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soldiers the proper evil of the army, since, when I speak of the army, I mainly intend their counsel and conduct; for you know, in such a body, that sickness in pay causeth death in discipline. But positively we will turn up our lap, and shew you our nakedness, et habebitis confitentes reos. We acknowledge, we are reaping the ill fruits of our want of action: Savior armis luxuria incubuit, victosque ulciscitur.
It may be, some of us have had our lordly dish in Jael's tent, and our head may be nailed to the ground; we may think, the war being ended, we may begin to look to our own comforts and subsistence; and we are apt to plead, who shall enjoy honour, and other advantages, but those that have won them through hazards? and think they may be confided in. It may be, some of us look upon our shops and trades, as things below us. We want that communion with God, and one with another, which we had in sad hours; we are forgetful of our mercies; we may be apt to quarrel one with the other, for want of an enemy.
We may have such a neighbour of the court, that some of us may be planet-struck, yet I hope not principle-shaken; we may wander too much from our own first undertakings, in the opinion of others.
We are not without varieties of thoughts about the matters of God, which never appeared when we had no time for talking, having so much to do and act. We cannot, we confess, live beyond our frailties, in many kinds to be short, we have prayed more, loved more, believed more, than we do. We are grown effeminate with ease, and are more cowed with a dead dog, than we have been with a living lion; we are less in heaven, and more on earth; and these truly, are our wounds, dear friends.
Some other diseases there are as much considerable amongst others, which may be of greater and stranger influence, as,
1. All men's unbelief in God for the carrying on his work; he is not minded in the whole business.
2. Our not designing a government from first to last.
3. Our general, proud, and careless carriages towards the present differences, which make so much noise amongst us.
4. A selfishness and negligence in committees, and men intrusted, behaving themselves as if they could keep their painted and well-stuffed cabbins when the ship is sinking.
5. A general want of the fear of God, and that spirit of trembling before him, which, whilst it was upon Ephraim, he was a glorious tribe.
6. An oscitant and untrussed kind of deportment in all men towards publick affairs; the truth is, the want of a publick spirit threatens ruin very much.
7. Unwarranted jealousies of all men, and all actions; yea, though convinced of each others faithfulness.
8. Common unthankfulness and ingratitude to God and man; I fear, shortly, the greatest error, in the kingdom, will be the famine of love.
9. Delay to the distressed, making them more miserable than the matter of their complaints doth.
10. A spirit of lying and false witness-bearing, reaching to the un
dervaluing of our enjoyments; to say England is grown so poor by the war, is false; excepting what is blasted by some northern winds, our treasure is yet in the kingdom: London as rich as before; witness cloaths and diet; witness marriages and disposing of children, where piety, proportion, and parentage take little place, unless mingled with much red clay; witness the ready money for purchases, if cheap, though shaken titles in tottering times
The Cure may lie in these.
The army, you say, must yet be maintained, and we have thought of establishments, &c. to take off all offences occasioned by the army; either you must find action for it, which will answer much, or repartite it upon several counties, according to proportion, that every county may know their own men and their charge, by which the Hollanders have kept their army these seventy or eighty years. I have formerly answered all objections may be made against it. The immediate pay of the soldier in every county, as it will cut off many unnecessary charges, so it will be easy and contentful to both parties, I mean the soldier and the landlord.
2dly, Good men, not good laws, must save kingdoms; not that I would separate them; therefore, I think that the first work to be attended: for, as the Venetians live upon their curious elections, so the Netherlands, by keeping their government in such hands as they do, though perpetuating offices to them hath proved dangerous. Good justices, good mayors, &c. had it been our first work, it would have been our best, and Englishmen can as soon conform to just and honest government, as any other people. See it in the army, how serviceable the worst impressed men have been under example; and characters to be given out for the elector, and elected, and for the managing of chiefer burgesses. What if every fifty, in every county, chose one to choose for them, &c. most men being ignorant of the worthiest of men.
3dly, That all men, from the highest to the lowest, may know what they may trust to without delay, and to trust God with the management of it, if according to his will.
4thly, Tythes, or something of analogy to them, brought into a common stock in every county, will do two things, viz. keep a good proportion of money ready in every county, and content the preacher and his widow better; when in towns two hundred pounds, or one hundred and fifty pounds per annum, and in the parish one hundred pounds shall be certainly paid, and forty pounds to the widow, &c. as in other coun tries they do; and hence raise a stock to set the poor on work in every county, the want of which hath been so much complained of.
5thly, That salaries may be appointed to all places of trust, that temptations to deceit take not hold of officers.
6thly, A committee for union betwixt all men truly godly; that we may swim in one channel (which is in hand) with free and loving debates allowed in every county, that we may convince, not confound each other: two or three itinerary preachers, sent by the state into every county; and a committee of godly men, ministers, gentlemen, and others, to send out men of honesty, holiness, and parts, into all coun, tries, recommended from their test.
7thly, Three men yearly chosen in every parish, to take up differences, which may be called friend-makers, as they do in other places with good success.
Sthly, That the customs (by which great sums come to hand) may be in very choice hands, and their under-officers, in all parts, may be presented from those parts to them; and out of two or three, so presented, they choose one, if not just exception against him.
9thly, That my former model for the navy may be reviewed and accepted, which was presented about two years since; whereby the navy's debts may be paid, and two parts of three in the charge saved for the future, and the work better done.
10thly, That merchants may have all manner of encouragement; the law of merchants set up, and strangers, even Jews, admitted to trade, and live with us; that it may not be said, we pray for their conversion, with whom we will not converse, we being all but strangers on the carth.
11thly, That foreign nations may have due respect by all fair correspondences with them, and intelligencers kept among them; especially that Scotland may be used in all things as neighbours and friends, though not as masters and commanders.
12thly, That academies may be set up for nobility and gentry, where they may know piety and righteousness, as well as gallantry and courtship (we commonly fetch over the dirt of France, rather than their excellencies), and that shorter ways to learning may be advanced; and that godliness in youth give them place in colleges before letters and importunity of men.
13thly, That the work of Ireland may not thus still be made a mockwork; but that the business may be carried on strenuously and vigorously by men to be confided in; who may take it upon them by the great, or day-work, either of these; there are good men will undertake it upon them, if fully countenanced with a good magazine and some money; for what we send now is but like a worm in a hollow tooth, it takes up no jaw.
14thly, That no magistrates in matters of religion meddle further than as a nursing father, and then all children shall be fed, though they have several faces and shapes.
15thly, That all men intrusted may have set time, place, and persons appointed, to give up their accounts unto of their employments.
16thly, Since the vast and even incomprehensible affairs of this kingdom, by the present council, must have so many agitations and so many varieties pass upon them; two ways it may be cured:
1. If nothing be taken into the house's consideration but res vere ardua, wherein the heart-blood of the kingdom runs, and no petty
2. If a council of state of ten or twelve honest and godly wellbyassed men might sit near the house, and these, not invested with power, might commend matters of high concernment to the house, and receive their scruples, and those to state also government of churches.
17thly, That burgesses of parliament may be better proportioned, six, four, or two for shires, and some for great cities; that they give
monthly some account to the places intrusting them, and that some laws may be probationers for a month or two.
18thly, That some of the parliament may be appointed to receive such suggestions from friends for the good of the whole, which they cannot constantly bring in by way of petition.
19thly, That prisoners, especially for debt, may have dispatches, and not lose heads, hearts, and hands as well as heels, in gaols; and that the creditor may maintain them in prison: that poor thieves may not be hanged for thirteen pence half-penny; but that a gally or two may be provided to row in the river or channel, to which they may be committed, or employed in draining lands, or banished.
It were also to be wished, that our gentry find out callings, and that younger brothers may be better provided for by their parents, that some of them fall not on learning and the ministry as a shift, and some, which is worse, take up their employments in high-ways, or, at best, pester Ireland, or foreign plantations; and all to maintain the paintry and glister of the family, and too often to keep up the name and honour of it in a sottish and luxurious hire.
20thly, Quick justice makes quiet common-wealths; I look upon that as contenting the Hollanders, under their vast taxes, and excises. What they have they can keep, where, in every town, you may get justice as often and as naturally, as their cows give milk. The few advocates in Amsterdam will tell you what little use they make of lawyers, where I have known a merchant dealing for thirty thousand pounds per annum, and in seven years not spend twenty shillings in law.
And, if I might not offend the court and gentry, I would say the wrapping up of so many of them in gowns, and scuffling at Westminster, is rather a mark of their meanness and jejuneness, and our slavery and folly, than of any national glory: that, to this day, we can neither buy nor sell, convey nor make testaments, without great and questionable parchments: and for law must jurare in verba, either of Littleton, Cook, or a casuist, ejusdem farina, which would find a cure in keeping records in all counties of all men's estates and alienations, &c. and those transmitted to a grand or leiger record at Westminster; the strength and time, spent in term quarrels, were better bestowed upon the West Indies, to which we have been so often called, and would soon make an end of Europe's troubles by drying up that Euphrates.
I know not what engagements the king hath upon any, nor how the intercourse lies; but, before the close of new addresses, I wish the people might have two things granted them, viz.
1. To understand by some wise statist what the true English of prerogative, privilege, and liberty is. If these three bawling children were well brought to bed, the whole house would be quiet.
2. That a certain time might be appointed to chuse their burgesses undeniably, if they please to make use of it, with writs or without; what year this shall begin I say not; but, if not granted, you shall hardly keep tyranny out of doors.
To close and cure all; would this nation but follow the plain footsteps of providence in one thing, the work were done.
Let us but consider, whether the Lord hath not pointed out his
work unto us, viz. putting righteous men into places of trust, making way thereunto; as if the fulfilling of the many prophecies, and the expectation of the just, were now to be answered. Witness the first and now second gaubling the parliament, the like in the city, the same in the army, no less in the ministry, as in the choice of Jesse's sons: neither this nor that must serve but the least, that the whole kingdom hath been in the refiner's fire. The Lord would do us good against our wills: but we content ourselves to give him a female when we have a male in the flock. This broke the axle-tree of the Jewish state and church, and that bought Aceldama.
However, I am confident, God will carry on this work, which is his own; and to that end I look above all present agitations, knowing if we enter into our chambers, and shut our doors for a little moment, the indignation shall be overpast.
THE BREWER'S PLEA:
A VINDICATION OF STRONG BEER AND ALE.
Wherein is declared the wonderful bounty and patience of God, the wicked and monstrous unthankfulness of man, the unregarded injuries done to these creatures, groaning, as it were, to be delivered from the abuses proceeding from disdainful aspersions of ignorant, and from the intemperance of sinful man.
1 Cor. xii. 19, 20, 21.
If they were all one member, where would the body be?
Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas.
London, printed for I. C. 1647. Quarto, containing eight pages.
Lectori candido et benevolo, S. P. D.
Courteous and judicious reader, to thy view chiefly do I expose these my ensuing lines, being urged thereunto by the loud cry of two hor rible wrath-provoking sins, now reigning amongst us, viz. unthankfulness towards God, and uncharitableness towards man. These two like inseparable companions always go together, both dishonouring