« PreviousContinue »
dervaluing of our enjoyments; to say England is grown so poor by the war, is false; excepting what is blasted by some northern winds, our treasure is yet in the kingdom: London as rich as before; witness cloaths and diet; witness marriages and disposing of children, where piety, proportion, and parentage take little place', unless mingled with much red clay; witness the ready money for purchases, if cheap, though shaken titles in tottering umes
lie in these. The army, you say, must yet be maintained, and we have thought of establishments, &c. to take off all offences occasioned by ihe army; either you must find action for it, which will answer much, or repartite it upon several counties, according to proportion, that every county may know their own men and their charge, by which the Hollanders have kept their army these seventy or eighty years. I have formerly answered all objections may be made against it. The immediate pay of the soldier iis every county, as it will cut off many unnecessary charges, so it will be easy and contentful to both parties, I mean the soldier and the landlord.
adly, Good men, not good laws, must save kingdoms; not that I would separate them; therefore, I think that the first work to be attended: for, as the Venetians live upon their curious elections, so the Netherlands, by keeping their government in such hands as they do, though perpetuating offices to them hath proved dangerous. Good justices, good mayors, &c. had it been our first work, it would have been our best, and Englishmen can as soon conform to just and honest government, as any other people. See it in the arıny, how serviceable the worst impressed men have been under example; and characters to be given out for the elector, and elected, and for the managing of chiefer urgesses. What if every fifty, in every county, chose one to choose for them, &c. most men being ignorant of the worthiest of men.
3dly, That all men, from the highest to the lowest, may know what they may trust to without delay, and to trust God with the management of it, if according to his will.
4thly, Tythes, or something of analogy to them, brought into a commun stock in cvery county, will do two things, viz. keep a good proportion of money ready in every county, and content the preacher and his widow better; when in towns two hundred pounds, or one hundred and bfty pounds per annum, and in the parish one hundred pounds shall be certainly paid, and forty pounds to the widow, &c. as in other coune tries they do; and hence raise a stock to set the poor on work in every county, the want of which hath been so much complained of.
5thly, That salaries may be appointed to all places of trust, that templations to deceit take not bold of officers.
6inly, A committee for union betwixt all men truly godly; that we may swim in one channel (which is in hanıl) with free and loving debates allowed in every county, that we may convince, not confound each other: two or three itinerary preachers, sent by the state into every county; and a committee of godly mer, ministers, gentlemen, and others, to send out men of honesty, holiness, and parts, into all coun. trics, recommended from their test.
7thly, Three men yearly chosen in every parish, to take up differences, which may be called friend-makers, as they do in other places with good success.
8thly, That the customs (by which great sums come to hand) may be in very choice hands, and their under-officers, in all parts, may be presented from those parts to them; and out of two or three, so presented, they choose one, if not just exception against him.
9thly, That my former model for the navy may be reviewed and accepted, which was presented about two years since; whereby the navy's debts
may be paid, and two parts of three in the charge saved for the future, and the work better done.
10thly, That merchants may have all manner of encouragement; the law of merchants set up, and strangers, even Jews, admitted to trade, and live with us; that it may not be said, we pray for their conversion, with whom we will not converse, we being all but strangers on the carth.
11thly, That foreign nations may have due respect by all fair correspondences with them, and intelligencers kept among them; especially that Scotland may be used in all things as neighbours and friends, though not as masters and commanders.
12thly, That academies may be set up for nobility and gentry, where they may know piety and righteousness, as well as gallantry and courtship (we commonly fetch over the dirt of France, rather than their excellencies), and that shorter ways to learning may be advanced; and that godliness in youth give them place in colleges before letters and importunity of men.
13thly, That the work of Ireland may not thus still be made a mockwork; but that the business may be carried on strenuously and vigorously by men to be confided in; who may take it upon them by the great, or day-work, either of these; there are good men will undertake it upon them, if fully countenanced with good magazine and some money; for what we send now is but like a worm in a hollow tooth, it takes up no jaw.
14thly, That no magistrates in matters of religion meddle further than as a nursing father, and then all children shall be fed, though they have several faces and shapes.
15thly, That all men intrusted may have set time, place, and persons appointed, to give up their accounts unto of their employments.
16thly, Since the vast and even incomprehensible affairs of this kingdom, by the present council, must have so many agitations and so many varieties pass upon them; two ways it may be cured:
1. If nothing be taken into the house's consideration but res vere ardue, wherein the heart-blood of the kingdom runs, and no petty matters.
2. If a council of state of ten or twelve honest and godly wellbyassed men might sit near the house, and these, not invested with power, might commend matters of high concernment to the house, and receive their scruples, and thuse to state also government of churches.
17thly, That burgesses of parliament may be better proportioned, six, four, or two for shires, and some for great cities; that they give
monthly some account to the places intrusting them, and that some laws may be probationers for a month or two.
18thly, That some of the parliament may be appointed to receive such suggestions from friends for the good of the whole, which they cannot constantly bring in by way of petition.
191bly, That prisoners, especially for debt, may have dispatches, and not lose heads, hearts, and hands as well as heels, in gaols; and that the creditor may maintain them in prison: that poor thieves may not be hanged for thirteen pence half-penny; but that a gally or two may be provided to row in the river or channel, to which they may be committed, or employed in draining lands, or banished.
It were also to he wished, that our gentry find out callings, and that younger brothers may be better provided for by their parents, that some of them fall not on learning and the ministry as a shift, and some, which is worse, take up their employments in bigh-ways, or, at best, pester Ireland, or foreign plantations; and all to maintain the paintry and glister of the family, and too often to keep up the name and honour of it in a sottish and luxurious hire,
20thly, Quick justice makes quiet common-wealths; I look upon that as contenting the Hollanders, under their vast taxes, and excises, What they have they can kee;', where, in every town, you may get justice as often and as naturally, as thei cows give milk. The few advocates in Amsterdam will tell you what little use they make of lawyers, where I have known a merchant dealing for thirty thousand pounds per annum, and in seven years not spend twenty shillings in law.
And, if I might not offend the court and gentry, I would say the wrapping up of so many of them in gowns, and scuffling at Westminster, is rather a mark of their meanness and jejuneness, and our slavery and folly, than of any national glory: that, to this day, we can neither buy nor sell, convey nor make testaments, without great and questionable parchments: and for law must jurare in verba, either of Littleton, Cook, or a casuist, ejusdem farina, which would find a cure in keeping records in all counties of all men's estates and alienations, &c. and those transmitted to a grand or leiger record at Westminster; the strength and time, spent in term quarrels, were better bestowed upon the West Indies, to which we have been so often called, and would soon make an end of Europe's troubles by drying up that Euphrates.
I know not what engagements the king hath upon any, nor how the intercourse lies; but, before the close of new addresses, I wish the people might have two things granted them, viz.
1. To understand by some wise statist what the true English of prerogative, privilege, and liberty is. If these three bawling children were well brought to bed, the whole house would be quiet.
2. That a certain time might be appointed to chuse their burgesses undeniably, if they please to make use of it, with writs or without; what year this shall begin I say not; but, if not granted, you shall hardly kcep tyranny out of doors.
To close and cure all; would this nation but follow the plain footsteps of providence in one thing, the work were done.
Let us but consider, whether the Lord hath not pointed out his work unto us, viz. putting righteous men into places of trust, making way thereunto; as if the fulfilling of the many prophecies, and the exa pectation of the just, were now to be answered. Witness the first and now second gaubling the parliament, the like in the city, the same in the army, no less in the ministry, as in the choice of Jesse's sons : nei. ther this nor that must serve but the least, that the whole kingdom hath been in the refiner's fire. The Lord would do us good against our wills: but we content ourselves to give him a female when we have a male in the flock. This broke the axle-tree of the Jewish state and church, and that bought Aceldama.
However, I am confident, God will carry on this work, which is his own; and to that end I look above all present agitations, knowing if we enter into our chambers, and shut our doors for a little moment, the indignation shall be overpast.
THE BREWER'S PLEA:
A VINDICATION OF STRONG BEER AND ALE.
Wherein is declared the wonderful bounty and patience of God, the
wicked and monstrous unthankfulness of man, the unregarded injuries done to these creatures, groaning, as it were, to be delivered from the abuses proceeding from disdainful aspersions of ignorant, and from the intemperance of sinful man.
1 Cor. xii. 19, 20, 21.
nor, again, the head to the feet, I have no need of thee. Dat veniam corois, vexat censura columbas.
London, printed for I. C. 1647. Quarto, containing eight pages.
Lectori candido et benevolo, S. P. D.
Courteous and judicious reader, to thy view chiefly do I expose these
my ensuing lines, being urged thereunto by the loud cry of two hor. rible wrath-provoking sins, now reigning amongst us, viz. unthankfuluess towards God, and uncharitableness towards man. These two like inseparable companions always go together, both dishonouring
the Creator; some unthankfully vilifying, and others intemperately abusing the creature; to reform which lies only in the magistrate, yet blame and aspersions are cast upon those who suffer most (by such lewd and prodigal offenders) I mean the distressed company of brewers, whose sad condition groans for speedy relief; a company very needful, and also profitable to this city and suburbs, yet looked upon with an unkind aspect, but occasioned by those who may be well affected, but, being mistaken in their judgment, can give no true and solid reason for it. But, according to that of the poet,
Non amo te Volusi, nec possum dicere, quare;
Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te.
this westeru climate with a temporal blessing of so excellent a nature for the sustaining, yea, for the reviving of the poor wearied labouring men; and not only so, but also for the chearing up of the drooping spirits, and the gladding of the hearts of the sorrowful and afflicted ? this is no small favour, which hath so long been bestowed upon us in this accidental part of the world: but it is a wonder, that, for so great a blessing, we should return so little thanks unto the Al. mighty; yea, many amongst us take not so much notice of it, as to account it for a blessing; and others, more ungrateful, little knowing what the want thereof would produce, seem to loath it in their thoughts, by their disdainful expressions and aspersions cast upon those creatures, without which this kingdom, especially near London, were in a sad condition, as I shall shew more plainly hereafter. And here is manifestly seen, not only the great bounty of God, but also his exceeding wonderful patience, that, notwithstanding such murmurings, he hath yet continued his blessing amongst us, though he sometimes threatened a dearth thereof. Thus God dealt with his Israel in the wilderness; although some murmured at mantia, yet he withdrew not that favour from them. But our disdainers will say, it is their zeal against drunkenness; I may as well say, O sinful zeal ! staggering and wavering no less through ignorance, than the drunkard through his intemperance. Because some do abuse the good creature of God by that detestable sin of drunkenness, shall others, therefore (such as would be thought to be religious) expose it to disdain? nay, cry it down as a thing to be extinguished ? let such ingenuously confess which they hold to be the greater sin, to abuse or to extinguish any of God's creatures; the abuse, by punishinent duly inflicted, may be reformed; but to extinguish, or diminish the vertue of any of the creatures, is to deprive not only the offenders, but also the innocent, of the full fruition of those creatures which God hath appointed for the comfort of mankind.
After Noah had offended, and suffered reproach by his cursed son, did he, to manifest hiç detestation against that sin, give order to destroy that vineyard which he had so painfully planted: had not this error been greater than the former for he, that will serve God aright, must neither turn to the right hand nor to the left, but must walk before him in a straight path with an upright heart; to diminish or detract