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ENGLANDS APOLOGY, for Its late CHANGE: OR, A SOBER PERSVVASIVE, Of all Diſaffected or Diſſenting perſons, to a Seaſonable ENGAGEMENT, for the Set­tlement of this COMMON-VVEALTH.

Drawne from

  • The Workings of Providence.
  • The State of Affaires.
  • The danger of Diviſion.

LONDON, Printed by Matthew Simmons, and are to be ſold in Alderſgate-ſtreet. 1651.

Impartiall Reader

I Intend not to make a Preface that may ſwallow up this ſhort Treatiſe; Epiſtles are commonly but the clogges, and burthens of Bookes, and expreſſe little more then the Title page. Others have ſpoke enough to the argumentative part of our Affaires, and have pro­ved by reaſon what God hath acted by providence; this diſcourſe is ra­ther directed to the conſciences, then the fancies of men, and may ſerve as a ſerious memoriall of what God hath done for us, and an aviſo to men in their raſh, and bitter cenſures, that this ſtate and change, which though it be new, that it may not ſeeme ſtrange, God hath uſhered it in with the greateſt ceremonies of provi­dence, and put extraordinary cha­racters of his preſence and glory in it. I have no more to trouble thee with, but the reading of it, which yet may be profitable, if not perſwaſive, which is the end of the diſcourſe.



THough it is not probably to be expected that any argument or reaſon ſhould be forcible to perſwade the hearts of men, when ſo ma­ny wonderfull providences, and glorious ap­pearances of God have made no impreſſion, or that words ſhould prevaile, where things are undervalued. Yet becauſe every Chriſtian ought to en­deavour to make his owne heart, and others ſenſible of pub­lique miſeries or mercies, and ſeeing the intent of this diſ­courſe is to unite, not divide, and that it is high time to leave off quarrelling with perſons, and actions, it is poſſible this paranetick may not be in vaine, if either the miſeries of a civill warre (which hath almoſt ruin'd this Nation) or the horror of dead carkaſſes lying alwayes in our way; if the cry of bloud, which hath been powred out, not from one, but every veine of this Nation; if the deſolationof Townes, and Cities, the mournings of widdowes, and Or­phanes in every corner, the miſchiefe of factions, and dviſi­ons in our own families; if laſtly, the effectuall workings of the very finger of the Almighty, if all or any of theſe were fit to work on our affections, to thirſt after a ſettlement of this State, and to perſwade mn to acquieſce in what God hath done for this Nation, and to comply with the Parlia­ment in ſecuring this Common-wealth, wee needed no pa­per-exhortation, and this might well have been ſpared. But its to be feared, and lamented, that Gods workes among us,2 as his Word hath had different, and ſometimes contrary ef­fect, ſome are hardened under the diſpenſations, others ſoft­ned, and that moſt of this Nation are under a judiciall blind­neſſe, and ſtupidity, which will hardly be remedied, but by the ruine of this generation, who have ſo highly provoked God, in oppoſing his great deſignes in the latter dayes; for though God hath walked up and downe in garments of bloud for this almoſt ten yeares, and hath not ſpared the fleſh of Princes, and great men, and hath ſhewed himſelfe directly againſt that royall party which at firſt began theſe miſerable warres, and ſhewed forth moſt eminently his indignation a­gainſt that perſon, and family, with all that have adhered to them, yet (which is moſt ſad) not onely are their hearts hardned, and their necks ſtiffe againſt the Lords work, but in any who acted at firſt with vigour and vehemency againſt that party, have turned their faces, and have been of late the moſt dangerous oppoſers of this Parliament and Army, and are become the hopes of the common enemy, yea many loſt in prejudices, and diſcontent, have wholly eſpouſed others, are courting that intereſt, as if they would unravell all theſe lines of providence, whereby wee have been bleſſedly led into a Common-wealth; And like the children of Iſrael would ratht turne back to eate Garlick and Onions, under Pha­roahs bondage, then be led by providence under the conduct of Moſes, thugh to Canaan.

It is from theſe ſecret quarrells and murmurings, and diſ­affections (among godly men) (which have though they had their firſt riſe from private animoſities,) yet they have been formed, and aggravated by cloſe, and ſubtile enemies) from theſe are the foundations of our ruine, and of our ene­mies deſignes, and hopes, who (while wee are diſcontented among our ſelves, for trifles) are preparing engins to cut us off both at once, many eſſays have been uſed to that end, which had not God from heaven diſapponted, had tooke effect ere this, and occaſioned the ſad repentance of the mi­ſtaken actors.

And doubtleſſe, among all the hardſhips this Parliament and Army hath gone through, either in oppoſing the com­mon3 enemy, or working out their owne diſtempers, they have met with nothing more ſad, and dangerous, then the ſlightings, and diſreſpects of theſe, who were once, and ſhould be ſtill friends; who have but one, and the ſame com­mon enemy ſtill, how ever wee may ſubdivide into ſeverall parties, rather by the deluſion of names, then reality of diffe­rense.

But its better to bewaile theſe diſtempers with our teares, then expreſſe them; my intent is not to open our wounds, but to caſt in ſome Balme to heale them; wee have too long been petting, and objecting, while God hath been acting, and doing us good, without our obſervance, or notice; the great deſigne of this paper is but to minde us what God hath done for us, to preſſe all honeſt hearts to an improvement of our mercies, with ſence of the worth of them; And to perſwade honeſt, and inquiring men to a compliance in time with this Common-wealth, leaſt they come to unite with the common enemy, who is yet acting in both Nations, in one more viſibly, to ruine us by our diviſions.

Its worthy conſideration what wee have been doing all this while, and why we are diſquieted with the preſent State, ſeeing theſe things have been brought forth among us, which have not been the events of long contrived plots, but of ſpe­ciall adminiſtrations of Gods wiſdome, and reſpect to this Nation, and meerely acted by God, beyond the policy, and engagements of the wiſeſt men; yea the whole ſeries of work­ings in theſe affaires hath been demonſtrative, that it was not of men, nor of their wills, but of Gods. And how ever par­ticular obſervances may judge of things, yet if the whole be viewed, and the harmony of every part in this great worke, all diſſenters muſt needs have their conſciences under con­viction, while their intereſts are unſatisfied.

Let us take a ſhort account onely, for to helpe our memo­ries of our firſt principles, and Gods actings, to improve them, and wee ſhall ſee that few of us have eyed what wee firſt undertooke, or what God hath (beyond our thoughts) done for us.

Our firſt principle wee acted from, and from which wee4 ſtated our Cauſe (from which wee had then no diſſenters but Malignants) was to bring Delinquents to condigne puniſhment, (who had abuſed this State by the Royall Con­ſent, and Authoritie) and to oppoſe the tyranny of the King, and flattery of the Countiers. A principle large enough to worke on, and to take in by conſequences of affaires the ut­moſt improvement; upon this ground all the Parliamentary party acted together, (not being able to ſee, or hope for any thing more then a reformation) (and that of the groſſeneſſe of actings) and ſo firme were wee in this, that wee never changed our thoughts, untill the delayes in warre; and the influences of the Court, together with wearied, and neutrall friends, and the thoughts of places and preferments, made men to ſtudy new wayes of compliances, and to leave the firſt principle for the preſent enjoyments. But God (who o­verruleth the counſells of men, and had a further deſigne) will not ſuffer ſo good a beginning to make a fatall end. And according to his uſuall way, from ſmall beginnings brings forth his greateſt glory, acting things beyond our firſt thoughts, or deſignes. The King was firſt oppoſed uni­verſally in his perſonall capacity, and reſerv'd in his pub­lique, in theſe who fought againſt him, this went downe currant, and without any demurre among us; and upon this wee waged warre; but God (who ſtill meant to carry on a higher deſigne) keepes us equall and faire for a long while together, now giving the advantage to us, now to him, ſtill making drawne battailes, (while there was a leſſer piece of royalty oppoſing a greater) owning the Cauſe ſo farre as not to diſcountenance that ſide he meant to honour at the laſt; but no effectuall worke was done, but honourable re­treats, and dayes of thankſgiving for non-routing, and ſe­curity, rather then for any victory wee ever had over the Kings party, except eſpecially that of Marſton-Moore, (where­in the chiefe inſtruments of the new modell were agents) (which was ſoone recruited) and ballanſt by our own par­ties negligence in the South, and their diligence over their affaires. God kept all this while a kinde of equalitie, per­ſons were engaged of different tempers, not of different5 principles, and it had been well (for all our reports then at London,) that wee kept our ground, into ſuch ſtraits wee were then brought, (though wee ſeemed to have a great and potent Army) that nothing could ſerve in the view of the whole Parliament, but a wiſe disbanding that Army, and framing a new Modell, (which was a cauſe of ſtrange ne­ceſſitie at that time) and a hopefull way of our ruine by many, even in Parliament, who gave their votes for it out of another end, who are ſince diſcovered) but it hath ſince proved the ordinance of God. This is the poore Army that the great repinings and diſcontents are made from: This Army, which hath been preſerved by Gods right hand, who have done that work which is wonderfull to relate) againſt this Army all the arrowes of malice and deſigne are ſhot, to wound either their perſons or names; It's ſad to think that our eyes ſhould be evill, becauſe Gods is good; that wee ſhould repine at inſtruments, when God doth the work? let us as men that would faine ſee into Gods wayes, conſider what hath been done ſince that change, what a continued continuation of providences (I might ſay miracles, if they had not ſome meanes to produce them) have wee had ſince that deſpiſed modell. The thoughts of theſe things are only repeated for our conviction: There are two things very re­markable in theſe affaires ſince our firſt engaging againſt the late King (each of which ſhall have their due conſidera­tion.)

Firſt, That all our affairs were hardly kept in aequilibrio, in a faire and right correſpondency untill this new Modell; but that the King got more ground by his influence, then we by our Armies; the Armie under the Lord of Eſſex, being a petty Royall Armie, made up of all ſorts of humours and Confederates of either ſide, rather kept the Parliaments cre­dite, then gave them any uſe for ther money: and we never had a battle fought by him; but we came off, and that bare­ly, and with loſſe as well as the King.

2. That never ſince this poore, (at firſt deſpiſed; though now envied Army) was modell'd, we never either received a conſiderable loſſe or check in our proceedings, though the6 action of this Army hath been in three Nations, and accom­panyed with miſerable diſcouragements from all parties, and difficulties, that other Nations would have thought in­ſuperable, and ſo acted, that nothing but God hath viſibly appeared: It cannot, it muſt not be forgotten, it will be written in marble (if not in our hearts) and the place it ſelfe will be made immortall to all poſterity) the firſt teſti­mony of God to the firſt action of this Army at Naſeby, when all Politicians were ſecuring of themſelves; and our wiſeſt friends fearing what the iſſue would be, and the royall pow­er at the greateſt height, and going on in the fulleſt carrere, what a glorious turne was there given to the deſignes of the Enemie, and reviving to the hopes of this Nation; God ne­ver before ſo peculiarly, and in our low condition owning his poor people; and ever ſince God ſet up his Standard there, he hath made bare his arme, and never ſuffered one eminent, nay hardly any defeat to be given to this Army, ma­king that the earneſt of the Conqueſt of Gods Enemies in theſe three Nations, whereas in all our former Battails, we could never ſay we had a victory (except ſome ſpeciall for­merly named) which had their recruits very ſoone) from this time (I ſay) as if God had the idea of this Armie in his eye, and had with his owne hands framed the modell of it, and culling out the Army he meant to bleſſe; hee hath ever uninterruptedly afforded his preſence, though the difficul­tyes, and multitude of Enemies have been more then could be expected, or then ever Armie under-went, who ſerved a State in ſuch tranſactions. What eye cannot ſee the plots and contrivances, both of the common, and ſecret Enemies, how many wayes have been uſed to overthrow this Parlia­ment and Army, and what humours have been predomi­nant among themſelves to ruine that body: yet how ſtrang­ly, and beyond all mens thoughts, have they been carryed through; if we were delighted in viewing divine actings, or had a deſigne to make a Hiſtory to aſtoniſh all the world. Let us follow the Army from Naſeby, up and down England, at home; from thence after two Warres, the ſecond more dangerous then the firſt, being upon more cunning preten­ces,7 and made out of our diviſions among our ſelves, and eſpecially levelled againſt the Parliament, and Armie, a war that divided the Armie, as well as the firſt confiding inſtru­ments; yet with what wonder of glory did God break forth their deliverance; for after God had helped them to drive the K. into the Scots Armie (a preſage of his ſons reſerve) new Inſurrections are in the moſt ſpeciall Counties round about the Parliament, which firſt began more remote in Wales, that they might more inſenſibly ſupply the whole, and the deſigne might be thought more barbarous, and leſſe conſi­derable, while ſtronger and more effectuall influence were operating nigher hand, yet this poor Army muſt through all; the Generall in Kent and Eſſex, the Lieut. Generall in Wales, and Major-Generall Lambert in the North, having all their hands full, and the Scots under Hamilton, when the conjunction of Langdale, and the old Malignants, making up the harmony of malignancy, though in a diſcord: No ſoo­ner had our now worthy Generall ordered the affairs of Wales, but new work was provided for him. In the North Major General Lambert had long expected him; and though he had by his wiſdome and valour kept his own ground, yet the Enemie (who grew like a ſnow-ball by going) got mighty advantages: and taking their way through Lanca­ſhire, a place they thought good Quarters for their Army, as to find capable and zealous Subjects for their deſign: but God (who ever appears in the beſt opportunity) to ſhew forth his continuall diſpleaſure againſt any conjunction with the royall party, upon what pretence ſover,) brought up then Lieut. Generall Cromwell to joyne with the Major Generall, who both with all their Forces, could not make a third part of the Army they were to encounter withall; but God ſo appeared, that they routed that vaſt Army, which carryed with them the higheſt deſigne, and had more advantages of power, and plea, then any Army of ſuch a mould that ever came into England.

What can be more immediatly from God then ſuch over­tures; will God juſtifie the wicked ſo poitively, and perpe­tually againſt the godly (and that by his owne power, not8 only by permiſſion.) Is there nothing in theſe affairs can take our hearts? Doth God doe ſtrange and unexpected things for to be diſ-reſpected? Let any Nation ſhew a pa­rallell, and not draw ſuch concluſions as we now draw. It's true, (and it muſt be one cauſe of our daily humiliation) that we have not anſwered God in our duties, ſutable to thoſe manifeſtations; but yet the neglect on our parts ſhould not annihilate, or darken the glory of God in his owne act­ings, but rather ſhame us, and heighten Gods goodneſſe un­to us, who is ſo in love with Englands liberties, that our un­worthineſſe, & unſutableneſſe cannot ſtop him in his courſe of grace, and mercy. Let us, if wee muſt needs take our prejudices, and ſatisfie them as to all Gods actings in Eng­land: yet when we look on Ireland, and it's ſad condition be­fore, and how, and when reſtored, and by what inſtruments, and then let malice act to the utmoſt, if there be but a ſpark of honeſty, or any glance of a ſpirituall eye left, and we muſt needs ſtand amazed, though diſcontented at Gods goings with theſe whom we deſpiſe; How have we cryed out againſt theſe bloudy rebells (as wee had juſt cauſe) for how many yeares were monethly publique faſts throughout the Nation kept for poore Ireland? (beſides all the private unknowne bleeding of the ſoules of many Saints in corners) and yet no fruit conſiderable that wee could call an Anſwer, untill God appeared by himſelfe (when this Army was on the Sea-ſide in readineſſe to be tranſported) and in what a manner, and method of miracles, God hath appeared, there is not to be expreſt at a diſtance: God gave in the firſt wonder at Dublyn by that ever to be honoured, Coll. Jones, ere the Army came over, that they might not have their fleſh and bloud too much diſcouraged, both at home, and abroad, and yet would have them ready ere he began, that they might improve, and finiſh it.

What of deſigne had the Parliament in this Expedition, to divide their Army, which was ſo ſmall at home, among ſo many enemies, or what hopes could that part of the Ar­my have to encourage them to leave their owne Nations without God had moved them; when they lay at the water9 ſide ready for a winde to ſaile from their owne Nation, where God had made them ſo proſperous againſt the com­mon enemy, and to leave all their friends, and to arrive at a a Nation, wholly engaged and enraged againſt them, and but two Townes, Dublyn and Derry, that were left as recep­tacles of them, or earneſts of hopes, and theſe both beſieged by farre more then the full Number of this Army could Muſter, and yet how willingly did they goe, and how glo­riouſly did God appeare, making a whole Nation, both of bloudy rebells, and royall Malignants, to be overthrowne by them, not ſuffering them to give them one defeate, though they had multitudes of advantages, and in one yeare almoſt to reduce that Nation to a new obedience: and were that Hiſtory of Ireland well printed, how farre would it exceed all the Relations of its firſt Conqueſt by this Nation, when little elſe ſave ambition of domination, and of enlarging our power, not to execute Gods righteous judgements a­gainſt bloud-thirſty men, did put them upon endeavou­ring the Conqueſt of that Nation.

What of fleſh and bloud can be demonſtrated to be pre­dominaut in theſe tranſactions, but love, and zeale, in the inſtruments, to free the Proteſtant party from further cruell miſeries by the Popiſh, and royall party there, (who became ſoone one) & power from God to back theſe undertakings. Are wee ſorry becauſe God imployes not theſe inſtruments that ſuite with our particular humors, and ſtated intereſts? is the worke of God the leſſe to be eyed, becauſe he uſeth de­ſpicable, and poore inſtruments? or moves beyond our Mo­dell? the generations to come, will remember theſe things, and take them in, though we, thorough the clouds, made by the vapours of our owne engagements, and factions, ſee lit­tle in them: Irelands Proteſtants will doubtleſſe keepe a Chronicle of theſe acts, and bleſſe God for the inſtruments when they are entombed in the bloud of the enemies of the Goſpel, and who knowes, but Ireland, who hath never yet ſoild the Goſpel, but have been under the ſad perſecutions for the little light they had in it, and have not yet extracted factions and diviſions out of Gods mercies, to advantage10 the common and watchfull enemy.

If Irelands wonders will not make you in love with Gods actings, (which was nothing elſe but the proſecution of the ſame cauſe beyond the Sea) yet let the harmony and continuance of Gods appearances to owne this cauſe, and this Parliament in the three Nations (the motions in each) deſerve a particular Hiſtory) let the univerſall proportion of divine actings (for I dare not call them otherwiſe pardon­ing mens inſirmities) be a confirmation of each other; for what ever the pretences and pleas have been either civill or ſacred in England, Ireland, or Scotland, yet God hath drawne one line of providence thorough all, and given, an equall, and aſtoniſhing ſucceſſe againſt every party, in each, which have but appeared againſt them. If wee paſſe by all the reſt and come into Scotland, a priviledged place, and, one would thinke, holy ground, yet when once they came to dally with malignancy, and comply with the royall party, though they had the Temple of the Lord written in their foreheads, and the Covenant on the palmes of their hands, and uſed it as their Phylacteries, yet oppoſing this deſigne (which God hath put into the Parliament to proſecute by their Armie, how hath God owned them in the face of their chiefe de­ſpiſers. I am not now in kindling fire of diffention, (miſe­rable man is he that lets fall a ſparke willingly to contri­bute to this fire) but to lay before honeſt and inquiring men, what reaſon wee have to ſtand and pauſe upon Gods actings, and mollifie our hearts by theſe continuall drop­pings.

God knowes with what heart that Expedition was un­dertaken, and with what little proviſion of outward advan­tages it was managed on our ſide; for after our March into the North, with ſo much leiſure and delay, to ſee what overture might bee offered from heaven to prevent us, (which was paſſionately longed for by the Generall and his Officers) when wee came to the borders, and marcht thorough Berwicke, wee had not three dayes proviſion, nay not one day, neither could there either for love or mo­ney be obtained a preſent neceſſary ſupply, as if wee were11 rather going to viſit our friends, and to helpe them, then to fight; and yet if all circumſtances be duely weighed, Gods actings by this Army in Scotland are farther, and more glorious progreſſes of his wiſdome and power in the ſame principle, and a clearer demonſtration of Gods owning this Cauſe, then any which have been yet.

Let us conſider firſt, whom God appeared againſt, not the Iriſh rebells, nor the abſolute malignant party, but thoſe who profeſt to walke under the ſhaddow, and pro­tection of the Covenant, who were thought by all diffen­ters, not onely to be Patrons, but principalls of all refor­mation; a people who had onely profeſt oppoſition to this Parliament, and Army, and that for the moſt part in ſpiri­tuall pretences, theſe who had firſt invented the names of ſhame and odium on the Army, as Sectaries, yea who had annihilated this Parliament, and its Authoritie, and ſet a King over them and this Nation, in the exacteſt idea; to which if wee adde the ſtate of our Army among them, with their height and confidence, all the world muſt ſee that no power but of the Almighties, could have done it for us.

For our Army, (though they have had more opportu­nitie of action, which they delighted in) yet were they ne­ver brought to ſuch extremities, to ſo low an ebbe, by both want of victualls, and all neceſſaries: neither have any former example of Gods appearing with them in Eng­land after ſuch a manner; for though they were oftentimes fewer in number then their enemies, yet never reduced to ſuch a diſproportion, as at Dunbarre. In England, yea, and Ireland, they fought againſt Forts, and Bulwarkes, ſtout and perfect enemies; but there they fought againſt hunger, and cold, ſickneſſe, and diſeaſes, and loſt their naturall ſpi­rits, and ſtrength, when they ſhould have had moſt uſe of them. None can expreſſe the low condition they were in, their men falling ſicke, and dying like rotten ſheepe, their Horſes hardly able to carry their riders, and yet were their beaſts provided for better then themſelves; the moſt part of their worke all the while they were in12 Scotland untill the battell, was but a continuall march; from Muſſleborough, and Penclan hils unto Dunbar for neceſſary proviſions; But that God (who hath ſtill done all for us) might exalt his owne name, and give a demonſtrative teſti­mony not onely of his continuall preſence with them, but a ſign for unbelif; he brought them as low as it was ordina­rily imaginable, and the enemy as high, and confident, as fleſh and bloud could make them; all relations of our neceſſities at that inſtant, with the circumſtances of it, can be but as the painting of hungry and ſtarved men, with a few open mouths, and pin'd faces; and on the contrary as the ene­my had, by all the policy and ſtratagems of war endeavoured to being them into this condition, by waving to fight them, ſo they then thought they had their end, and the bleſ­ſed opportunity was inſtant; nothing elſe was expected but to have them all devoured at one morſell; and that they might not faile in their aſſurance, they made the covenant their word (then as formerly their pretence) as the infalli­ble earneſt of a full victory, and ſome of their eminent Offi­cers cal'd in ſcorne to ſome of our men, that now was the day come the Covenant ſhould be avenged of the Sectaries, and that their name ſhould be blotted out from the earth; thus did they triumph through the covenant, and play with that ſacred bond.

But that all good people may ſee at what a height of con­fidence, not onely the Army, but Kirk were attained unto, and how God appeared both againſt Eccleſiaſticall prophe­cies, and civill deſignes; I ſhall relate a ſtory of as great credit as wonder; on the ſame day this glorious mercy was wrought for us at Dunbar, one of the Miniſters of Edenburgh (I take it his name was Hagoe) was preaching to a great congregation in that City rayling on our Parliament, and Army, raiſing the expectations of th people for to expect ſome more then ordinary vengeance, and that from Heaven on them, and (like a falſe Prophet) told them to ſtand ſtill, and ſee the ſalvation of the Lord, and whereas he and his fellow Miniſters, had often told them of this Army, and of their wickedneſſe, and denounced the judgement of God13 on them, they ſhould now ſee, and that (it may be) ere they went from that place, that God would confirme the words which he had ſo often ſpoken by the mouth of his Miniſters to them concerning this cauſe, (for he knew in what ſtraits we were, and what their hopes were that day, but he knew not the counſels of the Lord) Immediately as he had fini­ſhed his prophecy, or at leaſt ere he had done his worke, God ſends in ſome men that came from the battel, all bloo­dy, and with ſad countenances, which was ſeconded by freſh witneſſes; all the congregation is amazed, the Miniſter ſi­lenc'd by his own mouth, and ſo trembling that he could not hold the Bible in his hand; and though there were ſome children to be baptized, yet he could not doe it, and thus ab­ruptly left the Congregation, with horror for his falſe pro­phecy againſt Gods people.

This relation hath its confirmation from the Scots them­ſelves, and multitude of hearers in Edenburgh, and it may well be believed without witneſſe, if we knew the temper of moſt of the Scots Miniſters, and how much given they are to ſuch a method of prophecy; But the Gentleman might have conſidered that they had not the Kings malignant, or Hamil­tons falſe Army to excommunicate; but an Army (I may ſay) formed, I, and helped by the Lord. What ſhall we ſay to theſe things, If God be for us, who can be againſt us? Its dangerous medling with thoſe whom God ownes. Shall all theſe things be forgotten, and ſpilt as water on the ground, is there nothing of glory ſparkling out through theſe mani­feſtations, that may convince us of our oppoſition, and diſ­affection to theſe proceedings? It cannot be, but ſome men conquer their convictions, as the Army hath done malig­nant perſons, who yet hate them becauſe of their owne in­tereſts.

But to goe on, how gloriouſly hath God appeared ever ſince; while the enemy beyond the water have been ſtudying with what ſolemnity to Crowne their Kings, God hath crowned our cauſe with many Diadems of his glory, and mercy; for after that Battel at Dunbar, and the ſtrange­neſſe of the iſſue contrary to all their faith, and aſſurances,14 and many who were accounted the honeſt party, began to reflect on their former principles, and carriages, and having rallyed in the Weſt, by their friends adde more ſtrength, and remonſtrate againſt the State for their tampering ſo much with the King, and their juglings among themſelves, which they have largely expreſt in print, whereby they ſhow ſome ſence of Gods hand againſt them, yet nevertheleſſe, what ever thought they had of their owne party at home, they conti­nued their enmity againſt us, and not withſtanding all over­tures made to ſupple their ſpirits, and improve theſe con­victions, (which if truly weighed, are from the ſame princi­ples with ours, and no more difference then of a Scots and Engliſh interpretation of the ſame thing) notwithſtanding all theſe faire, and cordiall affections we to the utmoſt ex­preſt to them, yet they cunningly watched their opportuni­ties) Firſt, to ſlip into England (of which they were preven­ted; and then Secondly, to fall upon a part of our Army in their quarters, where God appeared againe, and both took their chiefe Leaders, andcattered their whole par­ty; this great, and further appearance of God wants not its circumſtances to make it an eminent mercy, and to ſtrike deep into our ſpirits; for Firſt, they were the Army which had moſt of the hearts of the godly with them, as being ſepa­rated from the groſſneſſe of the royal principles, proteſting with more zeale and honeſty for the Kirkes intereſt, and ſo would have gained more then ordinary on mens ſpirits; and againe they had the great command in the Weſt, whereby they did great damage to our Army, and had advantages of ſtealing into England, both to withdraw part of our Army from them, and ſtirring up new fires among us, which would too ſoone have been effected by their Covenant pretences; beſides the manner of their overthrow is as remarkeable, (God ſtriving in all this war to leave ſignal characters of his own hand in every of our mercies) for when the General had marched a great way from Edenborough towards the Weſt, and ſent expreſſe orders to the Major General, to meet him without fail at ſuch a time in ſuch a place, where the General came according to his appointment with a great15 body of Horſe, and foot, they could not hear any newes of the Major Generals approach, the weather being ſo bad, and proviſions ſo ſcanty both for horſe and man; his Excellen­cy was forced to march back with all his forces, and fru­ſtrate his own intentions; the Countrey people hearing of the Generals retreat, run to Kerr and his party, tell them of the eſtate of things, and how his Excellency was returned to Edenburgh, and that Major Generall was left alone: Kerr ſeeing his advantage (which he had long waited for) pre­ſently fals on his Quarters, promiſing himſelfe a full defeat of that party; But they being in readineſſe, received them valiantly with ſome few Troops, and quite routed him, and purſued and took, and ſhattered all his confidents, whereby we may ſee, how every deliverance, and victory, is circumſtantiated with ſome beame of peculiar glory and providence.

And if the delivery of Edenborough Caſtle, (that impregnable Fortreſſe) were added, and the manner of obtaining it, it would bring forth a new matter both for praiſe and convi­ction, but I intend not this for an exact hiſtory.

Thus it hath been from firſt to laſt, and every victory like one ſtar that differs from another in glory; and however there may be a difference between perſons, and parties, in reſpect of profeſſion or holineſſe, as there was between the Army under Kerr, and that under Lieut. General Leſlye, the former being more purged, and profeſſing of principles, with more zeale, and indeed we may juſtly call them a Sectarian Army, oppoſing, and divided from the publique proceedings of Kirke and State, yet they are all one looked on by God as to helpe, and proſperity, when they either with others or by themſelves have lifted up their hands againſt this cauſe, a conſideration which is not ſlightly to be rejected, and which may well make men wary of ſecond actings a­gainſt them.

God hath yet made that good in theſe Nations, to this Common-wealth and Army (ſo farre as they have had ſincere intentions in the management of this warre) which he did once to Iſrael; No weapon that is formed againſt thee,16 ſhall proſper; though carved, and whetted by the faireſt gloſ­ſes, and religious inſtruments. Wee have hitherto in ſumme (and as in tranſitu) given the Reader an account of the ſe­ries of Gods workings for us, ſince he thought fit to make uſe of this Army againſt the common enemy. Let us now reflect with wonder, and aſtoniſhment at the dulneſſe of our apprehenſions and ſtrangeneſſe of the oppoſition and inward murmurings of many, otherwiſe obſervant, and godly, againſt this Common-wealth, and Army; for which God give us leave a little to expoſtulate with their ſpirits; with whom are you angry? who hath done all theſe things? is there nothing of the image of Gods mercy, power, and wiſdome written on any of theſe victories? could ſo ſmall a bulke of fleſh and bloud deſtroy ſuch potent Armies, ſtorme ſuch braſen walls, clime ſuch high places, with ſo little loſſe, if the Almightie had not ſeconded, and enga­ged his right hand with them? Theſe are farre from Rheto­ricall, but they are reall expoſtulations? Are wee angry that God hath heard our prayers which wee ſo long time put up to him for ſubduing the common enemy, in the three Nations, or that he hath done his own worke with­out our mediums? What ſhall be ſaid, ſhall all theſe actions of Gods power in, and ſo much goodneſſe, be buryed in a diſcontented humour, and the glory of them blaſted by a deſigned prejudice? God forbid: the ages to come ſhall re­member our inſenſibleneſſe with teares of bloud, and owne themſelves to be our children, as high-raiſed up-ſtarts doe their poore parents, who bluſh when they are named.

But if any ſpirit be ſo ſleight as to ſay, all theſe are but events, and no proper declarations of the truth of a good principle, they being oftentimes occaſionall, and permiſſive by God to a bad as a good cauſe. I anſwer in generall, that its true, that commonly and ordinarily God keepes ſuch an even courſe in the univerſe, that all things fall alike to all, and the ſame event unto both the bad, and the good cauſe; thus God ſuffers it for a long time, for the hardening ſome, and deſtroying others, and to draw off the hearts of his front depending on theſe injoyments, or advantages in this world,17 yet at the ſame time he would not have his people put the right of their ſufferings or his enemies proſperity, ono large and indifferent a ſuppoſition, but to look into the Will of God in thus diſpoſing of their ſtates, and to find-out the particular end of God to them in it.

But as there is a general and ſpecial providence of God in the World, ſo there are events ſutable; theſe ſpecial Provi­dences of God call on all men for ſerious obſervation, for in them God goes out of his ordinary courſe, and they do ſhow either his ſpecial owning, or diſ-reſpect, whether to a perſon or party, and are oftediſtinctions of the truth of Principles and Actings; and if there were nothing to be ſeen of God more by theſe then other manifeſtations, the World might grow careleſs and ſecure from expecting any evil from the hand of God, or any puniſhment for iniquity more then what a godly man himſelf may have by the ſame ſtrokes: And if this principle ſhould be true, what reaſon have the Malignants or Papiſts to look any more into Gods hand on them, or think their cauſe the worſe becauſe Providence overthrows their Armies, why ſhould any cry out on them for hardned and obſtinate perſons, ſaving they have no more but events to convince them, being ſtill confident of the juſtneſs of their cauſe: And to what end have we kept ſo many days of Thankſ-giving for Victories, if there be nothing in the iſſues of affairs reſtifying to the Truth of things, it can be nothing elſe but a mocking of God, to give him ſolemn praiſes for that which can neither ſhew us the goodneſs of our cauſe, or Gods peculiar reſpect to us more then our enemies; for we have no more witneſs to the Truth of our Principles then they have, ſave our confidence, which is as firm and ſtabliſhed in them as us: Let our Brethren look and remember what expreſſions they uſed formerly in their thankſ-giving ſermons, both before the Parliament, in the City, and up and down all the King­dom, for any ſhow of a Victory, when the Army was com­manded by the Lord of Eſſex, when any party was routed under Sir William Wller, or any of the firſt Commanders, though we loſt it as ſoon as we gained it, and they were far from the Victories are now deſpicably called Events of War;18 with what affection and zeal did they prove the equity of our fighting againſt the King by theſe mediums; it became a com­mon expreſſion at ſuch days, That our God was not as their God, our enemies themſelves being Judges: and by what ſhould our enemies be judges againſt themſelves for us, but by Gods appearing againſt them, and ordering the iſſue of things beyond all their height of confidence and expectation. Many other ſuch like expreſſions have been with much heartineſs expreſt in ſuch days, bleſſing God for owning his people in a day of need and making a difference between them and their enemies the teſtimony of all which they gathered from parti­cular ſucceſes.

But why trifle we in a matter of ſuch conſequence? are all theſe actings in England, Scotland, and Ireland for theſe many yeers ſo negigently to be taken notice of only as Events of ordinary actings? What can then be called Glorious Appear­ances of God in this World or what Victories can we have ſo much cnſcience as to write Gods Name as on theſe? How can a model of the workings of God for his people be drawn in fairer and clearr colours? Had God acted with theſe that diſſent and by theſe inſtruments which they had ſanctified for the work, though far lower than he hath dore wih theſe whom they deſpiſe, the world ſhould have another account, and theſe providences ſhould have been proclaimed in other names then accidents and events, if not the perſons canoniz'd long ere this in every Church and Chappel; and if God had permitted ſuch an overture, that the Scots had beaten and overcome our Ar­my at Dnbar (which would have been the ſaddeſt day that ever Engliſhmen ſaw) we need not queſtion but the name of all theſe former eminent and conicued Victories both in England and Ireland, would be blotted out from the earth, (except theſe hear••in whom the glory and mercy of them were engraven with the ſame finger that wrought them) and nothing elſe but the juſt judgements of God declared to be executed againſt the Sectarian Parliament and Army, by Gods faithful and Covenant-keeping people; who can imagine that tryumphant concluſion that would then be made of the wick­edneſs of our Cauſe, Principles, and Perſons, of the truth of19 mens railings, and the reaſon of their diſcontents; how would all men be exhorted from henceforth to beware upon penalty of the like judgements of God, to withdraw from any com­plyance or conjunction with theſe who were the declared ene­mies of God, againſt whom he had bent his Bow utterly to deſtroy; telling all men to conſiderow God had at laſt found his ſecret enemies, and vindicated the cauſe of his Covenant, eſpecially in Scotland where it was made and preſerved; we may eaſily without uncharity gueſs that a thouſand ſuch infer­ences would ſoon be drawn from ſuch an event: But ſeeing God hath given us the uſe of ſuch an argument, and added that mercy to all the reſt with a cleerer repreſentation of his face towards us than ever before, why ſhall we think them common or unclean? are our Victories leſs precious to us than theis would be to them? are we more glad to ſee another Nation conquer us, than we to defeat them in their Deſigns againſt us? or can we rejoyce that God uſeth forraign Inſtrumets in his work, rather than theſe of our own Nation? How are we degenerated? how ſurpris'd in our affections, that we ſhould deſire more for the Scots to conquer us than for the Engliſh to preſerve us from them? If we have loſt our conſciences, yet let us retain our natural affections; and if this Government be evil in our eyes, yet let us have ſo much wiſdom and ſelf­love left, as to prefer it before a Scottiſh Tyrannie; if our mercies be not in every point and circumſtance faſhioned ac­cording to our model, let us not throw away the ſubſtantialls of our Liberties, by maligning and oppoſing thoſe which are the viſible preſervers of them.

Let us once again look back upon Gods providences for us, and mind the ſeries of them, with the variety and manner of bringing them forth, and ſtudy more the nature of them, for they deſerve the moſt refinedneſs of our thoughts to be ſet on them, and the pureſt place in our hearts to have them regiſtred; if every fly and gnat, every piece of dung and filth ſhews forth ſomthing of God to be obſerved by us, what do theſe choiſe unparalleld workings of him againſt the Powers of this world, who ſtand in his way to the advancement of his Sons Throne?

God writes his mind ſomtimes in his Works, as well as in20 his Word, and there are many overtures in Civil affairs which the Word doth not ſo poſitively direct, but providence and the neceſſity of affairs muſt be the rule in; and how ever the pro­vidences of God are not demonſtrations a priori (as they ſay) yet they may very well be a poſteriori; though they do not ſtate things, yet they do diſtinguiſh them; and as God will rather have heaven and erth to paſs away, then one iota or tit­tle of his Word to fail, ſo he will have all men to give him the glory of his Works, elſe he will deſtroy all the civil Heavens and earths which men ſets-up; and God blames his people as often for not obſerving his Works as for diſobeying his Sta­tues: If the permiſſive acts of Gods juſtice in the world ought to make all men fear and tremble, how much more theſe poſitive and errectual aſſiſtances of Inſtruments in execu­ting his righteous judgements? the children of Iſrael were blamed for nothing more, than that they forgat the wonders of God at the red Sea, and in the Wilderneſs: But that we may not look on theſe things at large, let us view what have been accompanying all our tranſactions in theſe laſt yeers, which make them more than events to convince our ſpirits. Firſt, all that God hath yet acted for us, hath been from the ſmalleſt and contemtibleſt beginnings, that even wiſe men have been afraid of their own Acts, and our enemies have laughed in ſe­cret at us, ſeeing our ruine in our firſt foundation; and ſo weak we were, that we were rather objects of the piy of our friends, and ſcorn of the contrary party; who would ever have imagined that ſuch a new Model ſhould have thriven bet­ter than ſo great and well accompliſh'd Army which prece­ded? or what could wiſe men either fore-ſee, or Chriſtians believe concerning any great matters to be accompliſhed by ſuch Pigmies?

Secondly, As God took the loweſt condition to begin this work, ſo he ever brought our eſtates unto the greateſt ſtraits ere he appeared; to point out to all men, that he would be alone ſeen in the proſecution of this cauſe, and that he would have the glory of making this Nation a Common-wealth. In England remember eſpecially Naſeby, when the King was theigheſt that ever he was ſince the war began, where was the21 firſt experiment of Gods engaging with them; at Kent, Eſſex 'Waes, eſpecially at Preston, when the Nation was moſt divi­ded, and incenſed againſt theſe proceedings, and our Army ſcarce a third part. In Ireland, when all was loſt but two Towns, Dublin and Derry. But above all in Scotland, when we fed on our Vital Spirits more than Bread, and lived by our courage and Gods ſupport more than food; how hath God helped? I have often looked on it as an abſolute and general obſervation in Gods actings, that he never brings his enemies into ſtraits to help them, but it is his uſual way where he means to make his providence glorious, and his people moſt praiſing, to let them be paſt ſaving in their own ſenſe, and their enemies hopes: and truly our Victories were ſeldom given, un­til not only our means, but almoſt our faith failed us.

Thirdly theſe ſucceſſes have been uniform and univerſal in every part, and againſt every party which have upon any pre­tence whatever banded themſelves againſt this State and their tranſactions; yea ſo eavenly hath God gone forth, and ſo im­partially, that how ever we may at firſt queſtion the principles, we cannot deny the acts but to be from God: Yea not only height of Royalty, and the groſneſs of Malignancy, but the flouriſhes of the beſt precenſes have been blaſted and over­thrown by theſe manifeſtations, the Church as well as the World have been under a Divine cenſure for oppoſing them­ſelves, and complying with the firſt or new modell'd enemy againſt this State; which may make all godly hearts ſerious and wary, if not to tremble at their fire and heat in their re­flections on theſe things. If theſe things be not timely conſi­dered, but our obſtiacy grows with Gods admonitions, the next work will be Excommunication.

Fourthly, all theſe works we now ſee, have been begotten and brought forth in the midſt of the plots of open and ſecret enemies; plots laid ſo ſecret and ſure, that nothing but he that diſcovers the hidden things of darkneſs could diſcern or pre­vent; and ſo hath God ordered and caſted the ſeaſon of our deliverances, that they have been beyond the enemies deſignes and perfecteſt perſwaſions, and our expectations of the moſt obſervant ſpectators, that God might have all the glory: Who22 could imagine what hath been working in hell, and the cor­ners of darkneſs, againſt this work of God now in part broughforth, and yet all diſappointed and fruſtrated, with condignet puniſhment on the heads of principal Authors

It will be endleſs to run over the variety of theſe diſcoveries, and other circumſtances, which if well conſidered, are as much as the mercies themſelves amount unto.

The laſt great demonſtration of Gods preſence with this Army in Scotland, may ſerve inſtar omnium to Uniting our con­fidences, if all the reſt be of no value; which was, Gods de­termination of the iustneſs of our Cauſe after ſolemn appeal to God on both ſides, eſpecially on ours; this being the publique expreſſion of our Army in that candid Remonſtrance, ere they entred Scotland; that they did appeal to God, the righteous Judge of quick and dead, if their hearts were not ſincere in what they remonſtrated, and in their affections to that Nation, and did moreover put it only on God, if ever they came to en­gagement (pardoning human infirmities) to deal with them, ac­cording to the juſtneſs of their Cauſe, and the truth of their hearts, I quote this eſpecially, becauſe as it was the moſt ſolemn appeal to Divine Juſtice, ſo what God did in this, was the con­firmation of all the reſt of his publique actings by them, and the Umpire only left to God to own them or deſtroy them as his wiſdom, and juſtice ſaw their hearts, and cauſe; how was Gods arm made bare for them at laſt, though he carried himſelf a long while, as if he meant to make good the reproches of their enemies againſt them. It muſt be confeſt, Appeals are of a very high, and dangerous nature, if not done with the greateſt ſe­rioſity, and upon the ſureſt grounds; and they do either argue abundance of carnal confidence, or integrity and pureneſs of ſpirit; that they ought not to be frequent, and common, but where no other way is or can be found out of deciding con­troverſies of a high and controvertible nature, where confi­dence on both ſides are equally poſitive, and immoveable by me­diate arguments: yea, It is without queſtion, trivial and com­mon affaires cannot be grounds of Appeal to God, there being thouſands of other wayes at hand to determine them. But in matter of war, and the grand deciſions of the juſtice and23 equity of taking up Arms and entring Nations or oppoſing per­ſons in great power in the world, where arguments are ſtrong on both ſides, and parties violent, if in ſuch caſe Appeals be ſolemnly made to God, the iſſue of ſuch affairs are to be ac­counted higher then nature, and truly to be judged as revelations of Gods will, at leaſt at preſent, and to that affair which they appealed to God in; as only righteous to give verdict unto by his own appearance, ſince all other meanes of conviction failed. Much of the ſame nature is that determination by lots, though it be more mediate, and not ſo ſolemn, being but generally uſed, and often without ſenſe from whom the diſpoſal of them are, yet the iſſue is judged to be from God, and an abſolute expreſs of his mind and will, not of blind Fortune or Chance; much more then may we ſay of the iſſue of that Appeal, which was made with as much ſenſe of unworthineſs, and vileneſs in themſelves, as confidence of their integrity, and willingneſs to let God judge; as alſo when it was made, in dealing with theſe who had laid all the reproches that malice could invent, or fiery zeal vomit upon both their Cauſe and perſons, what ever the ſecrets of God may be which are infinite depths (or what ever he may permit in the generall rule of the world, yet if men are put to ſuch ſtraits in actings, their names ſo vilified that none but God can right them, and men have at the ſame time ſo much ſenſe of Gods juſtice, and faith in his truth as to make him ſole umpire, God will not in juſtice condemn the righteous, and ſpare the wicked; for theſe appeals as they are extraordinary ejacuſations of our ſpirits in the moſt difficult and doubtful cauſe ſo they are preſſings of the Almighty to let forth the beams of his wiſdom and juſtice, to convince the ſons of men, after all experiments of nature and reaſon; and God is ſo put to it (if I may humbly expreſs it) to give forth righteous judgement, that even the heathens and his enemies have found his appear­ance, when they have appealed to him againſt the Chriſtians who owned God, and had not dealt juſtly with them. I would not be thought to circumſcribe the wiſdom of God or his ju­ſtice, that it muſt of neceſſity alwayes be manifeſted immediat­ly on ſuch Appeals but I affirm that it is Gods uſual way, and the events of them are to be weighed and remembred24 again and again, as the moſt probable cleering up of hard and formerly queſtionable enterpriſes; when the Army went into Scotlandow were they vilified by that Nation? een with reproches of the higheſt ſcanaand inf•••y, ſlighted with the baſeſt contemt, as men given over by God, hating his truth and people, and now at laſt invading them, to ſhow their utmoſt malice to that Nation the A••y fy to heaven, leave all to God, and deſire his〈◊〉power to determine whether theſe things were not quite contrary, the Lord looked on their con­dition and hath helped them, in the ſight of their enemies; what can we conclude on theſe things? are theſe only acts of permiſſion towards us, and of meer paience and long-ſuffering? what can be more apparent that we acted upon right and juſt principles and to honeſt ends; ſeeing God himſelf, who was made the Judge, hath given the ſentence?

We may remember, and know the nature and ominouſneſs of Appeals with trembling, by Gods actings to the late King, and his, who to make his deſignes take the better with the people, in every declaration Appeals to God ſo to deal with him, and his, as he was true to the Proteſtant Intereſt, when he had Papiſts in his boſom as his cheif Councellors, and that he never intended to raiſe war againſt the Parliament, when all his end of with-drawing from them, was to form an Army againſt them; How hath God Judged both himſelf, and his, for it ever ſince, never leaving to follow him with Judgements, untill he had made himſelf a Publique ſpecta­cle of his juſtice, and hath now laid aſide all his Fa••ily: God may for ſome ſecret ends let his enemies proſper for a long time over his people, to afflict and chaſtiſe them, and make them partakers of his glory; but he never, or very ſel­dom after manifold deliverances, and abſolute appeals to his righteouſneſs, hath afforded them aſſiſtance; eſpecially when its among his own people in their controverſies, and truth is on the one ſide, and prejudice on the other. I could (if I were a challenger) dare all the world to ſhow an inſtance after an immediate Appeal, whether God hath not either eminently given the ſentence on the right ſide, or at leaſt, whether upon ſuch iſue all men have not ſo interpreted it: hath God nothing25 to do with this world? Hath he given over his Supremacy to Fortune and Chance? Or when can God be ſeen in De­terminations, if not after ſuch Addreſſes to his peculiar Moderation? Where ſhall the Righteous fly when they are condemned? Or how ſhall men know that Vengeance only belongs unto God, but by ſuch Divine Concluſions? But we muſt leave the concluſion to God to confirm, as the Determination in it ſelf; There was much to be obſerved in the Scots Anſwer to that Clauſe of our Appeal, ra­ther leaving us to do it, and threatning us upon it, than putting their Cauſe and Confidence on Gods approba­tion and iſſue; for whereas they were poſitive and perem­ptory enough in their Charges; yet they were very faint and ſtaggering in the manner of Appeal to God, as either fearing their Cauſe through inward conſcience of car­nal complyances, or aſſurance of their own ſtrength to do the work by themſelves; it is enough what God hath done, he will in his time either convince or de­ſtroy men.

But beſides all, (which ſeems to be more conſiderable than any yet, after not only Appeals, ſuch yet may be too confident) but after the contradicting prayers of his own people, God hath caſt the ſcale on this ſide, and made anſwer according to the Requeſts of the vilified Party; never was heaven ſo much troubled with intereſts, and oppreſt with contrary Petitions (if we may modeſtly ex­preſs it) then in theſe few yeers; the Saints formerly have made but one publique cry, How long, Lord Je­ſus? Come quickly; and there hath been a pure harmo­ny in their Addreſſes to God, though in different con­ditions; but now heaven ſuffers a ſtrange kind of vio­lence, the violence of Truth and Error in the ſame Pe­titioners; but God hath made the Heavens Braſs, and his Ear heavie to all the Prayers even of many of his own People in theſe Affairs, and ordered Events contra­ry to their prayers; I know in what cauſes God may do this, but when Saints and Saints ſhall pray and God an­ſwer only the one, the other may well look round about them.


If aay one queſtion why I put ſo much right on this? It's anſwered, that there is nothing more cleer, that where his People are engaged in ſeveral parties, ſome by miſtakes and ignorance of Gods mind, others out of Truth, and they both pray to him, God will alwaies hear thſe prayers which are moſt according to his mind, and give forth iſſues anſwerable; for all our prayers are no farther to be expected to be anſwered, then they are according to Gods Will, and that Will of God doth manifeſt the truth of our prayers; when prayers claſh in heaven, it is the ſame with opinions and judgements of Saints on earth concerning Gods mind, which have but one truth to rule them, and according to the conſonancy of apprehenſions to that, God owns or diſ-owns all their actings.

It is moſt ſad and dangerous to do any publique act wherein any which are godly ſhall diſſent, much more that which any of them ſhall pray againſt; and this ve­ry conſideration hath made this Parliament, and the Ar­my to make ſo many pauſings in their actings, as fear­ing themſelves and their own miſtakes, when ſo many good men ſeem to be againſt them; yet it is as ſad, and ſhould be much weighed, that God ſhould conti­nually anſwer one ſort of prayers, and quite neglect the other, when they come both from godly perſons whom God loves: What one petition hath God ever ſeemed to receive as made by his own Spirit againſt theſe pro­ceedings? but hath cleerly demonſtrated that at leaſt he is angry with the diſſenting Prayers of his own people: I leave theſe things on mens Conſciences, how they can interpret Gods actings againſt their prayers, and how they can digeſt Gods hearing of theſe they judge their enemies, at the ſame time, and work out contrary iſſues. All theſe conſiderations put together, may ſuffice to work us to a meditation at leaſt of what God hath done, and to parley with our own hearts, why we ſhould yet refuſe our full conſent to the eſtabliſhment of this Common­wealth; ſhall any that profeſſeth the name of Chriſt main­tain27 ſecret war and malice againſt his actings, or think to proſper by helping the common enemy.

But if nothing yet ſaid will move us to have better thoughts of theſe Tranſactions, let us once again conſider in what times theſe things are dore, againſt whom, and by whom: Firſt, all theſe workings have been in the latter days, when God is throwing down the old heavens and earth, and hath his notable deſigns to effect, and all theſe myſteries of Pro­pheſies to open, which have lain hid for many ages, and ſeemed formerly quite buryed in the proſperity of the Kings and Princes of this world.

Secondly, againſt whom hath God appeared, but againſt thoſe perſons both in Church and State, who hath adorned this Nation with the raggs of Popery and Antichriſtianiſme, or with Tyrannie and Oppreſſion; and as they have raiſed themſelves, God hath diſcovered them; and as they have ſhifted their Quarters, God hath followed them with his juſt diſpleaſure and indignation againſt any complyers with them.

Thirdly, however God may permit for a long while his enemies to tryumph, yet when ever he begins, he will make an end; and theſe principles which ſeem general and eaſie at the firſt, God will improve, and hath done, beyond all our intentions; for it was hardly poſſible in the multitude of theſe overtures, to lay any deep plot before-hand of them, new and unexpected emergencies of their deſignes, and Gods providence alwayes on a ſudden breaking foth, which were not only difficult to fore-ſee, but ſinful to withſtand. And truly, thoſe that think of plots deeply laid before-hand to bring out theſe great things, may as well ſuſpect the Providences by which they have been neceſſitouſly led into them.

Fourthly, for however we may make little account of pro­vidences, yet they are the moſt exact comments on divine pro­pheſies of any other, and are the ſpecial viſible key whereby God opens all thoſe ſeals that are in that book: and what ever ſpecial inſpirations we may have from heaven to gueſs at Gods intent, yet the words are ſo dark wherein God hath28 written his mind of theſe affairs, and ſo blurred by Anti­chriſt, that until God come to open them by his actings, we know not how to interpret them with ſafety or comfort; hence it hath come to paſs, that many pages muſt now be blotted out of many worthy and learned (and in moſt things) cleer Comments on Daniel and the Apocalypſe, becauſe every day God acts beyond their preſent thoughts, and gives occaſion of reforming their own confident apprehenſions of the nature and iſſue of thoſe propheſies; ſo that if Gods providences, com­pared with his words of propheſie be not looked into, we muſt ſtill be in the dark, as to the underſtanding of theſe great my­ſteries; by what can we hope that God is about to fulfil his word concerning the deſtruction of Antichriſt but by his keen and ſevere proſecution of every limb and member of that bo­dy, yea and beginning firſt among his own people, that the e­nemies may not have cauſe to reflect, and tell God to reform firſt at home; how can we know that God is pouring out the vias of his wrath, and upon whom, but as God diſcovers it by his terrible actings among the ſons of men, by which he cals on all men to hear and obey, not to murmure or diſſent? But if the manifeſtation of God (notwithſtanding all this) ſeem un­cleer and unperſwaſive to diſſenters to gain their full conſent to this Common-wealth, let our own intereſt prevail upon us and if heaven be too light, let earth be added to it to weigh down our judgements; God hath given us an opportunity againſt our wills to make our ſelves the freeſt and happyeſt Nation on this earth, and we are the firſt of ſo large a Continent that God hath advantaged with ſuch a bleſſing; our Anceſtors for theſe 500. yeers have bin ſtrugling to get but the name of free­dom and liberty, and have for this end depoſed one King, and ſet up another, who had commonly a worſe title and reign, but God hath given us our choice, whether royal bondage, or En­gliſh liberty; were we ever ſo nigh the regaining our conquer'd priviledges as now? what is there but a name between us and a Free-State, and nothing wanting to perfect all (beſides Gods aſſiſtance to proſecute what is begun, and direct what is not done) but our own election of what may make us happy, which happineſs if we imagine conſiſts only in the title of a king29 among us; let us remember what we have ſpent on that name already, of our meaſure of bloud, and how God hath made it contemptible.

We may all now ſee how Gods great deſign is to bring to nought the Princes of this world, and hath his principal quar­rel with them, becauſe they have bin the greateſt ſhedders of the bloud of Saints that cres under the Altar, and the only mighty upholders of the throne of the Beaſt, and are ſtill thoſe that lies in Chriſts way to his royal Throne, and the glorious exerciſe of his Kingly power ſhall be firſt on the Powers of this world who have combined together againſt the Lord and his Anointed and have bin the moſt undermining and profeſt ene­mies that Chriſt and his Saints have had in the world; and all thoſe that ſeek to underprop that tottering ſtate, muſt expect to fall with it; for God hath either laid aſide or deſtroyed the beſt ſort of men, who (though with never ſo much tenderneſs or zeal) put forth a hand to uphold this Monarchy; and if ever Haman begin to fall before Mordecai, he never riſeth more but to his utter ruine. What is it that lies ſo weighty on our ſpirits, that no providence, no argument can ballance? I wiſh it were not to be feared of many, they have made ſnares for their Conſciences, and then catch themſelves willingly in them. Are not the dayes of Mourning for the late King yet expired, and our hearts refreſhed by what God hath acted ſince in theſe three Nations? Its now high time for us to wean our hearts from the flaſh raviſhments of Names and Titles, when we have ſo long ſuffered for our affections; Surely if we were impartial Judges of that Act (which I may call the firſt cleer and thorow Act of Juſtice that ever was executed in the Weſtern World) and if we did (like good and wiſe men) obſerve the nature and fruit of Actings, we ſhall find, that as never an Act of Juſtice ws accompanyed with more remarkable ob­ſervations, and bleſt with more happy Teſtimonies of Approbation, then the beheading the late King. Be­ſides the righteous grounds upon which they gave ſen­tence of death againſt him, which when looked into,30 we had rather need to wonder ſuch a Head ſhould ſ••nd on his ſhoulders, then that it was ſolemnly ſe­vered from it, being one who was the Author of the ſhedding ſo much blood in three popolous Nations, meerly for his prerogative tyranny, for all other things he might have had, and much of that alſo, with the hearts of all good ſubiects.

But the circumſtances (if they doe not deſerve a bet­ter name) in his execution may inform us ſomthing more then ordinary if we ſhut not our eyes.

Firſt that God ſhould ſo order it to bring him to his death, and ſhed his blood before that very place where the firſt blood in this war was ſhed, while he looked out through that window with ſport: God doth ſomtimes write mens ſins in their puniſhments.

Secondly that in ſo populous and vaſt a City, among millions of his moſt intire, and deſperate friends, there ſhould not be found the leaſt tumult, or motion, or in­ſurrection for to reſcue him, all men being under a divine reſtraint, and awed by the dreadfulneſs of Gods juſtice in ſuch an act; what was that poor Army who were diſperſt up, and down the City, to the legions of enemies that were againſt them, who might have deſtroied them in a moment and eat them up at one morſel?

I am loath to ſtrain theſe things too far, but only to name them to make us conſider, that they are not or­dinary, It was one of the great circumſtances named in the childrens of Iſraels deliverances out of Egypt, that not a dog did bark at them, but doubtleſs never was ſuch an act of ſuch concerment done ſince that time in the world with leſs noiſe, and ſilence then that, which argues that ſomething more then humane, was at the doing of it; and which may not be omitted, God hath not ſuffered the leaſt hair of the heads of any of the prime Inſtruments in that glorious piece of ſervice, to be touched by any Aſſaſſinate, notwithſtanding all the threatnings and bloudy malice that works ſtrongly in diſ­ſolute and deſperate ſpirits.


And if we have had but any eyes to view the conſequen­ces, and iſſues of it, we cannot ſay but that there is at leaſt occaſion of ſeriouſneſs, and ponderouſneſs of ſpirit, ere we have a thought amiſs concerning the lawfulneſs and juſtneſs of it, for as until that time, we did but trifle, and dally with the ſword, and were but off and on, up and down, more in hazards then hopes; ſo from that day hath God bleſt us, and without intermiſſion or halt, freely fought our battels, and intirely engaged himſelf in England, Ireland, and Scotland; and which is more hardly a drop of blood hath been ſpilt in England on that Quarrel ever ſince, as if God ſhould ſay, the ſacrifice is offered up, the Achan is deſtroyed, my wrah is appeaſed, all the blood you ſhed before was an aggrava­tion of your ſin, while that perſon who was the Author of all and the common perſon, and head to give life and mo­tion to all the reſt was untouched; in ſuch a dialect God ſeems to ſpeak to open and attentive ears by all his actings ſince; I leave theſe as conſiderations to employ ſecond and more ſerene thoughts upon: yet if any be of ſo tender Conſcience in that particuler that they ſtill ſcruple, let them not judge others who are clearly ſatiſfied; they have their liberty of diſſent, yet let them know they are bound to preſent dutyes, which if we had but a faculty of arguing, how eaſie might we draw the neceſſity of cutting of the late King? com­mune with your own thoughts; was not he guilty of all the blood which hath been ſo prodigally ſpilt among us? It muſt either ly on him or the Parliament, if on the Parliament, we condemn our ſelves for joyning with them, and we are par­takers of the ſame murther; if it lay on the King, what way had we to free this Nation of the guilt, but letting him bear his own puniſhment, all other acts of friendſhip would be but contracting of his guilt on us, for as there be two ways of making a man guilty, either by his own perſonal act, or by complyance with another, which is done by countenancing the malefactor, as by coacting with him, as he that keepes a murtherer in his houſe, and gives him any counenance, is in law made equally guilty with him; It would have been thus with our Parliament had they gone on in any other way then32 to preſerve this nation, but by revenging blood with blood: for how ever publique wars may ſeeme to be an excuſe and mitigation of guilt of killing of man, yet its the cauſe that gives the advantage of innocency and righteouſnes in theſe acts, & the wrong cauſe make all the reſt murtherers in Gods ſight, and he will proſecute them as murtherers, eſpecially the prime agents in ſuch affairs; yet all meanes was uſed to the utmoſt, until we had almoſt loſt our ſelves, and the ſence of our cauſe; again let us ſeriouſly contemplate what good we could have of ſuch a perſon after all his high and bloody actings againſt this Nation, when he refuſed to grant the propoſitions of the Par­liament ſo neceſſary for this Nation, and only ſhewing a wil­lingneſs to grant ſome of them, and that only for time which would of it ſelf paſs away, and which he meant by all deſigns to cut as ſhort as he could; the beſt advantage that ever we could have hoped to have by that perſons life, was but a ceſſa­tion of our miſeries, until he had recruited and perſected his deſignes, and patcht a peace, with the utter loſs both of the ſenſe and fruit of the firſt undertakings; and here let us make a ſtop, and pauſe with ſad, and mournful hearts on the condition of poor Germany, who after all their powerful wreſtings with tyranny in a long and horrid war, have got nothing but a miſerable peace, and the proteſtant intereſt left to ſhift for it ſelf, and ſtrangers that came firſt to help them have made up their own gaines with their utter ruine; let Bo­hemia eſpecially ſpeak, where the Proteſtant, hathardly an article for their proſperity, but what is general, of little ad­vantage, and the Emperour, and Sweeds, (like the Scos, and their King,) divide all among themſelves; the Papiſts, and great men moſt followed the Emperour, and the Proteſtants the Swede, for friendly aſſiſtance and brotherly pretence, and now they have made a peace both for themſelves; and thus would it have been with us if God had not raiſed up ſome in­ſtrument to have no reſpect of perſons; let Germanies example be an occaſion to us to think on the King and the Scots; while we ſlight the mention of a Common-wealth, which God hath given us all advantages to make not only ſure, but the freeſt and choiſeſt in Europe. 33And if any be affrighted at the change, as that which ſeems to be dangerous and unlawfull, and putting by the heire of the Crowne; I hope they are not ignorant, how many changes have been in England by the tyranny and u­ſurpations of Kings, and of forraigne powers over us, but never yet had we the happineſſe to change into a Common­wealth, although our beſt hiſtories tell us, that the firſt of this Nation when they were moſt free, was without Kings; but we need not be ſo ſtumbled at this change, ſeeing the ne­ceſſity and convenienſie of it, and that it is only change of perſons and not of the Lawes, and priviledges by which we are governed, which were long ſince, and yet at divers times purchaſed by the blood of our aunceſtors, rather then the goodneſſe of our Princes; and if we look warily, we muſt needs ſee all the ſeries of Gods actings have directly led us to this change, which we have been preſt unto by the neceſ­ſity of our owne affaires, and the continual dictates of Gods providences; and who hath reſiſted his will, we ſee by ex­perience, that God changes all mens ſtates, as they oppoſe, or fall in with it; But yet if the thoughts of the Covenant be brought in as the main objection, why many cannot ſo free­ly joyn in with the Common-wealth; I muſt commend the tenderneſſe of their conſciences, but not their wiſedome, and underſtanding, in making a difference between things, and perſons, and judging of the nature of obligations. No former covenant can hinder me from obedience to a preſent duty, and ſerving my generation according to ſpeciall op­portunities; obedience to oivill powers, is a duty at pre­preſent, and muſt not be ſuperſeded by any former engage­ment, without I make two ſins inſtead of one; a ſin in omit­ting my duty, and a ſin in covenanting not to doe it; As for that clauſe in the Covenant of maintaining the Kings Perſon, its ſufficiently explained, and limited in the next words (in the preſervation of Religion, and liberties) both which have been publickly Voted inconſiſtent, and the one poſitively neceſſary for preſervation; And when we Cove­venant to maintain his perſon; we ſuppoſe to find in it ſuch a capacity as not oppoſite to Religion or liberties, nor to be34 found in the leſt Article among delinquents againſt the State, which we have covenanted to endeavour to bring to condigne puniſhment, under which capacity the Parlia­ment have found the late King; and his Son CHARLES STƲART; and under that account proſecuted him, and kept the Covenant, as every honeſt Chriſtian muſt doe in all the reſt of the Articles, that ſeem to be dark without they be made the interpreters one of another; and howe­ver we may gnaw on the Covenant, and rifle it to maintain our prejudices, yet, we may better take the Engagement to this Common-wealth, notwithſtanding the Covenant, then take up Armes againſt the King notwithſtanding the Oath of Allegiance; for that Oath did abſolutely, without any li­mitation (as is fully expreſt in the Covenant) bind us to the maintainance of the Kings Perſon, and Heires, yet when our diſſenting friends, came to perſwade the people to helpe the Parliament againſt the King, they could make little of that Oath, yea, could goe quite againſt the letter of it, to prevent a miſchiefe, and raiſe a neceſſary war againſt his per­ſon, while they kept their Oath to defend his perſon; and is that lawfull and honeſt to take up Armes, and raiſe a dreadfull war againſt his perſonall capacity, notwithſtan­ding a ſolemne Oath in ſuch diſtinguiſhing termes, onely out of pretence to preſerve his publique capacity which is greater, that is the ſtate; and is it not the ſame, and may it not be done with as good conſcience to remove his perſon, to preſerve Religion, and liberties, both which if they were not in eminent danger, let all men judge; in a word, no more doth the Covenant hinder me from taking the En­gagement, then the Proteſtation did men from taking the Covenant, though there were many other words of a different dialect inſerted into it.

Had the Parliament impoſed on the conſciences of god­ly, and honeſt ſpirits any new Articles of the Creed, or an Eccleſiaſtical government, without any tenderneſſe to godly conſciences, or drawne a new Model of Religion, and requi­red obedience of all unto it; this great piece of intolerable Tyranny could have no more raiſed the ſpirits of ſome or35 exaſperated mens paſſions, then the impoſing an Engagement to a Civil government; which hath nothing of ſin in it to reflect any guilt upon the conſciences of any, ſeing all Civil Governments are alike lawful in themſelves, the convenien­cy of them, and good uſe, makes them profitable, yet diſobe­dience to them is ſinful, it being a reſſtance of an Ordinance of God. And therefore it cannot but be worthy of much blame (though to be lamented alſo) that Miniſters of the Goſpel (thoſe that ſhould be the bleſſed Meſſengers of peace, and joy) ſhould make their Pulpits Stages of bitterneſſe, and Satyrs againſt the preſent Authority; this hath hapned much among us of late, (through the pride of mens hearts and inſtigations of ſubtile enemies) that theſe good Mini­ſters who in other things have had the Ʋrim and Thummim, ſhining with much brightneſſe on their breaſts, yet have made their Sermons, like the malignant ſort of Diurnals, that when poore ſoules come hungring, and thirſting to heare ſomething of the Lord Jeſus to refreſh their ſad hearts, they finde little elſe but Hiſtories of Civil affaires, revilings, and defamings of authorityes, and caſting fire bals of ſediti­on, up and downe Congregations, to incenſe mens ſpirits againſt the preſent Government.

This is one of the greateſt reaſons which I can by obſer­vance finde out that the Miniſtry is ſo low, and in ſuch con­tempt, becauſe they mingle Chriſt and this world ſo pro­miſcuouſly together, and do not keep within the bounds of the Goſpel, in their publique preachings to the world. But ſpeake more in the language the of Stage, then of a crucified Chriſt, and this makes many withdraw from the publique aſſemblies, becauſe they can heare little but cavils in Pulpits, and Chriſt in private houſes; I wiſh the honour of thMi­niſtry might ſhine in the glory of the Goſpel for other re­ſpects, they will finde them to be but temptations, and hin­derances to their worke.

Is there any thing elſe which ſtands in our way, (for ſtrawes muſt be removed as well as reall blockes before pre­judiced eyes) are there any complaining, wee are yet un­ſetled, and oppreſt: Let theſe men anſwer themſelves,36 that if they will have a ſettlement, they muſt contribute to the procuring of it; for while every one divides, who ſhall ſettle? If they cry out of oppreſſions; its very un­juſt, they ſhould expect otherwiſe, who will not come under protection; as its moſt unreaſonable any ſhould de­ſire protection, who will not engage to be ſerviceable to promote the Common-wealth.

I ſhall end with propoſing ſome Queries to zealous, and honeſt men, with a word of application from what is done in Scotland, and no more trouble the Reader in this kinde.

Firſt, Whether muſt there bee an act of oblivion paſt, for all the mercies, and victories wee have had over the common, or ſecret enemies of this State? or to what uſe ſhall wee put all theſe wonders?

Secondly, What lower improvement could there have been of ſo much bloud, and continuall deceipt among us, by the name of the King, and his family, but a cut­ting off the one, and racing out the name of the other? or whether ever any peace with theſe perſons could bee ſound, or acceptable, without ſome ſpeciall ſacrifice of them to Juſtice? let it lye on our conſciences.

Thirdly, Whither wee can imagine that God had not higher ends then wee firſt propoſed in our engaging a­gainſt the King, or then what could bee at firſt by us foreſeene? or whither any condeſcenſion in us could have gaind him, without hazard, and loſſe of our maine li­berties, and priviledges.

Fourthly, Whither the providences of God; (ſeeing they have been ſo peculiarly acted,) are not to be guides and rules to us in proſecuting a generall and indefinite principle? or how wee can with comfort ſatisfie our ſelves in civill quarrells, but by providentiall events, or what is that event wee thinke moſt demonſtrative of Gods minde, if theſe are not?

Fifthly, Upon what hinge will wee turne the doore of our affaires, if not upon the continuall, and daily manifeſtations of God? having our end, and principle37 right? or whither any perſon, or power can foreſee all the turnings and changes in a multiplyed affaire, with­out ſome leading providence of Jehovah.

Sixthly, Whether is the better foundation for action, a ſuppoſed principle with contrary actings of providence, or the like ſuppoſed principles, with extraordinary let­tings forth of Gods power, and Majeſtie.

But what need wee querie, humors, and diſcontents will ſoone turne all theſe expoſtulations to encourage­ments; wee are now (through Gods bleſſing) come to a period at home, all the expectations of our enemies, is from the broken reed of Scotland, but the vaile is now off, the malignant party is but retired there under another head, and if wee may beleeve the Scots themſelves, and thoſe which are accounted the honeſt party, and their Remon­ſtrances; wee have nothing to fight againſt, but the ma­lignant party in Scotland, the honeſt party, who were firſt deluded, being firſt ſubdued, and now, beyond the water, they are put to the ſhifts of a generall complyance, which will be no diſcouragement to us, as formerly; for then wee fought againſt many pretenders to the Covenant, and who were with a conſcience engaged, (and yet God e­ſteemed it not) but now wee have a full marke, the old enemy newly crowned, and all things made up in Scot­land to follow this deſigne. But I hope Engliſhmen can doe no leſſe then the honeſt Scots have done, remonſtrate againſt thoſe proceedings, and yet God makes them know that bare Remonſtrance, againſt that party, without union with Gods inſtruments, will not ſerve, but there muſt be an unanimous correſpondency of all good men againſt theſe ſhifting zealots: And wee have now a more ground of hope againſt them; if God hath owned us when they ſee­med to keepe at a diſtance from the malignant party, and to fix their principle on a ſurer, and more cleare founda­tion, how will he now appeare for his people, when they have paſt thorough all deluſions, and are to meete againe, with their old enemy, but what horror of ſpirit will fall on theſe good men, who will rather venture themſelves,38 with malignant aſſiſtances, then comply with Gods work­ings.

I have no more to ſay, he that cannot truſt God now with our cauſe, hath either too much intereſt, or too much ignorance, after all the wayes God hath taken to open our eyes. Let our Parliament, and Army, never doubt encou­ragement, but keepe up their ſpirits high for Gods ends, ſeeing they have none now to encounter, but their old enemies, without any pretence, that may trouble their conſciences, or delay their marches; And let godly men know (who ſtand yet out) as God hath done all for us without them, ſo he will now more eſpecially, becauſe they are now under the firſt conſideration, and muſt come under the ſame viall, and at leaſt expect the ſprinkling of it, while they have any conjunction with that party, which God hath devoted to deſtruction; if our conſcien­ces be not quite aſleepe, and if wee have any ſenſibleneſſe of our preſent advantages, and future miſeries, let us ſet our ſeales to Gods actings, and rejoyce in the Lords will ſo gloriouſly manifeſted, and not ſtrive againſt the ſtreame of providences, but as men convinced by God, not by men, engage our ſelves to maintaine this Common-wealth, which is the onely Bulwarke left us, both to keepe out ty­ranny, and preſerve our liberties, which in due time wee ſhall have moſt free, and ſtabliſhed, if our owne fond af­fections to ſtrangers, and prejudices of our friends, doe not undoe all.


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TextEnglands apology, for its late change: or, A sober persvvasive, of all disaffected or dissenting persons, to a seasonable engagement, for the settlement of this common-vvealth. Drawne from the workings of providence. The state of affaires. The danger of division.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A83948)

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Bibliographic informationEnglands apology, for its late change: or, A sober persvvasive, of all disaffected or dissenting persons, to a seasonable engagement, for the settlement of this common-vvealth. Drawne from the workings of providence. The state of affaires. The danger of division. [4], 38, [2] p. Printed by Matthew Simmons, and are to be sold in Aldersgate-streete,London :1651.. (The words "The workings of providence.", "The state of affaires.", and "The danger of division." are enclosed in three pairs of brackets on the title page.) (The last leaf is blank.) (Another edition has imprint: .. printed by M.S. for Livewel Chapman ..) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "feb: 12 1650".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Great Britain -- History -- Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1649-1660 -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2013-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A83948
  • STC Wing E2943
  • STC Thomason E623_12
  • STC ESTC R201917
  • EEBO-CITATION 99862399
  • PROQUEST 99862399
  • VID 114558

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