112. THE HUMBLE PETITION AND ADVICE (1657)
To his highness, the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging, the humble petition and advice of the knights, citizens, and burgesses now assembled in the parliament of this commonwealth. We, the knights, citizens, and burgesses in this present parliament assembled, taking into our most serious consideration the present state of these three nations, joined and united under your highness' protection, cannot but in the first place, with all thankfulness, acknowledge the wonderful mercy of Almighty God in delivering us from that tyranny and bondage ... which the late king and his party designed to bring us under ...; and also that it hath pleased the same gracious God to preserve your person in many battles, to make you an instrument for preserving our peace.... We consider likewise the continual danger which your life is in from the ... malignant and discontented party ... it being a received principle amongst them that, no order being settled in your lifetime for the succession in the government, nothing is wanting to bring us into blood and confusion, and them to their desired ends, but the destruction of your person.... Upon these considerations, we have judged it a duty incumbent upon us to present and declare these our most just and necessary desires to your highness:
1. That your highness will be pleased, by and under the name and style of lord protector ... , to hold and exercise the office of chief magistrate of these nations, and to govern, according to this petition and advice, in all things therein contained, and in all other things according to the laws of these nations, and not otherwise; that your highness will be pleased during your lifetime to appoint and declare the person who shall immediately after your death succeed you in the government of these nations.
2. That your highness will for the future be pleased to call parliaments consisting of two houses, in such manner and way as shall be more particularly afterwards agreed and declared in this petition and advice, once in three years at furthest, or oftener as the affairs of the nation shall require....
3. That the ancient and undoubted liberties and privileges of parliament ... be preserved and maintained; and that you will not break or interrupt the same, nor suffer them to be broken or interrupted; and, particularly, that those persons who are legally chosen by a free election of the people to serve in parliament may not be excluded from sitting in parliament to do their duties, but by judgment and consent of that house whereof they are members.
4.... And that these qualifications may be observed, and yet the privilege of parliament maintained, we desire that it may be by your highness' consent ordained that forty-one commissioners be appointed by act of parliament, who, or any fifteen or more of them, shall be authorized to examine and try whether the members to be elected for the house of commons in future parliament be capable to sit, according to the qualifications mentioned in this petition and advice; and in case they find them not qualified accordingly, then to suspend them from sitting until the house of commons shall, upon hearing of their particular cases, admit them to sit.... That the number of persons to be elected and chosen to sit and serve in parliament for England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the distribution of the persons so chosen within the counties, cities, and boroughs of them respectively, may be according to such propositions as shall be agreed upon and declared in this present parliament.
5. That your highness will consent that none be called to sit and vote in the other house, but such as are not disabled, but qualified according to the qualifications mentioned in the former article, being such as shall be nominated by your highness, and approved by this house, and that they exceed not seventy in number, nor be under the number of forty ... , who shall not give any vote by proxies; and that, as any of them do die or be legally removed, no new ones be admitted to sit and vote in their rooms, but by consent of the house itself. That the other house do not proceed in any civil causes, except in writs of error, in cases adjourned from inferior courts into the parliament for difficulty, in cases of petitions against proceedings in courts of equity, and in cases of privileges of their own house; that they do not proceed in any criminal causes whatsoever against any person criminally, but upon an impeachment of the commons assembled in parliament, and by their consent; that they do not proceed in any cause, either civil or criminal, but according to the known laws of the land, and the due course and custom of parliament; that no final determinations or judgments be by any members of that house, in any cause there depending, either civil, criminal, or mixed, as commissioners or delegates, to be nominated by that house; but all such final determinations and judgments to be by the house itself any law or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
6. That in all other particulars which concern the calling and holding of parliaments, your highness will be pleased that the laws and statutes of the land be observed and kept; and that no laws be altered, suspended, abrogated, or repealed, or new law made but by act of parliament.
7. And to the end there may be a constant revenue for support of the government, and for the safety and defence of these nations by sea and land, we declare our willingness to settle forthwith a yearly revenue of £1,300,000 whereof £1,000,000 for the navy and army, and £300,000 for the support of the government, and no part thereof to be raised by a land tax; and this not to be altered without the consent of the three estates in parliament; and to grant such other temporary supplies, according as the commons assembled in parliament shall from time to time adjudge the necessities of these nations to require. And [we] do pray your highness that it be enacted and declared that no charge be laid, nor no person be compelled to contribute to any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, tallage, aid, or any other like charge without common consent by act of parliament which is a freedom the people of these nations ought by the laws to inherit.
8. That none may be added or admitted to the privy council of your highness or successors, but such as are of known piety and undoubted affection to the rights of these nations and a just Christian liberty in matters of religion, nor without consent of the council to be afterwards approved by both houses of parliament ...; after your highness' death, the commander-in-chief under your successors of such army or armies as shall be necessary to be kept in England, Scotland, or Ireland, as also all such field officers at land or generals at sea which after that time shall be newly made and constituted by your successors, be [so made] by the consent of the council and not otherwise. And that the standing forces of his commonwealth shall be disposed of by the chief magistrate, by consent of both houses of parliament, sitting the parliament; and in the intervals of parliament, by the chief magistrate, by the advice of the council. And also that your highness and successors will be pleased to exercise your government over these nations by the advice of your council.
9. And that the chancellor, keeper or commissioners of the great seal of England, the treasurer or commissioners of the treasury there, the admiral, the chief governor of Ireland, the chancellor, keeper or commissioners of the great seal of Ireland, the chief justices of both the benches, and the chief baron in England and Ireland, the commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland, and such officers of state there as by act of parliament in Scotland are to be approved by parliament, and the judges in Scotland hereafter to be made, shall be approved of by both houses of parliament....
II. That the true Protestant Christian religion, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and no other, be held forth and asserted for the public profession of these nations; and that a confession of faith, to be agreed by your highness and the parliament, according to the rule and warrant of the Scriptures, be asserted, held forth, and recommended to the people of these nations; that none may be suffered or permitted, by opprobrious words or writing, maliciously or contemptuously to revile or reproach the confession of faith to be agreed on as aforesaid....
18. And in case your highness shall not be satisfied to give your consent to all the matters and things in this humble petition and advice, that then nothing in the same be deemed of force, to oblige the people of these nations in any particulars therein contained.
Ibid., II, 1048 f.
 In the preceding clauses the article excludes from voting or from being elected those disenabled by articles 14 and 15 of the Instrument of Government (above, p. 526); also atheists, revilers of religion, persons who deny the authority of Scripture, profaners of the Lord's day, cursers, drunkards, frequenters of taverns, and persons who marry Roman Catholic wives or permit their children to be brought up in that faith or to marry Roman Catholics.
 Through an elaboration of articles 35-37 of the Instrument of Government (above, p. 528), toleration is extended to all who accept the doctrine of the Trinity and recognize the Old and New Testaments as the revealed word of God. Ministers who accept the confession of faith, but differ in matters of worship and discipline, are to be eligible for any trust, promotion, or employment to which ministers are eligible. But no ministers or preachers may hold civil office. Article 12 confirms the earlier abolition of archbishoprics, bishoprics, and other cathedral offices, together with the disposal made of lands and properties thereto attached.