And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.—Acts 4.32.

[A Vindication of the Ministers of the Gospel in, and about London, from the unjust Aspersions cast upon their former Actings for the Parliament, as if they had promoted the bringing of the King to Captial punishment [which was the doing of the wicked Oliver Cromwell and his sectarian party], etc. etc. by Thomas Watson, Thomas Manton, Thomas Case, William Gouge, Christopher Love, etc. etc.]
A
VINDICATION
OF THE
Ministers of the Gospel
in, and about London, from the unjust
Aspersions cast upon their former Actings
for the Parliament, as if they had pro-
moted the bringing of the
KING
to Capitall punishment.
WITH
A short Exhortation to their People to keep close
to their Covenant-Ingagement.

 Isaiah 62.1. For Zions sake I will not hold my peace, and for Ierusalems sake I
    will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightnesse, and the
    salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
 Prov. 24.21,22. My son, fear thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with
    them that are given to change.
 For their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both?

LONDON,
Printed by A.M. for Th. Underhill at the Bible in
Woodstreet. 1648.


A
VINDICATION
OF THE
MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL
in, and about London, from the unjust Aspersions
cast upon their former Actings for the Parliament,
as if they had promoted the bringing of the
KING to Capital punishment.

IT cannot be unknown how much we, and other Ministers of this City and Kingdom that faithfully adhered to the Parliament, have injuriously smarted under the scourge of evil tongues and pens, ever since the first eruption of the unhappy differences and unnatural war between the King and Parliament, for our obedience to the Commands and Orders of the Honourable Houses, in their contests with his Majesty, and conflicts with his Armies.

We are not ignorant of the over-busy intermeddlings of Prelates and their party heretofore, in over-ruling civil affairs to the great endangering of Kingdoms, and of this in particular, when private interests, ambitious designs, revenge, or other sinister ends, engaged them beyond their sphere. Howbeit, it cannot reasonably (as we conceive) be denied, that Ministers, as subjects, being bound to obey the Laws and to preserve the Liberties of {2} the Kingdom, and having an interest in them and the happiness of them, as well as others, may and ought (without incurring the just censure due to busy-bodies and incendiaries) to appear, for preserving the Laws and Liberties of that Common-wealth whereof they are members, especially in our case, when it was declared by the Parliament, that all was at stake, and in danger to be lost. No, nor as Ministers ought they to hold their peace, in a time wherein the sins of Rulers and Magistrates as well as others, have so far provoked God as to kindle the fire of his wrath against his people. And yet, for this alone, the faithful servants of God, have in all ages, through the malice of Satan and his instruments, been traduced as Arch-incendiaries, when only their accusers are indeed guilty of both laying the train, and of putting fire to it, to blow up a Kingdom.

And Ahab and his sycophants think none so fit to bear the odium of being the grand Troubler of Israel, as Elijah. Thus, the popish device was, to charge the Gun-powder Treason (had it taken effect) upon the Puritans: And, if you believe Tertullus, even a Paul is a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition throughout the world, a ringleader of a sect, and what not, but what he is? Yea, Christ himself though a friend to Monarchy, even of heathenish Rome, is proclaimed an enemy to Csar, to open a way to his destruction, by their malice, who never cared for the interest of Csar.

Wherefore, although with us, who have had experience of like usage, it be a small thing to be thus judged of men, when we regard only our own particular persons: For, if they call the master of the house Beel-zebub, how much more those of his household? yet when we consider {3} how much it concerns the honour of our Master, and the good of all, to preserve our ministerial function immaculate (our good names, being in that relation, as needful to others, as a good conscience to ourselves) we dare not but stand by and assert the integrity of our hearts, and the innocency of all our actings (in reference to the King and Kingdom) for which we are so much calumniated and traduced.

This we are compelled to at this time, because there are many who very confidently (yet most unjustly) charge us to have been formerly instrumental, toward the taking away the life of the King. And because also there are others who in their scurrilous Pasquils and Libels (as well as with their virulent tongues) present us to the world as a bloody seditious sect, and traitorous obstructers, of what all the godly people of the Kingdom do earnestly desire for establishing a Religion of Peace, in that we stick at the Execution of the King, while yet we are (as they falsely affirm) content to have him convicted and condemned: all which we must, and do from our hearts disclaim, before the whole world.

For when we did first engage with the Parliament, (which we did not till called thereunto) we did it with loyal hearts and affections towards the King, and his posterity. Not intending the least hurt to his Person, but to stop his party from doing further hurt to the Kingdom; not to bring his Majesty to justice (as some now speak) but to put him into a better capacity to do justice: To remove the wicked from before him, that his throne might be established in righteousness; not to dethrone, and destroy him, which (we much fear) is the ready way to the destruction of all his Kingdoms. {4}

That which put on any of us at first to appear for the Parliament was, The Propositions and Orders of the Lords and Commons in Parliament (June 10, 1642,) for bringing in of money and plate, &c. wherein they assured us that whatsoever should be brought in thereupon, should not be at all employed upon any other occasion, than to maintain The Protestant Religion, The King's Authority, his Person in his royal dignity, the free course of justice, the Laws of the Land, the Peace of the Kingdom, and the Privileges of Parliament, against any force which shall oppose them.

And in this we were daily confirmed and encouraged more and more, by their many subsequent declarations and protestations, which we held ourselves bound to believe, knowing many of them to be godly and conscientious men, of Publick spirits, zealously promoting the common good, and labouring to free this Kingdom from tyranny and slavery, which some evil instruments about the King, endeavoured to bring upon the Nation.

As for the present actings at Westminster, since the time that so many of the Members were by force secluded, divers imprisoned, and others thereupon withdrew from the house of Commons (and, there not being that conjunction of the two Houses, as heretofore) we are wholly unsatisfied therein, because we conceive them to be so far from being warranted by sufficient Authority, as that in our apprehensions they tend to an actual alteration (if not subversion) of that which the honourable House of Commons, in their Declaration of April 17, 1646, have taught us to call the Fundamental constitution and government of this Kingdom, which they therein assure us (if we understand them) they would never alter. {5}

Yea, we hold ourselves bound in duty to God, Religion, the King, Parliament, and Kingdom, to profess before God, Angels, and men, That we verily believe that which is so much feared to be now in agitation, the taking away the life of the King, in the present way of Trial, is, not only not agreeable to any Word of God, the principles of the Protestant Religion (never yet stained with the least drop of blood of a King) or the fundamental constitution and government of this Kingdom; but, contrary to them, as also to the Oath of Allegiance, the Protestation of May 5, 1641, and the Solemn League and Covenant: from all, or any of which Engagements, we know not any power on earth, able to absolve us or others.

In which last, we have sworn (with hands lifted up to the most high God) That we shall with sincerity, reality, and constancy, in our several vocations, endeavour, with our estates and lives, mutually to preserve and defend the Rights and Privileges of the Parliament, and the liberties of the Kingdoms, and to preserve and defend the King's Majesty's Person, and Authority, in the defence of the true Religion, and Liberties of the Kingdoms: That the world may bear witness with our consciences of our Loyalty, and that we have no thoughts or intentions to diminish his Majesty's just power and greatness.

And we are yet further tied by another Article of the same Covenant; Not to suffer ourselves, directly or indirectly, by whatsoever combination, persuasion, or terrour, to be divided or withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary part, or to give ourselves to a detestable indifferency, or neutrality in this Cause which so much concerns the glory of God, the good of the {6} Kingdoms, and honour of the King: but shall all the days of our lives, zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the same according to our power against all lets and impediments whatsoever. And this we have not only taken ourselves, but most of us have by command of the Parliament administered it to others, whom we have thereby drawn in to be as deep as ourselves in this publick engagement.

Therefore, According to that our Covenant, we do in the Name of the great God (to whom all must give a strict account) warn and exhort all who either more immediately belong to our respective charges, or any way depend on our Ministry, or to whom we have administered the said Covenant (that we may not by our silence suffer them to run upon that highly provoking sin of Perjury) to keep close to the ways of God, and the rules of Religion, the Laws, and their Vows, in their constant maintaining the true Reformed Religion; the fundamental Constitution, and Government of this Kingdom, (not suffering themselves to be seduced from it, by being drawn in to subscribe the late Models, or Agreement of the people,1 which directly tends to the utter subversion of the whole frame of the fundamental government of the Land, and makes way for an universal toleration of all heresies and blasphemies (directly contrary to our Covenant) if they can but get their Abettors to cover them under a false guise, of the Christian Religion) as also in preserving the Privileges of both Houses of Parliament, and the Union between the two Nations of England and Scotland: to mourn bitterly for their own sins, the sins of the City, Army, Parliament, and Kingdom, and the woeful miscarriages of the King himself, {7} (which we cannot but acknowledge to be many and very great) in his Government, that have cost the three Kingdoms so dear, and cast him down from his Excellency into an horrid pit of misery, almost beyond example. And to pray that God would both give him effectual repentance, and sanctify that bitter cup of Divine Displeasure, that the Divine providence hath put into his hand; as also that God would restrain the violence of men, that they may not dare to draw upon themselves and the Kingdom the blood of their Sovereign.

And now, we have good reason to expect that they who brought us under such a bond, and thereby led us into the necessity of this present Vindication and manifestation of our judgments and discharge of our consciences, should defend us in it. However, we resolve rather to be of their number that tremble at his Terrours who is a consuming fire, and will not fail to avenge the quarrel of his Covenant, upon all that contemn it, than to be found among those who despise the Oath by breaking his Covenant (after lifting up the hand) although it had been made but in Civil things only, and that with the worst of men. Lev. 26; Ezek. 17; 2 Sam. 21.

C. Burges, D.D. Preacher of the Word in Pauls Lond.
Will. Gouge D.D. Pastor of Black-friers.
Edm. Stanton D.D. Pastor of Kingston.
Tho. Temple D.D. Pastor of Battersey. {8}
Geo. Walker Pastor of John Evang.
Edm. Calamy Pastor of Aldermanbury.
Jer. Whitaker Pastor of Mag: Bermunsey.
Dan. Cawdrey Minist. of Martins in the Fields.
William Spurstow Minist. of Hackney.
La. Seaman Pastor of Alh. Breadstreet.
Simeon Ashe Min. of Michael Basingshaw.
Tho. Case Minist. of Magd. Milkstreet,
Nich. Proffet Minister at Fosters.
Thom. Thorowgood Minist. of Crayford.
Edw. Corbet Minist. of Croyden.
Henry Roborough Pastor of Leonards East-Cheap.
Arthur Jackson Pastor of Michaels Wood-street.
Ja. Nalton Pastor of Leonards Fosterlane.
Tho. Cawton Past. of Bartholomewes Exchange.
Charles Offspring Pastor of Antholins.
Sa. Clark Minister of Bennet Fynk.
Jo. Wall Minister of Michael Cornhill. {9}
Fran. Roberts Pastor of the Church at Austins.
Mat. Haviland Pastor of Trinity.
John Sheffield Minister of Swithins.
William Harrison Minister of Gracechurch.
William Jenkyn Minist. of Christchurch.
John Viner Pastor of Buttolph Algate.
Elidad Blackwell Pastor of Andrew Vndershaft.
John Crosse Minister at Mathews Fridaystreet.
John Fuller Minister at Buttolph Bishopsgate.
William Taylor Pastor of Stephens Colemanstreet.
Peter Witham Pastor of Albanes Woodstreet.
Fran. Peck Pastor of Nich. Acorne.
Christopher Love Pastor of Anne Aldersgate.
John Wallis Minister of Martin Ironmongerlane.
Tho. Watson Pastor of Stevens Walbrook.
Tho. Bedford Pastor of Martins Outwich.
William Wickins Pastor of Andrew Hubbard. {10}
Tho. Manton Minister of Stoke Newington.
Thomas Gouge Pastor of Sepulchers.
William Blackmore Pastor of Peters Cornhill.
Robert Mercer Minister of Brides.
Ra. Robinson Pastor of Mary Woolnorth.
John Glascock Min. at Undetshaft.
Thomas Whately Minister at Mary Wool-Church.
Jonathan LLoyde Pastor of Iames Garlick Hithe.
John Wells Pastor of Olaves Iury.
Benjamin Needler Pastor of Margaret Moses.
Nath. Staniforth Minister of Mary Bothaw.
Steven Watkins Minister of Mary Overies.
Jacob Tice Pastor of Buttolph Billingsgate.
Iohn Stilemman Minister at Rotherhithe.
Iosias Bull Pastor of North Cray.
Ionathan Deverux late Minister at Andrews Holburne. {11}
Paul Russell Preacher at Hackney.
Iosuah Kirby Minister of the Word.
Arthur Barham Pastor at Hellens.

F I N I S.


Footnotes:

1. Declared by both Houses (for the substance of it) to be Destructive to the being of Parliament, and to the fundamental Government of the Kingdom, 111 Decemb. 1647, yea, condemned heretofore by the General, and his Council of War, and one of the soldiers shot to death for promoting it.