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sgistrates, 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, amongst the worst of them? Which will undoubtedly pull down the heavy judgment of God among us, who cannot but avenge thele hypocrisies, violations of truth and holinels; if they be indeed fo as they yet feem. For neither do I speak this in reproach to the army, but as jealous of their honour, inciting them to manifest and publish with all fpeed, tome 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
abuses their honeft natures against their meaning to these disorders; their readiett way to bring in again the common enemy, and with him the destruction 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 likelieft to save us from approaching ruin. Being now in anarchy, without a counselling and governing power; and the army, I suppose, finding themselves infufficient to discharge at once both military and civil affairs, the firtt thing to be found out with all speech 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 readınitted to fit, or a council of state allowed of by the ariny, since they only now have the power. The terms to be stood on are, liberty of conscience to all profefsing fcripture to be the rule of their faith and worthip; and the abjuration of a single person. If the parliament be again thought on, to falve honour on both fides, the well affected party oi the city, and the congregated churches, may be induced to mediate by public addresses, and brotherly belecchings ; which, if there be that faintship among us which is talked of, ought to be of highest and undeniable perfuafion to reconcilement. If the parliament be thought well diffolved, as not complying, tully to grant liberty of conscience, and
the the necessary consequence thereof, the removal of . .forced maintenance from ministers, then must the army forthwith choose a council of state, whereof as niany to be of the parliament, as are undoubtedly affected to thete 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, unless any be found falle to any of these two principles, or otherwise perfonally 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 single 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 safety from our common enemy, gaping at prelent to devour us. That it be not an oligarchy, or the faction of a few, may be easily pre: vented by the numbers of their own chooting, who may be found infallibly conftant 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 thiele pernicious pangs, in a hopeful way of health, and firm canftitution. , But unless, theie things, which I have above proposed, one way or other, be once settled, in my fear, which God avert, we instantly ruin; or at best become the servants of one or other single person, the secret author
and fomenter of these disturbances. You have the fum of my present thoughts, as much I understand of these affairs freely imparted; at your request, and the persualion you wrought in me, that I might chance hereby to be some way serviceable 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 fupprefs: you offend not me, who only have obeyed your opinion, that in doing what I have done, I might happen to offer fomething which might be of some use in this great time of need. However, I have not been wanting to the opportunity which you presented before me, of showing the readiness which I have in the midst of my unfitness, to whatever may be required of me, as a public duty.
A FREE COMMONWEALTH,
Easy to be put in Practice, and without Delay. a. IN A LETTER TO GENERAŤ MONK.
TIRST, all endeavours speedily to be used, that the
i 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 single person, or house of lords. If these be not such, but the contrary, who forelees not, that our liberties will he utterly lost in this next parliament, without foine powerful course taken, of fpcediest prevention? The speediest way will be to call up forth with the chief gentlemen out of every county; to lay before them (as your excellency hath already, both in your published letters to the army, and your declaration recited to the members of parliament) the danger and confusion of readmitting kingship in this land; especially against the rules of all prudence and example, in a family once ejected, and thereby not to be trusted 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 first 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 dignified with the name of city, continually to confult the good and flourishing state of that place, with a competent territory adjoined; to afiume the judicial laws, either thote that are, or such as they
thernlelves, thall new make severally, in each commonalty, and all judieatures, all magistracies, to the admi-, nistration of all justice between man, and man, and all the ornaments of public civility, academies, and fuch like, in their own hands. Matters appertaining to men of leveral counties or territories, : may be determined, as they are here at London, or in some more convenient, place, under equal judges. : ... just in
Next, That in every such capital places they will choole them the ulunl number of ablest knights and bura, geiles, engaged for a commonwealth, to inake up the. parliament, or (as it will from henceforth be better called) the Grand or General Council of the Nation : whole office inult be, with due caution, to dispose of forces, both by sea and land, under the conduct of your excellency, for the preservation of peace, both at home and abroad; must raise and manage the public revenue, but with provident inspection of their accompts; must ad. minister all foreign affairs, make all general laws, peace or war, but not without ailent of the standing council in each city, or such other general affeinbly as may be called on such occasion, from the whole territory, where they may, without much trouble, deliberate on all things fully, and send up their fuffrages within a set time, by deputies appointed. Though this grand council be perpetual (as in that book I proved would be best and most conformable to best examples) yet they will then, thus limited, have so little matter in their hands, or power to endanger our liberty; and the people fo much in theirs, to prevent them, having all judicial laws in their own choice, and free votes in all those which concern generally the whole commonwealth, that we shall have little cause to fear the perpetuity of our general senate; 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 used, of a partial rotation.
Lastly, if these gentlemen convocated refuse these fair and noble offers of immediate liberty, and happy condi
and the heir hands men, thus