In the which all the reproaches, and truth-gain∣saying calumnies, so injuriously and causelesly cast upon me by my Brother BURTON, my Quondam Fellow-sufferer, are all wiped away with the spunge of Innocency in this my true Answer unto him: In the which also, all such passages as hee so exceedingly exaggerates and cryes out against in my Preface and Postscript are cleared from his clamorous surmises, and my Integrity vindicated from all his tradu∣cing Inferences, and forced Conclusions.
IN the beginning of your Epistle to the Reader, say you, This answer was long agoe so conceived in the wombe, as the slow birth may seeme to have out∣gone his due time. Truly it had beene good for you, and farre more for your honour, and for the honour and glory of God, and for the honour of your holy profession, that the wombe of this your Booke had beene its grave: for it hath not onely given great scandall to many, but sadded the hearts of multitudes of Gods people that formerly truly loved and honoured you. But men that make more haste then good speed, have Page 612 cause at leisure often to repent, as you one day must doe for this untimely birth of your deformed and monstrous brat. To the matters of Argument concerning your opinion in answer to my Booke; I have in the foregoing Treatise made my Reply, in this Appendix I am to make my just defence against some false accu∣sations and soule aspersions with which you have bespatterd mee through your whole discourse; but should I summe up all the re∣vilings, scornings, vilifying, unsufferable and unchristian lan∣guage, which those of your Fraternity (after I had declared my selfe to be none of your party, before any of my Books came forth) did and still doe provoke and salute mee with, even in the open streets, to the shame of their profession (yet in the 27. page of your Booke approved of) they would rise to a volume. But I have learned with the Apostle Paul, to passe through honour and dishonour, through evill report and good report, as a Deceiver and yet true (2 Cor. 6. 8.) being therefore nothing moved with their raylings, I spread them before the Lord, and for brevitie sake will not here repeate them.
I shall onely take a note of some (passing by many) of the un∣brotherly reproaches, false accusations, and bitter invectives, poured out from your selfe (whose Schollers it may be thought the others are) and I will unfaynedly answer you, in the words of truth and sobernesse, and in the spirit of meeknesse and love. But first give mee leave to say, that from you of all men I least expe∣cted, much lesse deserved such hard speeches, I having beene not only a sufferer with you (which ingageth a personall respect) but alwayes ready and forward in the worst and most dangerous times to appeare in your defence to my owne great detriment and dammage, and as a faithfull friend, have stucke close, and been serviceable unto you since, as can sufficiently be proved when your protestation protested was questioned; all which challenged a Chri∣stian circumspection, even in reproving of humane frailties.
Now things being thus betweene you and mee, how exceed∣ingly doth it aggravate your offence, in scandalizing my name as you have done? For mine owne part, when out of zeale to Gods Glory, and my servent desire of Syons peace, I write against that new way you walke in, and justly blamed in generall (naming no man) the unwarrantable writings, and censures published, and laid upon all who in their judgements dissent from Independents, Page 613 though truly Godly, affirming, that they are but converts in part, that they are enemies to Christs Kingly office: and set up Christ as a pageant King; that they neither professe nor confesse Christ, but with the Iewes say, wee will not have this man to raigne over us: observing also in the Frontispices of their Bookes writ in defence of Independent errors, these words; Thinke not that I am come to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace but a sword, &c. Matth. 10. 34 35, 36. and that in a time of so great distractions, when your party have subtilly spread Schisme, Faction, and cau∣sed fraction and division through the Kingdome; and considering withall how ready tumultuous and turbulent people are, especi∣ally upon such advantages as these, to misapply Christs words (as all men may see, and by their daily expressions plainly perceive they doe) and from that text are easily perswaded to beleeve they have good ground and warrant to fight against their Christian bre∣thren to maintaine errors and their owne whimsies; I say, I weighing all these things, when I writ against erroneous and peace disturbing wayes, which I tooke to be my duty, yet so far was I your fellow sufferer, from falling at odds with you (as you seeme to intimate, page 2.) that in reproving sinne, for which I have sacred Writ to be my warrant, Levit 19. 17. I gave a re∣verentiall honour to the person, and to manifest my respects unto your selfe (because a sufferer) I brought not your name upon the Theater; error I confuted, the danger of misapplying Scripture I declared, and reprehended, and so by Gods gracious assistance I ever shall; and will not connive with any that hold and labour to maintaine a way that leads to error and faction: But so tender I was of your repute, and at so vast a distance from reproaching you with untruths to render you despicable to men, that your name I spared to mention, and for my description of a grave man with a white basket-hilted-beard, a selfe denying man would have passed it over with silence, and onely made use of it, as a re∣spectfull private reproofe. For I beseech you lay aside your passion, and consider a little, are there not some others of your judgement, that have as great white beards as your selfe? which are basket-hilted beards in my Dialect, a harmelesse word in it selfe, and a word that you know in Love and Mirth I doe frequently use to my dearest and familiar friends, and it was not counted scurri∣lous or offensive by any other, nor by your selfe (to whom I have Page 614 often used this expression, and you never reproved me nor were offended at it untill now, because I cannot approve of your wri∣tings and way, which God is my witnesse, before whom I speak, and who knows the secret intentions of my heart, I would im∣brace and walk in, were there in Scripture any command, pre∣cept or example for my so doing, but you can never produce sound Scripture proofes for it. Now Scripture clearly holds out that way I walk in, practice and maintain.
Brother you were too too precipitate, you need not have made a particular application in publike, and then present your selfe to the view of the world in so great a passion, as to let men see and know, you are not able to disgest a merry word; Alas! thousands never saw your book, and of them that have seen and read it, happily every one took not notice of your uncharitable writings and opinions; for untill you so unadvisedly rushed out, and on the publique Theatre proclamed your selfe to be the man, very few suspected you would have dealt so unbrotherly with your bre∣thren (who though they differ from your judgement, yet are sin∣cerely godly, and have deserved well from you, and layd out them∣selves freely, for the good of you, and yours, above all other men) as to pronounce them emenies of Jesus Christ, or that you would unchristian all holy Christians, and deny the saving work of grace in them (true conversion) because they dare not joyne with you, nor approve of those opinions you have lately taken up; you have not been so forward at other times to declare your selfe to be the man (why now?) surely you conceit the subscribing your name again thereunto, is a sufficient ground for men to be∣lieve, that those passages and assertions are not erroneous, and that it is a Piaculum in me to question the matter, time, season, and manner of publishing such things; if so, you mistake your selfe ex∣ceedingly, for this is an undeniable truth, that you are a man sub∣ject to like passions (and errors) as other men are (Jam. 5. 17.) e∣ven your best friends being Judges. And that I may discover your selfe unto your selfe, I will sum up a few of your passionate expres∣sions, with your unbrotherly (that I say not unchristian) aspersi∣ons, and slanderous accusations brought against me by name, in your book that you intitle (but how truly) Vindiciae Veritatis, which before ever I had seen or so much as heard of, being in the Country when it came forth, one having perused it, briefly Page 615 and lovingly reproved you and writ against many unworthy re∣proaches and slanders contained therein; And I shall now again take a note of them, and then clear those false accounts where∣with you have so deeply charged me, which consist of severall particulars: viz.
- You account me one that hath but fair flourishes of ho∣linesse. Page 17.
- An Adversary to Christs Kingdome, and an open enemy and Persecutor of the Church. Pag. 18.
- A Scandalous Walker to the shame of the very name of Christi∣an Religion. Pag. 20.
- Worse then a Heathen, a base and barbarous man. Pag. 21.
- One of the greatest Incendiaries in the Land. Pag. 25.
- A dishonest man of a Serpentine practice. Pag. 28.
- A hollow-hearted man of a shallow brain, a man, not onely whose heart is divided, but whose head is, &c. Pag. 29.
The reckoning in the full sum (by your account) amounts to thus much, that I am an hypocrite, an unbeleever, a persecutor, a profane, wicked, base and barbarous man, an Incendiary, a Knave, a Serpent, a Dissembler, an Ignoramus, a mad Man, &c. Oh that ever such a soul condemning, heart accusing, head dividing Charge should be drawn up and published by a Quondam Fellow Sufferer! Is this no railing nor bitter speaking because cunningly uttered by an Independent? If sober men (who are godly without faction) judge of this your method, it will appear, and by them be truly voted, you have forgot the promise you made (page the second); for my part I leave it to the grave consideration of such.
And I shall now speak a little to your great charge, of which a man might make a book in Folio, to set forth the sinfull sinfulnesse that lies closely coucht therein, with your furious smiting at my soul and body, which inforceth me to say, These are the wounds that I received in the house of my Friend, (Zech. 13. 6.) Yet be∣cause from a friend and a Quondam Fellow Sufferer, I presently bound them up, and should have been very sparing in opening and discovering of them again, could I have done it without prejudi∣cing the life of my good name, and obscuring truth; but for the preservation of the one, and the manifestation of the other, I am constrained not to neglect to lay them open, search their depth, declare their danger; and what evill effects may ensue, and to Page 616 poure in the soveraigne Balsome of a good conscience, and lay up∣on them the plaister of innocencie, which is the onely approved remedy for such desperate wounds.
Now for your Bi•• of Accusations, and Defamations, I here in the presence of God, and before all men protest against it, absolute∣ly denying the whole charge, and doe affirme, that neither you nor any mortall creature can truly make any one of the least parti∣culars thereof good against me, although you have laboured hard, and taken a great deale of paines to do it, howsoever in the opinion of holy, wise, and learned men to little purpose. But waving that busines a little I will first discover the ground of your fury against me, and then goe on.
You preach and write that Independencie according to your pra∣ctise, is the onely way to advance Christ upon his Throne, and that narrow path which all Christians are commanded to walk in, but hi∣therto your confident saying so, is the strongest Argument you bring to maintaine your Assertion. Now in that I durst not take your bare word, nor no mansliving, have he never such fairepre∣tences, in Gods matters, but with the Bereans searching the Scrip∣tures, whether those things were so or no, and finding that way contrary to Gods Word and Apostoli call practise, having by cleare Scripture and Arguments grounded thereupon, discovered the errour of that way out of a Christian remorse and godly pitty to the soules of poore weake tender hearted Christians, who are easie to be seduced, and carried about with every wind of Doctrine, Ephes. 4. 14. Exhorted Magistrates, Parents, Masters, and all that feare the Lord in sincerity, to put to their helping hand to keepe the people from wandering into by-paths, and to see that they and their families together doe serve our God, live in his feare, and walke in the wayes of his commandements according to Scrip∣ture rule, and the example of the faithfull, holy servants of the Lord, &c.
This forsooth is the ground of your quarrell which I thought fit to mention by the way of Preface, and for this you accuse mee to be an Adversary of Christs Kingdome, an open enemy and Per∣secutor of the Church (and what not?) to which with a good conscience I answer you scandalize me, for according to the Apo∣stles exhortation, 2 Tim. 2. 15. I have studied to shew my selfe ap∣proved unto God; nay, further I say, I am ready, (if the will of Page 617 God be so) to lay downe my life for the Regality, and Kingly of∣fice of Jesus Christ, and for the peace of his Church, but not in your notion having no warrant for it. Brother, give me leave to aske you the like question which Paul did the Galatians, Gal. 4. 16. Am I therefore (an adversary to Christs Kingdome, a Perse∣cutor) become your enemy because I tell you the truth? I appeale to the righteous Judge, to judge betweene you and mee herein; and passe to other particulars in your charge, handling them toge∣ther as they have neerest relation one to the other. Now where you speake of mee as if I were an Hypocrite, and boldly accuse me of walking scandalously to the shame of the very name of Chri∣stian Religion; for these, and all your other false calumnies God who is the just Judge of all men, will one day call you to an ac∣count; in the meane time let mee tell you, though your accusa∣tions be founded as deepe as hell, yet neither Satan, who is the Accuser of the Brethren, Revel. 1•. 10. nor any Instrument that hee doth worke in, or by, can be ever able in the words of truth to prove your charge; but it is an old stratagem of Satan, when a man labours to walke uprightly, to feare God, and eschew evill, thus to accuse him; for when God himselfe had declared the inte∣grity of his servant Job, Iob. 1. 8. notwithstanding Satan durst ac∣cuse him to be an Hypocrite, and say that if God but put forth his hand to touch all that hee had, hee would curse God to his face, Iob. 1. 9, 10, 11. and when God gave Satan power over all he had, verse 12. and Job still blessed the name of the Lord, hee sinned not, nor charged God foolishly, verse 21, 22. yet Satan went on in accusing Job, and ceased not untill God gave him power over his body, Iob 2. 5. 6. yea, his friends, through Satans instigation, spake against him, and condemned him to be a man who had onely shewes of Religion, or to use your words, faire flourishes of holinesse, Iob 4. 6, 7, 8. Iob 15. 2, 3, 4, 5. Thus hath Satan dealt with mee, God gave him power over all I had, and over my bo∣dy, hee cast mee into prison that I might be tryed, Revel. 2. 10. and hee hath stirred up such as should have beene and seemed to bee my friends, to accuse mee for an Hypocrite, a scandalous Wal∣ker, and what ever hee falsely suggests unto them, yet still I have, (and will by the grace of God in mee) retained mine Integrity, and with holy Iob, I answer you, and all such Traducers; My wit∣nesse is in Heaven, and my Record is on high: My friends scorne me;Page 618but mine eye poureth out teares unto God, Iob 16. 19, 20. Brother Burton, it cannot be denied, but that you and your party, have brought the same accusation against me, as Satan, and Iobs friends brought against him; yet as God reproved them, & accepted of Iob, Iob. 42. 8. so my God whom I in truth and sincerity serve with the twelve Tribes of Israel day and night, Act. 26. 7. hath appro∣ved, and will accept of mee, maugre all the power, false accusa∣tions, Revilings, subtle Wiles, and workings of Satan; for, as the Apostle saith, 2 Cor. 2. 11. I am not ignorant of his devises; nay, herein I have comfort, because I know the faithfull servants of God in all ages have beene traduced and accused for Hypocrites, and scandalous Walkers; wee reade 2 Cor. 10. 2. that the false Apo∣stles did thinke, or reckon of Paul, as one that walked according to the flesh; but as the Apostle speaketh to them, in the third verse of that Chapter, so I say to you, that though I walke in the flesh, yet I doe not warre after the flesh, &c. For I have lived in all good conscience before God untill this day, Act. 23. 1. But were all true you have said, and that of your owne knowledge, or could you by the testimony of honest, sober, and approved Christians, prove mee such an one, as you have decyphered me, it had beene a bro∣therly part, more Saint-like, and would have brought lesse scan∣dall to the Gospel, if you had pleased to have made knowne be∣tweene you and mee, wherein you conceived, or had been infor∣med, that I walked scandalously; and if I could not have cleared my selfe from all such wicked aspertions, and made it plainely ap∣peare, that it was a malicious evill report raysed causelessely, then if you had reproved me sharpely, you had done as a Christian ought to doe; For, to reprove sinne is warrantable, and an Argu∣ment of brotherly Love, Levit. 19. 17. but to receive a false report of me, or slily raise it up, and publish it in print, before you had laboured to restore mee in the spirit of meeknesse, according to the Apostles exhortation, Gal. 6. 1. or told me my fault betweene you and mee, and used all such other meanes to have gained a brother, as Christ our King and Law-giver hath commanded, Matth. 18. 15, 16, 17. is an open disobedience to his Royall Mandates, and doth demonstrate, that in all things you have not (as you pretend) obeyed Christ, nor made his will revealed in Gods Word your rule to walke by, and therefore you in this have not set him upon his Throne.
And to that hell-hatcht charge which you have brought against Page 619 mee, cunningly aspersing mee for a scandalous walker, &c.
I answer, that as the Devill spake in the subtill Serpent and be∣lyed God himselfe to our first Parents; so the Inventors of this notorious untruth, who ever they be, are of a serpentine nature, into whom the Devill is entered, and having a full possession, spea∣keth in them being subtill and active Instruments to report Lyes; and I am confident that upon due and just examination, it will ap∣peare they are some shamelesse infamous creatures set a worke by the Devill, and prompted by Sectaries, to defame mee; that there by the Gospel, my holy profession, and the wayes of God might be scandalized in blemishing my good name: and to have it with the more credit received, hee hath so ordered, That you must be the Herauld to proclaime their Devilish defamations, yet notwithstan∣ding my innocencie triumphs in the middest of blacke mouthes slanders, being fully assured that God in his due time, will make a cleare discovery of their wicked designe, for hee is above the De∣vill: And before the Lord, that seeth the secret thoughts, imagi∣nations, intentions of all men, in truth and faithfulnesse I speake it, I can, I doe, and by Gods grace ever shall, wash my hands in innocencie; yea, I call upon the righteous Judge, the God of Heaven and Earth, who knowes my innocencie to judge betweene you and mee herein: For, God is my witnesse, that I have indea∣voured to walke before him with an honest, sincere, faithfull, and upright heart, ever since hee gave mee the knowledge of himselfe. And during the time I was in the estate of nature, God by his pre∣venting and restrayning grace kept mee from living or delight∣ing in such sinnes, whereby any could truly charge me for a scan∣dalous Walker. Therefore in the presence of this great God, who of his free grace hath Elected, Called, and Justified me through faith in his Son the Lord Iesus Christ, not suffering me to turne aside, neither to the right hand nor to the left, out of the paths of truth and that lead to holinesse: I solemnly protest, and hold out my Pro∣testation to the view of the whole World; you have most inju∣riously wronged mee, in proclaiming mee to be such an one; For I am as blamelesse and free from your calumniations, as Naboth was from wicked Iezabels desperate plot, wherewith she tooke away his life, 1 King 21. 8, 9, 10. &c. and as innocent as Joseph, from the false accusations brought against him by his wanton, las∣civious, and shamelesse mistresse, Gen. 39. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, which Page 620 makes me bold to say, neither the Devill, any of his Instruments, no nor your selfe, in the words of truth, can prove the things whereof you have accused mee.
I shal here conclude my answer to this Charge with the Apostle Paul's words, 1 Cor. 4. 3, 4, 5. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of mans judgement: yea, I judge not mine own selfe. For I know nothing by my selfe, yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, untill the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darknesse, and will make mani∣fest the Councels of the heart: and then shall every man have praise of God.
Brother, I have been the larger in my reply to this particular be∣cause it is the foundation and main pillar that may seem to hold up all your other Calumnies; for if you could prove me to be a Scan∣dalous walker, to the shame of the very name of Christian Religion, then men might easily be perswaded to beleeve your whole Charg; But the foundation being so rotten and unfound, the superstructure cannot possibly stand.
I now proceed to the fourth particular, and my Answer there∣unto is, that no man of truth, worth, and piety, can justly taxe me either with basenesse or barbarism.
For the fifth particular, it is elevated very high, and because you have in this exceedingly bestirr'd your selfe, I am necessitated (for the clearing my self, & to vindicate the truth of what I have writ∣ten) to be somewhat large in my reply, that I may fully answer the Charge you bring against me therein, which is very great: viz. You accuse me to be one of the greatest Incendiaries in the Land, and to prove this you quote two passages in one of my bookes, and you bring them as two witnesses; for the confirmation thereof, the first is in my Preface pag. 28. the second in my Postcript pag. 45. Now these two witnesses of your own (say you) want but a Judge judicially to pronounce sentence whether these words be not of an In∣cendiary nature and that in a high degree: For who's so blind as doth not clearly see these fiery flashes and flames to fly in the face of that Army which God hath honoured with many Crowns of admirable Victories both at York, at Naseby, and at Lamport, with the recove∣ry of Leicester, Bridgewater, Bath, &c. so as God hath made this despised Army, the Preservative of City and Country, thePage 621Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of the pathes to dwell in. Thus you.
Brother, this accusation hath a Tower raised on the same Basis the whole Fabrick of your Charge is founded upon, and the foun∣dation being deep, you dare build so high as (if it were possible) to over-top truth, not fearing the fall of your Babel; but God, who is Truth it selfe, seeing the evill of your intentions, hath confoun∣ded your Language, as he did those builders who sought to get them∣selves a name, Gen. 11. 4, 5, 6, 7. And therefore it will fall not∣withstanding the height of its Tower. O what a confused relati∣on have you made to prove me an Incendiary! I assure you in all you have said, men of the clearest eye-sight, nay were they Eagle∣ey'd, they can never discerne any truth where with you make good that Charge which you say is so conspicuous to the view of all men: For those two witnesses that you produce, thus they speak (Preface pag. 28. saith) They have the sword now in their hand, and they think their party strong enough to encounter any adverse and opposing party, and they professe they care not how soon they come to cutting of throats, and speak of nothing but the slaughtering and bunchering of the Presbyterians, and therefore there is just cause given us to think we may expect better quarter from the very ene∣mies, then from the Independents. (Postscript testifieth) that the Independents boast they have such a party in the Kingdome, (if their own words may be credited) as they now think by the sword to be able to make their own laws; and have been frequently heard say, that they had many abbettors in the Assembly, and in both Houses of Parliament and in many parts through the Kingdome, besides in all the Armies; and they were all resolved to have the liberty of their consciences, or else they would make use of their swords, which they have already in their hands. So that most certain it is the Religion of too too many of them is a meer faction, &c. Now what these two have affirmed, can be corroborated by other witnesses, and if in your account he be an Incendiary that in detestation thereof hath set down their words by way of repetition to discover the danger of permitting such lawlesse spirits to go on in their unwarrantable wayes, what great Incendiartes are they that have imagined such things in their hearts and boldly spoken those words with their mouths? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, Matth. 12. 34. Luke 6. 45. as it can be proved Independents have Page 622 done; and so much the two witnesses you spake of said; and no more; for they accused not that Army, which God hath honoured with many Crowns of admirable Victories, &c. But you say, they cast fiery flashes and flames which do fly in the face of that Army, &c. Truly this is no other but a false Comment made by your selfe, from which you draw an evill inference, and then you cry out (as a man overcome with passion) saying, these words are not to be born: but I leave (say you) the judgement thereof to the wisdome and justice of the Parliament, whose former freeing of you extends not to cleare your words from being Incendiary. Thus farre you.
Brother, I professe I am heartily sorry to see that you my Quon∣dam Fellow Sufferer should so much forget your selfe, as not only bitterly, unworthily, and most falsly thus to inveigh against mee, but also to insinuate into the Parliament, as if they could not ma∣nifest their wisdome and justice, except they passe their judgement, and censure me according to your bill of Information. This vio∣lent prosecution, and your Canterburian expressions, make not me alone, but all other solid Christians wonder at your spirit: for you may please to call to mind, how one once professed he would not passe any sentence against You, my Brother Prynne, and My selfe, but left us as he said to the wisdome and justice of the Court, which was in the judgement of all that heard his whole speech, to pro∣nounce us so highly guilty, that if the Lords there present, did not severely censure us, they would shew themselves neither wise, nor just. This president you have exactly followed against me but it will never Crown your head with honour; and for the Par∣liament, it is their glory to slight troublesome informers: for should they hearken to every information invented and drawn up by the unsatisfied and turbulent spirits of some Independents, it would cloud their wisdome, and totally eclipse the shining of their Justice in our Horizon: But you cannot there obtain an Order to have your Bill taken pro confesso, and gain so much of the Parliament that I should not answer for my selfe; therefore I may and will speak for my selfe in my just defence and shew how unjustly you have accused me; And here I deny your Charg in every particular circumstance.
But before I returne my answer thereunto, you having given me such a Theam to speak upon, as the due acknowledgement of Page 623 Gods goodnesse in raising us up deliverers when City and Coun∣try were sorely afflicted and heavily oppressed on every side, in speaking of Gods providentiall care and severall actings in way of mercy to his people, I cannot omit (by way of thankfulnesse to God and men) to declare how that in the first place City and Country are deeply ingaged for ever next unto divine goodnesse to honour and highly esteem those Lords, Knights, Gentlemen, and Citizens who in the beginning of the Kingdomes troubles, like the Governours of Israel and the Princes of Issachar did offer them∣selves willingly among the people. Judges 5. 9. 15. whose very ap∣pearing in the cause was then of such concernment, that as it made the hearts of all who were truly godly to praise God for them, so thereby God made them the preservative of City and Country; Insomuch that upon serious consideration we shall find, that those Noble Lords, and all those brave Commanders that adhe∣red to them, who as Zebulon and Napthali jeoparded their lives un∣to the death, in the high places of the field, and exposed themselves to reproach, Judges 5. 18. are not to be over lookt, and their gallant undertakings obscured under a Sable cloud of unthankfulnesse, nor to be buried in the grave of Oblivion.
For, when the Kingdome was in greatest danger, then God made use of them to preserve Citie and Countrey, raysing an Ar∣my by Land, and setting forth a Navie at sea, under the commands of the Right Honourable, thrice Illustrious, Faithfull, Valiant, and for ever to be highly honoured Lords, Robert Earle of Essex, and Robert Earle of Warwicke, whom hee made by sea, and land, instrumentall for the good and welfare of the Kingdome; and the truth is, at this day, neither preservation nor safety could have beene expected in Citie and Countrey, as things then stood, had not these two Renowned Lords and Heroes, so nobly and undaun∣tedly appeared in the cause, & undertaken the charge, and care upon them, one to be Admirall of the Navie at sea, the other to be Ge∣nerall of the Parliaments forces by Land: For this their under∣taking was in such a juncture of time, that had they out of selfe re∣spects declined it, unlesse the Lord by a miracle had withstood and over-throwne our enemies, Citie and Countrey (in all probability) long before this time, would have beene over-run, and possessed by them, and no man should now have had peace in his going out or comming in: But by the valour, vigilancie, and faithfulnesse ofPage 624our then Noble Admirall, our Seas were safe-guarded, by which meanes, forraine enemies were awed, home-bred enemies weake∣ned, by surprizing many Ships, Armes, Ammunition, Instru∣ments, and Preparations for warre, which were sent over into England, for the destruction of Citie and Countrey; besieged Townes were by him relieved, as Lyme, Plymouth, &c. So that God made that Noble Lord by Sea▪ the preservative of Citie, and Countrey, which lay open ready to be destroyed by cruell and bloody enemies. And as the Earle of War wicke by Sea, so had not the Earle of Essex, being Generall of the Parliaments Armies by Land, beene an experienced Commander, faithfull to their cause, and with a most Heroick and undaunted courage stood to the Battle at Edge-hill (when by report whole Regiments ran away, and through feare deserted him) there now would have beene no safety in Citie and Countrey. What had become of Citie and Countrey when Bristow was lost, aud Gloucester closely besieged, which though it was a long time, even beyond expectation vali∣antly maintained by Colonell Massie the then Governour thereof, that ever to be honoured Gentleman, had it not by the care and valour of that Noble Lord beene seasonably relieved, it could not possibly have held longer out, but must have beene delivered up unto the Enemie, and have beene made a prey for the Spoylers, and then what peace or safetie would Citie or Countrie have in∣joyed? In a word, what had become of Citie and Countrie, if that Army under his command, and so gallantly incouraged by him had not incountered the enemies of our peace, and through Gods mercie victoriously discomfited their Forces severall times, as at Newbury, and at other places?
Truly it is by all, that will not manifest to the whole world that they are ungratefull to God, and unthankefull to men, ever to bee acknowledged, that the Earle of Essex, the Earle of War wicke, with those gallant Commanders, and Citizens in that Armie, and Navie commanded by them, deserve the first place of honour to be our preservers, some of whose names I shall by and by set downe, though I can never sufficiently set forth their prai∣ses and their merits, and to these many other worthy Generals must bee added with all those gallant Officers and Commanders under them, who commanded severall Armies, Regiments and Companies by Commissions from the Earle of Essex: as thePage 625Right Honourable, thrice Illustrious, Faithfull, Valiant, and for ever to be highly honoured Lord.
- Edward Earle of Manchester.
- The Earle of Denby.
- The Earle of Stanford.
- The Earle of Peterborrow, Ge∣nerall of the Ordnance at Keinton.
- The Lord Robert, Lord Martiall of the field.
- The Lord Fairfax, and his son
- Sir Thomas Fairfax his Excel∣lencie now Captaine Gene∣rall of the Forces raysed by the Parliament.
- The Lord Gray.
- The Lord Willoughby.
- Sir William Waller, Major Ge∣nerall.
- Sir Arthur Haslerig.
- Sir William Brereton.
- Sir William Balfour Generall of the Horse.
- Sir John Merrick Generall of the Ordnance.
- Sir Philip Stapleton, Lievete∣nant Generall of the Ord∣nance.
- Sir Samuel Luke, Colonell, Go∣vernour of Newport-Pannell.
- Sir Robert Pye Collonel.
- Sir Edward Dods-worth Knight. Commissary Generall for the Musters of the Cavallary, with the Earle of Essex Lord Generall His Excellencie.
- Sir Iohn Gell.
- Sir Edward Peatoe Lievtenant Generall of the Ordnance at Keinton.
- Sir Iohn Meldrum Collonel.
- Major Generall Skippon.
- Collonel Massie.
- Collonel Hollesse.
- Collonel William Davis.
- Collonel Iames Sheefeild.
- Collonel Thomas Shefeild.
- Collonel Richard Graves.
- Collonel Dolbier.
- Collonel Brown.
- Collonel Essex slaine at Keinton
- Collonel Morgan.
- Collonel More.
- Collonel Rossiter.
- Collonel King.
- Collonel Poyns.
- Collonel Terrell.
- Collonel Dodson.
- Collonel Goodwin.
- Major Hercules Langerish.
All these and many hundreds more, whose names are unknown to mee, none of the which were then Independents, yet whose fame, for their noble chivalry and gallantry in all their imploy∣ments, will live when Mortality is dead; and truly for every one of these I have by name set downe, they are all of them men ac∣complished for all heroicall vertue, and such as of whom severally Page 626 for their most excellent service, and severall engagements, even in difficultest times▪ I could make a large Discourse, and yet that would not sufficiently set forth their due prayses; for these first Actors under-went the heate of the day, and by their valour quel∣led the Enemy, as I have heard the Cavaliers themselves ac∣knowledge; and therefore all those noble Heroes and gallant Commanders, as I said before, have all of them primary right to that title Isay 58. 12. to be called the Repairers of the breach, the restorers of our pathes to dwell in; for as much as when we were in great fears and unavoydable ruin did seem to threaten both Church and State, then God moved all their hearts to appear in his cause, and made them the preservative of City and Country, Whose undertakings, performances, faithfulnesse, valour, and Noble prowesse, ought to be predicated, and recorded, that future generati∣ons may know their deliverers, and admire Gods goodnesse who gave them magnanimous spirits to appear and expose themselves to danger for the Kingdomes safety in such a time, when the peo∣ple were generally secure, ignorant of the miseries that were like to befall them, and their posterity, and so deluded with promises and protestations that the greater part in most Counties, with∣stood their own good, the peace and welfare of Church and State. And when the men in England lived delicately, and had been so long dandled in the lap of peace, that very few, none in compa∣rison, had ever seen the formidable face of a reall fighting Army, nor had ever beheld the furious countenance of bloody war, whilst she encountreth with her enemies, but were unacquainted and al∣together unexperienced with warlike affaires, and marshall disci∣pline: yea, when City and Country were in great distractions and eminent danger, and when all things both by sea and land, were to be accomplished for the preservation thereof, with all manner of disadvantages, and the greatest hazzard and difficulty, that men could possibly meet withall; and therefore I say again all these brave men have the primary right to be called the repairers of the breaches, the restorers of our pathes to dwell in.
And next unto these illustrious ones, I pray good Brother looke upon the famous Citie of London, and on all the true hearted ci∣tizens in it, who stood close to the Parliament in the most dange∣rous times, and first rescued their Members questioned, and pre∣served them all from the jawes of imminent danger, and after Page 627 that exposed themselves their lives, fortunes, and liberties in their quarrell, and stucke close to their cause, supplying them continu∣ally with Men, Monies, and Ammunition, and all manner of war∣licke accoutrements, without whish the whole Kingdome had beene miserable; Yea, in their owne persons in the Citie and in the Field they hazarded all their lives in the Parliaments and their countries service, so as they also may justly challenge a share in the next place to those noble Worthies above mentioned, to be coun∣ted the Repairers of our breaches, and Restorers of our paths to dwell in; and therefore I shall desire you Brother, and all those of your Fraternity to give the next place of honour to this Renow∣ned Citie. And whiles I am now speaking of such as have de∣served well, and merited the name (under God) of being pre∣servers of our pathes to dwell in: I pray let us not forget out bre∣thren the Scots whose faithfull service deserves eternall gratitude and an everlasting memory, who also stood in the breaches when we were but in a low condition, who for our assistance ex∣posed their own lives, fortunes and countries to the fury and rage of many a potent enemy, and indured incredible hardship at home and abroad, undergoing many miseries, and that at such a season of the year as was enough to have killed them, to lie in the field, and made their Country a prey for the spoilers, who used barba∣rous and mercilesse cruelties upon them, many of their brave and gallant commanders and gentlemen also dayly loosing their lives and wallowing in their own blood, and all for our preservations; and therefore they may, under God, duly challenge the third place of honour to be reputed the Repairers of our breaches and Restorers of our pathes to dwell in: whose kindnesse, brother, I could wish that those of your party may never forget.
And I may not whiles I enumerate those that have deserved the name of deliverers, omit here to speak of all the faithfull Pres∣byterian Ministers in this City as well as through Country, those Chariots and Horsemen of our Israel though now forgotten, ma∣ny of the which not onely ventered their lives in battell, but by holding up their hands as Moses did when the people of Israel fought against the enemy, and by the lifting up their hearts and voices to God with strong cryes made all our Armies abroad and our Counsells at home to prosper, and all our undertakings hap∣pily to succeed. Neither is that all, but by their wisdome vigilan∣cy, Page 628 and powerfull and perswasive preaching they were the prin∣cipall means under God of keeping the people here and every where in obedience to the Parliament by resolving their doubts, satisfying their scruples, and going before the people to their abi∣lities, yea (many of them to my knowledge out of zeal to the cause) beyond their abilities in all contributions, animating and incouraging others to bring in their Plate and Moneys and what∣soever was of price and esteem with them exhorting them now if ever to stand for their Religion, Lives, Liberties and the Liberty of the Subject: And as by their indeavours they did exceeding∣ly promote the cause through City and Country; so many of them did the Parliament very good service in discovering secret and powerfull enemies by which they were disabled to do mis∣chiefe. In a word I peremptorily assert it, that next under God the whole Kingdome are bound to be thankfull to the Ministers who strengthned the hands and hearts of the souldiers everywhere to battell and made them stick close to their severall Commanders and Captaines, who without their souldiers could never have done any thing of moment for our deliverance; and all the peo∣ple through the associated Counties especially may thank their painfull and faithfull Ministers that they now live in peace and tranquillity under their severall Vines and Figtrees; and therefore the condemnation of those men sleeps not that for all their Mi∣nisters care for them and their pains taken both to preserve them in a bodily being and for converting their souls, in lieu of thank∣fulnesse do not onely reproach them with odious and infamous names, but would deprive them also of their livelyhoods and take away their tythes from them. Such ingratitude was never heard of in any nation before, but there was eminent danger in∣sued upon it; for in the second of the Chronicles the last chapter, when the Lord sent his Prophets and Servants amongst them ear∣ly and late calling them to repentance, and the people despised them, it is related that they provoked God so much by it, as there was now no remedy and medicine left to cure the nation: I pray God the same may not happen to this ungratefull nation, who you brother and your complices have inraged against our faithfull and zealous Ministers, who notwithstanding whatsoever the Inde∣pendent party can say, may challenge also a share and that a great one in that honour to be counted the Repairers of our breaches andPage 629the Restorers of our paths to dwell in; and all this before the bat∣tell of Yorke and Nazeby, in both which the Independents did not do all the service as is pretended, and who all of them have deserved as well from the Parliament and the whole Country as before.
This, brother Burton, being premised, I come now to answer your Charge (which as I formerly said) I do absolutely deny.
And here I affirme that after these two noble Earls, and other of our honourable and ever to be highly renowned worthies, ceased from their warlike imployments and commands by sea and land; The Army which God hath since made the preservative of City and Country, It is that Army under the Command of his Excellency Sir THOMAS FAIRFAX (which is imployed in all parts and quarters of this Kingdom) whom with the whole body, I honour, and every particular member thereof, as they have done worthily. And whereas you accuse me to be an Incendiary, and say those forecited words are flashes and flames to fly into the face of that Army, I am ready upon oath to depose, that it is a false mischievous Calumny conceived in the fiery brain of some Inde∣pendent, and brought forth into the world by your strong passi∣on. Further I averre there is none so blind but they can discerne a mystery of iniquity in your expressions: for it is generally known That there are many more Presbyterians then Independents in that Army, yea ten to one, which God hath now made victorious every where, and of them as valiant men as ever drew sword, or wore iron, being experienced Souldiers, gallant Stormers, and as a man may say, even the Cream of the Kindome, and the whole •eareth its denomination from the greater part, or the better, which the Independents are not.
Now looking on the Army as it is united to one head under the command of one chiefe Generall, and whether dispersed East, West, North, South, yet hath acted together to be the Preservative of City and Country, is that the victorious despised Army you speak of? No, no, you will not hear of that, but you divide that Army which God hath made so instrumentall for the Kingdomes safety, and you overlook the greatest part thereof as if they were uselesse men and had done nothing for the preservation of City and Country; this may prove the work of an Incendiary indeed, what? will you attribute all the honour of those many glorious Page 630 victories which God hath crowned the whole Army with, but onely to a part of that Army? This is a derogating and dividing language, yet as in your writings, so in the publike Assemblies, and where ever any Independents preach or pray, you, and they, agree in this language, saying, It is the godly party, the praying people, that despised Army, that some speak evill of, that God hath done such great things by. Now none are called nor accounted the godly party with you and those of your judgement, but Independents and Sectaries; so that it is plain you give all that Honour which is due to the whole Army, onely to the least part thereof; by which course you endeavour to divide in the esteem and opinion of men that Army, which God and the State have joyned and made one. But for my part, God is my witnesse so far have I been from cast∣ing fiery flashes and flames to flie in the face of that Army or any part of it, that I have, I do, and ever shall acknowledge, all the Worthies of that Army have done gallantly, and that for their wisdome, faithfulnesse, valour, and victories they are ever to be re∣nowned, the whole body have purchased perpetuall honour, and the Kingdome is bound to ascribe to God all praise and glory: But herein you are failing, when you divide that Army, as by your ex∣pressions you plainly do, and upon all occasions sacrifice to your own net, by which practice you seek what lies in you to discou∣rage the hearts and weaken the hands of the body of that Army, and to cast secret Fire-brands, which may break forth into flames of discontent, and so cause hot and burning Emulations amongst our valiant and couragious Heroes, when they hear and see them∣selves slighted, and quite stripped of the honour and due praises that God hath made them equall shares of. We read 1 Sam. 18. 6▪ 7. When the women came forth to meet King Saul, with joy and singing, answering one another (and as they chanted out their notes, running division in their songs) said, Saul hath slain his thou∣sands, and David his ten thousands, that their ascribing more to Da∣vid then to Saul made him very wrath, and the saying displeased him, (yea it wrought sad effects) yet they did not ascribe all the honour of the victory to David; for they allowed Saul his thou∣sands: But you deal not so impartially and ingenuously with that Army, which God hath now made the Preservative of City and Country, &c. Certain it is such writings, prayers and dividing practices are of a dangerous consequence, if not of an Incendiary Page 631 nature. You proceed to double your Charge, and in the 26. Page of your book thus expresse your selfe, further (say you) to disco∣ver your spirit against those Worthies in the Army, you go about to eclipse the glory of that famous victory at Marston-moore; for spea∣king contemptuously of it, you say, some of the Independents stood to it in the Battell of York, when others of them ran away; for they ran as well as others: and if they be not Lyars all the other Indepen∣dents had ran away too, and left the field, if they had known what had happened in the other parts of the Army: Then you make what construction your own fantasie frameth and dictates unto you up∣on those words in my Postscript Page 68. after which you go on in your discourse, saying, I can produce those that were actors in that Battell and are no Independents, that affirme, there was no run∣ning away at all, of those whose valour you so vilifie: yea, though they did perceive how the matter went with some, as when a whole body flies, a thing with no great difficulty to be discerned. So you.
Brother, I entreat you take a view of what you have said, and then consider the incongruity of your relation; for can it be proper∣ly said that it is a discovering of my spirit against those Worthies in the Army, and a seeking to eclipse the glory of that famous Victory at Marston-moor and a speaking contemptuously of it, because I say some of the Independents stood to it in the Battell at York, when others ran away? Let all rationall men judge, for surely there cannot be a greater contradiction, nor more confusion of lan∣guage. What? is it a discovering of my spirit against those Wor∣thies in the Army, to say they stood to it in the Battell at Yorke? Doth it not rather crown their heads with Lawrell, and speak ho∣nour to their persons who ever they were that did stand to it in the Battell of either party, whether Presbyterians or Indepen∣dents? for as some of both parties did run away, yet divine pro∣vidence so ordered it (that God alone might have the glory) that some of both parties valiantly stood to it; and thus much is in part acknowledged by your selfe, when you say, you can produce those that were actors in that ▪Battell, and are no Independents, &c. So that by your own confession they were not all Independents, (no nor the greatest part according to the relation of many, who were also actors in that Battell) by whom God gave us that famous Vi∣ctory. Then this is out of question. I but (say you) those actors af∣firme that there was no running away at all, of those whose valourPage 632you so much vilifie, &c. Brother, judge not rashly, but assure your selfe, I have more man-hood in me then to vilifie true valour; for I professe I do, and ever shall honour a Valiant man, whosoe∣ver he be. But is speaking the truth, and ascribing to all our Wor∣thies their due honour without respect of persons, become a vili∣fying of Valour with you? this is Independent Rhetorick, and so deep, that every one as yet doth not understand it, neither will I here undertake to unfold the meaning and Mystery of it; onely give me leave without offence to tell you, That if any do affirm there were no Independents that ran away, when others stood to it in the Batell at York, their affirmation is most false, though happily unknown to them so to be: now their ignorance herein may con∣vince you of your errour, and bring you to the knowledge of this truth, viz. that one Wing of an Army, may be discomfited and flying, yet in the heat of the battle the other Wing being deeply in∣gaged at that present time, may not know how it fareth with them nor see their flight, and if a whole Body be worsted as the wind may set and drive the smoak, the ingaged party cannot possibly presently discern it. Thus it was at that famous battle at Marston-moore, as I have been informed by such as were Actors in that Battle both Presbyterians and Independents. And that some Independents did then run away as well as others, and of them not a few, nor all of the meanest rank and quality, is a reall truth: But if you will not give credit to what I say, that you may not hereafter with such great confidence put in Print false informations as you too too often do, I refer you to Leiutenant Coll: Iohn Lilburne, who was there at the beginning of that Battel; and for your better satisfaction enquire of him, whether some In∣dependents did not run away, and also whether I have spoken any thing concerning that Battell, but what he himselfe knows, and hath reported for a truth, as can be proved. I could tell you the names of some Independents that did run away & those not a few and none of the least esteem amongst you; but I forbear, unlesse to cleer the truth I am inforced thereunto; for I know, that upon a discomfiture in the day of battell, gallant men, valiant, and expe∣rienced souldiers, have sometimes been glad to run: And there∣fore what I there writ in my Post-script, was not to vilifie any, but to give to every man his due honour which you and others of your Judgement did then, and still do most injuriously rob and Page 633 wholly strip them of, who dissent from your opinions; and if e∣ver you, or any of your party, shall so far prevail with the honou∣rable Court of Parliament, to question me for those words, I doubt not, but as formerly I have found Justice, so then I shall finde the like, and be cleered both by Lords and Commons, from the reproach of being an Incendiary.
Truly brother Burton, when I read your lines, and see how much you ascribe unto men, and how little you speak of God upon all oc∣casions, I cannot but wonder: for the truth is, in all your language you never speak of your party, who you call the confiding men, the wel-affected in the Army, the godly party, but you count them and them only the saviours of the Kingdome, the restorers of our paths to walk in, and this is your own dialect, God is not so much as named many times to my knowledge in your ordinary discourses: although God hath given a caveat against such expressions and speakings, Deut. 9. where the Lord charged all his people by a threefold prohibition that they should not ascribe the glory or ho∣nour of their victories to their own righteousnesse, or to their own arme (which is the Independents dayly practice to say their party have done all) to teach all men that there is nothing that more dis∣pleaseth God then to give his glory to men that can deserve no∣thing at his hands who is ever to have the sole glory and honour of casting the horse and rider into the sea; yea in expresse words it is often declared in holy Scripture, that God can save by few as well as by many, and that a King is not saved by the multitude of an host, and that the horse is prepared for the battell, but God gives the victory; and all this to teach us ever to give the glory of all victories to God onely and to ascribe the honour to him. Now then when we have so many witnesses that God is the Saviour of his people and the Restorer of our paths to dwell in, and a speciall command to give him the praise of it; how is it Brother, that there is nothing in your mouth more frequent, yea in your Pamphlets and prayers, then that those men you call the godly party in the Ar∣my have done the whole work in this War, yea and are the only saviours of the people and the healers up of our breaches and the restorers of our paths to dwell in? robbing both God of his glory and all the other gallant men that indeed under God did the work of their due honour and praises, who had in all respects a far greater share in all the victories obtained against the enemy, as being farre Page 634 better souldiers and better Christians and valianter men, and the more in number by far ten to one then the Independent party. And that both at Marston-moore and Naseby, as in its due place will ap∣pear to all future ages.
But because Brother you have particularized the Battell at Mar∣ston-moore, ascribing the glory of that victory wholy to your party, and extreamly wrongfully accuse me about that businesse, I shall here therefore set down what I find writ by a stedier hand then yours concerning that Battell, and by such an one as I know would not divulge an untruth to the world: neither would I have made use of his testimony, not withstanding I know the truth of it, but that I am able my selfe to prove what he hath writ by a cloud of witnesses that were there and received many wounds in that Bat∣tell, and against whom there can be brought no just exception: the words of the Author are these.
In this Battell, saith he, (speaking of Marston-moore) divers gallant men of both Nations had an honourable share of the Victory: but none I hear of, without disparagement to any, did appear so much in action that day with gallantry, as David Lesley.
Here those of the party we spake of a little before: (viz. the Secta∣ries and Independents) to indear themselves to the people, attribute unto themselves the honor of the day, and stick not to call one of theirs the Saviour of the three Kingdoms, when god knows he that they then did extoll so much, did not appear at all in the heat of the businesse; having received at the first a little scar, he kept off till the worst was past. This had not been spake of at all (saith the Author) if some idle men to gull the world had not given the honor of the day to those who had but little or no share in it.
And all this that this Author relateth can be proved by an Iliad of witnesses to be true▪ and as this testimony is true, so many more witnesses, and those men of reputation, can be brought to prove that the victory hath been wholly ascribed unto the Independent party in other Battells and Skirmishes when they have been many miles of from the very place; and if there be but any commander of their party in any imployment though he strike but one stroke, then he carries away all the honour from the rest, and they have their pentionary pen-men both in the Army and at London to do this feat for them, to give them the praise and honour of it, to in∣deare themselves into the people, and all to delude them; and so it Page 635 was at that Battell; the Presbyterians underwent the heat of the day, and the Independents challenge the honour. Thus much Bro∣ther you have forced me to speak, and now I go on.
Brother, for the other particulars which to please your selfe, and set forth your passion, you charge me withall, I will answer them as they lie. And here I protest before the Lord, I have never dealt dishonestly, nor Serpent-like with you nor any creature living, or that ever did live upon the earth: Also that my heart is sound unto my God, firme, and filled full with Christian Love to all that fear his Name, and walk before him in truth and sincerity. And for my brain, it is not so shallow, but that through the wisdome which is given me of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, Jam. 1. 5. I can discern into the depth of Error, and am able by Gods assistance to make it appear to all whose eyes are open to see the clear sun-shine of the truth, That the way of your Independency is not grounded on the Word of God, but its rice, continuance, and in∣crease hath for the foundation thereof, onely the fantasie, ambition, private interest, self-seeking, and cunning practices (with a seeming hollownesse) of some subtill and unstable spirits. And likewise, for the whole universe, I assure you it never did nor never can bring in a just verdict, and say, I am a man not onely whose heart is divided but whose head is, &c. For the whole universe hath been and is so far from bringing in any such verdict, that grave, learned, god∣ly, zealous, and holy men (in the Reformed Churches) have given in another verdict of me, whose Testimonies I can shew for my godly Life, Learning, and blamelesse Conversation, whilest I lived amongst them beyond the Seas; and I have the like from the most eminent, godly, learned men where ever I have inhabited in this Kingdome; yea, many Letters of late time I have received from godly learned men both at home and abroad that have read my Books, whose faces I never saw, and by them it plainly appeareth that the chiefe, pious, orthodox, learned men of the whole universe, esteem of me as a man of piety and learning, and not (according to the Character you have given of me) as a man not onely whose heart is divided, but whose head is, &c. Therefore I having such a plaister made by such conscionable, skilfull, and learned Phisitians and men of reputation, it is approved of by all that are rationall and godly, to be efficacious not onely to salve this sore, but to keep from festering, and perfectly heal up the severall wounds I have Page 636 recived from you and your fraternity, although you have all cut deep, and many wayes, wounding me in my Religion, in my Repu∣tation, in my good Name, (all which are more precious unto me, then my life) and then with one blow indeavouring to divide my heart and head, to make the wounds irrecoverably mortall. But if such actions proceed from Independent principles, and the new light they pretend to walk by, doth guide you or any of them into these wayes, seeing such instruments of cruelty are in their ha∣bitations (to murther innocent men in their good names, which is greater cruelty and more wrong to an honest godly man, then to take away his naturall life) with good old Jacob Gen. 49. 6. I say, O my soul come not thou into their secret: unto their Assembly mine honour be not thou united, &c. Now to conclude my Answer to your Charge, where you speak of me as if I were mad.
Thus the Prelaticall faction in their time spake of me and of all who in sincerity and uprightnesse of heart opposed their erroneous opinions, unwarrantable wayes and sinfull practises: and it is no new thing for such who wander from the truth to walk in the by∣paths of error, and to think and speak of any that hold out and maintain the truth, that they are mad and besides themselves; thus Festus thought and spake of Paul Act. 26. 25. And thus it hath pleased you (cunningly, but more scornfully) to speak of me; yet as the Apostle replyed to him, so I do to you, I am not mad (Bro∣ther and Fellow Sufferer) but speak forth the words of truth and so∣bernesse. And here in the words of truth and sobernesse I averre, whereas you say, Pag. 25. there wants but a Judge judicially to pronounce sentence on the former repeated words in my Postscript, that it is obvious to all men you assumed the place of a Judge, (though not a judiciall one) and have proceeded so far, not onely to pronounce an unjust sentence against me, but by your usurped authority to judge my heart, which power is peculiar to God alone Who searcheth the hearts and tryeth the reines Psal. 7. 9. Jer. 11. 20. and will give to every man according to his wayes, and accor∣ding to the fruit of his doing, Jer. 17, 10. Revel. 2. 23.
Yea, further I say, there is none so weak-sighted, but they may plainly see, how you, and other Independents, do make it your master∣piece to use dividing and traducing language, slighting all men that differ from your opinions, as if they had neither piety, wit, nor lear∣ning in them. And were not you grown very skilfull in these fa∣culties,Page 637 you would never have falsly accused, sat Judge, condemned the whole man, and then have turned Executioner, to divide my heart and head as you have done. For all which the Lord humble you low before him, giving you repentance not to be repented off; and never lay these your causlesse, passionate, unadvised, and un∣brotherly dealings with me, unto your Charge.
But before I passe on, good brother give me leave here a little to parly with you.
You say Pag. 25. There wants but a Judge judicially to pronounce sentence on the former words in my Postscript, &c. But that needs not, you have already done it for your purpose, though not judi∣cially; but it seems you would have me judged twice for one and the s•me but conceived offence, which is very tyranny; yea I must tell you that you have proceeded in your censure already against me, contrary unto all the laws of God, Nature and Nations, and all humanity; yea by a more tyrannicall law then that of the High Commission Court or Star-Chamber, all which by Gods assistance I shall evidently make appear.
For the manner of proceeding in all Courts of Justice appointed by God (to say nothing how they never condemn a man twice for one and the same but conceived crime) was, that none should be condemned but by the mouth of two or three witnesses. And by the law of Nations their Courts of Justice were ever open to im∣plead any prevaricators against their laws, observing ever an or∣dinary way and manner of proceeding in them, which were ap∣pointed by the Statutes and Ordinances of their several Countries.
Now the conditions and requisites for a Judiciall Proceeding, were.
First, that the parties questioned should first be cited and sum∣moned into the Court, and this was to be done either by Articles or Bill, or Allegation, Libell or Petition, Information or Accu∣sation exhibited into the Court against the pretended Delinquent, before any Sentence could passe against him.
Secondly the party accused was to be heard speak and plead for himself before Sentence might pass against him, except he wilfully neglected the Summons and so declined his appearance: for so it was ordered by the law of God and practised by all his people in the worst times, as we may see in Nicodemus, who to convince the Jews of injustice in their proceedings against the Lord of life, Page 638 said unto Christs enemies, Doth our law condemn any man before we have heard him? Yea, this was Gods own method before the destroying of Sodom and Gomorrah, who came down to see and know whether al things were according to the cry that was come up into the Court of Heaven: And it was the practice of all Judges and in all Courts of Judicature to proceed secundum allegata & probata, the parties ever being brought before them face to face, or o∣therwise they did not judicially pronounce sentence against them.
Thirdly, all things were to be proved by sufficient witnesses and by men without exception, such as were people of worth and credit, of no infamous and beastly life, and by such as bare no grudg or hatred against the party questioned, and against whom the party accused could pretend no just exception: for all men know that ma∣lice can neither think, speak, or write wel of any they malign (wit∣nesse your book against me) so that if the party complained a∣gainst could make it appear that the witnesses were his mortall e∣nemies, and that they were men or people of a vitious life and con∣versation or guilty of any heinous crimes and offences, and with▪ all that they were enemies and implacable adversaries unto him, there was then a caution in law that such men might be excepted against, and their testimony was not to be admitted without there were other more apparent evidence of the truth. And although the High Commission and Star-Chamber were the most corrupt Courts in the Kingdome, yet even in those Courts there was an appearance of justice in this kind, so that if any man had any just exception against any mans testimony, if it did not totally over∣throw their witnesse, which it many times did, yet it so enerva∣ted their evidence that it was never so valid and prejudicall to him as otherwise it would have been; as you your selfe can witnesse it was in my cause in the High Commission Court, where I making it appear by sufficient witnesse that Thomas Newcomin and John Danet, and Richard Daniel had formerly been expunged in the Chancery for Knaves, and had for that out of malice put me up into it, were all my adversaries and perjured varlots, their testi∣mony by the whole Court was rejected, and they were by them all accounted a company of Knaves all over soul and body, for so some of the Court said of them, and I was onely condemned for my book: And this part of Justice in many causes remained even Page 639 in those Courts in the worst of times; & in all Courts of the world there was ever leave and liberty given unto the accused to make his just defence and bring in the evidences of his own innocency and non-guiltinesse, & his just exceptions against both his accusers prosecutors and witnesses, and this by the very law of nature, for so said Festus, that it was not the manner of the Romans to con∣demn any before they had been brought face to face with their ad∣versaryes, and that they had bin fully heard what they could speak for themselves: for otherwise if they had condemned any without either of the former conditions, they had not proceeded according to law nor condemned them judicially.
Fourthly, those that are judged judicially, and according to the Lawes of God and nations, they must ever be within the ju∣risdiction of that Court, and of those that judge them, and un∣der their Lawes. Neither doe any wise Judges take any cogni∣zance of things without their jurisdiction: and if any should bee so unjust or unadvised to attempt any such thing, the party accu∣sed hath the benefit of his Appeal, as wee see in the cause of Paul, when hee appealed from the Tribunall of the Jewes to Caesars Barre. And all men know, that the Courts of one Countrey doe not judge and condemne the subjects that dwell in an other, and that are under an other government; yea, the Courts secular, and the Courts Ecclesiasticall, even in the same Kingdomes and Com∣mon-wealths doe not intermeddle with one an others imploy∣ments, except it be by speciall appeale which is granted unto them by some caution upon just occasions, but they leave each Court to the managing of those causes that are of speciall cognizance there and within their jurisdiction; for otherwise it would breed con∣fusion speedily in a Country, and therefore those distinct Courts and Jurisdictions take the cognizance of those things onely that are peculiar and proper to themselves, and within their spheare, and never intermeddle and exercise any power over others that are out of their jurisdictions, be they never so facinorous, or accused of never so high a crime; yea, if any information or accusation be put up against any man into any Court, be it true or false, if the Judges conceive that the parties impleaded against belong unto an others jurisdiction they will send them thither to be judged, and decline sentencing of them; and this method of judgement the very Law of nature teacheth all men; yea Pontius PilatPage 640 though a most wicked and unjust Judge, yet understanding that Christ was of Galilee, of which Herod was the Tetrarcke or Go∣vernour, and conceiving him to be under Herods jurisdiction he sends him forthwith unto Herod, intimating that the examina∣tion and tryall of his cause peculiarly belonged unto him, if Christ were judicially to be proceeded against. Yea, Paul himselfe saith, What have I to doe to judge those that are without? Those that were without in Pauls opinion, and under an other jurisdiction, hee professed that hee had nothing to doe with them.
The fifth thing required for the judiciall proceeding and hand∣ling of any cause, is this, that they that are to be Iudges may not be both parties, witnesses, prosecutors, Iury, and Iudges in the same cause; for it they be, they cannot be said judicially to give sen∣tence. All that I now write unto you Brother, I am confident your conscience tels you is just and true. Now in all nations and well governed Kingdomes and countries, if there have beene any faylings in either of these conditions and requisites, the subjects have the benefit of the Law against both their Prosecu∣tors and Iudges, and may appeale unto the King, or supreame Court of judicature in the Kingdom, & crave justice there against such Iudges, and such proceedings, and if they cannot obtaine justice there, God will call them to an account one day for it: for, in the judgement of all men such proceedings have ever beene counted illegall and unjust, and all those Iudges that have at any time given sentence, without observing those rules and conditi∣ons, did never censure any man judicially, neither can their judge∣ment be said to be judiciall in any just mans understanding.
Now Brother, if your proceeding against mee be examined by these rules, and by such men as are judicious and truly godly without faction, you will not be thought judicially to have censu∣red & condemned me: for it is most certain you have not in all the carriage of this busines beene a judiciall Iudge; for in this your sentence you have gone against all the Lawes of God and nature; yea & against the practice of the most corrupt Courts in the world, in that you have accused me, arraigned me and condemned mee, without either Articles, Bill, Libell, (saving your owne Booke) allegation or information, and without any lawfull citation into your Court, or any Court, you have also condemned mee before Page 641 I knew who were my Accusers, and that without hearing mee ever speake for my selfe; yea, you have condemned and ad∣judged me an innocent man withou any lawfull witnesse; for as I am not conscious to my selfe of ever having done any thing that deserves convention before any Court of Iud icature in this world, much lesse to have sentence given against mee, so I am most assu∣red that if ever these your dealings against mee shall be brought to a tryall, and a judiciall hearing indeed, as they may be, if the time once grows more quiet; I shall make it clearly and evidently appeare, that the ground of this your beastly accusation brought against me, viz. that I am a scandalous Walker to the shame of the very name of Christian Religion, did first arise from one of the most infamous & notorious creatures, though an Independent, that now lives upon earth for all manner of villanies, a shame & disho∣nor to her name & kindred, known to be one of the most prodigious impudent Whores that is this day in the world, except the Whore of Babylon; and yet originally and primarily from that creature, or from such as are as bad as her selfe, have you groun∣ded your most unbrotherly and extra judicall judgement against mee, and so you have made your selfe party, witnesse, Iury and Iudge in this your owne cause, and which is more have condem∣ned one that is in your opinion without, and out of your juris∣diction; whereas Paul had taught all Christs Disciples by a Sta∣tute Law from Heaven, that they should not judge those that are without: now you account mee and all the Presbyterians to bee enemies of Iesus Christ, and such Saints as Iob would not set with the dogs of his flocke, and proclayme us all the sonnes of Belial, as your learned Works can sufficiently witnesse; and there∣fore you account us all without, and yet you condemne me, and that in the face of the whole world, as guilty of all those foule crimes you charge me with, whereas you had nothing to doe with mee, I being out of your jurisdiction: I pray tell me courteous Brother, whether this your proceeding be to set up Christ as King upon his Throne, and be judicially to condemne any Brother? when it is apparently manifest by these your actions you trans∣gresse all the Lawes of Christ our King, and trample them under your feet? for Christ hath taught all his people and subjects, say∣ing, Matth. 18. If thy brother offend thee, tell him of it betweene him and thee, &c. and againe, hee hath said, judge not lest yee bePage 642judged, and againe, there shall be judgement without mercy to him that shewes no mercy; againe God hath said, hee that condemnes the righteous, and hee that justifies the wicked, they are both an abo∣mination to the Lord; whether therefore by all these your proceed∣ings against mee you have not violated all these most holy Lawes and Statutes, I shall leave to the judgement of others. Brother you may remember in the 17. page of your Booke, speaking there what you will doe when you come to my Postscript (which you have finely performed) you aske mee whether or no, when you make mention of it my mind doth not misgive me? your words are these, which when I mention here (say you) doth not your mind misgive you? for answer I tell you no: for I am able to prove every word of that Booke by sufficient witnesse, and out of the very Independents writings; yea, their daily practises have made good every period of it, and so farre I am that my mind should misgive mee at the mention of it for doing my duty, that I will with all speed print it againe with some little inlargement concerning your New-lights, and other of your grolleries. But this by the way. But because Brother, you take that liberty to propound now and then questions to me, I will here also use the same freedome with you: Therefore tell me I pray the next time I heare from you, whether or no your mind doth not misgive you when I mention your bookes, and when you thinke what you have done against mee in thus condemning mee, and adjudge∣ing an innocent man, and your quondam Fellow-sufferer? Brother had you to deale with some man, hee would recriminate, which would not be for your honour; but for the present I con∣tent my selfe to have declared my innocency; only by the way consider what you did to my reverend Brother, Master George Walker, a man to whom you were so much ingaged to; and when I mention him, doth not your heart misgive you? But enough of this.
Now before I conclude this my parley with you; I will say thus much concerning your new Courts, in your new gathered Churches, if this be your way of proceedings there, to be witnesse, party, Iury, and Iudge in your owne cause, and when you have given sentence against the innocent if ther be no appeale: then your Courts are worse, and more tyrannicall then that of the High Commis∣sion, or Star-chamber; and for ought I know all such arbitraryPage 643Courts as your are, and all such arbitrary and unjust Iudges as you are, may as well be questioned, censured and put downe, for all these your illegall, unjust, and extrajudicall proceedings, as either they or any other tyrannicall Courts were; and truly it concernes the whole Kingdome now seriously to looke about them, and to have a speciall eye to your Jndependent proceedings and Iudgements: for if they bee not timely looked unto, all the repairing of our breaches, and all the restoring of our pathes to dwell in which you make men∣tion of, will be no such thing to the poore Presbyterians, who cannot already passe quietly in the streets for you: nor any man avoyd your uniust censures, nor the filth both of your tongues and pens, which you cast in our faces every step wee goe. The Lord rebuke you for these your revilings. Truly Brother, I see a divine hand of justice against you in many passages, though you looke loftily, and speake great swelling words, in all which you breath out hell, and your own shame, the Lord I hope in time will discover unto you all your vanity, and sinfulnesse. I will say thus much of you, that whiles you used the sharpenesse of your parts against the common enemy, you were very serviceable to the Church of God; but now turning the edge of them against your Christian brethren▪ you have through their sides both wounded your selfe, and all those of your party, as I am most assured they will all assert. Yea, I can ascertaine you of this, that it is exceedingly admired by many, that you having beene some yeares in captivity under the Prelates tyrannie, should continue such a trewant in the schoole of affliction, as not yet to have learned the lesson of patience, so that you cannot digest a merry word, or but a conceived Iest. But this they are most of all stranged at, that out of the height and greatnesse of your spirit you will strike your enemy, though it be through the sides of Religion, and the Christian cause; and truly this your dealing with all your Christian brethren, especially with my selfe, cals for deepe and serious repentance at your hands.
For my part, I freely forgive you, and do professe it is a griefe unto my soul that you have drawn me out with such violence in forcing me to encounter with you by name; it's true, the errone∣ous wayes, opinions and false lights (under the name of new) late∣ly held forth, I did and cannot but write against, they being con∣trary to sacred writ; yet you my Brother, and Quondam Fellow Sufferer, I reverenced and did ever love, honour and esteem, and Page 644 had it not been to wipe off those black reproaches wherewith you have laboured to besmear me all over, making me appear to the world as a man spotted and defiled with scandalous walking, an Hypo∣crite, a Persecutor, a mad man, &c. I professe out of tender respect to your person, and sufferings, as I have hitherto spared your name, so I would now have over lookt your false aspersions; but seriously considering the great and deep Charge you have brought against me (wounding truth thorow my sides) upon the due deliberation thereof, I plainly perceived without dishonouring God, and being cruell to my self, I could not be silent, for that my taciturnity might cause truth & the ways of God to be evil spoken of, and give an oc∣casion to censorious spirits to vote me guilty of those Malversations wherewith you so slily & unjustly have accused me; all which my soul hates and ever did utterly abhor; therefore although I was for∣warder to pity your passion, and more desirous to pass by your mis∣carriages, then to take notice of them, or divulg the weaknesses and too too grosse failings of you my Brother; yet your Charge being of a high nature and published in Print, it necessitated me to reply lest I should seem to approve of the murthering of my good name; So that meerly to preserve the life thereof, you have extracted from me these lines, that men may know it lies upon you to prove it, (for I stand upon my justification and protest against every one of your foul Calumnies, as notorious untruths:) And likewise that all who fear the Lord may be fully assured, however you have ren∣dred me to the world as one who hath a name to live but am dead, (so that I may stink in the opinion of such as are holy) yet I do live to my God, who I doubt not will discover the bottome and mystery of this iniquity. For herein you have dealt with me as the Papists did with Reverend and Learned Mr John Calvin, rai∣sing and publishing untruths, accusing him for a scandalous walker, and as guilty of abominable sins, making his very name odious; And by their false reports they blinded the eyes of the people, causing them stil to imbrace & continue in Error, and so hardned their hearts against him, that they would not hearken unto nor beleeve those precious Gospel-truths which he maintained; but as their wicked practices were discerned by all (that with humble hearts received the truth in the love thereof that they might be saved) so I am confi∣dent the Lord Jehovah will bring forth my righteousness as the light, and my judgement as the noone day, Psal. 37. 6. And will causePage 645mine adversaries to be clothed with shame and to cover themselves with their own confusion as with a mantle, Psal. 109. 29. that all the World may see and know your Charg hath no truth in it, but is an Independent plot, invented and spread abroad to defame me and cause the people to suspect, slight and disregard those sound Scrip∣ture truths I hold forth and constantly maintain.
Thus far I have answered your false accusations: And in the presence of God I solemnly protest this is a true answer.
Brother, I would here gladly dismisse the Reader, for willingly I over look many of your invectives without mentioning of them; But I find two or three passages more to which you engage me to speak, for the clearing the truth of what I have written (in my Postscript Page 68.) concerning Independents; as also to answer a complaint you have made against me: And lastly to resolve two quaeries which you have propounded unto me, and in these I shall endeavour fully to satisfie you and all men.
But first, as a Phisitian and a faithfull Friend, avoyding all flat∣tery; I cannot but truly relate unto you the dangerous condition I find you in; for I assure you, I feel your pulse beates very high, and I see you have a vein puft up with windy matter, and I per∣ceive you are swoln with pernicious and corrupt humors, and that Choler exceedingly abounds in you, insomuch as you breath forth ••rong revilings and defamings against those that never wronged you, and make loud exclamations as if I were a man of no Re∣ligion, Piety, Wit, or Learning, because I have (as for truths sake I was induty bound) truly stated the Question of difference be∣tween the Presbyterians and Independents, and made it appear that INDEPENDENCY is not GODS ORDINANCE, nor grounded on the holy Scriptures: and that the practice of Indepen∣dents and the way they plead for, will prove destructive to Church and State. Now as I am grieved to see it, so I wonder at the suddain distemper and great heat you are fallen into, which makes you talk so much, and that against me by name, more then against others; wherereas before I writ, and since, many have (and one more especially) in part discovered the sinfull practices of Inde∣pendents, the evill and unwarrantablenesse of their new way; And how ever you are generally blamed for rushing out upon the Theatre to oppose him by name, it being a work in the judgement of all wise men fitter for any other man to have un∣dertaken Page 646 then your selfe, because of some more then ordinary tye of friendship between you and him; yet you have bridled up your fury against his person, although you say in your Appendix he ranks your words under the head of his first Section, containing divers, seditious, scandalous, libellous passages against the Autho∣rity and Jurisdiction of Parliaments, Synods and temporall Ma∣gistrates in generall, &c.
Now here is exceeding great wrong done unto you, if your words are not of such a nature; and might you be the sole Judge, I am perswaded you would pronounce them not guilty; notwith∣standing, you do not revile, vilifie, and falsly accuse the Author thereof; But on me you have let loose your fury and have fallen up∣on me so passionately who was once a Fellow Sufferer with you, that it hath sadded the spirits, grieved the hearts, and given great offence unto all that are truly godly, who walk in that old way and the known paths of holinesse, which Gods word doth plainly direct and lead them into, and contrarywise you have opened the mouthes of the wicked and given cause of rejoycing to such as are without, by your bitter expressions and false accusations brought against me one of your Quondam Fellow Sufferers.
But Pag. 26. you please to say, that I have much exaggerated vilifications upon the Independents: And notorious is that I say in my Postscript Pag, 68. as by experience I know not any Indep••∣dent in England,, two onely excepted,, that do not as maliciously and implacably hate the the Presbyterians as the mortallest enemies they have in the world, &c.
To this Brother I answer, I vilifie none, I have spoken the truth; but because I see you take such great exceptions at these words, I shall prove the truth of them from your own Tenents, or make it appear you are not the only Saints; for I have said nothing there, but what the professed judgment of those Independents I know (I still keep within the bounds of my own knowledg) and their pra∣ctise inciteth me to beleeve: And if there be any Independents that differ from their judgement and practice, I know them not, (two only excepted, as I said before): But for those Independents who being in the company of such as are truly godly, yet because they are Presbyterians, refused in private to pray or joyn in prayer with them; and for such who hold and do pronounce all that walk not in their way to be enemies of Jesus Christ, &c. These In∣dependents Page 647 by their opinions and practices do sufficiently prove the truth of what I said in the forecited words; and therefore you, with all that hold such an opinion, must disclaime that Inde∣pendent principle, if you denie the veritie of them; otherwise you will declare to the whole world that you are not so zealous for Gods glorie nor love not the Lord so sincerely, as his faithfull ser∣vants have formerly done; and withall you will manifest to all men that you are more studious to preserve your own honours and reputation then the glory of God.
For whereas you (with most of the Independents that I know) doe hold and maintaine (in your bookes intituled Vindication, and Vindiciae veritatis) That the Presbyterians are enemies to Christs Kingly office, that instead of finding Christ set upon his Throne in their Congregations, you find there no more but an Image, such as Michael had made up instead of King David, 1 Sam, 19. or as those that in mockery, made of Christ a Pageant-King, striping him, and putting on him a scarlet Robe, and on his head a Crowne of Thornes, and in his hand a Reed, saluting him with, Haile King of the Jewes, with which title over his head they crucified him. That the Presbyterians neither professe, nor confesse Christ, but say with the wicked Iewes, we will not have this man to raigne over us, Luke 19. 14. That they are at the best but Converts in part, &c. which is to say, they are in King Agripas condition, but almost Christians, Act. 26. 28. or like Simon Magus still in the gall of bitternesse, and bond of iniquity. And if this great charge against the Presbyterians be true, which you so confidently affirme in your books, truly all the Presbyterians are in a more cursed condi∣tion then the wicked Iewes were; for why? they know, and say they doe beleeve, that Iesus Christ is God and man, the only begot∣ten of the father, full of grace and truth, Iohn 1. 14. who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to bee the Sonne of God, with power, according to the spirit of holinesse by the resurrection from the dead, Rom. 1. 3. 4. The Redeemer of his Elect, and chosen ones, Ephes. 1. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. The Saviour of all that beleeve in him, Ioh. 3. 15, 16. The blessed, and onely Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, 1 Tim. 6. 15.
Now the Presbyterians knowing and professing that they doe beleeve these Gospel truths (which the Iewes did not know, nor would not beleeve) if they notwithstanding are enemies to Iesus Page 648 Christ, and refuse to set Christ upon his Throne, but in mockery set up Christ as a Pageant King in their Congregations, and doe as those who saluting him with Haile King, &c. yet reiect him, saying, wee will not have this man to raigne over us. Then the Presbyterians sinne in the height of aggravation, sinning against their owne knowledge, and professed beliefe; and all such, cannot but hate Iesus Christ, and are haters of God; for the Lord Iesus Christ hath said, Hee that hateth mee, hateth the Father also, (Ioh. 15. 23.) So that consequently, you make them the children of the Devill. For if God were their Father, they would be so farre from being enemies, that they would love the Lord Iesus Christ, (the Sonne of God;) this the Lord and Prince of life hath declared, and He makes it his Argument to convince the unbelie∣ving Jewes, that God was not their Father, saying, If God were your Father, yee would loue mee, for I proceeded forth, and came from God; neither came I of my selfe, but hee sent me. If the Pres∣byterians therefore are enemies to Christs Kingly office, and make a m••ke. King of him who proceeded forth and came from God, and was sent by him, as you have once and again published in print, then it must needs be granted they are not the children of God, but the cursed children of the Devil (Anathema maranatha) because they love not the Lord Iesus Christ. And from what hath bin said, this is further necessarily implyed, that either you, with all that are of your judgement herein, have falsely accused the Pres∣byterians (as indeed you have) to be enemies to Christs Kingly office; otherwise, if you, and they are a holy people, and such as doe advance Christ upon his Throne, then (I say) I am perswaded the Independents doe hate the Presbyterians; yea, it were an hainous offence in them to love such whom they hold and judge to be enemies to Christ, and so haters and enemies to God; for to love any that hate the Lord, is a wrath provoking sinne; this the Prophet sheweth plainely, when reproving King Iehosaphat, hee said unto him, shouldst thon helpe the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from the Lord, 2 Chron. 19, 2. wee find it in sacred Writ, that Mordecai a holy man, was so farre from loving any of Gods enemies, that notwithstanding all the Kings servants that were in the Kings gate bowed, and reverenced Haman, for the King had so com∣manded concerning him; yet Mordecai bowed not, nor did him Page 649 reverence, Esth. 3. 2, 3. I suppose none will give way to such an uncharitable thought, as to thinke, that Mordecai would run the hazard of his owne ruine, and the destruction of all the people of the Iewes, for want of giving an outward Complement, for that had beene but pride in him so rebelliously to transgresse the Kings Com∣mandement: But he knew Haman to be an Agagite, of the stock and raze of the Amalecks, who were enemies to God, of whom the Lord had said, that hee would utterly put out the remembrance of Amaleck from under heaven: And had sworne that hee would have warre with Amaleck from generation to generation; as hee will with all that are his enemies, Exod. 17. 14. 16. and withall hee well remembred how much the Lord was displeased with King Saul, for sparing and honouring Agag the King of the Amalekites, in so much that hee rent the Kingdome from him for it, and gave it to David, and only for favouring his enemies, and not destroying him according to Gods command: therefore Mordecai one of Gods peculiar people, and his faithfull servant, looking on Haman, as hee was an enemy to God, hated him, and would not so much as bow, nor doe outward civill reverence unto him: Indeed maliciously, and implacably, to hate any, is a sinne that cryeth loud in the eares of God, and of this crying sinne, too too many Independents are deeply guilty, as is very evi∣dent, by their raising up false reports, to defame those who in∣deavour to walke in the wayes of Gods Commandements with∣out hypocrisie; but to hate Gods enemies is no sinne, for it is the fruit of true grace, and an evidence of sincerity, David a man according to Gods own• heart, publisheth this as a manifestation of his integrity, that hee hated Gods enemies, appealing unto God, saying, Doe not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee▪ and am I not grieved with those that rise up against thee? J hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies, Psal. 139. 21▪ 22. had not David thus hated Gods enemies, hee could never have cleared his faithfulnesse to God: And this is undeniable▪ that those who Da∣vid hated with perfect hatred, were not, nor could not be greater ene∣mies to God, then you have accused the Presbyterians to be, for you proclame them enemies to the Sonne of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom God hath anoynted to be the King, Priest, and Prophet of his Church, Isa. 61. 1. Psal. 45. 7. Psal. 2. 6. Dan. 7. 14. Revel. 17. 14. Psal. 110. 4. Heb. 7. 27. Deut. 18. 18. Act. 3. 23. Page 650 Now whosoever are enemies to Christs Kingly office, and will not have him to raigne over them, they are open enemies to God, re∣sisters of his will, and opposers of his infinite wisedome, for he hath given all power unto the Sonne, Matth. 28. 18. and all such his ene∣mies hee will command to be brought and slaine before him, Luke 19. 27. O Brother, either give glory to God, and confesse you have highly offended in maintaining such an uncharitable opinion, whereby you condemne all godly, holy, selfe-denying Christians, that walke not in your way▪ yea all the Reformed Churches in Eu∣rope; or if you, with other Independents will still persevere in charging the Presbyterians, to be enemies to Christs Kingly office, and if you absolutely beleeve they are such, then acknowledge, that those Independents hate the Presbyterians, if not, it may justly be suspected such Independents are not sincere to God, nor the onely Saints, because they doe not like holy David, manifest their inte∣grity; for the Saints shew their sincerity in loving God, with all their hearts, with all their soules, and with all their might, which Love cannot be set forth more clearely then by their labouring so to walk•, that their whole Lives and Conversations may bee squared according to Gods Royall will, and the example of his holy Saints and servants; And this is the will of God, that all men should ho∣nour the Son, even as they honour the Father: Hee that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him, Ioh. 5. 23. but the Independents doe not honour the Son, as the Saints of old have honoured the Father, unlesse they account all the ene∣mies of Jesus Christ their enemies, and hate them with a perfect ha∣tred. Therefore, upon due deliberation the whole universe will conclude this truth, and give in their verdict, that either you and other Independents are too rash and ridgid in censuring; for it is no∣torious what you and they hold, teach, and write, concerning the Presbyterians, viz. that they are enemies to the Kingly office of Ie∣sus Christ, and make but a mocke King of him, &c. Or if the Presbyterians be indeed guiltie of the like enmitie against the Lord Christ, as the wicked Jewes were, who crucified him, as you accuse them, then the Independents doe hate the Presbyterians more then they doe, or may their mortallest enemies, because they pronounce these to be enemies to the Sonne of God, his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased; otherwise if the Independents know the Presbyterians to be so desperately wicked, as you have Page 651 said, and doe not hate them, then this verdict will bee given in, that they are not the only Saints, and godly party as they speake of themselves, for the Saints hate all the knowne ene∣mies of God, and of his Sonne the Lord Iesus Christ. So then, that which I briefly gave but a touch of in my Post-script, being thus evidently proved from your owne tenents, both by Scripture and reason, none who doe not make it their delight to cavill, and their worke to except against every truth that is spo∣ken, can considering the grounds, question the verity of what I there said.
I come now to answer your complaint, and Queries, made and laid downe in your booke, pag. 27. where for the space of foure or five lines, you breake off your discourse with mee, and to in∣sinuate into the Reader complaine of me saying, Hee commends the Kings Cavaliers for brave Gentlemen; and hee found more favour from them (which he doth ever acknowledge for a singular courtesie) then ever hee found from Protestant Goalers. Thus having com∣plained of my gratitude, which in all other is accounted a com∣mendable vertue; you begin to parle with me againe, and strictly inquire what was the cause that moved the Popish Cavaliers to shew mee favour, and then you raise Questions, viz. was it that you discovered unto them some of that bitternesse of spirit against the Independents, or some courtly compliance with Papists, pre∣ferring them before Independents or Protestants, that made those Popish Cavaliers so much to applaud you? Thus you.
Brother for your complaint and quaeries I entreat you be not offended that I say, had you not been when you framed them, so far transported with causlesse passion, as it left no place for bro∣therlo love, truth▪ well grounded reason or your own experience to dictate unto you, certainly you would never have thus com∣plained nor propounded them▪ therefore I shall repeat my own words, and whosoever reads them will soon discern how unwor∣thily you deal with me, what a causlesse abusive complaint have you made, and how little ground or colour you have for the pro∣pounding such quaeries, I having there given a reason why the Po∣pish Cavaliers shewed me favour sufficient to satisfie any, that will not maliciously pretend they are unsatisfied? For in the fourth page of my Defence I speaking of the clamorous tongues of Indepen∣dents, and how that after they understood I differed in opinionPage 652from them (before they had seen my books) they railed against me, raised up false reports and calumniated me, as the greatest Incen∣diary in the Kingdome; in all which they most shamefully (as day∣ly still they do) abused me; thereunto I replyed in these words, I have been freed from that reproach by both Houses of Parliament who adjudged all my sufferings unjust, as against the Law and Liber∣ty of the Subject. And if it were a thing that could be any way use∣full unto me. I could prove by many of the brave Gentlemen in the Kings Army, who in great Assemblies did acknowledge, when I was a Prisoner amongst them, that I had great injury done me. Yea, the Papists themselves have often averred it, that never any Subject suffered more unjustly then I did, in that I was cast into Prison and fined, for maintaining the Prerogative Royall of the King against the Pope; and for defending that Religion which was established by the Laws of the Land: And further added, that had any Catholique writ as well in defence of their Religion, as I did for the maintenance of the Protestant Profession, he should have been so far from suffering for it, as they would not only greatly have honour∣ed him, but also highly have rewarded him for his endeavour; and this that I now write I am able to prove by a cloud of witnesses: and my unjust suffering in their opinion, made me find more favour amongst all the Governours that were Papists (which I do ever ac∣knowledge for a singular courtesie from them) then ever I found from Protestant Goalers. And therefore whereas the Independents do accuse me for the greatest Incendiary of the Kingdome, all men may see they speak as untruly, so most maliciously, &c.
Now these are my words: And herein is observable:
First, that as I say I have been cleared by both Houses of Par∣liament, from being an Incendiary, so I mention not, commend, or speak of the Cavaliers, for their undertakings; I onely say, many of the brave Gentlemen in the Kings Army have also cleared me from that aspersion being convinced that my sufferings were most unjust.
Secondly that I say many of the brave Gentlemen; I speak not of all the Cavaliers in the Kings Army; but you silencing my words and omitting to shew the cause which induced me there to speak of them, make your complaint in Generall saying, He com∣mends the Kings Cavaliers for brave Gentlemen.
Thirdly, in my forecited words I plainly set down the reason Page 653 which moved the Popish Cavaiiers to shew me favour, namely, because they were fully perswaded that I (having writ so much in defence of the Protestan• Religion, which was here establish∣ed) had suffered most unjustly, and contrary to the Laws of this Kingdome, for my own part, I look to a higher hand in it, but this was the reason that moved them to demean themselvs courteously towards me). Now, who so deafe as they that will not hear, and who so blind as they that will not see? for whosoever will hear, see, and read what I have written, and then speak truly, they cannot but say, that were you not resolved for the venting of your selfe to pre∣tend ignorance, the reason there laid down might have informed and satisfied you, and so have stopt the mouth of your causlesse Quaeries; You having as little reason to question and exa∣mine me upon such interrogatories, as you have for complaining of me for commending the Kings Cavaliers, (and for the false Ca∣lumnies, which throughout your book you have loaded me with∣all) but by these you discover your spirit and what you aime at, to say no more: Therefore I will give a more full Answer to them, and first to your complaint, I say, That to affirm there are many of the Kings Cavaliers brave Gentlemen is a truth; and all ingenu∣ous men, that have been amongst them will confesse, they have met with many of whom it may be said it is ten thousand thousand pities, that such brave Gentlemen should be so seduced and misled, as to ap∣pear in so bad a cause; and further for my selfe, know, I am not a∣shamed nor afraid to confesse, that Popish Cavaliers did use me cour∣teously; and that I might not be ungratefull to God nor man, I then did, now do, and ever shall acknowledge, that I found more favour from some of them (which I esteem a singular courtesie) then ever I found from Protestant Gaolers. Therefore as to the glo•y of •od I there made mention of it, so I shall here set down the par∣ticulars and inlarge my selfe to show forth Gods goodnesse unto me therein. For by his gracious assistance I will never cease to declare how that after I had been kept in the dungeon seven days and nights in York Castle, and for a year and a halfe underwent great inhumanity, was cruelly used, uncivilly and most unsuffer∣ably abused by a professed Protestant Goaler there, a length, by the Command of the Earl of Newcastle (on purpose, if possible, to augment my miseries) I was all on a sodain removed from York Goale to Hemsley Castle, in which he intended evill to∣wards Page 654 me, but the Lord turned it to good and gave me favour in the eyes of a profist Papist (Colonell Irington by name) the Gover∣nour of that Castle, who, with all in his family, used me and my ser∣vant very courteously, he supplyed me with necessaries (and that freely) and demeaned himselfe unto me in every respect as a Gentle∣man while I remained his Prisoner, which was but one Moneth; for when my adversaries heard thereof, perceiving their designe was frustrate, they forthwith removed me to Knaseb•ough Castle, the Governour and (his Deputy) the Captain thereof being profest Pro∣testants; where, although in some things, I was not so inhumanely¦ly abused as in York Goal, yet there I was kept close Prisoner again, and I assure you, I found no such courteous usage as I received from the other Gentleman. Now for my part I am so far from being conscious to my selfe that I have done evill in making mention hereof (as by your complaint you would infer) that I then did, and still do hold my selfe bound in conscience upon all occasions to speak of the merci•s of my God unto me, and to make mani∣fest the mighty power of the Lord JEHOVAH, that so for time to come, if any who fear his name, should be invironed about with enemies, troubled on every side and cast into the depth of miseries (in mans imagination) as I have been; yet by the many experiences which I have had of Gods fatherly mercies (the heavenly, soul-ra∣vishing, and spirit-reviving comforts wherewith the Lord hath strengthned and supported me in my greatest calamitie) they may be incouraged to maintain their integritie, and be confident of his never failing goodnesse, mercies and loving kindnesses unto them. For though in my remove, I could expect nothing but in∣crease of miserie, to the outward man, yet to the glorie of God I speak it, I found at that very instant (as at other times) the Lord mightily to uphold my spirit, filling me with such inward comforts, full assurance of supporting mercies, and that his grace was sufficient for me, and his strength would be made perfect in weaknesse; that in the strength of my God I went willingly and chearfully not fearing what man could do unto me. And when I was delivered to Colo∣nell Irington, to whom the foresaid Earl had sent me; He in my hearing read the warrant which he had received from him, where∣in he was straitly commanded to keep me close Prisoner, and not to suffer any to see or speak with me; but God counter-manded this command, and moved the Colonels heart to such compas∣sion, Page 655 that he carried himselfe verie nobly and lovingly towards me, & if any desired it, he permitted them to have accesse unto me, and gave me liberty to take the Aire, which was a sweet refreshing unto me, being not thorowly recovered out of a long and danger∣ous sicknesse, whose favors and courtesies I stand bound in the bonds of thankfulnesse and civilitie ever to predicate, whereby all men may take occasion to blesse and praise Gods name with me, and I may manifest my gratitude to him whom the Lord made an instrument of good unto me, and also that those who have and do exercise crueltie and insult over Prisoners, may be convinced of their sinfull doings, and know, that humanity and courtesie to all, but more especially to any in distresse, is not onely highly pleasing to God, but the honour of a man to the worlds dura∣tion. This is a true Answer to your complaint, wherein I doubt not but I have given satisfaction to all sober-minded Christians (yea to all that have but common humanitie and understanding) to whom to their great griefe it doth apparently appear, that since you walked in your new way, you have accustomed your selfe to speak of men that differ from your opinions in a blasting and de∣tracting language, by which you endeavour to make the vertues that such men are clothed withall, seem to the ignorant, to be the garments of vice, and to render them odious, if they will not turn Independents and Sectaries.
I am now come to your quae ies, and here I cannot but con∣fesse, I stand astonished to see the humour you are fallen into, the libertie you take to calumniate, the strange devices you have to delude withal & the aspersing discourse that proceedeth from you O Brother, Brother, I beseech you recollect your self, look back & seriously consider whither your anger leads you, and how passion hath darkned your Judgement and quenched that fire of brotherly love, whose flames would have consumed all your evill thoughts, for love thinks no evil; surely then you had not the spirit of brother∣ly love when you propounded those quaeries, for they are wholly made up with carnall reasonings and evill surmises, being altoge∣ther as voide of charitie as of Christian experience: and truly I could wish I might passe them over in silence, but your publishing and doubling them, as if they were not to be gainsaid, inforc me (though unwillingly) to replie thereunto, lest by my silence many be deceived with your false glosses, my sinceritie to the Page 656 truth suspected (by such as know me not) and God be robbed of his due praise and glory; therefore upon these considerations I have un∣dertaken the work, and to undeceive the world to your first quae∣rie, which is:
Whether I discovered unto the Cavaliers some of that bitternesse of spirit against the Independents.
I answer, this is a cunning deceiveable question, whereby you delude poore ignorant, harmelesse people, baring them in hand, as if there were a vast difference and great disagreement between the Cavaliers and Independents, which is quite contrary; for there is a direct harmonie betweene the Independents and Cavaliers of all sorts, whether malignant, or popish Cavaliers, and the truth is, to speake against Independents to Cavaliers, may purchase displeasure to any man sooner then gaine him favour; for I know, and many can testifie the same, that the Cavaliers doe generally applaud the Independents; and indeed they have reason so to doe; for they drive on the Cavaliers great designe, with as much ear∣nestnesse as themselves, yet they have done it with farre more Iesuiticall policie, doing it under the pretence of holinesse, and so have beene lesse discerned by many in their destructive practises. But their cunning undermining both Church and State, doth now daily more and more, very manifestly appeare, and is discerned, and bewayled of all, who have not the eye of reason blinded with selfe-ends, and by-respects, and for prefer∣ments sake will connive at, and side with any party: But who ever prudentially, conscienciously, and judiciously examine, and take a view of their proceedings, they plainely see and confesse, that the Independents have exceedingly laboured to set forward, and daily doe indeavour, leaving no wayes unattempted to effect that thing, which was and is the Cavaliers grand designe, for it is well knowne, that the Cavaliers did make it their great, and one of their chiefest designes to have Bishops, and all the Prelaticall fa∣ction continued, that so Popery, though it were not by a Law set up, and established in this Kingdome, yet it might be countenanced, and privately authorized by them, which is all one with the tolera∣tion in effect, that the Independents doe so plead, seeke after and con∣tend for, calling it Liberty of Conscience: Thus while they strive to get an unlimited, which is an irreligious and unlawfull Liber∣•y, they set forward the Cavaliers designe to the full, and act for Page 657 them with all their power, and should the Independents obtaine their desire herein, the greatest part of the Cavaliers worke would be done to their hand; for then Cavaliers, Papists, Prelates, Malig∣nants, Turkes, Iewes and Heathens, would all pretend, that they beleeve, serve, and worship God, according to the Light they have received, and as they are perswaded in their Consciences is agreea∣ble to Gods Word, and Will (and Conscience is a tender thing, and ought not to be forced); so that by the same rule in equity, a tolera∣tion and Liberty of Conscience cannot be denyed to any of them, if once granted to the Independents, and Sectaries of our times, who for the greatest part of them are as erroneous, if not worse, in their Doctrine as the Papists and Prelates; many of them as blasphe∣mous as the Turkes and Iewes, and live as without God in the world; and the malignant party knowing this very well, doe therefore all of them, Cavaliers, Papists, and the profanest Ma∣lignants in the Kingdome, looke upon the Independents, and speak of them usefull as their friends, and unanimously agree upon all occasions to withstand the Presbyterian government, that way be∣ing too strict and holy for any of them, yea the Independents and they doe all joyne together as one man, with one voyce pleading and crying out for a toleration, liberty of conscience, or an indul∣gence without any limitation, that so every man may beleeve and serve God as it seemes good in his owne eyes, under the name of tendernesse of conscience.
Now the Independents practices, and the way they plead for, being thus knowne to be very pleasing, and acceptable to the Ca∣valiers, whether Popish or otherwise, then surely had I discovered any bitternesse of spirit against Jndependents, it might have ex∣asperated their spirits against mee, it could never have extracted pitie or favour, nor have drawne any applause from them; there∣fore it is cleare, that was not the cause: But know the onely cause which moved some of the Cavaliers (after J had for the further tryall of my patience, and the manifestation of my faithfulnesse, for a long time indured strict and close imprisonment in the Goale of Yorke) to shew me favour, was the gracious working, and over-ruling power of God, vvho inclined their hearts to deale kindly vvith me his faithfull servant.
Thus have I given you a true ansvver to your first Querie, I come now to the second, which you propound in these words.
Page 658 Or was it some Courtly Compliance with Papists, preferring them before Independents or Protestants, that made those Popish Cavaliers so much to applaud you?
To which I answer▪ that part of this last Querie, is the same with the former; for here you speake as if to slight the Indepen∣dents, were a sure way to obtaine favour and applause from Po∣pish Cavaliers; truly you flatter your selfe if you thinke your sub∣till dealing herein is not seene, when as it is so notoriously known, that any man who speaks against Independents may be scor∣ned, but never applauded by Popish, or any that are Cavaliers; for they applaud the Independents, whom they hold to be more subtill, and powerfull to effect the thing they chiefly ayms at, and desire then themselves; and it is well knowne, and can be pro∣ved that they will run and goe to doe any Malignant a favour, yea, they will joyne with the wickedest Cavaliers against a Presbyte∣rian to doe him a mischiefe. But having cleared this truth in my Reply to your first Querie, I hasten to the other part of this, where you start the Question, Whether the favour I received were not by my courtly compliance with Papists, preferring them before Prote∣stants, &c. To which I answer, that my constant perseverance in holding forth the true Protestant Religion where ever I lived, at home and beyond the seas, is sufficiently knowne to all the godly, faithfull, orthodox Christians, that inhabited in any of those parts where I have dwelt, and so farre have I ever beene from any courtly complying with Papists, or preferring them before Protestants, as some in England at this day can testifie, that when I lived in forraine nations, my zeale was so great for the Prote∣stant Religion, that with no little hazard I have maintained it; for all the while I travailed abroad, and continued in Popish Countries, which was many yeares, it fared with mee as with the Apostle Paul, while hee waited at Athens, Act. 17. 16, 17. my spirit was stirred in me when I saw the Cities and all the Countries wholly given to Idolatry; therefore carrying my life in my hand I daily disputed with Papists, and those they accounted the de∣vout persons, Priests and Iesuits against Popery, maintaining the Protestant Religion; insomuch, as it was only the goodnesse of my God that kept me safe, giving them no power to hurt mee; further J answer you, the Bookes that I have written against Po∣pery, in Latine, and in English, are yet extant, and they doe wit∣nesse Page 659 and will to future generations, that the Author of them dis∣puted against, and disclaimed Popery, and earnestly contented for the faith which was once delivered unto the Saints, Iud. vers. 3. yea, the many disputations I have held with Priests, Jesuits, and people popishly affected in England, not onely while I injoyed my liberty, but also when by the Prelaticall popish party J was for maintaining the true Protestant Religion, and standing for the peace and welfare of my countrey cast into severall prisons, viz. in the Gate-house at Westminster, in the Castle of Launceston in Cornewall, in the Castle, in the Isle of Sylly, in the Goale of Lei∣cester, in the Goale in the Citie of Yorke, in Hemsley-Castle, in Yorke-shire; Lastly in Knasebrough-Castle in Yorke-shire. Yet through Gods supporting grace, in none of all these prisons, could the cruelty, pride and fury of men, which in Yorke and Sylly was my daily portion, either make me forget my integrity, or daunt mee in the least; for their rage and power I feared not, neither did I ever forbeare to justifie godly Protestants, nor decline any op∣portunity to dispute with Papists, but improved it to the utter∣most to shew the great idolatry, and vanity of their Religion, as many who were prisoners with mee, in some of the fore-named places can testifie: And I am confident, that the Popish Cava∣liers, with whom I have beene a prisoner, and others of them, that have discoursed and reasoned with me in matters of Religion, will give this testimony, that they ever found me constant to my prin∣ciples, unmoveable in the Protestant Religion, and as farre from complying with Papists, or preferring them before Protestants, what ever I suffered or under-went, as light is from darkenesse in its greatest brightnesse.
Moreover Brother, I would not that you should be ignorant how that I have beene as frequent in disputations, writ as much in con∣futation, and at all times, and in all companies have appeared as forward and earnest against Papists, and have ventured my life to maintaine the Protestant Religion, as freely as any Independent, I know in England, and that in the worst of times; yea, when those who are now the chiefe independent Rabbies, to avoyd suffering for truth, would not stand to appeare in her behalfe, but went out of the Kingdome, and like the parents of the man that was borne blind, Joh. 9. 21. Left her to speake for her selfe, then J helped to maintaine truths cause, and was not afraid nor ashamed to suffer Page 660 in so good a quarrell, but resisted her opposers, Papists, Prelates, Arminians and Formalists in their erroneous Doctrines, and Po∣pish practises even unto blood. I am become a foole in glorying, you have compelled me, 2 Cor. 12. 11. for so many reproaches which you have cast upon me, and such groundlesse Queries could never have proceeded from any that had not beene guided should I say by a traducing spirit, truly that word would come short fully to explaine and set forth the sinfull subtilty of them; there∣fore I will not undertake to set down what spirit it was, and what name it will beare; I shall onely shew what it was not, and leave it to such as are godly, wife, and experienced Christians, to spell out the name thereof: Now it is very evident that it was not the spirit of brotherly love; that would have silenced yea annihilated such thoughts in the first conception; for as brotherly love thinks no evill, much lesse dares it devise, and publish falshood; yet more evill, and greater falshood; then you have not only thought (as it plainely appeares) but published against me, and that delibe∣rately, none could ever have imagined; for you render me a scan∣dalous Walker (as vile as vile can be) and here you question whether I have not complyed with Papists, and Popish Cavaliers, and preferred them before Protestants.
Thus with your windie Independent policie you blast my good name, raise doubts, cloud my sincerity, darken and overshadow my faithfull constant perseverance in the truth and wayes of God to make me be thought a man infamous and of no Religion: but such dealings are absolutely contrary to brotherly love; therefore it is very clear to the understanding of all, that you were not gui∣ded by that spirit. And as your quaeries were made without bro∣therly love, so they seem to be altogether voyd of Christian expe∣rience, being wholly filled with evill surmises, scrued up to their height by the hand of carnall, reason, and uttered by the tongue of sinfull suspicion. For I beseech you consider how it comes to passe, that you who have been a Prisoner, one of my Quondam Fellow Sufferers, when you heare, that I being a Prisoner (un∣der the command and power of Popish Cavaliers) was courteous∣ly used by a profest Papist, should have such thoughts arise in your heart, and set them forth in Print, to inquire whether the favor I received from them were not obtained by my courtly complying with Papists, preferring them before Protestants.
Page 661 Brother, have you had such experience of Gods power and gra∣cious goodnesse in giving you favor two years together in the eyes of some to whom you were committed Prisoner, and do you now think it so strange as you cannot search out the reason of it when God hath wrought the same thing for me, (one Moneth) but sus∣pect that the favor I received was purchased by wronging my conscience? Surely when you writ these quaeries you had forgot the loving kindnesses of our God shewed to you in your impri∣sonment, and how notwithstanding for the first halfe year, the Governour of Garnsey kept you close Prisoner in very strict du∣rance (in some things exceeding the rigor of his Warrant); Yet at last God moving his heart to more humanitie, he afterwards gave you what liberty the Castle did afford, suffered you not to want any accommodation that he could possiblie helpe you unto, and used you courteously all the remaining time of your banish∣ment. Had you called these things to mind (me thinks) the re∣membrance of Gods mercies unto your selfe would have fully sa∣tisfied you in this particular, and silenced your carnall reasonings, knowing Gods arme is not shortned nor his power lessened, He is the same God yesterday, to day, and for ever; therefore (I say) surely you had forgot his loving kindnesses to you, or else you wil∣fully stopped the mouth of your experiences and would not per∣mit them to speak for me, whom you so seek to blot with false reports, ignominie, and disgracefull language, that even the good∣nesse of God manifestest towards me, you to obscure with a vail of evill surmises; But that the name of God may be ever magnified, the world undeceived, and you receive a satisfactory answer unto your quaeries, know, it was not any courtly compli∣ance with Papists which procured me favor; I did no such thing; let God be true, and every man a lyar; for to him all praise is due, who in his Word hath said, When a mans ways please the Lord he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him, Prov. 16. 7. This did my God, when I was committed close Prisoner to a Papist, make good to me his servant (who though in much weak∣nesse, do make it the ultimate end of all my endeavors to please the Lord): Now this was the Lords doing, and let it not seem marvellous in your eyes, That that God, who called Cyrus by name, made him a friend to the people of God, though he knew not God, Isaiah 45. 4. Who sent his Angel and shut the lyons mouthesPage 662that they could not hurt his servant Daniel. Daniel 6. 22. And delivered the three children out of the fiery furnace Daniel 3. 26,27, 28. should when he pleased to make his power known, and pre∣vent the evill intentions of men, cause Popish Cavaliers to shew me favor and to use me courteously: Is any thing too hard for the Lord to do? No surely! For this and greater things then this, my God hath done for me; Therefore the experiences I have had of his goodnesse, free grace, rich mercies, and never failing loving kindnesses, I for ever will extoll, predicate, declare, and speak of, that men may know it is not in vain to serve and patiently wait upon the Lord our God, nor to relie on him, in the time of their distresse, when they seem to be deprived of all outward comforts and exposed to the greatest miseries.
Thus I have labored to satisfie your doubts truly, and faithful∣ly to answer your quaeries. The Lord convince you of your error, and of the reail truth of all I have herein said, and forgive your unbrotherly practices and bitter invectives against me, one of your Quondam Follow Sufferers.
Now because my brother Burton hath so deeply censured me for my Postscript, and because all those of his fraternity have upon all occasions so often reviled me for it, though none but himself ever indeavored to disprove the least title of it, which they can never do, I intend within these few daies to send it out again into the world something inlarged touching their New Lights, undertaking before all men to make good whatsoever is contained in it, and much more concerning their practices.