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The grounds of this are briefly these: First, the cause hath still the same goodness in it as ever, and is, or ought to be, as much in the hearts of all good people that have adhered to it: it is not less to be valued now, than when neither blood nor treasure were thought too dear to carry it on, and hold it up from sinking; and hath the same omnipotent God, whose great name is concerned in it, as well as his people's outward safety and welfare; who knows, also, how to give a revival to it when secondary instruments and visible means fail or prove deceitful.

Secondly, The persons concerned and engaged in this cause are still the same as before, with the advantage of being more tried, more inured to danger and hardship, and more endeared to one another, by their various and great experiences, as well of their own hearts as their fellowbrethren. These are the same still in heart and desire after the same thing, which is, that, being freed out of the hands of their enemies, they may serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.

As they have had this great good finally in their aims (if declarations to men and appeals to God signify anything), so, as a requisite to attain this, they did with great cheerfulness and unanimity draw out themselves to the utmost in the maintenance of a war, when all other means, first essayed, proved ineffectual. In the management of this war, it pleased God, the righteous Judge (who was appealed to in the controversy), so to bless the counsel and forces of the persons concerned and engaged in this cause, as in the end to make them absolute and complete conquerors over their common enemy; and by this means they had added unto the natural right which was in them before (and so declared by their representatives in Parliament assembled), the right of conquest, for the strengthening of their just claim to be governed by national councils, and successive representatives of their own election and setting up. This they once thought they had been in possession of, when it was ratified, as it were, in the blood of the last king. But of late a great interruption having happened unto them in their former expectations, and, instead thereof, something rising up that seems rather accommodated to the private and selfish interest of a particular part (in comparison) than truly adequate to the common good and concern of the whole body engaged in this cause: hence it is that this compacted body is now falling asunder into many dissenting parts (a thing not unforeseen nor unhoped for by the common enemy all along as their last relief); and if these breaches be not timely healed, and the offences (before they take too deep root) removed, they will certainly work more to the advantage of the common enemy than any of their own unwearied endeavours and dangerous contrivances in foreign parts put all together.

A serious discussion and sober enlarging upon these grounds will quickly give an insight into the state of the question, and naturally tend to a plain and familiar resolution thereof.

That which is first to be opened is the nature and goodness of the cause; which, had it not carried in it its own evidence, would scarce have found so many of the people of God adherers to it within the three nations, contributing either their counsels, their purses, their bodily pains, or their affections and prayers, as a combined strength; without which, the military force alone would have been little available to subdue the common enemy, and restore to this whole body their just natural rights in civil things, and true freedom in matters of conscience.

The two last-mentioned particulars, rightly stated, will evidence sufficiently the nature and goodness of this cause.

For the first of these, that is to say, the natural right, which the whole party of honest men adhering to this cause are by success of their arms restored unto, fortified in, and may claim as their undeniable privilege, that righteously cannot be taken from them, nor they debarred from bringing into exercise, it lies in this:

They are to have and enjoy the freedom (by way of dutiful compliance and condescension from all the parts and members of this society) to set up meet persons in the place of supreme judicature and authority among them, whereby they may have the use and benefit of the choicest light and wisdom of the nation that they are capable to call forth, for the rule and government under which they

as shall

will live; and through the orderly exercise of such measure of wisdom and counsel as the Lord in this way shall please to give unto them, to shape and form all subordinate actings and administrations of rule and government so best answer the public welfare and safety of the whole.

This, in substance, is the right and freedom contained in the nature and goodness of the cause wherein the honest party have been engaged; for in this all the particulars of our civil right and freedom are comprehended, conserved in, and derived from their proper root; in which, while they grow, they will ever thrive, flourish, and increase; whereas, on the contrary, if there be never so many fair branches of liberty planted on the root of a private and selfish interest, they will not long prosper, but must, within a little time, wither and degenerate into the nature of that whereinto they are planted; and hence, indeed, sprung the evil of that government which rose in and with the Norman Conquest.

The root and bottom upon which it stood was not public interest, but the private lust and will of the conqueror, who by force of arms did at first detain the right and freedom which was and is due to the whole body of the people; for whose safety and good, government itself is ordained by God, not for the particular benefit of the rulers, as a distinct and private interest of their own; which yet, for the most part, is not only preferred before the common good, but upheld in opposition thereunto. And as at first the conqueror did, by violence and force, deny this freedom to the people, which was their natural right and privilege, so he and his successors all along lay as bars and impediments to the true national interest and public good, in the very national councils and assemblies themselves, which were constituted in such a manner as most served for the upholding of the private interest of their families; and this being challenged by them as their prerogative, was found by the people assembled in Parliament most unrighteous, burdensome, and destructive to their liberty. And when they once perceived that by this engine all their just rights were like to be destroyed especially (being backed, as it was, with the power of the militia, which the late king, for that



purpose, had assumed into Sis hands, and would not, upon the people's application to him in Parliament, part with into the hands of that great council, who were best to be intrusted with the nation's safety), this was the ground of the quarrel, upon a civil account between the king and his party, and the whole body of adherents to the cause of the people's true liberty; whereof this short touch hath been given, and shall suffice for the opening of the first branch of this clause.

The second branch which remains briefly to be handled is that which also upon the grounds of natural right is to be laid claim unto, but distinguishes itself from the former as it respects a more heavenly and excellent object wherein the freedom is to be exercised and enjoyed, that is to say, matters of religion, or that concern the service and worship of God.

Unto this freedom the nations of the world have right and title by the purchase of Christ's blood, who, by virtue of his death and resurrection, is become the sole Lord and Ruler in and over the conscience; for to this end Christ died, rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living, and that every one might give an account of himself, in all matters of God's worship unto God and Christ alone, as their own Master, unto whom they stand or fall in judgment, and are not in these things to be oppressed, or brought before the judgment-seats of men. For why shouldst thou set at naught thy brother in matters of his faith and conscience, and herein intrude into the proper office of Christ, since we are all to stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, whether governors or governed, and by his decision only are capable of being declared with certainty to be in the right or in the wrong?

By virtue, then, of this supreme law, sealed and confirmed in the blood of Christ unto all men (whose souls he challenges a propriety in, to bring under his inward rule in the service and worship of God), it is that all magistrates are to fear and forbear intermeddling with giving rule or imposing in those matters. They are to content themselves with what is plain in their commission, as ordained of God to be his minister unto men for good, while they approve


themselves the doers of that which is good in the sight of men, and whereof earthly and worldly judicatures are capable to make a clear and perfect judgment; in which case the magistrate is to be for praise and protection to them. In like manner, he is to be a minister of terror and revenge to those that do evil in matters of outward practice, converse, and dealings in the things of this life between man and man, for the cause whereof the judicatures of men are appointed and set up. But to exceed these limits, as it is not safe or warrantable for the magistrate in that he who is higher than the highest, regards, and will show himself displeased at it), so neither is it good for the people, who hereby are nourished up in a biting, devouring, wrathful spirit one against another, and are found transgressors of that royal law which forbids us to do that unto another which we would not have them do unto us, were we in their condition.

This freedom, then, is of high concern to be had and enjoyed, as well for the magistrate's sake as for the people's common good; and it consists, as hath been said, in the magistrate forbearing to put forth the power of rule and coercion in things that God hath exempted out of his commission: so that all care requisite for the people's obtaining this

may be exercised with great ease, if it be taken in its proper season, and that this restraint be laid upon the supreme power before it be erected, as a fundamental constitution, among others, upon which the free consent of the people is given, to have the persons brought into the exercise of supreme authority over them and on their behalf; and if, besides, as a further confirmation hereunto, it be acknowl. edged the voluntary act of the ruling power, when once brought into a capacity of acting legislativeiy, that herein they are bound up, and judge it their duty so to be (both in reference to God, the institutor of magistracy, and in reference to the whole body by whom thcy are intrusted), this great blessing will hereby be so well provided for that we shall have no cause to fear, as it may be ordered.

By this means a great part of the outward exercise of anti-Christian tyranny and bondage will be plucked up by the very roots, which, till some such course be held in it,

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