Thursday, the 21st of January, 1657.
Clerk of the House, &c.
ORDERED, That it be referred to a Committee,
to search what Oath hath formerly been taken by the
Clerk of this House; and whether any Oath ought to be
taken by him; and to consider of the Manner and Form of
an Oath to be taken by the Clerk of this House, and the
Clerk-Assistant; and offer it to this House To-morrow
Morning: Viz. to Mr. Chute, Mr. Attorney of the Duchy, Mr. Onslow, Mr. Bond, Mr. Solicitor-General, Mr.
Serjeant Maynard, Sir Lislebone Long, Mr. Turner, Mr.
Aldworth, Colonel Mathews, Mr. Fowell, Mr. Scott, Mr.
Bacon, Mr. Gewen: This Committee are to meet in
the Speaker's Chamber, at Three of the Clock this
Protector's Speech reported.
Mr. Speaker made Report to the House of the Speech
made Yesterday by his Highness the Lord Protector, in
these Words; viz.
My Lords, and Gentlemen the House of Commons,
I MEET you here, in this Capacity, by the Advice
and Petition of this present Parliament, after so much
Expence of Blood and Treasure, to search and try what
Blessings God hath in Store for these Nations.
I cannot but with Gladness of Heart remember and
acknowledge the Labour and Industry that is past, which
hath been spent upon a Business worthy of the best Men,
and the best Christians.
It is very well known unto you all, what Difficulties
we have passed through, and what we are now arrived to:
We hope we may say we have arrived at what we aimed
at, if not at that which is much beyond our Expectations.
The State of this Cause, and the Quarrel, what That
was at the first, you all very well know; I am persuaded,
most of you have been Actors in it:
It was the Maintaining of the Liberty of these Nations;
our Civil Liberties, as Men; our Spiritual Liberties, as
I shall not much look back; but rather say one Word
concerning the State and Condition we are all now in.
You know very well, the first Declaration after the
Beginning of this War, that spake to the Life, was a
Sense held forth by the Parliament, That, for some Succession of Time, Designs were laid to innovate upon the
Civil Rights of the Nations; to innovate in Matters of
Religion: And those very Persons, that, a Man would
have thought, should have had the least Hand in the Meddling with Civil Things, did justify them all; all Transactions that were in Pulpits, in Presses, and otherwise:
Which was verily thought would have been a very good
Shelter to them, to innovate upon us in Matters of Religion also; and so to innovate, as to eat out the Core, and
Power, and Heart, and Life, of all Religion, by bringing on us a Company of poisonous Popish Ceremonies,
and imposing them upon those that were accounted the
Puritans of the Nation, and Professors of Religion amongst
us; driving them to seek their Bread in an howling Wilderness; as was instanced to our Friends, who were forced
to fly for Holland, New-England, almost any-whither, to
find Liberty for their Consciences.
Now if this Thing hath been the State and Sum of
our Quarrel, and of those Ten Years Wars wherein we
have been exercised; and that the good Hand of God,
for we are to attribute it to no other, hath brought this
Business thus home unto us, as it is stated in the Petition and Advice; and I think we have all Cause to bless
God, and the Nations have Cause to bless him.
I well remember I did a little touch upon the lxxxvth
Psalm, when I spake unto you in the Beginning of this
Parliament: Which expresseth well That, that we may say
as truly, and as well, as it was said of old by the Penman of
that Psalm. The first Verse is an Acknowledgment to
God, that he had been favourable unto his Land, and had
brought back the Captivity of his People; and that he
had pardoned all their Iniquities, and covered all their Sin,
and taken away all his Wrath: And indeed, of these unspeakable Mercies, Blessings, and Deliverances out of
Captivity, pardoning National Sins, and National Iniquities; pardoning, as God pardoneth the Man whom he
justifieth, he breaks through, and overlooks Iniquity; and
pardoneth, because he will pardon: And sometime God
pardoneth Nations also: And if the Enjoyment of our
present Peace, and other Mercies, may be Witnesses for
God, we feel, and we see them every Day.
The greatest Demonstration of his Favour and Love
appears to us in this, That he hath given us Peace, and
the Blessings of Peace, to wit, the Enjoyments of our Liberties, Civil and Spiritual: And, I remember well, the
Church falls into Prayer, and into Praises, great Expectations of future Mercies, and much Thankfulness for the
Enjoyment of present Mercies; and breaks into this Expression, Surely Salvation is nigh unto them that fear him,
that Glory may dwell in our Land. In the Beginning he
calls it his Land, Thou hast been favourable to our Land:
Truly, I hope This is his Land; and in some Sense it may
be given out, That it is God's Land: And he that hath the
weakest Knowledge, and the worst Memory, can easily
tell we were a redeemed People, when first God was pleased
to look favourably upon us, out of the Hands of Popery, in
that never-to-be-forgotten Reformation, that most significant and greatest the Nation hath felt or tasted.
I would but touch upon that, and but a Touch: How
hath God redeemed us, as it is this Day, not from Trouble, and Sorrow, and Anger, but unto a blessed and
happy Estate and Condition, comprehensive of all the
Interest of every Member of every Individual, of those
Mercies, as you very well see!
And then in what Sense it is our Land, through this
Grace and Favour of God, that he hath vouchsafed unto
us, and bestowed upon us, with the Gospel, with Peace
and Rest, out of Ten Years War, and given us what we
would desire! Nay, Who could have forethought, when
we were plunged into the Midst of our Troubles, that
ever the People of God should have had Liberty to worship God without Fear of Enemies? Which is the very
Acknowledgment of the Promise of Christ, That he
would deliver His from Fear of Enemies, that they
might worship him in Holiness, and in Righteousness, all
the Days of their Life.
This is the Portion that God hath given us; and, I
trust, we shall for ever heartily acknowledge it. The Church
goes on there, and makes her Boast yet further; His
Salvation is nigh them that fear him, that Glory may
dwell in our Land; His Glory, not carnal, nor any thing
else that accompanies this Glory of a free Possession of the
Gospel; this is That that we may glory in: And he says
further; Mercy and Truth are met together; Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other.
And it shall be such Righteousness as comes down from
Heaven; Truth shall grow out of the Earth, and Righteousness shall come down from Heaven: Here is the Truth
of all; here is the Righteousness of God, under the Notion
of Righteousness, confirming our Abilities, answerable to
the Truth that he hath in the Gospel revealed towards us:
And he closeth with this; Righteousness shall go before
him, and shall set us in the Way of his Steps: That
Righteousness, that Mercy, that Love, and that Kindness, which we have seen, and have been made Partakers
of, from the Lord; it shall be our Guide, to teach us to
know the right and the good Way; which is, to tread in
the Steps of Mercy, Righteousness, and Goodness, that
our God hath walked before us in.
We have a Peace this Day: I believe, in my very
Heart, you all think the Things that I speak to you this
Day; I am sure you have Cause: And yet we are not without the Murmurings of many People, who turn all this
Grace and Goodness into Wormwood; who, indeed, are
disappointed by the Works of God: And those Men are
of several Ranks and Conditions; Great ones, Lesser ones
of all Sorts; Men that are of the Episcopal Spirit, with
all the Branches, the Root and the Branches; who gave
themselves a fatal Blow in the Place, when they would
needs make a Protestation, That no Laws were good
which were made by this House, and the House of
Commons, in their Absence; and so without Injury to
themselves, cut off themselves.
Indeed, Men that know not God; that know not how
to account upon the Works of God; how to measure them
out; but will trouble Nations for an Interest, which is but
mixed at the best; made up of Iron and Clay, like the
Feet of Nebuchadnezer's Image; whether they were more
Civil or Spiritual, was hard to say; but their Continuance
was like to be known beforehand; Iron and Clay make no
good Mixtures, they are not durable at all.
You have now a godly Ministry; you have a knowing
Ministry; such a one, as, without Vanity be it spoken, the
World has not; Men knowing the Things of God, and
able to search into the Things of God, by that only, that
can fathom those things in some measure. The Spirit of a
Beast knows not the Spirit of a Man; nor doth the Spirit
of Man know the Things of God: The Things of God are
known by the Spirit. Truly I will remember but this one
Thing of those; Their greatest Persecution hath been of
the People of God: Men of the Spirit of God, as, I think,
very Experiences will sufficiently demonstrate.
Besides, What's the Reason, think you, that Men slip,
in this Age wherein we live? As I told you before, they
understand not the Works of God; they consider not the
Operation of his Laws: they consider not, that God resisted and broke in Pieces the Powers that were, that Men
might fear Him: might have Liberty to do, and to enjoy, all That that we have been speaking of: Which certain God has manifested, that this was the End; and that
he hath brought the Things to pass: Therefore it is, that
Men yet slip, and engage themselves against God; and
for that very Cause, xxviiith Psalm, saith David, He shall
break them down, and not bind them up.
If therefore you would know upon what Foundation
you stand, own your Foundation from God: He hath set
you where you are; he hath set you in the Enjoyment of
your Civil and of your Spiritual Liberties.
I deal clearly with you: I have been under some Infirmity; therefore dare not speak further to you; but to
let you know thus much, That I have with Truth and
Simplicity, declared the State of our Cause, and Attainments in it, to you, by the Industry and Labour of this
Parliament, when they last met upon this Foundation (you
shall find, I mean the Foundation of a Cause and Quarrel
thus attained to) wherein we are thus estated: I should be
very glad to lay my Bones with yours; and would have
done it with all Heartiness and Chearfulness, in the meanest
Capacity that I was ever yet in, to serve the Parliament.
If God give you, as, I trust, he will, he hath given it
you, for, what have I been speaking of, but what you have
done? he hath given you Strength to do what hath been
done: And, if God should bless you in this Work, and
make this Meeting happy upon this Account, you shall
all be called the Blessed of the Lord; the Generations
to come will bless us; you shall be the Repairers of
Breaches, and the Restorers of Paths to dwell in: And,
if there be any Work that Mortals can attain to in the
World beyond this, I acknowledge my Ignorance. As I
told you, I have some Infirmities upon me: I have not
Liberty to speak more unto you; but I have desired an
honourable Person here by me to discourse a little more
particularly what may be more proper for this Occasion
and this Meeting.
Ordered, That the former Order, of Fourth November 1636, whereby a Committee is appointed to prepare
and bring in a Bill for raising Maintenance for Ministers,
do extend to Parishes that are in Counties at large:
And that Colonel Birch, Mr. Pedley, Mr. Scott, Mr.
Darley, Colonel Mathews, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Bodwrda,
Mr. Onslowe, Sir Jo. Thorowgood, Mr. Blackwell, Mr.
Gibbs, Mr. Mildmay, Major Beake, Mr. Rous, Mr. Solicitor-General, Mr. Pickering, be added to that Committee: And all that come to have Voices: And are to
meet To-morrow in the Afternoon, at Two of the Clock,
in the Inner Court of Wards.
Ordered, That all the Committees formerly appointed
by this Parliament, concerning Publick Affairs, be revived: And do meet on Friday in the Afternoon, in the
respective Places where they formerly used to meet.
Ordered, That the Names of those several Committees
be set up without, at the Door of this House, by the
Clerk of this House, To-morrow Morning.
Committee of Privileges.
Ordered, That Mr. Harvey, Sir Tho. Foote, Sir Tho.
Wroth, Mr. Carey Mildmay, Mr. Onslowe, Serjeant
Maynard, Colonel Birch, Mr. Darley, Mr. Scott, Mr
St. Nicholas, Mr. Mason, Mr. Margetts, Mr. Pickering,
Mr. Burton, Mr. Rushworth, Mr. Chute, Mr. Turner,
Mr. Lister, Sir Tho. Styles, Mr. Holt, Mr. Holland, Mr.
Biddolph, Mr. Pedley, Mr. Archer, Mr. Mildmay, Mr.
Mynors, Mr. Gewen, Alderman Gibbs, Major Beske,
Mr. Nanfan, Major-General Bridge, Sir Rich. Piggott,
Mr Biscoe, Colonel Castle, be added to the Committee
Resolved, That the House shall now rise.