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By a Gentleman a Pariſhoner of his, deſiring ſatisfaction about the lawfullneſſe of this Warre.

To which is added An Anſvver by a vvelvvisher.

May. 30th LONDON, 1643.


I Had almoſt fallen into the common complement, and ſaluted you with a profeſſion of my ſorrow, for your long indiſpoſition to bodily health; but calling to mind your own and often inſtructions, that we ought in all things, wholely to ſubmit our ſelves and pleaſures to that better ſeeing Provi­dence, who out of his infinite wiſdm works his own ends by his own meanes, and proſecues his unlimited and ſecret will, by his own unſearcheable ways; my timerous pen, guided by a tremb­ling heart, changeth that complement of grieffor your preſent viſitation, into a dialet of prayer for your future happines. Every ſicknes is Gods Lecture, and every leture for our Inſtruction, & every Inſtruction is a ſubject for our humble & ſrius Meditatiō, when heaven is our journeys end, no mater whether, our horſe trot or amble, ſo he hlds it out, it mattes not, whether theun ſhine or the Wind blow, ſo our way be right; Proſperity is a pleaſant roade but ſlippery and flattered with ſecurity, is mre dangerous; Adverſity is leſſe comfortable, but ſweetned with patincis more ſafe. Sir, I have always accounted you a good horſeman in reſpect of yur ſelfe, and a truſty guide in reſpect of others; and my ambition hth been to kep pace, at leaſt to follow you. Both on journeys have aymed at the ſame end and for many miles we have both travelled the ſame way. But ſince theſe Nationall di­ſtractions and unnaturall diſtempers, wherein the whole Church and State is plunged and puzled, your confidence and my feares have led us into ſeverall pathes inſomuch (to my great griefe I feare) that one of us hath loſt our way, yet give me leave to ſay without offence, you deviate and have loſt that road which for­merly2 your ſteps have trod, whereby my zealous feares ſtill un­confident of new ways, intergreets you too bold ſo neare a wil­derneſſe.

You cut down ſtiles, leap ditches, trample hedges, and force a man thorough other mens poſſeſſions: I keep the beten track, whereby our late peacefull travellers, without the ſmalleſt dam­mage, have ſafely, timely and ſweetly, attained their happy jour­neys end; you by the red Sea, purſue your obvious foes, I by the quiet banks of lordan profecute my calme deſignes; in brief you go the way of bloud, wherein I feare your actions a little too much reliſh of your name, and I the name of peace. True in that bloudy and cloudy time of the Law, God ſtile himſlfe the Lord of Hoſts, you are a Miniſter of that Goſpell, you a Steward of that peace. When the Lord of Peace expired, He left us a graci­ous Legacy of Peace, you are one of the executors of his laſt will: What is become of this Legacie? we demand, you deny it; we appeale to equity, you to the ſword; He that ſmiteth by the ſword, ſhall periſh by the ſword: Our bleſſed Saviour is the Prince of Peace, but where and all his ſubjects? Even making war, and embrueing their hands in bloud. But in the bloud of whom? of Pagans, Turks, Infidels? No, in the bloud of Chriſtians, nay, brethren of the ſame Religion, wherein all relations both Politicall and Oeconomicall, both Civill, Naturall and Chriſtiar, are diſſolved and overwelmed: Sir, you have approved of theſe wars; nay, being a Chaplaine to this Army, have animated our brethren in theſe wars: Men whoſe ignorance have pinned their ſalvation upon your warrant, and whoſe bloud you muſt juſtify in the great account, deale truly with me, what is the occaſion of theſe wars? the voyce cryeth Reformation: Tell me, was ever Reformation made in bloud? the Epidemick voice crieth truth or elſe no Peace: What truth is it, of Doctrine or of Diſciplin? If we want the Truth of Doctrin, Actum eſt de noſtra Religione, or is it of Diſci­pline? Muſt this truth be propagated by the ſword, muſt this Truth be bought with the price of bloud, and perchance with the deſtruction of thoſe ſoules, which the Lord of Peace ſufficiently dyed for.

O deare, ô bloudy Truth, without warrant beyond preſident, did the fountain of all mercy, peace and truth require ſuch a truth beyond all merey & peace? Did the Lord of the Sabbath diſpence3 with the breach of a morall Law, the ſtrict obſerving of his Sab­bath to ſave the life of an Oxe or an Aſſe? And ſhal we prefer the ſudden abrogatiō of ſome indifferent Ceremonies, before the lives of many thouſand Chriſtians? nay, Ceremonies approved of by holy and learned men, choſen and thought worthy to depoſe their lives in defence of true Religion againſt that Church, whereof theſe our Ceremonies relliſh, Ceremonies eſtabliſhed by that pi­ous Prince Edward the 6, and his religious and pious Counſell in Parl. confirmed by that Illuſtrious and renowned Princeſſe, the Phoenix of her time, our late Q. Elizabeth; Ratified by the late learned Defendor of our Faith, K. James, of bleſſed memory; the charge whereof (as a holy legacy) he left to our Gracious Sove­raigne now labouring to execute his will. Are theſe the Ceremo­nies that chalenge ſo much bloud, or is the ſuddain abrogation of them to be ballanced with the ruine of a Kingdom? Sure the oc­caſion of this bloudy flux is neither truth of Doctrine nor of Diſ­cipline? therfore not religion. Or is the cauſe of this unnaturall and civill commotion civil? is the Kings Prerogative too large, or the Subjects Priviledge too narrow? His Majeſties gracious offer is to regulate both by the known Laws of the land; And ha­ving taken a Spontaneous execration to performe it; for my part I dare not in my heart conceive ſuch evill of the Lords anointed, as once to diſtruſt him.

Sir, as one that deſireth, yea preferreth the glory of Almighty God above his life, and the teſtimony of a good Conſcience above a thouſand worlds, I deſire you to ſatisfie me in theſe particulars. And as you ſhall anſwer it before the great Tribunal of the Iudge of Heaven and Earth, when you ſhall give account of all your flock, where of I my ſelf am one: deale plainly, clearely and truly with me, concerning the lawfulneſſe of this war, wherein as I ſhall direct my prayers to Almighty God to direct you, ſo I ſhal require you, that he would be pleaſed to make me capable of your directions, ayming at none other end but Gods glory and my own ſalvation.

Vincat Veritas, Evaneſcat Vanitas.

A Speedy Anſwer to the ſaid Letter.


I Know you will much wonder, by what fate it happened, that your Letter ſhould ſo miſcarry, as to fall into my hands, you pretend it to be written to M. Stephen Marſhall, and your ſelf a Pariſhoner of his; but whether true or no, I cannot tell; but I beleeve the contrary, for ſurely had your ingenuity beene ſuch, as became one of his flock, you would rather have firſt con­ferred with him privately, than to be ſo ambitious of the Preſſe, as to publiſh ſuch a Letter before you had acquainted him. And for my part I cannot be ſo ignorant to conceive, that you ſhould ex­pect that ſo worthy a Divine would ſo much forget his more ſe­rious imployments, as to anſwer in publick, ſuch weake objecti­ons, which muſt needs diſparage his worth and abilities; Yet perhaps you in your fancy much magnifie your own notions, and it is poſſible imagine great matters of this child of your braine ſeeing now that any thing how ſilly ſoever, if it be but barly ap­prehended to favour the Malignants, how it is hugged and recei­ved, though it be but an Apology for the Cavaliers, but leſt you ſhould too much glory in your own conceipt, here is a ſudden re­ply to your Letter, and if you ſhould happen to diſcover your op­poſer, you will be as much aſhamed (being ſo confident of your own ſtrength) to be wreſtled with by ſuch a one, as that party will bluſh to be known to be in print, but leaving ſuch comple­ments, I paſſe over your Preface, being as little to the controver­ſie as I ſhall find the reſt, you confeſſe, that both your journeys aymed at the ſame end and for many miles you both travelled the ſame way: How came you to pat? was there any Malignant that overtook you, and whiſpered in your eare ſome Court doctrin of the uli­mited power of Princes and unconfind prerogative, was there any ſuch that carried you into another road? You tels indeed that ſince theſe National diſtractions and unnaturall distempes wher­in the whole State is plungea and puzled, his confidence ad you fears have lead you into ſeverall paths and one of you hath lſt his way. Theſe diſtractions and unnaturall diſtempers are confeſſed, but it is ex­pected that you ſhould reſt us who were the firſt cauſers of them, or wherein M. Marſhall hath loſt that road wherein formerly his ſteps5 did tread. I cannot take your bare affirmation, & abate your proofs in a matter of this conſequence, I pray tell us, who firſt diſturb'd our peace? not to ſpeak of the late ſtrange innovations both in Church and State, the occaſion of the difference with our brethren in Scotland, the ground of the rebellion in Ireland; all theſe are ſuf­ficiently known, but you think perhaps that we ſhould have yeel­ded our throats, and made no defence againſt that inundation of Arbitrary power, both in Church and State, that we ſhould have betrayed our Parl. falſified our Oaths & Proteſtations, & though the Law of God and Nature, and the Law of the Kingdome like­wiſe, do allow us to defend our ſelves, yet we ſhould have wilfullyected all theſe; What think you of the Rochellers, did they lawfully defend themſelves againſt the French K. or did K. Charles do well to aide and aſſiſt them? Yet ſhew me where the Parl. of France gave them authority to take up armes, and yet no queſtion they might lawfully do it. And what is all that you have ſaid but Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur; For, who more bloudy and cruell than thoſe Malignants, You would ſeem to juſtifie? who more bloudy than thoſe very men, I ſay thoſe Delinquents, who have ſeduced his Sacred Majeſty, & detain him now amongſt the••are theſe they, who with a Popiſh Army will maintaine the Pro­teſtant Religion? can our Kingdom be to blinded, that after above 80 years preaching of the Goſpell, we ſhould be ſo ſeduced to be­lieve this, & that Proteſtants ſhould joyn with Papiſts to deſtroy Proteſtants, and that free borne Subjects ſhould joyne with De­linquents to deſtroy their Laws and Liberties, and that the meere will and pleaſure of the King ſhould command obedience againſt the Laws of the Kingdom, doth the Parl. require any thing but the being of a Parl. and if the being of a Parl. then ſurely the authority and power of〈◊〉Parliament So that the Kings perſonall abſence or refuſall, cannot diſanull that authority, for he is continually there in his politique capacity; theſe things have been ſufficiently di­lated upon by the learnedſt and ableſt Pennes. You ſay M. Mar­ſhall hath approved of this war, and he will tell you and ſo will as a­ble, godly and learned Divines as any in England, that this war by authority of Parl. is lawfull; read his learned Letter, a book inti­tuled Scripture and Reaſon and thoſe Anſwers to D. Ferne.

When you talk of Reformation, is there not need, what our do­ctrine hath ſuffered by the erroneous expoſitions of the Arminians6 of late is ſufficiently known, if you but read that learned book of M. Cheneland how forward ſome were for a reconcilement with the Church of Rome, is apparent by the Venitian Embaſſadors in­formation to the State of Venice, which you may ſee in that little Tract intituled the Popes Nuntio; You prceed to the Ceremonys and tell us, that they were approved of by holy and learned men, choſen & thought worthy to depoſe their lives, in defence of true Religion againſt that Church, whereof you ſay theſe Ceremonies relliſh, you confeſſe then that theſe Ceremonies reliſh of the Ppiſh Church, but ſpeake out, dare you ſay that theſe holy & learned men died in defence of theſe Ceremonies, we honor the memory of thoſe holy Martyrs in Q. Maries days, and though ſome of them did approve of the Ceremonies, yet others did not, and we can withall diſtinguiſh betwixt time and times. For that pious King Edward the 6, and his ſiſter the vertuous Q. Eliz. their memories are precious amongſt us, for the firſt he had but a ſhort raign & ſo could not make any perfect Reformation; and for Q. Eliz. what Counſellors ſhe was neceſſitated to make uſe of, when ſhe came to the Crown and what power and authority the Biſhopss there were in, is apparently known; K. James who ſucceeded her, was, it is confeſt, a moſt learned Prince, and but read his Baſilicon Doron, you ſhall find he was no great enemy to the Government of the Church of Scot. but Biſhops here did too much flatter him, yet the Archbiſh of Cant. was never cordially reſpected by him, thoughby his ſervile fawning on the D. of Buckingham, the K. greafavorite, he obtained ſome preferment. Your demand is the K. Prerogative too large or the Sub. liberty too narrow. The Parl. ath not any ways leſſened his Majeſties juſt Prerogarive, nor the Sub. deſired it, and for their Priviled. they deſire none but what are right; we know his Majeſty hath made many gracious offers, but we know like­wiſe, that untill his Majeſty forſake thoſe all Counſellors about him, we ſhall ſee but ſmall performance? how many Petitions hath the Parliament ſent him? what diſires of peace? could ever ſubjects be more dutifull, nay? how loath to defend themſelves, and after all this, what ſcandalous papers come out to their defama­tions, I need not repeat, you know them better than my ſel; I end, deſirng God Almighty to proſper that Army which ſtands moſt ready for the true Proteſtant Religion, the honor of the King and the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom.

Vivat Rex, Floreat Parliamentum.

About this transcription

TextA copy of a letter, vvritten to Master Stephen Marshall minister. By a gentleman a parishoner of his, desiring satisfaction about the lawfullnesse of this warre. To which is added an ansvver by a vvelvvisher.
Extent Approx. 16 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 5 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A80506)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 155940)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 18:E104[20])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationA copy of a letter, vvritten to Master Stephen Marshall minister. By a gentleman a parishoner of his, desiring satisfaction about the lawfullnesse of this warre. To which is added an ansvver by a vvelvvisher. [2], 6 p. [s.n.],London :1643.. (A reply to: "A plea for defensive arms" by Stephen Marshall.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "May. 30th".)
  • Marshall, Stephen, 1594?-1655. -- Plea for defensive arms.
  • Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1642-1649 -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2013-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A80506
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  • EEBO-CITATION 99859518
  • PROQUEST 99859518
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