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be used by the way, That if we had but miscarried in the least, all our former mercies were in danger to be lost :I say, coming up then, we had some confidence That the mercies God had shewn, and the expectations which were upon our hearts, and upon the hearts of all good men, would have prompted those who were in Authority to do those good things which might, by honest men, have been judged fit for such a God, and worthy of such mercies ; and indeed been a discharge of duty from those to whom all these mercies had been shewn, for the true interest of this Nation! [Yes !]—If I should now labour to be particular in enumerating how businesses have been transacted from that time to the Dissolution of the late Parliament, indeed I should be upon a theme which would be troublesome to myself. For I think I may say for myself and my fellow Officers, That we have rather desired and studied Healing and Looking-forward than to rake into sores and to look backward,- to give things forth in those colours that would not be very pleasing to any good eye to look upon. Only this we shall say for our own vindication, as pointing out the ground for that unavoidable necessity, nay even that duty that was incumbent upon us, to make this last great Change-I think it will not be amiss to offer a word or two to that [Hear, Hear!]. As I said before, we are loath to rake into businesses, were there not a necessity so to do.
Indeed we may say that, ever since the coming-up of myself and those Gentlemen who have been engaged in the military part, it hath been full in our hearts and thoughts, To desire and use all the fair and lawful means we could to have the Nation reap the fruit of all the blood and treasure that had been spent in this Cause; and we have had many desires, and thirstings in our spirits, to find out ways and means wherein we might be anywise instrumental to help it forward. We were very tender, for a long time, so much as to petition. For some of the Officers being Members ; and others having very good acquaintance with, and some relations to, divers Members of Parliament, —we did, from time to time, solicit such; thinking if there had been nobody to prompt them, nor call upon them, these things might have been attended to, from ingenuity! and integrity in those that had it in their power to answer such expectations.
1 lost one battle of these many.
Truly when we saw nothing would be done, we did, as we thought according to our duty, a little, to remind them by a Petition; which I suppose you have seen : it was delivered, as I remember, in August last.2 What effect that had, is likewise very well known. The truth is, we had no return at all for our satisfaction,-a few words given us; the things presented by us, or the most of them, we were told, “ were under consideration :" and those not presented by us had very little or no consideration at all. Finding the People dissatisfied in every corner of the Nation, and 'all men' laying at our doors the non-performance of these things, which had been promised, and were of duty to be performed, -truly we did then think ourselves concerned, if we would (as becomes honest men) keep up the reputation of honest men in the world. And therefore we, divers times, endeavoured to obtain meetings with divers Members of Parliament; and we did not begin those till about October last. And in these meetings we did, with all faithfulness and sincerity, beseech them that they would be mindful of their duty to God and men, in the discharge of the trust reposed in them. I believe (as there are many gentlemen here know), we had at least ten or twelve meet
ings; most humbly begging and beseeching of them, That by their own means they would bring forth those good things which had been promised and expected ; that so it might appear they did not do them by any suggestion from the Army, but from their own ingenuity : so tender were we to preserve them in the reputation of the People. Having had very many of those meetings; and declaring plainly that the issue would be the displeasure and judgment of God, the dissatisfaction of the People, the putting of all things into a confusion : yet how little we prevailed, we very well know, and we believe it's not unknown
At last, when indeed we saw that things would not be laid to heart, we had a very serious consideration among ourselves what other ways to have recourse unto (Yea, that is the question!]; and when we grew to more closer considerations, then they 'the Parliament men' began to take the Act for a Representative to heart, and seemed exceeding willing to put it on. And had it been done with integrity, there could nothing have happened more welcome to our judgments than that. But plainly the intention was, Not to give the People a right of choice ; it would have been but a seeming right : that 'semblance' of giving them a choice was only to recruit the House, the better to perpetuate themselves.
And truly, having been, divers of us, spoken unto to give way hereunto, to which we made perpetual aversions, indeed abominating the thoughts of it, - we declared our judgments against it, and our dissatisfaction with it. And yet they that would not hear of a Representative formerly, when it lay three years before them, without proceeding one line, or making any considerable progress, I say, those
1 For a New Parliament and Method of Election,
that would not hear of this Bill formerly, did now, when they saw us falling into more closer considerations, make, instead of protracting their Bill, as much preposterous haste with it on the other side, and run into that opposite' extremity.
Finding that this spirit was not according to God; and that the whole weight of this Cause, - which must needs be very
dear unto us who had so often adventured our lives for it, and we believe it was so to you,—did hang upon the business now in hand ; and seeing plainly that there was
l not here any consideration to assert this Cause, or provide security for it, but only to cross the troublesome people of the Army, who by this time were high enough in their displeasures : Truly, I say, when we saw all this, having power in our hands, we could not resolve' to let such monstrous proceedings go on, and so to throw away all our liberties into the hands of those whom we had fought against [Presbyterian-Royalists ; at Preston and elsewhere“fought against,” yea and beaten to ruin, your Excellency right add!] ; we came, first, to this conclusion among ourselves, That if we had been fought out of our liberties and rights, Necessity would have taught us patience; but that to deliver them sluggishly' up would render us the basest persons in the world, and worthy to be accounted haters of God and of His People. When it pleased God to lay this close to our hearts; and indeed to shew us that the interest of His People was grown cheap, that it was not at all laid to heart, but that if things came to real competition, His Cause, even among themselves, would also in every point go to the ground: indeed this did add more considerations to us, That there was a duty incumbent upon us, 'even upon us.” And, I speak here, in the presence of some that were at the closure of our consultations, and as before the Lord,--the thinking of an act of violence was
to us worse than any battle that ever we were in, or that could be, to the utmost hazard of our lives [Hear him.] : so willing were we, even very tender and desirous if possible that these men might quit their places with honour.
I am the longer upon this; because it hath been in our own hearts and consciences, justifying us, and hath never been yet thoroughly imparted to any; and we had rather begin with you than have done it before ;—and do think indeed that this Transaction is more proper for a verbal communication than to have it put into writing. I doubt, he whose pen is most gentle in England would, in recording that, have been tempted, whether he would or no, to dip it deep in anger and wrath [Stifled cries from Dryasdust].—But affairs being at this posture; we seeing plainly, even in some critical cases, that the Cause of the People of God was a despised thing ; - truly we did believe then that the hands of other men than these must be the hands to be used for the work. thought then, it was very high time to look about us, and to be sensible of our duty [Oliver's voice somewhat rising; Major-General Harrison and the others looking rather animated!].
If, I say, I should take up your time to tell you what instances we have to satisfy our judgments and consciences, That these are not vain imaginations, nor things fictitious, but which fell within the compass of our own certain knowledge, it would bring me, I say, to what I would avoid, to rake into these things too much. Only this. If anybody was in competition for any place of real and signal trust, ‘if any really public interest was at stake in that Parliament,' how hard and difficult a matter was it to get anything carried without making parties, - without prac
I things' in orig.