, Tartars, Jews, and Cannibals always observed most obsequiously and punctually: but we, contrary to them, and repugnant to Christianity, have suffered ambassadors to be rifled, robbed, and evil entreated. And we have caused his majesty's messengers to be hanged, whom he hath most graciously sent to us with conditions of peace.
By the Vox Populi, or common vote of those people, we are pleased to call malignants, Papists, enemies to the state, with other scandals and epithets (which they utterly deny both in their words and practice:) we are justiy taxed to be the main incendiaries, and pestilent propagators, of all the mischiefs which this afflicted miserable kingdom groans and bleeds under; for they say, that the old statutes of Magna Charta are overthrown by us, under pretence and colour of supporting them: and that, by our votes, ordinances, precepts, proclamations, edicts, mandates, and commands, we have countermandert, abrogated, annihilated, abolished, violated, and made void, all the laws of God, of nature, of arms, and of arts too; and, instead of them, we have unlawfully erected marshal law, club law, Stafford law, and such lawless laws as make most for treason, rebellion, murder, sacrilege, ruin, and plunder. But as for the King himself, we have not allowed him
. so much law as a huntsman allows a hare. These are our enemies words, and so much they say we have done for the laws.
Fifthly, Mr. Speaker, This question or query is, what we have done for the kingdom. It is said, that we have done and undone the kingdom; this ancient famous flourishing kingdom; this envy of the world fur happiness; this Eden of the universe; this terrestrial Paradise; this abstract of heaven's blessings, and earthly content; this epitome of nature's glory; this exact extract of piety, learning, and magnanimous chivalry; this nursery of religion, arins, arts, and laudable endeavours; this breed of men; this wonder of nations, formerly renowned, feared, loved, and honoured, as far as ever sun and moon shined; this England, which hath been a kingdom, and a monarchy, many hundred years, under the reigns of one hundred and sixty-eight kings and queens ; this kingdom which hath conquered kingdoms; that hath India, Syria, Palestina, Cyprus, tributary tremblers; that hath made France shake, and Spain quake; that relieved and defended Scotland from French slavery, and saved and protected the Netherlands from Spanish tyranny. Now have we made this kingdom, this England, a miserable slave to itself, an universal Golgotha, a purple gore, Aceldama, a field of blood, a Gehenna, a den of thieves, or infernal furies, and finally, an earthly hell, werc it not for this difference, that here the best men are punished, and in hell only the worst are plagued; bere no good man escape's torment, nor any bad man is troubled: the king is abused for being good and just, and his true and loyal subjects and servants are ruined and massacred for their fidelity. The protestents are called papists, because they will not be Brownists, Anabaptists, and rebels. And our adversaries are so bold to say, that we have plotted and laboured long to turn this glorious monarchy into a pedling roly poly independant anarchy, and make this kingdom to be no kingdom; and so much we have done for this kingdom.
Sixthly, Mr. Speaker, They do question us what good we have done for the benefit or liberty of the subject. Many of them say, that they know too well and too ill, what and what not; they find, (by lamentable experience) that we have turned their liberty into bondage, their freedom into slavery, and their happiness into an unexampled infelicity. Nay, it is reported, that we have found two ways to hell, which are, either to be rebels, or perjured; to fight in person against the king, and to be forsworn by a covenant to owe him no obedience, or dutiful allegiance: they say we say, tush, these are but trifles, which may be answered at an easy rate, a small matter will clear this reckoning; it is no more than everlasting damnation, for which, Mr. Speaker, bold to make use of a speech in the distasteful litany, 'Good Lord, deliver us.'
The malignants do compare this commonwealth to an old kettle, with here and there a fault or hole, a crack, or a Aaw in it; and that we (in imitation of our worthy brethren of Banbury,) were intrusted to mend the said kettle; but, like deceitful and cheating knaves, we have, instead of stopping one hole, made three or four score; for the people chose us to ease them of sume mild and tolerable grievances, which we have done so artificially, that they all cry and complain*, that the medicine is forty times worse than the disease, and the remedy a hundred times worse than the medicine. And so much is reported that we have done for the subject.
Seventhly, Mr. Speaker, The malignants query, or question, is, what we have done for reformation: what, by our industrious care, and long sitting, we have reformed; how the service of God is by us more religiously, sincerely, zealously, fervently, and ardently, preached or practised; what we have amended either in church or kingdom; how either the king is more honoured or obeyed than he was before this parliament; what good we have done this four or five years; with what faces can we look upon the freeholders and corporations in every shire, county, city, town, and borough in this kingdom, who cried us up, and with their voices elected us to be knights and burgesses; which way we can answer the same, for our many breaches of that great trust, which they intrusted us withal? I tell you, Mr. Speaker, these are home questions; and they plainly say, that all our reformation is non-conformation; and, by sure confirmation, true information, cer. tain affirmation, we have hy cunning transformation turned all to deformation: so that if our predecessors and ancestors that are departed this life (to a better or worse) should, or could, rise out of their graves, and see the change, alteration, and unmannerly manners, that have overspread this church and kingdom, they would think they were not in England, but either in Turky, Barbary, Scythia, Tartary, or some land that is inhabited by infidels or pagans; for England, as it is, looks no more like England, as it was five years ago, than a camel, or cockleshell, are like an owl, or a red herring.
Eighthly and Lastly, Briefly and compendiously, the question is, what we have done for ourselves. We have run the hazard of our estates
• Sce the Tract intituled, Awake, O England, in vol. 7.
to be justly forfeited by rebellion, against a just, merciful, and truly religious king; our lives are liable to the rigour of such laws as former parliaments have enacted against rebels and traitors; and ourselves are in danger of perpetual perdition, if submission, contrition, and satisfaction be not humbly and speedily performed, or endeavoured; for we, and none but we, have altered this kingdom's felicity to confusion and misery; from a pleasant merry comedy, to a dismal bloody tragedy, sufficient to fill a large history of perpetual meniory of us and our posterity.
And thus, Mr. Speaker, have I, with as much brevity as I could, run over my eight parts of speech, whereby may be perceived, how the malignant adversaries do esteem of us and our actions.
I could speak more than I have said, and I could say more than I have spoken ; but, having done, I hold it discretion to inake an end.
PLAGUE AT WESTMINSTER:
OR, AN ORDER POR TITE VISITATION OF A SICK PARLIAMENT, Grievously troubled with a new Disease, called the Consumption of
The Persons visited are:
The Lord Barkly.
their recovery; strictly commanded to be used in all cathedrals, churches, chapels, and congregations, throughout his Majesty's three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Printed for V. V. in the year 1647. Quarto, containing six pages. Let all the long-abused people of this kingdom speedily repair, for the
remedy of all their grievances, to the High-Place at Westminster, and, so suon as entered in to the Lords-House, let them reverently kneel down upon their bare knees, and say this new prayer and ex
hortation following: O Almighty and everlasting Lords, we acknowledge and confess from
the bottom of our hearts, that you have most justly plagued us these full seven years for our manifold sins and iniquities. Forasmuch as we have not rebelled against you, but against the King, our most gracious lord and governor, to the abundant sorrow of our relenting bearts, to whosc empty chair we now bow in all reverence, in token of our duty and obedience. For we now too well (O Lords) understand that we have grievously sinned, which hath made your honours give us up a spoil unto robbers, viz. your committees, sequestrators, excisemen), and pursuivants; besides your several instruments of torments, distins guished by the various names of Colonels, Lieutenant-Colonels, Majors, Captains, Quarter-masters, and a certain sort of putredinous vermin, that you use to line hedges withal, vulgarly called Dragoons, Troopers, and the like, O Lords; these, besides your continual taxes, collections, assessments, and the like; a burthen that breaks our backs and very hearts, which continually follow one on the neck of another, besides your excises on our very flesh and apparel, with every particular belonging to our trade and livelihoods; our wives, our daughters, our sons, our houses, our beds, our apparel, our horses, our hay, our beeves, our muttons, our lambs, our pigs, our geese, our capons, and the rest of our goods are forced from us, upon free quarters, as they call it; and we poor wretched and languishing wretches, amounting to the number of millions of millions, being sufficiently humbled by all these plagues and punishments (cry to your honours for redress) besides the large portion of our bloods which from the earth cries unto your honours, even as Abel's did unto heaven; so we to you mighty Lords; we therefore humbly pray and beseech you, that your honours would be graciously pleased in your omnipotent power) to raise to life again, but to half a dozen thousand poor widows, their dear husbands, and many fatherless children, now in a languishing condition, will for ever magnify your honours for the same; or else your honours must expect the cry of the widow to heaven against you, the curse of the fatherless, and the cry of the earth, which already begins to vomit up that blood in your faces, which so rebelliously and unchristianly you have stained her's withal; she hath yet been a place of pleasure unto you, yielding no contagious air to infect you with those consuming diseases, that now reign amongst your honours, besides so many sorrows, distractions, disorders or passions, that visit your honours' consciences; all earthly creatures have been obedient unto you, mighty Lords. Finally, she hath yielded all things to your contentment, and nothing to your annoyance: We beseech you therefore consider the present miseries of our bodies, as hunger, thirst, nakedness, want of our limbs, deformities, sickness and mortality; the troubles of our minds, as fancies, fears, perplexities, anguishes, and other imperfections ; likewise the general scourges that are amongst us, as plagues, wars, and a thousand other hazardous calamities: Look but into our hospitals, we beseech you, and see lazars, cancers, fistulas, ulcers, and rottings, with wolves, sores, and festered carbuncles, frenzies, palsies, lethargies, falling-sicknesses, and lunaries. On the other side, we beseech you to consider the infirmities of our minds; the furious rages, envies, rancours, and corrosives; the unplacable sorrows and desperate passions ; the continual hell-torments, and remorse of conscience (for our late forced rebellion against our king) and infinite other sprightish fits and agonies you have brought upon us. Consider, how you have made us incur the heavy displea