Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 2, 1629-38. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Articles for the present Peace of the Kirk and Kingdom of Scotland.
If the Question were about such Matters as did come within the compass of our own Power, we would be ashamed to be importunate, and should be very easily satisfied, without the smallest trouble to any; but considering that they are the Matters of God's Honour, of the Kingdom of Christ, and the Peace of our Souls, against the Mystery of Iniquity, which we clearly perceive to have bin uncessantly working in this Land since the Reformation, to the ruin of True Religion in the end: it cannot stand with our Duty to God, and to our King, to our Selves and Posterity, to crave or becontent with less than that which the Word of God, and our Confession of Faith doth allow, and which may against our Fears establish Religion afterwards.
1. 'The discarging of the Service-Book, the Book of Canons, and of the late High-Commission, may be a part of the satisfaction of our humble Supplications, and just Complaints; which therefore we still humbly desire: but that can neither be a perfect Cure for our present Evils, nor can it be a preservation in time to come.
'When it is considered what hath bin the Troubles and Fears of his Majesty's most of Loial Subjects from the High Commission, what is the Nature and Constitution of that Judicatory; how prejudicial it proves to the lawful Judicatory of the Kirk and Kingdom; how far it endangers the Consciences, Liberties, Estates, and Persons of all the Lieges, and how easily and far more contentedly all the Subjects may be kept in Order and Obedience to his Majesty's Just Laws, without any terror of that kind, We look that his Majesty's Subjects, who have used to obey according to the Laws, shall be altogether delivered from the High-Commission, as from a Yoak and Burden, which they feel and fear to be more heavy than they shall be ever able to bear.
3. 'Remembering by what means the Articles of Perth were introduced; how strangely, and with what opposition they were carried in the Assembly; upon what Narrative they were concluded; how the Ratification in Parliament was not desired by the Kirk, but earnestly supplicated and prorested against; how they have bin introductory of the Service-Book, whereof they are now become Members, and in their nature make way for Popery, &c. Whatsoever hath bin the Intentions of the Urgers, and withal, what Troubles and Divisions they have caused these twenty Years in this Kirk and Kingdom; and what Jealoufies between the King's Majesty and his Subjects, without any Spiritual Profit or Edification at all; as we can see no reason why they should be urged by Authority, so can we not find but we shall be more unable to digest them than in the beginning, when we had not as yet tasted and known how bitter and unwholesome they were.
Before the Marquess begun his Journey from London, his Majesty called to him the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury and St. Andrew 's, also the Bishop of Galloway, Brechin and Ross, into his Closet at Whitehall, and the King declared unto them the choice he had made of the Marquess, whom he intended to sent to Scotland, with the Character of High-Commissioner, for establishing the Peace of the Country, and the Good of the Church. And upon the 7th of May, Letters were sent into Scotland, giving notice of the King's Resolution; and the Marquess wrote to his Friends and Dependors to meet him the 5th of June.
Before you publish the Declartion which We have signed, you shall require all the Council to sign it; and if you find that it may conduce to Our Service, you shall make all the Council swear to give their best assistance in the execution of the same; but this of putting them to their Oaths, We leave to your discretion to do as you shall find occasion: But if you shall find it fit to put them to their Oaths, those that refuse, must be dismissed the Council till Our further Pleasure be known.
'We give your power to cause the Council to fit in whatsoever place you shall find most convenient for Our Service, Edinburgh, only excepted, to change the meeting thereof as often as occasion shall require.
'If Petitions be presented, to demand further satisfaction than that we have already given by Our Declaration, you are to receive them, and to give them a bold Negative, both in respect of the Matter and the Form, as being presented from a Body which you are no ways to acknowledge.
'You shall declare, That if there be no sufficient Strength within the Kingdom to force the Refractory to Obedience, Power shall come from England, and that my Self will come in Person with them, being resolved to hazard my Life, rather than to suffer Authority to be contemned.
'You may likewise declare, (if you find cause) That as We never did, so by God's Grace We never will stop the course of Justice by any private Directions of Ours, but will leave Our Lords of Session, and other Judges, to administer Justice, as they will be answerable to God and Us.
'If you cannot (by the means prescribed by Us) bring back the Refractory and Seditious to due Obedience, We do not only give you Authority, but command all Hostile Acts whatsoever to be used against them, they having deserved to be used no otherwise by Us but as a Rebellious People: For the doing thereof, We will not only save you harmless, but account it as acceptable Service done Us.
Carolus Dei Gratia Magnæ Britanniæ, Francæ, & Hiberniae Rer, Frdeique Defensor: Omnibus probis hominibus suis ad quos presentes literae pervenerint, salutem. Sciatis nos considerantes magnos in hot Regno nostro Scoriæ non ita pridem exortos tumultus, ad quos quidem componendos, multiplices Regiae nostrae doluntatis declarationes promulgavimus, quae tamen minorem spe nostra effectum hactenus sortitae sunt: It nunc statuentes, ex pio erga dictum antiqum Regnum nostrum affectum, ut omnia gratiose stabiliantur & instaurentur, quod (per absentiam nostram) non alia ratione comodius effect potest, quam fideli aliquo Delegato constituto, cui potestatem credere possumus tumultus ejusmodi consopiendi, alfaque officia pressandi, quae in bonum & commodum dicti antiqui Regm eidem Delegato nostro imperate nobis bidebitue: Tumq; fatis compertum habeamus obsequium, deligentiam, & fidem predelicti nostri consanguinei & consiliarii Jacobi Marchionis Hamiltonii, Comitis Arraniae & Cantabrigiae, Domini Aven & Innerdail, &c. eundemque ad imperata nostra exequenda sufficientex instructum esse: Jocirco fecisse & constituisse, tenoreque presentium sacere & constituere presatum predilectum nostrum consanguineum & consiliarium Jacobum Marchionem de Hamilton, &c. nostrum Commmissionarium ad effectum subscriptum: Cum potestate dicto Jacobo Marchsoni de Hamilton, &c. dictum Regnum nostrum adeundi, Tbidemq; presatos tumultus in dicto Regno componends, aliaque officia a nobis eidem committenda in dicti Regni nostri bonum & commodum ibi prestandi: Eoque consilium nostrum quibus locis, & temporibus ei bisum sureit condocandi, ac tationem & ordinem in premissis exequendis serbandum declarandi & prescribendi: Et quaecunque alia ad Commissionis hujus capita pro commissa ipsi side exequenda, eandemque ad absolutum finem preducendam, & prosequendam conferre possunt tam in Consilio quam extra Consilium nostro nomine efficindi & prestandi: Toque similiter & adeolibere acsi nos in Sacrofancta nostra Persona ibidem adessemus. Et ac semper & eadem per nos expresse inhibeatur In cujus reimus. Apud castrum nostrum de Windfore bigesimo die mensis Maii, anno Domini millesimo sercentesim trigesimo octabo, & anno Regni nostro decimo quarto.
- 1. 'You shall shew their Lordships how they have changed the Moderator of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and are going on in changing all the Moderators in the Kingdom.
- 2. 'How they have abused Dr. Ogstone the 9th of May in Edinburgh; Mr. George Hannay at Trophichen the 6th of May; Dr. Lammond at Marckinch the 9th of May; Mr. Robert Edward at Kirkmichael, whom Kilkerni is forced to entertain at his own House.
- 3. 'That the Presbytery of Haddington have given Imposition of Hands to Mr. John Ker's Son to be his Colleague without the knowledge of the Bishop; and likewise the Presbytery of Kircaldy to Mr. John Gillespy's Son, to the Church of the Weems; and the Presbytery of Dumfrieze to one Mr. John Wyer to the Church of Morton, within two miles of Drumlanerick; and that they of Dumfermling have admitted Mr. Samuel Row (a Minister banished from Ireland) to be Helper to Mr. Henry Macgill; and they of Aire Mr. Robert Blair to be Helper to Mr. William Annand; and that the Town of Dumfrieze have made choice of Mr. James Hamilton to be their Minister; and the Town of Kirkudbright one Mr. john Macklannon, all of them banished from Ireland; and Mr. Samuel Rutherford is returned, and setled in his Place; and they intend to depose Mr. John Trotter, Minister of Darlinton: and how they intended to use the Regents.
- 4. 'That the Council of Edinburgh have made choice of Mr. Alex. Henderson to be Helper to Mr. Andrew Ramsey, and intend to admit him without the Advice or Consent of the Bishop.
- 5. 'That the Ministers of Edinburgh who have not subscribed the Covenant are daily reviled and cursed to their faces, and their Stipends are withheld, and not paid; and that all Ministers who have not subscribed, are in the same case and condition with them.
- 6. 'That they hound out rascally Commons on Men who have not subscribed the Covenant; as Mr. Samuel Cockburn did one John Shaw at Leith.
- 7. That his Majesty would be pleased by his Letter to discharge the Bishop of Edinburgh to pay any Prebends Fee to those who have subscribed the Covenant; as also by his Royal Letter to discharge the Lords of Session to grant any Process against the Bishop for their Fees.
- 8. 'That his Majesty would be pleased in the Articles of Agreement with the Nobility, to see Honest Men, who shall happen in this tumultuous time to be deposed from their Places, restored, and settled in them; and others that are violently thrust in, removed; and that the Wrongs done to them be repaired.
- 9. 'That if it shall happen his Majesty take any violent course for repressing these Tumults and Disorders, (which God forbid) that in that case their Lordships would be pleased to supplicate his Majesty that some speedy course may be taken for securing the Persons of those Honest Men who stand for God and his Majesty.
The Marquess having received his Instructions and Commission, took leave a few days after of the King; and his Majesty order'd him to write often to Him, and to the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, being the only English Person entrusted with the Secrets of the Scottish Affairs.)
Saturday May 26. the Marquess began his Journey, and on the 3d of June he arrived at Berwick, where the Earl of Roxborough met him who told him in what disorder all People were, and how small hopes there remained of prevailing upon the Grounds he was to go on, for that they would never give up the Covenant; that they would have the Articles of Perth abolished; Episcopacy limited, so that it should be little more than a Name. And if these things were not granted them, and a General Assembly and Parliament suddenly called, they would call an Assembly themselves before the great Crouds at Edinburgh were scattered. But the Marquess resolved to go on, and try what his Authority as High Commissioner would do.
The Marquess when he came to Berwick, expected a great Appearance of Noblemen and others to attend him, as the King's High-Commissioner to Hally-Rood House at Edinburg, and especially his own Kindred and Relations, Attendants and Vassals; but all failing, except some very few who had not subscribed the Convenant, and they inconsiderable: for the Tables of the Covenanters required that none who had taken the Covenant should give any attendance upon the Marquess : Yet when he came near Dalkeith, he was Nobly and Honourable received and conducted to Dalkeith by all the Secret Council, most of the Lords of the Session, who are the Judges of the Law, great Troops of the Nobility and Gentry who had not subscribed their Covenant.
A little after the Marquess's arrival at Dalkeith, the Citizens of Edinburgh sent certain Commissioners unto him with a Supplication, That he would be pleased to repair to the King's Palace at Hally-Rood House, where they might more conveniently attend his Grace's Directions. To which the Marquess returned this Answer:
'That if they would undertake to the Masters and Governors of their own City; that their Citizens would behave themselves as good and dutiful Subjects; and take Order that the Multitudes now present in their City, who called themselves Covenanter, should do so too; and that the Guards about the Castle of Edinburgh should be dismissed and discharged, then he would within a day or two repair to the King's Palace at Hally-Rood House, otherwise not : for tbat he did hold it not agreeable to the King's Honour, that he his Majesty's Commissioner and council, should reside at the said Palace, which is situated at the one end of the City, when the Castle seated at teh other end of the same, should be bloked up with Guards.' All Which these Commissioners undertook to perform, and by their words desired to approve themselves most loyal Subjects, hoping to clear themselves from many Aspersions laid upon them, when his Grace would be pleased to hear and examine their Proceedings.
Whereupon the Marquess, according to his Promise, did remove himself from Dalkeith to the King's Palace at Hally-Rood House, attended by all the Secret Council, abundance of Nobility, Gentry, and others, and about two or three miles from Edinburgh was met with the whole Body of the Nobility and Gentry of the Covenanters then resident at Edinburgh, who were all mounted on Horseback, and consisted of divers thousands: and besides, at a nearer distance from Edinburgh, he was attended by Ministers on foot, consisting of many hundreds.
The Marquess being settled at Hally-Rood House, with the Assistance of the King's Council, he desired the Covenanters to dismis their great Multitudes, which accordingly they dig. And then the two main Propositions which he offered to their consideration were these.
Both which Propositions they received: but nothing but a General Assembly and a Parliament would give satisfaction; and there upon new Guards were clapt upon Edinburgh Castle, and the Guards and Watches of the City multiplied.
The Preachers advised the People to take heed of crasty Propositions; and when the Marquess designed to go the King's Chappel to hear Divine Service and Sermon at Hally-Rood House, they sent him word not to read the English Service Book, and nailed up the Organs; and the Ministers Covenanters proceeded so far, as to write a Letter to the Marquess, and every one of the Council, admonishing them to subscribe their Covenant; which Letter followeth in these words.
May it plese your Lordship,
We the Ministers of the Gospel, convended at this so necessary a Time, do find Our selves bound to represent, as unto all, so in special unto your Lordship, what comfortable experience We have of the wonderful favour of God, upon the renewing of the Confession of Faith and Covenant; what Peace and Comfort hath filled the Hearts of all God;s People; what Resolutions and Beginnings of Reformation of Manners are sensibly perceived in all parts of the Kingdom, above any measure that ever We did find or could have expected; how great Glory the Lord hath receive thereby, and what considence We have (if this Sun-shine be not eclipsed by some sinful Division or Defection) that God shall make this a blessed Kingdom, to the contentment of the King's Majesty, and joy of all his good Subjects, according as God hah promised in his good Word, and performed to his People in former Times: And therefore we are forced from Our Hearts, both to with and entreat your Lordship to be Partaker and Promover of this Joy and Happiness by your subscription, when your Lordship shall think in convenient. And in the mean while, that your Lordship would not by sparing to give a free Testimony to the Truth, as a timely and necessary expression of your tender Affection to the Cause of Christ, now calling for help at your hands: Your Lorship's profession of the true Religion as it was reformed in this Land, the National Oath of this Kingdom sundry times sworn and subscribed, obliging us who live at this time; the Duty of a good Patriot, the Office and Trust of a Privy-Counsellor; the present Emploiment to have place amongst those that are first acquainted with his Majesty's Pleasure; the consideration that there is the time of trial of your Lordships affection to Religion; the respect which yyour Lordship hath unto your Fame both there and hereafter, when things shall be recorded to posterity; and the Remembrance, that not only the eyes of Men and Angels are upon your Lordship's Carriage, but also that the Lord Jesus is a secret Witness now to observe, and shall be an open Judge hereafter to reward and confess every Man before his Father, that confesseth him before Men: All of these, and each of them, besides your Lorship's personal and particular Obligations to God, do call for no less at your Lordship's hands, in the cause of so great and singular Necessity. And we also do expect so much at this time, according as your Lordship at the hour of Death would be free of the Terror of God, and be refreshed with the comfortable remembrance of a word spoken in season for Christ Jesus, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
The Marquess perceiving this violent Humour in the People, not to hear of any Proclamations, unless with the discharge of the Service Book, and Book of Canons, &c. durst not adventure to publish his Majesty's Declaration, knowing it would be astronted with a Protestation; whereupon the Marquess forbore the same, and gave the King an accompt how he found things; letting the King know, That he must either resolve to yield to all their Demands, or hasten down jis Fleet quickly, with Land Souldiers in it; and to put Souldiers into Berwick and Carlisle, and to resolve to follow in Person with a Royal Army; yet withal moved his Majesty, That he would consider how far in his Wisdom he would connive at the madness of his own poor People, and how far in Justice he would punish their Folly.
Dcrped not any thing can reduce that People to Obedience, but force only; In the mean time pour care must be how to dissolve my Cattles of Edenburgh and sterling, (which I do not expect); and to this end I give you leave to flatter them with what hopes you please, so you engage not me against my grounds, and in particular, that you consent neither to the Calling of Parliament, not General Assembly, until the Covenant be disavowed and given up, your chief end being now to win time until I be ready to suppress them.
But when I consider that not only now my Crown, but my Reputation for ever lies at Stake; I must rather suffer the first, that time will help, than this last, which is irreparable. This I have written to no other end, than to shew you, I will rather die than yield to those impertinent adn damnable demands (as you rightly call them); for it is all one as to yield to be no king in a very short time. So wishing you better success than I can expect, I rest,
As the affairs are now, I do not expect that you should declare the adherers to the Covenant Traitors, until (as I have alread said) you have heard from me that my fleet hath set fail for Scotland, the your six weeks should be elapsed. In a word, Gain time by all the honest means you can, without forsaking your Grounds.
But all the Minsiters hearing the Covenant must be given up, or no Treaty made, their Pulpits did ring with it, and all declared they would never quit the Covenant but with their Lives. A Protestation was also resolved on when-ever the Declaration should be published; which made it be delaied a little longer, and the Marquess writ to the King not to proceed in his Warlike Preparations till things were more desperate. To which Letter, the Marquess afterwards received this Answer.
- 1. That he had gained a considerable Point, in making the heady Multitude begin to disperse.
- 2. That he will take his advice to stay publick Preparations for Force, but in a silent way; but (by your leave, faith the King) I will not leave to prepare, that I may be ready upon the least advertisement.
On the 16th of June, the Covenanters came and presented their Petition to the Marquess, craving a present redress of their Grievances, for they would be no longer put off by delays; and desired that he would propose the Matter to the Council, and give them a speedy Answer. To which the Marquess replied, That he did resolve to call both an Assembly and Parliament for the redress of all Grievances. They went away no way satisfied with this Answer; and the Marques found all the Lords of the Council inclined to the granting of what the Covenanters demanded; so that he durst call no Council about it, left should have fided with the Covenanters. Of which he advertised his Majesty; and that they pressed him to represent to his Majesty, That the Covenant was not illegal; and that if his Majesty would allow of the Explanation of the Bond of Mutual Defence, which they offered, that they meant not thereby to derogate any thing from the King's Authority, and so all things might be settled without more trouble, either to the King or Country.
We the Noblemen, Barons, Burgesses, Ministers, and others, that have joined in a late Band or Covenant for the maintaining of the true Religioon and Purity of God's Worship in this Kingdom, having understood that Our Soveraign Lord the King's Majesty is with this Our doing highly offended, as if We thereby had usurped his Majesty's Authority, and shaken off all Obedience to his Majesty, and to his Laws: for clearing Our selves of that Imputation, do hereby declare, and in the presence of God Almighty, solemnly protest, That it did never so much as enter into Our thoughts, to derogate any thing from his Majesty's Power and Authority Royal, or to disobey and rebel against his Mjesty's Laws: And that all Our proceedings hitherto by Petitioning, Protesting, Covenanting, and whatsoever other way, was and is only for the maintaining of the true Religion by us professed; and with express reservation of Our Obedience to his most Sacred Majesty, most humbly beseeching his Majesty so to esteem and accept of Us, that be will be graciously pleased to call a National Assembly and Parliament for removing the Fears We have not without cause (as We think) conceived, of introducing in this Church another form of Worship than what We have bin accustomed with; as likewise for satisfying Our just Grievances, and the settling of a constant and solid Order to be kept in all time coming, as well in the Civil as Ecclesiastical Government: Which if We shall by the Intercession of yuor Grace obtain, We faithfully promise (according to Our bounden Duties) to continue in his Majesty's Obedience, and at Our utmost Powers to procure the same during Our Lives.
The Marquess sent again a new Dispatch to the King, and gave his Majesty a large account of the Explanation which was offered to the Part of the Covenant, by which they were bound to Mutual Defence, and to which his Majesty wrote this following Answer.
As concerning the Explanation of their Damnable Covenant, (whether it be with or without Explanation) I have no more Power in Scotland, than as a Duke of Venice; which I will rather die than suffer: Yet I commend the giving ear to the Explanation, or any thing else to win time, which now I see is one of your chiefest Cares, wherefore I need not recommend it to you. And for their calling a Parliament, or Assembly, without Me, I should not much be sorry, for it would the more loudly declare them Traitors, and the more justify my Actions: Therefore in my mind, my Declaration would not be long delaied; but this is a bare Opinion, and no Command.
The Marquess threatned the Covenanters to leave them, and would beg liberty of the King for leave to wait on his Majesty with their Desires, and return them an answer within three Weeks or a Month: But the true Reason that moved him to desire Permission to go up, was that thereby he should again so much time, and see in what forwardness the King's Preparations were; but chiefly to try what he could prevail about establishing the Confession of Faith, which had passed in Parliament 1567, hoping that it might give full satisfaction to all, that there should be no Innovation in Religion.
And accordingly the King, by his Letter dated at Greenwich the 29th of June, gives him leave to come up, and to bring with him all the Demands of the Covenanters, whereby to gain more time; and advised him not to mediate for any thing that is against his Grounds, and that no more Subscriptions be urged upon any, especially of the Council or Session.
Before the Marquess took Journey, he did on the 4th of July present the King's Declaration to the Council, and got it signed by them all: And an Act passed, That the Subjects ought to rest satisfied with it, and was immediately sent to the Market-Cross and Proclaimed; but notwithstanding it met with a Protestation; which Declaration and Protestation followeth.
Charles by the Grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith. To Our Lovits, Heralds, Messengers, Our Sheriffs in that Part conjunctly and severally, specially constitute, greeting.
Fdrasmeikle as we are not ignorant of the great Dicovers which have hapned of late within this Our ancient kingdom of Scotland, occasioned, as is pretended, upon the introduction of the Service-Book, Book of Canons, High-Commission, fearing there by Innovation of Religion and Laws. For satisfaction of which fears, We well hoped that the two proclamations of the eleventh of December, and the nineteenth of February, had bin abundantly sufficient. Nevertheless finding that Disorders have daily to increased, that a powerful rather than a perswasive may, might have bin justly expeted from Us; yet we out of Our innative indulgence to Our people, grieving to see them run themselves to headlong into ruin are graciously pleaced to try if by a fair way We can reclaim them from their Faults, rather than to let them perish in the same; and therefore once for all We have thought fit to declare, and hereby to assure all Our good people, that We neither were, are, nor by the Grace of God ever shall be stained with Popish Superstition; but by the contrary, are resolved to maintain the true protestant Religion, already professed within this Our Ancient Kingdom. And for further clearing of Scruples, We do hereby assure all Men, That We will neither now, nor hereafter, press the practive of the Service-Book, or the foresaid Canons, nor any thing of that nature, but in such a fair nd legal way as shall satisfy all Our loving Subjects, That We neither intend Innovations in Religion or Laws; and to this effect have given order to discharge all Acts of Council thereanent. And for the High-Commission, We shall to redify it, with the help and advice of Our Privy=Council, that it shall never impugn the Laws, nor be a just Grievance to Our Loyal Subjects; and what is further fitting to be agitated in General Assemblies and Parliament, for the Good and Peace of the Kirk, and peaceable Government of the same, in establishing of the Religion presently professed, shall likewise be taken into Our Roial Consideration, in a free Assembly and Parliament, which shall be invited and called with Our best convenience: And We hereby take God to Witness, That Our true meaning and intention is, Not to admit to any Innovations, either in Religion or Laws, but carefully to maintain the purity of Religion already professed and established, and no ways to suffer Our Laws to be infringed. And though We cannot be ignorant, that there may be some disaffected Persons, who will strive to possess the hearts of Our good Subjects, that this Our Gracious Declaration is not to be regarded; yet We do expect that the behaviour of all Our Good and Loyal Subjects will be such, as may give testimony of their Obedience, and how sensible they are of Our Grace and Favour, that thus passeth over their Misdemeanours, and by their future carriage make appear, that it was only fear of Innovation that hath caused the Disorders which have hapned of late within this Our Ancient Kingdom, and are confident that they will not suffer themselves to be seduced and misted, to misconstrue Us or Our Actions, but rest heartily satisfied with Our pious and Real Intentions, for maintenance of True Religion and Laws of this Kingdom. Wherefore We require, and heartily with all Our good People carefully to advert to these dangerous Suggestions, and not to permit themselves blindly, under pretext of Religion, to be led in Disobedience, and draw on infinitely, to Our grief, their own Ruin, which We have and still shall strive to save them from, to long as we see not Royal Authority shaken off; and most unwillingly make use of that Power which God hath endued Us with, for reclaiming of disobedient People.
The Protestation of the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers, and Commons, &c.
'We Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers and Commons, That whereas We his Majesty's true and loyal Subjects, who have ever esteemed it our greatest happiness to live under a Religious and Righteous King, and our greatest Glory to testify our best Affections to our gracious Sovereign, have been in his Majesty's absence from his Native Kingdom heavily pressed for a long time past, and especially of late, with divers Innovations, which both in themselves, and in the way wherein they have been urged, do manifestly tend to the prejudice of the King's Honour, and of our Religion, Laws and Liberties; And by which We have been brought to such extremity, that there was no way left betwixt the Rock of Excommunication, and the high pain of Rebellion on the one part, and the desperate danger of forsaking the Way of True Religion, and the breach of our Covenant with God on the other, but to present our Case, and present our Supplications to the Lords of Secret Council, that being equally pondered by them, they might either be answered by themselves, or by their Recommendation might ascend to his Majesty's own Consideration: And therefore We did in all humble manner to this effect supplicate their Lordships. We were not' willing (for the modest following of our Supplications) to obey their Directions in choosing Commissioners for the great number of Supplicants, who flocked together from all parts of the Kingdom; were careful to order our selves in all quiet and Christian carriage, and against the many and tedious delays did wait for a long time with very great Patience, till at last they were pleased to receive our Supplications, Complaints and Bills; and conceiving them to contain weightier matters than could by themselves be determined, they did promise and undertake to represent and recommend the same, according to their more than ordinary importance, unto his Majesty's Royal Consideration, and to report his Majesty's Answer.
'While his Majesty's good Subjects of all ranks throughout the whole Kingdom, had their minds weakned, and their hearts filled with the expectation of a gracious and satisfactory Answer, worthy his Majesty's pious and equitable Disposition; in the month of February last, incontinent a rumour flies through the Country, and fills all Ears, That the Lords of his Majesty's Secret Council were commanded to make such a Proclamation concerning the Service-Book, Book of Canons, and the Peaceable Meetings of his Majesty's good Subjects in time coming, as we were perswaded to have been procured by the secret working, and malignant misinformation of our Adversaries, seeking for their own private ends, without respect to his Majesty's Honour, and welfare of this Kirk and Kingdom, to stop the course of our legal Proceedings, and to escape their own due Censure; and therefor intending to make known to the Lords of the Secret Council, what was noised concerning the Proclamation, how far the whole Kingdom had been by some sinistrous misinformation frustrate of their hopes, and their constant desire to have some course taken by their Lordships Advice, how his Majesty being further informed, might deliver his good Subjects from so great Grievances and Fears, and establish a sure Peace in this Country for the time to come: we found our selves tied by order of Law, to decline those against whom we had made our Complaint, unless we would admit our Judges to be parties; and in case our Declinator should not be accepted, we behoved to protest that we might have immediate recourse to the King himself. &c.
'Thereafter, in the month of March, finding by the aforesaid Proclamation the Innovations supplicated against were approven, our lawful Proceedings condemned, our most necessary Meetings prohibited, there being no other way lest unto us, we were necestitated to renew the National Covenant of this Kirk and Kingdom, thereby to reconcile us to God, provoked to wrath against us, by the breach of his Covenant within this Land, to clear our Sovereign's mind from all jealousies and suspicions, arising from our Adversaries mis-informations of our intentions and carriage, and so to make way for his acceptance of our humble Supplications, and grant of their lawful remedies, to guard this Land in defence of Religion, Authority and Liberty, against inward division, and external violences. And that our actions might be answerable to our holy Profession, We afterwards drew up an humble Supplication, containing our Grievances, and desires of the ordinary remedies thereof, to have been delivered to the King himself: in the mean time, we were directed by those, who were intrusted by his Majesty, to attend his Declaration here in Scotland, which would free us from all fears of Innovations of Religion, and prove satisfactory. And lest for want of true information of our just Grievances and Desires, it should fall out otherwise, We expressed to them with the greatest modesty we could, our Desires in some few Articles, and with great patience have attended his Majesty's Pleasure there-anent; and all this Month by-gone being frequently convened to hear the same delivered by his Majesty's Commissioner, the Right Noble Lord, James Marquess of Hamilton, &c, We presented a new Petition to his Grace, as his Majesty's Commissioner, craving most humbly the indiction of an Assembly and Parliament, as the only Remedies thereof. Like-as finding a Misinformation or mistake of our Covenant with God, as if it had been an unlawful Combination, to be the main hindrance of obtaining our Desires in a new Supplication, We have fully removed that Impediment, renewed our Desires of those supreme Judicatories, to be indicted with diligence for setling of the Kirk and Kingdom; but being only answered with delays after these nine months attendance, and with this Proclamation, that contained his Majesty's Declarations of his Pious Intentions, not to admit any Innovations in Religion or Law, nor any stain of Popish Superstition but on the contrary, to be resolved to maintain the true Christian Religion professed in this Kingdom; which We were ever so far from calling into question, as in our Supplications, Complaints and Bills, We used the same as one cause of our Desires, one ground of our Confidence of a gracious Answer, and Argument of our Adver saries malignant Misinformation of so Religious a King, and now most humbly (on bended Knees and bowed Hearts ) thank our gracious Sovereign for the same, wishing and praying the Lord of Heaven truly and fully to inform his Majesty how far these Books, Judicatories, and all our other Evils and Grievances, are full of Idolatrous Super stitions and Popish Errors, destructive of the Reformation of Religion in this Land, and of the Laws and Liberties of this Church and Kingdom, and so directly contrary to his Majesty's Pious Intention and Declaration: Yet seeing that no Proclamation could sufficiently remove the present Evils, nor settle our Fears, nor secure us from the reentry of any Evil or Innovation, which it seemed to discharge, or prevent the like in time coming, nor satisfy our humble Supplications, craving the Indiction of a free Assembly and Parliament, as the only Remedies of our Evils, and means to prevent the like. And seeing this Proclamation doth not so much as make mention, or acknowledg any of our Supplications, Complaints and Grievances, or any just cause thereof, except under the name of the great increase of Disorders, Faults and Misdemeanors, but only our Fears of some future Innovation of Religion or Laws, occasioned only (as is pretended) by the Introduction of the Service-Book, Book of Canons, and High-Commission; which Fears his Majesty hoped to have been abundantly and sufficiently satisfied by his two former Proclamations, of the 9th of December, and the 19th of February, and by this his present Declaration, unless his Subjects be (under pretext of Religion) blindly led unto Disobedience, doth misken, pass over, and so in effect deny all our Supplications, Bills, Articles, and Desires, especially our Complaints against the Prelats our Parties. And that once for all, in a fair and perfuasive way, even after the receipt of our last Supplication, clearing us from the Calumny of unlawful Combination, doth not disallow nor discharge any of the Innovations and Evils complained upon, but only assureth that his Majesty will not press their practice but in such a fair legal way as shall satisfy his Subjects of his Intentions; which (joined with the other clause, allowing and confirming the Proclamation of the 19th of February ) evidenceth the liberty lest to any Prelat or Persons to practise the same, and by all other fair ways to perswade others thereunto; and his Majesty's Resolution to press their practice in a fair and legal way, and also confirmeth the former Declaration, that the Service-Book is a ready mean to maintain the true Religion already professed, and to beat out all Superstition, and no ways to be contrary to the Law of this Kingdom, but to be compiled and approved for the universal use and edification of all his Majesty's Subjects; doth not abolish, but promiseth to rectify the High-Commission, with the Advice of his Privy-Council, implying the King's Power, with consent of his Council, to establish this or any Judicatory within this Kingdom, without consent of the three Estates convened Parliament, contrary to the fundamental and express Laws thereof; and by consequent with the like Reason to establish Laws and Service-Books without consent of the Assembly and Parliament; which is contrary to the main ground of our Supplications against the manner of their introduction; doth only promise to take into his Consideration in an Assembly and Parliament, which shall be called at his best convenience, while, as the evident and urgent necessity for settling the Combustions, threatning the total dissolution and desolation of this Church and State, excuseth Our incessant and importunate calling for these present Remedies; doth infinuate the continuance and execution of any pretended Laws for these Innovations in Worship, and Corruptions of Church-Government, and Civil Places of Church-men, which by our Covenant we have obliged Our selves to forbear, and the restablishment of these Evils in an Assembly and Parliament which he will call in his best conveniency, to wit, for that end, and satisfying of his Subjects Judgments anent the Service-Book and Book of Canons, doth condemn our former Proceedings, even our supplicating, complaining, protesting, and subscribing of our Covenant, together with our continual Meetings, as great Disoders, increase of great Disorders, deserving justly a powerful rather than a perswasive way; a running headlong into Ruin; a pershing in our Faults; a blind Disobedience under pretext of Religion; and doth threaten and denounce, now once for all, if We be not heartily satisfied, and give testimony of our Obedience after this Declaration, but continue, as by our former Proceedings, to draw on our own Ruin, that although unwillingly, he must make use of that Power which God hath endued him with, for reclaiming so disobedient People.
'Therefore We in our own Name, and in the Name of all who will adhere to the Confession of Faith, and Reformation of Religion within this Land, are forced and compelled out of our bounden Duty to God, Native-Country, our King, our Selves, and our Posterity, lest our Silence should be prejudicial to so important a Cause, as concerns God's Glory and Worship, our Religion and Salvation, the Laws and Liberties of the Church and Kingdom, or derogatory to our former Supplications, Complaints, Protestations, Articles, and Proceedings, or unanswerable to our solemn Oath of our National Covenant with God, to declare before God and Man, and to protest,
'Primo, That we do and will constantly adhere, according to our Vocation and Power, to the said Reformation in Doctrine, use of Sacraments, and Discipline, and that notwithstanding of any Innovations in troduced therein either of old or late.
'Secundo, We Protest we adhere to the Grievances, Supplications, and Protestations, given in at Assemblies and Parliaments, to our late Supplications, Complaints, Protestations, and other lawful Proceedings against the same, and particularly against the Service-Book, and Book of Canons, as main Innovations of Religion and Laws, and full of Popish Superstition, and so directly contrary to the King's Declaration, and against the High Commission, as a Judicatory established contrary to the Laws and Liberties of this Church and Kingdom, and destructive of other lawful Judicatories, which both in respect of the nature of it, and manner of Introduction, without consent of the three Estates in Parliament, cannot any ways be rectified, but absolutely discharged.
'Tertio, We protest that we adhere with our Hearts to our Oath and Subscription of the Confession of Faith, the solemn Covenant betwixt. God, this Church and Kingdom, and the particular Clauses therein expressed and generally contained; and to Our last Articles for the Peace of this Kirk and Kingdom, drawn out of it, and to all the matters therein contained, and manner therein of Remedy desired.
'Quarto, We protest that this Proclamation, or Act of Council, or any other Act or Proclamation, or Declaration, or Ratification thereof, by Subscription, or Act, or Letter, or any other manner of way what-soever, or any Precondemnation of our Cause or Carriage, before the same be lawfully heard and tried in the Supreme Judicatories of this Kirk and Kingdom, the only proper Judges to National Causes and Proceedings, or any Certification or Threatning therein denounced shall be no way prejudicial to the Confession of Faith, Laws and Liberties of this Kingdom, nor to our Supplications, Protestations, Complaints, Articles, lawful Meetings, Proceedings, Pursuits, Mutual Defences, nor to our Persons or Estates; and shall be no way disgraceful, either in Reality or Opinion, at Home or Abroad, to Us or any of Us. But on the contrary, any Letter, or Act, or Subscription of the Council, carrying the approbation of the Declaration, and condemnation of our Proceedings, indicta Causa, is and ought to be reputed and esteemed unjust, illegal, and null, as here before God and Man we offer to clear, and to verify both the justness of our Cause and Carriage, and the injustice of such Acts against Us, in the face of the first General Assembly of the Church and Parliament of Estates; unto whom, with all Solemnities requisite, We do publickly appeal.
'Quinto, We protest, That seeing Our former Supplications, last Articles, and Our last Desire and Petition to his Majesty's Commissioner, which petitioned for a present Indiction of a free general Assembly and Parliament, according to the Law and Custom of all Nations, and of this Nation in the like case, to hear the Desire, ease the Grievances, and settle the Fears of the Body of the Church and Kingdom, are thus delaied, and in effect refused: To wit, once for all, till his Majesty's conveniency for the end contained in this Proclamation, that We continue by these Presents to supplicate his Majesty again and again for granting the same: and whatsoever trouble or inconveniency fall out in this Land in the mean time, for want of these ordinary Remedies, and by the practice of any of these Innovations and Evils, contrary to our Supplications, Articles and Consession, it be not imputed unto Us, who most humbly beg these lawful Remedies; but also that it is, and shall be lawful unto Us to defend and maintain the Religion, Laws and Liberties of this Kingdom, the King's Authority in defence thereof, and every one of Us one another, in that Cause, of maintaining the Religion, and the King's aforesaid Authority, according to our Power, Vocation, and Covenant, with Our best Counsel, Bodies, Lives, Means, and whole Strength, against all Persons whatsoever, and against all external and internal Invasion menaced in this Proclamation, like-as that in the great exigency of the Church, necessitating the use of the ordinary and lawful Remedies, for settling the Commotion thereof; it is and shall be leathsome unto Us to appoint, hold, and use the ordinary means, Our lawful Meetings and Assemblies of the Church, agreeable to the Laws of God, and practice of the Primitive Times of the Church, the Acts of the General Assemblies and Parliaments, and the Example of Our worthy Reformers in the like case.
'Sexto, We protest, That Our former Supplications, Complaints, Protestations, Confessions, Meetings, Proceedings, and mutual Defences of one another in this Cause, as they are and were in themselves most necessary, and orderly means, agreeable to the Laws and practice of this Church and Kingdom, and in no wise to be stiled or accounted great Disorders, Misdemeanours, blind Disobedience, under pretext of Religion, and running headlong into ruin, &c. so they proceeded only from Conscience of Duty to God, Our King, Native Country, and our Posterity; and do tend to no other end, but to the preservation of the true Reformed Religion, the Confession of Faith, Laws and Liberties of this his Majesty's most Ancient Kingdom, and of his Majesty's Authority in defence thereof, and satisfaction of Our humble Desires, contained in Our Supplications, Complaints, and Articles; unto the which we adhere again and again, as We would eschew the Curse of Almighty God, following the breach of his Covenant; and yet We do certainly expect, according to the King's Majesty's accustomed Goodness and Justice, that his Sacred Majesty, after a true information of the Justice of our Cause and Carriage, will presently indict these ordinary Remedies of a Free Assembly and Parliament, to Our just Supplications, Complaints, and Articles, which may be expected, and used to be granted, from so just and gracious a King, towards most loyal and dutiful Subjects, calling for Redress of so pressing Grievances; and praying heartily that his Majesty may long and prosperously reign over us.
That whereas We expecting from your Grace, as his Majesty's Commissioner, a gracious Answer of Our former Supplications, Complaints, and just Desires, have presented to your Grace a Petition, humbly craving a free Assembly and Parliament, as the ordinary Remedy of our Grievances, and the only means to put this Kirk and Kingdom to quietness. It pleased your Grace to shew, that his Majesty, from his princely care of this Kirk and Kingdom, would be most willing to indict a free General Assembly, and call a Parliament, for those good Ends, but that your Grace, as his Majesty's Commissioner, hath conceived the Confession of Faith and Covenant, lately renewed by us his Majesty's Subjects, to be an unlawful Combination against Authority, thereby to cast off Our dutiful Obedience, and not a Covenant for maintaining of True Religion, of his Majesty's Person and Authority, and of the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom. And we being most willing to remove that, as the main hinderance of the obtaining of Our Desires therefore, and for clearing our Loyalty, and vindicating our Selves from so great an Imputation, We do now in all humility remonstrate to your Grace, as his Majesty's Commissioner, and declare before God and Men, That we are heartily grieved and sorry that any good Man, but most of all Our dread Soveraign, should so conceive of Our doing. And that We were, and still are so far from any thought of withdrawing our Selves from our dutiful Subjection and Obedience to his Majesty's Government; which by the descent, and under the Reign of 107 Kings, is most chearfully acknowledged by Us and Our Predecessors, that We never had nor have any intention or desire to attempt any thing that may turn to the dishonour of God, or the diminution of the King's Greatness and Authority. But on the contrary, We acknowledge our Quietness, Stability, and Happiness, to depend upon the safety of the King's Majesty, as upon God's Vicegerent, set over Us for maintenance of Religion, and ministration of Justice, have solemnly sworn, not only Our mutual Concurrence and Assistance for the Cause of Religion, but also to the utmost of Our Power with our Means and Lives, to stand to the defence of Our dread Sovereign the King's Majesty, his Person and Authority, in the preservation and defence of the True Religion, Liberties, and Laws of the Kingdom. And therefore We his Majesty's Loyal Subjects, free from that and allother Imputations of that kind, most humbly beseech your Grace to esteem, That our Confession of Faith and Covenant to have bin intended, and to the largest testimony of our Fidelity to God, and Loyalty to our King, and that hinderance being removed, must still supplicate that your Grace would be pleased to indict a free General Assembly and Parliament, which will undoubtedly redress all our Evil, settle the Peace of the Kirk and Kingdom, and procure that chearfulness of Obedience which ought to be rendred to his Majesty, carrying with it the offer of our Fortunes and best Endeavours for his Majesty's Honour and Happiness, as a real testimony of our Thankfulness, and our hearty Prayers to God, that his Majesty may long and prosperously reign over us.
At this time Marquess Hamilton told the Covenanters, That he had no Authority to indict an Assembly, unless some Particulars were agreed upon, both concerning the Constitution of the Assembly, and the present settling the Peace of the Kingdom; and delivered the Particulars of the King's Demands to the chief Lords of the Covenanters in ten Articles, which they utterly disliked; and then the Marquess afterwards reduced them to these two, viz.
- 1. 'If the Lords and the rest will undertake for themselves and the rest, that no Laicks shall have Voices in chusing the Ministers to be sent from the several Presbyteries to the General Assembly, nor none else but the Ministers of the same Presbytery.
- 2. 'If they will undertake that at the Assembly they shall not go about to determine things established by Act of Parliament, otherwise than by Remonstrance or Petition to the Parliament, leaving the determining of Things Ecclesiastical to the General Assembly, and things settled by Act of Parliament to the Parliament, then I will presently indict a General Assembly, and promise, upon my Honour, immediately after the Assembly, to indict a Parliament, which shall Cognosce of all their Complaints.
This highly displeased the Heads of the Covenanters, who began presently to think of the Election of Commissioners for the General Assembly. But the Marquess told them, That if they did proceed to the Election of any Commissioners for the Assembly before his return, he would not go his Journey at all, but leave them to their own ways. At last having consulted with their Tables, they agreed that the Election of Commissioners should be delaied until his return.
The Marquess by his Industry had got some of the Privy-Council, who were not satisfied with the Declaration, to be absent from the Council that day; but divers of those who had signed the Act, That Subjects ought to rest satisfied with the Declaration, came afterwards to him, telling him, That upon second thoughts, they found they had wronged their Consciences, therefore they desired he would call a New Council, that they might retract what they had done; and said plainly, If he called not a Council, they would find another way to make their Retraction to be known, and that was, to subscribe the Covenant. The Marquess imparting this to the whole Council apart, found that three parts in four would immediately fall off, if he gave them not satisfaction; and judging that such a visible breach in the Council would ruin the King's Affairs, and the Act so signed not being Registred, but only Subscribed, he thought it best to tear it before their Faces, by which means he got the Storm calmed.
When the Marquess came to Court, he gave the King a full Account of all that had passed in Scotland, and of the Strength and Rage of the Covenanters, together with the unconstancy of many of the Secret Council, and proposed to his Majesty to renew the Confession of Faith ratified in Parliament 1567. And to that his Majesty did readily consent, and resolved to enlarge his Instructions, which he did to the effect following.
You shall try by all means, to see if the Council will sign the Confession of Faith, established by act of parliament, with the new Bond joined thereunto: But you are not publickly to put it to voting, except you be sure to carry it, and thereafter that probably they will stand to it.
If the Council do sign it, though the Covenanters refuse, you shall proceed to the inditing of a free General Assembly; and though you cannot procure the Council to sign it, yet you are to proceed to the inditing thereof, if you find no other course can quiet Business at this time.
You shall labour by all fair means, that the sitting of the assembly be not before the first of November, or longer if you can obtain it. For the place, we are pleased to leave it to your election: For the manner of Indicting, you must be as cautious as you can, and sfride to draw it, as near as may be, to the former Assemblies in my father's time.
You are to labour, that the five Articles of Perth be held as indifferent: Strive that the Admissions of ministers may continue as they are. You may condescend that the Daths of their Admission be no other than is warranted by Act of Parliament.
You are, if you find that it may any wise conduce to Our Service, to enact and publish the Ordermade at Hally-Rood-House, by Our Council, the fifth of July last, for discharging the use of the Service-Book, Book of Canons, and the Practice of the High-Commission.
You are to protest against the abolishing of Bishops, and to give may to as fem Restrictions of their Power as you can: As for the Bishops not being capable of Civil Places, you must fabour what you can to keep them free.
Notwithstanding all these Instructions above mentioned, or any other accident that may happen, (still labouring to keep up Our hanour so far as possibly you can) you are by no means to permit a present Rupture to happen, but to view any thing, though unreasonable, rather then now to break.
Besides these Instructions, his Majesty ordered the Marquess, That the Moderators named by the Bishops in Presbyteries, be again reponed and held necessary Members of the Assembly; that all Ministers turned out since these Stirs began, might be again restored; and that all Ministers admitted without the Bishops, may not exercise their Function.
And the King wrote also by the Marquess to the Council, dated at Oatlands, July 30, taking notice that this Bond being not subscribed by Roial Leave and Authority, as was that in the time of King James, must needs be both null in it self, and prejudicial to the Kirk and State; his Majesty also declaring, That he hath ever binfully satisfied in Judgment and Conscience, both of the Reformed Religion, and against the Roman.
And his Majesty also signed a Declaration to the same effect and purpose; not only to satisfy his loving Subjects, but all the Christian World, and therefore signed the Confession of Faith, established by Act of Parliament with that Bond.
The King likewise signed a Declaration of the same date, expressing the Contents in the said Letter, and that he will ever maintain the True Christian and Reformed Religion established in the Kingdom of Scotland; and to that end he hath signed the Confession of Faith, established by Act of Parliament 1557, with the Bond in defence of it.
But while the Marquess was busy at Court, the Covenanters in Scotland were going on for more Subscriptions to the Covenant; and because the North were for the most part against the Covenant, some Noblemen and Ministers went on the 23d of July (being that day 12-month the Stool was thrown at the Bishop's head) to Aberdeen, hoping to convice the Doctors there of the Lawfulness of the Covenant. But the Doctors violently argued against the same, because it was a Combination without Warrant or Authority. And the Covenanters gave out to the said Doctors at Aberdeen, that the Lord-Commissioner was satisfied with the Covenant upon the offer of that Explication, (which is formerly mentioned) but at the Commissioner's Return he declared the contrary.
The Marquess at his Return to Hally-Rood House, on the 10th of August, found things in a much worse posture than he had left them; for at a Convention of Burroughs, a few days before, they had enacted, That none might be Magistrates, or bear Office in any Burrough, except he had taken the Covenant. And the Covenanters were resolved that Bishops should have no Vote in the Assembly, and that Episcopacy should be abolished, and the Articles of Perth condemned, and all under pain of Excommunication were to sign the Covenant.
The Marquess being surprized with so great a change of the state of Affairs, gave Account thereof to the King, and resolved not to call a General Assembly till he first went in Person to acquaint his Majesty with the hazard he was like to run.
On the 13th of August the Covenanters came to demand his Answer to their Petitions. To whom he declared, that the King's Answer was so full of Grace and Goodness, that he will leave nothing undone that can be expected from a just Prince to save the Nation from Ruin; and that he finds they cannot be well settled without a Parliament and Assembly, and so delivered his Majesty's Answer to them to that purpose.
The Marquess also assured them, that immediately upon their Obedience he should indict an Assembly and Parliament, as he was instructed, Order and Government being first established again in the Country as it was before these Combustions. But they continued still treating about this till the 20th of August : Whereupon the Marquess craved again the space of Twenty days to go to Court, and bring an Answer from his Majesty. Which he did to gain more time, and to advise his Majesty to break with them, or to give way to the violence of their Zeal; and in that time also to attend the dispatch of Affairs at Court concerning the Kingdom of Scotland. So he took Journey on the 25th of August towards London.
The Marquess before his Journey thought sit to consult with the Earl of Traquaire, Roxborough and Southesk, what Advice to offer his Majesty. Who agreed upon Articles to be presented to his Majesty, some of which were to the effect following.
'Since the Cause and Occasion of all the Distractions which of late have hapned both in Kirk and Polity, seems to proceed from the conceived Fears of Innovation of Religion and Laws, and that the Service-Book, Book of Canons, and the unbounded Power of Bishops in the High-Commission, (never yet warranted by Law) was that which first gave ground and occasion to the Subjects Fears; and seeing the said Books are offered to be proved to be full of Tenets and Doctrines contrary to the Reformed Religion, prosessed and established within this Kingdom, and the same introduced against all Form and Custom practised in the Church, it were an Act of Justice well beseeming so gracious and glorious a King, absolutely and fully to discharge the same.
'And seeing likewise this High-Commission hath given so great Offence to so many of your Majesties good Subjects, and as is constantly affirmed, is of so vast and unlimited a Power, and contrary to express Laws, by which all such Judicatories not established by Act of Parliament, are declared to be of no force; it would much conduce to the satisfaction of this People, it this Judicatory were discharged till the same were established by Law.
'The Practice of the five Articles of Perth hath been withstood by the most considerable part of the Subjects of all qualities both Laity and Clergy, whereby great Divisions have been in this Church, and are like to have an increase, if your Majesty (in your accustomed Goodness and Care of this poor Kirk and Kingdom) shall not be graciously pleased to allow that the pressing of these Articles may be sorborn until the same may be considered of in an Assembly and Parliament. And although We conceive Episcopacy to be a Church-Government most agreeable with Monarchy, yet the illimited Power which the Lords of the Clergy of this Kingdom have of late assumed to themselves in admitting and deposing of Ministers, and in divers other, of their Acts and Proceedings, gives us just ground humbly to beg that your Majesty may be pleased to remit to the Consideration of the Assembly this their unwarranted Power.
'The sense and apprehension of these foresaid Evils hath stirred up the Subjects without warrant of Authority to join in a Bond and Covenant to withstand the foresaid Innovations, and for maintenance of the true Religion, the King's Majesties Person, and of one another in the defence thereof.
'If Your Majesty might be graciously pleased in supplement hereof to allow or warrant such a Confession of Faith, with such a Covenant or Bond joined thereunto, as that signed by Tour Majesty's Royal Father, and by his Command by the Council, and most part of the Kingdom, We are very confident the same would be a ready and forcible mean to quiet the present Disorders, at least to satisfy most part. And if Your Majesty shall condescend to the foresaid Propositions, We are hopeful, if not confident, it shall give so great content to so considerable a number of your Majesty's good Subjects of all qualities, that if any shall stand out, or withstand your Majesty's Royal Pleasure, after the publication thereof, they may be overtaken by Your Majesty's Power within this Kingdom, without the Help or Assistance of any Force elsewhere.
'And because it is to be hoped that all that hath past in this Business, and all the Courses that have been taken herein by the Subjects, hath proceeded from the aforesaid fears of Innovations, and not out of any Disloyalty or Dissatisfaction to Soveraignty; and that Your good People may still taste the fruits of your Grace and Goodness, We wish Your Majesty may be graciously pleased, upon the Word of a King, to pardon what is past, &c.
When the Marquess arrived at Court, he told his Majesty, That unless he enlarged his Instructions, he was to treat no further; and since he saw the Contempt was like to have bin put on the last Instructions, so as he durst not make use of them, left his Majesty should be exposed to new Affronts. And told his Majesty further, That nothing seemed so likely a course for removing of Jealousies, and setling of things, as the Authorising the Covenant that upon King James his command was drawn up in the Year 1580, containing the renunciation of all the Articles of Popery, which was the ground of the present Covenant.
And now the King resolved to try the utmost of yielding for the recovery of his Subjects in Scotland, therefore again he dispatched his Commissioner from Oatlands, on the 10th of September, with ample Instructions, to this effect.
- 1. YOu shall in full and ample manner, by proclamation or otherwise as you shall see cause, declare, That we do absolutely revoke the Service-Book, the Book of Canons, and the High-Commission.
- 2. You shall likewise discharge the practice of the five articles of Perth, not withstanding the At of parliament, which both command the same: And in the said proclamation you shall promise, in Our Name, That if in the first parliament to be held, the three estates shall think fit to repeat the said. At, We shall then give Our Roial Assent to the said At of Repeat.
- 3. You shall likewise declare, That We have enjoined and authorized the Lords of Our Privy-Council, to subscribe the Confession of Faith, and Bond there to annexed, which was subscribed by Our dear father, and enjoined by his Majesty's Authority in the Year 1580. And likewise have enjoyned them to take order, that all Our Subjects subscribe the same.
- 4. You shall likewise declare, That Our meaning and pleasure is, That none of Our Subjects, whether Ecclesiastical or Civil, shall be exempted from Censuress, and Trial of the Parliament, or General Assembly, those Courts proceeding against them in due form and Order of Law.
- 5. You shall likewise declare, That We are graciously content, that the Episcopal Government already established, shall be limited with such Instructions as may stand with the Laws of this Church and Kingdom already established.
- 6. You shall offer a Pardon by Proclamation, and promise in it a Ratification of the same in Parliament to all Our good Subjects who shall rest satisfied with this Our gracious Declaration, and hereafter carry themselves as becomes peaceable and butiful Subjects.
- 7. You shall procure an Act of Council, wherein every Counsellor shall declare himself fully satisfied with this Our Declaration, and (if you can) they shall moreover solemnly smear and protest to adhere to us; and with their Lives, fortunes, and whole means, assist us in the punishing and repressing all such as shall be found to be disobedient, or persist in turbulent and unpeaceable Courses; and if any of Our Counsellors shall refuse so to do, you shall presently remove him from the place of a Counsellor.
- 8. You shall likewise require every Lord of the Session to subscribe the Confession of Faith above mentioned, and the Bond thereunto annexed; as likewise to make the same protessation in all things, as in the last Instruction is required of a Counsellor; and if they shall refuse to do it, you shall then certify to us the names of such Refusers.
- 9. You shall likewise declare that Our Pleasure is, Chat a most Solemn Fast be invited upon a set Day throughout the whole Kingdom, which shall preceve the General Assembly in come competent time. The Causes shall be declared, To beg God's Blessing on that Assembly; to beg of God a peaceable end to the Distractions of this Church and Kingdom; with the aversion of God's heavy Judgment from both. The form of invidion, we desire to be according to the most laudable custom of this Church in most extraordinary Cases.
- 10. You shall labour as much as in you lieth, that both the Electors, and Persons eleded to be Commissioners at the General Assembly, shall be the same that were wont to be in my father's cime, and the same forms to be observed, as near as may be; but pet if that cannot be obtained, it shall be no let to you from inbiting a General Assembly, but you shall go on it by all such means as you shall find most advantagious to me in that Service.
- 11. The Cime and Place of the Assembly (Edinburgh only excepted) we leave to your Judgment and Pleasure.
- 12. You shall likewise presently indict a Parliament; the Cime and Place We leave likewise to you.
- 13. Whether you shall first publish Our Gracious Offers, or first indict the Assembly, We leave it to your own Judgment as you shall see cause.
- 14. If you shall find the most considerable part of the Council not to acqusesce in the Our Gracious Declaration, and not to promise hearty and chearful Assistance to us, as is above expressed, or not a considerable part of other Lords and Gentlemen, in case Our Council refuse, then you shall neither invict Parliament not Assembly, not publish any of my Gracious Offers, except only the Abolishing of the Service-Book. Book of Canons and High-Commission, but leave them to themselves, and to such further over as We shall be forced to take with them; only if you foresee a Breach, you shall give timely warning thereof to such as have stood well-affected to Our Service, that so they may in due time provide for their safety, and your Self is to return to Us with expedition.
- 15. You must, by all means possible you can think of, infuse into the Ministers what a wrong it will be to them, and what an oppression upon the freedom of their judgment, if there must be such a number of Laicks to over-rule them, both in their Elections for the General Assembly, and afterwards.
His Majesty did also sign Instructions for the Marquess his Behaviour with the Bishops, to desire the Bishop of St. Andrews to leave his Chancellor's place, to accept of the sum of 2500l. Sterling, which should be done without injury to himself, and more to his advantage.
Likewise to intimate to them, That his Majesty intends to indict a General Assembly, and absolutely to discharge the Books of Service, and Canons, and High-Commission; and that the five Articles of Perth be esteemed as indifferent; and that though his Majesty will maintain Episcopacy, yet will be content that their Power be limited according to the Law.
The Marquess being thus again dispatched at Court, took Journey for Scotland, and met the Scotish Bishops in the way, passing through Yorkshire, to whom he signisied his Majesty's Pleasure; that the King inclined to indict a General Assembly, and absolutely to discharge the Books of Service, and Canons, and the High-Commission; and that the five Articles of Perth be esteemed as indifferent: and that though the King will maintain Episcopacy, yet he will be content that their Power be limite according to the Laws. But the Bishops were no ways pleased with what the Marquess had said unto them was the King's Pleasure, and spoke against it with great vehemency: But the Arch Bishop of St. Andrews was the most moderate of any of them, and seemed to be willing to take 2500l. Sterling Composition to quit his place of Chancellor.
On the 17th of September the Marquess arriv'd at Hally-Rood-House, where he found Jealousies begin to arise, between some of the wister Ministers, and the Lords for the Covenant concerning the Lay-Ruling Elders.
On the 20th the Covenanters sent to the Marquess to know when they might wait on him to know his Majesty's Pleasure; and he appointed the next day, Septemb. 21. When they came, he told them That the King had granted them all that they desired; and more also, a Free Assembly, and a Parliament, which should be immediately indicted, and opened the Particulars unto them; and they seemed reasonably well satisfied therewith, only pressed him to desist from renewing the Confession of Faith, for they clearly saw that that would dissatisfy a great many of their Party. But the Marquess having made most of the privy-Council sure before-hand, and that by Oath, resolved to hear of no delay.
The next morning the Earl of Rothess, and many of the Covenanting Lords, desired access; and in the Name of the rest said, They heard the Council were to sign the Old Confession of Faith, and to publish a Declaration there-about, which they desired might be delayed till Monday next, and they doubted not to be able to give good Teasons why they should not do it: And being called into the Council, they raised a long Debate which lasted about four hours; but in the end no delay of publishing the Declaration was granted, and it was carried by Vote in the Council, That the Confession of Faith should be presently signed. Next, that the Proclamation of Grace should be presently published, and another Proclamation, that an Assembly should presently meet at Glascow the 21 of November, and that a Parliament should meet at Edinburgh the 15th of May next.
Then the Council passed an Act, declaring their full satisfaction with his Majesty's Concessions, together with the Letter of Thanks to his Majesty, expressing their full satisfaction, with large engagements to adhere constantly to his Service; and so they arose at four of the Clock, having sat that day from seven in the morning. So the Proclamation of the 9th of September following, was immediately sent to the Cross at Edinburgh, which met with a Protestation; and though the Council seemed displeased at it, yet they could not be persuaded to pass a Censure upon the Protestation as Seditious.
Forasmuch as the cause and occasion of all the Diffractions which have hapned of late, both in Church and Common Wealth, of this our Ancient Kingdom, have proceeded from the conceived Fears of Innovation of Religion and Laws. Do free all our Good Subjects from the least suspicion of any intention in Us to innovate any thing, either in Religion or Laws; and to satisfy not only their Desires, but even their Doubts, We have discharged, and by these presents do discharge the Service-Book, Book of Canons, and High-Commission, and the practice of them, or any of them; and by these Presents annulls and rescinds all Ads of Councill, Proclamations, and other Ads and Deeds whatsoever that have bin made and published for establishing them, or any of them; and declare the same to be null, and to have no force or effect in time coming. And being informed, that the urging of the practice of the five Articles of Perth-Assembly hath bred great Distraction and Division in the Church and State; We have bin graciously pleased to take the same into our consideration, and for the Duiet and Peace of Church and State, do not only dispence with the practice of the said Articles; but also discharge; like-as by these Presents, We discharge all and whatsoever Persons from urging the practice thereof, upon either Laick or Ecclesiastick Person whatsoever. And We do hereby free all our Subjects from all Censure and Pain, whether Ecclesiastical or Secular, for not urging, practising, or obeying the same, notwithstanding any thing contained in the Ads of Parliament, or General Assembly to the contrary. And because it hath bin (to the disgrace of Government,) dispersed and surmised throughout this our Kingdom, that some of our Subjects have exercised such illimited and unwarranted Power, and have held themselves exempt from censure or punishment, to which other Subjects are liable; We do by these presents declare, That if any of our Subjects, whether Ecclesiastical or Civil, of whatsoever Duality, Title, or Degree, have, or shall at any time presume to do any such Act, or assume to themselves any such exemption or Power, that they shall, like as by these presents we make and ordain them to be liable to the trial and tenture of parliament, General assembly, or any other iudicatories competent, according to the nature and quality of the Difence. And for free entry of ministers, that no other dath be administred unto the, than that which is contained in the at of parliament. And to give our subjects full assurance that we never intend to admit of any change or alteration in the true religion already established and prosessed in this our kingdom, and that all out good people may be fully and clearly satisfied of the reality of our intentions towards the maintenance of the truth, and integrity of the faid religion; we have thought fit and expedient to enjoin and authorize, like as we by these presents do require and command all the Lords of our privy-council, senators of our colledge of justice, and all judges and magistrates to burrough and land, and all other our subjects whatsoever, to subscribe and renew the Confession of Faith, subscribed at first by our dear father and his houshold, in the year of god 1580, thereafter by persons of all ranks, in the year 1581, by Ordinance of the lords of secret council, and acts of the general assembly, subscribed again by all sorts of persons in the year 1590, by a new ordinance of council, at the desire of the general assembly, with their general bond of maintenance of the true religion, and the king's person. And for that effect we do require the lords of the council to take such course anent the forefaid throughout the whole realm with all possible diligence. And because we will not leave in our subjects minds the leaft scruple, or doubt of our roial intentions, and real resolutions; We have given warrant to our commissioner to indict a free general assembly to be holden at Glasgow the 21 of November, in this present year 1638, and thereafter a parliament to be holden at Edinburgh, the 15th day of May 1639, for settling a perfect peace both in church and common weal of this kingdom. And because it is likely that the disorders and distractions which have hapned of late, have bin occasioned through the conceived fears of innovations of religion, and laws, and not out of any disloyalty or disaffection to soveraignty; we are graciously pleased absolutely to forget what is pass, and freely to forgive all by-gons to all such as shall acquiesce to this our gracious pleasure, and carry themselves peaceably, as loial and dutiful subjects; and we shall ratify and approve the same in our next success, and more happy conciusion, our will is, that there be a Solemn Fast proclaimed and kept by all our loving subjects of this kingdom, fourteen days before the beginning of the said assembly; the causes thereof to be, A begging from God a Blessing upon that Assembly, and a peaceable end to the Distractions of this Church and Kingdom, with the aversion of God's heavy Judgment from both. And our pleasure is, that this fast be kept in the most solemn mannet, as hath bin in this church at any time heretofore, upon the most extraordinary occasion. Our will is therefore, and we charge you straitly, and command, that incontinent these our Letters seen, yepass, and make publication hereof by open proclamation at the Market-Crosses of the bead-Boroughs of this our Kingdom, where, though none pretend ignorance of the same.
At the same time when the Dcclaration was proclaimed, another was also proclaimed for indicting an Assembly at Glasgow, November 21, and another for a Parliament at Edinburgh the 15th of May. The Protestation in answer to this Declaration doth follow; only for the present We insert in this place so much of that Protestation as relates in answer to the Confession of Faith, ordered by the King to be subscribed unto; and afterwards in the Appendix, the rest of this Protestation, being very long, is at large set down.
The Protestation of the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burrough, Ministers, and Commons, &c. in answer to the King's Declaration of the 9th of September.
'That this Proclamation commandeth all his Majesty's Subjects, for maintenance of the Religion already established, to subscribe and renew the Confession of Faith, subscribed before in the Year 1580, and afterwards; and requireth the Lords of the Privy Council to take such course anent the same, and general Band of maintenance of the True Religion, and the King's Person, that it may be subscribed and renewed throughout the whole Kingdom, with all possible diligence, which cannot now be performed by us: For although of late we would have bin glad that our selves, and other his Majesty's Subjects had bin commanded by Authority to swear and subscribe the General Confession of Faith against Popish Errors and Superstitions, and now would be glad that all others should join with Us in our late Covenant and Confession, descending more especially to the Novatons and Errors of the Time, and obliging Us to the Defence of Religion, and of the King's Majesty's Person and Authority, and for these ends to the mutual defence every one of Us of another; Yet can We not now, after so necessary and so solemn a Specification, return to the General, for the Reasons following.
- 1. 'No means have bin left unaffayed against Our late Confession of Faith and Covenant so solemnly sworn and subscribed: for first, We were prest with the rendring and rescinding of our Covenant; next, and alteration in some substantial Point, was urged; thirdly, A declaration was mentioned, which tended to the enervation thereof; and now We find in the same strain, that We are put to a new Trial, and the last mean is used more subtil than the former. That by this new Subscription, Our late Covenant and Confession may be quite absorbed and buried in Oblivion, that where it was intended and sworn to be an Everlasting Covenant never to be forgotten, it shall be never more remembred, the one shall be cried up, and the other drowned in the noise thereof. And thus the new Subscription now urged, (although in a different way) shall prove equivalent to the rending of the Covenant, or what of that kind hath before bin essayed; like as the Reasons against the rendring of the Covenant, do militate directly against this new Motion.
- 2. 'If We should now enter upon this new Subscription, We would think our selves guilty of mocking God, and taking his Name in vain; for the Tears that began to be poured forth at the solemnizing of the Covenant, are not yet dried up and wiped away; and the joiful noise which then began to sound, hath not yet ceased; and there can be no new necessity from Us, and upon our part, pretended for a ground of urging this new Subscription, at first intended to be an Abjuration of Popery upon Us, who are known to hate Popery with an unfained hatred, and have all this Year by-gone given large testimony of our Zeal against it. As We are not to multiply Miracles on God's part, so ought We not to multiply solemn Oaths, and Covenants upon our part; and thus to play with Oaths, as Children do with their Toies without necessity.
- 3. 'Neither would We in giving way to this new Subscription, think our selves free of Perjury; for as We were driven by an undeclineable necessity to enter into a mutual Covenant, so are We bound, not only by the Law of God and Nature, but by our solemn Oath and Subscription, against all divisive Motions, to promove and observe the same without Violation; and it is most manifest, that having already refused to render, alter, or destroy our Covenant, nothing can be more contrary and adverse to our pious Intentions, and sincere Resolutions, than to consent to such a Subscription and Oath, as both in the intention of the Urgers, and in the nature and condition of the Matter urged, is the ready way to extinguish, and to drown in oblivion the Band of our Union and Conjunction, that they be no more remembred. In this case We are called to lay seriously to our hearts; first, That We have sworn that We shall neither directly nor indirectly suffer our selves to be divided and withdrawn from this blessed and loial Conjunction, which consisteth not only in the General Confession, but also in our Explanation and Application thereof; but on the contrary, shall by all lawful means labour to further and promove the same. 2ly, That our Union and Conjunction may be observed without violation, (and so without mutilation of our Application) we call the living God to Witness, as We shall answer to Christ in the great Day, & c.
- 4. 'This new Subscription, instead of performing our Vows, would be a real Testimony and Confession before the World, that We have bin Transgressors in making rash Vows; that We repent our selves of former zeal and forwardness, against the Particulars exprest first in our Supplications, Complaints, and Protestations; and next abjured in our Covenant, that We in our Judgment prefer the General Confession unto this, which necessarily was now made more special; and that We are now, under the fair pretext and honest cover of a New Oath, recanting and undoing that, which upon so mature deliberation We have bin doing before. This, besides all other Evils, were to make Way, and open a Door, to the re-entry of the Particulars abjured, and to repent our selves of our chiefest Consolations, and to lye both against God and our own Souls.
- 5. 'It hath bin often objected, That our Confession of Faith, and Covenant, was unlawful, because it wanted the Warrants of publick Authority; and it hath bin answered by Us, That We were not destitute of the Warrant Civil and Ecclesiastical, which authorized the former Covenant. And although We could have wished that his Majesty had added both his Subscription and Authority unto it, yet the less constraint from Authority, and the more liberty, the less hypocrify and more sincerity hath appeared. But by this new Subscription urged by Authority, We both condemn our former Subscription as unlawful, because alledged to be done without Authority; and pre-condemn also the like laudable course in the like necessity to be taken by Posterity.
- 6. 'What is the use of Merch-stones upon Borders of Lands; the like use hath Confessions of Faith in the Kirk, to disterminate and divide betwixt Truth and Error, and the renewing and applying of Confessions of Faith to the present Errors and Corruptions, are not unlike riding of Merches; and therefore to content our selves with the general, and to return to it, from the particular Application of the Confession necessarily made upon the invasion or creeping in of Errors within the borders of the Kirk, if it be not a removing of the Merch-stone from the own place, it is at least the hiding of the Merch in the Ground that it be not seen, which at this time were very unseasonable for two Causes; one is, because Popery is so pregnant and powerful in this Land, as We have learned of late. The other because the Papists, who upon the urging of the Service-Book and Canons, have presumed of our return to Rome, will upon this our Subscription return unto their ancient and wonted presumption; none of us will deny, but the large Confession of Faith registred in the Acts of Parliament, doth by consequence contain this short Confession and Abjuration : Yet were it not sufficient against Popery to subscribe the one without the other: How then shall we think that the more general Confession and Abjuration at this time, when the urging of such Popish Books have extorted from Us so necessary an Application, and doth still call for a Testimony, to be compleat enough without it.
- 7. 'The Papists shall hereby be occasioned to renew their old Objections against Us, Annuas & menstruas fides de Deo decernunt, That our Faith changeth with the Moon, or once in the Year. Other Reformed Kirks might justly wonder at our Inconstancy in changing our Confession without any real necessity, and that in one and the same Year it cometh forth larger and more particular, then shorter and more general: and our Adversaries will not fail to traduce us, as troublers of the Peace of the Kirk and Kingdom without any necessary Cause.
- 8. 'It will like wise prove a Confirmation of their Error, who think they may both subscribe the Confession of Faith, and receive the Service-Book and Canons; which is not only a direct scandalizing of them but also a ready way to put a Weapon in their hands against our selves, who maintain and prosess, that these and such other Evils are abjured in the Confession of Faith.
- 9. 'If We should now swear this Confession, We should be obliged by our Oath to maintain Perth -Articles, which are the Innovations already introduced in the Worship of God, and to maintain Episcopacy, with the Civil Places, and Power of Kirkmen, because We are bound to swear this Confession by virtue of and conform unto the King's Command, signed by his Sacred Majesty, of the date September 9. 1638. (These are the very words subjoined to the Confession and Band, and prefixed to the Subscriptions). And it cannot be denied, but any Oath ministred unto Us, must either be refused, or else taken, according to the known Mind, professed Intention, and express Command of Authority urging the same. And it is most manifest, that his Majesty's Mind, Intention, and Commandment, is no other, but that the Confession be sworn for the maintenance of Religion, as it is already or presently professed, (these two being coincident, altogether one and the same, not only in our common form of speaking, but in all his Majesty's Proclamations) and thus as it includeth, and containeth within the compass thereof, the foresaid Novations and Episcopacy, which under that Name were also ratified, in the first Parliament holden by his Majesty. And where it may be objected, That the Counsellors have subscribed the Confession of Faith, as it was professed 1580, and will not urge the Subscription in another sense upon the Subjects. We answer, first, The Act of Council containing that Declaration, is not as yet published by Proclamation. Secondly, If it were so published, it behoved of necessity, either to be repugnant to his Majesty's declared Judgment and Command, which is more than to swear without Warrant from Authority, (a fault, although unjustly, often objected unto Us); or else We must affirm the Religion in the Year 1580, and at this time, to be altogether one and the same; and thus must acknowledg, that there is no Novation of Religion: which were a formal contradiction to that We have sworn. Thirdly, By approving the Proclamation anent the Oath to be administred to Ministers, according to the Act of Parliament, which is to swear simple obedience to the Diocesan Bishop, and by warning all Arch-Bishops and Bishops to be present, as having Voice and Place in the Assembly, they seem to determin, that in their Judgment, The Confession of Faith, as it was professed 1580, doth consist with Episcopacy; whereas We by our Oath have referred the trial of this, or any other Question of that kind, to the General Assembly and Parliament.
- 10. 'This Subscription and Oath, in the Mind and Intention of Authority, and consequently in Our swearing thereof, may consist with the Corruptions of the Service-Book and Canons, which We have abjured as other heads of Popery. For this present Proclamation and his Majesty's former Proclamations at Linlithgow, Striveling Edinburgh; The Lords of the Privy-Council, in their approbation of the same, and the Prelates and Doctors who stand for the Service-Book and Canons, do all speak plainly, or impart so much, That these Books are not repugnant to the Confession of Faith, and that the introducing of them is no Novation of Religion or Law; and therefore We must either refuse to subscribe now, or We must confess contrary to our late Oath, and to a clear Truth, That the Service-Book and Canons are no Innovations in Religion. And though the present Books be discharged by Proclamation, yet if We shall, by any Deed of our own, testify, that they may consist with our Confession of Faith, within a very short time, either the same Books, or some other like unto them, with some small change, may be obtruded upon Us, who by our abjuration (if We adhere unto it) have freed both our selves, and the Posterity of all such Corruptions, and have laid a fair Foundation for the pure Worship of God in a time coming.
- 11. 'Although there be indeed no substantial difference between that which We have subscribed, and the Confession subscribed 1580, more than there is between that which is hid, and that which is revealed; a March-stone hid in the Ground, and uncovered; betwixt the Hand closed and open, betwixt a Sword sheathed and drawn; or betwixt the large Confession, registrate in the Acts of Parliament, and the short Confession, or (if We may with reverence ascend yet higher) between the Old Testament and the New; yet as to sheath our Sword when it should be drawn, were imprudence; or at the commandment of Princes, professedly Popish in their Dominions, after the Subjects had subscribed both Confessions, to subscribe the first without the second; or at the Will of a Jewish Magistrate, openly denying the New Testament, to subscribe the Old alone, after that they have subscribed both, were horrible impiety against God, and treachery against the Truth; Right so for Us to subscribe the former apart, as it is now urged and framed, without the Explanation and Application thereof at this time, when Ours is rejected, and the Subscribers of the former refuse to subscribe Ours, as containing something substantially different, and urge the former upon us, as different from Ours, and not expressing the special abjuration of the Evils supplicated against by Us, were nothing else but to deny and part from Our former Subscription, if not formally, yet interpretatively: Old Eleazer, who would not seem to eat forbidden Meat, and the Confessors and Martyrs of old, who would not seem, by delivering some of their Papers, to render the Bible, or to deny the Truth, may teach Us our Duty in this Case, although our Lives were in hazard for refusing this Subscription. And who knoweth but the Lord may be calling his People now, who have proceeded so far in professing his Truth at this time, to such Trials and Confessions as his faithful Witnesses have given of old; that in this Point also Our doing may be a Document, both to the succeeding Ages, and to other Kirks, to whom for the present We are made a Spectacle.
- 12. 'If any be so forgetful of his Oath (which God forbid) as to subscribe this Confession as it is now urged, he doth according to the Proclamation, acquiesce in this Declaration of his Majesty's Will, and doth accept of such a Pardon as hath need to be ratified in Parliament, and thus doth turn our Glory unto shame, by confessing our guiltiness, where God from Heaven hath made Us guiltless, and by the fire of his Spirit from Heaven hath accepted of our Service, and doth depart from the Commandment of God, the practice of the Godly in former Times, and the worthy and laudable example of our Worthy and Religious Progenitors; in obedience whereof, and conform to which, We made profession to subscribe; for there is no particular Act required of Us, to whom the Pardon is presented in this Proclamation, but this new subscription allanerly.
- 13. 'The General Band now urged to be subscribed, as it containeth many Clauses not so fitting the present time as that wherein it was subscribed, so is it deficient in a Point at this time most necessary, of the reformation of our Lives, that We shall, answerably to our Profession, be Examples to others, of all Godliness, Soberness, and Righteousness, and of every Duty We owe to God and Man, without which We cannot now subscribe to this Confession, lest We loose the Bands to Wickedness, seem to repent of our former Resolutions and Promises, and chuse to have our portion with Hypocrites; professing and swearing, That We know God, but in our Works denying him, being abominable, disobedient, and unto every good Work reprobate.
- 14. 'Since the Narrative of the General Band is now changed, and some Lines, expressing at length the Papists and their Adherents, to be the party from whom the danger to Religion, and the King's Majesty, was threatned, are left out, and no designation made of the Party from whom the danger is now threatned, We are made either to think, that our Subscription at this time is unnecessary, or to suspect that we who have supplicated and entred into Covenant, are understood to be the Party; especially since the Lords of Council have, in the Act Septem. 22. ratifying the Proclamation, found themselves bound to use their best endeavours, That all his Majesty's good subjects may rest satisfied with his Majesty's Declaration; since also We have bin (although undeservedly) challenged of Disorders, Distractions, and Dangers to Religion, and his Majesty's Authority; and since in the foresaid Act, and in the Missive directed to his Majesty, the Lords of the Council ofter their Lives and Fortunes to his Majesty, in repressing all such as shall hereafter please to disturb the Peace of this Kirk and Kingdom; which being expressed in a generality, is by many applyed to Us, and interpreted of our adhering to our Covenant. We should therefore, by our subscription of the Covenant, as it is now conceived, both do directly against our own Minds, in condemning our Selves, wherein We are Innocent, and should consent to our own hurt, to the suppressing of the Cause which We maintain, and to the repressing mutually one of us of another, directly contrary to our former solemn Oath and Subscription.
- 15. 'The subscribing of this Confession by the Lords of his Majesty's Privy-Council, who by their Place and high Employment, are publick Peacemakers; and by others who have not subscribed the late Confession, will make the Breach wider, and the lamentable Division of this Kirk more desperate than ever before; some having sworn to labour, by all lawful means, to recover the former Liberty and Purity of Religion; and others maintaining that for Purity which is already established; some believing and professing, that the Evils supplicated against, are abjured in that Confession of Faith; and others maintaining the Confession of Faith : And these Corruptions (although for the present discharged by Authority) not to be inconsistent.
'And besides this, many Divisions and Subdivisions will ensue, to the doleful renting of the Kirk and Kingdom, making way for the Wrath and many Judgments of God often threatned by his faithful Servants, which all the Godly ought to labour by all means to prevent.
'We represent also to the Honourable Lords of Privy-Council to be considered, that the Doctrine, Discipline, and Use of Sacraments are sworn, and the contrary abjured, according to the Word of God, and the Meaning of the Kirk of Scotland in the Books of Discipline, and Acts of Assembly; and that in the Oath there is no place left to the generality of any Man's Conception of the true Faith and Religion, nor to any private Interpretation, or mental reservation.
After this was proclaimed, the Confession of Faith, as it was at first commanded by his Majesty's Royal Father; as also the Band annexed, for defence of the Religion now established, and of the King's Person and Authority, with the Subscriptions of the Commissioner and Council to them both, do here follow.
As to the Confession of Faith of the Kirk of Scotland, now ordered to be taken by his Majesty, it is the same (fn. 1)verbatim with the Confession of Faith mentioned before the Covenant subscribed unto by the Covenanters; so the difference only is in the Band annexed to his Majesty's Confession of Faith ordered to be subscribed unto, and here followeth:
'We undersubscribing, and considering the strait Link and Conjunction betwixt the True and Christian Religion presently (fn. 2)profest within this Realm, and our Sovereign Lord's estate and standing, having both the self-same Friends and common Enemies, and subject to the like event of standing and decay; weighing there-withal the imminent Danger threatned to the said Religion, the preservation whereof being dearer to us than whatsoever we have dearest to us in this Life. And finding in his Majesty a most Honourable and Christian Resolution, to manifest Himself to the World that Zealous and Religious Prince which he hath hitherto professed; and to imploy the Means and Power which God hath put into his hands, as well to the withstanding of whatsoever Foreign Force shall mean within this Land, for alteration of the said Religion, or endangering of the present State, as to the repressing of the in ward Enemies there-to amongst our selves, linked with them in the said Anti-christian League and Confederacy; Have therefore in the presence of Almighty God, and with his Majesty's authorizing and allowance, faithfully promised, and solemnly sworn, like as hereby we faithfully and solemnly swear, and promise, to take a true effauld, and plain part, with his Majesty amongst our selves, for diverting of the appearing danger threatned to the said Religion, and his Majesty's State and Standing, depending thereupon, by whatsoever Forreign or Intestine Plots or Preparations. And to that effect, faithfully, and that upon our Truth and Honour, bind and oblige us to others, to convene and assemble our selves publickly, with our Friends in Arms, or in quiet manner, at such times and places as we shall be required by his Majesties Proclamation, or by Writ or Message directed to Us from his Majesty, or any having Power from, and being convened and assembled, to join and concur with the whole Forces of our Friends and Followers, against whatsoever Foreign or intestine Powers, or Papists and their Partakers, shall arrive or rise within this Island, or any part thereof, ready to defend or pursue, as We shall be authorized or conducted by his Majesty, or any others having his Power and Commission, to join and hold hand to the execution of whatsoever Mean or Order shall be thought meet by his Majesty and his Council, for suppressing the Papists, promotion of the true Religion, and setling of his Highness Estate, and Obedience in all the Countries and Corners of this Realm, to expose and hazard our Lives, Lands and Goods, and whatsoever Means God hath lent Us, in the defence of the said True and Christian Religion, and his Majesty's Person and Estate, against whatsoever Jesuits and Seminary or Mass-Priests, condemned Enemies to God and his Majesty, to their utter Wreck and Extermination, according to the Power granted unto Us by his Majesty's Proclamation and Acts of Parliament, To try, search, and seek out all Excommunicates, Practisers, and other Papists whatsoever, within our Bounds and Shire where we keep residence, and dilate them to his Highness and his Privy-Council, and conform us to such Directions as from time to time We shall receive from his Majesty and his Council in their behalfs. And especially so many of Us as presently are, or hereafter shall be appointed Commissioners in every Shire, shall follow, pursue, and travel by all means possible, to take and apprehend all such Papists, Apostates and Excommunicates, as We shall receive in Writ from his Majesty. And We the Remanent within that Shire, shall concur and assist with the said Commissioners, with our whole Friends and Forces to that effect, without respect of any person whatsoever, and generally to assist in the mean time, and defend every one of us another, in all and whatsoever Quarrels, Actions, Debates moved, or to be moved against us, or any of us upon Action of the present Band, or other Causes depending thereupon; and effauldly join in defence and pursuit against whatsoever shall offer or intend any injury or revenge against them, or any one of them, for the premisses, making his cause and part that is pursued, all our parts; not withstanding whatsoever privy grudg or displeasure standing betwixt any of us, which shall be no impediment or hindrance to our said Effauld joining in the said Common Cause; but to lie over, and be misknown, till they be orderly removed and taken away by the Order under-specified. To the which time, We for the better furtherance of the said Cause and Service, have assured, and by the tenor hereof, every one of us taking the burden upon us for our selves, and all that We may let, assure each other to be unhurt, unharmed, or any ways to be invaded by us, or any our foresaids for old Feid or new, otherwise than by ordinary course of Law and Justice: Neither shall We, nor any of our foresaids, make any Provocation or Tumult, Trouble, or Displeasure to others in any sort, as We shall answer to God, and upon our Honours and Fidelity to his Majesty.
'And for our further and more hearty Union in this Service, We are content and consent, That all whatsoever our Feids and Variances fallen, or that may fall out, betwixt us, be within fourty days after the date hereof amicably referred and submitted to seven or five indifferent Friends, chosen by his Majesty, of our whole number, and by their Moderation and Arbitrement compounded and taken away. And finally, that We shall neither directly nor indirectly separate nor withdraw us from the Union and Fellowship of the Remanent by whatsoever suggestion or private advice, or by whatsoever incident regard or stay such resolution as by common deliberation shall be taken in the Premisses, as We shall answer to God upon our Consciences, and to the World upon our Truth and Honour, under the pain to be esteemed Traitors to God and His Majesty, and to have lost all Honour, Credit, and Estimation, in time coming. In Witness whereof, by his Majesty's special Command, Allowance, and Protection promised to us therein, We have subscribed these Presents with our Hands at 1589.
The King's Commissioner, the day after the time prefixed for his return to Scotland, viz. on the 23 day of September, 1638, assembled the Council at the Palace at Hally-Rood-House; and first delivered there to them this ensuing Letter from his Majesty, dated Septemb. 9.
The which day James Marquess Hamilton, his Majesty's Commissioner, produced and exhibited before the Lords of the Privy-Council, the two Missives under-written, signed by the King's Majesty, and directed to the said Lords; which being read, heard, and considered by the said Lords, they have ordained, and ordains the same to be inferted and registred in the Books of Secret Council, therein to remain, in futuram rei memoriam, whereof the Tenour followeth.
Right Trusty, &c. Being certainly informed, that the Distractions which have happened of late (both in Church and Common-Wealth) in this our Ancient Kingdom of Scotland, have much troubled the minds of many of our Good and Loial Subjects; and that these Distractions have bin occasioned upon Jealousies and fears of Innovation of Religion and Laws, as rending to the Introduction of Popery; and not without some suspicion, as if We our Selves were inclined that way. Upon occasion whereof, many of our Subjects have of late subscribed a Band or Covenant for preserving the true Religion and Laws already established, and for defending the King's Person, and each others in defence thereof. But the same not being warranted by Roial Authority, as that which was in our dear Father's Time, must needs of it self be ineffectual, and much prejudicial to the Ancient form and Custom of Government kept within that our kingdom of Scotland: Wherefore We, out of our inborn love to out Native Country, and for obviating these conceived fears, and satisfying of you, and all our Loving People, have thought good to ordain the Confession of Faith, and Band thereunto subjoined, of the Date at Edinburgh, Jan. 28. 1580. and signed by our Roial father, to be renewed; and to that effect have given order to our Commissioner, with advice of our Council, to set dowit and settle some solid course, whereby the same may be subscribed by our Council, Judges, Magistrates of Burroughs, and all our other People of that Kingdom. And for further clearing of our Self, We declare, That as We are, and ever have bin satisfied in our Judgment and Conscience, for the Reformed Religion now essablished, and against the Roman, So We purpose by God's Grace both to live and die in the practice of it, and to preserve and maintain the same in full strength and integrity, according to the Laws of that our Ancient Kingdom. What We have thought further fitting to be done at this time concerning the Particulars contained in our Subjects Petitions, you shall receive our full Pleasure therein from our Commissioner; and that this our Declaration, containing our Self, and our pious Intention for setting the Reformed Religion within that our Kingdom, may appear to Posterity, Our Pleasure is, That these Preseuts be registred in the Books of Council.
We James Marquess of Hamilton, Earl of Arran and Cambridg, Lord Evon and Evondail, his Majesty's High Commissioner; and Lords of his Majesty's Privy-Council under subscribing, by virtue, and conform to a Warrant and Command signed by his Sacred Majesty, of the date of 9 Sept. 1638. and registred in the Books of Council, upon the 22 day of Sept. the said month, swear, and with our hearts, and humble Affections to God, Truth, and to his Sacred Majesty, subscribe the Confession of Faith, of and according to the Date and Tenour above-specified; and also renew, swear, and subscribe the aforesaid General Band of the Tenour above-written, for preservation of True Religion, and maintenance of his Sacred Majesty's Authority, according to the Tenour thereof, and siclike, as ample as the same was conceived in favours of his Majesty's umwhile blessed father of eternal Memory, by the said Band. In Witness whereof, We have subscribed these Presents with our hands, at Hally-Rood-House.
Traquair, Roxborough, Marsheal, Marre, Murray, Linlithgow, Perth, Wigton, Kinghorne, Tullibardin, Haddingtoun, Annandail, Lauderdail, Kinnowl, Dumfrees, Southesk, Belheaven, Angus, Lorn, Elphinstoun, Napier, Dalyell, Amont, John Hay, Sir Tho. Hope, Sir Will. Elphingston, Ja. Carmichael, J. Hamilton, Blackhall.
Fdrasmuch as it hath pleased the King's Majesty, out of his pious and religious Disposition to the True Religion, and out of his fatherly Care for removing of all Doubts, fears, and Scruples, which may arise in the minds of his Subjects, for preservation of the purity thereof; and upon divers great and weighty considerations, importing the Glory of God, the Peace of the Kirk and Common-Wealth of this Kingdom, to appoint and give order, That a free General Assembly be indited, kept, and holden at the City of Glasgow the 21 of November next. Therefore the Lords of the Privy. Council, ordains Letters to be directed, charging Macers, and Officers of Arms, to pass and make publication hereof, by open Proclamation at the Market-Cross of Edinburgh, and the head But roughs of this Kingdom, and other places needful; and to warn all and sundry Arch-Bishops, Commissioners of Kirks, & others having Place and Dote in the Assembly, to repair and address to the said City of Glasgow, the said one and twentieth day of November next to come, and to attend the said Assembly during the time thereof, and aye and while the same be dissolved. And to do and perform all which to their Charges in such Cases appertaineth, as they will answer the contrary at their highest perll.
Fdrasmuch as it hath pleased the King, out of his pious and religious Disposition to the True Religion, and out of his fatherly Care for removing all Doubts, Scruples, and fears, which may arise in the Minds of his Subjects, for preservation of the Purity thereof, and upon divers other great and weighty Causes, importing the Glory of God, the Peace of the Kirk, and Common-Wealth of this Kingdom, to appoint and give order, That the Soveraign and high Court of Parliament, shall be holden at the City of Edinburgh upon the fifteenth day of May next to come, with continuation of days. Therefore the Lords of Secret Council ordain Letters to be directed to Macers and Officers of Arms, charging them to pass to the Market-Cross of Edinburgh, and other places needful, and there by open Proclamation to make publication of the holding of the said Parliament; and to warn all and sundry Noblemen, Prelates, and Commissioners for the Barons, and Burroughs, and all others having Voice and Place in the said Parliament, await and attend thereat during the time thereof, and to discharge that Duty which is incumbent to them, and each oue of them, as they will answer on the contrary at their highest perll.
The which day a Noble Earl, James Marquess of Hamilton, Earl of Arran and Cambridg, his Majesty's Commissioner, having produced and erhibited before the Lords of the Secret Council, upon the twenty second day of this instant, a Warrant signed by his Majesty, of the date of the ninth of September instant; wherein among other of his Majesty's Gracious and Roial Expressions for preservation of the purity of Religion, and due obedience to his Majesty's Authority in the maintenance thereof, his Majesty did Will and Ordain, that the Lords themselves should swear the Confession and General Band mentioned in his Majesty's said Warrant; and also should take such order, as all his Majesty's Lieges may subscribe the same. And the said Lords of the Secret Council acknowledging his Majesty's pious and gracious Disposition and Affection to the purity of God's Truth, did, upon the two and twentieth of September instant, unanimously, with all humble, hearty, and sincere Affection, sweat and subscribe the Confession of Faith, dated the second of March 1580, according as it was then professed within this Kingdom; together with the foresaid General Band, dated in Anno 1589. And now to that effect, that all his Majesty's Lieges may give the like Obedience to his Majesty's so pious a desire; therefore the said Lords have ordained, and ordains, that all his Majesties Lieges, of whatsoever Estate, Degree, or Quality, Ecclesiastical of Civil, do sweat and subscribe the said Confession, dated the second of March, 1580. And that according to the said Date and Tenour thereof, and as it was then profest within this Kingdom, together with the said General Band, dated in Anno 1589, as they will answer the contrary upon their Obedience; and ordains Officers at Arms to pass to the Market-Cross at Edinburgh, to make publication hereof, and at all other Places needful, wherethrough none can pretend ignorance of the same.
An Act of the Secret Council, approving the King's discharge of the Service-Book, &c.
The Lords of Secret Council having read, and maturely considered his Majesty's Letters, and particular Declaration of his Pleasure anent the annulling of the Service-Book, Book of Canons, and High-Commission, discharging the pressing of the practice of the five Articles; making all Persons, Ecclesiastick or Civil, of what Title or Degree soever, liable to the Trial and Censure of Parliament, General Assembly, and other Judicatories competent, anent the not administring to Ministers at their Entry any other Dath, than that which is contained in the Act of Parliament, anent the subscribing and renewing the Confession of Faith, subscribed by his Majesty's father, of blessed Memory, and his houshold, in Anno 1580, and Band following thereupon, anent the indition of a General Assembly to be holden at Glasgow the 21 of November, 1638, and Parliament at Edinburgh the fifteenth day of May 1639, and anent his gracious Goodness in forgetting and forgiving all by-gons, and an indiction of a Fast, for craving God's blessing to this Assembly; find themselves to fully satisfied therewith, and the same to be satisfactory for removing all the fears of the Subjects anent Innovation of Religion or Laws, that We hold our selves bound in Duty, not only to acquiesce therewith, as the best mean to secure both Religion and Laws, but also to use our best endeavours, that all his Majesty's Good Subjects may likewise rest satisfied therewith, and that they with us, and We with them, may testify our thankfulness for so great a Grace and Goodness, with all the hearty expressions of Dutifulness and Loialty. And that our true sense hereof may the more clearly appear to our Sacred Soveraign, We do by these humbly and heartily make offer of our Lives and fortunes in defending and assisting of his Majesty's Sacred Person and Authority, in the main tenance of the foresaid Religion and Confession, and repressing all such as shall hereafter press to dissuch the Peace of this Kirk and Kingdom.
Most Sacred Soveraign,
If ever Faithful and Loyal Subjects had reason to acknowledge Extraordinary Favours shown to a Nation, and in a most submissive and hearty manner give real demonstration of the Grace vouchsafed, then do We of your Majesty's Council of this your ancient Kingdom unanimously profess, That such Acts of Clemency vouchsafed Us, cannot proceed from any Prince, saving him who is the lively Image on Earth of the Great God, Author of all Goodness, for return of so transcendent Grace, fortified with the real Expressions of unparallel'd Piety, Roial inclination to Peace and universal Love; not only to those of Our number, but likewise to all your Majesty's Loial Subjects, We do all in one Voice, with all resentment can be imagined, in all humility, render our most bounden Thanks, and offer in Testimony of our full satisfaction and acquiescence herewith, to sacrifice our Lives and Fortunes in seconding your Sacred Majesty's Commandments, and repressing all such as shall hereafter press to disturb the Peace of the Kirk and Kingdom. And for some small signification of our alacrity and diligence in your Sacred Majesty's Service, We have all, without the least shadow of any scruple, subscribed the Confession of Faith, and Band, appointed to be received by all your Majesty's Loial Subjects, since the Act passed in Council, with our other Proceedings, which We do most humbly present to your Roial view; and we beseech your Majesty to be pleased, to be persuaded of the inviolable devotion of all her Subscribers, who do all in humility pray for your Majesty's happy and most flourishing Reign, by the Persons ut supra.
Most Honourable, and our very good Lord,
Having received a Letter directed from your Grace to Us, with this Bearer your Grace's Cousin; and having read the same, and heard and weighed his Majesty's Gracious Proclamation, which was this day proclaimed within this City, to the great joy of all the Hearers, We cannot but praise God, who hath endued his Sacred Majesty, our dread Soveraign, with such Wisdom, Piety, Clemency, and Fatherly Care of this Church and Kingdom, and pray God for a long and happy Reign to his Sacred Majesty, and his highest Posterity over Us and succeeding Generations, and shall ever endeavour to approve our selves his Majesty's most Loial Subjects, and wish from our Hearts, all Happiness to your Grace, and Graces most Noble Family, for the well-wishing to this City, and especially for the great pains taken by your Grace in so weighty Imploiment, hoping and praying to God, that the same may obtain the wished for accomplishment, and shall ever remain,
- James Steward, Provost.
- John Anderson, Bailiss.
- Colme Campbell, Bailiss.
- Ninian Anderson, Bailiss.
- Gabriel Cunningham.
- William Stewart.
- Mat. Hamiltoun.
- Colme Campbell.
- John Barnes:
- Richard Allane.
- Walter Stirling.
- Gavine Nesbitt.
- John Anderson.
- Robert Homer.
- Patrick Bell.
Most Honourable, and Our very Good Lord,
Having received the Leter directed from your Grace, and having heard and considered his Majesty's most Gracious Proclamation, published this day in this City, with joiful Acclamations unversally of the Hearers, as We of the Ministry and University of Glasgow, who were present, with great contentment and joy of Heart applauded thereto; and do praise God, who hath inspired our Dread Soveraign with such Wisdom, Piety, Clemency, and Fatherly Care of this Church and Common-wealth of this Kingdom, as is abundantly manifested in the said Proclamation; so We would gladly testify, by what means We can, our thankfulness to his Majesty, our Crown of Rejoicing, and the Breath of our Nostrils: Not omitting our bounden Duty to your Grace, whom God and his Majesty bath appointed so fit and happy Instrument in this great Errand, for your singular Prudence, rare Piety and Zeal to God, your Prince, and Country, and incredible pains in this honourable and weighty Implaiment; which We pray God may still prosper in your hands, until it be brought to a full and blessde conclusion, being willing for our part, to contribute what lieth in our poor power, by our earnest Prayers, and best Endeavours.
- Mr. Blair.
- Jo. Strang.
- John Maxwell.
- Will. Wilkie.
- Pa. Maxwell.
- Mr. Ro. Wilkie.
- Mr. Maxwell.
- Mr. Bell, Younger.
- Mr. Ja. Forsythe.
The Marquess at this time writ to all the King's Friends throughout Scotland, to see his Majesty's Proclamation published, and to get in as many Subscriptions to the Consession of Faith as was possible, and to have an eye to the Election of Commissioners to the Assembly, that they be well considered of in order to this Service. The Marquess did cherish Marquess Huntly, and the Doctors of Aberdeen, who were well-affected to his Majesty; and the said Doctors the only persons then in Scotland fit to undertake the defence of Episcopacy.
Many did at first offer to signe the Consession, which the Covenanters perceiving, they endeavoured to perswade the People that all this was done only to avoid the present Storm, which would be no sooner calm'd, but they might expect worse usage then ever, and with this they added a great many Reasons to perswade all that it was Perjury for such as had taken the Covenant, to Sign the King's Consession.
The Marquess seeing how things were carried about Elections, begun to draw up the Nullities of the Assembly, sending the particulars to the King as he had them, advising his Majesty withal to go on more frankly with his Preparations, since he saw it impossible to prevent a Rupture at Glasgow.
'First, We do heartily abhor and condemn all Errors truly Popish, or Repugnant to the holy Scripture, and consequently to the Uniform Doctrine of the Reformed Kirks, and to our National Consession, Registred in Parliament, An. 1567.
- '2. We do no ways hereby abjure or condemn Episcopal Government, as it was in the days, and after the days of the Apostles in the Christian Kirk for many hundred of years, and is now conform thereto restored in the Kirk of Scotland.
- '3. We do not hereby condemn nor abjure the five Articles of Perth, or any thing lawful of that sort which be found by the Church conduceable at any time for good Policy and Order, or which is practised by any found reformed Kirk.,
- '4. We still hold to that Clause of our great National Consession (Chap. 20. Art 21.) that the General Councils, and consequently the National Kirk of Scotland, have no Power to make any perpetual Law, which God before hath not made.
- '5. By the adhering to the Discipline of the Reformed Kirk of Scotland, we mean not any immutability of that Presbyterial Government which was An. 1581, or of any humane Institution: but we do hereby understand that the Ecclesiastical Juristiction and Discipline of the Kirk of Scotland doth not depend on the Pope of Rome or any other Forraign Powerl and hereby we do consess our constant Obedience to the Kirk of Scotland in all her lawful Constitutions.
- '6. We do not presume by this our Personal Oath, either to prejudge the liberty of the Kirk of Scotland, to change and reform this foresaid short Consession in some Ambiguities and obscure expressions thereof, whereupon some Men have builded inconvenient Interpretations and Doctrines, or to exime our selves from Obedience to the Kirk in that case.
- '7. By this our personal Oath we do not take upon us to lay any further Bond upon our Posterity, than the Word of God doth, recommending only our Example to them so far as they shall find it agreeable to God's Word.
- Ad. Aberdonen.
- John Forbes, D. & P. of Div.
- Al. Ross, D. D.
- Ja. Sibbald, D. D.
- Al. Scrogie, D. D.
- Will. Lessey, D. D.
'That he should receive a particular Answer by my Lord of Canterbury of all his Propositions touching the Assembly. As for the opinions of the Clergy to prorogue this Assembly, his Majesty utterly disliked them, for that it would more hurt his Reputation by not keeping it, than their mad Acts could prejudice his Service; wherefore he commanded the Marquess to hold the Day: But (as the Marquess writ) if he can break them by proving Nullities in their Proceedings, nothing better. Lastly, concerning Assessors, his Majesty likes their Names, and (as the Marquess writ) he must not suffer his Majesty to lose his Privilege.
In the end of October the Earl of Rothes, with the other Covenanters, petitioned for a Warrant to cite the Bishops to appear before th Assembly. The Marquess answered, the Law was open for citing all such as were either within or without the Country; but for him to give Warrants for that Procedure, was without Precedent, and so could not be granted; for it was enough that he did not protect them against Trial. Whereupon the Covenanters addressed themselves to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, who gave Warrant accordingly for a Summons: but those whose Judgments were for Episcopacy, said it was a most Scandalous Summons that ever was heard of in a Christian Church, all the Bishops being cited as guilty of Haresy, Simony, Perjury, Incest, Adultery, Fornication, breach of Sabbath, &c. and they ordered this to be read in the College Church of Edinburgh after Communion, and ordered to be read in all Churches in Scotland, which was accordingly done. They also sent Orders through all Scotland to search into the Bishops Conversations, that all their Escapes and Faults being gathered together, and Witnesses cited to Glasgow, they might find pretence of Justice against the Bishops.
Upon the first of November, the Session or Term sat down at Edinburgh; and the Marquess having dealt with all the Lords of the Court before-hand, went thither to get them sign the Consession of Faith, and at length nine of fifteen signed; two were absent, and four refused; but those who signed it, durst hardly walk the streets.
The Marquess having received his Instructions as to his deportment at the Assembly appointed to meet at Glasgow; and the King having perused the Speech the Marquess was then to make, he began his Journey towards Glasgow on the 16th of November, and required the King's Advocate to prepare himself there to desend Episcopacy to be according to the Laws of Scotland; but his Answer was, That it went against his Conscience so to do, and that he judged Episcopacy both contrary to the Word of God, and to the Laws of this Church and Kingdom; So he prevailed with the Advocate not to go to Glasgow.
On the 17th of November the Marquess arrived at Glasgow in a quiet and peaceable manner, none of the Train carrying with him any prohibited Arms; there met him a Letter from the Bishops of Ross and Brechin, informing him that they had given Dr. Hamilton Directions and Deputations to act on their behalf, and that his Name is inserted in the Procuratory, which is in the close of the Declinator; and desires the Marquess, That the Protestation that they have prepared and sent, may be secretly kept, and seasonably presented, before either the Cause, or they that are Bishops suffer wrong. There met him all the Privy-Council, except the Bishops, according to a Letter which the King had writ to them, to assist him at the time of his being there, with their best Concurrence and Counsel.
We desire here leave to break off as to Scotish Affairs, because the Account which we give of the Proceedings of that Assembly, and the subsequent Passages afterwards, are of some length: and therefore to divert the Reader, we will return to Affairs in England; and first to mention the Trial of Claxton and Lilburn, which was omitted in our Collections in August last.
|Ralph Claxton, Demandant,||Before Judge Barkley.|
|Richard Lilburn, Tenant,|
The Demandant, the first day of the Session or Court of Pleas, the 6th of August, did appear about ten of the Clock in the Forenoon, by Richard Matthew his Attorney, and brought in his Champion George Cheney in Array, who cast his Gantlet into the Court with five small Pence in it.
Then after Discourse had of it by the Judge, and some examination of the Champions, the Judge did adjourn them over till eight of the Clock on Tuesday the 7th Instant. At which time the Parties and their Champions appeared as before, and were adjourned till three of the Clock after Dinner.
At which day and hour the Parties and their Champions appeared as before, and put in their Pledges (as at the Court holden the 7th of July ) to appear at the next Court of Pleas to be holden the 15th of September next.
Memoranduum: That the Champions were committed to the custody of two Bailiffs, by direction of the Judge, and continued in their hands until eight of the Clock on Wednesday the 8th of August, when they put in their Pledges to appear at the next Court.
His Majesty this day sitting in Council, was made acquainted, That there had bin several days appointed for determining by Battel the Question of Right, which had long depended between Claxton Demandant, and Lilburn Tenant, for certain Lands in the County Palatine of Durham. . And that by the late Appointment, the same was to be tried by the said Parties Champions the 22 Decemb. next. It was by his Majesty ordered, That the Judges of that Circuit, upon conference with their Brethren, should be thereby prayed and required to take the same Case into due and serious consideration; and if they could find any just way by Law how the said Combat might be put off, and the Cause put into another way of Trial; for his Majesty, out of his pious care of his Subjects, would have it so, rather than to admit of a Battel. But otherwise, since Lilburn had a Judgment upon a Demurrer against Claxton, and also Costs from the Board for his Vexation, and since that Claxton had brought a new Action, upon which Lilburn had waged Battel, his Majesty would not deny the Trial of Laws, if it could not be legally prevented.
Afterwards both Parties brought their Champions into the Court of Durham, having Sand-bags and Battoons, and so tendred themselves in that fighting posture: But the Court upon the reading the Record, found an Error in it, committed by a mistake of the Clerk, (some thought wilfully done0 whereupon the Court would not let them join Battel at that time.
This proved an Omen to what the next Year produced, by a greater appearance of a Battel, when the King's Army was at the Camp at Berwick, and the Scots on the otehr side of Tweed, yet both Armies parted also without Battel.
'The Tenant waged Batel, which was accepted; and at the day to be performed, Berkeley Justice there, examined the Champions of both Parties, whether they were not hired for Mony? And they confessed they were: Which Consession he caused to be recorded, and gave further day to be advised. And by the King's direction, all the Justices were required to deliver their Opinions, whether this was cause to de-arraign the Battel by these Champions? And by Bramstone Chief Justice, Daveport Chief Baron, Denham, Hutton, Jones, Cook, and other Justices, it was subscribed, That this Exception coming after the Battel gaged, and Champions allowed, and Sureties given to perform it, ought not to be received.
'The usual Directions of the Board heretofore given, and especially of late Years, concerning the Trained Bands of this Kingdom, have bin so full and exact, as might make his Majesty and the Board confident, both of the sufficiency of your Arms, and of the skilll and readiness of the Men that are to use them. Nevertheless, left the aforesaid Directions and Commands should not have bin so effectually pursued as was required and expected, his Majesty in the Watchfulnes of the defence of his Kingdom, and for the safety of his People in these times of Action, hath signified his express Will and Pleasure to be, That instantly, upon receipt hereof, you cause an exact View and Muster to be taken and made of all the Arms and Trained Forces, both Horse and Foot, within the County of under your Lieutenancy; and to see that the said Arms be serviceable and compleat; And that by the Muster-masters, and other fit and experienced Officers, you cause all the Trained Souldiers of the aforesaid County, to be forthwith trained, and perfectly instructed in their Arms, and the like course to be continued from time to time; and that the Commanders and Officers apply themselves also to know and perform the Duties of their several Charges; And that you take especial care that both Commanders, Officers, and Souldiers be very able and sufficient Men. That you take order, that all the Trained Bands be so in readiness, as to be fit to repair to their Colours, or place of Randezvous, which shall be assigned them, upon any occasion, with their Arms and Provisions, upon a days warning. And that all the Able Men within that County, besides those of the Trained Bands, from the Age of sixteen to threescore, be also listed and inrolled, that upon any sudden Occasion, such Levies may be made likewise of them as shall be required; and the Copy of the said List, or Inrolement, to be forthwith returned to the Board. That you deal seriously and effectually with the better sort of Men to provide themselves with Arms for their particular use; to the end, that with the help of those, and such other Arms and Weapons as shall be found within the aforesaid County, as many of the untrained Men as is possible, may (as there shall be occasion and direction from his Majesty or the Board) be also furnished and exercised, and reduced into Bands under Captains and Officers, That your Lordship take especial care, that the proportion of Powder, Match and Lead appointed for that County respectively, be forthwith provided and put in Magazins, to be in readiness upon all occasions of Service. That you cause the Beacons to be forthwith made up and repaired with provision of Wood, and othe Materials requisite to be in readiness, to give Fire unto them, and to cause them to be diligently watched by discreet and sufficient Men. That you appoint some able and meet Person to be Provost Marshal within the aforesaid County, for the apprehending and punishing of such vagrant and idle Persons, as live not in any lawful Vocation, and in Times of Suspicion or Trouble may be Tales and false Rumours distract the Peoples minds; or otherwise in fact to commit Insolencies and Outrages. And to the end that we may be duly and speedily informed of all such things concerning this Service, and which are necessary for Us to understand for the advancement thereof, and the applying of fit Remedies where any Defects shall be found, We do pray and require your Lordship to give us an exact Account of the state of the Forces of the aforesaid County, and of the performance of these our Directions with all possible diligence and expedition. And so we bid, &c.
'Where your Lordship shall find it inconvenient, either in respect of the unseasonableness of the weather, or any other considerable circumstance, to draw together from remote places, and to exercise the Trained Bands in compleat Bodies, We leave it to your discretion, (provided that the work be sufficiently done) to take view of the Arms upon the place or places, and to exercise the Men apart, and in smaller Bodies within their several Divisions.
Right Trusty and Right Welebeloved Cousin, We greet you well. The late Disorders in Our Realm of Scotland, began upon pretence of Religion, but now appearing to have been raised by factious spirits, and comented by some few ill and traiterously affected particular Persons, whose aim hath been by troubling the Peace of that our kingdom, to work their own private ends, and indeed to shake off all Monarchial Government, though We have often assured them, that We resolved to maintain constantly the Religion established by the Laws of that Kingdom, is now growen to that height and dangerous consequence, that under those minister pretences, they have so far seduced many of our People there, as great and considerable forces are raised and assembled in such sort, as we have reason to take into consideration the Defence and Safety of this Realm of England; and therefore upon due and mature consultation with the Lords of our Council, We have resolved to repair in our Roial Person to the northern parts of this our Realm, there (by the help of Almighty God, and the assistance of our good Subjects) to make resistance against any Invasion that may happen.
And to the end that this Expedition, may be as effectual as we design to the Glory of God, the honour and Safety of Us, and of this our said kingdom of England, We have directed that a considerable Army both of Horse and Foot, should be forthwith levied out of all the Shires to attend Us in this Action, wherein we nothing doubt, but the Affection, fidelity, and Courage of our People shall well appear.
In the mean time, we have thought fit, hereby to give you notice of this our Resolution, and of the state of our Affairs, and withall hereby to require you to attend Our Royal Person and Standard at our City of York, by the first day of April next ensuing, in such Equipage, and such forces of horse, as your Birth, honour and your Interest in the publick Safety do oblige you unto, And as we do and have reason to expect from you. And this our Letter shall be as sufficient and as effectual a Warrant and Discharge unto you for the putting of your self, and such as shall attend you, into Arms, and Order as aforesaid, as if you were authorised there unto by our Great Seal of England. And we do require you to certifie Us under your hand within fifteen days next after the receit hereof, what Assistance we shall expect from you herein, and to direct the same to one of our Principal Secretaries of State. Given under our Signet at our Palace of Westminster the 26th day of January in the fourteenth Yearof our Reign.
- Lord Arch-Bp. of Canterbury,
- Lord Keeper,
- Lord Treasurer,
- Lord Privy-Seal,
- Lord Duke of Lenox,
- Lord Marquess Hamilton,
- Lord High-Chamberlain,
- Earl Marshal, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain.
- Lord Admiral,
- Lord Chamberlain,
- Earl of Dorset,
- Earl of Salisbury,
- Earl of Holland,
- Lord Cottington,
- Lord Newburgh,
- Mr. Treasurer,
- Mr. Comptroller,
- Mr. Secretary Cook,
- Mr. Secretary Windebanck.
This day was read at the Board (his majesty sitting in Council) the Draught of the Writ hereafter mentioned, and by his Majesty's express Command, it was ordered, That Mr. Attorney General should be hereby required forthwith to send Writs accordingly to the Lord William Howard, the Lord Clifford, the Lord Wharton, the Lord Grey of Wark, Sir Richard Lumly knight, discount Waterford in Ireland. Mr. Attorney is to take care not to fail to issue out these Writs.
By which Writs they were required to repair into those Parts with their Families and Retinues, sufficiently arm'd, for the safety and defence thereof, under the penalty of having their Lands, Goods and Chattles in those Counties siesed into his Majesty's hands, by the Revenue whereof he will maintain others for hte guarding of those Parts in their default. See the Writs at large in the Appendix.
Many old Souldiers which imbraced the War as their Profession, many Voluntiers of the Gentry tendred their Service to the King; which being represented to the Privy-Council, It was resolved that all Subjects who voluntarily desired to arm themselves either at home, or from abroad, should for Themselves and their Associates therein have all Liberty, and Encouragement; as likewise for their Assembling, Exercising, and Disciplining all Voluntiers that shall offer their Service in this kind; and that Licence in this behalf be given them under the hand of the Earl Marshal of England, which shall be to them a sufficient Warrant.
The Privy-Council sent forth Orders to the Lords Lieutenants of the Counties, for the levying of Foot-ment, to be conducted to the Town of Selby upon Owse near York, there to be delivered to the Captains and Officers ready to receive them by the first of April next, the Counties being to desray the charge of Conduct, which should be repaid out of the King's Exchequer.
——Also a certain number out of the Trained-Bands appointed to be selected, exercised, and kept in readiness, were called for, whereof two parts were Muskets, and a third Pikes, to be conducted, as before expressed, to their place of Rendezvous, where they entred into the King's Pay.
The Earl of Bridgwater was commanded to go into his Presidency in Wales, and to give notice to all Governours of Islands and Forts, to repair to their Commands; or, in case they were otherwise imployed in his Majesty's Service, to send able Deputies. And all Captains and Commanders of Forts and Castles were required to reside in their respective Charges.
The Lord Deputy of Ireland his Letter to the King, date Feb. 10. 1638. concerning Scotish Affairs.
May it please your Sacred Majesty,
'Having of late in a short space written sundry Letters, I chose hitherto to forbear answering those of the 28th of December, left my Liberty might seem a violence to the Modesty and Reverence I ought and shall ever observe, so often as I have the Honour to appear before your Majesty be it in Person or Writing.
'First, In a most humble sense of your gracious admitting me the Honour to perform unto the Queen a small Service, in the Suit I last mentioned, and thereby express my ambition to be commanded something by her Majesty.
'And next, the comfort I have to find my self under the protection, and shelter of your Majesties most excellent Judgment and Justice, all along that storm raised in my Country (when I least looked for it) by the Earl of Holland, and others.
'It seemeth the Earl of Holland now faith, That he never refused to be examined; excepting only against the looseness of the Interrogatories. Sure his Lordship hath thought better of it of late; for, either I have bin strangely misinformed, or at first his Lordship insisted positively, That by his Priviledge of a Peer and Counsellor, he ought not to be examined at all, and laboured to procure an Order at the Council-Board it self to settle it accordingly.
'Then your Majesty conceives, I should have looked so into the Interrogatories, as might have rendred them without exception. I have bin heretofore thrice Defendent and twice Plantiff in that Court; and upon my Faith, Sir, never read over any Interrogatory in all my Life, this being the Work of the Sollicitor and Counsel, and not of the Client; and so having given Direction, nothing should pass of that kind, but under the Eye of your Majesty's Attorney General, and Sollicitor; I held my self by that means safer, and in a more perfect way, than any poor advice or skill of mine own could have set me, albeit I had bin present upon the place.
'As for that which your Majesty with so much tenderness, above any merit, or consequences of my poor Services, mentions in the latter part of this gracious Letter concerning Sec. Win. 182. I beseech your Majesty believe, that I have so intirely assigned my Will and Affections to your Pleasure; am so perfectly delighted to follow and serve you your own way, how much soever my private Opinion might else lead me into your Paths; that there is neither Person, nor Thing, that I shall not readily and chearfully join hands withal, whereyour Majesty is pleased once to signify it is fit for your Service to have it so, how much more then with this Lady, against whom I protest I never had the least Exception for any private interest of my own.
'By the Blessing of Almighty God, these five hundred Men, provided in all respects as becomes your Service, shall be at Carlisle by the first of April, according to your Majesty's appointment, nothing but cross Winds to hinder; for that favourable, I will have them all on Board, and moving thitherward by the 20th of the next month, provided of fifteen days Bread and Beef, for Cheese this Place afordsnone: But stil, under favour, methinks the Garrison of Carlisle would not be less than 200 Horse and 2000 Foot.
'I congratulate exceedingly the forwardness of your English Subjects, the readiness of your Army, and your gracious Purpose of going in Person to York, as passing wife and noble, will give infinite chearfulness to your Army, countenance and advantage to all your Affairs; yet I trust there is no thought of your going any further. It will be sufficient the rest under your Majesty's Directions be managed by such as have that Charge committed to them.
'The Season of this Year is so past, as nothing can be done in present, but against the next Winter. If I knew the Proportions, I conceive I might, at good Rates, victual Carlisle with Beef, Butter, Corn, or Bisker, and Herring, to be delivered at White-haven, and so carried thirty miles over Land to Carlisle; and after I understand your Pleasure, shall attend that Service, as all other your Gracious Commands, with my uttermost care and pains.
'My Lord of Antrim doth not by one word make known his desire to me for Arms, which is advisedly done; his Lordship perceiving I am not ignorant of his great want of Mony; his credit to be so low, as not able to take up, at this very instant, in this Town poor three hundred pounds, therefore his great Undertakings are more like to be believed on abroad, than they would be nearer home. I shall be able to furnish him with Arms, when the Supply comes We have sent for into the Low-Countries, it it be your Pleasure to have it so: But I crave to know who it is your Majesty purposeth shall pay for them.
'Yet I might accuse my self, should I not humbly certify your Majesty, I am altogether of opinions, his Lordship in so great a streight of his own Fortune, is not a Person at all to trouble the Earl of Argile now come back again into Cantire, or in present much considerable to your Majesty's Affairs; and consisent I am this will appear most true, how great soever his desires on that side are expressed, and I may believe them to be to serve the Crown.
'The Secrets your Majesty gives me in charge, shall never be discovered to any Creature; yet that I be not thought upon for other Mens faults, I send inclosed a passage that I my self read in a Letter writ thence to Captain Biron. The Writer is one Mr.Daniel Neal, a very slight and busy Person. His principal dependance on the Earl of Antrim; and if I be not mistaken, very conversant at Arundel -House: Nevertheless my hands once freed of this Packet, I shall so colour the Matter, as to take away all thoghts of going to Carlisle.
'Mr. Raylton informs me, There are Summons gone out for all the Nobility to attend your Majesty at York, Letters made ready for me among the rest, which your Majesty was pleased to order the stay of, for which I thus return my most humble Thanks.
'Were I not really and importunately fixed by my Emploiment, as a decent Compliment at least to the peace and Safety of the Affairs on this side, I should be most mightily out of countenance to be found in another place, than at your Majesty's Feet, to receive and execute your Commands, to the utmost of my Power and Life.
'Yet, Sir, I am your most obliged Creature, why should I be cared for, or considered, where your greatest Interests are in question? Hence it is, that I thought of sending thither fifty of my Horse Troop, but that they are not to be supplied again on this side, nor durst I disfurnish your Service of them here, and to furnish so many there, my self absent, and in so short time, I am out of hope: yet I have thought of another Expedient, which perchance may prove as much for your Service, as good in the Example, which I humbly crave may be accepted.
'Therefore, if it shall not please God to put the Scotish Subjects into their right Wits again, that they do not humbly and repentantly conform to your Majesty's Will: I shall give order that for this next Year, there be paid at York to Sir William Udall, your Treasurer for the Wars, as my Rents come in, one thousand Pounds at Midsummer, and one thousand pound at Christmas; and if this be not sufficient, I do most humbly beseech your Majesty command all I have there to the uttermost Farthing.
'Nor have I on this side more Friends than three, that have Lands there; and I am desired, by the Master of the Rolls, and Sir George Radcliff, that 5001l. betwixt them may be accepted upon the same terms, and same days of paiment: And in like manner a young Captain of your Majesty's, my Brother, that hath some Fortune by his Wife there, 100l.
'Our Sons are all Children; but if they were able to bear Arms, we should send the young Whelps to be entred into your Majesty's Militia, judge it to be their greatest honour it might be so; and for a Conclusion, so as it might be better for your Service, hang up the old Dogs.
'Above all, I beseech your Majesty intend your Horse, and make your self as strong in them as possibly can be effected in this short time: For as it will be no great difficulty to your Majesty to overtop your Rebels, and Master them in Horse; so shall that Point gained, and fortified alone, secure your Kingdom of England from he prejudice it might otherwise sustain, if they went forth to such Infolence, as to make an Offensive War upon the Crown.
'My next Work, I fear, will be to trouble your Majesty with a Letter touching my own Particular. I befeech you vouchsase to read it; and after, rather than disquiet your Majesty, or your Affairs, burn it, and command Mr. Raylton to go on with the Examination, as it is already directed; only, Sir, there is a Credit, which among Men, I ought so far forth to care for, as it may enable me to fulfil your Commands with more Effect and Honour, which I trust howsoever will plead my excuse. The Great God of Battles long and long preserve your Majesty.
After my hearty Commendations, &c.
I Have received a Warrant from the Lords of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council, which requires me to write to all the Bishops in my Province to call their Clergy together, and put them in mind of the great danger this Kingdom is in, by the traiterous Conspiracies of some ill-affected in Scotland. These Seditious Persons have begun, and continued hitherto their soul Disloialty under the pretence of Religion, which by factious Spirits in all times is made the Cloak to cover and hide (if it might be) their Designs. But now it appears clearly to the State, that they daily strengthen themselves by Arms and Ammunition, and other Preparations for War. And though his Majesty hath graciously cndescended to more than they could justly ask in all things converning their Religion and their Laws, yet they go on still, and are satisfied with nothinf but their rebellious Disobedience, and have no less aim than to invade or annoy England. The Letters to the several Bishops I have sent, as I was commanded, and I doubt not but they and the Clergy in general will give very freely towards this great and necessary Defence of the Kingdom. And because this great and common Danger cannot be kept off, but by a common Defence; and for that the Reverend Judges, and others of the Common Law have bountifully expressed themselves already; I am required to write to you also, that you calling to you the rest of the Doctors of the Commons, propose to them now while most of them are together, this great and weighty Business belonging as much to their Defence as to other Mens; and let every Man set down what he will give to this Service: when this is done, I will acquaint his Majesty with it, and yours and their forwardness herein. And it is expected that you hasten this with all convenient speed. So to God's blessed Protection I leave you, and rest,
The Scots understanding that the Parliament was to meet in England the 13th of April, dispersed among the People of England, especially in London, a Pamphlet containing a Scotish Declaration to satisfie England of the sincerity of their Intentions and Actions, which was published by order of the General Assembly of Scotland, Entituled,
An Information to all good Christians within the Kingdom of England. from the Noblemen, Barons, Burrows, Ministers of the Kingdom of Scotland, for vindicating their Intentions and Actions from the unjust Calumnies of their Enemies, as followeth.
'The work of Reformation now renewed and far advanced in this Kingdom, hath in the whole progress met with all the oppositions which the subtil malice of Rome's Emissaries could plot: But God hitherto has disappointed all their Intentions, and turned Achitophel's Wisdom into folly. And now when they cannot beat down the Walls of Jerusalem, they labour to undermine it with Calumnies, according to the dambable Maximum, Calumniare audacter, & semper aliquid harebit. And, like Tobias, Scanballat, and such like, and will not be wanting to oppose mightily the Building of Ezra and Nehemiah, by saying to the King, Why is the Rebellious City builded?
'The same steps are now traced by the Authors of Innovations in this Church, who taking the advantage of their opportunity (which We want, to our great regret) and being greatly assisted and stirred up by some of their own Coat, who are pernitious and Popishly affected, do thereupon presume to whisper unto his Sacred Majesty, and spread abroad in their Neighbour Kingdom of England most untrue and damnable Aspersions, (over and above the Particulars laid to our charge in the Proclamation of the 18th of December, which are largely answered in our Protestation lately published) venting with equal impudency and malice, that we do only pretend Religion, but do intend to shake off the most lawful yoak of Authority, by changing the form of Civil Government; that we intended invade our neighbour Kingdom of England, and enrich our selves with spoils thereof; lthough our Consciences bear us testimony against those untruths, and make us think so charitably, that no Man understanding rightly Religion and Policy, will give belief unto these Aspersions, forged against the Body of our Church and Kingdom: yet being certainly informed, that the Authors of our Innovations and the archenemies of Reformation, have laboured to poison his Majesties sacred Ears with those Imputations, and have dispersed the same with open mouth among the Subjects of England, We are forced to vindicate out innocency, and wipe away all impressions which those Challenges might make in the behalf of any: First, by our Supplication given in to the Lords of Secret Council 31st of January, and now by our Answer, and publick Declaration unto the World, whereby we take God to witness, That Religion is the only Subject, Conscience the motive, and Reformation the aim of our Designs, for attaining whereof, we have never strayed from the humble and loyal wy of petitioning his Majesty for a legal Redress. And do yet according to our bounden Duty, beg the consummation of our happy beginnings by the holding of the Parliament for the Ratification of the Assembly indicted by his Royal Majesty. And as We have often heretofore prosessed in our Supplications, religiously sworn in our solemn Covenant with God Protestations made in the view of Heaven and Earth, That We had never the least intention to cast off our dutiful Obedience unto his Majesty's most lawful Authority: So We do hereby renounce the same, and solemnly declare, That out loyal Breasts have never harboured any thought against our gracious Sovereign his Person or Government, for whom we daily and earnestly pray the King of Kings to grant a long and happy Reign over us; and when he shall be crowned with Immortality, that there never want one of his Seed rightly to rule us, and to fit upon his Throne so long as the Sun and Moon endureth: For we acknowledge that he is the Lord's Vicegerent swaying the Scepter of this Land, transmitted to him by the succession of so many Royal Ancestors, as no other King in the World can parallel the same, and no other Nation compare with us in the glory of Antiquity, under that lawful subjection to one Line of Native born Princes, which we will never deface by any unnatural and impious cogitations against the Lord's Anointed, but heartily with the Shame and Confusion may be printed upon the face of his Enemies. And that We may be happy, in the occasion to expose our Lives and Fortunes to the greatest hazard, for maintenance of the Person and Authority of our dread Sovereign, and increase of his Honour. Let Mercy and Truth preserve the King.
'As for our Intention towards England, We attest the ever-living God, (who is conscious of out most secret thoughts) that We never had any such Design or motion to offend, or wrong in the smallest measure any other Nation, muchless our Neighbour Kingdom, living in one Isle, under one King, with as little controversy, and with as much affection, as hath been betwixt two Nations once at variance, but now happily reconciled and tied together by the most strict Bonds, which We desire rather to encrease than diminish by any act of unjust Hostility. And albeit we are confident that the improbability of this Challange will stop the way of all credit to it, yet to confound these Reporters in their malice, we will shortly relate out Regrets and Fears, our Desires and Resolutions with that freedom and sincerity, which may evidence out brotherly respect to the Subjects of England, and controul the false Surmises of out intentions against them. We regret togethr with our dear Christian Brethren of our neighbour Nation, that we should have so evident and sensible experiences of the dangerous Plots set on foot, and entertained by the Church-Men of the greatest power in England, for introducing Innovations in Religion, by corrupting the Doctrine, changing the Discipline, daily innovating the External Worship of God, Preaching publickly and maintaining points of Arminianism and heads of Popery, defending and advancing Preachers and Professors of that Judgment, and allowing Books stuffed with that Doctrine, Fining and Consining and Banishing all such as in Conscience of their Duty to God labour to oppose the Doctrine, Discipline or Worship of the Church of Rome, by their incroaching and usurping upon the King's Prerogative, tyrannizing over the Consciences, Goods and Estates of Persons of all qualities within that Kingdom: And not being content to keep within their own Precincts, did induce, assist, and encourage the pretended Arch-Bishops and Bishops of his Kingdom, to press not only a Conformity of this out Church with that of England in matter of Ceremony, but also with the Church of Rome in the Points most substantially erroneous, as appeareth by the Book of Coomon Prayer and Canons, found to be a mass of Popish Supersition, false Doctrince and Tyranny, which was confessed to have been first plotted, then corrected and interlined in England, and sent down to their Associats the pretended Archbishops and Bishops of this Kingdom, to be printed, and pressed upon the whole Church here without order or consent, as the only Form of Divine Worship and Government of the Church, to make us a leading Case to England. And by their Letters to Statesmen, Noblemen and Borow (to further the advancement thereof) perswaded his Gracious Majesty to declare these Books, which are full of Popish Superstition, to be free of it, and to be fit means of edifying this Church, and caused his Majesty to prohibit the lawful Meetings and humble Supplications of his Subjects under pain of Treason, and to esteem of his good Subjects as of Traitors and Rebels, for a discovering this wicked Plot, and complaining thereof, And for their renewing of their National Covenant with God, and their Allegiance to his Majesty did threaten them by publick proclamation with utter extermination and ruin, and have by their Calumny moved his Majesty to discharge, under the pain of Treason, the sitting of our free General Assembly, indicted by his Majesty after so many Supplications, and to engage his Royal Word of a Prince, to defend all disobeyers of the Church, to threaten and prepare for an inward War against this his most ancient loyal native Kingdom, to distrust all our Supplications, Oaths and Declarations ingenuously and humbly made, and thereby they have endeavoured, so far as in them lies to alienate his Majesties heart from his People, and estrange their due bound Affections from him if it were possible. And in the end for the full accomplishment of their wickednes (as we are informed) have made his Majesty follow the advice and counsel of professed Papists, and to intrust them with the chiefest Offices of the Armies and Arms now preparing, for the threatned Invasion of this Kingdom: and still intend to raise Jealousies in the Body of the one Kingdom against the other, and so to commit them together, which we beseech God to prevent, and hope it shall be above their Malice, the Lord opening the eyes of out Soveraign and of out neighbour Nation, to discover that Treachery where by nothing is intended, but to join the two Kingdoms in bloudy War, that so Reformed Religion may be extinguished and Popery introduced, which then may be easily effected when both sides are weakned, and so may be easily suppressed by the Papists, having all Power and Offices in their hands, being already too strong in England, and encouraged with expectation of Forreign help, ready to accept that advantage, so much prejudicial to his Majesties Honour, Power and manifold Declarations for the maintenance of the Reformed Religion, whereof he is the Defender. We have also Reason to regret, that any within the Kingdom should give more credit to false Calumnies, cuningly invented to soment their Jealousies, and make them prepare for invading their Brethren, than to out solemn Protestations, Supplications, Declaratons and Covenant with God himself; yet we are fully consident that such are drawn therunto, partly through the Information of our Adversaries, and particularly for lack of clear Information concerning our most Loyal and Christian Proceedings: and therefore do most heartily with, they may with Wisdom and Charity suspend any further giving credit to things of that kind, till they may have occasion to receive full Information of the truth. And we regret that any should think the standing of Episcopacy in the Church of Scotland just ground for Invading of, and making War against this Nation, and consequently to raise up the Old National Bloodshed and Quarrels, which are now happily changed unto a sweet peaceable conjunction of Hearts and Affections, seeing Episcopy in this Church is contrary to our Ancient Reformation, Confession of Faith, and Oath of this Church and Kingdom, whereby that Government was abjured, which cannot reasonably offend any other State or Church, who may be ruled by their own Laws and Warrant. But as in every Matter which falleth in deliberation to be put in Execution, Justice should be the Mover and Efficient, and Profit and Honour used to be the End: So especially in this weighty business it should be well pondered, if this Act of Invading us by War, for keeping our Oath to God, and obeying the lawful Constitutions of our Church and Kingdom, be just upon the part of the Invader; or if the benefit of Re-establishing the Bishops upon us, will recompence the loss of so much Christian Blood, and the hazards of Diffention and War, whereof the Event dependeth upon the Lord of Hosts. But it is obvious to every Man's Consideration, That this War is by our Adversaries intended for another end, and hath a more deep and dangerous reach, otherwise the Prelates (if either good Christians or Partriots) would rather quit their Minion, Ambition, and wordly Pomp, than engage two Kingdoms with the hazard of true Religion.
'And that none may suspect the sincerity of our Intentions, the lawfulness of our Proceedings, or the truth of our Declarations or Accusations against the Enemies of our Reformation and Peace, We are able, and wish to have ocasion to justify the same before the World: For unless we should have closed our own Light, and resisted the known Will of God, acknowledged, subscribed, and sworn by his Majesty's Father (of ever blessd Memory) to our Predecessors, in a solemn Covenant with God, and so often confirmed and ratified by Acts of this Church and Kingdom since the Reformation, we could not omit any thing which we have done. And albeit we be one Church and Kingdom, as free, ancient, and independent as any other in the World, yet for clearing of the Mind of our Neighbour Nation from all misinformation and misconstruction of our Intentions and Proceedings, and to verify the lawfulness and absolute necessity of our Actions and Acts of the late Assembly, We do assure out selves, that if the States of the Parliament of England were Convened, and the whole progress of this Business faithfully represented unto them, they would without doubt be so far from censuring or condeming what we do, that they would be moved to become Petitioners to his Sacred Majesty on our behalf, and approve of the equity and loialty of all our Proceedings in this Cause . And therefore in the mean time we intreat, That no true English Heart entertain any Jealousies of Us, who are consident of the innocency of our Proceedings and Intentions, and free hitherto of all Blemishes against our Soveraign and our Neighbour Nation, as we beg the occasion of manifesting the same to them and to all the World, as we have upon the knowledge of these mis-reports of us, cleared out selves of any such Intention by our great Oaths every one to other, at our most frequent Meetings.
'The obtaining of his our so peaceable and just desire, shall not only be comfortable to us their Christian Brethren, servings as a further tie to unite our Affections in time to come, and to stir us up to pour out our hearty Prayers to God on their behalf: but without all question, the Righteous Judge of all the World shall make you reap the Fruit thereof one day, and who knoweth how soon.
'In the mean time our care shall be upon all occasions, to make it appear clearly to all the World, how far it hath always bin (and by the Grace of God ever shall be) from our Intention first or last, to offer the least Act of Hostility to our Neighbour Kingdom, excepting so far as we shall be necessitate in our own Defence. And though (as God forbid) we should be forced thereunto, yet shall we remain unwilling to conceive things of that kind to flow from the Body of that Kingdom, with whom we intend to National Quarrel, neither mind to wrangle with them, except in the case of Invasion from them, but rather that this Stir hath bin contrived and set forward by some ill-affected Persons to both Kingdoms; with whom only our question is, and to whom alone we may justly instend according to their desert, as Men who are set to engage both Kingdoms in so bloody a War for their own base ends. And although a Party raised from among our selves, that are somented and maintained from abroad, whence we find the Sinews of that Body within our selves to be derived and maintained which might justly stir us; yet the vanity ae weakness of our Intestine Adversaries, even in this case of Offence, is so far from making us take Fire, without manifest Hostility offered, or ingaging us in any violent course that may interrupt the Brotherly Love and Concord of these two Kingdoms, or blemish our holy Profession in the least degree, as we are consident no malicious misreports of out common Adversaries, will induce our dear Brethren to quarrel with us fro seeking to enjoy our Religion in purity, and our Laws and Liberties, according to the Fundamental Constitutions of our Church and State, when we are so well affected to them, as we are truly sensible of their grievous Burdens, and intolerable Sufferings from the Tyranny of their Hierarchy, and the fearful Bondage they undergo from the wicked Counsel of that Clergy suggested from Rome, and producing so dangerous Innovations both in Religion and Policy.
'The sincere manifestation of our real Intentions We find our selves obliged to publish, for satisfying all good Subjects in our Neighbour Nation, being consident they are also desirous to be confirmed in their good opinion of us, and so to be armed against all Slanders and Calumnies of those that endeavour the final overthrow, and utter extermination of the Kingdom of Christ Jesus from this whole Island, whereof we pray God to avert the Danger, and grant us Peace and Purity, which is the height of our desire; for procuring whereof we shall imploy no other Weapons (except we be enforced) but Fasting and Prayer to God Almighty, and humble Supplications to our Gracious Soveraign.
The Bishop of Lincoln, together with Lambert Osbaldston Schoolmaster of the Grammar School at Westminster, was charged by Information in this Court of Star-Chamber, to have plotted together to divulge false News and Lies, to breed a disturbance in the State, and difference between two great Persons, and Peers of the Realm, viz. the late Lord Treasurer Weston, and the present Arch-Bishop of Canterbury. The Charge was grounded upon these following Passages written by Mr. Osbalston to the Bishop of Lincoln.
My dear Lord,
I Find for certain, which I report sub sigillo, that the great Leviathan, and the little Urchin, are a great strom in Christmas-weather, and are at a very great distance one with another, insomuch that your Lordship hath him inquired of more than once, if you were come, and when you will? And the great Man was heard to justify the words which you were questioned for, namely, That you had as good a right to the Deanery of Westminster, as the King to his Crown. And he was heard to say, That they were no more than he himself would say. The jealousie grows great and sharp between the Leviathan, and the little medling Hocus-Pocus; and if it increase, there is hopes your Lordship will injoy the Blessing of the King's Grace. Your Lordship will hear, that the Lord's Grace of Canterbury is come to lodge in Court, so is the Lord Treasurer; Your Lordship, I hope, will pick out my meaning.
My dear Lord, I cannot be quiet but I must write to your Lordship. The Sport is grown Tragical, any thing would be given for a found and thorough Charge to push at and confound the little Urchin. The Spaniards and the Hollanders are both approvedly and firmly joined to effect the same, if your Lrdship lend your Assistance, which I am bound to implore and require. Let them in the mean time scratch one another to the Bones. I use freedom of Heart, it is something of revenge that a brave Soul (as your Lordship is) hath some hopes of support in the midst of a Flood of Destruction.
Mr. Osbaldston reported to me by Letters, That it was desired that I should contribute my endeavours to be useful to the Lord-Treasurer against the little great Man, and assured me that they were mortal Enemies. But for my part I refuse to meddle with any such thing; yet I pray you learn whether it be so or no, least some have gulled Mr. Osbaldston in his three last Letters. If the Lord Treasurer would be served by me, be must free me from the Bonds of the Star-Chamber, otherwise let them fight it out for me.
It was answered in the behalf of Mr. Osbaldston, That what was done by him, was done in private Letters, sealed to an honourable Friend. And it was confessed to the Error in him to use such familiarity in some Passages therein expressed. That he doth deny, That by the Appellations therein mentioned, he did mean the Arch-Bishop's Grace, or the Lord-Treasurer. But he meant thereby one Spicer, which took upon him to be a Doctor and was none; that he had divers times used, between jest and earnest, to call him little Urchin, Vermin, little Hocus Pocus in the Velvet Jerkin and that there were some difference between him and the Bishop of Lincoln; and by Leviathan, he meant, Chief Justice Richardson, who had formerly committed Spicer (in Westminster-Hall); and he confessed he did merrily use that Name, the Person being apt to take a Jest in good part.
On the Bishop of Lincoln's part it was offered, That if any such Letters were sent by Mr.Osbaldston, yet he denied the receit of them; and for the interpretation of those Appellations, he conceived the Writer was the best Interpreter; that he had many times heard Mr. Osbaldston call Spicer by the Name of Hocus Pocus, and he used to call Richardson by the name of Leviathan, and denieth the publishing of any such Letters, or so much as the speaking of any such at his Table.
The Attorney General urged, That the Interpretation given by the Defendants would not serve their turn. That those Letters of Mr. Osbaldston were found in a Box in the Bishop's House at Bugden; and when the Bishop heard they were found, he said, Osbaldston was undone. That the Bishop's Secretary Walker, and the Clerk of his Kitchen had heard their Master discourse of the subject Matter of these Letters, and that these Names of Appellation were frequent, between the Bishop and Osbaldston, and that by them was meant the Arch-Bishop and the Treasurer.
But it was further offered, in the behalf of Mr. Osbaldston, That the Interpretation made by others, should not be the ruin and destruction of the Defendents. That the Bishop's said Secretary and Clerk of his Kitchen (Witness against him) were lately censured in this Court for tampering with Witnesses, and were Persons expecting the Mercy of the Court; and Witnesses, were heard on the behalf of Osbaldston, that he frequently called Dr. Spicer the little Hocus Pocus, and the little Urchin; and the Reason was, because Spicer had made many promises to give a Library worth 40l to the School at Westminster, but failed in the performance. And it was further proved, that he frequently called the Lord Chief Justice Richardson, Leviathan, who had committed Dr.Spicer in Westminster-Hall.
And in the defence of the Bishop of Lincoln it was further urged, That his said Secretary, Walter Walker, did frequently receive, and had commission to open his Letters in his absence; and what Letters he received he could not tell; and if those Letters were found at his House, they were laid up and concealed by his Secretary.