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HAving been a by-ſtander, and obſerving ſo well as I could, how this great game hath beene played on both hands, between the King and Parliament: I have wondred to find (conſi­dering the Declarations on both parts) that with great expence of time and money they have made a ſhift to argue themſelves into a Civill warre. And the wonder is no leſſe to heare the varietie of opinions; ſome aſſerting his Majeſties proceedings, ſome the Parliaments, and ſome affirming that the thing in variance belongs to neither,2 divided from the other: for (ſay they) it is but who ſhall rule Arbitrarily, in caſes to which the Law hath not fully, or not at all extended; which the King cals his Prerogative, the Parlia­ment (as matters now ſtand) theirs.

To take the better view of the preſent differences, looke a little way backe upon the actions of precedent times. It hath been the generall beliefe of this Nation (upon what reaſon I cannot judge) that the deſigne of his Majeſties late Father King Iames was to wynde up this Government to the height of France, the better to hold correſpondence with forraigne Prin­ces, whoſe power increaſing their riches, and both together their reputation, it was a ſhame to be left behind, but finding the times averſe, and being the beſt Aſtrologer in the world what the ſucceſſe ſhould be of his owne Actions, he betooke himſelfe to the ſatisfactions of his age which he could acquire, and left the complement of this to his Majeſtie that now is, in whoſe perſon were concurrent a title indubitable, ſettled by a ſucceſſion, and the activitie and glory that is inſeparable to youth, and the freſh aſſumption to the Throne of three King­domes.

The firſt diſſolved Parliament (to ſtumble at the firſt ſtep) ſeem'd ominous to ſome, others tooke it for a tryall, and in purſuance of the deſigne. And the rather for that (his Maje­ſties Proteſtations to governe by the Lawes, and his late anſwer to the petition of Right not withſtanding) the exaction of Loane money immediately following, the erection of Monopolies, and the forcible taking of the Subſidie of Tunnage and Poun­dage, begate an univerſall diffidence in the people of his Maje­ſties perſonall promiſes, and an opinion, that his beſt reſoluti­ons were eaſily overthrowne by the counſell of others, and ſo conſequently that his Actions were not his owne: which opi­nion true or falſe, when ever it got beliefe, hath proved fatall to the Princes, or to the people of this Kingdome: For the Nation hath hated to be governed by many Viceroyes, and reſents no inſolencies in their Princes ſo much as defects, rapes, murthers, and particular depredations, being more tollerable, when the vertues of the Kingly office have a happie influence and latitude3 upon the whole bodie of the Common-wealth. And yet to ſpeake a truth the ſame argument that aggravates the violati­ons in Government may be a reaſonable excuſe for his Majeſtie (and the ſame that the reverence of the Engliſh Nation to their Princes hath ever uſed) thoſe acts of iniuſtice were not the Kings but his Miniſters: for what other opinion could the King retaine, then what the Iudges delivered for Law, and the Divines for Goſpel; for theſe had made a generall definition of a King, and applyed it to all Princes, and thoſe had made a ge­nerall day of iudgement upon all the Lawes, and ſubdued them to the will and pleaſure of thoſe Princes: and being mindfull of their owne intereſt, and how much it concerned them to make that King abſolute, whom they had hope abſolutely to rule; they would needs make a King by the Standerd out of Gods Word, that his Subiects might be ſlaves for Conſcience ſake: And by examples taken from the Kingdome of the Iewes, they inveſted him with power eſſentiall to his Office, to uſe at plea­ſure the perſons, or eſtates of his ſubiects; of a divine inſtituti­on, incomprehenſible by lawes, if neceſſitie require a variation and under heaven no other Iudge of that neceſſitie beſides him­ſelfe: And having placed him in the ranke of Gods gave him the like Election, to governe the world by ſecond cauſes, the fit officers of nature, or by miracles and wonders, effects of his im­mediate interpoſition; by the grand Councels, Iudges, and in­feriour Miniſters of the Lawes; or by Patents with non obſtan­tes, Proclamations, and a divine Prerogative.

But to ſay a truth his Maieſtie hath of late admitted a better information of this manner of Government; And hath given many Aſſurances by Proteſtation to innovate nothing, yet this ſatisfies not, and the reaſon would be examined; As alſo what thoſe difficult queſtions are, whereof the ſword muſt needs make the reſolution.

The ill ſatisfaction the people receive, notwithſtanding the Kings mightie Proteſtations to govern by the Lawes, to defend the Proteſtant Religion, Priviledges of Parliament, &c. ſprings out of this Iealouſie, that if it come into his Maieſties power to doe otherwiſe, he will do ſo. For who can thinke (ſay they)4 having the ſame maximes in his mind, and the ſame councell in his eare, that he hath had, that he will doe otherwiſe then he hath done: That he will after the ruine of this Parliament, re­fuſe the fruition of that, which hath coſt ſo much labour, when the danger is paſſed: who will beleeve he will have recourſe for ayde and advice to Parliaments, when he ſhall remember to what ſad exigents he hath been reduced by them (whereof that himſelfe was any part of the cauſe ſhall be hid from his eyes) how averſe they are in their compoſition from the Genius of the Court, how apt to be miſſe-led by a few, how unfit coun­cellours in matters out of their uſuall cognizance, wanting abili­ties to adviſe, and modeſtie to be ſilent, how ſlow and lingering the remedies are for the maladies of the Common-wealth: who will not thinke how much better it is for the King (if he can) to ſatisfie the people upon the word of a King, on the word of a Gentleman, that their grievances ſhall be remedied as well without a Parliament? who will not beleeve he will rather chuſe to be the father of a Militia of his owne, who receiving their livelihood out of his Coffers, ſhall help to fill them; by whoſe hands he ſhall have power to mow the fertill meadowes of Britain as often in a Summer as he pleaſeth. And what ſhall hinder? the Law? no; there ſhall be the ſame imminent neceſ­ſitie that was pretended before, and there ſhall not want both Divines and Lawyers, that ſhall ſay the King and his private Councell are ſole Iudges of that neceſſitie, ſhall the Kings Pro­miſes and Proteſtations hinder? I cannot tell, it may be ſo, I wiſh the people of this Kingdome had ſuch confidence in his Maieſties perſonall promiſes: but if the King cannot himſelfe tell, if no King not private man can tell, how his Councels and reſolutions may change, when the ſtate and condition wherein he made them is changed: if humane nature eaſily relapſe to thoſe things that it loves, and if the reſumption of ſuch illegall power, ſuggeſt not onely the ſweetneſſe of riches and Domini­on, but by falſe arguments comes apparelled with neceſſitie of the kingdomes preſervation, I know not whether naked words ſubiect to ſo much varietie of conſtruction will be of force to reſiſt ſo great temptation.


Hazael being but a private perſon thought himſelfe much injur'd when the Prophet made that cruell Character of his fu­ture behaviour, Am I a dog? yet he was ſo dogged, and few (perhaps) that knew him would ever have thought it. There­fore if his Majeſtie will have thoſe promiſes beleev'd, let him not apparantly go about to place himſelfe in ſuch a condition, that he may breake them at his pleaſure.

I know the Allegations for the manner of his Majeſties pre­ſent proceedings are, firſt the juſt vindication of his royall Pre­rogative (whereof it is pretended violation hath been made to the prejudice of himſelfe and the people) and wherewith he is truſted by God; which truſt he may not deſert, for Gods ſake, his owne, and the peoples.

For the Prerogative of Princes (ſo much talked of, and ſo little knowne) it may in briefe be ſaid, That all Princes have gain'd Dominion by force, or by bargaine, (For to ſay that Adam, if he had lived to this time had been King of the whole world, and therefore the King is firſt in order before the peo­ple, his naturall Vaſſals; and production, is an Aſſertion inven­ted to flatter Princes, for all men know that the multiplication of Colonies in Regions farre diſtant from the firſt roots of Na­tions, muſt impell the neceſſitie of erecting many indepen­dent governments, and the neceſſitie will be as great for the in­dependencie, as for the multiplicitie) therefore by force or by contract they muſt commence; Dominion got by force, is kept by force, and ſtyl'd Tyrannie, or elſe it diſſolves into Governe­ment by contract, and ſo takes a lawfull forme. Therefore of the nature and latitude of the Prerogative that reſts in the hands of a Prince, that comes in by agreement with the people; is the now diſpute. It may be defined thus: A power to ſee the Lawes put in execution, and to doe that which is good for the people in caſes to which the Lawes have not yet extended; if there were no Lawes (as perhaps there are not many in the firſt erection of a Monarchy) but that all were truſted to the wiſe­dome and goodneſſe of the Prince, yet by all the reaſon in the world the intendment of that truſt was to enable him to doe good, not to doe every thing. Now, where the Lawes are po­ſitive6 the Prerogative claimes no juriſdiction. The corruptions of Princes, and the extravagancies of the people occaſioned Lawes, for bounds and limits to both: and it is a thing out of all queſtion, that the firſt contract would have left no Preroga­tive at all; if all future needs and inconveniencies of the Go­vernment could at one entire view have been preſented to the people; but that being impoſſible, the diſcretion of all com­mou-wealths meeting in their repreſentative bodies, have gi­ven a ſtop by Lawes to the progreſſe of any inconvenience as it hath been emergent.

His Maieſtie complaines that he is diveſted of his legall pre­rogative. That is, he is denyed the power to execute the Lawes, with his owne ſence and expoſition upon them: And the Lords and Commons in Parliament pray to have reduced into a Law that Arbitrary power which he hath of cuſtome exerciſed, in things to which the Lawes doe not fully extend: or to ſpeake ſhorter, they are not willing to truſt him any longer with a power undefin'd, which they have found imployed to their harme, but deſire to have it defined and limited; that for the time to come it may be ſo no more; And this they expect from his Maieſtie as a dutie of his office to the people, who if they are incapable of reaſon of ſtate, yet are not incompetent Judges of what is good for themſelves; unleſſe we ſhall maintaine the Arguments of France in England, and to the ſame end; That the people are altogether ignorant of their own welfare, That the King onely knowes it; That it is beſt with an implicite faith to truſt him, and his Armie, and Councell, with the ſafetie of the Common-wealth, and every mans life and eſtate, That when France is free from feare of ſorraigne enemies, the ſub­iects ſhall be diſcharged of the oppreſſions; In the mean time to make himſelfe and his Mamalukes formidable to his neigh­bour Princes he hath transformed millions of Chriſtian ſoules into beaſts, reducing them backe to the Elements whereof they were made, yet they muſt not complaine nor defend their Lawes and Liberties, leſt they ſeeme to reſiſt Authoritie: Nor ſupplicate the ſupreme Magiſtrate to governe according to right, reaſon, and the Lawes of the Kingdome, leſt they ſeeme7 wiſer than their teachers, to be ſhort, I hope it will never be ſo in England. And if the Engliſh Parliament be at ſometime mi­ſtaken (as it is not to be preſum'd that they will be) yet they are not ſo much hurt by the inconvenience of that miſtake, untill the next Parliament rectifie, as they are, if they ſhall be diſabled from all competencie to Iudge in matters tending to their owne welfare.

For the other branch of his Majeſties Allegation that the ſtreightning of his Prerogative is prejudiciall to the people: It is true a Prince of high and magnanimous endowments can­not diſpenſe with that libertie and the influence of his excellent perſonall vertues, if he be too much bound up by the dead letter of the law; for the actions of ſome have beene tranſcendent to all Lawes or Examples; and pittie it had been that they ſhould have been confined. And (indeed) the people doe loſe willingly of their liberties to ſuch good Princes, which proves unhappie to them, when worſe make a title to the ſame libertie, by ſuch Examples; And there is no ſurer a ſigne of a weake Prince, than to conteſt with the people upon theſe Preſidents, rather ſeeking Examples for his purpoſe amongſt the actions of his Predeceſ­ſours, than deſirous to be himſelfe an Example to poſteritie. However thoſe Princes that have ſurmounted all Lawes in their glorious actions have been very rare, a feſtivall that comes but once a yeere; which if it came every quarter, yet a good con­ſtant diet were much better.

It is ſtrange to find how defective ſome are in the right un­derſtanding of the Myſteries they profeſſe, what is it that a Prince would have, (that affects not glorious vindications and conqueſts upon forraigne enemies) to live ſafely, plentifully, and beloved of his people, to dye lamented, rich, and of a bleſſed memorie; this is all that can accrue to the beſt of the ſonnes of men: And if Princes did not preferre their wils before their profit; if they did not ſhame leſſe to pick lockes, pockets, and their ſubiects purſes, than to ſay I thanke you; if they did not chuſe rather by force to iuſtifie iniuſtice, rapine and op­preſſion, than to have any actions of themſelves or miniſters called by ſuch names, doubtleſſe in a ſhort time they could not8 chuſe but arrive at an almoſt abſolute dominion. For the argu­ments uſed to divert from honeſt accommodations with the people, do not appeare to me that ever they were intertain'd by thoſe Heroick Princes that have fill'd the ſtories of all ages with their high and excellent glories, but by ſome of narrow and li­mited qualifications for government, one argument is, That if the ſame wayes of munificence and bountie by which ſome Princes have ingratiated themſelves, ſhould for ſome deſcents of Princes be purſued, the Crowne, regall Authoritie, and reve­nue would be deſtroyed, and nothing left whereby to oblige the people or wherein to be liberall. 'Tis true, indiſcreet proſu­tion hath conſumed many Princes (and that is indiſcreet that is miſimployed and loſt) it never avail'd (that I have heard) to the advancement of any, nor doth it extend much further than the Kings chamber; nor is it any Motive of affection in the people to heare that the King is liberall of his purſe to his ſervants and Favourites. A Princes bountie ſhines in a little ſpheare, if com­pared with the peoples, as his eſtate is ſmall, compared with the revenue of the whole Common-wealth; His liberalitie cannot extend to all his ſubiects, theirs may to him; it is not that vertue that exalts him in the opinion of the people. And yet it is a liberalitie, but not conſumptive to his eſtate, nor deſtru­ctive to his authoritie, but accumulative to both, Liberalitie of Juſtice, whereof the impartiall diſtribution hath rayſed princes into the ranke of Gods. And I am verily perſwaded if there ſhould fall out to be ſo happie a race of Princes, who depoſing all particular intereſts, ſhould advance onely publique Juſtice and Utilitie; The Armes, traffique, and tranquillitie of their people, the honour, induſtrie, and ſpirit of the nations under their command: that in a few deſcents they would become abſolute, and clearely acquitted from all obligation to Lawes, or at leaſt the execution would be ſo long intermitted that with much difficultie they would ever come in force, and the reſtitu­tion ſeeme as great an innovation, as of late hath been thought of Lawes in force long-layed aſide for want of uſe; And in the times of ſuch Princes we heare no talke of prerogative, or liber­tie, the one is ſurrendred to the will of the prince, the other9 imployed to the advantage of the people, and it is an infallible ſigne of great diſtempers in government when ſuch diſputes ariſe.

To conclude the Prerogative is a truſt which (becauſe no Lawes are large enough to meet with all accedents) reſides of neceſſitie in the perſon, or body politick, where the Soveraignty reſides: And it is true the King is truſted by God with this Pre­rogative, as al in authority are in their degree to diſcharge them­ſelves piouſly towards him, honeſtty to thoſe under their com­mand: He is alſo truſted by his Subjects, who do not ſay, they may reſume their power upon breach of truſt, but ſay, they ought not to be denied when they deſire thoſe breaches to be repaired and better fortified for time to come, and the truſt ex­emplified into a law as occaſion ſhall require: Nor is it reaſo­nable for any Prince in the world to ſay, I have been truſted; & if I or my Miniſters have not in theſe and theſe particulars well diſcharged that truſt, yet we wil be truſted ſtill, and you ſhall be­leeve that matters ſhall be better hereafter.

What the priviledges of Parliament are, is another great queſtion, if under that tearme be compriſed the King, the Lords and Commons, the queſtion may be better made, what is not within the power and priviledge of Parliament, for 'tis on all hands confeſſed that the common-wealth may diſpoſe of it ſelfe; but if the King be divided from them, what are then privlidges? truly none at all, if they cannot make a temporary proviſion to ſaue themſelves without the Kings licence; for take away ſafety, and privledge is gon; If they be ſafe, yet if it be better knowne to their adverſaries then themſelves, and that the continuance be at diſcretion and good pleaſure of another, if any be a more competent Judge of their ſafety then themſelves they have no priviledge at all, ſay what they will. Nor can it poſſible be that both houſes have power to preſerve the body of the Kingdom which they repreſent, if there not be an inherent eſſentiall and underived authority in that aſſembly to preſerve it ſelfe (t'is granted in the Princes minority, abſence or incapaſſi­tie to governe, the power to preſerve and provide for the ſtate, reſts in the great counſell, and their diligates, doutleſſe the10 caſe is the ſame, if it be on like manner granted that the prince is divided from the body of his people by evill counſell (to prove if the counſell be good or bad, examine the legalitie, it appeares in his Majeſties expreſſes: and that of moſt remarke, is to declare law (which being den ed to the g eat counſell, muſts needs be taken to reſide in the King and his privie counſell) To have the ſole managing of the Armes of the Kingdome. And upon miſ­priſion of treaſon to ſequeſter Members of Parliament to tryall in inferior Courts. If this counſell be legall t'is good. If his Ma­jeſtie were admitted the beſt Lawyer in the Kingdom: Yet if the lawes of this Kingdom have reſerved the expoſition of them­ſelves to the Law-makers and not to the King the adviſe, to ap­propriate that power to himſelfe is not good, that they have done ſo, preſidents are not wanting where the Judges have humbly praid both houſes to deliver their ſence of a doubtfull law, If theſe commiſſions of Array and breach of priviledges be declared illegal by them that have onely power to declare law in dubious caſes, then the adviſe by which they were done is not good, yet concerning this ſcruple of declaring law; It's true the Parliament cannot declare that to be law which is not: They cannot declare it to be the law of the land that my brother by a ſecond venter ſhall inherit my land before my kinſeman ten de­grees off though that were great reaſon, but they can declare that there reſts no power by vertue of any truſt in any perſon to convert the forces of the Kingdom to the deſtruction of it ſelf. And they may declare it Legall to ſtop the advenues and ap­proches to ſuch power if it be attempted, His Majeſtie may ar­ray Arme and command his ſubiects againſt the French and Spaniard not therefore to fight one againſt another, He may Array, Arme, and command them to ſuppreſſe Rebels ſo legally declared, not therefore to oppreſſe the Parliament, theſe are not very conſequent to a reaſonable man.

It is not ſtrange, nor are the examples rare to find how much Princes may be miſtaken in their councellors friends and ene­mies; for how hardly can that man be thought an enemie who ſtudies nothing ſo much as to enlarge the power, and advance the profit of his Prince. Yet the abundant ſervices of ſome have11 more miſchiefe to their Maſters than forraign arms or combina­tion ever could, Was it not takē for good ſervice to invent a new revenue of 200000. l. per annum to ſupply the waſted rents of the Crown. And would not he have been eſteemed rather a fool than no friend to the Kings profit that had adviſed to lay that down after it was once or twice paid. Yet in his Majeſties own Iudgement that tax had better never been. And it had never been if the adviſe had never been. And the adviſe had never been; or not been pernitious; If the King had received the ſame from the greater councel as he did then from the leſſe. I am of o­pinion though it rain not in Egypt, yet the inundations of Nilus are cauſed by rayne in another region. And the black Clouds that hung over Scotland and their troubled waters made them thinke it rained ſomewhere, and provide for the ſtorm, for doubtleſſe if the motion to abſolute dominion and ruine of all lawes, had not been ſo viſible and ſwift in England as it was; The new Service book, had never brought ſo many thouſands Scots over Tweed.

We may then conclude upon the whole matter; That that phyſicke was not good that brought the body of the Com­mon-wealth into ſo great diſtemper; That the people though a moveable bodie like the Ocean, yet never ſwell but when blown upon by intemperate windes; That that councell which hath cauſed the King to ſtake his Crowne, and the kingdomes their ſafetie, now the third time; That hath conteſted with the great Councell for precedencie in the Kings Judgement, and hath obtained it; That broke the laſt Parliament by the King, and would breake this by the Kingdome: Is not good for us, nor for thoſe diſcreet Gentlemen (if they underſtood their own intereſt) that labour ſo much to ſupport it. But that in every caſe wherein the generall ſtate of the Kingdome is concerned, the adviſe that the bodie of the Kingdome gives, upon a view taken of it ſelfe is not only leaſt erronious, but by the Law not preſum'd to erre.

Neither can the ſuggeſtions made againſt this Parliament (indiſſoluble but by conſent) any way availe to countenance a forcible diſſolution, That they have too much handled the12 flowers of the Crowne, thoſe that adorne the perſon, if not con­ſtitute the office of the King; That they goe about to erect a new Ariſtocraticall Governement, or rather a Tyrannicall of 5. or 600. That this Aſſembly is no Parliament, his Majeſtie diſſen­ting; That the Major part of both Houſes are gone to the King, or have left the reſt, the remnant are a faction.

To the firſt it is anſwered before; that thoſe rights of the Crowne which are by the poſitive and expreſſe Lawes of the Land veſted in the King to uſes, are not queſtioned; except in caſe where it is manifeſt that the uſes have been perverted; And in that caſe no more is required but that the breaches be repai­red, and that the influences of his Majeſties Government may be tranſmitted unto the people by better Mediums, which is no prejudice to his Majeſtie, unleſſe he imagine that he ought not to grant it, becauſe it is deſired; That he is bound to relieve the people, but not at the peoples requeſt. We will take it for granted that in any caſe it onely appertaines to our Soveraigne Lord the King to defend wearing of Armes, The uſe of this power veſted in his Majeſtie is for defence of himſelfe and ſubjects, and can have no other intendment by Law and rea­ſon, but ſuppoſe by evill Councell that may be about a Prince (by his owne unwiſe Election, or Gods appointment when he gives Princes bad Councellours, or people bad Princes for ſcourges to wanton and corrupted Nations;) this power is im­ployd to divide the Kingdome againſt it ſelfe, one Faction ſees this power lodged in the perſon of the Prince, but never ob­ſerves to what end, ſo ſides with him. Another inſiſt upon the end for which he was truſted, and defend themſelves by Arms: Faction begets Civill warre: Civill warre diſſolves the preſent Government; After followes a forraigne yoke, if our neigh­bour Nations be not faſt aſleepe, or otherwiſe imployed: In this expectation, and in the very minute when this imminent tempeſt is breaking upon our heads; the repreſentative bodie of the Kingdome proſtrates it ſelfe at his Majeſties feet, and be­ſeech him to change (not the Government) but a few ſubor­dinate Governours, that he will ſhine upon his people through tranſparant and unblemiſhed chryſtall glaſſes, not through13 Sanguine, Murrey, and Azure, which make the Ayre and Ob­jects beheld to ſeeme bloodie, and blue; Aſſuring him there is no other way to calme the Seas that begin to rage, and to pre­ſerve from wrack the ſhip of the Common-wealth wherein his Majeſtie is himſelfe imbarqued, and is the greateſt Adventurer. Now come in the malignant Councellours, and tell his Maieſtie that theſe humble Supplications will (if he yeeld to them) turne to Iniunctions: Eaſe them and doe them right (ſay they) but not at the requeſt of Parliament; Which is no leſſe then to place him in a condition to doe what he ſhall thinke to be right; That is, what he ſhall be adviſed by them is right; That is (in many caſes) what ambition, hatred, covetouſneſſe, luxu­rie, lecherie, ſuggeſt to be right: That is, flat tyrannie, more ab­ſolute than the Turks.

For the Introduction of a new forme of Government, the Arguments are, that if the Parliament draw to it ſelfe the Ju­riſdiction of the maritime and land forces, the power to name Councellours and Judges, or preſcribe a rule for their nomina­tion, To make Lawes (for 'tis all one, if the King may not deny thoſe that are preſented to him by both Houſes) to perpetuate the ſitting of this Parliament: The Soveraigntie hath (if theſe be allowed) made no ſecret but a very apparant tranſition from the perſon of the King into the perſons of the Parliament men.

The Subiects of this Kingdome have never had one Example of a Parliament that hath gone about to make themſelves Lords over their brethren; And if they would they cannot, for when they forſake the dutie of their place, and the intereſt of the Kingdome, the Kingdome will forſake them; and ſometimes before: which though the people have dearly repented, yet it ſerves to prove that the ſubſiſtance of a Parliament is impoſſi­ble if dominion, or any other end be perceived then Reformati­on and preſervation of the Common-wealth.

In the Minoritie and abſence of former Kings, opportunitie was farre more favourable for ſuch a deſigne then at this pre­ſent, yet what prince was ever hurt by his infancie or abſence, when they were truſted both with his dignitie and revenue. 14And 'tis out of queſtion, if his Maieſtie had been clearly con­current with this Parliament for the puniſhment of Delin­quents, and conſervation of the peace, and Libertie of the Sub­iect, they had never riſen up into ſo high requeſts; but take the Argument at the beſt, it followes not that the Parliament in­tends to aſſume the Soveraigne Authoritie, becauſe when Ire­land is in Rebellion, England in combuſtion, Scotland ſcarce quieted, France and Spaine in Armes, they doe humbly ſup­plicate his Maieſtie to entruſt, for a ſhort and limitted time, the Militia under the commands of perſons of Honour, that the Lords and Commons (thoſe whoſe blood and eſtates muſt de­fend the State) may repoſe faith in: yet this is not to be granted, and the feares and Jealouſies of his Maieſties beſt Kingdome and moſt obedient Subiects held ſo unworthy of any regard or ſatisfaction, that they are eſteemed and ſo publiſhed for frivo­lous and falſe pretended, meerely to obtaine an uniuſt purchaſe out of the Kings prerogative.

For the nomination of prime Officers, Councellours and Judges, I preſume that requeſt reſults out of the precedent miſ­government, and is intended onely for this time; And peradven­ture the temper will be better for the people, that the King (be­ing once invironed with a wiſe and religious Councell) appoint Judges and publique Officers, whom the people may if there be cauſe, accuſe, and the Parliament iudge; nor would this branch of the Kings prerogative beene reach'd at by the people, if the Judges (who ought to be conſervators of the lawes, had not been the diſtroyers; If the the counſell of a few even in Parlia­ment time, had not involved the whole ſtate in a common ca­lamity; and conteſted with the Grand Counſell of the King­dome, aſſuming to themſelves more zealous affection to his Majeſtie, a greater care of the common-wealth, & a better diſ­cerning what was neceſſary and fit for both, Yet the election of publike officers is not without preſident in the times of former Kings; But I would not have thoſe Kings preſidents to his Ma­jeſtie, that ſuch demands may not be preſident to us.

Concerning the perpetuall dictatorſhip of the Parliament, It may be demanded, why is the work prolonged by them, who15 aske why are you ſo long at work? why are delinquents pro­tected? by what meanes are difficulties objected? How comes this Rebellion in Ireland? why doth the Parliament ſpend time in providing for their owne ſafety? which ought to be ſpent in redreſſe of publique diſorders and vindication of the ſubjects from oppreſſion? do they pretend fear, becauſe they would rule? let his Majeſtie render thoſe feares apparantly falſe, and con­curre more hartily than they in ſecuring the Kingdome, Let him grant commiſſions for Ireland, let him grant Guards for the Par­liament as wel to ſecure their fear as their danger, why ſhould his Majeſtie confirme their feares by diſcharging their Guards and attempting their perſons, If he know them to be ſafe, let them know it alſo, or confute their feare to the underſtanding of the whole Kingdome, by granting their owne wayes of ſecurity, the next way to detect thoſe apparitions of fear if they be falſe. And when the Religion of our church is vindicated; The vigour of the Lawes renued; A Guard of ſtrength and terrour pro­vided for their future preſervation; The Rebellion in Ireland quelled; His Majeſties revenue examined and repaired; Particu­lar delinquents puniſhed; The Court of juſtice reformed; The banks founded by the induſtry of our Anceſters with ſo much blood and treaſure againſt the inundations of the prerogative, or malignity of private counſels repaired and better fortified, then let us ſee what pretence will be made for continuation of the Seſſion ſtill. The Engliſh Nation will not doubtleſſe ſel their birth right for a meſſe of pottage, Nor change the government of a Prince (time nor ſtory remembring any other in theſe King­doms) of extraction ſo illuſtrious of a title ſo indubitable, to be ruled by their equal peradventure inferior neighbours.

To that allegation that this aſſembly is no Parliament in the Kings abſence; If it be underſtood when he is not preſent, it is an opinion ſo ancient as ſince his Majeſtie left the Parliament, for before I am perſwaded it was never heard of: And it muſt fol­low thereupon (as hath beene anſwered before) that by the ac­cedentall abſence of the prince: or in ſickneſſes that induce ſtu­pifaction, or in the firſt degrees of infancie, when the powers of the reaſonable ſoule have no latitude of operation, the ſtate16 may be left without meanes to preſerve it ſelf, which is a great abſurditie to thinke, But if by the Kings abſence be underſtood the want of his voluntary concurrence in confirmation of the Acts and Ordinances of both houſes, and that in ſuch caſes they are no Parliament, it may well be doubted if they have bin any Parliament during this Seſſion: For the acts that have paſſed his Royall aſſent (ſo much amplified in his late declarations to the people) are ſhrodely ſuſpected to be with no great good liking of his Majeſtie, I am ſure if they were voluntary, they were not exhibited with due circumſtances, for through that opinion, his Majeſtie hath loſt much of the thankes due for ſuch tranſcendent graces, which no Prince, or inferior perſon, ought in diſcretion to looſe. However that both houſes legally convened and authoriſed to ſit, doe not by the kings abſence looſe the eſſence and denomination of a Parliament, appears by preſidents of former times, when in the abſence of a Prince (further diſtant in body then his Majeſtie is in mind I hope) the eſtates have aſſembled themſelves (which is a little higher then was yet in diſpute) have adminiſtred oathes of fealtie to the ſubject, have named officers for publique ſervices, and as well to ſuperintend the peace of the Kingdom as the revenue of the King. And though there was not, nor is any law authoriſing the aſſembling of a Parliament in ſuch a caſe, yet was the legallity of that Parliament never queſtioned, nor will, of any other up­on the ſame or the like occaſion, when the matter to be treated on is the peace and ſafety of the Kingdome, whether the King be abſent in body or minde, it changes not the queſtion much.

But that which is a ſhort anſwer to all that can be ſaid is: that by an Act of all the eſtates, this Parliament is not diſolve­able, but by an Act of all the eſtates, therefore a Parliament untill that Act be paſſed.

To the other part of the allegation that Major part of both Houſes have left the reſt, and are gone over to the King. It may be demanded why doth not then his Majeſtie ſend them up to adjourn the Parliament to Oxford or Cambridge, are they ſo fearfull of the Aprentizes of London, that they dare not appear17 to do his Maieſtie ſo great a ſervice by ſhouting a yea or no in the houſe of Commons, how willingly would they adventure a battell that refuſe to ſpeake a word in a croud. Truly it were they way to put an end to all the controverſie, to reverſe with eaſe the acts that have given ſo great cauſe of repentance, to reduce the Parliament to termes of due obedience, to ſave a multitude of offenders, to weede out of both houſes thoſe facti­ous members that inſiſt ſo obſtinately upon a truſt repoſed in them; to diſtill out of the delinquent Citie of London much cordiall water to ſave the labour, charge, and hazards of warre, to ſave the purſes, perſons, and horſes of the willing Gentrie, who labour for thoſe fetters (ſuch is the underſtanding of this time) that their fathers ſweate to be rid from; For if armes be raiſed onely againſt a ſmall malignant party, a faction of a few Parliament men: The Major number would quickly deliver them up, and what place could afford ſafetie for them againſt the Ire of his Majeſtie and both houſes of Parliament.

To ſuch as put theſe Queſtions, What is the power and pri­viledge of Parliament, by what Law doe they impoſe Orders upon the people without the Kings Aſſent? they ſeeme to mee like them that diſpute how legally the next houſes are pull'd downe, when the flame and winds make cruell vaſtati­on in the beautifull buildings of a populous Citie: They are honeſt men, and would ſaine be thought wiſe, but I doubt it is not in the orbe of their underſtanding to comprehend, what power reſides in the vaſt bodie of the people, and how unlimi­tedly that power operates, when it is animated by danger, for preſervation of it ſelfe. A man may make the ſame obſervati­on upon them that is made upon Cato, who pleaded the Lawes and uſages of peaceable times, when the libertie of that Common-wealth was at the laſt Gaſpe, and would not bee drove off it, till it was too late, his argument was this in effect, that the Authors of lawes for preſervation of the Common-wealth, may not preſerve it, but by their own Creature. This was Cato's error and is ſo confeſſed by all men, yet (I take it) he was a better ſtateſman then theſe diſputants. The King was admitted Judge of the danger of the Common-wealth before18 the Parliament, and it was apparant for no other reaſon, but the better to leavie money, Shall the Parliament ſitting be a leſſe competent Judge? As though a Phyſitian that ſaith you are not well, though you do not perceive it, Give me 5. or 10. peeces I'le cure you, ſhall be better beleev'd then the man that hath been waſted with a Quotidian Fever 16 yeeres together. They talke what the Parliament may doe, and what not, as though this were the Parliament that made an Act for pavement of an high way, and had little other worke. Truly if regulation of a Trade, or creation of a Tenure, or Erection of a Corporation were the Queſtion in a peaceable time, it were eaſily reſolved, that the Kings demurre ſhould ſtand for a deniall, but to ſay the Kingdome may not defend and ſecure it ſelf, who ever ſaith to the contrary, is to fight againſt the oldeſt and beſt knowne Law in nature, the Center of all Lawes, and the inſeparable right of all Kingdomes, Corporations, and Creatures. But they ſay the Kingdome is in no ſuch danger; who is a better Iudge then the repreſentative bodie of the Kingdome it ſelfe? not thoſe that ſay ſo. Who like a man that ſtanding upon the beach at Dover will not beleeve that the Sea hath any ſhore towards France, untill he bee brought to the top of the Hill. It is not within their view to tell better then the Parliament whether there be danger or not. His Majeſtie indeed hath the moſt emi­nent place to obſerve what Collection of Clouds are in any quarter of the Heaven, and what weather it will be, but his cal­culations (ſuppos'd to be made by others from a lower ground) are therefore not ſo well beleeved. But be it in danger or none, it matters not much, the Lawes have been in danger, (none will deny) and were recover'd by another danger or had been loſt: If it be now peace (as theſe men ſay) it is the better time to ſe­cure them, if it be not peace, it is well to ſave the Common-wealth by any means whatſoever, and if the King concurre not ſo ſpeedily as the occaſion requires, the blame is not theirs that goe before for his preſervation and their own.

To make an end, I wiſh an union of the three Kingdomes, un­der the ſame Covernment, Eccleſiaſticall and Civill (if it bee poſſible) that this Crowne having three ſuch ſupporters, and19 ſurrounded with the ſalt waters, at Unitie, at Libertie, at Peace in it ſelfe, may not feare the whole forces of the disjoynted con­tinent of Europe, That his Majeſtie would underſtand his In­tereſt to be, to unite, not to divide his Subjects, and to remember with what manner of Tropheyes the magnanimous Princes of former times have adorned their Funerals and Fame. That he will chuſe rather to fight in the head of the Brittiſh Armies, for reſtitution of his Nephews to their loſt Inheritance, than imploy them here to pillage and deſtroy his own ſubjects; That hee will firſt command the hearts, then the perſons, then the Eſtates of his Subjects, and not begin at the wrong end: That in the Parliament may reſide a Spirit of that Latitude and No­bleneſſe which ought to dwell in an Aſſembly of ſo much Ho­nour and Gravitie, That juſt things be done for juſtice ſake, without bowing leſſe or more for the raging of popular ſurges in the South, or for the cold winds that blow from the North: That the conditions of peace may not be enhanſed by any pro­ſperous ſucceſſe, but like the Noble Romane before and after the victorie the ſame: That his Majeſtie may be convinced of the Errour of his private Councels, by finding in the Grand Councell a quiet repoſe and a ſtable foundation of peace and plentie to his Royall Perſon and Familie. And laſtly (ſince his Majeſtie and his people thus divided cannot bee happie) that with all convenient Expedition, ſuch as have ſtudied this divi­ſion between the Head and the Body, may have their heads divided from their bodies. So farewell.


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TextA discourse upon the questions in debate between the King and Parliament.
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SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A81522)

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Bibliographic informationA discourse upon the questions in debate between the King and Parliament. 19, [1] p. s.n.,[London :1642]. (Caption title.) (Imprint from Wing.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "7bre [i.e. September] 15. 1642.".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • 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 A81522
  • STC Wing D1628
  • STC Thomason E117_8
  • STC ESTC R21943
  • EEBO-CITATION 99871547
  • PROQUEST 99871547
  • VID 123958

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