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form, even the restoring to life, liberty, and security, a dying, inslaved, destroyed nation, whose utter ruin will quickly ensne, unless you work whilst it is day, unless you make use of the present opportunity that God hath put into your
hands. It is not now time for you to think of framing a commonwealth government, by any precedent or practices of monarchical laws, for. merly made by king or single persons, which solely tended to preserve themselves and their posterities in their unlimited oppres. sions. Monarchy is an absolute antagonist to a free state; and so are all the laws and rules made by monarchs. The Hollanders, when they relished the tyranny and persecution of the Spanish king (who had a far more legal title to be their sovereign, than the late Norman Scottish family had to be the English), never consulted with the laws of their king to make fundamentals for a free state; they nobly and resolvedly shook off all the props of tyranuy, as they had done the tyrant himself: and to their gallant resolution God gave such a blessing, that, from a poor miserable people, a distressed state, they are now become potent, rich, and dreadful. Ye are now involved in a labyrinth of debts, contracted by the late usurper, not on necessity, but on ambition. The people of the land are almost generally impoverished and indebted ; and yet ye will unavoidably be forced to raise great sums to pay the arrears of the army and feet. Now, as ye are necessitated yet to continue some burdens on the people, so also there is a little necessity, in point of justice and prudence, for you to ease the people of others. The lawyer's interest tends neither to the honour, safety, nor benefit of the people, nor your own in particular. Who have been greater enemies against the establishing a free state than that generation? Who have done and still do more discourage the nation from a cordial compliance to this government than they? How often have they cried up a necessity of the executing law in the name of a single person, alledging the laws of England could not be managed any other way? As their interest is engaged to moparchy, so let it fall with it; let them be condemned out of their own mouths, 6 nec lex est justior ulla, quam necis artifices arte perire sua. ” Must the people not only pay for the charge of your forces by land and sea, but must they pay also millions of money hereby to a mercenary, corrupt, useless generation of men, who are worse than the Ægyptian caterpillars, for they devour not only the green leaves, but hundreds of poor widows, fatherless, and orphans. These are the insatiate cannibals, whose carcasses will never be full gorged with the spoil of the poor and innocent, until the worm gorgeth himself on theirs. Those gentlemen of the long robe that are amongst you, I hope, cannot say less, than that there is great reason to ease the people herein. What, if they have heretofore thriven highly by the practice of law, nunquam sera ad bonos mores via:” are they not thereby the better able to maintain their port and garb? Is it now time to think of their latter end, to cease to do evil, and learn to do well? I hope the proverb will not hold true in them," the older the more covetous.” Now it is time for them, and the whole parliament, unanimously and vigorously to do good, to vindicate their former, almost (shall I say deservedly) lost honour and reputation, and to secure their estates to their posterities. Ye have now the hearts and purses of a resolved honest party, that will not only make addresses to you, like the addresses to the single person, but will stand and fall with you in all just things. But if ye turn back from the strait way of justice; if ye seek to make yourselves, families, or relations great, by ruining or burdening your country; if 1
ye make or maintain the lawyers interest, turn aside the needy from judgments, and rob the widow and fatherless, then will ye be forsaken by God, and all just men; then will not your mountains of treasures, nor numbers of lordships, nor fawning, flattering parasites, any ways help you, nor deliver you, sed mcliora spero.
A WORD TO THE ARMY.
Sirs, YE have once more erected the words of Salus Populi, and de. clare it ought to be Suprema Lex, the good old cause is now cried up. If your words and hearts go together, it is well; it will be the people's profit, your honour and safety ; but, if your zeal exceed not Jehu's, it will signify nothing. The nation hath been too long abused and cousened by fair words, so that they begin to say, Who will now not only speak, but do us any good ? Who will
prove such self-deniers, as to prefer the country's case before their own honour or profit? This is what is expected from all sorts, and satisfaction cannot be given to the people but by it. It ‘is not now a time to cry out for acts of indemnity, which will unavoidably burden and punish the innocent, and let the guilty go free. Will
ye have all the corrupt mercenary creatures of the late tyrant's lust justifed, and all their ill-gotten goods secured? Is there no pity, remorse, nor compassion dwelling in you, in tenderness to the undone people? What mean all your glorious declarations ? What mean all your pretences of religion? What mean your fasts? Will ye, under pretence of long prayers, devour widow's houses ? Consider what fast God requireth at your hands. Isa. lviii.
But if, at last, nothing will divert you from this stream of in. justice, give the people, who have long fed and cloathed you, some satisfaction. As ye are willing to excuse the guilty, so pray let the innocent go free. Give the people an act of indemnity, and free them from paying all, or any part of arrears, that remain due to you for your service in the tyrant's usurpation, especially you that are the grandees of the army (who have sufficiently already gotten by the poor soldiery, in putting a necessity on them to sell their arrears to you for a matter of nought). Think no more of forcing or persuading the parliament, by your proposals (which are not worth -) to gratify a single family and interest, for
doing those things that rather deserve punishment. Have ye so much pity to a particular family, that have a long space lived in pride and voluptuousness, and have unwarrantable boons yiven so to continue; and is there no dram of compassion left in you to the dying starving nation? O tempora! O mores!
O tempora! O mores! Neither alone would I have you to cease from pressing these things aforesai:l, but also to be instrumental to remove those grand needless oppressions which lie on the nation. Be you at last instrumental to free your country from the intolerable burden of the needless lawyers, who love none but themselves. Can ye forget that they were, in the late great protectorian parliament, using all means to ordain laws to hang or banish you, and shall they now be protected in ruining the country by you? God forbid.' Surely it is sufficient for the people to pay millions yearly to pay the
navy, and not to pay millions yearly to that oppressing needless generation. I should wonder what spirits do possess you, if you now, at last, after all the convictiin that you have declared, should think on nothing but cloathing yourselves in vanity, in raising your families to high estates, in insulting over your brethren the people of the land, who have not bread, nor cloaths to cover their nakedness. It is probable (and less than which I expect not) that there will be many, or some among you, that will passionately disrespect these sins. But, if I am become your enemy for telling you the truth, let it be so: 6. Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum;" think not but that many others, as well as myself, will still disrelish self-seeking and oppression in you, as well as they did in the king, protector, &c. Let England dever cease to cry out with the poet, “ Rara fides probitasque viris qui castra sequuntur.”
A WORD TO THE LAWYERS.
Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity, ye have eaten the fruit of lyes, Hosea x. 13. The spoil of the poor and fatherless is in your houses ; ye are weighed in the balance of jus. tice, ye are found as light as chaff; there is a wind risen up, that will blow your interest into the land of oblivion; all the mischiefs and evils that ye have done in secret, are now discovered on the house-top. The cries of the wronged and oppressed, the lamenta. tions of the widows, fatherless, and orphans, God hath heard. Your wickedness is now, like the Amorites, at the height; the sword of justice is ready to cut it down; the decree is passed against your legal robberies ; strive, therefore, now to learn peace and patience, and an honester calling; this will be your benefit and content: but, if ye will resist, and gaiosay, know this, that as, suredly ye will perish in the atterapt.
London: Printed for Thomas Brewster, at the Three Bibles, at the west end
of St. Paul's, 1659. Quarto, containing sixteen pages.
HEN the sect of the christians first arose, the tyrants
wrapped them in beasts skins, to provoke the wild beasts to rend them in pieces; and, when Christ their Lord descended to earth, the priests and pharisees, finding his doctrine and holiness against their interest, cast upon him all the dirt of blasphemy, drunkenness, and confederacy with the worst of sinners; and, to make sure of his life, they rendered him an enemy to government, and told Pilate that he was no friend to Cæsar if he let him go. It hath been the common practice of all tyrants, to cover the face of honesty with the mask of scandal and reproach, lest the people should be enamoured with its beauty. It is a master-piece in their politicks, to persuade the people that their best friends are their worst enemies, and that whosoever asserts their rights and liberties, is factious and seditious, and a disturber of their peace. Did not the Gracchi, in Rome, by such policy, perish by the people's hands, whose liberties they sought to vindicate? And do not some Englishmen now suffer deeply upon the same account, from the people's hands, for whose sakes they have prodigally hazarded their estates and lives? Are not some lovers of their country de. famed, and esteemed prodigious monsters, being branded with the name of levellers, whilst those, that reproach and hate them, neither know their principles or opinions concerning government, nor the good they intend to their very enemies ? Those that have designed to prey upon the people's estates and liberties, have put the frightful vizard of levelling upon those men's faces; and most people are aghast at them, like children at raw-head and bloody-bones,
and dare not ask who they are, or peep under their vizard, to see their true faces, principles, and designs. Doubtless, if the people durst but look behind them upon the bugbear from which they fly, they would be ashamed of their own childish fear of the levellers designs, to make all men's estates to be equal, and to divide the land by telling noses. They would easily discern (if they durst consider it) that no number of men out of Bedlam could resolve upon a thing so impossible, that every hour would alter by the birth of some child, if it were possible once to make out equal shares ; nor upon a thing so brutish and destructive to all inge. nuity and industry, as to put the idle useless drone into as good condition as the laborious useful bee. Neither could the people think that any number of men, fit to be feared, rather than scorned and pitied, could gain by levelling estates, for they can never have power and interest enough to disquiet the nation, unless their estates be much greater than they can be possible upon an equal division ; and, surely, it is a bugbear fit for none but children, to fear any man's designs, to reduce their own estates to little better than nothing ; for so it would be, if all the land were distributed like a three-penny dole.
But to satisfy such as desire to know what they are, who are now, for distinction sake, though formerly by their enemies scandalously called levellers, and what their designs are; I shall tell you their fundamental doctrines or maxims concerning our govern. ment, and from thence you may make a true judgment of all their plots, and either fear them, or favour them accordingly.
1. First, they assert it as fundamental, that the government of England ought to be by laws, and not by men. They say, the laws ought to be the protectors and preservers, under God, of all our persons and estates, and that every man may challenge that protection as his right, without a ticket from a major-general, and live under that protection, and safely, without fear of a red coat, or a pursuivant from Whitehall. They say, that Englishmen ought to fear nothing but God, and the breach of the laws, not to depend upon the will of a court and their council for the secu. rity of themselves and their estates. They say, the laws ought to judge of all offences and offenders, and all penalties and punish. ments to be inflicted upon criminals ; and that the pleasure of his highness, or his council, ought not to make whom they please of. fenders, and punish and imprison whom they please, and during their pleasure.
They say also, that the laws ought to decide all controversies, and repair every man's injuries, and that the rod of the people's supreme judicature ought to be over the magistrates, to prevent their corruption, or turning aside from the laws; but that the magistrates for executing the laws should not hold their offices at the pleasure of a king, or protector, lest the fear of displeasing him perverts justice. In their opinions, it is highly criminal that a king, or protector, or court, should presume to interpose by