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hitherto appeared, and to find out the Achan amongst | criminous in the judgment of both parties. If such a

union as this be not accepted on the army's part, confident there is a single person underneath. That the army be upheld, the necessity of our affairs and factions will constrain long enough perhaps, to content the longest liver in the army. And whether the civil


them, whose close ambition in all likelihood abuses their honest natures against their meaning to these disorders; their readiest way to bring in again the common enemy, and with him the destruction of true religion, and civil liberty. But, because our evils are now grown more dangerous and extreme, than to be reme-government be an annual democracy, or a perpetual died by complaints, it concerns us now to find out what remedies may be likeliest to save us from approaching ruin. Being now in anarchy, without a counselling and governing power; and the army, I suppose, finding themselves insufficient to discharge at once both military and civil affairs, the first thing to be found out with all speed, without which no commonwealth can subsist, must be a senate or general council of state, in whom must be the power, first to preserve the public peace; next, the commerce with foreign nations; and lastly, to raise moneys for the management of these affairs: this must either be the parliament re-admitted to sit, or a council of state allowed of by the army, since they only now have the power. The terms to be stood on are, liberty of conscience to all professing Scripture to be the rule of their faith and worship; and the abjuration of a single person. If the parliament be again thought on, to salve honour on both sides, the well affected part of the city, and the congregated churches, may be induced to mediate by public addresses, and brotherly beseechings; which, if there be that saintship among us which is talked of, ought to be of highest and undeniable persuasion to reconcilement. If the parliament be thought well dissolved, as not complying fully to grant liberty of conscience, and the necessary consequence thereof, the removal of a forced maintenance from ministers, then must the army forthwith choose a council of state, whereof as many to be of the parliament, as are undoubtedly affected to these two conditions proposed. That which I conceive only able to cement, and unite for ever the army, either to the parliament recalled, or this chosen council, must be a mutual league and oath, private or public, not to desert one another till death: that is to say, that the army be kept up, and all these officers in their places during life, and so likewise the parliament or counsellors of state; which will be no way unjust, considering their known merits on either side, in council or in field, unless any be found false to any of these two principles, or otherwise personally

aristocracy, is not to me a consideration for the extre mities wherein we are, and the hazard of our safety from our common enemy, gaping at present to devour That it be not an oligarchy, or the faction of a few, may be easily prevented by the numbers of their own choosing, who may be found infallibly constant to those two conditions fore-named, full liberty of conscience, and the abjuration of monarchy proposed: and the well-ordered committees of their faithfullest adher ents in every county, may give this government the resemblance and effects of a perfect democracy. As for the reformation of laws, and the places of judicature, whether to be here, as at present, or in every county, as hath been long aimed at, and many such proposals, tending no doubt to public good, they may be considered in due time, when we are past these pernicious pangs, in a hopeful way of health, and firm constitution. But unless these things, which I have above proposed, one way or other, be once settled, in my fear, which God avert, we instantly ruin; or a best become the servants of one or other single person, the secret author and fomenter of these disturbances. You have the sum of my present thoughts, as much as I understand of these affairs, freely imparted; at your request, and the persuasion you wrought in me, that I might chance hereby to be some way serviceable to the Commonwealth, in a time when all ought to be endeavouring what good they can, whether much or but little. With this you may do what you please, put out, put in, communicate, or suppress: you offend net me, who only have obeyed your opinion, that in doing what I have done, I might happen to offer something which might be of some use in this great time of need However, I have not been wanting to the opportunity which you presented before me, of shewing the readiness which I have in the midst of my unfitness, to whatever may be required of me, as a public daty.

October 20, 1659.

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FIRST, All endeavours speedily to be used, that the ensuing election be of such as are already firm, or inclinable to constitute a free commonwealth, (according to the former qualifications decreed in parliament, and not yet repealed, as I hear,) without single person, or house of lords. If these be not such, but the contrary, who foresees not, that our liberties will be utterly lost in this next parliament, without some powerful course taken, of speediest prevention? The speediest way will be to call up forthwith the chief gentlemen out of every county; to lay before them (as your excellency hath already, both in your published letters to the army, and your declaration recited to the members of parliament) the danger and confusion of readmitting kingship in this land; especially against the rules of all prudence and example, in a family once ejected, and thereby not to be trusted with the power of revenge: that you will not longer delay them with vain expectation, but will put into their hands forthwith the possession of a free commonwealth; if they will first return immediately and elect them, by such at least of the people as are rightly qualified, a standing council every city and great town, which may then be dignified with the name of city, continually to consult the good and flourishing state of that place, with a competent territory adjoined; to assume the judicial laws, either those that are, or such as they themselves shall new make severally, in each commonalty, and all judicatures, all magistracies, to the administration of all justice between man and man, and all the ornaments of public civility, academies, and such like, in their own bands. Matters appertaining to men of several counties or territories, may be determined, as they are here at London, or in some more convenient place, under equal judges.


Next, That in every such capital place, they will choose them the usual number of ablest knights and bargesses, engaged for a commonwealth, to make up the parliament, or (as it will from henceforth be better called) the Grand or General Council of the Nation : whose office must be, with due caution, to dispose of

forces, both by sea and land, under the conduct of your excellency, for the preservation of peace, both at home and abroad; must raise and manage the public revenue, but with provident inspection of their accompts; must administer all foreign affairs, make all general laws, peace or war, but not without assent of the standing council in each city, or such other general assembly as may be called on such occasion, from the whole territory, where they may, without much trouble, deliberate on all things fully, and send up their suffrages within a set time, by deputies appointed. Though this grand council be perpetual, (as in that book I proved would be best and most conformable to best examples,) yet they will then, thus limited, have so little matter in their hands, or power to endanger our liberty; and the people so much in theirs, to prevent them, having all judicial laws in their own choice, and free votes in all those which concern generally the whole commonwealth; that we shall have little cause to fear the perpetuity of our general senate; which will be then nothing else but a firm foundation and custody of our public liberty, peace, and union, through the whole commonwealth, and the transactors of our affairs with foreign nations.

If this yet be not thought enough, the known expedient may at length be used, of a partial rotation.

Lastly, If these gentlemen convocated refuse these fair and noble offers of immediate liberty, and happy condition, no doubt there be enough in every county who will thankfully accept them; your excellency once more declaring publicly this to be your mind, and having a faithful veteran army, so ready and glad to assist you

in the prosecution thereof. For the full and absolute administration of law in every county, which is the difficultest of these proposals, bath been of most long desired; and the not granting it held a general grievance. The rest, when they shall see the beginnings and proceedings of these constitutions proposed, and the orderly, the decent, the civil, the safe, the noble effects thereof, will be soon convinced, and by degrees come in of their own accord, to be partakers of so happy a government.







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own longer consideration thereon, had more and more unbound us, both to himself and his posterity; as bath been ever the justice and the prudence of all wise nations, that have ejected tyranny. They covenanted to preserve the king's person and authority, in the preservation of the true religion, and our liberties;" not in his endeavouring to bring in upon our consciences a popish religion; upon our liberties, thraldom; upon our lives, destruction, by his occasioning, if not complotting, as was after discovered, the Irish massacre; his fomenting and arming the rebellion; his covert leaguing with the rebels against us; his refus

ALTHOUGH, since the writing of this treatise, the face of things hath had some change, writs for new elections have been recalled, and the members at first chosen re-admitted from exclusion; yet not a little rejoicing to hear declared the resolution of those who are in power, tending to the establishment of a free commonwealth, and to remove, if it be possible, this noxious humour of returning to bondage, instilled of late by some deceivers, and nourished from bad principles and false apprehensions among too many of the people; I thought best not to suppress what I had written, hoping that it may now be of much more use and concernment to be freely published, in the midsting, more than seven times, propositions most just and of our elections to a free parliament, or their sitting to consider freely of the government; whom it behoves to have all things represented to them that may direct their judgment therein; and I never read of any state, scarce of any tyrant, grown so incurable, as to refuse counsel from any in a time of public deliberation, much less to be offended. If their absolute determination be to inthrall us, before so long a Lent of servitude, they may permit us a little shroving-time first, wherein to speak freely, and take our leaves of liberty. And because in the former edition, through haste, many faults escaped, and many books were suddenly dispersed, ere the note to mend them could be sent, I took the oppor-king, or the king and that more supreme law, sworn tunity from this occasion to revise and somewhat to enlarge the whole discourse, especially that part which argues for a perpetual senate. The treatise thus revised and enlarged, is as follows.

The Parliament of England, assisted by a great number of the people who appeared and stuck to them faithfullest in defence of religion and their civil liberties, judging kingship by long experience a government unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous, justly and magnanimously abolished it, turning regal bondage into a free commonwealth, to the admiration and terrour of our emulous neighbours. They took themselves not bound by the light of nature or religion to any former covenant, from which the king himself, by many forfeitures of a latter date or discovery, and our

necessary to the true religion and our liberties, tendered him by the parliament both of England and Scotland. They made not their covenant concerning him with to difference between a king and a God; or promised him, as Job did to the Almighty, "to trust in him though he slay us:" they understood that the solemn engagement, wherein we all forswore kingship, was no more a breach of the covenant, than the covenant was of the protestation before, but a faithful and prudent going on both in words well weighed, and in the true sense of the covenant" without respect of persons," when we could not serve two contrary masters, God and the

in the first place to maintain our safety and our liberty. They knew the people of England to be a free people, themselves the representers of that freedom; and although many were excluded, and as many fled (so they pretended) from tumults to Oxford, yet they were left a sufficient number to act in parliament, therefore not bound by any statute of preceding parliaments, but by the law of nature oni which is the only law of laws truly and properly to ali mankind fundamental; the beginning and the end of all government; to which no parliament or people that will throughly reform, but may and must have recourse, as they had, and must yet have, in church-reformation (if they throughly intend it) to evangelic rules; not to ecclesiastical canons, though never so ancient.

so ratified and established in the land by statutes | already sold, not to be alienated, but rented, and the which for the most part are mere positive laws, neither sale of them called "sacrilege;" delinquents, few of natural nor moral: and so by any parliament, for just many brought to condign punishment; accessories and serious considerations, without scruple to be at any punished, the chief author, above pardon, though, after time repealed. If others of their number in these things utmost resistance, vanquished; not to give, but to rewere under force, they were not, but under free con- ceive, laws; yet besought, treated with, and to be thankscience; if others were excluded by a power which ed for his gracious concessions, to be honoured, worthey could not resist, they were not therefore to leave shipped, glorified. If this we swore to do, with what the helm of government in no hands, to discontinue righteousness in the sight of God, with what assurance their care of the public peace and safety, to desert the that we bring not by such an oath, the whole sea of people in anarchy and confusion, no more than when blood-guiltiness upon our heads? If on the other side so many of their members left them, as made up in we prefer a free government, though for the present not outward formality a more legal parliament of three obtained, yet all those suggested fears and difficulties, estates against them. The best-affected also, and best- as the event will prove, easily overcome, we remain principled of the people, stood not numbering or com-finally secure from the exasperated regal power, and puting, on which side were most voices in parliament, but on which side appeared to them most reason, most safety, when the house divided upon main matters. What was well motioned and advised, they examined not whether fear or persuasion carried it in the vote, neither did they measure votes and counsels by the intentions of them that voted; knowing that intentions either are but guessed at, or not soon enough known; and although good, can neither make the deed such, nor prevent the consequence from being bad: suppose bad intentions in things otherwise well done; what was well done, was by them who so thought, not the less obeyed or followed in the state; since in the church, who had not rather follow Iscariot or Simon the magician, though to covetous ends, preaching, than Saul, though in the uprightness of his heart persecuting the gospel? Safer they therefore judged what they thought the better counsels, though carried on by some perhaps to bad ends, than the worse by others, though endeavoured with best intentions: and yet they were not to learn, that a greater number might be corrupt within the walls of a parliament, as well as of a city; whereof in matters of nearest concernment all men will be judges; nor easily permit, that the odds of voices in their greatest council shall more endanger them by corrupt or credulous votes, than the odds of enemies open assaults; judging, that most voices ought not always to prevail, where main matters are in question. If others hence will pretend to disturb all counsels; what is that to them who pretend not, but are in real danger; not they only so judging, but a great, though not the greatest, number of their chosen patriots, who might be more in weight than the others in numbers: there being in number little virtue, but by weight and measure wisdom working all things, and the dangers on either side they seriously thus weighed. From the treaty, short fruits of long labours, and seven years war; security for twenty years, if we can hold it; reformation in the church for three years: then put to shift again with our vanquished master. His justice, his honour, his conscience declared quite contrary to ours; which would have furnished him with many sgeb evasions, as in a book entitled, " An Inquisition for Blood," soon after were not concealed: bishops not totally removed, but left, as it were, in ambush, a reserve, with ordination in their sole power; their lands

out of snares; shall retain the best part of our liberty, which is our religion, and the civil part will be from these who defer us, much more easily recovered, being neither so subtle nor so awful as a king reinthroned. Nor were their actions less both at home and abroad, than might become the hopes of a glorious rising commonwealth: nor were the expressions both of army and people, whether in their public declarations, or several writings, other than such as testified a spirit in this nation, no less noble and well fitted to the liberty of a commonwealth, than in the ancient Greeks or Romans. Nor was the heroic cause unsuccessfully defended to all christendom, against the tongue of a famous and thought invincible adversary; nor the constancy and fortitude, that so nobly vindicated our liberty, our victory at once against two the most prevailing usurpers over mankind, superstition and tyranny, unpraised or uncelebrated in a written monument, likely to outlive detraction, as it hath hitherto convinced or silenced not a few of our detractors, especially in parts abroad. After our liberty and religion thus prosperously fought for, gained, and many years possessed, except in those unhappy interruptions, which God hath removed; now that nothing remains, but in all reason the certain hopes of a speedy and immediate settlement for ever in a firm and free commonwealth, for this extolled and magnified nation, regardless both of honour won, or deliverances vouchsafed from heaven, to fall back, or rather to creep back so poorly, as it seems the multitude would, to their once abjured and detested thraldom of kingship, to be ourselves the slanderers of our own just and religious deeds, though done by some to covetous and ambitious ends, yet not therefore to be stained with their infamy, or they to asperse the integrity of others; and yet these now by revolting from the conscience of deeds well done, both in church and state, to throw away and forsake, or rather to betray, a just and noble cause for the mixture of bad men who have ill-managed and abused it, (which had our fathers done heretofore, and on the same pretence deserted true religion, what had long ere this become of our gospel and all protestant reformation so much intermixed with the avarice and ambition of some reformers?) and by thus relapsing, to verify all the bitter predictions of our triumphing enemies, who will now think they wisely discerned and justly cen

sured both us and all our actions as rash, rebellious, hypocritical, and impious; not only argues a strange, degenerate contagion suddenly spread among us, fitted and prepared for new slavery, but will render us a scorn and derision to all our neighbours. And what will they at best say of us, and of the whole English name, but scoffingly, as of that foolish builder mentioned by our Saviour, who began to build a tower, and was not able to finish it? Where is this goodly tower of a commonwealth, which the English boasted they would build to overshadow kings, and be another Rome in the west? The foundation indeed they lay gallantly, but fell into a worse confusion, not of tongues, but of factions, than those at the tower of Babel; and have left no memorial of their work behind them remaining, but in the common laughter of Europe! Which must needs redound the more to our shame, if we but look on our neighbours the United Provinces, to us inferiour in all outward advantages; who notwithstanding, in the midst of greater difficulties, courageously, wisely, constantly went through with the same work, and are settled in all the happy enjoyments of a potent and flourishing republic to this day.

pleasure gave a king to the Israelites, and imputed it a sin to them that they sought one: but Christ apparently forbids his disciples to admit of any such heathenish government; "The kings of the Gentiles," saith he, " exercise lordship over them;" and they that "exercise authority upon them are called benefactors: but ye shall not be so; but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that serveth." The occasion of these his words was the ambitious desire of Zebedee's two sons, to be exalted above their brethren in his kingdom, which they thought was to be ere long upon earth. That he speaks of civil government, is manifest by the former part of the comparison, which infers the other part to be always in the same kind. And what government comes nearer to this precept of Christ, than a free commonwealth; wherein they who are the greatest, are perpetual servants and drudges to the public at their own cost and charges, neglect their own affairs, yet are not elevated above their brethren; live soberly in their families, walk the street as other men, may be spoken to freely, familiarly, friendly, without adoration? Whereas a king must be adored like a demigod, Besides this, if we return to kingship, and soon re- with a dissolute and haughty court about him, of vast pent, (as undoubtedly we shall, when we begin to find expense and luxury, masks and revels, to the dethe old encroachments coming on by little and little bauching of our prime gentry both male and female; upon our consciences, which must necessarily proceed not in their pastimes only, but in earnest, by the loose from king and bishop united inseparably in one inter- employments of court-service, which will be then est,) we may be forced perhaps to fight over again all thought honourable. There will be a queen of no less that we have fought, and spend over again all that we charge; in most likelihood outlandish and a papist, have spent, but are never like to attain thus far as we besides a queen-mother such already; together with are now advanced to the recovery of our freedom, both their courts and numerous train: then a royal never to have it in possession as we now have it, never issue, and ere long severally their sumptuous courts; to be vouchsafed hereafter the like mercies and signal to the multiplying of a servile crew, not of servants assistances from Heaven in our cause, if by our in- only, but of nobility and gentry, bred up then to grateful backsliding we make these fruitless; flying the hopes not of public, but of court-offices, to be now to regal concessions from his divine condescen- stewards, chamberlains, ushers, grooms, even of the sions, and gracious answers to our once importuning close-stool; and the lower their minds debased with prayers against the tyranny which we then groaned court-opinions, contrary to all virtue and reformaunder; making vain and viler than dirt the blood of tion, the haughtier will be their pride and profuseso many thousand faithful and valiant Englishmen, ness. We may well remember this not long since at who left us in this liberty, bought with their lives; home; nor need but look at present into the French losing by a strange after-game of folly all the battles court, where enticements and preferments daily draw we have won, together with all Scotland as to our away and pervert the protestant nobility. As to the conquest, hereby lost, which never any of our kings burden of expense, to our cost we shall soon know it; could conquer, all the treasure we have spent, not that for any good to us deserving to be termed no better corruptible treasure only, but that far more precious of than the vast and lavish price of our subjection, and all our late miraculous deliverances; treading back their debauchery, which we are now so greedily cheapagain with lost labour all our happy steps in the pro- ening, and would so fain be paying most inconsider gress of reformation, and most pitifully depriving our- ately to a single person; who for any thing wherein selves the instant fruition of that free government, the public really needs him, will have little else to do, which we have so dearly purchased, a free common- but to bestow the eating and drinking of excessive wealth, not only held by wisest men in all ages the dainties, to set a pompous face upon the superficial noblest, the manliest, the equallest, the justest govern- actings of state, to pageant himself up and down in ment, the most agreeable to all due liberty and propor-progress among the perpetual bowings and cringings tioned equality, both human, civil, and christian, most of an abject people, on either side deifying and adoring cherishing to virtue and true religion, but also (I may him for nothing done that can deserve it. For what say it with greatest probability) plainly commended, can he more than another man? who, even in the exor rather enjoined by our Saviour himself, to all Chris-pression of a late court-poet, sits only like a great cipher tians, not without remarkable disallowance, and the set to no purpose before a long row of other significant brand of Gentilism upon kingship. God in much dis-figures. Nay, it is well and happy for the people, it

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