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Spiritual respects. They will be making wounds, and rending and tearing, and making them wider than they were. Is not this the case ? doth there want anything I speak not of sects in an ill sense ; but the Nation is hugely made up of them,--and what is the want that prevents these things from being done to the uttermost, but that men have more anger than strength? They have not power to attain their ends. "There wants nothing else.' And, I beseech you, judge what such a company of men, of these sects, are doing, while they are contesting one with another! They are contesting in the midst of a generation of men (a malignant Episcopal Party, I mean); contesting in the midst of these all united. What must be the issue of such a thing as this ? 'So stands it;' it is so.—And do but judge what proofs have been made of the spirits of these men. [Republican spirits : we took a “ Standard” lately, a Painted one, and a Printed, with wondrous apparatus behind it!) Summoning men to take up arms; and exhorting men, each sort of them, to fight for their notions; each sort thinking that they are to try it out by the sword; and every sort thinking that they are truly under the banner of Christ, if they but come in, and bind themselves in such a project !*
Now do but judge what a hard condition this poor Nation is in. This is the state and condition we are in. Judge, I say, what a hard condition this poor Nation is in, and the Cause of God is in,'—amidst such a party of men as the Cavaliers are, and their participants ! Not only with respect to what these—[“ Cavaliers, and their Participants," both equally at first, but it becomes the latter chiefly, and at length exclusively, before the Sentence ends]—are like to do of themselves; but some of these, yea some of these, they care not who carry the goal (Frantic-Anabaptist Sexby, dead the other day, he was not very careful!!
|--some of these have invited the Spaniard himself to carry on the Cavalier Cause.
And this is true. This’ and many other things that are not fit to be suggested unto you; because so’ we should betray. the interest of our intelligence. [Spy-Royalist Sir Richard Willis and the like ambiguous persons, if we show them in daylight, they vanish for ever,--as Manning, when they shot him in Newburg, did.] I say, this is your condition ! What is your defence? What hindereth the irruption of all this upon you to your utter destruction ? Truly, 'that' you have an Army in these parts,—in Scotland, in England and Ireland. Take them away to-morrow, would not all these Interests run into one another?-I know you are rational prudent men. Have you any Frame or Model of things that would satisfy the minds of men, if this be not the Frame, this' which you are now called together upon, and engaged in, I mean, the Two
* • and oblige upon this account' in orig.
Houses of Parliament and myself? What hinders this Nation from being an Aceldama, 'a field of blood,' if this doth not? It is without doubt, this :' Give the glory to God; for without this, it would prove* as great a plague as all that hath been spoken of. It is this, without doubt, that keeps this Nation in peace and quietness.—And what is the case of your Army 'withal ? A poor unpaid Army; the soldiers going barefoot at this time, in this city, this weather! [Twenty-fifth of January.] And yet a peaceable people, “these soldiers ;' seeking to serve you with their lives ; judging their pains and hazards and all well bestowed, in obeying their officers and serving you, to keep the Peace of these Nations ! Yea he must be a man with a heart as hard as the weather who hath not a due sense of this! (A severe frost, though the Almanacs do not mention it.]--
So that, I say, it is most plain and evident, this is your outward and present defence. [This Frame of Government ; the Army is a part of that.] And yet, at this day do but you judge! The Cavalier Party, and the several humors of unreasonable men of other sorts,' in those several ways, having continually' made battery at this defence since you got to enjoy peace—[ Sentence catches fire), What have they made their business but this, To spread libellous Books ; [Their 66 Standard,"
Killing no Murder," and other little fiddling things belonging to that sort of Periodical Literature.) yea and pretend the “ Liberty of the subiect”—[ Sentence gone again]— ? —which really wiser men than they may pretend ! For let me say this to you at once: I never look to see the People of England come into a just Liberty, if another. Civil War overtake us. I think, 'I' at least, that the thing likely to bring us into our “ Liberty” is a consistency and agreement at this Meeting! Therefore all I can say to you is this : It will be your wisdom, I do think truly, and · your justice, to keep that concernment close to you; to uphold this Settlement “now fallen upon.? Which I have no cause but to think you are agreed to; and that you like it. For I assure you I am very greatly mistaken else, 'for my own part ;' having taken this which is now the Settlement among us:as my chief inducement to bear the burden I bear, and to serve the Commonwealth, in the place I am in!
And therefore if you judge that all this be not argument enough to persuade you to be sensible of your danger — ? —'A danger' which all manner of considerationis, besides good-nature and ingenuity “themselves,' would move a stone to be sensible of !-Give us leave to consider a little, What will become of us, if our spirits should go otherwise,
*« it would prove' is an impersonal verb; such as it will rain, and the like.
and break this Settlement ? If our spirits be dissatisfied, what will become of things? Here is an Army five or six months behind in pay: yea an Army in Scotland near as much “behind;' an Army in Ireland much more.
And if these things be considered,–I cannot doubt but they will be considered ;-I say, judge what the state of Ireland is if free-quarter come upon the Irish People ! [Free-quarter must come, if there be no pay provided, and that soon!] You have a company of Scots in the North of Ireland, 'Forty or Fifty thousand of them settled there;' who, I hope, are honest men. In the Province of Galway almost all the Irish, transplanted to the West.* You have the Interest of England newly begun to be planted. The people there, ' in these English settlements,' are full of necessities and complaints. They bear to the uttermost. And should the soldiers run upon free-quarter there,—upon your English Planters, as they must,—the English Planters must quit the country through mere beggary: and that which hath been the success of so much blood and treasure, to get that Country into your hands, what can become of it, but that the English must needs run away for pure beggary, and the Irish must possess the country again' for a receptacle to the Spanish Interest ?
And hath Scotland been long settled ? [Middleton's Highland Insurrection with its Mosstroopery and misery is not dead three years yet.t] Have not they a like sense of poverty! I speak plainly. In good earnest, I do think the Scots Nation have been under as great a suffer. ing, in point of livelihood and subsistence outwardly, as any People I have yet named to you. I do think truly they are a very ruined Nation. [Torn to pieces with now near Twenty Years of continual War, and foreign and intestine worrying with themselves and with all the world.]And yet in a way (I have spoken with some Gentlemen come from thence) hopeful enough ;-it hath pleased God to give that plentiful encouragement to the meaner sort in Scotland. I must say, if it please God to encourage the meaner sort—[The consequences may be foreseen, but are not stated here.]-The meaner sort' in Scotland' live as well, and are likely to come into as thriving a condition under your Government, as when they were under their own great Lords, who made them work for their living no better than the Peasants of France. I am loath to speak anything which may reflect upon that Nation : but the middle sort of people do grow up there into such a substance as makes their lives comfortable, if not better than they were before. (Scotland is prospering; has fair-play and ready-money ;--prospering though sulky.]
* “ All the Irish :” all the Malignant Irish, the ringleaders of the Popish Rebellion : Galway is here called Galloway.'
Feb., 1654-5 (Whitlocke, p. 599).
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If now, after all this, we shall not be sensible of all those designs that are in the midst of us : of the united Cavaliers ; of the designs which are animated every day from Flanders and Spain ; while we have to look upon ourselves as a divided people—[Sentence of:] A man cannot certainly tell where to find consistency anywhere in England ! Certainly there is no consistency in anything, that may be worthy of the name of a body of consistency, but in this Company who are met here! How can any man lay his hand on his heart, and permit himself to talk of things,—[Roots of Constitutional Government, “ Other House,” of Lords” and such like] neither to be made out by the light of Scripture nor of Reason ; and draw one another off from considering of these things,
- which are very palpable things !'-I dare leave them with you, and commit them to your bosom. They have a weight,
,-a greater weight than any
I have yet suggested to you, from abroad or at home! If such be our case abroad and at home, That our Being and Wellbeing,
;-our Wellbeing is not worth the naming comparatively,-I say, if such be our case, of our Being at home and abroad, That through want to bear up our Honor at Sea, and through want to maintain what is our Defence at Home,' we stand exposed to such dangers ;' and if through our mistake we shall be led off from the consideration of these things; and talk of circumstantial things, and quarrel about circumstances; and shall not with heart and soul intend and carry-on these things ! I confess I can look for nothing 'other,' I can say no other than what a foolish Book* expresseth, of one that having consulted everything, could hold to nothing; neither Fifth-Monarchy, Presbytery, nor Independency, nothing; but at length concludes, He is for nothing but an "orderly confusion!” And for men that have wonderfully lost their consciences and
heir wits,-I speak of men going about who cannot tell what they would have, yet are willing to kindle coals to disturb others — ! [An“orderly confusion,” and general fire-consummation : what else is possible ?]
And now having said this, I have discharged my duty to God and to you, in making this demonstration,-and I profess, not as a rhetorician! My business was to prove the verity of the Designs from Abroad; and the still unsatisfied spirits of the Cavaliers at Home --who from the beginning of our Peace to this day have not been wanting to do what they could to kindle a fire at home in the midst of us. And I
if this be so, the truth, I pray God affect your nearts with a due sense of it!
* Now rotting probably, or rotten among the other Pamphletary rubbish, in the crypts of Public Dryasdust Collections -all but this one phrase of it, here kept alive.
Yea!] And give you one heart and mind to carry on this work for which we are met together! If these things be so,-should you meet to-morrow, and accord in all things tending to your preservation and your rights and liberties, really it will be feared there is too much time elapsed already' for your delivering yourselves from those dangers that hang upon you !
We have had now Six Years of Peace, and have had an interruption of Ten Years War. We have seen and heard and felt the evils of War; and now God hath given us a new taste of the benefits of Peace. Have you not had such a Peace in England, Ireland and Scotland, that there is not a man to lift up his finger to put you into distemper? Is not this a mighty blessing from the Lord of Heaven? (Hah!] Shall we now be prodigal of time? Should any man, shall we, listen to delusions, to break and interrupt this Peace? There is not any man that hath been true to this Cause, as I believe you have been all, who can look for anything but the greatest rending and persecution that ever was in this world! [Peppery Scott's hot head will go up on Temple Bar, and Haselrig will do well to die soon.*]—I wonder how it can enter into the heart of man to undervalue these things; to slight Peace and the Gospel, the greatest mercy of God. We have Peace and the Gospel ! [What a tone!] Let us have one heart and soul; one mind to maintain the honest and just rights of this Nation ;-not to pretend to them, to the destruction of our Peace, to the destruction of the Nation! [As yet there is one Hero-heart among you, ye blustering contentious rabble.; one Soul blazing as a light-beacon in the midst of Chaos, forbidding Chaos yet to be supreme. In a little while that too will be extinct; and then!] Really, pretend what we will, if you run into another flood of blood and War, the sinews of this Nation being wasted by the last, it must sink and perish utterly. I beseech you, and charge you in the name and presence of God, and as before Him, be sensible of these things, and lay them to heart! You have a Day of Fasting coming on. I beseech God touch your hearts and open your ears to this truth; and that you may be as deaf adders to stop your ears to all Dissension! And may look upon them who would sow dissension,' whoever they may be, as Paul saith to the Church of Corinth, as I remember: “Mark such as cause divisions and offences,” and would disturb you from that foundation of Peace you are upon, under any pretence whatsoever !
I shall conclude with this. I was free the last time of our meeting,
• He died in the Annus Mirabilis of 1660 itself, say the Baronetages. Worn to death, it is like, by the frightful vicissitudes and distracting excitement of those sad months.