Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 7, 1651-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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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 this Commonwealth.
Ordered, That this Debate be taken up To-morrow Morning.
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.