Thursday, the 12th of May, 1659.
Lord Craven's Petition.
MR. Nevill tenders a Petition from William Lord
Craven: Which was read: And, there being Exception to several Particulars of the Petition, it was
returned back again.
Ordered, That a Bill be brought in, for the settling a
Committee for the Army; and for constituting Treasurers
of the Army, and all other Things needful thereunto,
in the same manner as they were last established by Authority of this Parliament: And it is referred to Colonel
Downes to bring in this Bill.
Administration of Justice.
The House took into Debate, How Justice may be administered throughout the Nation, in such a Way as may
be most consistent with the Interest and Government of
Ordered, That this Debate be taken up To-morrow
Petition from London.
The House being informed, That several Gentlemen
were attending, with a Petition, at the Door;
They were called: And Mr. Samuel Moyer, in behalf
of them all, said as followeth;
Mr. Speaker, and this Honourable Assembly,
WE have here, at your Bar, an humble Petition, from
several Citizens of London: Sir, It is the very Joy of
our Hearts, that once more we can see this Honourable
Assembly sitting here, whom God hath owned and honoured, and made instrumental for so much Good to this
poor Nation, and his People in it: Sir, We have had Experience, that the Wise God rules and reigns in the World;
and that the Government thereof is upon the Shoulders of
our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ; and that He doth raise up
whom he pleaseth, to do Him Service; and that He hath
been pleased to make you instrumental of much Good:
And though, Sir, there hath been several dark Administrations of late Years, and some Interruption put upon
you; yet He hath once more called you together: And
truly we have just Cause and Ground to believe, that
there will be That done by this Honourable Assembly,
wherein He shall have the Glory, and his People Good
by it: And, truly, Sir, He hath been pleased to scatter
those dark Clouds, that did eminently appear in this
poor Nation, against that good Interest for which He did
so eminently appear in your Councils: And, Sir, we hope,
seeing that righteous God hath intrusted you once more,
that you will make it your great Work, and great Business,
to do That wherein you may have Glory, by the Establishment and Settlement of these poor Nations upon a
righteous and just Foundation of Judgment and Justice.
Truly, Sir, give us Leave to let you know, That we
do look upon you as our Trustees, our legal Trustees;
those . . whom the People of England have committed all
that is dear and precious to them, their Liberties, both as
Men and Christians: And truly, we have just Cause to believe you will be very careful of both; that They may be
preserved, which are such precious Things, and have cost
such a precious Rate to purchase. Truly, Sir, I shall not
say much: Our Petition doth speak our Minds, and our
Hearts, fully: And though, Sir, to our Petition, which
we lodge here before you, there are not Hands to it, we
have many Hands; Thousands more we could have had:
But we know to whom we speak; to those that are our
Friends; that have engaged in the same Cause with us;
those that have seen the Outgoings and Power of God
with them: And truly, Sir, we do make it our great Request, that you would consider of our Petition; and lay such
a Foundation, in reference to our future Settlement and
Government, that it may not be in the Power of . . . Man
or Men whatsoever to break those righteous Bases of Settlement you shall make. Truly, Sir, we shall desire that
you would really consider that Dispensation that you have
been under; and that, seeing God hath now put a Price
and Opportunity into your Hands, you would not neglect
that great Work you are called unto: We hope you will
pardon us, if we press it; because we find by Experience,
when Opportunity is neglected, it is a great while before
God will give such Opportunities again: And truly Sir,
that may not be at such a time as this is: That, if ever
God appeared, it is now: And though there was Faith in
many, that God would bring Deliverance, and that Deliverance would come, yet, that it shall come by your
Hands again, this is That that bears up our Spirits: That
it is the Mind of God, let me mind you of that Portion
of Scripture of Ezra, when he delivered his People out
of Babylon, Seeing that thou hast given us such a Deliverance as this, shall we yet break thy Commandments?
We hope that is upon your Spirits; and that you will
really set yourselves to do that; that you may glad the
Hearts of all England, and all the World.
And truly Sir, it is one Request we make to you, That
you would so settle the Government, and the Foundations
of these Nations, that it may not be too long trusted in any
Man's Hands; that it may not be perpetuated to Men:
For we have found it by woful Experience, that the best
of Men, be they what they will, that if they have Power
long in their Hands, they may too much exalt themselves;
and so forget that they ought to know what it is to obey,
as well as to rule. Sir, we shall only beg this, That the
wise God would fill this Honourable Assembly with his
Spirit; that He would sit in the Midst of your Councils;
that He would bow the Heavens, and appear; and give
down that Wisdom and Light from his good Spirit, that
you may do that, for which Generations to come may
call you Blessed: That we may look upon you as our
Moses' our Joshuas, our Counsellors (at the Beginning you
were our Counsellors; at first you did eminently appear
against Tyranny and Oppression, and did lay a Foundation of common Interest; and, though you were interrupted, yet you are come again together:) That, as you
have been Instruments to lay the Foundation, so you may
lay the Top Stone, crying, Grace, Grace, unto it.
And thereupon presented a Petition: Which, when
the Petitioners were withdrawn, was read; being intituled, "The humble Petition of many Inhabitants in and
about the City of London."
Ordered, That the Petitioners be called in: And that
Mr. Speaker acquaint them, that the House will take the
Matter of the Petition into Consideration in due time:
And that he give them Thanks, in the Name of the
Parliament, for their good and constant Affections.
And, the Petitioners being again called in, Mr. Speaker
returned them this Answer:
"The Parliament have read your Petition, and every
Part of it; and do intend, in due time, to take the Things
therein mentioned into Consideration: In the mean time,
they have commanded me to tell you, that they do accept
of your Petition; and give you Thanks for your Care in
it, and for your good Affections."
Council of State.
Colonel Jones, from the Members of the Committee of
Safety that are Members of the House, reports the
Draught of an Act for constituting a Council of State,
with Instructions; together with the Opinion of the said
Committee, that the Number whereof the said Council
do consist should be Four-and-twenty.
The House took up the Debate upon the Report made
by Lieutenant General Ludlow, from the Committee of
Safety, for the better constituting and establishing the
Land-Forces of this Commonwealth, &c.
Ordered, That the said Report be re-committed to be
brought in again To-morrow Morning.