Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.—Amos 5.1.

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Sad and serious Political

Considerations

Touching the invasive War against our

Presbyterian Protestant Brethren in Scot-

land, their late great Overthrow, and the

probable dangerous consequences thereof to

both Nations and the Protestant Religion.

Which may serve as a

Satisfactory Apology

for such Ministers and People, who out of

Conscience did not observe the publike Thanks-

giving, against their Covenant, for the great slaughter

of those their Brethren in Covenant.


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Printed in the Yeer  1650.

X

TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.

The usurpation of the chief executive power of government in England, by Oliver Cromwell, marked the end of Second-Reformation progress in that nation.  Although he is remembered as a Christian leader, and various ministers of the Gospel supported him who are still remembered with admiration, yet the historic facts stand much to his dishonor, as they bear out his guilt as a covenant-breaker, as a persecutor of the saints, as a man who waged war against another Protestant nation, crippling the cause of religion, and as a man who misused the civil power he possessed to introduce Sectarianism (now better known as Denominationalism) into nations which had before enjoyed the blessing of Scriptural unity in organized national churches.  These realities stand out clearly in many of the older Presbyterian histories of this era, but are more or less obscured by modern historians, especially those biased in favor of the sectarianism or denominationalism of the present day.  That a simple and clear picture may be given, of what Protestants discerned in the commencement of the Cromwellian regime, the following primary-source account is presented here, and recommended to readers who would like a better understanding of the events which served to terminate the reformation era, and introduce the spiritual and religious decline which has continued in English-speaking nations since 1650.  This, together with other primary sources of the time, serves also to illustrate how faithful and zealous Christians endeavoured to oppose the usurpation of civil power, the consequences which must be expected in such efforts, and the Lord’s mercy in supplying his people with witnesses who would venture their lives in the cause of their Supreme Lord.

2021.12.22::JTK.

Sad and Serious Political Considerations.

THE English Independents’ new invasive War against their Presbyterian Protestant Brethren of Scotland, and late great rout and slaughter of their Army, meeting with variety of censures and constructions, according to the diversity of men’s inclinations and interests, some prudent Christians, engaged to no parties, whose interest is only the preservation, propagation, and safety of the reformed Protestant Religion against the common Enemies and Underminers thereof, have these sad melancholy apprehensions thereof; That it is a doleful Prologue and tragical Scene, not only to the approaching ruin and desolation of both Kingdoms for their manifold crying sins, but likewise to the speedy subversion of the true Protestant Religion, and extirpation of all zealous Professors thereof through our three Kingdoms, and in foreign parts, upon these ensuing considerations.

1. That the Kingdoms of England and Scotland make up the greatest Body of the Protestant Religion in Christendom, being best able to defend themselves, and succour other Reformed Churches, when endangered and designed to ruin by Popish Enemies, as the Lords and Commons declared long since in their Protestation to this Kingdom and the whole world, 22 October 1642, and in their Order of the seventh of October 1643.  And therefore the ruin of the Protestant Party in these Kingdoms, is the readiest way to endanger, conquer, ruin all other Reformed Churches in the world, and extirpate the Protestant Religion in all other Countries; as they there likewise Declare.[1]

2. That the Pope of Rome, Jesuits, Priests, Papists, and their Confederates, upon this ground, have for many years last past, by open force, and secret practices, endeavoured {2} the extirpation of the Protestant Religion and most zealous Professors thereof throughout these Kingdoms, and made it their chiefest design to reduce them to their pristine obedience to the See of Rome, which by the Popish Negotiations with Spain, the Papistical Match with France, the Agency of the Pope’s Nuncios, the practices of Priests and Jesuits in England (countenanced and protected against the force of Laws) and the confederacy of Popish Prelates, Clergy-men, and Courtiers with them in these Designs, they had almost totally accomplished and brought to full perfection in all our Realms; as the whole House of Commons in their Remonstrance of the state of the Kingdom, 15. Decemb. 1641,[2] and other subsequent Declarations; and they and the Scottish Commissioners in their Impeachments against the Archbishop of Canterbury, largely remonstrate.

3. That the most zealous Protestants, then branded with the name of Puritans and Presbyterians in England and Scotland, were the principal and only obstacle to the finishing of this their near completed Work.  Whereupon the Jesuitical,[3] Popish, and Prelatical prevailing Faction resolved to root them out of this Kingdom by force, or drive them out with fear, and rid them all out of the way.  For the better effecting whereof, they thought it necessary to reduce Scotland to such Popish Superstitions and Innovations, as might make them apt to join with England in that great change which was intended: Whereupon new Popish Canons and a Liturgy reformed much after the model of the Papists’ Missals, were pressed upon them; and all the Arminian and Popish Doctrines broached, maintained, and new Popish Ceremonies practiced in England, were endeavoured to be planted and set up in Scotland.[4]

4. That this their dangerous ripened Design finding no publike, but only private opposition in England by particular persons, who were fined, pilloried, stigmatized, deprived of their ears, close imprisoned, banished, and ruined by the Star-Chamber and High-Commission, to the publike terror of all others; thereupon the Scottish Puritans and {3} Presbyters were the first visible Instruments raised by God to give a publique check to their successful design, beyond their or our expectations.

5. That hereupon the Jesuitical and Prelatical Popish Party raised two several Armies successively[5] to suppress and extirpate the Puritan and Presbyterian Party in Scotland, as the only remora to their design; and were most active and forwards in their levies and contributions against them; endeavouring to engage the Protestant Party in both Nations in a blood civil War to their mutual ruin; to which the Puritan and Religious party in England were most averse.  First privately murmuring, and afterwards publicly protesting against this War, as dishonourable and dangerous to Religion and both Kingdoms in the Parliament, in April 1640, purposely summoned to raise moneys to carry on that War, which they refused to grant to so ill a purpose, and did all they could to blast their malicious designs and war against Scotland; whereupon the Popish party caused that Parliament to be dissolved, and did all they could by violent arbitrary courses, and illegal Loans and Taxes, to raise Forces and moneys to maintain a war against them; imprisoning and prosecuting those, who resisted or refused to assist them in this war, in the self-same manner as those in present power have done, divers of their Christian Brethren for manifesting their dislike and backwardness to assist them in this ungodly invasive war against their Protestant Brethren in Covenant against many public Engagements, and not giving public thanks to God for their late overthrow.

6. That the Scottish Puritans and Presbyterians advance with their Army into England, in the year 1640, of purpose to preserve the Religion, and protect themselves and their English Brethren from slavery and ruin; was the principal and only means under God,[6] of preventing their own and our thralldom to popery and Tyranny, of frustrating all the Jesuits, Papists, and Prelates designs, of securing Religion, Laws, Liberties, and convening the last Parliament; {4} which through God’s blessing on their endeavours, through the assistance of the Scottish Commissioners, and countenance of their Army, over-powered the Popish and Prelatical Faction, brake all their former Projects in pieces, suppressed all their Popish Innovations, Doctrinal and Ceremonial, reconciled the differences between both Nations, settled a firm unity and amity between them, by an Act of Oblivion and Pacification, abolished the High-Commission, Star-Chamber, Extravagances of the Council-Table, the Bishops’ Courts, and Votes in Parliament, Ship-money, Impositions, and all other illegal Taxes; quickened the Laws against Jesuits, Priests and Popish Recusants, passed a Law for Triennual Parliaments, and another against the untimely adjourning, proroguing and dissolving of themselves at the King’s own pleasure, and thereby put our Religion, Laws, Liberties, and Properties in a far better condition of security, and the Popish and Prelatical party into a far worse, and more hopeless and desperate condition than ever heretofore.

7. That to prevent and frustrate these Laws and this security, the Jesuitical and Prelatical party[7] whilest they were in agitation, endeavoured all they could by subtle practices, slanders, and private solicitations, to raise jealousies and divisions between the Scottish Commissioners and Army, and the Parliament, to engage the Scottish and English Armies each against other, or to make the Scots stand neutral to the Parliament, that so they might bring up the English Army from the North to London to over-awe and suppress them, and hinder the Union between both Kingdoms; which through the fidelity of the Scots, and of some Officers in the English Army, was timely discovered, prevented, and a firm Union between both Kingdoms settled by Acts of Parliament, passed in the Parliaments of both Nations.

8. That these Acts of Pacification and Union between both Kingdoms, and the Religious party of both Nations, the extirpation Prelacy and the Popish Hierarchy, and {5} the establishing of a Presbyterian Government and Uniformity in Doctrine, Worship, and Discipline in both Kingdoms were apprehended, prosecuted, and resolved upon by the most religious Protestant party and Parliaments of both Nations,[8] as the readiest, probablest, and most effectual means under God to preserve and secure their Religion, Laws, Liberties, against all future invasions, and to frustrate all Popish and Prelatical Designs against them, and were accordingly esteemed and looked upon by the adverse Popish and Prelatical party,[9] who thereupon attempted with all their policy and power, to uphold Prelacy, and retard and prevent the establishment of Presbytery, as fatal to all their hopes and Designs; and thereupon improved all their interest both at home, and with foreign Princes, to raise what Forces they could, to break this Design and the Parliament too, before they should accomplish it.

9. That when the Jesuitical, Popish, and Prelatical party in England, Ireland, Scotland, and foreign parts, had taken up Arms, and raised great Forces to hinder the settlement of the Presbyterian Government, suppress the late Parliament, subvert the Protestant Religion, introduce Popery and Tyranny, extirpate the Puritan and Religious party in England and Ireland, and were grown very strong and prevalent in both, the Scottish Presbyterians[10] (now invaded and defeated) out of their brotherly love, and Christian affection, in this extremity of danger, for the preservation of our Religion, Liberties, Laws, Parliament, and the godly party in England & Ireland, at both Houses’ earnest solicitation, did readily and cheerfully assist us with their Forces in both Kingdoms, and thereby, through God’s blessing, were a great means of weakening and subduing our Enemies, and preserving our Religion, Laws, Liberties, Lives, from utter destruction; which brotherly assistance, with so powerful an Army of above twenty thousand Horse and Foot in our greatest dangers, was so welcome to us, that the House of Commons on the second of February 1643[11] Ordered public thanks should be given in all Churches for the aid and {6} assistance come in by our Brethren of Scotland: And when the malignant party there, in their absence for our preservation, had prevailed and routed only some few of their Forces (nothing considerable in comparison of those lately slain and defeated) left behind for their defence, both Houses were so sensible thereof, that they appointed a special Day of Humiliation for the miseries of Scotland throughout all the Parliament’s Quarters by their Order of 2 September 1645.[12], which was accordingly observed; so much did they and we then condole the least overthrow and misery of our Scottish Brethren in Covenant (being members of the self-same Body of Christ) as if it had been our own: Whereas now on the contrary, we invade, slay, destroy, and ruin these our brotherly Assistants, rejoice & triumph at their misery, appoint publike Days of Thanksgiving throughout the whole Nation for their great slaughter and overthrow, and hang up the Ensigns taken from them in Westminster Hall, as public trophies and testimonies to succeeding ages of our gratitude and brotherly kindness towards them, and of our religious observation of our solemn National League and Covenant with them, not long since made and entered into upon their coming in to our assistance.

10. That in the extremity of our dangers, by the prevailing Popish party, the Parliaments,[13] Ministers, and religious people both of Scotland and England did resolve it most necessary, and essential for God’s glory and their safety, to enter into a more sacred and stricter union than formerly, for defence of their Religion, King, Parliament, Laws, Liberties, the extirpation of Popery, of Prelacy, and the bringing of all our Kingdoms to uniformity in Doctrine, Worship, and Discipline, by a solemn National League and Covenant, as the only means under God, to prevent all future differences and breaches between all the godly people of both Nations, to preserve and secure Religion, Laws, Liberties, and privileges of Parliament, against all present and future attempts whatsoever, and dash in pieces all the designs, practices, hopes of the Jesuitical {7} and Prelatical Faction in all our Kingdoms: which League and Covenant was accordingly agreed upon by the Parliament, and Assemblies of Divines in both Kingdoms, and after that most cheerfully and solemnly taken and subscribed, not only by the Scottish Parliament, Army, Clergy, and Generality of that Nation, but by all the Members of both Houses of Parliament, the generality of all the godly Ministers and people in England and Ireland; and by all, or most Officers and Soldiers in the Parliament’s Armies; who many of them carried it in their hats, hands, and fixed to their pikes as they marched, and amongst others it was taken and subscribed by Oliver Cromwell himself[14] and [Henry] Ireton; and every man by Ordinance of both Houses, was disabled to enjoy or exercise any Civil or Military Office, or place of Trust whatsoever in the State or Army, who did not solemnly take and subscribe it; whereupon it was almost universally taken and subscribed in a most sacred and solemn manner throughout the Kingdom, and followed with many glorious Victories and Successes, till the Popish and Prelatical Malignant party in England were totally subdued; all Counties, and Garrisons fully reduced to the Parliament’s Command; and a happy Peace and settlement of our Religion, Laws, Liberties upon most safe and honourable terms, endeavoured, expected, and almost accomplished by a personal Treaty, with the KING in the Isle of Wight.

11. That to prevent this Peace and Settlement; the Officers of the Army[15] (who love to make a Trade of War, thereby to gain and keep all Civil and Ecclesiastical power in their own hands, and to enrich themselves with our three Kingdoms’ spoils and ruin) confederating with some few Members of the Commons House against their Trust, duty, Oaths, Protestations, the very Letter of this solemn League and Covenant, and all the ends thereof; forcibly seized, condemned and beheaded the late King, secured and secluded the greatest part of the Commons House addicted to the Presbyterian Government, suppressed the whole House of {8} Lords, disinherited the King’s Posterity of the Crown, subverted the fundamental Government of the Kingdom; usurped all Regal and Parliamentary Authority to themselves; and by colour thereof, now trample all Laws, Liberties, and Privileges of Parliament under feet; remove all or most zealous Presbyterians (though never so eminent Actors and sufferers for Religion and the public weal) out of all Offices and places of power and Trust throughout the Nation; discourage and discountenance all or most Presbyterian Ministers, especially the most pious; banish some, imprison others, recall the Sequestrations, and substract the Augmentations, and Tithes of all or most of them, to starve and ruin them; withdraw themselves from their Ministry, suborn or tolerate their monthly Prognosticators, and Diurnalists to revile and rail openly against them in print, without the least control, and to prognosticate their and their Presbyterian Government’s downfall, to incense the people against them and it; invent and prescribe new Oaths, Engagements, Publications, Observations of Thanksgivings, and Humiliations, and other snares and engines, thereby to ensnare either their Consciences, or endanger their Estates, Liberties, Ministry, Persons in their plundering Committees, and new Arbitary Judicatories; declare against the solemn League and Covenant as expired, abolished, yea, and dangerous and unlawful to be kept; set up and enforce an Anti-Covenant Engagement to frustrate, null, and abjure it, debars all from all public-Offices, Preferments, Augmentations, degrees of Learning, the practice of the Law, and the very benefit of the Laws of England, (for which we have so long contested with the King’s Party) who will not out of conscience or Loyalty subscribe it; oppose and traduce the Presbyterian Government, as Papal, Antichristian, and Tyranical; exempt all Sectaries whatsoever from all Penal Laws, in not repairing to any public Ordinances or Churches; Authorize them freely to meet when and where they please in private Conventicles, (where running Priests and Jesuits may and will easily seduce {9} them) without the least danger or disturbance: and because their brethren of Scotland stick close to their Presbyterian Government and Covenant, and have closed with their King at last, according to their Covenant and Allegiance, and will not disinherit him as they have done; they thereupon have recalled Cromwell out of Ireland from prosecuting the Irish Papists and Royalists, made him their General instead of the Lord Fairfax, and sent him into Scotland, without any real provocation on their part, to invade them with an Army, where he entered without the least resistance, seized some of their Towns and Garrisons, provoked them oft times to fight, when they declined fighting, and at last gave them battle in their own Country, routed their whole Army, and though he lost not forty men in the fight, yet he and his Forces, out of their Christian charity cut down near 4000 of them in the pursuit, maimed and wounded above 5000 more, whereof many are since dead, and more like to die; took 10000 of them prisoners, 5000 whereof are sent Captives into England; since which he hath taken Edinburgh and Leith, prosecutes his Victory with all vigour, sends up all the Scots Colours to Westminster, where they are publicly hung up in the Hall for triumph.  And for this great slaughter and overthrow of our Presbyterian Brethren, a solemn public day of Thanksgiving hath been prescribed to be strictly observed throughout the Nation, and celebrated in many places accordingly, to involve the whole Nation in a double guilt of their blood: First by their Contributions to pay the Army sent against them, next by public Thanksgiving to God for their destruction, and that in those very Churches and places, where we not long since lifted up our hands and subscribed our Names, when we took the forementioned League and Covenant in the presence of God himself, Angels, and men, sincerely, really, and constantly to preserve their Religion[16] in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, Government, and with our Estates and lives mutually to preserve the Right and Privilges of their Kingdom and Parliament, and to bring all to condign punishment, as {10} Malignants, Incendiaries, and evil Instruments, who should endeavour the dividing of one of the Kingdoms from another, and each one of us, according to our place and Interest, to endeavour that both Kingdoms may remain conjoined in a firm peace and Union to all posterity; and that we shall not suffer ourselves directly or indirectly by whatsoever combination, persuasion, or terrour, to be divided or withdrawn from this blessed Union, which so much concerns the glory of God, and good of the Kingdoms, but shall all the days of our lives zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the same according to our power against all lets and impediments whatsoever, &c. which how well and really we have performed, let that Almighty God, the searcher of all hearts, in whose presence and Name we made and subscribed this Covenant, judge, and our own consciences, as we shall answer the contrary at that great day, if we seriously repent not of it now, whilest we have time, and space of repentance given us.

13. That upon the due consideration of all these Premises, we shall not conclude as some rigid Presbyterians do, perchance not without good grounds; That this invasive War with our Brethren of Scotland is an apparent violation of every clause and branch of the solemn Brotherly League and Covenant, and a very strange Act of Ingratitude and Injustice in invading their Kingdom, because they will have a King, according to their Ancient Constitution, Government, Laws, Covenant; and in endeavouring to deprive their King of the Kingdom of Scotland, because they have injuriously and perfidiously dispossessed him of his two Kingdoms of England and Ireland, against their National League and Covenant, and other oaths, for fear his possession of that his Hereditary Kingdom should be a means to regain the other two, (which is as unconscionable and unreasonable, as if a great Statesman or Commander should wrongfully deprive his Neighbour of all his Lands and goods in a third Parish or Country, because he hath forcibly dispossessed {11} him of all his Lands and Goods in two other Parishes or Counties, that so he might never be able to recover them by suit of Law, having no means left to maintain his suit against him) but rather infer from thence,

First, that this War with Scotland is not only exceeding scandalous, dishonourable, and disadvantageous to all the Professors of the reformed Protestant Religion in both Kingdoms, and throughout the Christian world, to behold Protestant Brethren in Covenant thus invading, slaughtering, and destroying each other upon such slender unchristian carnal grounds, but ungodly too.[17]

Secondly, That this invasive war, and great slaughter of the most zealous Scottish Presbyters, is a matter of greatest joy, triumph, and advantage to the Jesuitical, Popish, and Prelatical party, and tending much to the present promotion and future accomplishment of all their former frustrated successless, and almost hopeless malicious designs against the Puritanical and Religious party in both Kingdoms, and the intended accomplishment of the Presbyterian Government, and Reformation of Religion in them, which they so much feared, and opposed by open force of Arms and secret policies, who will now endeavour to continue and heighten our open divisions (first plotted by them) till we have weakened and destroyed each other by our civil wars, and made ourselves fit to be suddenly surprised and destroyed by their party, when we have consumed and undone each other.

Thirdly, That in these respects, the Successes, great Victories, and slaughters in this unnatural and unchristian War against our Protestant Brethren in Covenant, are no matter of public joy, thanksgiving, and triumph to the Conquerours, as some vainly conceive, but of greatest public lamentation, Humiliation, and mourning, (it being both unnatural, uncharitable, and unchristian for Members of the same body of Christ, and sworn Christian Brethren, engaged by Covenant, and God himself; to protect and love each other with a pure heart fervently,[18] to murder and destroy {12} each other, an argument of God’s heavy wrath against us, tending to our desolations, as the sacred Texts and Presidents compared together, will fully resolve the conscientious perusers of them: Judges 21.1-18; 2 Sam. 1.12, 17, 18, &c.; 2 Sam. 2.12 to 29. to 3.30; c. 39; c 4.8,9,10,11,12. c. 19. 1,2,3,4. 2 Chron. 29.5 to 16; Ezek. 19. 12. 2.33.14; Ezek. 35. 1 to the end. Obad. 1. to the end. Amos 1.9-12; Gen. 37.26,27; 1 Sam. 14.7.7; 1 Kings 13.30; Psalm 35.14; Isaiah 9. 19, 20, 11; c. 19.2,3; 2 Chron. 15.5,6; Jer. 22.17,18; Ezek. 38. 21,22; Micah 1.2. &c.; Zech. 7.9 to the end; Mal. 2.10; Matth. 10.21, &c.; 1 John 3.10,21,12; Exod. 2.11,12; Judges 9.5 to the end, a sad story; 1 Kings 12.14,15; 2 Chron. 11.4; c. 21.4, 12, 13, 14, &c.; Neh. 5.1 to 10; Job 6.14,15; Prov. 6.16, 19; Isaiah 66.5; Acts 7.26; Matt. 12.25; Mark 3.24-26; Gal. 5.14,15; James 3.14, 15, 16, 18, 18; c. 4.1, 9, 10, 11.

Fourthly, that the continuance of this unbrotherly War with Scotland, will be the utter ruin of all the Presbyterian godly Party in that Nation, if God shall frown upon them; and the utter subversion of the Presbyterian Government there, where the Prelatical and Malignant party will soon get head and sway all, to the strengthening and reviving of their numerous party in England: or in case God give them after some overthrows, a glorious Victory over the English Independent Forces (as he did to the defeated Israelites over the Benjamites, Judges 20,) it will certainly ruin all the Independent party in England, who have so cheated and tyrannized over all sorts of men, that they will never be able to make head again, if once defeated, and find all men’s hearts and hands against them, for their manifold extravagances and tyrannical proceedings against all ranks and degrees of men, & subverting the whole frame of our civil and Ecclesiastical Government.  And if the Presbyterian party in Scotland be much weakened and impoverished by the Victory, and the Presbyterial Ministers and Gentry of England discountenanced, and thrust out of all power and reputation in the interim, as they are through their cowardice and folly; how far this may endanger and expose them {13} to the Popish and Prelatical party’s power and malice hereafter, is very considerable; and how far their present Contributions (though not voluntary) without distress or forcible coaction against their King and Brethren of Scotland, and sitting still like idle neutral Spectators, without contributing the least visible assistance to either of them, may be interpreted by their King and them, to be a breach of their National League and Covenant, and of their Allegiance to their Sovereign, in case they should prevail, and restore the King to the Crown of England by their own Forces only, without the English Presbyterians’s assistance, to the endangering of their persons and Estates, and the loss of all that favour and respect from either (which their actual conjunction with them might procure) to the ruin of the Presbyterian, as well as Independent party in England, and setting up of the Popish and Prelatical Malignant party in Supreme power and favour in this Realm, is very considerable.

Fifthly, that if the Scottish Presbyters, and the King’s party in Scotland shall be both conquered by the English Independent Forces, and unable to defend themselves, or their King, and to settle him in his Kingdoms, then greater dangers are like to ensue to our Religion and Kingdoms, than otherwise in some wise men’s judgments; because the Independents (as their present violent proceedings manifest) will probably use their Presbyterian Brethren in England, no better than those in Scotland, and extirpate them if they can; and the King then will be necessitated to cast himself wholly upon the assistance of foreign States, and Kings, and their Forces, as his last refuge; which he hath hitherto declined as dangerous both to himself and his people.  If he in this extremity throw himself upon any Foreigners, they must be either Papists only, or Protestants alone, or both of them jointly.

If on Papists only, which some think most probable; First, in regard of his Queen Mother’s great interest in that party, both in France and Italy, being of that Religion; Secondly, {14} in respect of the open differences and Wars already between us, and France, and Portugal two Popish Kingdoms, which are like to continue and grow greater every day: Thirdly, in respect of that party’s constancy and fidelity to the King and his Father: Fourthly, because that party is most powerful, and most likely to close with the King for the advantage of the Catholick cause, and reducing of England to it’s former obedience to the See of Rome; so that without God’s infinite mercy, it will necessitate him for a full compliance with them.  First, to match into some great Popish Family, upon the same and harder Articles, than were enforced on his Fathers by Spain or France; Secondly, to alter his Religion, and profess himself a Roman Catholick, and obedient son to the Roman Pontiff, as King Henry the fourth of France did; Thirdly, to Covenant and engage with them for an utter extirpation of the Protestant Religion, and of all Independents and Presbyterians, as not only Hereticks in Religion, but Regicides, Traitors, Rebels, Covenant breakers, perjured persons, who make no conscience of Oaths, Vows, Protestations, Declarations, and professed enemies to Monarchy, who have murdered his Father, banished his Mother, disinherited him of three Crowns; and endeavour to embroil and subvert all Monarchies and Kingdoms in Christendom; Fourthly, to swear and engage to set up and tolerate none but the Roman Religion in his Kingdoms, when he shall be restored to them by their assistance and Forces; Fifthly, to promise satisfaction of the greatest part of their expences in this war, out of the Puritans’ and Protestants’ estates, who have been in Arms, or any ways acted, or contributed assistance of moneys against his Father or him, and to make full reparations of all damages to such Papists, who have left their estates and fortunes to assist his Father or him.  Upon these terms he may easily gain the joint assistance of all Popish Kings, Kingdoms, and States in Europe, through the Pope’s powerful mediation.  And if hereupon, through their aid, he should so far prevail as to get into actual possession of his Thrones and Kingdoms by the mere power of the {15} sword, without any terms or conditions by way of Treaty, of which there will be little probability; we can then expect nought else but these dismal consequences.  First a total eradication of our reformed Religion, and of all zealous professors thereof, especially such who have acted any ways against the King or his Father, [and] a full repeal of all penal Laws, against Jesuits, Priests, Papists, and a public profession and practice of the Romish Religion, and of that only throughout our Kingdoms.  Secondly, a total subversion of all our former Laws and Liberties, and a full exercise of all arbitrary and tyrannical power over our lives and estates.  Thirdly, an absolute confiscation of all our Lands and Estates, together with our lives, to satisfy the King’s debts, gratify his Assistants, and repair the losses of his faithful Catholics, whom we have undone by adhering to his party.  Fourthly, an absolute enslaving of our whole Nation to these foreign Conquerors; if not a total banishment, and extirpation of them out of their native soil; the case of the Ancient Britains,[19] when conquered and driven out of this their country by Saxons, and the extraordinary Pestilence and Famine sent amongst them for their sins, and then a dieu both to our Religion and Nation.  But in case the King should not prevail to conquer us by their power, the least we can expect is, First, a continual long-lasting War, and open hostility by Land and Sea with all Romish Kings and States, the very charge whereof, now we are almost quite undone and beggered already, which will utterly ruin and undue us.  Secondly, loss of Trade and Commerce with all those Kingdoms and States, with whom we are in hostility; which will utterly break us in one year or two for want of vending our native commodities, our chiefest enablement to maintain the Wars.  Thirdly, intolerable uncessant Taxes of all sorts, which will every month grow heavier and greater than other, which accompanied with want of Trade, will cause a general Insurrection at last both of poor and rich against those in power, and put all into confusion, to the enemies’ great advantage.  Fourthly, a necessity of seizing and selling all Colleges, {16} Corporations, Companies, Hospitals, and Glebelands throughout the Realm; and of new Projects to make new Delinquents, of purpose to raise moneys to defray the extraordinary expences of the Armies and Navies: And what garboils this will produce, all prudent persons may easily conjecture.  Fifthly, a general decay of Religion, Piety, Learning, Law, and all Arts, Sciences, Trades.  Sixthly, an extraordinary new effusion of Christian blood.  Seventhly, an inundation of all kind of sin, wickedness, Atheism, Heresy, Blasphemy, Murders, Rapes, Robberies, Oppressions, Whoredom, Drunkenness, Dissoluteness, Barbarousness, and disobedience to Laws, Magistrates, Ministers, Parents, and other disorders.  Eighthly Free-quarter, insolences of Soldiers, spoiling, plundering, if not pestilence and famine, the usual Concomitants of War, which will reduce us to a condition worse than nothing in conclusion.

If he cast himself upon Foreign Protestant Kings, Princes, and States alone, the far better, though unlikelier of the two; yet this will certainly prove, 1. A great dishonour to God, and scandal to reformed Religion, to see them so unnatural and unchristian as to embrue their hands in one another’s blood.  2. An extraordinary ground of joy and triumph to the Pope and his Confederates, to behold their enemies thus murdering, invading, and destroying each other by their mutual dissensions; when they by all their power and policy were unable to accomplish their ruin, and do them so great mischief.  3. A great endangering of all the Protestant Churches and States in Europe, by encouraging their Popish Adversaries to invade and ruin them, whilest thus engaged in an unbrotherly and unchristian War between themselves, and weakening, impoverishing, and destroying each other.  5. An effusion of much precious Protestant blood, which will cry for vengeance[20] to heaven against the original Authors and Occasioners of such a War.  6. If the King shall enthrone himself, and regain his Kingdoms by their assistance, though the profession of the Protestant Religion may be continued, yet we may justly fear, 1. That {17} the purity and power of Religion will be much abated.  2. That our Laws and Liberties will be much endangered and Eclipsed.  3. Our estates confiscated to make them reparations, and satisfy the King’s Engagements.  4. Their removal hence will be disputable, when once possessed of our Country; as the history of the Danes invasions of this Island heretofore, and the Saxons full possession thereof, with the Britains expulsion, will manifest.  5. If the King and they be repulsed by us, yet this will prove a seminary of lasting wars and breaches between us and most Protestant Kingdoms and States; It will hinder all commerce between them and us, to the destruction of Merchandize and Trade; destroy the Protestants’ strength and interest; impoverish us through Taxes, fill us with discontents, augment our divisions, if not conclude in our beggary and ruin.

If he throw himself upon foreign Papists and Protestants jointly, then, First, the Wars are like to be more general, dangerous, and costly to us, and of longer continuance.  Secondly, The divisions and dangers from at home are like to prove the greater, since all discontented and oppressed Protestants and Papists will then be apt upon all occasions and advantages to join with that foreign party they best affect, and from whom they may expect the most favour and the best conditions.  Thirdly, If the King prevail, then both Parties must be satisfied, and his debts defrayed out of our estates; both gratified with a free toleration and exercise of that Religion throughout his Realms as both sides Profess: and between them both all will be plundered, impoverished, ruined, and perchance enforced to quit the whole Kingdom to one or both of them, who will challenge an interest therein by conquest and the longest sword, and hardly part with it when once possessed thereof.  Fourthly, If the King and they should be foiled by us, yet the wars and differences would survive, all commerce and trading lost, Armies and Navies, must still be maintained, and Garrisons in all our Kingdoms to secure us; taxes, oppressions, and all public grievances continued and {18} multiplied, and thereby new intestine commotions raised; which of themselves alone will destroy us without any other enemy.

And suppose the King himself should miscarry in these Wars, yet the Title and Right of the Crowns of our three Kingdoms surviving to his Brothers, or if they miscarry, to his Sister, matched to the Prince of Aurenge [Orange]; or if they all should fail, descending to the Queen of Bohemia, and Prince Elector Palatine; their several new Titles and Interests will find means to infest us with new Wars, till they have either obtained their rights, or ruined both themselves and us.  So that unless God put so much wisdom, and spirit to the English Nation, as to restore the King to his just Rights upon safe and honourable terms, according to their Oaths, Covenant, Protestations, Declarations to all the world, and Principles of their Religion,[21] we can in human probability expect nought else, but the utter ruin, both of our Religion, Nation, Kingdoms, and total extirpation by Foreign enemies.

And certainly if we seriously consider,  1. The infinite divisions, discontents, & oppressions that are every where amongst us.  2. The Heresies, Blasphemies, Sects, and Schisms that are lately broached, and publicly countenanced by us.  3. The General contempt and neglect of the public Ordinances of God, and free toleration granted to all to withdraw themselves from them, without the least censure or punishment.  4. The general contempt, hatred, discountenancing, reviling, and persecuting of godly and faithful Ministers throughout the Nation, and the snares that are daily laid to entrap and ruin them.  5. The extraordinary Apostacy of many Professors, from the truth, purity, and power of Religion, almost to professed Atheism, contempt of the Word, Prayer, Preaching, Sacraments, and all other Ordinances, to mere licentiousness, lukewarmness, and Profaneness.  6. The general inclination of the people to errours, Enthusiasms, and seducing spirits.  7. The little cordial real love and affection between Professors of Religion, and the great animosities, {19} hatred and divisions amongst them, both in Opinion, Practice, and affection.  8. The little conscience of Oaths, Protestations, Covenants, Promises; and great hypocrisy, covetousness, oppression, self-seeking, envy, hatred, and malice that is in the Nation, and amongst those especially, who profess themselves Saints of the highest form.  9. The universal inundation of all kind of sin and wickedness, and open profession thereof in all places.  10. The extraordinary Injustice, Tyranny, Cruelty, and Mercilessness that all parts of the Land complain of, and groan under.  11. The great effusion of Christian blood, and of the blood of our Christian Brethren in Covenant, that our whole Land is polluted with; and our rejoicing in this blood-guiltiness, instead of repenting and mourning for it.  12. Our present decay of Trade and Merchandise.  13. Our intolerable Taxes and Impositions of all sorts.  14. The extreme poverty of our Kingdom, and increase of poor people in all parts, which have little work or none, and will not starve.  15. The divisions of our Forces into Ireland and Scotland, where standing Armies and Garrisons must be constantly maintained for fear of revolt.  16. Our great breaches with France and Portugal, and no good quarter with any Foreign States or Kingdoms, which as yet will neither own, nor hold full and open correspondency with our new Governours or Government.  17. The revolt of most of our Foreign plantations from us, and the late Declaration against them, as Traitors, and Rebels, who count us such.  18. The Negotiations with the Pope and Popish Kingdoms, and most Protestant Princes and States to incense them all against us, as enemies to all Magistracy and public Government, and to mankind itself, as Salmatius hath published us in print.  19. The spreading the pestilence in many places, and the feared famine throughout the Realm.  20. The manifold injuries and affronts offered to all the Nobility, and most of the Gentry of the Nation, and the whole Nation itself, in the change of the Government, without and against their consent, in continuing and increasing their burdens Taxes, and out-lawing many of them, because they {20} will not subscribe the Engagement, in erecting new High Courts to take away their lives, without any legal Trial by their Peers, for offences punishable by no common Law.  21. The Execution of so many Protestants, and not of one Papist whatsoever by these or other Courts of Justice, though the chief contrivers of our late unhappy Wars, and discontinuance of all Capital proceedings against Priests and Jesuits, since the abolishing of the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, made principally against them and the Pope’s Usurpations and practices.  22. The injustice of our present cause and War, merely against Monarchy, Presbytery, and old English Peers and Parliaments, purposely to support the present Government, set up by the mere power of the sword, yea founded on the blood of a Protestant King, and ruin of the very best of Parliaments, to prevent a settlement of peace and Religion by an unbloody Treaty.  And then compare them with the Premises, and Cardinal Richelieu his Instructions and advice to the late French King, a little before his death, (published by an Italian of good note, and printed in Italy, Anno 1645,) to foment the late differences between the late King and Parliament all he could; and if possible by the solicitation of his instruments, to draw the Commons to change our Monarchy into a mere Republic, thereby to embroil all our Kingdoms in civil Wars against each other, as the only and best policy of all, to weaken and destroy both our power and Religion, and advance the interest of France and Catholic Religion, which we see now accomplished according to his advice; and then we have just cause to fear an inevitable approaching ruin, both of our Religion and Nation, notwithstanding our late Victories and Successes; which do but weaken, impoverish, destroy our selves, and promote the designs of our common enemies, unless God give us a timely sight and Reformation of this our impolitick oversight, and incline our hearts to a general peace and unity throughout our Kingdom, by restoring every man to his just right and inheritance, from the highest to the lowest, and abolishing all future seeds and occasions {21} of our intestine Wars: The serious consideration of all which Premises, are a sufficient satisfactory Apology for all Ministers or others, now questioned for the Non-observance of the late Thanksgiving day, for the great rout and slaughter of our Protestant Presbyterian Brethren of Scotland, against all their persecutors.  We shall therefore close up all with Abner’s Speech to Joab, in case of the civil Wars between the House of David and Saul; wherein the Israelites (of the same Religion and Nation) unnaturally fought and slew each other, Joab’s soldiers pursuing and slaughtering Abner’s, whom they had discomfited in battle, addressing to those in present power, 2 Sam. 2.26-28.  Then Abner called to Joab, and said, shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then ere thou bid the people return from following their Brethren?  And Joab said, as God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following their Brethren.  So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, AND PURSUED AFTER ISRAEL NO MORE, NEITHER FOUGHT THEY ANY MORE: which we heartily pray may be the fruit and issue of these sad and serious Meditations of those who drive on no other design, but the preservation of Religion and their native Country from total and final desolation.

FINIS.


Footnotes:

1. Exact Collection p. 663. A Collection of Orders & Ordinances, p. 354.

2. Exact Collection, p. 4 to 14, 97, 98. 508.

3. Exact Collection, p. 10, 199, 492, 493.

4. M. [Robert] Bailie’s Canterburians Self-conviction.  [Also,] The Scots Impeachment against Archbishop Laud.

5. Exact Collection, p. 10, 11, 12, 13, 97, 492, 508, 594, 595.  A Collection, p. 308, 309, 354, 417, 419, 457, 458.

6. Exact Collection, p. 11, 12, 13, 199, 492, 493, 508.

7. Exact Collection, p. 17, 18, 98, 229, 493.

8. Exact Collection, p. 594 to 605.  A Collection, p. 309 to 313, 327, 358, 359, 390, 399, 404, 410, 420 to 428, 458, 453.

9. Exact Collection, p. 97, 98, 218, 564.

10. Exact Collection, p. 56, 57, 58, 666, 564 to 605.  A Collection, p. 308 to 312, 354, 355, 363, 371, 372, 428, 441, 467, 677, &c. 665, 711, 767, 798 to 810, 933.

11. A Collection, p. 428.

12. A Collection, p. 721.

13. A Collection, p. 309, 310, 311, 312, 327, 358, 359, 390, 399, 404, 416, 424 to 428, 458, 459, 694, 751, 768, 769, 798, 802, 806, &c. 878, 879, 889.

14. A Collection of Ordinances, p. 426.

15. The History of Independency.

16. A Collection, of Ordinances, p. 424, 425, 426.

17. 2 Chro. 11.4, c. 28.6-11; 2 Sam. [2.] 26,27; Acts 7.26; Gal. 5.14,15; Obad. 10, &c.; 1 Cor. 6.1, 6,7,8; 1 John 3.12.

18. John 13.34, 35; c. 15.12; Rom. 12.9,10; c. 13.8-10; Gal. 5.13,14; Eph. 1.15; Col. 2.2; 1 Thes. 3.12; c. 4.9; Heb. 13.1; James 2.8; 1 Pet. 1.12; c. 2.17; c. 3.8; 1 John 3.11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 23; c. 4.7, 11, 12, 16, 20, 21; c. 5.2; 2 John 5.

19. Gildas. de excidio Britanniæ  Fox Acts & Monuments, Vol. 1.

20. Gen. 4.10,11; Jer. 51.35; Ezek. 35.5, 7, 8, 9.

21. The “Safe and honourable terms, according to their Oaths, Covenant, &c.” may be found summarized in the Solemn League and Covenant, article 3.  There they state the explicit qualifications these nations connected with their obligation to “preserve and defend the King’s Majesty’s person and authority,” as very simply, “in the preservation and defence of the true religion, and liberties of the kingdoms.”  In the same way, in the National Covenant of Scotland, God’s people in that nation had qualified their obligation to defend the King’s “person and authority with our goods, bodies, and lives,” by the lengthy expression: “in the defence of Christ, his evangel, liberties of our country, ministration of justice, and punishment of iniquity, against all enemies within this realm or without, as we desire our God to be a strong and merciful defender to us in the day of our death, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory eternally. Amen.”  And then again, later in that Covenant, they express the same connection in similar words, “We shall, to the uttermost of our power, with our means and lives, stand to the defence of our dread sovereign the King’s Majesty, his person and authority, in the defence and preservation of the foresaid true religion, liberties, and laws of the kingdom.”  That these terms were regarded as necessary qualifications, and non-negotiable, is evident from the conduct of both nations towards Charles I and Charles II.  It can be little surprise that Oliver Cromwell and his assistants met with similar opposition from many Christians in Scotland and England at the time of his usurpation, and was afterwards regarded by Covenanters as a covenant-breaker and usurper, whenever they reflected on the era of his unlawful regime.—JTK.