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people, or to recede from any thing which he might be convinced casts the balance too much to the single person? And although for the present, the keeping up and having in his power the militia seems the most hard, yet if it should be yielded up at such a time as this, when there is as much need to keep this cause by it (which is most evident at this time impugned by all the enemies of it) as there was to get it, what would become of all? Or if it should not be equally placed in him and the parliament, but yielded up at any time, it determines his power either for doing the good he ought, or hindering parliaments from perpetuating themselves, or from imposing what religions they please on the consciences of men, or what government they please upon the nation; thereby subjecting us to dissettleinent in every parliament, and to the desperate consequences thereof; and if the nation shall happen to fall into a blessed peace, how easily and certainly will their charge be taken off, and their forces be disbanded; and then where will the danger be to have the militia thus stated ?
What if I should say, if there should be a disproportion or disequality as to the power, it is on the other hand, and if this be so, wherein have
had cause to quarrel? What demonstrations have you held forth to settle me to your opinion? Would you had made me so happy as to let me have known your grounds. I have made a free and ingenuous confesa sion of my faith to you, and I could have wished it had been in your hearts to have agreed that some friendly and cordial debates might have been towards mutual conviction ; was there none amongst you to move such a thing ? No fitness to listen to it? No desire of a right understanding? If'it be not folly in me to listen to town-talk, such things have been proposed, and rejected with stiffness and severity, once and again; was it not likely to have been more advantageous to the good of this nation? I will say this to you for myself, and to that I have *
conscience as a thousand witnesses, and I have my comfort and contentment in it, and I have the witness of divers here that I think truly scorn to own me in a lie, that I would not have been averse to any alteration, of the good of which I might have been convinced, although I could not have agreed to the taking it off the foundation on which it stands, viz. the acceptation and consent of the people.
I will not presage what you have been about or doing in all this time, or do I love to make conjectures ; but I must tell you this, that as I undertook this government in the simplicity of my heart, and as before God, and to do the part of an honest man, and to be true to the interest which in my conscience is dear to many of you, (though it is not always understood what God in his wisdom may hide from us,
as to peace and settlement) so I can say, that no pare
upon the old government offered to me this one thing I speak, as thus advised, and before God, as having been to this day of this opinion, and this hath been my constant judgment, well known to many that hear me speak_if this one thing had been inserted, that one thing, that this government should have been, and placed in my family hereditary, I would have rejected it, and I could have done no other, according to my present conscience and light. I will tell you my reason, though I cannot tell what God will do with me, nor you, nor the nation, for throwing away precious opportunities committed to us.
This hath been my principle, and I liked it when this government came first to be proposed to me, that it puts us off that hereditary way, well looking, that as God had declared what government he had delivered to the Jews, and placed it upon such persons as had been instrumental for the conduct and deliverance of his people ; and considering that promise in Isaiah, that God would give rulers as at the first, and judges as at the beginning, I did not know, but that God might begin, and thought, at present, with a most unworthy person, yet as to the future,
it might be after this manner, and I thought this might usher it in. I am speaking as to my judgment against making it hereditary, to have men chosen for their love to God, and to truth and justice, and not to have it hereditary: for as it is in Ecclesiastes, Who knoweth whether he may beget a fool or wise, honest or not, whatever they be, they must come in upon that account, because the government is made a patrimony.
Now to speak a word or two to you, of that I must profess in the name of the same Lord, and wish that there had been no cause that I should have thus spoken to you; and though I have told you that I came with joy the first time ; with some regret the second; that now I speak with most regret of all..
I look upon you, as having among you many persons, that I could lay down my life individually for; I could through the grace of God desire to lay down my life for you ; so far am I from having an unkind or unchristian heart towards you in your particular capacities. *
Supposing this cause, or this business must be carried on, either it is of God or of man; if it be of man, I would I had never touched it with a finger ; if I had not had a hope fixed in me that this cause and this business is of God, I would many years ago have run from it: if it be of God, he will bear it up. If it be af man, it will tumble, as every thing that
hath been of man, since the world began, hath done. And what are all our histories, and other traditions of actions in former times, but God manifesting himself that he hath shaken, and tumbled down, and trampled upon every thing that he hath not planted ? and as this is, so the all-wise God deal with it.
If this be of human structure and invention, and it be an old plotting and contrivance to bring things to this issue, and that they are not the births of providence, then they will tumble. But if the Lord take pleasure in England, and if he will do us good, he is able to bear us up ; let the difficulties be whata soever they will, we shall in his strength be able to encounter with them. And I bless God I have been įnured to difficulties, and I never found God failing when I trusted in him; I can laugh and sing in my heart when I speak of these to you or elsewhere. And though some may think it is an hard thing , without parliamentary authority to raise money
upon this nation ; yet I have another argument to the good people of this nation, if they would be safe and have no better principle---whether they prefer the having of their will, though it be their destruction, rather than comply with things of necessity—that will excuse me; but I should wrong my native coun. try to suppose this.
But if any man shall object, it is an easy thing to talk of necessities when men create necessities;