Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 9, 1646. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 18 Decembris.
Ds. Grey de Werk.
Ds. Howard de Escr.
E. of St. Albans, a Pass.
Papers from Fortescue:
To leave the Kingdom immediately.
Commission for trying Piracy Causes.
Ordered likewise, That a Commission of Oyer and Terminer for Piracy Causes be issued forth, under the Great Seal, to be directed to the Parties in the Report from the Committee of Admiralty mentioned, and to such other Persons as the said Committee shall think fit. (Here enter.)
Sir G. Melviles Pet.
Message to the H. C. about the following Particulars.
Paper from the Scots Commissioners.
Count. of Marlborough's Fine to be remitted.
Preamble to the Propositions to be omitted.
Paper to the Scots Commissioners, that the going of the Committees to the King cannot be delayed;—to desire they will forbear Aspersions on the Houses;— and to know if they have any Thing to present to the King on Behalf of the Kingdom of Scotland.
"That the present Condition of the Affairs of this Kingdom will not admit of any Delay in sending the Commissioners of Parliament to the King, according to their Instructions lately communicated unto your Lordships: And therefore the Houses are resolved the Commissioners shall go on Monday next.
"That the Papers from your Lordships to the Houses are so long, that a present Answer to them cannot now be expected from the Houses. But the Houses will take them into Consideration with all convenient Speed; and do not doubt but to clear it to your Lordships and all the World, that they have proceeded herein without any Violation to the Treaties: And therefore they are very sensible, that such Aspersions should be laid upon the Houses; and desire they may be forborn for the future. And in the mean Time, they have now sent to offer it to your Lordships, if your Lordships have any Thing to present to the King in Behalf of the Kingdom of Scotland, that it may be ready to be sent at the same Time when the Commissioners of the Houses are appointed to go with those Things which are to be presented to His Majesty in the Behalf of the Kingdom of England."
Message to the H. C. with it.
To desire their Concurrence in the Paper to be sent to the Scotts Commissioners; and that it may be sent to them this Afternoon, by the Members of both Houses that are of the Committee of both Kingdoms.
Report concerning the Count. of Marlborough's Fine.
"This Day appeared the Right Honourable Jane Countess Dowager of Marleborough, now Wife of William Ashburnham Esquire, desiring to be admitted to compound for her Jointure by her former Husband, according to the Articles of Exeter, having a Pass and Certificate from the General Sir Thomas Fairefax, that she ought to have the Benefit of those Articles; the said Estate being of the Value of Five Hundred and Twenty-one Pounds per Annum for her Life, and no more; her Stock and Goods, to the Value of Twenty Thousand Pounds (as the alledged), being taken from her; and she indebted Two Thousand Pounds: Whereupon the Committee, proceeding to cast up her Fine, did rate the same at One Year's Value, as for Life, Five Hundred and Twenty-one Pounds: and order that the same be reported to both Houses, before she be required to pay the said Fine."
Report from the Admiralty Committee, that Fortescue, the D. of Lorrain's Agent, still continues in England, notwithstanding his being ordered to depart.
"Whereas, upon an Address lately made to this Committee, by a Servant of Mr. Anthony Fortescue, and in the Name of the said Mr. Fortescue, as Resident for the Duke of Lorraine, touching some Vessels and Persons stayed at the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, who pretend Commissions from the said Duke, the Committee did then cause to be read unto him an Order of both Houses of Parliament, dated the First of July, 1645, purporting their warning of him the said Mr. Fortescue to depart the Parliament's Quarters within Ten Days next after his said Warning; and declared that they could not treat with him, or any from him, whilst that Order remains unreversed: And whereas the said Mr. Fortescue, repairing since in Person to some of this Committee touching the same Matter, was advised to deliver in Writing what he had to say therein; and forasmuch as the said Mr. Fortescue did this Day send in to this Committee a Paper, signed with his own Hand, avowing his said Residentship, and his Continuance in England, the said Order notwithstanding: Ordered, That Report be made of the said Paper to both Houses of Parliament, that their Pleasure may be thereupon signified; and that the Committee's Proceedings concerning the said Vessels and Persons be stated, and presented together with the said Paper.
Paper from him to the Admiralty Committee, complaining of the Insults offered him in his Public Capacity; and desiring some Seamen in his Master's Service may be released, and a Prize taken by them from the French may be secured.
"Some Days since, I sent my Secretary George Fortescue to inform this Honourable Table of the hard Condition of some Seamen entertained by the Duke my Master against his Enemies the French, and how they were detained and made Prisoners in the Isle of Wight and Portsm° One Company of them having taken a lawful Prize under Sail, and not under the Protection of any Harbour of this Kingdom; and the other Company only preparing themselves to go to Ostend, there to accommodate themselves better for his Highness's Service: And both these Companies were taken notwithstanding they had his Highness' Commission, which, upon my Reputation, I do avouch to be true and authentic. But, before my Servant could inform this Honourable Table of the Particulars, he was taken off with the Reading of an Order from the Honourable Houses for my Departure out of the Kingdom; and that neither I, nor any sent by me, should be any more hereafter heard in the Affairs of the Duke of Lorrayne. Now, my Lords, in relation to the Message, I am forced to reply thus: The Axiom of Public Ministers of Princes is, "That they are neither to act their own nor any other Will, but that of the Prince they serve." So, my Lords, I profess myself (not as Anthony Fortescue, an Englishman, and Subject to this Crown,) but as Anthony Fortescue, Resident for his Highness of Lorraine, (and I beseech your Lordships to observe this Reduplication,) not to owe Obedience to any Commands but to those of the Duke my Master; so that, until his Highness take me off from this Station in which he hath placed me, I must stand immoveable. Not that I can contest with any Violence which may be offered to drive me out of this Kingdom, or that I fear any Second Plunder, or presenting of Pistols to my Breast as formerly, or that perhaps now the Bullet may be bid to go through me: Against all which, I will put on no other Armour than the Justice of my Cause, and leave my Vindication to the Prince my Master.
"Though to all these former Violences (against the Right of Nations) a Member of the House of Commons was a Personal Actor; it is not in my Power, my Lords, to recede from the Quality I here bear, and have borne these Dozen Years, without giving the least Offence to His Majesty or His People; insomuch as His Majesty from Oxford sent me His Gracious Letters of Protection, and in the same Latitude of Privilege which He gave to the greatest Ambassador. And thus much, my Lords, touching my Residentship; in which Point his Highness my Master can only give your Lordships Satisfaction.
"I cannot but put your Lordships in Mind of the many Gracious Letters his Highness my Master sent to both the Honourable Houses, and to this Ho nourable Table, and to divers particular Members of either House, not so few as Ten; of which One only hath been found to return him Thanks. To Private Men your Lordships use more Compliancy; and certainly this Neglect of his Highness cannot be but sensible unto him.
"The Request I am now to make unto this Honourable Table in his Highness' Name is, That his Highness' Men thus unjustly detained (and, as it appears, merely out of the Avarice of one Captain Baskett and Stephen Barton, and others, who daily make away the Goods of our Prize, and convert the Benefit to themselves) may either be speedily released, or sent up hither to answer the Cause before your Lordships; and that, in the mean Time, the Goods of our Prize may be secured, and sufficient Caution given for all such of them as the said Captain Baskett, Stephen Barton, and others, have embezzled away; and that the said Parties may be also called up, to give Cause before your Lordships why they thus seized upon our Goods: Moreover, that Captain Anderson and his Company (seized upon at Portsmouth without any Thing acted by them) may be immediately released. And in this your Lordships shall do his Highness my Master Justice; and I shall remain
State of this Business, concerning a French Ship being taken under the Fort at Plymouth, by a Ship of the D. of Lorrain's, and since stayed in the Isle of Wight, and another Shallop there belonging also to the D. of Lorrain.
"28 October, 1647, a French Vessel called The Susanna of Sherrant, Joshua Adryan Master, of about Three Hundred and Forty-one Tons, laden with Wines, Prunes, &c. and intended to Falmouth, on the Account of French Merchants, was riding at Anchor in Plymouth Sound, not far from One of the Forts there.
"Captain Thomas Falkener, Commander of a Man of War called The Destiny, pretending Commission from the Duke of Lorrayne, and manned with the English, comes aboard her in his Shallop the same Day, pretending Affection, and, after his Entertainment by the Master, demands the Bills of Lading; which being shewed him, he demands the Master's other Papers; which being denied him, he gave the Master a Box on the Ear: And at the same Instant the rest of Falkener's Men aboard caught up Half Pike Staves, Pole Axes, &c. and began to fall on the said Master and his Company; and One of them drew his Knife upon One of the Frenchmen, insomuch that the French Master and Five of his Company leaped overboard, and made Escape to Shore in Falkener's said Shallop.
"Falkener cuts the French Vessel's Cable, and carries her away, though a Shot was made at her from the Fort; and afterwards, with his Man of War and Prize, comes to the Isle of Wight, and is there stayed by an Officer under Colonel Hamond, Governor and Vice Admiral of the Isle of Wight.
"About the same Time, one Anderson, having a Commission from the Duke of Lorrayne, with a Blank for the Name of his Vessel, bought about Portsmouth a Shallop, pretending her for the said Duke's Service. The Country thereabouts being jealous that their Design was to do Mischief on the English, the Fishermen durst not adventure their Boats to Sea. The Deputy Vice Admiral of Hampsheir doth thereupon make Stay of the said Shallop, Anderson and his Company being English.
"The Committee of the Admiralty, on Notice of this Business, ordered a Continuance of the Restraint upon the said Man of War and Prize, as also upon Falkener and his Company; and after (upon View of several Examinations taken by Colonel Hamond) gave Order for sending the said Falkener and such of his Company as remained (most of them being got away) to Winchester Gaol, there to remain till they be brought to Trial.
"The Goods of the Prize being certified to be much embezzled and perishable, a Commission is issued for their Inventorying and Appraising, that, on Return thereof, such as are perishable may be sold to the French Proprietors best Advantage; and Notice thereof is given to the French Ambassador, that he may appoint some to look after them in Behalf of the French, if he shall see Cause.
Paper from the Admiralty Committee, for an Order for Commissions of Oyer and Terminer for trying Piracy Causes, to be issued.
"Whereas divers Seamen were lately ordered by this Committee to be sent to Winchester Gaol, in respect of their piratical Seizing of a Ship riding at Anchor in Plim°. Harbour, under Command of One of the Forts there (upon a Pretext of a Commission from the Duke of Lorragne), there to remain till Course shall be taken for their Trial; and whereas other Matters relating to Piracy and Robbing at Sea do frequently fall out: Ordered, That it be recommended to both Houses of Parliament, that Warrant be given for the issuing of Commissions of Oyer and Terminer, for authorizing the Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, the Judge of the Admiralty, of the Cinque Ports, and the Judges of such Vice Admiralties as this Committee shall think fit, respectively, to proceed to Trial of such Persons, according to Law; and that such other Commissioners be joined with the said Judges, in their several Commissions, as the Houses shall think fit.
Paper from the Scots Commissioners, enforcing their Desire of a Personal Treaty with the King;— desiring the Covenant may be established; —to reconcile the Differences concerning the Propositions; complaining of the Toleration allowed to Sectaries, &c. by them;— of the taking away the King's Negative Voice in passing Laws; — of divesting Him for ever of the Power of the Militia;— of debarring Him from the Power of conferring Titles; — and complaining of many Variations andOmissions in the Propositions:—desiring Uniformity in Religion may be established, and an Act of Oblivion in both Kingdoms passed.
(fn. 1) "The Answer of the Commissioners of the Kingdom of Scotland, to both Houses of Parliament, upon the new Propositions of Peace, and the Four Bills to be sent to His Majesty.
"We have, with much Patience, for divers Years together, in Pursuance of the Solemn League and Covenant, and Treaties betwixt the Kingdoms, used our best Endeavours for settling Religion and a happy Peace. Propositions were first agreed on, in Anno 1644, with Advice and Consent of the Parliaments of both Kingdoms, presented to His Majesty at Oxford by Commissioners of both, and treated upon at Uxbridge. In Anno 1645, we did earnestly and frequently press the sending of those Propositions again to His Majesty, wherein the Houses would not concur with us; but on the contrary (after very long Delay) thought fit to make several Alterations therein, which were principally in Matters that did concern the near Union of the Kingdoms. Yet were we so earnestly desirous of putting an End to the long-continued Distractions and Troubles of these Kingdoms, as (waving what might be conceived to be for the particular Interest of the Kingdom of Scot land) we did join with the Houses of Parliament, in presenting Propositions to His Majesty at Newcastle, though, as we then declared, we had just Reason to be unsatisfied with divers Things contained in those Propositions.
"When it was agreed upon betwixt the Kingdoms, that the same Propositions should be again presented to His Majesty at His coming to Holdenby, the Performance thereof being delayed by the Houses for divers Months, we did patiently wait their Leisure. Yet, upon the sudden, they did appoint a peremptory Day for sending the Propositions to His Majesty, and gave Order to their Commissioners, in case we were not precisely upon that Day at Hampton Court, that they should present the Propositions to the King alone by themselves, contrary to the Treaty betwixt the Kingdoms; which was so strange and unequal a Way, as we might have justly denied our Concurrence, had not our Love to Peace prevailed with us to join in that Message. But, after all this, finding no Success in that Way of sending Propositions to the King, and insisting upon His positive Assent thereunto, without giving any Reasons for the Justice of our Desires, or hearing any Proposition from His Majesty, we did, in November last, propose to the Honourable Houses, and with much Earnestness desire, that there might be a Personal Treaty with His Majesty here at London, it being in all Probability the best Means to obtain a Peace.
"About the Time of His Majesty's Withdrawing from Hampton Court, the Houses did communicate to us new Propositions, resolved on by them to be presented to His Majesty; after Receipt whereof, we did, in our Paper of the 17 of November, insist on our former Desire for a Personal Treaty with His Majesty: But receiving no Answer to that, nor to our Paper of the 5, and our positive Answer being demanded to the new Propositions; upon the 23 of November, we resolved once again to desire an Answer to our former Papers; a Personal Treaty being in our Judgement a readier Way to compose all Differences than the sending of these new Propositions, wherein there are so great and essential Differences from what was formerly agreed on by both Kingdoms. And to the End there might be no Lett or Delay on our Part, which might hinder the Settling of a Peace, we desired a Conference with a Committee of both Houses, concerning the Expediency of a Personal Treaty with His Majesty, and the Alterations made in the Propositions, that so, according to the Treaty of the 29 of Novem. 1643, there might be, with the Advice and Consent of both Nations, a speedy Agreement in those Things which are to be the Foundation of the Peace of both. To all which the Houses have been pleased to return no Answer.
"However, it is no small Satisfaction to us, that we leave no Means of Agreement unessayed, and that the Retardment of the Settling of the Peace of the Kingdoms cannot be charged on us. And, lest our further Silence in Expectation of an Answer should be mistaken, we have thought fit to represent our Sense, concerning a Personal Treaty and the Propositions, to the Houses in Writing; which, had our Desires been granted, we did intend to have done by a Verbal Conference.
"There be some Things which properly concern the Kingdom of England, their Rights, Laws, and Liberties: But there be other Matters, which, in their own Nature as being common to both, or by Covenant or Treaty, concern both Kingdoms; wherein, unless we would forget our Duty to God, to the King's Majesty, to our Native Kingdom, and to this Nation, our common Concernment and Interest cannot be denied. For, as Scotland was invited and engaged in this War upon Grounds and Reasons of Common Interest; so we trust it will not be offensive, that, in making of Peace, we claim from the Houses an Improvement of the very same Principles, and a Performance of the Treaties they have made with us; that the same Measure of Conjunction of Interests be given to us, which was had of us and promised unto us wherein the very Law of Nations and the Rule of Common Equity doth plead for us. Yet, in the Application of this Rule, we shall not stretch ourselves beyond our Line, the express Conditions of our Solemn League and Covenant, the Duty of our Allegiance, and the Treaties and Declarations between the Kingdoms, which are so many strong Obligations as all who have Honour or Conscience must acknowledge should be inviolably observed.
"Having laid this as a most just and solid Ground of our Proceedings, we shall first speak of the best and most probable Means to procure a good Agreement with the King, for settling Religion and a lasting Peace; and next of the Propositions, which are to be the Foundation of the Peace and Safety of both Kingdoms. And it is still our Opinion and Judgement, That the most equal, fairest, and just Way to obtain a well-grounded Peace, is by a Personal Treaty with the King; and that His Majesty, for that End, be invited to come to London, with Honour, Freedom, and Safety; for which we offer the Reasons following:
"1. The sending of Propositions without a Treaty hath been often essayed without Success; and the new Propositions are less to the Advantage of the Crown than the former: Therefore we have no Reason to expect better Satisfaction that Way than formerly we had.
"2. The King's Removal from His Parliament is acknowledged by the Houses, in several Declarations, to be the chief Cause of all the War, Mischief, and Calamities of the Kingdoms: Then His Majesty's Presence with His Parliament must be the best, if not the only, Remedy to remove our Troubles.
"3. In a Personal Treaty, the Commissioners of both Kingdoms may give Reasons for the Equity and Expediency of our Desires. But without a Treaty, or giving Reasons for asserting the Lawfulness and Expediency of the Propositions to be presented, they may be esteemed Impositions.
"4. The King may have some just Desires to move, for the Crown and for Himself; as, that He may have His Revenues, and that He may be restored to His Royal Government: Which may be done with greater Honoured Satisfaction to Him by a Personal Treaty than otherwise.
"5. A Personal Treaty with the King is the best Way to beget a mutual Confidence between Him and His Parliament; it is the best Way to clear His Doubts, and to remove all Difficulties; and it is the absolute best Way for giving and receiving mutual Satisfaction.
"6. We cannot expect that His Majesty will grant in Terminis whatsoever Propositions shall be sent unto Him; nor can every Thing in the Propositions be of that Importance, as that the not granting of it ought to hinder a Peace; neither will the Houses of Parliament give full Power to their Commissioners to make Alterations in the Propositions as they shall see Cause upon Debate: Wherefore a Personal Treaty with His Majesty at London is the most probable and expeditious Way to remove or reconcile all Differences.
"There is One common Objection wherewith many are possessed and prejudiced against a Personal Treaty with the King, and His coming to London, ["That His Presence may breed Division, and continue our Troubles; and that, when His Majesty desired to come hither from Oxford with Freedom and Safety, it was thought unfit, and denied by the Houses and the Commissioners from Scotland."] But that Argument now hath no Force at all; for the Case of Affairs, the King's Condition and ours (which were given for Reasons in that Answer to His Majesty) are quite altered from what they were then. Then the King had Armies in the Fields, He had Garrisons and strong Holds to return to: Now He hath none of these; and His Majesty offers a full Security against all Hostility or Danger can be expected from Him, by granting to the Houses the Power of the Militia by Sea and Land during His Reign, as is expressed in His Majesty's late Message from Caresbrook Castle. And for a further Answer, we desire the Houses to remember their Reply to His Majesty's Message of the 11 of September, 1642; where, after Mention of their chief Grievances, they say: ["All this notwithstanding, as we never gave Your. Majesty any just Cause of withdrawing Yourself from Your Great Council; so it hath ever been, and shall be, far from us, to give any Impediment to Your Return, or to neglect any proper Means of curing the Distempers of the Kingdom, and closing the dangerous Breaches betwixt Your Majesty and Your Parliament, according to the great Trust which lieth upon us. And if Your Majesty shall now be pleased to come back to Your Parliament without Your Forces, we shall be ready to secure Your Royal Person, Crown, and Dignity, with our Lives and Fortunes; Your Presence in this Great Council being the only Means of any Treaty betwixt Your Majesty and them with Hope of Success."] And if they were esteemed Enemies to the Parliament and the Peace of the Kingdoms who advised the King to withdraw from His Parliament, what Estimation will the World have of them, who, after such a Declaration, will not suffer Him to return to His Parliament, when He offers to cast Himself into their Arms? If so kind an Offer shall be refused, and the King driven to Despair, it is to be feared these Kingdoms shall be involved into greater Difficulties than ever. And therefore we do hold, that the admitting the King to come to London with Honour; Freedom, and Safety, and granting of a Personal Treaty with His Majesty upon such Propositions as shall be agreed upon by Advice and Consent of both Kingdoms, is the most probable and only best Means, with Hope of Success, for settling a well-grounded Peace.
"Having spoken of the readiest Means to obtain a just and lasting Peace; we shall next fall upon the Consideration of the Propositions, which are to be the Foundation of our Peace. And the most compendious and succinct Way to a good Agreement and unanimous Resolution upon them is, in the First Place, to consider and remove our Differences; which are chiefly in Religion, the Interest of the Crown, and in the Union and joint Concernment of the Kingdoms.
"We shall begin with that of Religion, which, for the incomparable Excellency thereof (although it be amongst the last of these new Propositions), deserves the Preference. It is the Primum quærite, the Unum necessarium; we ought to build the House of God before our own. The Law of Piety and true Policy doth require that Religion, which rendereth to God His Due, have the Precedency; and therefore (upon Debate), before we went to the Treaty at Uxbridge, it was agreed betwixt the Houses and us, That the Propositions of Religion should be in the First Place, and first treated and agreed upon, before any Agreement upon any other Proposition. And His Majesty, in His late Message from Caresbrook Castle, begins at Religion, as the best and chiefest Foundation for Peace. Wherefore, if this changing of the former Order and Method of the Propositions be only their Error to whom the Reviewing of the Propositions was committed, and if the Houses have not fallen away from their First Zeal, we desire that it may be rectified, and the former Method kept. And so we come to the Matter of the Propositions.
"The material Differences and Alterations concerning Religion may be branched into the Error of Omission and Deficiency, and into that of Commission and Excess. That which is left out, is no less than the Solemn League and Covenant: And shall the Covenant, which is as solemu a Vow as Creatures on Earth could make to God in Heaven, and the greatest Tie betwixt Men on Earth (to which the most high and dreadful Name of The Lord God Almighty was interposed), be offered up in a Sacrifice, and buried in the Ashes of Oblivion? Shall our Covenant, for the Preservation and Reformation of Religion, for the Honour and Happiness of the King, and the Peace and Safety of the Three Kingdoms, and for the Maintenance and Defence of the Laws and true Public Liberties of these Kingdoms; which was declared by both Kingdoms to be a fit and most excellent Means to acquire the Favour of God towards both, and likewise to unite them, and, by uniting, to strengthen them against the common Enemies of the true Reformed Religion, and the Peace and Prosperity of these Kingdoms, and which in all former Propositions was desired to be established; be now deleted, as unworthy to take Room amongst these new Propositions? Shall the Covenant; which both Houses did recommend to the Assembly of Divines to make a Declaration to all Sorts of Persons to take it, as that which they judged not only lawful, but exceeding expedient and necessary for all that wish well to Religion, the King, and Kingdom, to join in, and to be a singular Pledge of God's Gracious Goodness to all the Three Kingdoms; (we say,) shall that Covenant be laid aside? Shall our mutual and solemn League and Covenant, subscribed by the Parliaments of both Kingdoms, by the Assembly of Divines, by the City of London, and which not only they, but all Scotland, and many Thousands in England and Ireland, with Hands lifted up to The Most High God, did swear, ["That they shall not suffer themselves directly or indirectly, by whatsoever Combination, Persuasion, or Terror, to be divided and withdrawn from that blessed Union and Conjunction, whether to make Defection to the contrary Part, or to give themselves to a detestable Indifferency or Neutrality in this Cause, which so much concerneth the Glory of God, the Good of the Kingdoms, and Honour of the King; but shall all the Days of their Lives zealously and constantly continue therein, against all Opposition, and promote the same, according to their Power, against all Letts and Impediments whatsoever; and that they shall do all this as in the Sight of God;"] shall that Covenant (even with those that took it) be already out of Date, and not so much as remembered amongst the Propositions of Peace? Yea, it is not so much as mentioned in these new Propositions, except in the 7 Qualification of the 14 Proposition, where it is only made a Hook to catch some into the Notion of Delinquency: But perhaps there it escaped the Revisers of the Propositions, who in all other Places have exploded it.
Matth. x. 32, 33.
Declaration delivered in Scotland, July, 1643.
"It is answered by some, That by One of the Propositions it is craved, That an Act of Parliament be passed, declaring the King's Approbation of the making of the Treaties between the Kingdoms of Scotland and England, in which Treaties there is Mention made of the Covenant; and therefore it is not necessary to desire a particular Confirmation and Establishment of the Covenant. To which it is briefly replied, First, That there is no Proposition for passing any Act of Parliament to confirm the Treaties between the Kingdoms, as was desired in all former Propositions; but these Words are purposely changed, and in Place thereof there is only desired, "An Act declaring the King's Approbation of the making of the Treaties;" which in Effect is no more than an Act of Indemnity for making the Treaties, and not an Act for Confirmation and Establishing of the Treaties themselves, and those Things which are expressed and transacted in them. 2. Suppose there were an Act of Parliament passed, for Approbation of the Treaties between the Kingdoms in general (which is not in these Propositions); yet such a Generality would not be understood to be extended to the Confirmation of the Covenant, unless the particular Articles of the Treaty and the Covenant were expressly inserted; because there was an express Proposition amongst the former, "That an Act of Parliament be passed in both Kingdoms, for confirming and taking the Covenant;" which being now left out of the new Propositions, without mentioning the Covenant, cannot but be interpreted as a Receding from the Covenant; and the Approbation and Confirmation of the Treaties in general (after deleting the Covenant out of the Propositions) would only be understood of the remaining Articles of the Treaties. Therefore, if there be not an Intention to relinquish the Covenant, let us not be ashamed to avow it, and insert the confirming of it as One of the chief and express Desires of our Propositions: [Let us give Testimony and bear Witness to the Truth, and not deny it; remembering that whosoever shall give Testimony to Christ and His Truth by confessing Him before Men, He will also confess them before His Father which is in Heaven: And whosoever will deny him before Men, them will He deny before His Father which is in Heaven.] And seeing the Covenant was the sovereign and only Means of recovering these embroiled bleeding Kingdoms, when the Houses were at their lowest Ebb; and desired the Kingdom of Scotland ["to consider with what Difficulties, Miseries, and Distractions, they were enforced daily to wrestle, even for the Life and Being both of Church and State";] surely the despising, refusing, and casting aside that Remedy, would be the Height of Ingratitude, must render the Disease much more desperate, and turn our former mutual Confidence into mutual Diffidence. And therefore we desire that the Houses, upon better Consideration, will still adhere to the Covenant, and insert it among the Propositions.
"And whereas the King's Averseness from the Covenant may be objected, and that the desiring to have it confirmed may be a Hinderance to Peace; we answer, If the omitting of the Covenant in these Propositions doth really proceed from that Principle, that the Houses are desirous to please the King, and to remove all Obstructions that may hinder a Peace; we do very much wonder, that they are so liberal in the Matters of God, and so tenacious in what concerns themselves, in all Differences betwixt His Majesty and them in Things Civil, which may far better be dispensed with. But, to answer the Strength of the Objection, we say, That the Covenant being for the Preservation and Reformation of Religion, and for the true Honour and Happiness of the King and His Posterity, and for the Peace and Safety of His Kingdoms, whatever be the Difference of His Majesty's Judgement, we have just Cause to insist to crave His Royal Assent to it; and the King's Heart is in the Hands of God, to turn it, as the Rivers of Waters, whither He pleaseth: And although the King should deny it, yet we ought to perform our Duty. And when His Majesty shall be convinced that our Intentions in entering into this Covenant were and are pious and loyal; and that our Actions do evidence that we intend no Injury to His Royal Person, to wrong His Government, nor to diminish His just Power; we hope God will incline His Heart to give just Satisfaction concerning the Covenant. And though His Majesty shall not come the full Length of our Desires, yet we must never depart from the Covenant, nor leave off by all just Ways to promote it, or desist from endeavouring by all lawful Means to procure His Majesty's Assent unto it; But we desire that we may be rightly understood in this, and not misconstrued; as if our Zeal for the Covenant did abate or diminish at all from our Loyalty and Duty to the King (for the Covenant doth not lessen or limit our Allegiance, as some would falsely slander it, and those who sincerely and loyally took it); or that, upon Difference of His Majesty's Judgement, and not coming the full Length of our Desires in every Thing, He should be kept in Prison; or that Arms should be kept up (now when the War is ended), to burden the Subjects, and force the King to grant what they please to demand. We were confident (when our Army returned to Scotland, and left no Forces in this Kingdom to oppose the Parliament) that the Army here should have been instantly disbanded; and could never have expected that the King's Majesty, to whom the Parliaments of both Kingdoms were to make their Addresses for a safe and wellgrounded Peace, should have been taken away by the Army against His Will, and still kept in their Power, to be carried whither they please, or forced to fly for Safety. If Scotland had apprehended that the least Injury or Violence would have been committed against His Majesty's Royal Person or Monarchical Government; nay, if they had not received Assurance from the Houses to the contrary; certainly all the Threatenings or Allurements in the World could never have persuaded them to have parted with the King, till all Armies had been disbanded, and the Peace of the Kingdoms settled. It was our Brotherly Confidence in the Houses (who are our Fellow Subjects), and the Assurance we had from them, that made us leave the King with them; and their Care of Him, and Duty to Him, ought to be such, as neither His Majesty nor we have Cause to repent it. And this we could not but declare, to assert the Truth and vindicate the Honour and Reputation, of our Nation; for our Loyalty hath ever been, is, and shall be, dearer unto us than our Lives and Fortunes; and the Candour and Integrity of all our Actions is a sufficient Confutation of all the Calumnies and Aspersions which Malice or Envy can forge against us.
Page 492, Collection of Declarations.
Enalish Commssioners, August, 1643.
"We find also these Propositions omitted; videlicet, the Proposition for confirming the Ordinances concerning the Calling and Sitting of the Assembly of Divines; the Proposition for Reformation of Religion in England and Ireland, according to the Covenant; and the Proposition for settling Unity and Uniformity in Matters of Religion between the Churches of God in both Kingdoms, according to the Covenant: In Place of all which, we find nothing but a mere Shadow of Presbyterial Government, an external Form of Discipline without Life or Power, and a Liberty granted for all Sorts of Service and Worship of God, and for the Exercise of all such Religious Duties and Ordinances as every Person shall please, and his own erroneous Conscience shall dictate unto him (for there is no other Rule prescribed); which opens a Door to Atheism, to all Religions, and to that which (by Abuse of the Name) is called Liberty of Conscience, being indeed Liberty of Error, Scandal, Schism, Heresy, dishonouring God, opposing the Truth, hindering Reformation, and seducing others: So, in Place of Uniformity in Religion, which by Covenant both Kingdoms have sworn to endeavour, there is here desired to be settled a vast Deformity, or Multiformity, of Heresies and Sects; which, if the Lord in His Mercy shall not prevent, may produce the Ruin of Religion in both Kingdoms; which we have just Reason to fear, as for other Reasons, so when we consider the Declaration of the Houses of Parliament, speaking of the Design of the Popish and Prelatical Faction to alter Religion in this Island; of whom they say, First, ["They resolved to impose a Popish Service Book upon Scotland; for well they knew the same Fate attended both Kingdoms, and Religion could not be altered in the one without the other."] And in Answer to the Scots Declaration, Page 601, ["Whensoever the Design to root out Religion shall be perfected in either Nation, it will easily be accomplished in the other; Religion being the Band and Foundation of the Safety and Happiness of both."] And in August, 1643, the English Commissioners declare to the Kingdom of Scotland, ["That they are commanded, by their Instructions, to put their Brethren of Scotland in Mind, That the Popish and Prelatical Faction, that began with them about the Year 1638 and 1639, and then intended to make Way to the Ruin of the Kingdom of England by theirs, have not abated any Part of their Malice toward the Nation and Church of Scotland, nor at all departed from their Design of corrupting and altering Religion through the whole Island; though they have inverted the Manner of their Proceeding, conceiving now that they have an easier Way to destroy them if they may first prevail over the Parliament and Kingdom of England: In which respect, it is the Desire of both Houses, That the Two Nations may be strictly united, &c."] And in another Paper it is declared, That [" what Corruptions take Root in the Church and Kingdom of England will quickly spread their Venom and Infection into the neighbour Church of Scotland."] Wherefore we cannot but dissent from this Proposition; and, according to the Trust reposed in us, represent our just Exceptions against it. And first of all, we think it very strange, that the Houses of Parliament should desire an Act of Parliament to be made for establishing Presbyterian Government, and in the very same Proposition desire that it may be enacted, That none shall obey that Act of Parliament but such as shall please to do it. 2. We observe, That however it is pretended that Presbyterian Government is desired to be established as the Government of the Church of England, yet it is only in Effect a Liberty granted to all such as of their own Accord will join in Presbyterial Government, and so amounts to no more than a Toleration of it.3. That this Toleration of Presbyterian Government is many Ways limited; as, in the Time for which it is to endure, being only to the End of the next Session of Parliament after the End of this present Session, which perhaps may be not above Six Months; and the Ministers and Elders are appointed by Ordinance of Parliament to exclude from the Sacrament, only such Persons as the Houses have thought fit, and no others, though it be against their Consciences so to do: They are bounded with several Rectrictions in their Meetings and Assemblies, and are not allowed the Use and Exercise of all the Ordinances appointed by the Word of God; so as Liberty of Conscience is denied to them, and granted to others: For, 4. An unlimited Toleration, for the Time of Endurance, Matter of Worship, and Exercise of all Ordinances, is expressly granted to all the Sectaries of the Time, whether they be Anabaptists, Antinomians, Arminians, Familists, Erastians, Brownists, Separatists, Libertines, or Independents; yea, it extends to those Nullifidians the Seekers, to the new Sect of Shakers, and divers others: By all which, the very Foundation of Church and State is shaken and near to be overthrown. 5. The Toleration here desired to be established is of that Capacity and Latitude, as it may admit of many vile and gross Errors, which have been condemned and cast out of the Church in former Times, and may be revived in England; as if Errors and Heresies were of so precious a Nature, that Men should be encouraged by Law to enquire after them, and invited to maintain them. 6. This Toleration is not only to the Persons of those Sectaries and their Families; but gives a full Liberty to set up their Professions in any fit and convenient Places, that so Scandals, Heresies, Schisms, and new Religions, may grow in their Kinds, and also multiply in the Number of Professors and Disciples, as if there were not enough already. 7. Though it seemeth that a Provision is made, that this Indulgence shall not extend to the Toleration of Antitrinitarians, Arians, and Antiscripturists; yet there is no more expressed, but that this Indulgence shall not extend to tolerate the printing, publishing, or preaching, such Blasphemies and Errors as they do maintain, against God, the Holy Trinity, and the Scriptures. They are not made liable to any Penalty. And suppose Penalties were imposed upon them, for printing, publishing, or preaching those Errors; yet they are by this Proposition left to a full Liberty to maintain them in Private; to reason and dispute, That there is no God, That Christ is but an Impostor, That there is no such Thing as the Holy Ghost, That the Scriptures are but like other Writings; blaspheming at their Pleasure, and seducing others to their Opinions in Secret: All which, and much more, according to this Proposition, may not be questioned. And so in Reality, though not in Pretext, they shall be tolerated as well as others. 8. All prophane and wicked Persons are left at Liberty, by this Toleration, to do what they please; for they are not obliged to be subject to any Discipline or Government, and so neither the Duties of the First nor Second Table of the Law of God shall be observed; but all Sorts of Impiety and Works of Darkness shall abound; and such as hate the sincere Worship of God in the Church may have the most unlawful and wicked Meetings elsewhere, under a Profession of Religious Exercises or Ordinances. We might add more Exceptions against this Proposition; but these, we trust, may suffice to make any that is but a little endued with the Light of the Gospel, and hath any Love to the Truth, for to detest and abhor such a Toleration.
"And now we desire the Houses of Parliament to remember their Remonstrance of the State of the Kingdom, of the 15 of December, 1642, where they resent it as a great Injury, that any ["should infuse into the People, That they mean to leave every Man to his own Judgement and Fancy for the Service and Worship of God; and do declare that it is far from their Purpose and Desire, to let loose the golden Reins of Discipline and Government in the Church, to leave private Persons or particular Congregations to take up what Kind of Divine Service they please; and hold it requisite that there should be throughout the whole Realm a Conformity to that Order which the Laws enjoin, according to the Word of God']: How consonant this Toleration is to that Declaration, we leave it to the Houses of Parliament and all wise Men to consider; and whether the Danger of the true Reformed Religion in these Kingdoms be not greater now than before the taking of the Covenant; yea, or since Christian Religion came first into this Island; when Toleration of all Religions (the Name of Popery only excepted) is desired by the Houses of Parliament to be established by Law, and the very Principles and Fundamentals of Faith, which under Prelacy, yea under Popery itself, were generally received as uncontroverted, are now by many Sectaries of this Time either oppugned or called in Question.
"There are divers other Passages, in the Declarations and Ordinances of both Houses, to the same Purpose; but here we shall only mention One or Two. In particular, we would have the Houses call to Mind their Declaration and Answer to the Lords of His Majesty's Secret Council of Scotland, and the General Assembly of the Church of that Kingdom, in the Year 1642; where, besides other Expressions, they use these Words, ["We acknowledge it an Act of Love to us, and Wisdom for the Good of both Churches, for which we are thankful both to God and them, that our Brethren of Scotland have bestowed their serious Thoughts and earnest Desires for Unity of Religion, That in all His Majesty's Dominions there might be One Confession of Faith, One Directory for Worship, One Public Catechism, and One Form of Church Government: And although it will hardly be obtained punctually and exactly, unless some Way might be found for a mutual Communication and Conjunction of Counsel and Debate in framing that One Form; yet, both intending the same End, proceeding by the same Rule of God's Word, and guided by the same Spirit, we hope, by God's Assistance, to be so directed, that we may cast out whatsoever is offensive to God, or justly displeasing to any Neighbour Church; and so far agree with our Brethren of Scotland, and other Reformed Churches, in all substantial Parts of Doctrine, Worship, and Discipline, that both we and they may enjoy those Advantages and Conveniences which are mentioned by them in this their Answer; in the more strict Union of both Kingdoms, more safe, easy, and comfortable Government of His Majesty, and, both to Himself and People, more free Communion in all Holy Exercises and Duties of Worship, more constant Security of Religion against the bloody Practices of Papists, and deceitful Errors of other Sectaries."] And having there made known their Resolution to take away the Government by Bishops, they desire some godly and learned Divines of that Church to be sent to the Assembly of Divines here, whereby an Uniformity in Form of Church Government may be obtained, and One Confession of Faith, One Directory, and One Catechism, may be settled in all the Three Kingdoms; which Desire was afterwards renewed to their Commissioners sent to Scotland: And in End the mutual and joint Desires of both Kingdoms were crowned with a Solemn League and Covenant, as for other Ends, so for endeavouring the nearest Conjunction and Uniformity in all these, and for Extirpation of Heresy and Schism. These Four Years past, the Labours of many learned and godly Divines of both Kingdoms thereunto appointed have been spent, in framing a Directory for Worship (which was long since approved and received in both Kingdoms), a Confession of Faith, a Form of Church Government, and Catechising: All which have been presented to both Houses, and some Progress was made therein toward the establishing of them, till of late they were laid aside.
"The Houses not many Months since did appoint a solemn Fast and Day of Humiliation to be kept throughout the whole Kingdom, because of the Growth of Heresies, Blasphemies, and Schisms: The Words of the Ordinance are these, ["We, the Lords and Commons assembled in the Parliament of England, having entered into a solemn Covenant, to endeavour sincerely, really, and constantly, the Reformation of Religion, in Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship, and the Extirpation of Popery, Superstition, Heresy, Schism, Prophaneness, and whatsoever shall be found contrary to sound Doctrine and the Power of Godliness; and having found the Presence of God wonderfully assisting us in this Cause, especially since our said Engagement in Pursuance of the said Covenant; have thought fit (lest we partake in other Mens Sins, and thereby be in Danger to receive of their Plagues) to set forth this our deep Sense of the great Dishonour of God, and perilous Condition that this Kingdom is in, through the abominable Blasphemies and damnable Heresies vented and spread abroad therein, tending to the Subversion of the Faith, Contempt of the Ministry and Ordinances of Jesus Christ: And as we are resolved to employ and improve the utmost of our Power, that nothing be done or said against the Truth, but for the Truth; so we desire that both ourselves and the whole Kingdom may be deeply humbled before the Lord, for that great Reproach and Contempt which hath been cast upon His Name and Saving Truths, and for that swift Destruction that we may justly fear will fall upon the immortal Souls of such who are, or may be, drawn away by giving Heed to seducing Spirits. In the hearty and tender Compassion whereof, we, the said Lords and Commons, do order and ordain, That Wednesday, being the 10 Day of March next, be set apart for a Day of Public Humiliation, for the Growth and Spreading of Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies, to be observed in all Places within the Kingdom of England, Dominion of Wales, and Town of Berwick; and to seek God, for His Direction and Assistance for the suppressing and preventing the same."]
"And are these the Ways and Means that the Houses of Parliament have thought upon, for suppressing Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies, to desire that a Toleration of them may be established by a Law? Is the laying of a Foundation to propagate Heresy and Schism the best Way to extirpate the same? Are these the Fruits and Effects of their Solemn Fast and Humiliation? Certainly God will not be mocked!
"The Covenant doth also oblige us mutually to preserve the Authority of the Supreme Magistrate, the Privileges of Parliaments, and firm Peace and Union between the Kingdoms, to all Posterity. And is it not visible, that many of those Sectaries, with their Adherents and Abettors, do, by their pernicious Doctrine and Actions, offer Violence to the King's Person and Authority, and against the Rights and Privileges of Parliament; so as there is not any One Article of the Solemn League and Covenant which is not in a high Degree violated by them? And shall a Toleration be established for all such? The opposing the Covenant and Reformation of Religion, the Dividing betwixt the King and his People, or making any Faction among the People contrary to this League and Covenant, were formerly the Characters of our Enemies: And whosoever maintain and do these Things (though they should assume to themselves the Name of Saints) are still to be accounted Incendiaries, Malignants, and Evil Instruments; and we are obliged by Covenant with Faithfulness to endeavour the Discovery of all such, that they may be brought to public Trial, and receive condign Punishment.
"And though it be far from our Intentions that pious and peaceable Men should be troubled, because in every Thing they cannot conform themselves to Presbyterial Government (for we did never oppose such an Indulgence to their Persons as is agreeable to the Word of God, may stand with the Public Peace, and is not destructive to the Order and Government of the Church); yet we do from our very Souls abhor such a general and vast Toleration as is expressed in the Proposition. And if the Houses (which God forbid) shall adhere thereunto, and insist that it may be established, we do protest against it, as that which is expressly contrary to the Word of God, utterly repugnant to the Solemn League and Covenant, destructive to Reformation and Uniformity in Religion, altogether inconsistent with the Declarations and Professions of the Houses, against the Treaty between the Kingdoms, directly opposite to the Example and Practice of all the Reformed Churches, and as that which will unavoidably subvert all Order and Government, and introduce a World of Confusion. Our Minds are astonished, and our Bowels are moved within us, when we think of the bitter Fruits and sad Consequences of such a Toleration. What horrid Blasphemies against God! what vile Abominations! what pernicious Doctrine, to the Subversion and Perdition of Souls! what Disobedience to the Magistrate! what Violation of Duties between Persons of nearest Relation! what Differences and Divisions in Families and Congregations, it will bring forth! what bitter Heart-burnings it will beget, and perpetuate to Posterity! Nay, it is impossible for us to express what infinite Distraction, Disorder, and Confusion, it will make, both in Church and State, throughout all the Three Kingdoms. And therefore we do obtest the Houses of Parliament, by the Solemn League and Covenant (which they have made, in the Presence of Almighty God the Searcher of all Hearts, with a true Intention to perform the same, as they shall answer at that Great Day when the Secrets of all Hearts shall be disclosed), and by all the Promises, Professions, and Declarations, wherewith they induced the Kingdom of Scotland to an Engagement and Conjunction with them in this Cause, that they do not establish such an impious Toleration, as cannot but draw down the Judgement of God, and make a Rent between the Two Kingdoms, united by so many Ties and Relations, which we desire to cherish and strengthen, and to continue to all Posterity.
"That, next to Religion, wherein we differ in Judgement from the Propositions, is concerning the Interest and Power of the Crown. We are obliged, by our Covenant, Allegiance, and the Duty of Subjects, not to diminish, but to support, the King's just Power and Greatness. The Question then is, wherein His Royal Authority and just Power doth consist? and we affirm, and hope it cannot be denied, that Regal Power and Authority is chiefly in making and enacting Laws, and in protecting and defending their Subjects, which are of the very Essence and Being of all Kings. And the Exercise of that Power are the chief Parts and Duties of their Royal Office and Function; and the Sceptre and Sword are the Badges of that Power. Yet the new Preface, compared with other Parts of these new Propositions, takes away the King's Negative Voice, and cuts off all Royal Power and Right in the Making of Laws, contrary to the constant Practice of this and all other Kingdoms: For the Legislative Power in some Monarchies is penes Principem solum, and their Laws are called Principum Placita, which is the highest and most absolute Kind of Sovereignty; and in other Kingdoms and Monarchies the Power of making Laws is by Compact between the Prince and People, or according to the Constitution, Practice, and Usage, of the several Kingdoms. In the last, the Power of the King is least, but best regulated; where neither the King alone without His Parliament, nor the Parliament without the King, can make Laws, and where nothing enacted by the one without the Consent of the other can have the Force of a Law. And although we will rather profess Ignorantiam & Facti & Juris alieni, than take upon us to judge of the Laws of another Kingdom; yet it seems to be very clear and evident, by the Practice and Usage of all Times, by the Parliament's own Declarations, and to be consonant to Reason and Law, That the King without the Houses of Parliament, or the Houses of Parliament without the King, cannot enact any Laws; but both jointly. And therefore the Laws are sometimes called "The King's Laws," sometimes "The Laws of the Land," and "Acts of Parliament;" and the Form or Acts of Parliament sometimes begin with the Word Concessimus, or Statuit Rex; and of later Times Laws and Statutes begin, as being enacted by the King with the Consent and Advice of the Lords and Commons; all which do import the King's Power and Consent as to the making of Laws: So that there can be no Law made, and have the Force of a Law, without the King; which likewise is clear by the Expressions of the King's Answers, Le Roy le veut, and Le Roy s'avisera. So as it is clear, from the Words of Assent when Statutes are made, and from the Words of Dissent, That the King's Power in the Making of Laws is One of the chiesest Jewels of the Crown, and an essential Part of Sovereignty. And if the King had no Power nor Consent in making of Laws, He would be less than a Subject. Sometimes the King's Denial had been better than His Assent to the Desires of the Houses of Parliament; as, when Kings have assented to the taking away the Reading of Scripture from the Laity, as Henry the Eighth did; or to introduce Popery, as Queen Mary. And since neither Kings nor Parliaments have the Judgement of Infallibility, it must certainly be the best, where Laws are made with Consent both of King and Parliament, which is the strongest Bulwark of the People's Liberty, and Supporter of the King's Authority. And the King being over divers Nations, this Form of Constitution, where neither the King without His Parliament, nor the Parliament without the King, can make Laws, is a good and sure Security to preserve His Kingdoms in Peace from injuring one another, and to protect the Subjects from Injury amongst themselves. The Houses of Parliament, Page 710 of The Exact Collection of Remonstrances and Declarations, answering an Argument against the King's passing the Bill of the Militia, make this Reply:
"If we had said (as we did not) that the King had been bound to pass all Bills that should be offered to Him by both Houses of Parliament, without any Limitation or Qualification of Reason or Justice; yet such a Supposition as this could not fall upon a Parliament, much less that a King were obliged for to grant it."
"And Page 727, "We did and do say, That the Sovereign Power doth reside in the King and both Houses of Parliament; and that His Majesty's Negative Voice doth not import a Liberty for His Majesty to deny any Thing as He pleaseth, though never so requisite and necessary for the Kingdom: And yet we did not nor do say, That such Bills as His Majesty is bound both in Confcience and Justice to pass shall notwithstanding be Law without His Consent, so far are we from taking away His Negative Voice."
"Wherefore the Power in making Laws, even according to the Parliament's own Declarations, cannot be taken away from the King, and He required to assent to all such Laws as the Houses shall think fit, according to the Preface of these new Propositions, without a Change of the Constitution and fundamental Government of the Kingdom.
"Concerning the Power of the Militia; we do desire, and shall be willing to agree, that it may be so settled as neither the King nor any other be able to disturb or infringe the Peace now to be agreed upon. And we think that, in His Message from Caresbrook Castle, He hath offered that which should be very satisfactory. But that the King, His Posterity, and the Crown, should for ever be divested of all Power and Right of the Militia, is different from our Judgements: For, if the Crown have no Power of the Militia, how can they be able to resist their Enemies and the Enemies of the Kingdom, protect their Subjects, or keep Friendship or Correspondence with their Allies? All Kings, by their Royal Office and Oath of Coronation, are obliged to protect their Laws and Subjects. It were strange then to seclude the Crown for ever from the Power of doing that which by the Oath of Coronation they are obliged to perform, and the Obedience whereunto falleth within the Oath of Allegiance. And certainly, if the King and His Posterity shall have no Power in making Laws, nor in the Militia, it roots up the strongest Foundation of Honour and Safety which the Crown affords, and will be interpreted in the Eyes of the World to be a Wresting of the Sceptre and Sword out of their Hands. It is very far from our Desires that Monarchy should be at the absolute Height of an arbitrary and tyrannical Power; neither desire we, just Monarchical Power to be wronged, and rendered contemptible: But to have such a golden Mediocrity, as they may be able to protect their Subjects, and oppose their Enemies, according to the fundamental Laws and ancient Constitution of the Kingdom.
"Before the last Propositions were sent to His Majesty at Newcastle, both in Verbal Debates and in our Writings we did shew, That we were unsatisfied concerning several Particulars contained in those Propositions; particularly, when we did consent that the Power and Exercise of the Militia should be settled in the Houses of Parliament for a Time, we did it with this Provision, That it were understood to be without Prejudice to the Right and Interest of the Crown; and that the King and His Posterity be not totally excluded and rendered incapable to protect Their Subjects, and oppose the Enemies of the Kingdoms: And farther, when we gave Way to the sending of those Propositions, we did declare it to be our Judgement, That divers Things craved therein were such, as Peace or War ought not to depend upon the Grant or Refusal of them. We ever did, and must still, hold it as a good Rule, in the Making of a Peace, that the more moderate and reasonable our Desires be, we may expect the firmer Peace: Wherefore as, in the Difference betwixt the King and the Parliament, we think it very unjust to exclude the King from His just Power in the Militia; so, when we look upon the Liberty of the Subject, we think neither King nor Parliament ought to keep up an Army in the Field when the War is ended, to the vast Expence and utter Impoverishing of the People; the Trained Bands of the Kingdom (which may be made Use of with little Charge), and the Forces which may be kept in some Chief Garrisons, being sufficient to suppress any Commotion or Disturbance that is likely to arise upon Occasion of the late Troubles. And we conceive an Army should be kept up only in the Case of a powerful Insurrection within the Kingdom, or of a Foreign Invasion from without. And otherwise to maintain a perpetual Army in the Bowels of the Kingdom, upon the Expence of the Subject, when there is no Enemy to fight with, is but to enslave the King and Kingdom under a Military Bondage.
"When our Army returned to Scotland, it was confidently expected that the Houses should have speedily disbanded their Army (the War being at an End, and no visible Enemy in the Kingdom), and proceeded to the settling of a Peace here, and to the effectual Relief of Ireland. But now, after a full Year's Delay almost, we do not find amongst all these Propositions any Thing concerning the Disbanding of Armies, or sending Relief to that distressed Kingdom; but, on the contrary, there is only Provision made for keeping up Armies, and raising Money for their Maintenance. We must therefore declare to the Houses, That it is our Judgement and earnest Desire, that there may be a Proposition for disbanding Armies in both Kingdoms. Armies were raised for Defence of Religion, the King's Person and Authority, the Privileges of Parliament, and the Liberty of the Subject: And when they are no more useful for these Ends, and the Houses may consult freely and act securely without any hostile Opposition, it is high Time to disband them, that the Laws of the Kingdom may take Place. Some of our Neighbour Nations are necessitated to keep up Armies, because they have Enemies that lie contiguous and adjoining to their Borders: But the Sea is our Bulwark; and if we study Amity and Peace amongst ourselves, and entertain the Union between the Kingdoms under His Majesty's Government, we need not fear Foreign Invasion. It is a Custom in other Nations, to keep up Armies to levy Monies by Force. But these are Free Kingdoms; and when they have been fighting for Liberty and Freedom, we trust that it is not intended that War should be made a Trade, or that their Wars shall end in Slavery. The Continuance of Armies will certainly increase Factions and Divisions, to the great Weakening of the Kingdoms; and will in End expose us as a Prey to our Enemies. Neither is it possible, so long as they are kept up, that there can be a settled Peace. The Charge of entertaining Armies is needless when there is no Enemy, and extremely grievous to the People, who before were willing to bear it when they saw a Necessity for it. And now, after so great Sufferings and vast Expence of Treasure to Soldiers for many Years together, the Burden is become insupportable. For these and many other Reasons which we could add, we hold it most necessary, that as there is a Proposition for Payment of the Arrears of the Army, so also there be an Addition unto it for their Disbanding.
"Touching the conferring Titles of Honour; we desire the King, who is the Fountain of Honour, may not be deprived of that which in all Ages and Kingdoms hath been held and esteemed a Flower of the Crown, and wherewith Kings do usually recompense the Virtue and Merits of such as do memorable Services to the Crown or Kingdom. And as to the disposing of the great Offices of State, and naming of Privy Counsellors, we conceive His Majesty's Offer in His late Message of the Sixteenth of November to be so reasonable, as may give Satisfaction to the Houses.
"That which we are to speak of next in Order is, the Union and joint Interest of the Kingdoms; where we wish we had not just Cause to expostulate, that the Houses have omitted the Covenant in these Propositions, rejected all that concerns Unity and Uniformity in Religion, and have altered the former Proposition for Confirmation of the Treaties, and desired now only an Approbation of the making of them, which amounts to no more than an Act of Indemnity. They have also, in that Proposition, omitted these Words ["with all other Ordinances and Proceedings passed betwixt the Two Kingdoms, and whereunto they are obliged by the foresaid Treaties",] which Words were inserted in the former Propositions after serious Debate; and therefore, if the Houses intend to make good and perform all Ordinances passed betwixt the Kingdoms, according to their manifold Professions, we desire that this Proposition may remain as before, without any Alteration or Omission. The Proposition desiring His Majesty's Consent to what the Two Kingdoms shall agree upon in Pursuance of the Articles of the large Treaty, which are not yet finished, is omitted. The joint Declaration of both Kingdoms is likewise omitted; and generally, throughout these Propositions, all Expressions of joint Interest are left out. And whereas formerly the Propositions of both Kingdoms were drawn up together in One Body; now, for separating the Interest of the Kingdoms, the Propositions for England are drawn up apart; which new Way when we did observe, and what essential Alterations, Omissions, and Additions, were made in the Matter of the Propositions, we desired a Conference, for removing all Differences, and that we might the more speedily attain to an Agreement; but it was not granted. However, we have herein discharged our Duty, that we use all Means to prevent Difference, and that we for our Part study to observe the Treaty betwixt the Kingdoms, where it is expressly provided, in the Eighth Article, "That no Cessation, nor any Pacification or Agreement for Peace whatsoever, shall be made by either Kingdom, or the Armies of either Kingdom, without the mutual Advice and Consent of both Kingdoms, or their Committees in that Behalf appointed."
"And here we think it not amiss to remember the Houses of Parliament of their Expressions in a Declaration to the Lords States Generall of The United Provinces of The Low Countries; shewing why they did not admit of the Mediation of the Dutch Ambassadors between the King and Parliament, in the Way and Manner it was desired, without Application to the Kingdom of Scotland. The Words of the Declaration are, ["That both the Kingdoms are mutually engaged in the Propositions and Treaty thereupon; and that neither could admit of their Mediation without Consent of the other, because the Two Kingdoms were united, by solemn League and Covenant made to Almighty God, and by League each to other, as One entire Body, to prosecute this Cause; and that, in Pursuance thereof, Propositions for a safe and well-grounded Peace were then preparing, in a joint Way, by the Parliaments of both Kingdoms."] And whereas the Lords Ambassadors had propounded and offered from the King, the calling of a National Synod, to correct and redress the Government of the Church by Bishops; One of the Answers which was given thereunto in the said Declaration was, ["That not only the Kingdom of Scotland and the Members of both Houses of Parliament, but also many Thousands of others of His Majesty's Subjects of England and Ireland, stand bound, by their late National Covenant, to endeavour the Extirpation of the Church Government by Bishops, intended in the Paper of the Dutch Ambassadors, both in England and Ireland, and to hinder the setting of it up again in the Kingdom of Scotland."]
"All which being duly considered, we are extremely sorry that the Houses of Parliament should not only have given Way, but countenanced the Army in their meddling with the Settling of the Peace of the Kingdom, and authorized Commissioners to treat with them upon Propositions of Peace (which we take to be the Reason that these Propositions are in so many Things agreeable to the Proposals of the Army, especially in Matters of Religion). And, without all Question, it had been more agreeable to the Treaty betwixt the Kingdoms, and to former Professions and Proceedings, that the Propositions of Peace had been framed and agreed upon with Advice and Consent of both Kingdoms. We have known the Houses of Parliament formerly look upon it as an Offence of a high Nature for any other than themselves to meddle in the Matters of Peace, especially the Commanders and Officers of the Army (though in prime Place, and of great and eminent Fidelity); making it only proper for them to be exercised in Matters of War, according as they should receive Direction from the Houses. And much more would the Houses have been offended, if any Officers of their Army should have taken upon them to offer Proposals to the King for settling a Peace, without Authority from the Houses, as we are informed some Officers of Sir Thomas Fairfax his Army have done. If the Houses of Parliament had, according to our earnest Desire, the Third of March, 1644, when they modeled their Army, made Choice of such Officers as were known to be zealous of the Reformation of Religion, and of that Uniformity which both Kingdoms are obliged to promote and maintain; and if they had also renewed their Declaration, made the Twentieth of September, 1643, "That they could not conside in such Persons, to have or execute Place and Authority in the Armies raised by them, who did not approve and consent to the Covenant;" or if their Ordinance on the 15 of February, 1644, (which appointeth all Officers to be employed in Sir Thomas Fairfaxe's Army to take the National League and Covenant of both Kingdoms within Twenty Days after they were approved by the Houses) had been really put in Execution; we are very confident it would have prevented a World of Inconveniences and Evils which have ensued upon the Neglect thereof. We shall not further insist on this Subject, neither shall we enlarge our selves upon the Proceedings of the Army; but we must always put the Houses of Parliament in Mind, that our greatest Strength is in a good Agreement with the King, and a firm Union between the Kingdoms.
"There is left out in these Propositions, the Proposition concerning the City of London, whereby they were to have the Government of their own Militia and The Tower, and Assurance that their Forces shall not be compelled to go out of the City for Military Service without their own Consent; an Act of Parliament, confirming their Charters, Customs, Liberties, &c.; and an Act, That all the Bye-Laws and Ordinances of Common Council, made or to be made, should be as effectual to all Intents and Purposes as if they were enacted by Authority of Parliament; with Liberty also for them to repeal these Ordinances as they shall see Cause. These Things were formerly desired in the Propositions in Behalf of the City, because of their Affection, Forwardness, Faithfulness, and Zeal, in the Common Cause of both Kingdoms. And we conceive ourselves in Duty obliged to desire, that this Proposition may not be omitted, but presented to His Majesty for His Assent.
"Concerning the Propositions for taking away the Court of Wards, and Forest Lands from His Majesty; it cannot be expected, when the Houses of Parliament shall take into their Consideration the Glory and Greatness wherein their Kings have lived, that they will ever take away or diminish any Part of that Patrimony and Revenue which is necessary for supporting the Dignity of their Royal Place, without giving a full Recompence for the same.
"Touching the Proposition for Sale and Disposal of the Lands of Deans and Chapters, &c. as the Houses shall think fit; we have only this to say, That we have always heard, those Lands were reserved by the Houses for Maintenance of the Ministry; and if they should be otherwise disposed of, it will prove a great Discouragement to faithful Pastors, make their Subsistence to depend upon the Benevolence and Charity of their Hearers, and give Occasion to the People (where Ministers are wanting for Lack of Maintenance) to follow after Sectaries and Tubpreachers.
"That the Honourable Houses, according to the solemn Vows, Treaties, Declarations, and Engagements between the Two Kingdoms, would, after so very long Delay, establish the solemn League and Covenant; and that His Majesty be desired to give His Royal Assent for confirming the same by Act of Parliament in both Kingdoms.
"That the settling Reformation of and Uniformity in Religion, according to the Covenant, in England and Ireland, be likewise desired in these new Propositions; and in particular, that the Confession of Faith, Directory of Worship, Form of Church Government, and Catechizing, agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines, and presented to the Houses, be established.
"That, by Act of Parliament, effectual Course be taken for suppressing Blasphemy, Heresy, Schism, and all such scandalous Doctrines and Practices as are contrary to the Light of Nature, or to the known Principles of Christianity (whether concerning Faith, Worship, or Conversation), or to the Power of Godliness, or which may be destructive to Order and Government, or to the Peace of the Church or Kingdom.
"That the Proposition for Confirmation of the Treaties betwixt the Kingdoms, and all Ordinances and Proceedings betwixt them, be expressed as in the former Propositions; and that the Treaty for the Return of the Scots Army, of the Date of the 23 of December, 1646, be inserted amongst the rest.
"That His Majesty's Assent be desired to what the Two Kingdoms shall agree upon in Prosecution of the Articles of the large Treaty, which are not yet finished; and that all other Things concerning joint Interest, or the Kingdom of Scotland in particular, which are omitted, be inserted and expressed as in the former Propositions.
"That Armies in both Kingdoms, which were raised for Preservation and Reformation of Religion, and for Defence of the King's Person, and Safety of the Kingdoms, be not kept up, to hinder Reformation of Religion, and the King from His Government, and to be a Burden to the Subjects, since the War is ended; but that they may have due Satisfaction of their Arrears, and be disbanded, without which there can be no real nor lasting Peace; that, all Armies being disbanded here, speedy Relief may be sent to Ireland.
"That the King be restored to His Rights and Revenues; and particularly that the Crown be not excluded from the Power of making Laws, which is as essential to Kings as to govern by Laws, and sway the Sceptre; nor from the Power of the Militia, without which they can neither protect their Subjects, oppose their and the Kingdom's Enemies, nor keep Friendship with their Allies.
"That there be a Conclusion added to the Propositions, promising our real Endeavours (as was done in the Propositions treated upon at Uxbridge), that His Majesty may live in the Splendor and Glory of His Royal Progenitors, as beseemeth His Royal Place and Dignity; that so all Differences and Troubles may end in mutual Confidence and Rejoicing, the King may enjoy the Comfort of His Royal Consort and Children, with other Contentments, and we after so great Distractions and long-continued Sufferings may reap the blessed Fruits of Truth and Peace under His Government.
"And as it is very far from our Thoughts and Intentions, in expressing our Differences upon the Propositions, to provoke or give Offence; so we trust that our Freedom in Discharge of the Trust committed to us, proceeding from our Zeal to Religion, Loyalty to the King, and Love to Peace, shall receive a candid Interpretation from the Honourable Houses; and that they will, in their Wisdom, not slight the Desires of a Kingdom, who, in the Time of England's greatest Danger, esteemed no Hazard too hard for their Assistance; and are now seeking nothing but the Performance of the mutual Obligements, Declarations, and Treaties between the Two Kingdoms, and to prevent the Dangers which may ensue upon the Violation and Breach of so solemn Engagements.
"The Houses of Parliament have frequently professed, That the chief End of their Wars was the Reformation and Establishment of Religion, according to the Covenant; and they have often promised and declared to the King, and to all the World (not without deep Attestations of the Name of God), That no Trouble or Success should ever make them wrong or diminish the Power of the Crown, which were the chief Motives and Arguments that induced Scotland to engage with them in this War. Let therefore that be given to God which is God's, and to Cæsar what is Cæsar's; whereby it may be evident that you are not unmindful of the solemn Vows you made to God in the Time of Distress, for Reformation of Religion; and it may also really appear, that the Advantages and Power which Success hath put into your Hands hath not lessened your Loyalty to the King. And, according to our many Professions and near Relations, let us really and cordially cherish and strengthen the Union between the Two Kingdoms, under His Majesty, by all the Pledges of reciprocal Kindness; that so Religion and Righteousness may flourish, and both Kingdoms, languishing under the heavy Pressures and Calamities of an unnatural War, may live in Peace and Plenty.