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Offer'd to the Consideration of the
W I TH AN
By M. E.
If you take away the Law, all Things will fall into
Confusion, every Man will become a Law unto
discesn’d. Pym's Speech against the Lord Strafford.
(Price Two Shillings.)
HE Loud Pretences a Party in this
Nation continually make to Liberty and Property, the Laws and Constitutions of their Country, have provok'd me to search whether Reason or Noise is most on their fide, in this search I confirm'd my felf every step I went, more strongly in my opinion, that these Men acted and thought Diametrically opposite to the Good of their Country, that they offer'd the greatest Violation to the Laws of God and Men in their Notions of Government
The Word Parliament made such a terri. ble found as wou'd Intimidate a Person of Small Resolution and Courage, and make him forego the Argument even thro' Fear: A Stranger to the Controversy wou'd Imagine, that Parliaments were as Antient at least, as the Flood, and that a House of Commons was preserv'd in Noah's Ark : But alas, I found their Power, and their Being of a much later Date. They were rais’d by our Kings to Ballance a House of Lords, and may, for ought I know, be a very August Body. But however, the Lords were before Pem, and Kings before 'em all.
I cannot find any Reason to think the Coma mons were call'd before Henry ift: who was A
undoubtedly an Usurper. But then, as Sir, Robert Filmer has observ’d, only a confus’d Number were suffer'd to come. But the Regular sending Members by Election and the King's Writ, did not commence till Henry 3d.
The House of Lords was much more Antient, and was call’d the Great Council of the Nation, and the Council of Barons, which conised of Temporal Lords and Bishops.
Those therefore who strenuously affert the Antiquity of Parlianients, and fix 'em to the time of William the Conquerour, if not higher; I say, these Men must either prove the Comnions were in Parliament before Henry ift, or they must grant that an House of Commons Antiently was not effential to a Parliament, and that the House of Lords was such without them.
But if we Examine what these Lords were in whom are suppos’d to be the Suprean Power of the Nation, even they were the Creatures of the King, they were Created by hini, and enjoy'd all their Honours and Privileges by his Favour : So that to assert the Superiority of such a Parliament, is absurd, and this Argument alone is sufficient to prove Kings to be more Antient than Parliaments, who were only call together by himself.
If we Recur to Antiquity, we Mall find that the Clergy form'd one of the States of the Kingdom, and were callid to Consult" in
Cases of Emergency, when à House of Com mons had no Being.
Nor were they distinguish?d with the Charatteristicks of the Suprean Power, when 39 Members of that House were Prosecuted by Indiiqment in the King's Bench, for Departing without License from Parliament in Defiance of the King's Prohibition. This was 1, 2, of Philip, and Mary; the Substance of the Information I shall give the Reader in English, because it will contribute to clear the Dispute : We find in the Infiitutes p. 4. C. 1. The Information was drawn up by the King's Attorney : That whereas a Parliament of our Sovereign Lord and Lady was then held at Westminster, in the First: and Second Year of their Reigns, in which it was forbid by our Lord and Lady, in the same Parliament, that any person there to Summond should not depart from Parliament without Special Leave or License from our said Lord" and Lady; nevertheless, certain Persons, viz. Thomas Denton, de Com. Ox. &c. were Sumnon'd to the said Parliament ; but in Contempt of our said Lord and Lady, and of the good of their Country, they departed from the said Parliament without Leave or License from our said Lord and Lady, to the great Detriment of this Kingdom, and have given thereby an ill Example to Posterity; the Attorney demands that a legal Process shou'd be ljud forth to make