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gistrates, that levied them and paid them; when the light of nature, the laws of human fociety, covenants and contracts, yea common shame works in other armies, amongft the worit of them? Which will undoubtedly pull down the heavy judgment of God among us, who cannot but avenge thele hypocrifies, violations of truth and holinets; if they be indeed to as they yet seem. For neither do I speak this in reproach to the army, but as jealous of their honour, inciting them to manifeft and publish with all speed, fome better cause of these their late actions, than hath hitherto appeared, and to find out the Achan amongst them, whose clote ambition in all likelihood abules their honett natures againlt their meaning to these disorders; their readiett way to bring in again the common enemy, and with him the deftruction of true religion, and civil liberty. But, because our evils are now grown more dangerous and extreme, than to be remedied by complaints, it concerns us now to find out what remedies may be likeliett to fave us from approaching ruin. Being now in anarchy, without a countelling and governing power; and the army, I fuppote, finding themielves infufficient to discharge at once both military and civil affairs, the firti thing to be found out with all speedy without which no commonwealth can fubfift, must be a fenate, or general council of state, in whom must be the power, first, to preserve the public peace; next, the commerce with foreign nations; and latily, to raite -moneys for the management of these affairs : this muft either be the parliament readmitted to fit, or a council of state allowed of by the arıny, fince thcy only now have the power. The terms to be stood on are, liberty of conscience to all profciling fcripture to be the rule of their faith and wollip; and the abjuration of a single person. If the parliament be again thought on, to falve honour on both sides, the well affected party oi the city, and the congregated churches, may be induced to mediate by public addreiles, and brotherly beleechings ; which, if there be that faintihip among us which is talked of, ought to be of highest and undeniable persuasion to reconcilement. If the parliament be thought well dittokved, as not complying, tully to grant liberty of conscience, and the necessary consequence thereof, the removal of a forced maintenance from ministers, then must the army forthwith choose a council of state, whereof as many to be of the parliainent, as are undoubtedly affected to thele two conditions proposed. That which I conceive only able to cement, and unite for ever the army, either to the parliament recalled, or this chosen council, must be a mutual league and oath, private or public, not to desert one another till death: that is to say, that the army be kept up, and all these officers in their places during life, and fo likewise the parliament, or counsellors of state ; which will be no way unjust, considering their known merits on either side, in council or in field, mleís any be found falle to any of these two principles, or otherwile personally criminous in the judgment of both parties. If such a union as this be not accepted on the army's part, be confident there is a fingle person underneath. That the army be upheld, the necessity of our affairs and factions will constrain long enough perhaps, to content the longest liver in the army. And whether the civil government be an annual democracy, or a perpetual aristocracy, is not to me a confideration for the extremities wherein we are, and the hazard of our fafety from our common enemy, gaping at pretent to devour us. That it be not an oligarchy, or the faction of a few, may be easily prevented by the numbers of their own chooting, who may be found infallibly conitant to those two conditions forenamed, full liberty of conscience, and the abjuration of monarchy proposed: and the well-ordered committees of their faithfullest adherents in every county, may give this government the resemblance and effects of a perfect democracy. As for the reformation of laws, and the places of judicature, whether to be here, as at present, or in every county, as hath been long aimed at, and many fuch proposals, tending no doubt to public good, they may be considered in due time, when we are past thele pernicious pangs, in a hopeful way of health, and firm conftitution. But unless theie things, which I have above proposed, one way or other, be once fettled, in my fear, which God avert, we instantly ruin; or at best become the fervants of one or otirer tingle person, the secret author

and

and fomenter of these disturbances. You have the sum of my present thoughts, as much I understand of these affairs freely insparted; at your request, and the persuafion you wrought in me, that I might chance hereby to be fome way férviceable to the Commonwealth, in a time when all ought to be endeavouring what good they can, whether much or but little. With this you may do what you please, put out, put in, communicate or fuppress: you offend not me, who only have obeyed your opinion, that in doing what I have done, I might happen to offer something which might be of fome use in this great time of need. However, I have not been wanting to the opportunity which you presented before me, of thowing the readiness which I have in the midst of my unfitness, to whatever may be required of me, as a public duty.

October 20, 1659.

THE PRESENT MEANS

AND

BRIEF DELINEATION

OF

A FREE COMMONWEALTH,

Easy to be put in Practice, and without Delay.

IN A LETTER TO GENERAL MONK.

Published from the Manufcript.

F

FIRST, all endeavours specdily to be used, that the

entuing election be of such as are already firm, or inclinable to constitute a free commonwealth, (according to the former qualifications decreed in parliament, and not yet repealed, as I hear) without figle person, or house of lorils. If there be not such, but the contrary, who forelees not, that our liberties will be utterly loft in this next parliament, without some powerful course taken, of speedieft prevention? The speedieft way will be to call up forthwith the chief gentlemen out of every county; to lay before them (as your excellency hath already, both in your publithed letters to the army, and your declaration recited to the members of parliameni) the danger and confusion of readmitting kingship in this land; elpecially against the rules of all prudence and exaniple, in a family once ejected, and thereby not to be trufted with the power of revenge: that you will not longer delay them with vain expectation, but will put into their hands forthwith the poffeffion of a free commonwealth; if they will fitt return immediately and elect them, by such at least of the people as are rightly qualified, a standing council in every city and great town, which may then be dignitied with the name of city, continually to consult the good and flourishing ftate of that place, with a competent territory adjoined ; to aflume the judicial laws, either those that are, or tuch as they themselves thall new make severally, in each commonaltv, and all judicatures, all magiltracies, to the adminiftration of all juliice between inan and man, and all, the ornaments of public civility, academies, and fuch like, in their own hands. Matters appertaining to men of teveral counties or territories, may be determined, as they are here at London), or in fome more convenient, place, under equal judges.

themelves

Next, That in every tuch capital place, they will choole them the alunl number of ablest knights and bura, gefles, engaged for a commonwealth, to inake up the, prarliament, or (as it will from lenceforth be better called) the Grand or General Council of the Nation : whole office mult be, with due cantion, to dispose of forces, both by fea and land, under the conduct of your excellency, for the prefervation of peace, both at home and abroad; muft raise and manage the public revenue, but with provident inspection of their accompts; mult administer all foreign affairs, make all general laws, peace or war, but not without affent of the ftanding council in each city, or such other general affembly as may be called on fuch occasion, from the whole territory, where they may, without much trouble, deliberate on all things fully, and fend up their fuffrages within a fet time, by deputies appointed. Though this grand council be perpetual (as in that book I proved would be best and most conformable to bett examples) yet they will then, thus limited, have so little inatter in their hands, or power to endanger our liberty; and the people so much in theirs, to prevent them, having all judicial laws in their own choice, and free votes in all thote which concern generally the whole commonwealth, that we fhall have little caule tu fear the perpetuity of our general fenate; which will be then nothing else but a firm foundation and custody of our public liberty, peace, and union, through the whole commonwealth, and the tranfactors of our affairs with foreign nations.

If this yet be not thought enough, the known expedient may at length be ulied, of a partial rotation.

Lastly, if thele gentlemen convocated refuse these fair and noble offers of immediate liberty, and happy condi

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