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will be always apt to renew and sprout out afresh, under some new form or refined appearances, as by late years' experience we have been taught: for, since the fall of the bishops and persecuting presbyteries, the same spirit is apt to arise in the next sort of clergy that can get the ear of the magistrate, and pretend to the keeping and ruling the conscience of the governors, although this spirit and practice hath been all along decried by the faithful adherents to this cause as a most sore oppression and insufferable yoke ' of bondage, most unrighteously kept up over the consciences of the people, and therefore judged by them most needful to be taken out of the way; and in this matter the present governors have been willing very eminently to give their testimony in their public declarations, however in practice there is much of grievance yet found among us, though more, in probability, from the officiousness of subordinate ministers than any clear purpose or design of the chief in power.

Having thus showed what the true freedom is, in both the branches of it, that shines forth in the righteous cause, wherein the good people of these nations have so deeply engaged, it will not be improper, in the next place, to consider two particulars more that give still farther light into the matter in question, as, first, the qualifications of the persons that have adhered to this cause; secondly, the capac ity wherein they have been found from time to time carrying it on.

As to their qualification, they have, in the general, distinguished themselves and been made known by a` forwardness to assist and own the public welfare and good of the nation, for the attaining and preserving the just rights and liberties thereof, asserted and witnessed unto in the true stating of this cause, according to the two branches thereof already spoken tc. They have showed themselves, upon all occasions, desirers and lovers of true freedom, either in civils or in spirituals, or in both. To express their value thereof, and faithfulness to the same, they have largely contributed, in one kind or other, what was proper to each in his place to do; which actions of theirs proceeding from hearts sincerely affected to the cause, created in them a

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right to be of an incorporation and society by themselves, under the name of the good party, having been from the beginning unto this day publicly and commonly so acknowledged, by way of distinction from all neuters, close and open enemies, and deceitful friends or apostates. These, in order to the maintaining of this cause, have stood by the army, in defence and support thereof, against all opposition whatever, as those that, by the growing light of these times, have been taught and led forth in their experiences to look above and beyond the letter, form, and outward circumstances of government, into the inward reason and spirit thereof, herein only to fix and terminate, to the leaving behind all empty shadows that would obtrude themselves in the place of true freedom.

Secondly, as to the capacity wherein these persons, thus qualified, have acted, it hath been very variable, and subject to great changes: sometimes in one from, and sometimes in another, and very seldom, if ever at all, so exactly and in all points consonant to the rule of former laws and constitutions of government as to be clearly and fully justified by them any longer than the law of success and conquest did uphold them who had the inward warrant of justice and righteousness to encourage them in such their actings.

The utmost and last reserve, therefore, which they have had, in case all other failed, hath been their military capacity, not only strictly taken for the standing army, but in the largest sense, wherein the whole party may (with the army, and under that military constitution and conduct which, by the providence of God, they shall then be found in) associate themselves in the best order they can for the common defence and safety of the whole; as not ignorant that when once embodied in this their military posture, in such manner as by common consent shall be found requisite for the safety of the body, they are most irresistible, absolute, and comprehensive in their power, having that wherein the substance of all government is contained, and under the protection whereof, and safety that may be maintained thereby, they can contrive and determine in what manner this irresistible, absolute, and boundless power, unto which they are now arrived in this their military capacity, shall

have just and due limits set unto it, and be drawn out in a meet and orderly way of exercise for the commonweal and safety of the whole body, under the rule and oversight of a supreme judicature, unto the wisdom of whose laws and orders the sword is to become most entirely subject and subservient; and this without the least cause of jealousy or unsafety, either to the standing army, or any member thereof, or unto the good people adhering to this cause, or any of them, since the interest of both, by this mutual action of either, will be so combined together in one (even in that wherein before they were distinct), that all just cause of difference, fear, animosity, emulation, jealousy, or the like, will be wholly abolished and removed.

For when once the whole body of the good people find that the military interest and capacity is their own, and that into which necessity at the last may bring the whole party (whereof, of right, a place is to be reserved for them), and that herein they are so far from being in subjection or slavery, that in this posture they are most properly sovereign, and possess their right of natural sovereignty, they will presently see a necessity of continuing ever one with their army, raised and maintained by them for the promoting this cause against the common enemy, who in his next attempt will put for all with greater desperateness and rage than


Again, when once the standing army and their governors shall also find that, by setting and keeping up themselves in a divided interest from the rest of the body of honest men, they withhold from themselves those contributions in all voluntary and cheerful assistances, by the affections and prayers, by the persons and purses of the good party, to the weakening themselves thereby, as to any vigorous support from them, in the times of most imminent danger (whereof the late king had an experience, that will not suddenly be out of memory, when he undertook the war, in the beginning of these troubles, against the Scots, and was, in a manner, therein deserted by all the good party in England), they will then find (if they stay not till it be too late) that, by espousing the interest of the people, in submitting themselves with their fellow-adherents to the cause, under the rule and

authority of their own supreme judicature, they lose not their power or sovereignty, but, becoming one civil or politic incorporation with the whole party of honest men, they do therein keep the sovereignty, as originally seated in themselves, and part with it only but as by deputation and representation of themselves, when it is brought into an orderly way of exercise, by being put into the hands of persons chosen and intrusted by themselves to that purpose.

By this mutual and happy transition, which may be made between the party of honest men in the three nations virtually in arms, and those actually so now in power at the head of the army; how suddenly would the union of the whole body be consolidated, and made so firm as it will not need to fear all the designs and attempts of the common enemy, especially if herein they unite themselves in the first place to the Lord, as willing to follow his providence, and observe his will in the way and manner of bringing this to pass! in which case we shall not need to fear what all the gates of hell are able to do in opposition thereunto.

It is not, then, the standing and being of the present army and military forces in the three nations that is liable to exception of offence from any dissenting judgments at this time among the honest, well-affected party. In and with them, under God, stand the welfare and outward safety of the whole body; and to be enemies to them, or wish them hurt, were to do it to themselves; and, by trying such conclusions, to play the game of the common enemy, to the utter ruin and destruction, not only of the true freedom aimed at and contended for in the late wars, but of the very persons themselves that have been in any sort active or eminent promoters thereof.

The army, considered as it is in the hands of an honest and wise general, and sober, faithful officers, embodied with the rest of the party of honest men, and espousing still the same cause, and acting in their primitive simplicity, humility, and trust, in reference to the welfare and safety of the whole body, is the only justifiable and most advantageous posture and capacity that the good party at present can find themselves in, in order to the obtaining that true freedom they have fought for, and possessing of it in the establishment

thereof upon the true basis and foundation, as hath been showed, of right government.

That wherein the offence lies, and which causes such great thoughts of heart among the honest party (if it may be freely expressed, as sure it may, when the magistrate himself professes he doth but desire and wait for conviction therein), is, in short, this:

That when the right and privilege is returned, nay, is restored by conquest unto the whole body (that forfeited not their interest therein), of freely disposing themselves in such a constitution of righteous government as may best answer the ends held forth in this cause; that, nevertheless, either through delay they should be withheld as they are, or through design they should come at last to be utterly denied the exercise of this their right, upon pretence that they are not in capacity as yet to use it, which, indeed, hath some truth in it, if those that are now in power, and have the command of the arms, do not prepare all things requisite thereunto, as they may, and, like faithful guardians to the Commonwealth, admitted to be in its nonage, they ought.

But if the bringing of true freedom into exercise among men, yea, so refined a party of men, be impossible, why hath this been concealed all this while? and why was it not thought on before so much blood was spilt, and treasure spent? Surely such a thing as this was judged real and practicable, not imaginary and notional.

Besides, why may it not suffice to have been thus long delayed and withheld from the whole body, at least as to its being brought by them into exercise now at last? Surely the longer it is withheld, the stronger jealousies do increase, that it is intended to be assumed and engrossed by a part only, to the leaving the rest of the body (who, in all reason and justice, ought to be equally participants with the other in the right and benefit of the conquest, for as much as the war was managed at the expense and for the safety of the whole) in a condition almost as much exposed, and subject to be imposed upon, as if they had been enemies and conquered, not in any sense conquerors.

If ever such an unrighteous, unkind, and deceitful dealing with brethren should happen, although it might continue

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