Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 7, 1651-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Saturday, the 7th of May, 1659.
Serjeant at Arms.
ORDERED, That Henry Middleton Esquire, Serjeant at Arms, be, and he is hereby, appointed Serjeant at Arms to attend the Parliament, for such Time as the Parliament shall think fit, not exceeding one Week.
Clerk of Parliament.
Ordered, That John Phelpes Esquire be and he is hereby appointed Clerk of the Parliament, for such Time as the Parliament shall think fit, not exceeding one Week.
Declaration of Officers of the Army.
Mr. Speaker acquaints the Parliament, That the Lord Lambert, with divers of the Officers of the Army, in the Name of the Lord Fleetwood, and Council of Officers of the Army, upon the Sixth of May 1659, came unto him, many of the Members of Parliament being then present; and delivered to him a Declaration; which was then read in the Presence of the said Members: The said Declaration Mr. Speaker now tendereth: Which was read; and is as followeth;
May 6, 1659.
A Declaration of the Officers of the Army, inviting the Members of the Long Parliament, who continued Sitting till the Twentieth of April 1653, to return to the Exercise and Discharge of their Trust.
THE publick Concernments of this Commonwealth being, through a Vicissitude of Dangers, Deliverance, and Backslidings of many, brought into that State and Posture, wherein now they stand; and ourselves also contributing thereunto, by wandering divers Ways from righteous and equal Paths; and, although there have been many Essays to obviate the Dangers, and to settle these Nations in Peace and Prosperity, yet all have proved ineffectual: the Only wise God, in the Course of His Providence, disappointing all Endeavours therein; And also observing, to our great Grief, That the good Spirit, which formerly appeared amongst us, in the Carrying on of this Great Work, did daily decline, so as the good Old Cause itself became a Reproach; we have been led to look back, and examine the Cause of the Lord's withdrawing His wonted Presence from us, and where we turned out of the Way; that, through Mercy, we might return, and give Him the Glory:
And, amongst other Things, calling to mind, That the Long Parliament, consisting of the Members which continued there sitting until the Twentieth of April 1653, were eminent Assertors of that Cause; and had a special Presence of God with them; and were signally blessed in that Work (the Desires of many good People concurring with ours therein); we judge it our Duty to invite the aforesaid Members to return to the Exercise and Discharge of their Trusts, as before the said Twentieth of April 1653.
And, therefore, we do hereby most earnestly desire the Parliament, consisting of those Members who continued to sit since the Year 1648, until the Twentieth of April 1653, to return to the Exercise and Discharge of their Trust: And we shall be ready, in our Places, to yield them, as becomes us, our utmost Assistance to sit in Safety, for the improving the present Opportunity for settling and securing the Peace and Freedom of this Commonwealth; praying for the Presence and Blessing of God upon their Endeavours.
Signed, by Direction of the Lord Fleetwood, and the Council of Officers of the Army,
Tho. Sandforde, Secretary.
Major Salwey, the Lord Commissioner Whitelock, Sir Henry Vane, Mr. Scot, Mr. Martyn, Sir Arthur Hesilrigg, or any Three of them, are a Committee to prepare a Declaration, according to the Substance of the present Debate, upon the Declaration of the Officers of the Army now read.
Mr. Scot, Sir Arthur Hesilrigg, Lord Commissioner Lisle, Colonel Ludlow, Mr. Lechmere, Mr. Holland, Sir Henry Vane, Mr. Martyn, Mr. Attorney-General, Sir James Harrington, Mr. Weston, and Colonel John Jones, or any Three of them, are a Committee to peruse the Books, and other Records of Parliament, concerning the Members of this House who sat in this present Parliament since the Thirtieth of January in the Year 1648, till the Twentieth of April 1653, and were not excluded within that Time by Judgment of Parliament; and to give the Parliament an Account of the said Members: And are to withdraw forthwith into the Speaker's Chamber, for that Purpose.
Ordered, That John Smith Esquire do forthwith bring unto the Parliament the Parliament-Roll of this present Parliament; and all Books and Records of Parliament, since the Thirtieth of January 1648, to the Twentieth of April 1653.
The Speaker left the Chair.
The Speaker resumed the Chair.
Letter to absent Members.
Mr. Marten reports the Form of a Letter, to be signed by Mr. Speaker, and sent to the several Members of Parliament that are absent: Which was read; and, with some Amendments.
Resolved, That Letters be signed by Mr. Speaker, according to the Form now reported; and sent to the several Members of this present Parliament, now out of Town, who have subscribed their Names to the Parliament-Roll of Subscriptions to the Engagement, and are not disabled to sit by Judgment of this Parliament.
The Form of the said Letter followeth:
THE Parliament of this Commonwealth being, by God's Blessing, now again restored to the Freedom and Right of Sitting where they were interrupted on the Twentieth of April 1653, have commanded me to give you speedy Notice thereof; and to require your personal Attendance forthwith, for the carrying on the great Work expected from them, in the settling and securing the Peace and Freedom of this Commonwealth, according to your Duty in that Behalf.
Your loving Friend.
Declaration of Parliament.
Major Salwey reports, The Draught of a Declaration, concerning the wonderful Providence of God, in restoring this present Parliament to the Exercise and Discharge of their Trust: Which was read.
The said Declaration was again read in Parts, and debated; and several Amendments were made thereunto, at the Table; and, upon the Question, passed; and is as followeth;
A Declaration of the Parliament assembled at Westminster.
WHEREAS the Parliament of this Commonwealth having, through the eminent Favour and Mercy of God, sat many Years, in the Performance of the Trusts reposed in them by the People whose Representatives they are; and being, in the Prosecution of that Duty, assembled in Parliament, at Westminster, upon the Twentieth Day of April 1653, were then interrupted, and forced out of the House from that Time until this present Day:
And whereas the Officers of the Army, raised by this Parliament (calling to mind, that the same Parliament, consisting of the Members which continued to sit until the Twentieth of April 1653, were Assertors of the good Old Cause, and had a special Presence of God with them; and were signally blessed in that Work) did adjudge it their Duty (the Desires of many good People concurring with them therein) to invite the aforesaid Members to return to the Exercise and Discharge of their Trust, as before the said Twentieth of April 1653:
And, for the Effecting thereof, the Lord Lambert, with divers other Officers of the Army, in the Name of the Lord Fleetwood, and Council of Officers of the Army, did, upon the Sixth Day of May 1659, resort unto the Speaker of the said Parliament; and, in the Presence of many of the said Members of Parliament, presented a Declaration; containing their earnest Desire, that the Parliament, consisting of those Members who continued to sit since the Year 1648, until the Twentieth of April 1653, would return to the Exercise and Discharge of their Trust; promising their Readiness, in their Places, as became them, to yield their utmost Assistance to them, to sit in Safety, for improving the present Opportunity for settling and securing the Peace and Freedom of this Commonwealth; praying for the Presence and Blessing of God upon their Endeavours:
Whereupon the Speaker, with the aforesaid Members of Parliament, resolved to meet at Westminster the next Morning, giving notice, to others of their Fellow-Members, of such their Intention.
And accordingly, the Speaker, with the said Members, being assembled at Westminster the Seventh of May 1659, found it a Duty incumbent on them, not to neglect this Opportunity, which the wonderful, and (as they hope) the gracious Providence of God hath held forth unto them, for the Prosecution of what yet remains of their great Trust.
All which the Parliament taking into their Consideration, do declare, That they are resolved (through the gracious Assistance of Almighty God) to apply themselves to the faithful Discharge of the Trust reposed in them; and to endeavour the Settlement of this Commonwealth upon such a Foundation, as may assert, establish, and secure the Property and the Liberties of the People, in reference unto all, both as Men, and as Christians; and that without a single Person, Kingship, or House of Peers: And shall vigorously endeavour the Carrying on of Reformation so much desired, and so often declared for; to the end there may be a godly and faithful Magistracy and Ministry upheld and maintained in these Nations, to the Glory and Praise of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the reviving and making glad the Hearts of the Upright in the Land.
Answer to Officers Declaration.
Ordered, That this Declaration be forthwith printed and published.
Sir Arthur Hesilrigg, Sir Henry Vane, Lieutenant General Ludlow, Colonel Sydenham, Major Salwey, Colonel John Jones, or any Four of them, are to repair to the Lord Fleetwood; and acquaint him of the Parliament's good Acceptance of the Affections of the Officers of the Army to the Parliament, and this Commonwealth, manifested in their Declaration, delivered to the Speaker, and by him communicated to the Parliament: Who have expressed their Intentions thereupon, in the Declaration now passed; which the Parliament have appointed to be forthwith printed, and thereupon published by the Sheriffs of the several Counties throughout the Nation: and the said Committee are to deliver to his Lordship a Copy thereof; and desire him to give Order for the publishing the same likewise in Scotland and Ireland.
Committee of Safety.
The Lord Fleetwood, Sir Arthur Hesilrigge, Sir Henry Vane, Lieutenant-General Ludlow, Colonel Sydenham, Major Salwey, and Colonel John Jones, or any Four or more of them, are hereby made a Committee of Safety, with full Power to take especial and effectual Care of the Preservation of the Peace and Safety of this Commonwealth; and that all Officers, Soldiers, and Ministers of Justice, give due Obedience to the Orders of the said Committee: And the said Committee are to sit at such Times and Places as they, in their Discretion, shall think fit: And are to continue for the Space of Eight Days, and no longer.
House to seek the Lord.
Ordered, That the Parliament meet To-morrow Morning, in this Place, to seek the Lord for his Guidance and Blessing on the Parliament, and their Proceedings: And And that Dr. Owen be desired to be assistant in carrying on the Duty of the Day, in this Place, To morrow Morning; and that Colonel John Jones be desired to acquaint him therewith.
Declaration to be sent to Lord Mayor.
Ordered, That a true Copy of the Declaration, concerning the Parliament's being restored to the Exercise of their Trust, be sent to the Lord Mayor of the City of London, to be by him published within the City, and Liberties thereof; and that Alderman Atkin do deliver the same, accordingly, unto him.
Peace of the City.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Lord Mayor of the City of London, to take especial Care of the Preservation of the Peace and Safety of the said City, and the Liberties thereof: And that Alderman Atkin do acquaint him herewith.
Administration of Justice.
Ordered, That the Lord Whitlock, Mr. AttorneyGeneral, Mr. Lechmere, Mr. John Corbet, Mr. Say, the Lord Commissioner Lisle, Lord Chief Baron Wild, and Mr. Marten, or any Three of them, be a Committee, to consider, How the Administration of Justice may be, for the present, carried on in this Commonwealth, by Authority of Parliament; and to present a Bill for that Purpose, on Monday next, if they think fit.
The Parliament adjourns to To-morrow Morning, Eight a Clock.