The Fourth Collection of Papers containing Proclamations, Acts of Convention and Council. A Proclamation against Owning of the late King James, and Commanding Publick Prayers to be made for King William and Queen Mary.
THE Estates of this Kingdom of Scotland having proclaimed and declared William and Mary, King and Queen of England, France and Ireland, to be King and Queen of Scotland; They have thought fit by publick Proclamation, to certifie the Leidges, that none presume to own or acknowledge the late King James the Seventh, for their King, nor obey, accept, or assist any Commissions or Orders, that may be Emitted by him, or any way to Correspond with him; and that none presume upon their highest Peril, by Word, Writing, in Sermons, or any other manner of Way, to Impugn, or Disown the Royal Authority of William and Mary, King and Queen of Scotland; But that all the Leidges render their Dutiful Obedience to their Majesties; And that none presume to Misconstrue the Proceeding of the Estates, or to Create Jealousies or Misapprehensions of the Actings of the Government; but that all the Ministers of the Gospel, within the Kingdom, publickly Pray for King William and Queen Mary, as King and Queen of this Realm: And the Estates do Require the Ministers within the City of Edinburgh, under the pain of being Deprived and losing their Benefices, to Read this Proclamation publickly from their Pulpits, upon Sunday next, being the 14th instant, at the end of their Forenoons Sermon: And the Ministers on this side of the River of Tay, to Read the same upon Sunday thereafter, the 21st Instant; And those Be-north Tay, upon the 28th Instant, under the pain foresaid: Discharging hereby the Proclamation of the Council, Dated the 16th of September 1686. to be read hereafter in Churches. And the Estates do Prohibit and Discharge, any Injury to be offered by any Person whatsoever, to any Ministers of the Gospel, either in Churches or Meeting-houses, who are presently in the Possession and Exercise of their Ministry therein, they behaving themselves as becomes, under the present Government: And Ordains this Proclamation to be published at the Mercat-Cross of Edinburgh, with all ordinary Solemnities, that none may pretend Ignorance. Extracted forth of the Records of the Meeting of the Estates, by me
God save King William and Queen Mary.
The Reader is desired to take notice, because omitted in the Narrative, that tho the Presbyterian Preachers, whom it is certain the Convention thought Gospel-Ministers, were obliged as much at least as any others, to read this Proclamation, and had it for that purpose sent them; yet they were never called in question for their neglect of it, tho that was sufficient to turn out the Orthodox Clergy, which to play the Pedant for once, amounts to this in Latin:
Dat veniam Corvis, vexat censura columbas.
Show me the Man and I'll show you the Law.
The truth is, the Governours knew that many of the Meeting-house Preachers could not be induced to do any thing in favour of any King, until he had first declared for Presbytery and renewed the Holy Covenant, and this is the true reason, why no Oath of Allegiance is yet put to any of the Clergy in Scotland, either of the one Perswasion or the other; This Proclamation was not published till Saturday April 13, 1689 and sent to the Ministers at Edinburgh late that night, and to some of them not till Sunday Morning, and yet upon that short Advertisement, all were to satisfie their Scruples of Conscience against next Morning, about Translating their Allegiance which they had Sworn to one King, to another who had not then declared that he would accept the Crown upon such Conditions as it was offered with; otherways they were to be deprived; This is pressing of Conscience with a witness; and 'tis plain from the latter part of this Proclamation, that Men might offer what Injury they pleased to Ministers of the Gospel, who were not then in exercise and possession of their Ministry; that is indeed, to all the Orthodox Ministers in the West, who had been some months before drawn from their Possessions by the Rabble.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty, The Humble Address of the Presbyterian Ministers in His Majesties Kingdom of Scotland.
May it please your Majesty,
WE Your Majesties most Loyal Subjects, the Ministers of the Presbyterian Perswasion in your Ancient Kingdom of Scotland, from the deep Sense we have of Your Majesties gracious and surprizing Favour, in not only putting a stop to our Long Sad Sufferings for Non-conformity, but granting us the Liberty of the publick and peaceable Exercise of our Ministerial Function, without any Hazard; as we bless the great God who hath put this in Your Royal Heart, do withal find our selves bound in Duty to offer our most humble and hearty Thanks to Your Sacred Majesty; the Favour bestowed being to us, and all the People of our Perswasion, valuable above all our Earthly Comforts: Especially since we have Ground from Your Majesty to believe, That our Loyalty is not to be questioned upon the account of our being Presbyterians; who, as we have amidst all former Temptations endeavoured, so are firmly resolved still to preserve an entire Loyalty in our Doctrine and Practice, (consonant to our known Principles, which according to the Holy Scriptures are contained in the Confession of Faith generally owned by Presbyterians in all Your Majesties Dominions:) And, by the help of God, so to demean our selves, as Your Majesty may find cause rather to enlarge, than to diminish Your Favours towards us: Throughly perswading our selves, from Your Majesties Justice and Goodness, That if we shall at any time be otherwise represented, Your Majesty will not give Credit to such Information, until You take due Cognition thereof; And humbly beseeching that those who promote any Disloyal Principles and Practices, (as we do disown them) may be look'd upon as none of ours, whatsoever Name they may assume to themselves.
May it please Your most Excellent Majesty graciously to accept this our humble Address, as proceeding from the Plainness and Sincerity of Loyal and Thankful Hearts, much engaged by this Your Royal Favour to continue our fervent Prayers to the King of Kings, for Divine Illumination and Conduct, with all other Blessings Spiritual and Temporal, ever to attend Your Royal Person and Government; which is the greatest Duty can be rendred to Your Majesty, by
Your Majesties most humble,
most faithful, and most obedient Subjects. Subscribed in our own Names, and in the Name of the rest of the Brethren of our Perswasion at their desire.
At Edinburgh the Twenty first day of July, in the Year One thousand six hundred eighty seven.
To the King's Most Excellent Majesty,
The humble Address of those of the Presbyterian Perswasion in the City of Edinburgh and Canongate.
May it please Your most Sacred Majesty,
WE cannot find suitable Expressions to evidence our most humble and grateful Acknowledgments for your Majesties late Gracious Declaration, by which we are happily delivered of many sad and grievous Burdens we have long groaned under: And (all Restrainsts, to our great Joy, being taken off) are allowed the free and peaceable publick Exercise of our Religion, a Mercy which is dearer to us than our Lives and Fortunes.
Could we open our Hearts, Your Majesty would undoubtedly see what deep Sense and true Zeal for Your Service, so surprizing and signal a Favor hath imprinted on our Spirits; For which we reckon our selves highly obliged (throwing our selves at Your Majesties Feet) to return Your most Excellent Majesty our most humble, dutiful, and hearty Thanks: And we desire humbly to assure Your Majesty, That as the Principles of the Protestant Religion, which according to our Confession of Faith we profess, obligeth us all the days of our Lives to that intire Loyalty and Duty to Your Majesties Person and Government, that no difference of Religion can dissolve; So we hope, and through God's assistance shall still endeavour, to demean our selves in our Practice in such manner as shall evidence to the World the Truth and Sincerity of our Loyalty and Gratitude, and make it appear that there is no Inconsistency betwixt True Loyalty and Presbyterian Principles.
Great Sir! We humbly offer our dutiful and faithful Assurances, that as we have not been hitherto wanting in that great Duty which our Consciences bind upon us to pray for Your Majesty; so this late refreshing and unexpected Favour will much more engage us in great Sincerity to continue still to offer up our desires to the God of Heaven, by whom Kings Reign, and Princes decree Justice, to bless Your Majesties Royal Person and Government; And after a happy and comfortable Reign on Earth, to crown You with an incorruptible Crown of Glory in Heaven, which is most ardently prayed for, by,
Most Dread Sovereign,
Your Majesties most Humble, most Loyal, most Dutiful, and most Obedient Subjects. Subscribed in our own Names, and by Order of those of the Presbyterian Perswasion within Your City of Edinburgh and Canongate.
There is another Address that I have seen from the Pastors and People of God in the West of Scotland in and about Glasgow, which for high Strains of Flattery and vast Promises of Duty and Compliance, far out-does the two that are here inserted, yea, and that high-flown one of your Godly honest Alsop in England, it is to that Address of Glasgow which could not now be bad, that the Author of the Narrative more particularly relates: by these two that we have found, Men may see how ready that Party was to comply with a Popish Prince, and how faithful they are to their greatest Promises of Duty and Allegiance, appears by their Practices since.
The Viscount of Dundee's Letter to the Convention.
Dudhop, March 27. 1689.
May it please your Grace,
THe coming of an Herauld and Trumpeter to Summon a Man to lay down Arms, that is living in peace at home, seems to me a very extraordinary thing; and I suppose will do so to all that hears of it. While I attended the Convention at Edinburgh, I complained often of many peoples being in Arms without Authority, which was notoriously known to be true, even the Wild Hill-men; and no Summons to lay down Arms under the pain of Treason being given them, I thought it unsafe for me to stay longer among them: And because some sew of my Friends did me the Favour to convey me out of reach of these Murderers, and that my Lord Levingston, and several other Officers took occasion to come away at the same time, this must be called being in Arms: We did not exceed the number allowed by the Meeting of Estates: my Lord Levingston and I might have had each of us Ten; and four or five Officers that were in Company might have had a certain number allowed them; which being, it will be found we exceeded not. I am sure it is far short of the number my Lord Lorne was seen to march with. And tho I had gone away with some more than ordinary, who can blame me, when Designs of Murdering me was made appear? Besides, it is known to every body, that before we came within sixteen Miles of this, my Lord Levingston went off to his Brother my Lord Strathmoir's House; and most of the Officers, and several of the Company, went to their respective Homes or Relations; and if any of them did me the Favour to come along with me, must that be called being in Arms? Sure when your Grace represents this to the Meeting of the States, they will discharge such a groundless Pursuit, and think my appearance before them unnecessary. Besides, tho it were necessary for me to go and attend the Meeting, I cannot come with Freedom and Safety, because I am informed there are Men of War and Foreign Troops in the Passage; and till I know what they are, and what are their Orders, the Meeting cannot blame me for not coming. Then, my Lord, seeing the Summons has proceeded on a groundless Story, I hope the Meeting of States will think it unreasonable I should leave my Wife in the Condition she is in. If there be any body that, notwithstanding of all that is said, think I ought to appear, I beg the favour of a delay till my Wife is brought to Bed, and in the mean time I will either give Security, or Paroll, not to disturb the Peace. Seeing the Pursuit is so groundless, and so reasonable things offered, and the Meeting composed of prudent Men, and Men of Honour, and your Grace presiding in it, I have no reason to fear further trouble. I am,
May it please your Grace,
Your most humble Servant, Sic subscribitur,
I beg your Grace will cause read this to the Meeting, because it is all the Defence I have made. I sent another to your Grace from Dumblein, with the Reasons of my leaving Edinburgh: I know not if it be come to your Hands.
This Letter sent from Dundee the Great, to the Convention, will somewhat serve to discover the humour of the Times, and the impartial Iustice of that Convention, the Rabble and Wild-hill Men went together in Arms in formidable Multitudes both in the Country and City, and the Thanks of the Convention was made to them for their good Services; they affronted the Viscount of Dundee daily upon the Streets, and sometimes on the Night attempted to Murder him in his House; all which was made evident to the Convention, and no notice taken of it; but because my Lord Dundee and some other Gentlemen, not willing to lye longer under those Dangers, retired to their Country-houses only with such a Guard as was sufficient to secure them from the Violence of the Rabble, which the Convention it self allowed to Noble-men and Gentlemen when they travelled on the Road; upon this account he was attainted of High Treason, and a Herauld and Trumpeter sent to Summon him upon that account to appear and answer for his Life and Fortune; by their own Messengers he sent back to them the preceding Letter, and by the Tennor of it, I leave the World to judge who they were that first begun the War in Scotland, which is not ended there yet, nor like to do in haste, and hath cost the Nation so much Blood and Treasure since.
An Act of Council.
At Edin. Dec. 24. 1689.
THE Lords of His Majesties Privy Council, considering that by the Act of the Meeting of Estates of the Date the Thirteenth day of April last, there is a difference made betwixt the Ministers then in possession and Exercise of their Ministry at their respective Churches, and those who were not so. And that the Case of the Ministers who were not in the actual Exercise of their Ministerial Function the Thirteenth day of April last, lyes yet under the consideration of the Parliament; and lest in the mean time they may call and pursue for the stipend (alledged) due to them, or put in execution the Decreets and Sentences already obtained at their instance for the same before the Estates of Parliament can meet and give these Determinations in the Points. Therefore the said Lords of Privy Council finding that the Case foresaid depending before the Parliament, is not obvious to be cognosced and decided upon by the inferiour Judges, but that the same should be left intire to the Decision of the Parliament; have thought fit to signifie to all inferior Courts and Ministers of the Law, that the matter abovementioned is depending before the Parliament, to the effect they may regulate and govern themselves in the judging of all Process to be intented before them upon the said matter, or in executing Sentences already pronounced thereupon, as they will be answerable.
Sic subscribitur, Crafoord. J. P. D. S. Con.
Was ever Justice (to speak modestly) stretched so as in this Act; because the Government in the Proclamation of the Date April 13. had left the Ministers of the West, who were forced by the Rabble from their Possessions, out of their Protection, which was all the difference mode by that Act, was it therefore not just to allow them any Tithes or other Debts due to them for several years before, and for which they had obtained fairly Decrees and Sentences in Courts of Iudicature, surely these Preachers, who by the Violence of the Rabble had possessed their places, had no legal or just pretence to any part of the Tithes or Stipends for which the others had served. With what face then, or pretence to common Iustice could this be called a Case depending before the Parliament.
A Proclamation anent the Ministers.
At Edinb. August 6. 1689.
WHereas the Meeting of the Estates of this Kingdom, by their Proclamation dated at Edinburgh, the Thirteenth day of April, 1689. did Command and Require all the Ministers of the Gospel within the Kingdom of Scotland, publickly to pray for King William and Queen Mary, as King and Queen of this Realm, and to read that Proclamation from their Pulpits upon the several Lords days therein exprest; as also, the Estates of the Kingdom did prohibit and discharge any Injury to be offered by any Person whatsoever, to any Minister of the Gospel, either in Churches or Meeting-houses, who were then, viz. on the Thirteenth of April last, in Possession and Exercise of their Ministry, either in Churches or Meeting-houses, they behaving themselves dutifully under the present Government. And it being most just and reasonable, that the foresaid Proclamation be fully performed and obeyed, as most necessary for the Security of the Peace of the Kingdom, and that such Ministers who gave Obedience should be Secure under the Protection of the Law, and that the pain of Deprivation be inflicted upon all those Ministers who have Disobeyed the Proclamation. Therefore the Lords of His Majesties Privy Council, in their Majesties Name and Authority, Do strictly Command and Charge, that none of the Leidges take on Hand to do any Violence or Injury to any of the Ministers of the Gospel, whether they be Preaching in Churches or Meeting-houses, and that all such as were in Possession and Exercise of their Ministry upon the Thirteenth day of April last, be allowed to continue undisturbed, and that such Ministers as have been removed, dispossessed or restrained without a legal Sentence in the Exercise of their Ministry, since the Thirteenth day of April last, shall be allowed to return, and Exercise their Ministry without Disturbance. And ordains the Sheriffs and their Deputs, Stewards, Baillies, and other Magistrates, within their respective Bounds, to give their Assistance for making the Premisses effectual; As also, that such Ministers who have not read the Proclamation, and prayed for King William and Queen Mary, according to the Tenor thereof, may be deprived of their Benefice, and restrained to Officiate in their Churches. The Lords of His Majesties Privy Council do invite and allow the Parochioners and Hearers of such Ministers as have neglected and slighted the reading of the Proclamation, and praying for King William and Queen Mary, to Cite such Ministers before the Privy Council; and grants Warrand for citing and adducing Witnesses to prove the same, that such Ministers as have Disobeyed, may by a legal Sentence be deprived of their Benefices, and that none of the Leidges at their own hand, without a legal Sentence and Warrand, presume to meddle in this matter. And Ordains these Presents to be Printed, and published by Macers of Privy Council, and Messengers, at the Mercat Cross of Edinburgh, and other places needful, that none may pretend Ignorance. Extracted by me
Gilb. Eliot, Cls. Sti. Concilii.
In this Proclamation it's visible that the Ministers who were outed by the Rabble before April 13. as almost all the Ministers in the West and South were, are again fairly excluded from the Protection of the Government, as if the Cruelty and Barbarities of the Rabble were to be applauded by the Governours, and all these who suffered under them to be condemned as Criminals and Traytors to the State: And to make short work on it with these Ministers who were yet in the Possession of their Livings, the Rabble and all their Enemies without distinction are here invited to be Evidences against them for their immediate Deprivation; and the effect was Quod non fecere Barbari, secerunt Barbarini.
This Proclamation was issued out to shorten the Form of Process which that of the Sixth of August obliged the Accusers and Pursuers of Ministers to observe.
A Proclamation for Citing Ministers who have not Prayed for Their Majesties.
Edinb. August 22. 1689.
WHereas by an Act of Council, of the Sixth of this Instant, in Pursuance of an Act of the Meeting of the Estates of this Kingdom, of the Thirteenth of April last, the Parochioners and Hearers of such Ministers as have neglected and slighted the Reading of the Proclamation therein mentioned, and the Praying for King William and Queen Mary, are invited and allowed to Cite such Ministers before the Privy Council, which Act of Council grants Warrand for Citing and Adducing Witnesses; And forasmuch as the Design of the said Act, is, that such Ministers who have Disobeyed the said Act of the Meeting of the Estates, may conform thereto by a Legal Sentence be Deprived; Therefore that the said Act of the Meeting of the Estates, and the Act of Council pursuant thereof, may attain their intended Design, and Effect, with the greater Expedition, and least Expenses to the Leidges, The Lords of His Majesties Privy Council, in their Majesties Name and Authority, do invite and allow, not only the Parochioners and Hearers of such Ministers as have Disobeyed, but also the Heretors of these Parochines, and the Sheriffs or their Deputs, and Magistrates of Burghs Respective, and the Members of this Currant Parliament, within their Respective Bounds, to cause Cite such Ministers before the Privy Council, and hereby grants Warrand to Messengers at Arms, for Citing them, and such Witnesses as are necessary, they delivering a Copy of these Presents, either in Print or in Writ, Signed by their Hand, to each Minister that shall be Cited by them to any Tuesday or Thursday six days after the Citation, for all on this side the River Tay, and Fifteen days for all beyond the said River, That such Ministers who have not given Obedience to the said Act of the Meeting of the Estates, may by a Legal Sentence be Deprived according thereto; and Appoints the Returns of these Executions to be Inrolled by the Clerk of Privy Council, and called before the Lords at their respective days of Compearance; Declaring that these Presents are but prejudice of any Citations already given, or to be given, either upon the former Act of Council, or upon Warrands from the Council-Board. And Ordains these Presents to be printed, and published by the Macers of Privy Council at the Mercat-Cross of Edinburgh, that none may pretend Ignorance.
Per Actum Dominorum Secreti Concilii.
GILB. ELIOT, Cls. Sti. Concilii.
God save King William and Queen Mary.
I John Dickson Macer, by virtue of the above-written Proclamation and Warrand, Summond, Warne and Charge you Mr. James Gray Minister at Kelso, to Compear before the Lords of His Majesties Privy Council at Edinburgh, or where it shall happen them to be for the time upon the Third day of September next to come, in the hour of cause to answer at the instance of Sir John Dalrymple Younger of Stairs, his Majesties Advocate for his Highness's Interest, and John Laidlaw Tayler in Maxwel-heugh, and John Laidlaw Wright in Kelso for themselves, and in Name and behalf of the Parochine of Kelso, to the effect and for the cause above written, with Certification conform to the above-written Proclamation and Warrand direct to me their anent.
Per Actum Dominorum Secreti Consilii.
This is the Form of the Summons appointed by the Council to be given to the Ministers, or left at their Houses if they happened to be from home.
A Declaration by His Highness the Prince of Orange, for the keeping of the Peace, &c. in the Kingdom of Scotland.
William Henry, by the Grace of God, Prince of Orange, &c.
WHereas the Lords and Gentlemen of the Kingdom of Scotland met at Whitehall at our desire, to advise Us what was to be done for Securing the Protestant Religion, and Restoring the Laws and Liberties of that Kingdom, have desired us to Call a Meeting of the Estates in March next, and in the mean while to take upon Us the Administration of publick Affairs both Civil and Military, the Disposal of the publick Revenue and Fortresses, and the doing every thing necessary for the Preservation of Peace. We being desirous to omit nothing that may tend to the publick Good and Happiness of that Kingdom, have (in pursuance of the said Advice) issued forth our Orders for Calling of the said Meeting of the Estates; And to the end that in the mean time the publick Peace, and the Fortresses may be secured, and the Revenue collected, we do hereby Will and Require all Persons, being Protestants, that are at present in the Possession of the Offices of Sheriffs, Justices of Peace, Marshals of Burghs, Bailies of Regalities, Stewards of Stewartries, Governours or Lieutenants of Fortresses, Keepers of Prisons or Prisoners, or in the Possession of any Inferior Offices and Places of the like Nature, and likewise all Persons, being Protestants, that are in the Possession of any Office or Imployment, in Collecting, Receiving, Managing or Ordering of the publick Revenue, to take upon them, and to continue in the Exercise of the saids Offices and Places respectively, doing and ordering every thing, which the Trust reposed in them, according to the Nature of the saids Offices, requires to be done, and ordered in the usual Manner, Form and Method: And we do in a particular Manner Authorize, Impower and Require, such of them to whom the Care of Preserving the Peace and Quiet of the Nation belongs; to use all diligence for Suppressing all Routs, Tumults, Disorders, Violencies and such other unwarrantable Practices as are contrary to it: And we do hereby expresly prohibit and discharge all Disturbance and Violence upon the account of Religion, or the Exercise thereof, or any such like Pretence, and that no Interruption be made; or if any hath been made, that it cease, in the free and peaceable Exercise of Religion, whether it be in the Churches or in publick and private Meetings, of those of a different Perswasion. Requiring, like as we do hereby require all Protestants, as they love the good of their Country and Religion, and are willing in their several Stations and Capacities to concur with Us, in our Endeavours to bring Matters to a happy and desirable Settlement, that they will live peaceably together, and without disquieting or molesting one another; Enjoy their several Opinions and Forms of Worship, whether according to Law or otherways, with the same Freedom, and in the same manner, in which they did enjoy them in the month of October last, till such time, as by regular and legal Methods, a due Temper may be fallen on, for composing and settling those Differences: And to the end, that the Peace may be the more effectually secured; We require all Men, or numbers of Men in Arms, by vertue of any Order or Authority, and under any Title and Designation whatsoever, whether they be standing Forces, or Militia Forces modelled into regular Troops, and kept on foot, as standing Forces, to separate, dismiss and disband themselves; Likewise we do hereby Disband them, and appoint them to retire to their respective Dwellings, with full assurance to them, that care shall be taken in due time for their having their Pay, if any shall be found due to them. And we do farther prohibit and discharge, all Persons in time coming to take Arms, or to continue in Arms upon any pretence whatsoever, with a Commission or express Order from Us. Excepting from what is above written, likeas, we do hereby except the Garisons of the Fortresses, and the Company of Foot entertained by the Town of Edinburgh, for the Guard of the said Town, whom we do appoint to continue in the Exercise of their Duty (they being Protestants) in the said Garisons and Towns. And whereas several Roman Catholicks have been, and are still in the Possession of the Places and Offices abovementioned; We do hereby require them to leave the said Offices and Places, and to retire to their several Dwelling-houses, where we forbid and discharge all Persons to disquiet, disturb, or molest them any manner of way; and we appoint the next immediate Protestant Officers in the Fortresses, where the Governours, Deputy-Governours, or other Officers are Roman Catholicks, to take upon them the Custody of the saids Fortresses, and in the same manner, that the Protestants concerned in the Collecting and managing of the Revenue and the keeping of the Peace, do supply by their diligence, the Vacancies that are or may happen to be in places of the like Nature, This our Declaration to be of Force, and to take effect till the said Meeting of Estates in March next; and to be without prejudice to any other Orders we may think fit to give to any Person or Persons, for the ends abovementioned; And we do farther order this our Declaration to be printed and published at Edinburgh, and printed Copies of the same to be given, or sent to the Sheriffs and Stewartry, Clerks of the several Shires and Stewartries whom we do hereby require to publish the same upon the first Mercat day after the receipt thereof, at the Crosses of the Head Burghs of their respective Shires and Stewartries, in the due and usual manner.
Given at St. James's the Sixth day of February, in the Year of our Lord 1688/9.
W. H. Prince of Orange.
The Effects of this Declaration were, that these Gentlemen who had taken Arms to defend themselves, and the Regular Clergy from the Fury of the Rabble, disbanded and laid down their Arms as the Declaration required, whereupon the Phanatick Mob became much more Insolent and Outragious, despising the Declaration, and destroying all the Clergy they could reach, for which they had the following Act of Thanks.
An Act approving of the good Services done by the Town of Glasgow, Shire of Argyle, and other Western Shires in this Conjuncture, with a return of the Thanks of the Estates to them.
AT Edinburgh, March 28. 1689. The Meeting of the Estates of this Kingdom, taking into their Consideration, that by the sending of the standing Forces into England, the Estates were destitute of that Guard and Defence, which was proper and necessary in this Conjuncture, and that several Persons, well affected to the Protestant Religion, at the Dyet of the Meeting of the said Estates, having repaired to this City of Edinburgh, from Glasgow, the Shire of Argyle, and other Western Shires, did at the Desire, and by Warrand of the Estates, put themselves to Arms, and since have so continued Watching and Warding, under the Command of the Earl of Levin, and demeaned themselves Soberly and Honestly, and been Active and Instrumental to prevent Tumults, and to secure the Peace and Quiet of this Meeting, and Place; and there being now some Scots Regiments arrived here, under the Command of Major General M.cay, The Estates do therefore hereby declare, That what is past, was good, acceptable and seasonable Service, and do approve the same; and hereby gives Order to the said Earl of Levin to Disband them, and allows them to return with their Arms to their respective Homes, and do return their Thanks to the Persons who have been imployed. Extracted out of the Records of the Meeting of Estates, by me
Ja. Dalrymple, Cls.
This is the Act, that in the Narrative is called, An Act for Thanks to the Rabble; The Persons to whom it relates, being these Zealots (who contrary to all the Laws of Religion and Humanity, contrary to the Laws of all Nations, and particularly to the standing Laws of this Kingdom, and contrary to the Prince's own Declaration, Feb. 6. 1688/9.) convened and continued in Arms, till they drove out all the regular Clergy in the West, and many in the South, and being in number about 8000 or above, overawed and threatned those concerned, to elect Members for the Convention; and at the Meeting of Estates, rushed in a Tumultuary and Hostile manner into Edinburgh, planted themselves, without any publick Order or Commission, about and in the Parliament house, where, at every turn, they rail'd at, threatned, baffled and affronted the Bishops; nor were the ancient Nobility and Gentry; who generally adhered to the Episcopal Cause, better treated by them; the Terror whereof made many of the most eminent Members never come near the House, and made many who came at first, soon after desert it; all this was considerably, before the Earl of Levin was, by the Convention, appointed to Command them: This being Matter of Fact well known to the Estates. I leave the World to judge how well these Men deserved this Act of Approbation.
A Proclamation for a General Fast.
At Edinb. August 24. 1689.
Present in Council,
E. Crafurd P.
Sir Hugh Campbel of Calder.
Sir James Montgomerie of Skelmorly.
Sir Arch. Murray of Blackbarrony.
James Brody of that Ilk.
Sir John Hall L. Provost of Edinb.
FOrasmuch as the great and long abounding of Sins of all sorts amongst all Ranks of Persons, with the continued Impenitency under them, and not Reforming therefrom; The falling from their first Love; and great Faintings and Failings of Ministers, and others of all Ranks, in the hour of Temptation, in their Zeal for God and his Work; and that although there be much cause to Bless God for the Comfortable Unity and Harmony amongst the Ministers, and Body of Christian Professors in this Church: Yet that there are such Sad and Continuing Divisions amongst some, is also matter of Lamentation before God; The great Ingratitude for his begun Deliverance of this Nation from Popery and Slavery, and unsuitable Walking thereunto, The Contempt of the Gospel, not Mourning for former and present Iniquities, nor turning to the Lord by such Reformation and Holiness, as so great a Work calls for; The many Sad and long continued Tokens of Gods Wrath, in the hiding of his Face, and more especially in his Restraining the Power and presence of His Spirit, with the preached Gospel, in the Conversion of Souls, and Edifying the Converted; And the Lord's Threatning the Sword of a Cruel and Barbarous Eenemy, in the present great Distress of Ireland, by the prevailing of an Anti Christian Party there, and Threatning the Sword of the same Enemy at Home, and the great and imminent Danger of the Reformed Protestant Religion, not only from an open Declared Party of Papists, Enemies to the same, but from many other professed Protestants, who Joyn Issue with them in the same Design, besides the sad Sufferings and Scatterings of Reformed Churches Abroad; Having Seriously and Religiously moved the Presbyterian Ministers, Elders and Professors of the Church of Scotland, Humbly to Address themselves to the Lords of His Majesties Privy Council, for a General Fast and Day of Humiliation, to be kept throughout the whole Kingdom. The saids Lords Do out of a Pious and Religious Disposition, Approve of the said Motion, as Dutiful and Necessary at the time; And therefore in His Majesties Name and Authority, Do Command a Solemn and publick Fast, and day of Humiliation, to be Religiously and Sincerely Observed throughout this Kingdom, both in Churches and Meeting-Houses, as they would avert Wrath, and procure and continue Blessings to this Kingdom, and that all Persons whatsoever may send up their Fervent Prayers and Supplications to Almighty God, That He would pour out upon all Ranks, a Spirit of Grace and Supplication, that they may Mourn for all their Iniquities, and more especially, that God would pour forth upon King WILLIAM and Queen MARY, and upon all inferior Magistrates and Counsellors, a Spirit of Wisdom for Government, and Zeal for God, His Church, and Work in this Land, as the present Case of both do call for, and that God may preserve Them for carrying on that great Work, which he hath so Gloriously and Seasonably begun by Them; and that God would Countenance, and Bless with Success the Armies by Sea and Land, Raised for the Defence of the Protestant Religion; and more especially, that God would pour forth a Spirit of Holiness upon them, lest their Sins and ours, may provoke God against them in the Day of Battel; and that he would Bless all Means for the Settlement of Church and State: That God would Bless the Season of the Year, and give Seasonable Weather for Cutting Down, and gathering in the Fruits of the Earth, that the Stroke of Famine, which God hath frequently Threatned the Nation with, may be Averted. And the saids Lords of His Majesties Privy Council, do, in Name and Authority foresaid, Command and Charge, that the said Solemn and publick Fast, be Religiously and devoutly performed, both in Churches and Meeting-Houses, by all Ranks and Degrees of persons within this Kingdom, on this side of the Water of Tay, upon Sunday the Fifteenth day of September next to come; and by all others be-north the same, upon Sunday thereafter, the Twenty second day of the said month of September: And to the End that this part of Divine Worship, so pious and Necessary, may be punctually kept upon the respective Days above-mentioned, They Ordain Sir William Lockhart Solicitor, in the most convenient and proper way, to dispatch and send Copies hereof to the Sheriffs, their Deputs, and Clerks of the several Shires of this Kingdom, to be by them published at the Mercat Crosses of the Head Burghs, upon receipt thereof, and immediately sent to the several Ministers, both of Churches and Meeting-Houses, that upon the Lords-day immediately preceding the Fast, and upon the respective Days of the publick Fast, and Humiliation, the Ministers may read, and intimate this Proclamation from the Pulpit, in every Parish Church and Meeting-House; and that they Exhort all persons to a serious and devout performance of the said Prayers, Fasting and Humiliation, as they regard the Favour of Almighty God, and the Safety and Preservation of the Protestant Religion, and expect a Blessed Success to the carrying on of that Great and Glorious Work of this Nations being delivered from Popery and Slavery, so seasonably begun; and as they would avoid the Wrath and Indignation of God against this Kingdom, and procure, and continue manifold Blessings to the same: Certifying all these who shall contemn or neglect such a Religious and necessary Duty, they shall be proceeded against, and published as Contemners of his Majesties Authority, Neglecters of Religious Services, and as persons disaffected to the Protestant Religion, as well as to Their Majesties Royal Persons and Government. And Ordains these presents to be printed and published by Macers or Messengers at Arms, at the Mercat-Cross of Edinburgh, and other places above-mentioned, that none may pretend Ignorance.
Per actum Dominorum Secreti Concilii.
GILB. ELIOT, Cls. Sti. Concilii.
God save King William and Queen Mary.
Some of the sad Effects of this Canting Proclamation were particularly felt by Mr. Ramsay who preach'd in the Forenoon in the old Church at Edinb. a Man of an unblameable Life, a judicious and accurate Preacher, gave Obedience in all things, to the Act of the Meeting of Estates of the Thirteenth of April, read the Proclamation, prayed in express Terms for King William and Queen Mary the very first day these things were enjoyned to be done on, but that availed nothing, for the design was to remove all the Episcopal Ministers from the Pulpits in Edinburgh at any rate, and upon any pretence how little soever. Mr. Ramsay gets a Citation to appear before the Privy Council. By their procedure against his Brethren he knew what would be the event of this; and therefore it being his turn to preach on that day he was cited to comptar on, and many of his Elders and Parishoners being present, he delivered some Advices and Exhortations which made the Sermon look somewhat like a valedictory one; after Sermon his Elders attended him to the foot of the Stairs of the Council Chamber. Mr. Ramsay is called and interrogated if he did read the Proclamation of the 13th. of April, he answered, I did read it: Again he is questioned if he prayed for King William and Queen Mary, naming them, (for it was not enough to use such Expressions as were only to be appropriated to William and Mary) he said, He had prayed for them by Name. But (says the President) you only prayed for them as Declared King and Queen, not as those that were really such. Mr. Ramsay replied, That he had prayed for William and Mary, whom the Estates of the Kingdom had Declared King and Queen, and since they had no Liturgy, and they had given to them no Form of Prayer, he thought, being he had pray'd for William and Mary, no more was to be required; and as for the words Declared King and Queen, he had taken them from one of their own Proclamations; which when denied, he desired the Proclamation might be produced, which was done, and then it appeared he was in the right. When he could not be reached in this point, then the President, the Earl of Crawfurd, said, But, Mr. Ramsay, you pray for the late King James. My Lord, said he, I pray in these words, Lord Bless William and Mary whom the Estates of this Land have Declared King and Queen, and Bless all the Royal Family Root and Branch, especially him who is now under Affliction, Sanctifie it unto him while he is under it, and when it seems good to thee, deliver him from it. This, says he, is the Form I made to my self, for you prescribe none; and is it not a sore matter, that when nothing is left to King James in Reversion of Three Kingdoms, but the Prayers of poor Men, that you should deny him those. They then ordered him to remove, and consulted by what other way they might reach him, for yet they could not find a pretence against him sufficient to deprive him. At last they called him in, and the President said, But Mr. Ramsay, you did not read from the Pulpit the Proclamation for the Fast. Now, my Lord (replied Mr. Ramsay) you have nick'd me, indeed I did not intimate that Fast. But why did you not? For many Reasons, my Lord, said he. But pray, said my Lord, let us hear some of those Reasons. Excuse me, my Lord, replied he, it's sufficient that I confess that I did not read it. (But according to the method of their Inquisition of Screwing out Mens minds, and provoking them to speak, that they might get occasion against them) they press'd him to name some of his Reasons, he said, being they urged he would give them one, That it was against the Practice of the universal Church, and primitive Canons, to Fast on Sunday: And he said, Tho there were no other Reasons but that one, he could not intimate that Fast. He gave this Reason, as that which he thought would give them least Offence. They ordered him to remove till they had deliberated what to do with him, and then cause call him in, and deprived him for not reading the Proclamation for the Fast. Dr. Gardner a Man of great Parts and Piety, and one of the Ministers of the Talbooth Church in Edinburgh, was deprived upon the same account of not intimating that Fast, tho he had complied in every thing else which they demanded.
A Proclamation Discharging the Payment of the Rents of the Bishopricks to any, but the Persons named by the Council.
At Edinburgh, September 19. 1689.
WHereas the Meeting of the Estates of this Kingdom, in their Claim of Right, of the Eleventh of April last, Declared, that Prelacy, and the Superiority of any Office in the Church, above Presbyters, is, and hath been a great and insupportable Grievance to this Nation, and contrair to the Inclinations of the Generality of the People, ever since the Reformation; And that their Majesties with Advice and Consent of the Estates of Parliament, have by their Act of the Date the Fifth day of July last bypast, abolished Prelacy, and all Superiority of any Office in the Church above Presbyters: And His Majesty considering the prejudice it may be to His Interest, if fit Persons be not appointed to look after, and receive the Rents and Emoluments, particularly those consisting of Tithes, which formerly did belong to the Bishops, Hath therefore signified His Royal Pleasure, That the Lords of His Majesties Privy Council should give Warrand to Alexander Hamilton of Kinkell, for Drawing and Uplifting the Tithes and other Rents of the Archbishoprick of St. Andrews, he giving sufficient Security for his Faithful performance of his duty in the said Office; and hath also left it to the Council to appoint fit persons for Drawing and Uplifting the Tithes of other Bishopricks for this present Cropt and Year of God 1689. that none concerned suffer prejudice: Excepting the Bishoprick of Orknay, which His Majesty is resolved to have Uplifted with the Rents of the Lordship. And the saids Lords of Privy Council having in Obedience to His Majesties Commands, Nominat and Appointed fit and qualified persons for Drawing of the Tithes, and Uplifting of the Rents formerly belonging to the Bishops, Deans, or any other person of superior Order and Dignity in the Church above Presbyters; And least before the time that some of them can be able to come to this place, and find Caution for their faithful discharging of that Trust, and make Intimation of their respective Commissions to Uplift the saids Rents for the said Cropt and Year of God foresaid, to the persons lyable in payment thereof, The Teinds and other Rents of the Archbishopricks and Bishopricks, and others foresaids may be Imbazled and Intrometted with by persons who have no Right thereto; Therefore the saids Lords of Privy Council, in their Majesties Name and Authority foresaid, prohibit and Discharge all and sundry Heretors, Feuers, Life-renters, Taxs-men of Teinds, Tennents and others whose Teinds were formerly in use to be drawn, and who were lyable-in payment of any Rent or Duty to the saids late Archbishops or Bishops, or others foresaids, to draw or suffer their Teinds to be drawn, and from payment of any Rental-Bolls, Feu, Blench or Tack-Duties, and other Rents, Casualties and Emoluments, formerly payable to the saids late Archbishops, Bishops, and others foresaid, except to such persons as shall be authorized by the saids Lords of Privy Council for uplifting thereof; with Certification to them, if they do any thing in the contrary hereof, they shall be lyable therefore, notwithstanding if any pretended Discharge that may be Impetrat or Obtained from any other person or persons for the said Cropt and Year of God foresaid. And Ordains these presents to be printed and publishd by Macers of Privy Council at the Mercat-Cross of Edinburgh, and by Messengers at Arms at the Mercat-Crosses of the Head Burghs of the other Shires within this Kingdom, that none may pretend Ignorance.
Per actum Dominorum Secreti Consilii.
GILB. ELIOT. Cls. Secreti Concilii.
God Save King William and Queen Mary.
This Alexander Hamilton who is here appointed to uplift the Rents of St. Andrews Archbishoprick, was taken in actual Rebellion at the time of Bothwell bridge Rebellion, and by the Clemency of the Government then, had his Life spared, altho he was always a great Ring-leader of that Rebellious Rout, which so much plagued the Nation before and since that time.
A Draught of an Act for Establishing the Church-Government.
Presented by his Majesty's High-Commissioner, July 22. 1689.
FOrasmuch as the King and Queens Majesties, and the Estates of Parliament, by their Act the Fifth of July instant, Abolishing Prelacy, and the Superiority of any Church-Officers above Presbyters in this Kingdom; did declare, That they would settle that Church-Government in this Kingdom which is most agreeable to the Inclinations of the People. And considering, That the Church-Government by General, Provincial, and Presbyterial Assemblies, with the Sessions of the Kirk, as it was established by the first Act of the Twelfth Parliament of King James VI. holden in Iune 1592. is most agreeable to the Inclinations of the People: Therefore the King and Queens Majesties, with Advice and Consent of the Estates of Parliament, Revives and Renews the said Act of Parliament in the whole Heads, Points, and Articles thereof, (with this express Declaration, That the necessity of occasional Assemblies be first represented to His Majesty by humble Supplication:) And Statutes and Declares, That it is, and shall be lawful to the Presbyters of this Church to admit Ministers upon Presentations from the lawful Patrons, or Iure de voluto, which shall happen hereafter; or into Churches which fall not under Patronages, but were Mensal and Patrimonial Churches belonging to the Bishops; sicklike and as freely as they did or might have done of before by the foresaid Act of Parliament in the Year 1592. and to do all and every thing which before pertained to Presbyteries, and were exercised by the Bishops. And Ordains all the Ministers in this Kingdom to submit and conform themselves to the Church-Government established by the foresaid Act, and to take the Oath of Allegiance, under the pain of being deprived of their Churches, and losing their Benefices. And it is Declared, That all Ministers that shall submit and conform to the foresaid Church-Government, and to take the Oath of Allegiance, without being obliged to take any other Oath, shall enjoy their Churches and Benefices, and shall not be deprived of the same, except for Scandal or Insufficiency. But in respect there are several Ministers that were put out of their Churches and Benefices since the year 1662. for not complying with, and conforming to Prelacy; and others since the year 1681. for not taking the Test: And now seeing Prelacy is Abolished, and all Acts relating thereto, it is just and reasonable that these Ministers that went out, and were laid aside, for not conforming to, and complying with Prelacy, and for not taking the Test, should be restored to their Churches and Benefices; Therefore the King and Queens Majesties, with Advice and Consent of the saids Estates of Parliament, do Ordain the saids Ministers that went out, or were laid aside, upon the account foresaid, to be restored and reponed; and do hereby repone and restore them to their respective Churches and Benefices. And the King and Queens Majesties, and Estates of Parliament, declares, That they will take care to provide these Ministers that are now serving the Cure at the saids Churches, with other Churches and Benefices, as occasion shall offer; they submitting themselves to the Government of the Church established by this present Act, and taking the Oath of Allegiance, and being sufficient and qualified for the Office of the Ministry, and without Scandal. As also it is Declared, That Intrants to the Ministry shall not be holden or obliged to take any other Oaths at their Admission, but the Oath of Allegiance, and the Oath de fideli. And in regard that much trouble hath ensued unto the Estate, and many sad Confusions and scandalous Schisms have fallen out in the Church, by Church-men meddling in matters of State: Therefore their Majesties, with Advice and Consent of the Estates of Parliament, do hereby discharge all Ministers of the Gospel within this Kingdom, to meddle with any State-affairs, either in their Sermons or Judicatories, publickly or privately, under the pain of being holden as disaffected to the Government, and proceeded against accordingly. And declares, That the Jurisdiction of the Church consists and stands only in the preaching of the True Word of Jesus Christ, Correction of Manners by Ecclesiastical Censures, and the Administration of the Holy Sacraments, conform to the 69th Act James 6. Parl. 6. And to the effect there be nothing treated or concluded in the Church-Judicatories, that concerns the Affairs of State, or Civil Matters; it is declared, That Their Majesties, if they shall think fit, may have always one present in all the Provincial and Presbyterial Assemblies (as well as They have Their Commissioner present in General Assemblies) that in case any Affair that concerns the State, or Civil Matters, that does not belong to the Jurisdiction of the Church, shall come in before the saids Assemblies, the said Person appointed by Their Majesties shall inhibit and Discharge the Provincial or Presbyterial Assembly to proceed in any Affair that concerns the State or Civil Matter, before Their Majesties and Their Privy Council shall be acquainted with the same, that They may declare Their pleasure thereanent. And because there are many things to be settled in relation to the Policy and Discipline of the Church, therefore Their Majesties declare, That They, by the Advice of the Estates of Parliament, and Judicatories of the Church, will enact such Rules concerning the Policy, Discipline, and other Matters to be observed by the Church, as shall tend most to the curbing of Vice, the Advancement of True Religion and Piety, and the Preservation of Unity and Peace amongst the Subjects. And Their Majesties, with Advice and Consent of the saids Estates of Parliament, Rescinds and Annuls the first Act of the 15 Parl. K. Ja. VI. anent Ministers provided to Prelacies should have Vote in Parliament; and the second Act of the 18 Parl. Ja. VI. anent the Restitution of the Estate of Bishops; and the eighth Act of the 19 Parl. Ja. VI. anent the Commissarions and Jurisdictions given to the Archbishops and Bishops; and the first Act of the 21 Parl. Ja. VI. anent the Ratification of the Acts of the Assembly of Glasgow, in the year 1610. and the first and second Acts of the 22 Parl. of K. Ja. VI. in the year 1617. anent the Archbishops and Restitution of Chapters (without prejudice always to the Ministers serving the Cure, of any Emoluments allowed to them in part of their Stipends) and the first Act of the 23 Parl. of K. Ja. VI. in the year 1621. anent the Ratification of the Articles of the Assembly holden at Perth. And rescinds and annuls all and whatsomever Acts, Laws, and Constitutions, in so far as they derogate and are prejudicial to the Church-Government, by General, Provincial, and Presbyteral Assemblies, and Kirk-Sessions; and in so far as they are conceived in favour of Archbishops, Bishops, Abbot, Priors, and other Prelates or Church-men whatsomever, their Dignity, Title, Power, Jurisdiction, and State in this Church and Kingdom, or in favours of the Civil Places or Power of Church-men, or of whatsomever sort allowed or disallowed, for their Ruling, Sitting and Voting in Parliament, either as Church-men, or the Clergy, or in name of the Church; or as representing the Church, either in regard of their Ecclesiastical Titles, Offices, Places and Dignities, or in regard of the Temporality or Spirituality of Ecclesiastical Benefices, or other pretexts whatsomever, with all Acts and Constitutions of Convention, Council or Session, or other Judicator whatsomever, and all Practices or Customs whatsomever, introduced in favours of the saids Offices, Titles, Benefices or Persons provided thereto; and all other Acts, Statutes or Practices which are contrary and prejudicial to, or inconsistent with this present Act; and declares the same to be void and null in all time coming: And seeing by the abolishing of Prelacy, the is at present no Meeting of the Presbyteries, or Provincial Assemblies, and it being necessary that there be a time and place appointed for the first Diet of Meeting, therefore Ordains the Ministers of the several Presbyteries on the South-side of the River of Tay, to meet and convene upon the second Tuesday of August next, at the ordinary places where the Presbyters are in use to meet, and these Ministers of the Presbyteries on the North-side of the River of Tay, to meet and convene upon the first Tuesday of September thereafter, at the ordinary places where the Presbyters are in use to meet; and appoints these Ministers that shall meet in the respective Presbyteries, to chuse their own Moderator; and ordains the Moderator first to take and subscribe the Oath of Allegiance himself, and then administrate the said Oath to the rest of the Brethren, that they may take and subscribe the same; And ordains the Moderator of the respective Presbyteries to return the said Oath so taken and subscribed, to the Clerks of Privy Council betwixt and the first of October next; and orduins the first Diet of Meeting of the several Provincial Assemblies of this Kingdom to be upon the second Tuesday of October next, at the ordinary places, where the Synods and Provincial Assemblies were in use to meet: And ordains the Church-Sessions to be elected and chosen, both in Burgh and Landward, at the ordinary times, and after the ordinary manner.
Tho King William desired the Presbyterians to pass this Act for the Settlement of their Government in the Church, yet because it seemed to restrain them from controling the State when they pleased (as they had been always wont to do when in power) for sometimes the Parliament and General Assembly flatly contradicted one another, as in the year 1674. when King Charles I. was kept Prisoner at the Isle of Wight, the Convention of Estates voted that an Army should be sent (as it was) under the Command of Duke Hamilton, to relieve His Majesty, but the General Assembly pass'd an Act at the same time, flatly contradicting that, and accordingly after the King's Forces were defeated by the Rebels in England, the Kirk, to show their absolute Supremacy in the State, forced the Nobily and Gentry, who were Officers under the Duke, to make their Repentance before the Congregations publickly in Sackcloth. I say, because this Act seemed to restrain them from meddling in State Affairs, as they had been wont to do, leaving them no power in the State, and the King some power in the Church, as that they could not call a General Assembly without acquainting him with the necessity of it, therefore this Act was rejected with great Contempt and Indignation; and the Presbyterian Minister who was then in Quality of a Chaplain in the Parliament, said, that they would, rather than admit of such a Mangled Mungril Presbytery, beg back the Bishops again; and that it was Nonsence not to allow the Clergy to impose other Oaths as well as that of Allegiance.
SOme may perhaps think it an unkindness done to the Nation of Scotland, thus to expose the publick Acts of the Kingdom which were never ridiculous or afraid of the light, but only when some Men Governed, who are indeed the far least and most inconsiderable part of the People, otherways why should they so violently now oppose the Dissolving of this Parliament and the Calling of a new one; since it is certain that the Humour of the Nation cannot be so well known by a thin Convention, which was called in an extraordinary Hurry, in a great Confusion and Fermentation of the People, and which proceeded with equal Heat and Precipitancy? Others may think, that by publishing the Names (as is here done) of some few of these good Men who have suffered, they shall be thereby dangerously exposed to the Fury and Violence of these Zealots, whose greatest Mercy is Cruelty: Indeed there is too much Ground for this Conjecture.
But our Enemies have put us upon this Necessity, for the late account that was given, in some Letters, of the present Persecution of the Church in Scotland, tho it was exactly true in all the Matters of Fact relating to that Persecution; yet in England where these things are not so well known, some Men being ashamed of these Barbarities, to which they gave all the Life they could at such a distance, have industriously represented by their Tongues and Pens, that account as altogether False and Fabulous, altho even themselves are but too well satisfied that it contains sad Truths.
Their Mercurius Reformatus, as he stiles himself, wanting Advertisements, and good News from Ireland to fill up his Weekly Papers, stuffs two or three of them with Reflections on that former account of our Persecution: First, He doubts the Matters of Fact are not true; and it's something strange, that one who has conversed so intimately with, and been most of his Life bred up amongst Scotch Fanaticks, should so much question their natural and customary Practices. Secondly, He imputes all the Mischief (if, says he, there has been any) wholly to the Rabble, and wonders that any part of it should be charged upon the Godly Patriots to whom the Government of that Kingdom is now intrusted: But now if the Matters of Fact so fully attested in this Book, and the publick Acts so faithfully transcribed, do not satisfie him, and those few whom he may have led into these his willful Mistakes; they must be allowed to doubt on till one come from the Dead to inform them, if even that can perswade them to believe.
But Thirdly, which shows that he is indeed but a new Observator, he seems to grant what he would deny, for acknowledging the Persecution, he says, That it was occasioned by the Severities wherewith the Episcopal Party had treated the Presbyterians in the by-gone Reigns; as if their new Gospel could adopt Revenge into a vertue, and as if all the Punishments inflicted upon Rebels by the State for its own Security, were to be charged only upon the Church, and revenged now upon the Clergy, the poor helpless Prelates and their Curates.
Fourthly, He's confident that the whole Book is but a malicious Design to Bespatter the present Government; if the Government be bespattered when the true account of their open Proceedings is fairly published to the World, then the faultlyes originally in that Government, not in the Historian: It's a strange Severity in any Government, not to suffer Men to groan under Burthens because it imposed them, and to knock Men in the Head for but clattering those Chains wherewith the Government Fetters them.
Fifthly, He quarrels at the Stile of the Letters, for the Authors, he says, do no where express any thing of duty or Allegiance to the present Governours, but according to Mercurius's own Principles of Policy, there's time enough for that when they find themselves according to the Articles of the pretended Original Contract, and many fair promises, secured in their Religion, Liberties and Properties, for now it's a received Axiom it seems, that Protection and Allegiance are reciprocal: Again, He's offended at the Sharpness and Severity which he discovers in the Expressions, then he runs out in many Rhetorical Commendations (by way of new reformed Observation) upon Moderation, and recommends it from the great Example of a famous Roman Catholick Prince, whereas at another turn he will not allow either Popish Prince or People to be capable of the least Moderation, meerly because they are Papists. It's hard to think why this Gentleman should be so much offended with the Stile of those Letter's; it's not, I hope, for the Scoticisms in them, for that's a Fault that neither he nor we can so easily help in our Writing; perhaps he's angry that he, as a Scotch Doctor, was not entrusted to purge out their sharp Humour, before they were allowed to take the open Air in England.
When the new Observator upon March 26. last, published my Lord Crafurd's Letter dated Edinburgh March 16. 1690. he might have observed, that in that Letter my Lord fairly owns, that the Council did at the same time that they proceeded against Ministers for not praying for King William, take probation of Crimes of another nature also against them; tho the Cognisance of them did no way belong to the Council; these are the very words of the Letter, for if this be true, the Proceedings of the Council against the Ministers must be acknowledged not to have been fair and legal; for the Observator himself who once pretended to an inferior kind of Practice in the Scots Law; knows I hope so much, as that no Court ought to hear probation of Crimes whereof they have not the Cognizance, nay the best of Men may be abused by such Proceedings, for if the Court be not competent, the Defendants cannot be admitted to object against the Insufficiency of the Probation, and so the worst things may be proved against the most innocent People.
But of all them that have written or spoken against the Account given in those Letters, we owe the most Thanks to one downright true thorough-paced Presbyterian, who writes a Pamphlet against it, called, A Brief and true Account of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, occasioned by the Episcopalians since the year 1660. The Book is indeed worth the reading because in it the Author has fairly pulled off that Mask which others more Cunning but less Honest, love to act under.
I shall not here hazard the turning of the Readers Stomach, by repeating any of these his most fulsome Expressions which he liberally strows in every Page of his Book; only this I must say, That it's not possible for a Devil to bring more Railing and false Accusations against the Brethren, than this pure Presbyterian does against our Clergy and States-men; he has learned it seems of his Friend Matchiavel to calumniate boldly, hoping that if he throw a great deal of Dirt, some of it may stick; but his Malice is too large to be confin'd to Scotland, and therefore he opens foully against the Church of England too, for he says, That Dr. Oates (a modest Man like himself) did the Nation more Service than the seven Idolized Stars, so many of whom are now turned Dark-lanthorns. Neither must the Complying Bishops escape his Fury, for of them he says, That as they have the Dishonour of being the Mother of that Hellish Monster Passive Obedience, they have also the Ignominy of being the Murtherirs of it, having new basely cut its Threat, as Harlots use sometimes to do with their spurious Breed. Then as for the English Clergy in general, he says, That let their Hyperbolical Pretentions to Zeal for Religion and Loyalty be what it will, yet if the King put forth his hand and touch them, they will Curse him to his face, and rather than part with on inch of Superstition, or a Swinish Lust, will as the Party have always done, lay a Confideracy with Hell and Rome, as times past and present do evidence beyond Contradiction, from the Reformation to this day: In another place he says, That their dayly Prayers are, that God would pull down the Antichristian Hierarchy also in England; and why (says he) may we not do it, as well as the English Prelates and Clergy Plot, Drink and plead against the Scotch Presbytery. Then he foretells the Downfall of the Church of England, Notwithstanding their Sessions (as he speaks) at the Devil to prevent it, and for the fulfilling of this his fatal Prophecy, he declares War against them, and bids them blame themselves for it, if another Invasion from Scotland prove as fatal to them now as it did in Bishop Laud's time; and that the Godly Women will with their Folding-stools once mere arm against them as they did in King Charles I. time. This is a true Specimen of the Love and Charity that the Scotch Presbyterians have to the Church of England, and it's but a little part of that Fire and Slaughter which our Author breaths out against them: Further yet he condemns all the orderly Churches in Christendom, for says he, All those who use Set Forms of Prayer are Strangers to the Power of Godliness. So that neither the Presbyterians themselves in Holland, nor in France, no nor in Geneva, must escape the Lash of our Scotch Reformers, until they be purified according to the Pattern in the Mount, the Covenant Standard.
But that I may not rake any longer in this Dunghill, our Author is as far from Truth in the Points of History he relates, as his manner of Expression is from the Spirit of Meekness and Charity; and his whole Discourse is as inconsistent with that, as his beloved Doctrine of Resistance, is with the Thirteenth Chapter to the Romans; and that they who shall please next to draw their Pens against us who are already sufficiently persecuted by their hands, may find some Matter as well as Words to fill their Weekly Papers. I shall take leave of them in some few plain Queries.
First, Considering the Great Charity which the Scotch Presbyterians have for the Church of England, as you have heard; and their Intention of visiting them again (which the Author has threatned) as they did in the year 39. when Plate, Jewels, Money, Houshold-goods, Cattle and all Moveables were declared Malignants; and they grew witty in their Zeal, and told, they came for all their Goods. And considering that they are more Numerous now than they were then; and if they be establish'd by Law, will be much more Formidable, because all will be forc'd to joyn with them or suffer their utmost Persecution; for they have declared Toleration to be Antichristian. And considering that their Solemn League and Covenant obliges them to root out Episcopacy in England and Ireland, and never to desist till they have effected it. I say considering these things, and what they have formerly done upon the same Principles, Query whether the Settling Presbytery in Scotland be reconcilable to the Securing Episcopacy in England?
2ly, Whether even King William can secure himself in the Monarchy against those who formerly refused to Dissolve at the King's Command in the Assembly of Glasgow in the year 38. who preach'd the Subjects into a furious Rebellion, and to the delivering up the King his Grandfather to be murdered, who by Act of their General Assembly in 48. declared his Negative Voice inconsistent with the Liberty of the Subject, and who since himself was made King, have risen twice in Arms, once to the number of some Thousands, who threw out the Episcopal Ministers by their own Authority (which our Author says, was Deservedly enough) Beating, Wounding and Tormenting them. Another time a more formidable number in a hostile manner, made an Address to the Council, telling them, That they would not lay down their Arms till the Council had discharged all Judicatures to pronounce any Sentence in Favour of the Episcopal Ministers, which the Council was forc'd to do. Neither of which Matters of Fact this Author has remembered to answer, tho it was the Subject of the whole Book against which he wrote. To speak modestly, it seems to have no very good Aspect to the present Government, and it's but a small Argument of their Inclinations to live peaceable long under it, that they have voted King William out of the Supremacy of the Church, and that they have now so soon after usurp'd it to themselves, having already without his leave either ask'd or granted convened all at Edinburgh, and voted themselves into a free legal general Assembly, where they draw up daily Instructions for regulating the Parliament, and meet and adjourn at their own pleasure; and in their Sermons before the present High Commissioner, my Lord Melvil, who is of their own Profession, they roundly tell his Grace, (if that be not a Superstitious Arch-prelatical Title) how he must build the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, only by such true blue Israelites as can well Edisie, with the Truel in one Hand and the Sword in another, and that none of these Samaritans who are addicted to the Superstitions and Idolatries of England, must be concerned in this thorough Reformation. By those Practices one may easily conjecture why they so scornfully reject the Act for establishing Presbytery offered by the late Commissioner.
King William would likewise consider how many Thousands of them have and do own, That the Covenant (which is again voted the Standard of all pure Religion) is the Fundamental Contract 'twixt God, the King, and the People. And because K. C. 2. broke it, therefore they declared that he had fallen from his Right to the Crown; and because K. I. 2. never took it, that therefore he had no Right to the Crown, and by publick Proclamations declared it lawful to kill them, and all who adhered to them; and accordingly killed several of their Souldiers and Servants in this Quarrel. From all which the Query naturally arises, What Measure King William must expect if he will not take the Covenant; and consequently Swear to root out Episcopacy in England.
3ly. Query, What Loyalty he can expect from those who think him to be an Idolater, as they think all to be who communicate according to the Church of England, whose Liturgy they call the Mass in English?
4ly. Considering their Number in the North of Ireland, how easily they may carry their Covenant thither, and all its Consequences?
5ly. What Danger there may be of it, even in England, whose Dissenters have already learned to pray for the Scotch Presbyterians as their Mother Church?
6ly. Query, Whether it be fit for King William and the Parliament of Scotland, to set up those who think it a Sin to grant any Toleration, not only to Episcopacy, but to Anabaptists, Independents, or any but Presbytery? Which the General Assembly declared to be a Sin, Anno 48. and Address'd to the Parliament of England to concur with them in doing the like.
Lastly, Whether any Presbyterians, considering their late Practices and Demands, be more Moderate now than when they formerly invaded England without any Pretence, but their Obligations to the Covenant, and to reform the Kingdom of England according to that Model.