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Title: A Hind Let Loose - Or, An Historical Representation of the Testimonies of the Church of Scotland for the Interest of Christ. With the True State Thereof in All Its Periods
Author: Shields, Alexander
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Hind Let Loose - Or, An Historical Representation of the Testimonies of the Church of Scotland for the Interest of Christ. With the True State Thereof in All Its Periods" ***

                 HIND LET LOOSE;


                    OF THE


                    OF THE

             CHURCH OF SCOTLAND,

                    FOR THE

               INTEREST OF CHRIST.


                  TOGETHER WITH
A Vindication of the present TESTIMONY against the Popish, Prelatical,
and malignant Enemies of that Church, as it is now stated,
for the Prerogatives of CHRIST, Privileges of the Church,
and Liberties of Mankind; and sealed by the sufferings of a reproached
Remnant of Presbyterians there, witnessing against the Corruptions of
the Time:

Several Controversies of greatest Consequence are enquired into, and
in some measure cleared; concerning hearing of the Curates, owning
of the present Tyranny, taking of ensnaring Oaths and Bonds,
frequenting of Field-meetings, defensive Resistance of tyrannical
Violence, with several other subordinate Questions useful for these

       *       *       *       *       *


Psal. xciv. 20. _Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee,
which frameth mischief by a law?_

Rev. xii. 11. _And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the
word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death._





Presuming it is thy desire to answer the holy and honourable designation
I accost thee with, I shall take the confidence to assure thee, it is my
design to answer, in some measure, the expectation which the title of
this treatise would offer, in the hope that, wherein I come short (as I
indeed confess not only my jealous fears, but my sensible conviction of
my insufficiency for such a great undertaking) thy Christian tenderness
will impute it to my weakness, and not to any want of worth in the cause
I manage, which is truly worthy, weighty, noble and honourable, in the
esteem of all the lovers of Christ, that have zeal for his honour in
exercise; and therefore as it gives me all the encouragement I have, in
dependence on his furniture whose cause it is, to make such an essay, so
it animates my ambition, albeit I cannot manage it with any proportion
to its merit, yet to move the Christian reader to make enquiry about it,
and then sure I am he will find it is truth I plead for, though my plea
be weak. All I shall further say by way of preface, is to declare the
reason of the title, and the design of the work.

Though books use not to be required to render a reason of their names,
which often are arbitrarily imposed more for the author's fancy and the
time's fashion, than for the reader's instruction: yet, seeing the
time's injuries do oblige the author to conceal his name, the title will
not obscurely notify it to some for whose satisfaction this is mainly
intended, and signify also the scope of the subject; which aims at
giving goodly words, not sugared with parasitic sweetness, nor painted
with affected pedantry, but fairly brought forth in an unhampered
freedom, for the beauty of the blessing of human and Christian liberty,
in its due and true boundaries. This was the subject of a discourse, as
some may remember, on that text whence this title is taken, Gen. xlix.
21. "Naphtali is a Hind let loose." In prosecuting of which, the
speaker, with several others, falling at the same time into the hands of
the hunters, (to learn the worth of that interrupted subject from the
experience of the want of it) an occasion was given, and interpreted by
the author to be a call to study more the preciousness of that privilege
predicated of Naphtali, which is the right and property of the wrestling
tribe of Israel, the persecuted witnesses of Christ now every where
preyed upon. And now, providence having opened a door for "delivering
himself as a roe from the hand of the hunter," he thought it his duty,
and as necessary a piece of service as he could do to the generation, to
bring to light his lucubrations thereupon; with an endeavour to discover
to all that are free born, and are not contented slaves, mancipated to a
stupid subjection to tyrants absoluteness, that this character of
Naphtali, "satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the
Lord," that he is a "hind let loose" from the yoke of tyrannical
slavery, is far preferable, in the account of all that understand to be
Christians or men, to that infamous stigma of Issachar (the sin, shame,
and misery of this age) to be "a strong ass, couching under two burdens;
and he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant, and
bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute." But to
all that are not altogether strangers in our Israel, it will appear,
that this title is not inaptly applied to the subject and design of this
treatise. The party whose case and cause, and contendings are here
treated of, being known to have the same situation of residence in
Scotland that Naphtali had in Israel, viz. the west and the south (Deut.
xxxiii. 23.) will be found, among all our tribes, most appositely to
bear the signature of Naphtali, who, in their wrestlings for the
interest of Christ and the liberties of his Israel, have mostly
jeoparded their lives in the high places of the fields; and chiefly to
deserve his elogy, being a "hind", (called wild by nickname in the scorn
of them that are at ease, but) truly weak in their present wilderness
condition, to wrestle against the force and fraud of their cruel and
cunning hunters, who cease not (when they have now got the rest of the
roes and hinds of the field made fast asleep, under the bondage of the
lions dens and mountains of leopards, by a pretence of a falsely so
called liberty of conscience) to seek and pursue the chace of them for a
prey; yet really they are "let loose," and not only suffered to run
loose, as a prey to the hunters, by the unwatchfulness of their keepers,
but made to escape loose, by the mercy of the Mighty One of Jacob, from
the nets of the hunters and snares of the fowlers, and from the yoke of
the bondage of these beasts of prey, to whose authority they will not
own a willing subjection; and being such "hinds," so "let loose," they
make it their work to give goodly words, for the worth and honour, and
royalties of their princely master, and for the precious liberties
wherewith he hath endoted and entrusted his spouse and children, and to
keep the goodly words of his patience, until he return "as a roe or a
young hart upon the mountains of Bether." This being the party who are
represented as the wild folk of Scotland, the design of this treatise is
to hold forth the history of their manifold chaces, the craft, keeness,
and cruelty of their hunters, and the goodliness of the words of their
testimony, which, by reason of the likeness of the testimony of former
periods with the present, and that the latter may be vindicated by the
former, is resumed from the beginning of the Church of Scotland's
wrestlings against the enemies of Christ, and deduced through all the
most signal steps of this long propagated and hereditary war. And, lest
my words should not be goodly enough, nor my notions grateful to the
critics of this age, who cast every thing as new and nice, which is
someway singular, and not suited to their sentiments; that it may appear
the cause here cleared and vindicated is not of yesterday, but older
than their grandfathers who oppose it, I dare avouch, without vanity,
there is nothing here but what is confirmed by authors of greatest note
and repute in our church, both ancient and modern, namely, Buchanan,
Knox, Calderwood, Acts of General Assemblies, Causes of Wrath, Lex Rex,
Apologetical Relation, Naphtali, Jus Populi, History of the Indulgence,
Banders Disbanded, Rectius Instruendum, and some other authors much
respected, whose authority, more always repelled by rage than ever yet
refitted by reason; though I value more than all the vain oblatrations
of the opposers of this testimony, and think it sufficient to confute
all imputations of its novelty, and to counterbalance the weight that
may be laid on the contradictions of the greatest that treat on this
subject, yet I do not lay so much stress on the reason of their
authority as on the authority of their reason, which is here represented
with that candour and care, that, lest any should cavil that they are
wrested or wronged when made to speak so patly to the present
controversies, I have chosen rather to transcribe their words, than to
borrow their matter dressed up in my own, except where the prolixity and
multiplicity of their arguments, as clearly demonstrating that which I
adduce them for, as that for which they were primarily intended, did
impose the necessity of abridging them, which yet is mostly in their own
words, though reduced into a sollogistical form. But this obloquy of
novelty being anticipated, when I reflect on the helps I have collected
from so many hands, I am rather afraid the truths here delivered be
contemned as obsolete and antiquate, than cast at for new speculations.
However, I am content; yea it is my ambition, that nothing here be
looked upon as mine, but that it may appear this is an old plea, and
that the party here pleaded for, who are stigmatized with many
singularities, are a people who ask the old paths, and the good way,
that they may walk therein; and though their paths be not now much
paved, by the frequency of passengers, and multitude of professors
walking therein, and albeit it must indeed be confessed the word of
their testimony is someway singular, that the same things were never the
word of Christ's patience, stated as heads of suffering before, yet they
are not untrodden paths, but the same way of truth which hath been
maintained by the witnesses of Christ in all the periods of our church,
and asserted by the greatest confessors, though never before sealed by
martyrs. As for the arguments I bring to clear and confirm them, whether
they be accounted mine, or borrowed from others, I am very indifferent,
if they prove the point they are brought for, which I hope they will be
found to do; but of this I am confident, there is nothing here can be
condemned until some one or more of these grave authors be confuted;
and, when that is done, (which will be never, or against the _thirtieth
of February_), there is something besides here, which will challenge

The design then of this work is of great importance, even no less than
to essay the discussing the difficulties of all our conflicts with open
enemies, about the present state of the testimony; the vindicating of
all the heads of sufferings sustained thereupon these twenty-seven years
past; the proposing of the right state of the testimony for the interest
of Christ, not only of this, but of all former periods, with an account
of the propagation and prosecution of the witnesses, wrestlings, and
sufferings of it from time to time, to the end it may appear, not only
how great the sufferings have been, since this fatal catastrophe and
overturning of the covenanted reformation, and unhappy restoration of
tyranny and prelacy; but that the grounds upon which they have been
stated, are not niceties and novelties, (as they are reproached and
reprobated by many), but worthy and weighty truths of great value and
validity, and of near affinity unto, and conformity with the continued
series and succession of the testimonies in all former periods. So that
in this little treatise must be contained a compendious history of the
Church of Scotland, her testimony in all ages, a vindication of the
present state of it; yea, in effect, a short epitome of the substance of
those famous forecited authors, as far as we need to consult them,
concerning the controversies of the present time with adversaries; which
is much, and perhaps too much, to be undertaken in so small a volume.
But considering that many who are concerned in this cause, yea the most
part who concern themselves about, are such who have neither access, nor
time, nor capacity to revolve the voluminous labours of these learned
men for light in this case, I have done best to bring them into one body
of portable bulk with as great brevity as could consist well with any my
measure of perspicuity, not meddling with any thing but what I thought
might some way conduce to clear some part of the present testimony.

Every undertaking of this nature cannot but be liable to several
disadvantages that are unavoidable: this hath many discouraging and
difficult. One is, that it shall be exposed to the common fate of such
representations, to be stigmatized as a seditious libel, and so may be
sent to the flames to be confuted; and, to inflame the fury of these
fire brands, already hell-hot, into the utmost extremity of rage against
the author, that ever cruelty itself at its fullest freedom did exert
against truth and reason arraigned, and cast for sedition and treason:
the only sanctuary in such a case, is, in prospect of this, to have the
greater care that nothing be spoken, but what the speaker may dare to
affirm in the face of cruelty itself. A second common disadvantage is
obvious from the consideration of the humour of the age; wherein fancy
hath greater force than faith, and nothing is pleasing but what is
parasitical, or attempered to the palate of the greatest, not of the
best; and naked truth, without the fairdings of flattery, or paintings
of that pakiness which is commonly applauded as prudence now a days, is
either boggled at, or exposed to scorn and contempt; and reason, if
roundly written, except it meet with an honest heart, is commonly read
with a stammering mouth, which puts a T before it, and then it is
stumbled at as Treason. This essay does expect no entertainment from
any, but such who resolve to harbour truth, be the hazard what will,
even when the world raises the _Hue_ and _Cry_ after it, and from such
who are really groaning, either by suffering or sympathy, under the same
grievances here represented. There is a third, which makes it not a
little difficult, the quality, quantity, and intricacy of the matter,
here to be confined to such a compend. All which, together considered,
do infer a fourth difficulty, that hardly can it get a pass through the
press; which is blocked up against all such books that may offer a
manifestation of the innocency of that people, and the injustice and
inhumanity of their enemies; which is their only hope of preventing the
world's knowledge and condemnation of their actings. Yea, there is a
fifth, that wants not its own difficulty; that though the Press were
patent, yet an empty purse, from a poor impoverished people, will as
readily preclude all access to it, as if it were locked up by law; but
both together make it hard. But there is a sixth disadvantage yet more
discouraging, that the man as well as the money, is wanting to manage
the business: and this needs no other proof; than the necessity of my
poor pen to undertake it, instead of a better. It must needs be very low
with that people, that stand in need of such a pitiful patrociny as mine
is. Our persecuted brethren, elsewhere, have this advantage of us, that
they have champions to espouse their quarrel, which we have not; but
only such, who as they are reputed in the world, so, in their own
sense, own themselves to be very unaccomplished for such work; and under
this invincible disadvantage also, that, being forced to a wandering and
unsettled life, they have no conveniency, nor can be accommodated with
time, nor helps to perform it; and so circumstantiated, that either it
must be done at this time, and in this manner, or not at all. In the
seventh place, we are at a greater loss than any suffering people; in
that, among all other bitter ingredients, we have this gall also in our
cup, that they that suffer most among us, have not the comfort and
benefit of the sympathy of others, that sufferers use to have from good
people. The reason of this makes an eighth discouragement, besides what
is said above; that not only is the case and cause of that poor
persecuted and wasted witnessing remnant, obscure in itself, and not
known in the world, nay, not so much as in the very neighbouring
churches of England and Ireland, but also more obscured by the malice of
enemies, traducing, calumniating, and reproaching that righteous remnant
whom they intend to ruin; not indeed as hereticks (which is the case of
other suffering churches, wherein they have the advantage of us also;
that though the name be more odious, yet it makes the notion of their
cause, and the nature of their enemies, notour, and is more effectual to
conciliate sympathy from all that know that Protestants are persecuted
by Papists under the notion of hereticks: but we are at a loss in this,
that our persecutors, at least the most part of the executioners of the
persecution, will not as yet avouch that Protestantism is heresy though
we want not this nick name likewise from the chief of them that are
professed Papists) but as Scismaticks, Seditious, Rebels, Traitors,
Murderers, Holding principles inconsistent with Government, (to wit,
their tyranny), and the peace of human society, (to wit, their
association against religion and liberty), and therefore to be
exterminated out of the world. And this imposture, covering all their
mischiefs, hath prevailed so far with the blinded world, that under this
brand the consideration of their case and cause is buried, without
farther inquiry. This were yet more tolerable from open enemies, if
there were not another more pressing discouragement, in the ninth place,
peculiar to them in Scotland; that having to do with treacherous as well
as truculent enemies, as they have been much destroyed by open force, so
much more by fraud; while, by ensnaring favours, some have been
flattered from the testimony, others disdaining and suspecting, as well
as deprived of, and secluded from, these favours, have stuck to it;
hence defection brought on division, and division confusion, which hath
reduced the reformation to a ruinous heap. In the next place, as the
consequent of the former, while the purer remnant have been resolutely
prosecuting the testimony, and not only keeping themselves free of, and
standing at the farthest distance from, all degrees of compliance, but
also witnessing against their brethren involved in them and thinking it
their duty to discountenance them in these corruptions and backslidings;
they have been therefore reproached and misrepresented very
industriously, as "Ignorant, Imprudent, Transported with blind zeal,
Extravagant, wild Separatists, Espousing new and nice notions, rejecters
of the ministry, imposers on the ministry, deniers of all government,
usurpers of an imaginary government of their own, that died as fools,
and as guilty of their own blood." By which odious and and invidious
obloquies, they have easily prevailed with many, both at home and
abroad, that are more credulous than considerate, to believe these
things of them: hence, with prejudicate people, a contrary
representation will find difficult acceptance. However, this moreover is
another great disadvantage, and renders an essay to vindicate their
sufferings very uneasy; that they are thrust at, and tossed on both
hands, by enemies and professed friends: and by enemies that are not
Papists, but professed Protestants, owning the same fundamentals in
opinion, though in practice not holding the same head: and by friends,
that not only are Protestants, but Presbyterians, under the bonds of the
same solemn and sacred covenants, the obligation whereof they still own;
and not only so, but such, whose piety and godliness cannot be doubted.
This is a gravamen grievous to bear, and greatly aggravates the
difficulty. Finally, the greatest of all is, that not only their cause
is rendered odious, but must be confessed truly stated as heads of
suffering. For now it is the dragon's chief stratagem with us, like to
be the most subtile, ensnaring, and successful of any, that ever he set
on work since ever he began this war with the Lamb, (which yet I hope
will prove as fatal to his interest as the former), to bring the
sufferings of Christ's witnesses to such a state, that may seem to
spectators little or nothing relative to religion, that so he may
destroy both them and their testimony unlamented, and by that trick
divert others from concerting that same necessary witness in the season
thereof. And, for this end, he will change both matter and manner, in
managing the war. He will not now persecute for the old controverted
heads of Popery, with fire and faggot, as formerly, for refusing to
worship our Lady, or the "blessed Sacrament of the Altar." These weapons
and engines are so worn out of use, that they will not work now as they
did before. And that old bawd of Babylon is become so ugly, and out of
date; that he does not believe her beauty can be so bewitching, except
that she put on a new busk: but her eldest daughter, the prelatical
church, of the same complexion with herself, except that she is coloured
with Protestant paint, is fitter for his service to allure our land into
fornication; and who will not be enticed, must be forced to communion
with her, by finings, confinings, exactions, extortions, and impositions
of oaths, &c. Religion must be little concerned here; for there is
preaching enough, and of protestant doctrine too, and without the
monkey-tricks, and montebank shows, and foperies of English popish
ceremonies and liturgical services: What would they be at! Is it not
better to yield to this, than to fall into the hand of the
Scottish-Spanish inquisition, that will rack the purse, the body, and
conscience and all? This is one complex head of suffering, and thought a
very small one by many. But now, finding this would not do his business
yet, it looked too like religion still: he hath therefore invented a new
machine; he will not now persecute, nor force the conscience at all (so
good-natured is the devil and his lieutenant grown in their old age) for
matters of mere religion. Nay, (if we may believe him, who, when he
speaketh a lie, speaketh it of his own) he hath not done it this long
time, but only, in all the violent courses exercised against these
sufferers, he hath been magistratically chastising the disobedence and
rebellion of a few turbulent traitors, who would not own the government.
And thus, under the notion of rebellion and disowning authority, he hath
had access and success to destroy almost an innumerable number of honest
and innocent, faithful and fruitful lovers of Christ, who, though indeed
they have had their sufferings stated upon those points, yet I doubt not
shall be found among the followers of the Lamb, and confessors and
martyrs of Christ, who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the
word of their testimony, not loving their lives unto the death, whose
blood is crying for vengeance against the shedders thereof: and he will
make inquisition for it, when he comes to overturn, overturn, and take
his own right, for which they have been contending. Nevertheless this is
a prejudice too prevalent with many, to misregard the case and cause of
these contenders, or any thing that can be said to represent them
favourably. And all these disadvantages, difficulties, and
discouragements, together considered, would soon cool my courage, and,
at first blush, make me leave off before I begin, were I not persuaded,
that it is the cause of Christ these reproached people are still
suffering for: and that their great sufferings and reproaches are both
alike unjust: from both which the Lord will vindicate them, and bring
forth their righteousness as the light, and their judgment as the
noon-day, in his own time. In confidence of which, depending on his
conduct, I shall undertake, as briefly as possible for me, to represent
their case, and clear the cause, so far at least as concerns their
contest with their persecuting enemies, with whom I only deal at
present: it not being my purpose to descend particularly in their
necessitated contendings with complying brethren: partly because they
would make the volume to excresce unto too great a bulk, and because
they are to be seen elsewhere: yet, in effect: these also are not only
here narratively deduced, but whatever is odious in them is vindicated,
and what is difficult in some measure enodated.

But it may be expected and desiderated, that I should give a distinct
deduction of all the steps of this woful defection, against which a
great part of the testimony hath been stated; but I would have the
reader advertised, I touch only that part of the testimony which hath
been sealed by severe sufferings from enemies. It were a task
transcending my capacity, and a theme wherein I have no pleasure,
besides that it is inconsistent with my leisure, to enlarge upon such a
sad and shameful subject: though the world indeed is at a loss, that
they that would do it, cannot, and they that would and should do it,
will not; and it is a greater loss, not only to Scotland, but also to
the whole Christian world, that what hath been done in this kind already
cannot see the light, or rather that the church of Christ is deprived of
its light, which through the injury of the times, and the disingenuous
prudence of some, who suffer themselves to be imposed upon by the
patrons of defection, is embezzled and suppressed. I mean that excellent
and faithful history of defection, the posthumous work of the famous
Mr. M'Ward, whose praise is in the churches; which if they that have it
in keeping would do themselves the honour, and the world the happiness,
of publishing it, there would be no more need to discover from whence,
to what, and how, that church hath fallen and degenerate; nor so great
difficulty in that indisputable and indispensible duty that such a day
calls for, in searching and trying our ways, to the end we may turn
again to the Lord; nor any necessity for my poor essay to invite and
incite the people of the Lord to take cognizance and compassion on poor
perishing Scotland. I wish that they who have it, may consult more their
own duty and credit, and what they owe to the memory of the dead, the
church's edification, the day's testimony, and the honour of Christ,
than to continue robbing the world of such a treasure; which I doubt not
to call treason against Christ, and sacrilege against the church, and
stick not to tell them, if they will not publish it, the world must know
there was such a thing done. But it not being my design now, to detect
or reflect upon all the defections of that declining, and by declensions
divided, and by divisions almost (only not) destroyed church; I shall
meddle with them no further, than what is necessary to clear the cause,
referring the knowledge and account of them, either to the notoriety of
the grossest of them, or to the more particular ennaration of them, to
be found in papers emitted and published by the contenders against them:
of which one is of this same year's edition, entitled, 'The Informatory
Vindication of a 'poor, wasted, misrepresented Remnant,' &c. In which
may be evident, that notwithstanding of all this darkness and distress,
defection and division, under which the church of Scotland hath been so
long, and is still labouring, there is yet a poor wasted, wounded, rent,
and almost ruined, but still wrestling and witnessing remnant of
professors and confessors of Christ there, who though they have not only
had their souls exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are
at ease, and with the contempt of the proud; but their bodies also
killed all day long, and counted as sheep for the slaughter, have yet
through grace endeavoured to overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the
word of their testimony, and have not loved their lives dear unto the
death, and have continued to this day contending both against professed
enemies, and also declining friends, sustaining from both the utmost of
rage and reproach. And since that little book gives an account, what
their contendings have been against their backdrawing brethren on the
right and left hand, I shall spare labour to offer a discussion of them,
only endeavour to make it not difficult to decide and determine, on
whose side truth lies, by what is here hinted.

I shall conclude with advertising the reader of one thing further, that,
as this reproached people, for testimony I am pleading, is now the only
party that is persecuted in Scotland, (some few excepted, who are
exempted from the pretended favour of the current indemnities) and their
persecution still continues, notwithstanding of the impudent, as well as
insnaring declarations of universal liberty to all dissenters, which
they look upon as their honour and happiness, to be thought incapable of
tyrannical and antichristian favours; so their past and present
oppressions and sufferings are only here in general aggregated,
described as to their kinds, and vindicated as to their causes: the
particular deduction of their number, weight, and measure, of their
names that have been martyred and murdered, both by formality of law,
and without all formality of law, by sea and land, city and country, on
scaffolds, and in the fields; of the manner of their sufferings; and of
the form of their trials and testimonies, being intended shortly (if the
Lord will) to be emitted and published in a book by itself; which will
discover to the world as rare instances of the injustice, illegality,
and inhumanity of the Scottish inquisition, and of the innocency, zeal,
ingenuity, and patience of the witnesses of Christ, as readily can be
instanced in these latter ages. Only here is a taste till more come;
which if the Lord bless for its designed end, the glory of God, the
vindication of truth, the information and satisfaction of all serious
sympathisers with Zion's sorrows, and the conviction or confutation of
reproachers, so far, at least, as to make them surcease from their
invidious charge of things whereof the innocency is here vindicated, I
have obtained all my design, and shall desire to give the Lord the

_It will not be unprofitable for the Reader to cast his eye upon these
sentences of great Authors, which relate to some heads of the following

(Translated from their Originals.)

     _Erasmus._ As a woodcock, otherwise loud, being taken, becomes
     dumb; so slavery renders some men speechless, who, if they were
     free, would tell their minds freely.

     _Nazianzen._ Discord is better for the advantage of piety, than
     dissembled concord.

     _Bernard._ But if scandal arise for the truth, it is better to
     suffer scandal than relinquish the truth.

     _Bracton._ He is a king who rightly governs, a tyrant who oppresses
     his people.

     _Cicero._ He loses all right to government, who, by that
     government, overturns the common-weal.

     _Aristotle._ He who obeys the law, obeys both God and the law; who
     obeys the king, a man and a beast.

     _Sueton._ They are not bound to be loyal to a wicked king, under
     the pains of perjury.

     _Ambrose._ He that does not keep off injury from his neighbour, if
     he can do it, is as much in the fault as he who does it.

     _Chamier._ But all subjects have right of resisting tyrants, who by
     open force acquire dominion.

     _Barclay. Against contenders for Monarchy._ All antiquity agrees,
     that tyrants can, most justly, be attacked and slain as public
     enemies, not only by the public, but also by individual persons.


                HIND LET LOOSE;



                    OF THE


                    OF THE

              CHURCH OF SCOTLAND,

                    FOR THE

              INTEREST OF CHRIST.




The church of Christ, in the impression of all that have the least spark
of the day's spirit is now brought to such a doleful and dreadful case
and crisis, that if it be not reckoned the killing of the witnesses, yet
all that have or desire the knowledge of the times, will judge it no
impeachment to the prophecy to say, it is either very like, or near unto
it. When now the devil is come down in great wrath, and knowing his time
is but short, and therefore exerting all the energy of the venom and
violence, craft and cruelty of the dragon, and antichrist, alias pope,
his captain-general, is now universally prevailing, and plying all his
hellish engines to batter down, and bury under the rubbish of
everlasting darkness, what is left to be destroyed of the work of
reformation; and the crowned heads, or horns of the beast, the tyrants,
alias kings of Europe, his council of war, are advancing their
prerogatives upon the ruins of the nations and churches privileges, to
such a pitch of absoluteness, and improving and employing their power
for promoting their masters (the devil and antichrists) interests, to
whom they have gifted the churches, mancipated their own, and sacrificed
the nations interest; and that with such combination of counsels, and
countenance of providential success, that all the powers of hell, the
principalities of earth, and the providence of heaven, over-ruling all
things for the accomplishment of the divine purpose, and purchase, and
prediction, seem to conspire to produce that prodigious period, and last
attempt of the church's enemy. And the commencement is so far advanced,
that now in all the churches of Europe either the witnesses of Christ
are a killing, or the witness for Christ is in a great measure killed;
either the followers of the Lamb, who are called, and chosen, and
faithful, are killed for their testimony, or fainting in their zeal, and
falling from their first love, they are cooled or cajoled from their
testimony. Some are indulging themselves in their ease, settling on
their lees, and sleeping in a stupid security; and, while the Lord is
roaring from above, and his, and their enemies raging about them, and
designing to raze them after they have ruined their neighbours, they are
rotting away under the destructive distempers of detestable neutrality,
loathsome lukewarmness, declining, and decaying in corruptions,
defections, divisions, distractions, confusions; and so judicially
infatuated with darkness and delusions, that they forget and forego the
necessary testimony of the day. Others again, outwearied with the length
and weight of the trial, under the temptation of antichrist's formidable
strength on the one hand, and a deceitful prospect of an insnaring
liberty on the other, are overcome either to be hectored or flattered
from their testimony. And so, in these churches, comprehending all that
are free from persecution at this time, the witness for Christ is in a
great measure killed. Other churches, which are keeping and contending
for the word of Christ's patience, are so wasted, and almost worn out,
with persecutions, afflictions, and calamities, that, after they have
been, and are (so much) daily killed for the word of God, and the
testimony of Jesus, it may well be said, there hath been, and is, a
great slaughter of the witnesses. And it were hard to determine, which
of them can give the largest and most lamentable account of their
sufferings, or which of them have had the greatest and most grievous
experiences of the treachery and truculency, violence and villany of
atheistical and papistical enemies: whether the reformed church of
France, howling under the paw of that devouring lion, the French tyrant;
or the protestants of Hungary under the tearing claws of that ravenous
eagle, the tyrant of Austria; or those of Piedmont, under the grassant
tyranny of that little tyger of Savoy. The accounts they give in print,
the reports they bring with them in their flight from their respective
countries, and the little hints we have in gazettes and news-letters,
must needs enforce a conviction, if not extort a compassion of the
greatness of their pressures; and that with such a parity, that it is
doubtful which preponderates. I shall not make comparisons, nor
aggravate nor extenuate the sufferings of any of the churches of Christ,
beyond or below their due measures; but will presume to plead, that
Scotland, another ancient, and sometimes famous reformed church, be
inrolled in the catalogue of suffering churches, besides these
mentioned; and crave, that she may have a share of that charity and
sympathy which is the demand and desire of afflicted churches of Christ,
from all the fellow members of that same body: and so much the rather is
this her due, that, whereas, among all the rest of the churches,
Christ's witnesses are killed in some particular respect, and each of
them have their own proper complaint of it; some upon the account of
persecution, some of defection, division, &c. of this it may be said, in
all respects, both the witnesses of Christ, and a witness for Christ,
are killed with a witness. This is the case of the sometimes renowned,
famous, faithful, and fruitful, reformed, covenanted church of Scotland,
famous for unity, faithful for verity, fruitful in the purity of
doctrine, worship, discipline, and government; which now, for these
twenty-seven years past, under the domination of the late tyrant, and
present usurper of Britain, hath been so wasted with oppression, wounded
with persecution, rent with division, ruined with defection, that now
she is as much despised, as she was before admired; and her witness and
testimony for reformation, is now as far depressed and suppressed in
obscurity, as it was formerly declared and depredicated in glory and
honour. And yet, which should move the greater commiseration, her
witnessings and wrestlings, trials and temptations, have not been
inferior, in manner or measure, quality or continuance, to any of the
fore-mentioned churches, though in extent not so great, because her
precinct is not so large, whereby the number of her oppressed and
murdered children could not be so multiplied, though her martyrs be
more, and the manner of their murder more illegal, than can be instanced
in any of them during that time. A particular enumeration or ennaration
whereof, cannot be here exhibited, but is referred and reserved to a
peculiar treatise of that subject, which ere long the world may see.
Only I shall give a compendious account of the kinds and causes, grounds
and heads of their sufferings, who have been most slighted, and least
sympatized with, though they have sustained the greatest severities of
any; and, in end, endeavour to vindicate the merit of their cause, in
the most principal heads upon which their sufferings have been stated:
whereby it will appear to impartial men, that will not be imposed upon,
there hath been, and yet is, a great and grievous, and some way
unparalleled, persecution in Scotland, at least inferior to none: which
hath not hitherto been duly considered, with any proportion to the
importance thereof.

But though this be the scope, it is not the sum of what is intended in
this discourse. The method I have proposed to prosecute it withal, will
discover it; which is, 1. To give a brief and summary account of the
series and succession, success and result of the several contendings of
the witnesses of Christ, against his enemies in Scotland from time to
time; that it may appear, whether or not the present sufferings, as now
stated, can be condemned, if the former be approven. 2. To rehearse some
of the chief means, methods and measures, that the popish, prelatical
and malignant faction have managed, for the ruin of this witnessing
remnant, and some of the most signal steps of sufferings sustained by
and from these within these twenty-seven years; by which it will appear,
that the persecution in Scotland hath been very remarkable (though
little regarded) both in respect of the injustice, illegality, and
inhumanity of the persecutors, and in respect of the innocency, zeal and
ingenuity of the persecuted. 3. To clear the state, and vindicate the
merit of the cause of their sufferings, as to the most material heads of
it, that are most controverted at this time. In the first of these, I
must study all compendious brevity, as may consist with the clearing of
my scope; which is not to enlarge an historical deduction of the rise
and result, progress and prosecution, occasion and continuation of every
controversy the church hath had with her several adversaries in several
periods; but only to hint at the chief heads of their contendings, with
a design to make it appear, that the most material heads of sufferings
that are now condemned as new and nice notions, have been transmitted
from age to age, from the beginning even to this present time, through
all the periods of this church.


_Comprehending the_ TESTIMONY _of the_ CULDEES.

It is not without reason reckoned among the peculiar prerogatives of the
renowned church of Scotland, that Christ's conquest in the conversion of
that nation, is one of the most eminent accomplishments of
scripture-prophecies, of the propagation of his kingdom in the new
testament dispensation; not only because it was, when called out of
Gentile paganism, among the rudest of heathen nations, and in the
acknowledgement of all, among "the uttermost parts of the earth," which
were given to Christ for his inheritance and possession; whereunto he
had, and hath still undoubted right, by his Father's grant, and by his
own purchase; and took infeftment of it by a glorious conquest of that
land, which the Roman arms could never subdue; and erected his
victorious trophies there, whither their triumphs could never penetrate;
obtaining and thereby accomplishing that predicted song of praise, "From
the uttermost parts of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the
righteous." Which gives us ground to expect, that however Christ's
interest there be now very low, and like to be lost as a prey in the
dragon's mouth, yet Christ, having such undoubted and manifold right to
it, will not so easily quit or forego his possession; but also, because
he hath so constantly continued his possession, and maintained his
title, by a long course of contendings, by the testimonies of his
witnesses against the invaders thereof, through all the periods of the
church, from the very infancy of this new dispensation; and because
Scotland's conversion unto the Christian faith was among the first
fruits of the Gentiles, of the oldest date, that any standing church
holding the head Christ this day can deduct its original from. For it is
clear from ancient records, the Christian faith was embraced here a few
years after the ascension of our Saviour, being taught by the disciples
of John the apostle; and received afterwards great increase from the
Britons flying to Scotland to escape the persecution of the Emperor
Domitian, and was long promoted by the ancient Culdees, (or worshippers
of God,) men whose memory is still fragrant for piety and purity of
faith and life, who continued some hundreds of years under various
vicissitudes of providence, before either prelacy or popery was known in
Scotland. They were first universally encouraged by King Cratilinth, in
the time of the last persecution under Dioclesian, which brought many of
Christ's witnesses hither for shelter, who were very helpful for the
settling of truth, and the total extirpation of the idolatry of the
Druids, the heathen priests, whereby the pure doctrine, worship, and
government also, of Christ's institution, was established and continued
many years, while these witnesses of Christ had no other emulation but
of well-doing, and to advance piety. In this period, these ancient, and
first confessors and witnesses of Christ, did wrestle strenuously,
according to their strength and light, for the truths and words of
Christ's patience, controverted in their day, both against professed
enemies, Pagan persecutors and priests, and pretended friends,
corrupters of the faith. Their testimony was stated in a peculiar
manner, for the verity, value and virtue of Christ's natures and
offices, in asserting his truths relative to either, against the
malignants and sectaries of their time; particularly for the concerns of
his prophetical office. And though we be at a loss, that for the most
part their witness is buried in oblivion, through the darkness of the
times succeeding; yet the scrapes and fragments that are left, do
furnish us with these few remarks.

I. They maintained the verity of the Christian doctrine, against both
Pagan Persecutors and heretical perverters; and the purity of his
instituted worship, without the vanity of human inventions, or
conformity with, either the Druids on the one hand, or the heretics on
the other, with which, sometime before the end of that period, they were
infested; chiefly the Pelagians, with whom the faithful would have no
communion; but abstracted themselves in a monastical life, living and
exercising their religion in cells, from whence many places in the
country yet retain the name, as Kilmarnock, Kilpatrick, &c. that is the
cells of these eminent men among the Culdees. And their government also
was that of the primitive order, without bishops, with little vanity,
but great simplicity and holiness. Many authors do testify, that near
about 400 years, the church of Scotland knew nothing of the episcopal
Hierarchy, until Palladius brought it in, and not without great

II. In these recesses, they had the advantage, both of outward peace,
when others were in trouble, and of inward peace of conscience, when
others were debauched with many conjurations and abjurations,
combinations and confederacies, imposed and exacted by them that
prevailed for the time, whereby they might both keep themselves free of
ensnaring oaths, perfidious compliances, and associations with the
wicked, and also entertain and encourage the oppressed for equity, who
fled unto their sanctuary for safety. We find they refused to enter into
league with malignant enemies. One memorable passage I shall insert
(though strictly it belong not to this period, as I distinguish it, yet
falling out, within eighty years thereafter, in the time of the Culdees,
it will not obscurely evidence the truth of this) Goranus the
forty-fifth king of Scots, earnestly dissuaded Lothus king of Picts to
entertain the league with the Saxons, not only because they were
treacherous and cruel, but because they were enemies to the country and
to the religion they professed, concluding thus: _Homini vero Christiano
id longe omnium videri_, &c. "But to a Christian nothing must seem more
grievous, than to consent to such a covenant, as will extinguish the
Christian religion, and reduce the prophane customs of the heathen, and
arm wicked tyrants, the enemies of all humanity and piety, against God
and his laws." Whereupon Lothus was persuaded to relinquish the Saxons,
Buchan. Hist. Rer. Scotic.

III. Though they were not for partaking in wicked unnecessary wars,
without authority, or against it; yet we have ground to conclude, they
were for war, and did maintain the principle of resisting tyranny; since
there was never more of the practice of it, nor more happy resistances
in any age, than in that; where we find, that, as their ancestors had
frequently done before, so they also followed their footsteps, in
resisting, reducing to order, repressing, and bringing to condign
punishment tyrants and usurpers; and thought those actions, which their
fathers did by the light of nature and dictates of reason, worthy of
imitation, when they had the advantage of the light of revelation and
dictates of faith; the one being indeed moderate and directed, but no
ways contradicted by the other. Therefore we read, that, as their
predecessors had done with Thereus the 8th king of Scotland, whom they
banished in the year before Christ's incarnation 173; with Dustus the
11th king, whom they slew in battle in the year before Christ 107;
Evenus the 3d, who was imprisoned, and died there, in the year before
Christ 12; Dardanus the 20th king, who was taken in battle, beheaded by
his own subjects, his head exposed to mockage, and his body cast into a
sink, in the year of Christ 72; Luctatus the 22d king, who was slain for
his leachery and tyranny in the year 110, Mogaldus the 23d king, slain
in the year 113; Conarus the 24th king, a leacherous tyrant, died in
prison in the year 149; Satrael the 26th king hanged in the year 159.
So, after the Christian faith was publicly professed, they pursued
Athirco the 29th king, when degenerate into tyranny, who was forced to
kill himself in the year 231. They slew Nathalocus the 30th king, and
cast him into a privy, in the year 241. They beheaded Romachus the 36th
king, and carried about his head for a show in the year 348. As they did
with many others afterwards, as witnesseth Buchanan, Book IV. Scottish

IV. Whence it is evident, that as they attained, even in these primitive
times, and maintained the purity and freedom of their ministry,
independent on Pope, Prelate, or any human supremacy (that Antichristian
hierarchy and Erastian blasphemy not being known in those days) so they
contended for the order and boundaries of the magistracy, according to
God's appointment and the fundamental constitutions of their government;
and thought it their duty to shake off the yoke, and disown the
authority of these tyrants that destroyed the same. Yea, we find, that
even for incapacity, stupidity and folly, they disowned the relation of
a magistrate, and disposed of the government another way, as they did
with Ethodius II. whose authority they did own, but only to the title.
See Buchanan in the before cited place.


_Comprehending the_ TESTIMONY _of the same_ CULDEES, _with that of the_

The following period was that fatal one, that brought in universal
darkness on the face of the whole church of Christ, and on Scotland with
the first of them: which, as it received very early Christianity, so it
was with the first corrupted with antichristianism: for that mystery of
iniquity that had been long working, till he who letted was taken out of
the way, found Scotland ripe for it when he came; which, while the
dragon did persecute the woman in the wilderness, did valiantly repel
his assaults; but when the beast did arise, to whom he gave his power,
he prevailed more by his subtilty, than his rampant predecessor could do
by his rage. Scotland could resist the Roman legions while heathenish,
but not the Roman locusts when antichristian. At his very first
appearance in the world, under the character of antichrist, his
harbinger Palladius brought in prelacy to Scotland, and by that
conveyance the contagion of popery, which hath always been, as every
where, so especially in Scotland, both the mother and daughter, cause
and effect, occasion and consequence of popery. These rose, stood and
lived together, and sometimes did also fall together; and we have ground
to hope that they shall fall again; and their final and fatal fall is
not far off. Whatever difficulty authors do make, in calculating the
epocha of the forty-two months of antichrist's duration in the world,
because of the obscurity of his first rise; yet there needs not be much
perplexity in finding out that epocha in Scotland, nor so much
discouragement from the fancied permanency of that kingdom of
wickedness. For if it be certain, as it will not be much disputed, that
popery and prelacy came in by Palladius, sent legate by Pope Celestine,
about the year 450; then if we add forty-two months, or 1260 prophetical
days, that is, years, we may have a comfortable prospect of their
tragical conclusion. And though both clashings and combinations,
oppositions and conjunctions, this day may seem to have a terrible
aspect, portending a darker hour before the dawning; yet all these
reelings and revolutions, though they be symptoms of wrath incumbent
upon us for our sins, they may be looked upon, through a prospect of
faith, as presages and prognostics of mercy impendent for his name's
sake, encouraging us, when we see these dreadful things come to pass in
our day, to lift up our heads, for the day of our redemption draweth
nigh. This dark period continued nigh about 1100 years, in which, though
Christ's witnesses were very few, yet he had some witnessing and
prophesying in sackcloth all the while. Their testimony was the same
with that of the Waldenses and Albigenses, stated upon the grounds of
their secession, or rather abstraction from that mystery Babylon, mother
of harlots, popery and prelacy, for their corruption in doctrine,
worship, discipline and government. And did more particularly relate to
the concerns of Christ's priestly office, which was transmitted from the
Culdees to the Lollards, and by them handed down to the instruments of
reformation in the following period. Their testimony indeed was not
active, by way of forcible resistance against the sovereign powers; but
passive, by way of confession and martyrdom, and sufferings and verbal
contendings, and witnessings against the prevailing corruptions of the
time. And no wonder it should be so, and in this someway different from
ours, because that was a dispensation of suffering, when antichrist was
on the ascendant, and they had no call or capacity to oppose him any
other way, and were new spirited for this passive testimony, in which
circumstances they are an excellent pattern for imitation, but not an
example for confutation of that principle of defensive resistance, which
they never contradicted, and had never occasion to confirm by their
practice. But, as in their managing their testimony, their manner was
someway different from ours on this respect; so they had by far the
advantage of us, that their cause was so clearly stated upon the
greatest heads of sufferings, having the clearest connexion with the
fundamentals of religion; yet we shall find in this period our heads of
suffering someway homologated, if we consider,

I. That as they did faithfully keep and contend for the word of Christ's
patience under that dispensation, in asserting and maintaining both the
verity of Christ's doctrine, and the purity of his worship, by
testifying against the corruptions, errors, idolatries and superstitions
of popery; so they did constantly bear witness against the usurpation
and tyrannical domination of the antichristian prelates. And as the
Culdees did vigorously oppose their first introduction, and after
aspiring domination, as well as the corruptions of their doctrines, as
we have the contendings of eminent witnesses recorded from age to age;
in the fourth and fifth age, Columbe, Libthac, Ethernan, Kintegern or
Mungo; in the sixth and seventh age, Colmanus, Clemens, and Samson, with
others; in the eighth and ninth age, Alcuin, Rabanus, Maurus, Joannes
Scotus Ærigena, are noted in history. And the Lollards, by their
examinations and testimonies, are found to have witnessed against the
exercise of their power, and sometimes against the very nature of their
power itself: so in their practice they condemned prelacy as well as
popery, in that their ministers did in much painfulness, poverty,
simplicity, humility, and equality, observe the institution of our Lord.
And so far as their light served, and had occasion to enquire into this
point, they acknowledged no officer in the house of God superior to a
preaching minister, and according to this standard, they rejected and
craved reformation of exorbitant prelacy. And it is plain, that they
were frequently discovered by discountenancing and withdrawing from
their superstitious and idolatrous worship; for all which, when they
could not escape nor repel their violence, they cheerfully embraced and
endured the flames.

II. That their adversaries did manage their cruel craft, and crafty
cruelty, in murdering those servants of God, much after the same methods
that ours do; except that they are many stages outdone by their
successors; as much as perfect artists do outstrip the rude beginnings
of apprentices. But, on the other hand, the sufferers in our day, that
would follow the example of those worthies under Popery, would be much
condemned by this generation, even by them that commend the matter of
their testimony, though they will not allow the manner of it to be
imitated in this day. The adversaries of Christ, in this and that
generation, are more like than his confessors and witnesses are. The
adversaries then, when constrained by diversions of the time's troubles,
or when their designs were not ripe, pretended more moderation and
aversation from severity; but no sooner got they opportunity, (which
always they sought), but so soon they renewed the battle against Jesus
Christ; so now: when they had seven abominations in their hearts, and
many cursed designs in their heads, they always spoke fairest; so now:
when they had a mind to execute their cruelty, they would resolve before
hand whom to pitch upon before conviction; so now: and when so resolved,
the least pretence of a fault, obnoxious to their wicked law, would
serve their design; so now: they used then to forge articles, and
falsely misrepresent their answers, and declarations of their
principles; so now. Yet, on the other hand, if now poor sufferers should
glory in that they are counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of
Christ, as they did then; if now they should suffer with as great
chearfulness, for the smallest points as for the greatest heads, as they
did then, who endured the flames as gallantly, for eating a goose upon
Friday, as others did for the doctrine of justification, or purgatory,
or indulgences, or worshipping of images and saints; if now they should
speak for every truth in question, with all simplicity and plainness,
without reserves or shifts declining a testimony, as they did; if they
should supersede from all application to their enemies for favour, and
not meddle with either petitioning or bonding with them, as they did;
nay, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better
resurrection: then they might expect the severe censure of ignorant and
precise fools, as the most part who suffer now are counted.

III. That they stood aloof from every appearance of a base compliance
with them; not so much as to give them an interpretative sign of it;
which, in their meaning, might be thought a recantation, though,
abstractly considered, it might be capable of a more favourable
construction; as the required burning of their bill was; which might
have been thought a condemning of their accusations; but because that
was not their adversaries sense of it, they durst not do it. Not like
many now a-days, who will not be solicitous to consult that. Neither
would they take any of their oaths, nor pay any of their ecclesiastical
exactions, as we find in the articles brought in against the Lollards of
Kyle, Knox's History of Reformation. These things are easily complied
with now: and such as will suffer upon such things are condemned.

IV. That while the love of God and his blessed truth, and the precepts,
promise, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, did enable them unto all
patience with joy, in a passive testimony, being by the call of a clear
and necessary providence sent and set forth to be his witnesses; they
did not indeed endeavour any resistance: yet we find they never resigned
nor abandoned that first and most just privilege of resistance; nay, nor
bringing public beasts of prey to condign punishment, in an
extraordinary way of vindictive justice, for the murder of the saints.
As, upon the murder of Mr. George Wishart, was done with Cardinal
Beaton, who was slain in the tower of St. Andrew's by James Melvin: who,
perceiving his consorts in the enterprize moved with passion, withdrew
them, and said, 'This work and judgment of God, although it be secret,
ought to be done with greater gravity.' And, presenting the point of the
sword to the Cardinal, said, 'Repent thee of thy former wicked life, but
especially of the shedding of the blood of that notable instrument of
God, Mr. George Wishart, which albeit the flame of fire consumed before
men, yet it cries for vengeance upon thee, and we from God are sent to
revenge it; for here, before my God, I protest, that neither the hatred
of thy person, the love of thy riches, nor the fear of any trouble thou
couldst have done me in particular, moved or moveth me to strike thee,
but only because thou hast been and remainest an obstinate enemy against
Christ Jesus, and his holy gospel.' Of which fact, the famous and
faithful historian Mr. Knox speaks very honourably, and was so far from
condemning it, that while, after the slaughter, they kept out the
castle, he, with other godly men, went to them, and stayed with them,
till they were together carried captives to France. Yet now such a fact,
committed upon such another bloody and treacherous beast, the Cardinal
Prelate of Scotland, eight years ago, is generally condemned as horrid

V. However, though in this dark period there be no noted instances of
these witnesses resisting the superior powers, for reasons above hinted:
yet, in this period, we find many instances of noble and virtuous
patriots, their not only resisting, but also revenging to the utmost of
severity, rigorous and raging tyrants, as may be seen in histories. For,
before the corruption of antichrist came to its height, we find
Ferchardus 1st, the 52d King, was drawn to judgment against his will,
great crimes were laid to his charge, and among others the Pelagian
heresy, and contempt of baptism, for which he was cast into prison,
where he killed himself in the year 636; Eugenius 8th, the 62d King,
degenerating into wickedness, and rejecting the admonitions of his
friends, and especially of the ministers, was killed in a convention of
his nobles, with the consent of all, in the year 765; Donaldus 7th was
imprisoned, where he killed himself, in the year 859; Ethus, surnamed
Alipes, the 72d King, was apprehended, and his wicked life laid out
before the people, and then compelled to resign the government, and died
in prison, in the year 875. Afterwards when the government was
transmitted to the Stewarts, James the 2d, the 103d King, who killed
William Earl of Douglas in the castle of Stirling, most treacherously,
after he had pretended a civil treatment, was publicly defied by the
Earl's friends, who took the King's public writ and subscription made to
the said Earl, and tied it to a horse tail, dragging it through the
streets; and, when they came to the market-place, they proclaimed both
King and Nobles perjured covenant breakers; and thereafter, when Earl
James his brother was desired to submit, he answered, 'He would never
put himself in their reverence who had no regard to shame; nor to the
laws of God or man, and who had so perfidiously killed his brother and
his cousins.' James 3d, the 104th King, for his treachery and tyranny,
was opposed and pursued by arms by his own subjects; who, finding
himself under disadvantages, sent to the rebels (as he thought them, and
called them) an offer of peace, and received this answer--'That seeing
the King did nothing honestly, a certain war seemed better to them than
a peace not to be trusted, that there was no other hope of agreement but
one, that he should quit the government, otherwise it was to no purpose
to trouble themselves with treaties.' Thereafter, in a battle, he was
slain at Bannockburn by Gray, Ker, and Borthwick. The same King was also
constrained, by the valour of Archibald Douglas Earl of Angus, called
Bell the Cat, to reform the court, and put away some wicked sycophants
from his council, and give way, though against his will, to the
execution of judgment upon others: which was the occasion of that
foresaid agnomen to the Earl: for he, with other nobles, in a meeting at
Lauder, consulting how to reform and repress the insolency of the Court,
had the apologue of the mice laid out before them; that the mice fell
upon deliberating how to be rid of the cat, and concluded that the best
way was to put a bell about her neck; but when it came to be put in
execution, never a mouse durst undertake it: the Earl quickly made
application, saying, I will bell the cat; and forthwith went out, and
meeting Cochran, one of these wicked counsellors, took hold of him, and
hanged him with a horse halter over the bridge of Lauder; and, rushing
into the King's presence, proceeded to snatch Ramsay, another of the
country's enemies, out of the King's arms; but that he yielded at length
to the King's earnest entreaties to spare him. However we see how
generously zealous these noble patriots were for the country's good,
against tyranny, though they were ignorant of religion: yet this all
along was still the character of the Scots in these days, none more
terrible to tyrants, none more loyal to Kings than they.


_Containing the_ TESTIMONY _of the_ REFORMATION _from_ POPERY.

As in the former, the testimony was mostly passive; so, in the following
period, when they were encreased in number and strength that embraced
the gospel, the Lord called, and spirited to an active testimony, for
these two twins, religion and liberty, that were then sought to be
stifled in the birth, and are now designed more declaredly to be
destroyed, after they have grown up to some maturity: which, as it
renders the cruelty of the present destroyers the more grassant and
grievous, so it rubs the more indelible infamy on the shameful security
and ass-like stupidity of this generation, that have received such an
excellent testimony deposited to their trust, transmitted to them
through a continued tract of the witnessings and wrestlings of their
worthy ancestors, and now let it slip and slide through their feeble
fingers; and does the more justify, yea magnify, the poor endeavours of
the present sufferers, who, at least, when they cannot re-act these
mighty works, in defending religion and liberty, do chuse rather to die
than to resign the testimony, or quit the least privilege that their
progenitors possessed them of: and though they be superciliously
despised, as little insignificant nothings in the eyes of the bulk of
the big boasters of this blind age; yet if these valiant heroes, who did
such exploits for their God, in commencing and carrying on the work of
reformation, were now to see the dull dotages of this dreaming
generation, (not only suffering and consenting to, but congratulating
and applauding, the introduction and re-establishment of idolatry and
tyranny, popery and slavery, upon the ruins of the work they built with
so great expence); and were to read the pitiful petitions, and airy and
empty, flattering and fawning addresses, to this antichristian tyrant,
for the toleration of that religion and liberty, under the odious notion
of a crime, which they had conveyed to them under the security of a
fundamental law; they, if any, would be acknowledged as their children,
who disdain and disown such dishonourable and dastardly yieldings, and
are therefore most despised with disdain and despight. A brief rehearsal
of their contendings will clear the case.

While the Queen Dowager regent reigned by the curse of God, and employed
all her power and policy to suppress the gospel in Scotland, God so
counteracted her, that the blood of the martyrs she caused to be
murdered, proved the seed of the church; and the endeavours of his
servants had such success, that no small part of the barons and
gentlemen, as well as commons, began to abhor the tyranny of the
bishops: yea, men almost universally began to doubt, whether they could
without sin give their bodily presence 'to the mass, or offer their
children to the papistical baptism? Whether these that were in any
public trust, could with safe conscience serve the higher powers in
maintaining of idolatry, persecuting their brethren, and suppressing
Christ's truth? Or whether they might suffer their brethren to be
murdered in their presence, without any declaration that such tyranny
displeased them?' And, from the scriptures, they were resolved, That a
lively faith requires a plain confession, when Christ's truth is
impugned; and that not only they be guilty that do evil, but also they
that consent to evil, and this they should do, if seeing such things
openly committed, they should be silent, and so allow whatsoever was
done. From doubts they came to determinations, to endeavour that Christ
Jesus his glorious gospel should be preached, his holy sacraments truly
ministred, superstition, idolatry, and tyranny should be suppressed in
this realm; and that both as to the worship, discipline, and government,
the reverend face of the first primitive and apostolic church should be
reduced again to the eyes and knowledge of men. And in this they never
fainted till the work was finished. To accomplish this, famous and
faithful Mr. Knox, and other servants of the Lord, did preach diligently
in private meetings. And for that, when they were summoned before the
Queen, several zealous and bold men repaired to her, and plainly in the
hearing of the Prelates, did charge them with the cruel device intended,
and told her with a vow, 'They should make a day of it, because they
oppressed them and their tenants for feeding their idle bellies, they
troubled the preachers, and would murder all; should they suffer this
any longer? No; it should not be.' Thereafter, the more effectually to
prosecute the reformation begun, they entered into covenants, to
maintain and advance that work of reformation, and to stand to the
defence thereof; and of one another, against all wicked power, that
might intend tyranny or trouble against them, and to resent any injury
done to any of their brethren, upon the account of the common cause, as
done to all. Of which covenants they entered into many very solemnly;
one was at Edinburgh in the year 1557; another at Perth 1559; another at
Stirling 1559, binding, that none should have any correspondence with
the Queen, without notifying it to one another; and that nothing should
proceed therein, without common consent of them all. Another at Leith,
in the year 1560; another at Ayr, in the year 1562, of the same tenor.
By which covenants, as their conjunction was the more firm among
themselves, so was it the more fearful to their adversaries: when,
according to the tenor of them, they kept their conventions, and held
counsels with such gravity and closeness, that the enemies trembled. I
mention these things more particularly, because these same very things
commended in our fathers, are now condemned in a poor handful, that
would aim at imitating their example, in renewing and reiterating such
covenants of the same nature and tenor, and binding to the same very
duties, and prosecute in the same methods of keeping general meetings
for correspondence, and consultation about common mutual duties in
common danger; whereunto they have not only present necessity to urge
them, but also preterite examples of these worthies to encourage them,
and their experience of comfort and tranquillity they reaped, by these
Christian assemblies and godly conferences, as oft as any danger
appeared to any member or members of their body. These beginnings, the
zealous covenanted reformers left no means unessayed to promote, by
protestations to the parliament, and petitions, and many reiterated
addresses to the Queen Dowager: from whom they received many renewed
fair promises; which she had never mind to keep, and wanted not the
impudence, when challenged for breaking them, to declare, 'It becomes
not subjects to burden their princes with promises further than it
pleased them to keep the same:' and, at another time, 'that she was
bound to keep no faith to hereticks:' and again, 'that princes must not
be strickly bound to keep their promises; and that herself would make
little conscience to take from all that sort their lives and
inheritance, if she might do it with an honest excuse.' Wherein she
spoke not only the venom of her own heart, but the very soul and sense,
principle and project of all popish princes: whereby we may see what
security we have for religion and liberty this day, though the most part
make such a pretence a pillow to sleep on. But, after many discoveries
in this kind of the Queen's treachery, at length they would no more be
bribed by promises, blinded by pretences, nor boasted by her
proclamations, (slandering their enterprise, as if it pertained nothing
to religion) from their endeavours to prosecute the same: but finding
themselves compelled to take the sword of just defence, against all that
should pursue them for the matter of religon, they first signified unto
her; 'that they would notify to the king of France, and all Christian
princes, that her cruel, unjust, and most tyrannical murder intended
against towns and multitudes, was and is the only cause of their revolt
from their accustomed obedience, which they owned and promised to their
Sovereign; provided they might live in peace and liberty, and enjoy
Christ's gospel, without which they firmly purpose never to be subject
to mortal man; and that better it were to expose their bodies to a
thousand deaths; than to deny Christ; which thing not only do they, who
commit open idolatry, but also all such, as, seeing their brethren
pursued for the cause of religion, and having no sufficient means to
comfort and assist them, do nevertheless withdraw from them their
dutiful support.' And thereafter, they published a declaration to the
generation of antichrist, the pestilent prelates, and their shavelings
within Scotland. 'That they should not be abused, thinking to escape
just punishment, after that they, in their blind fury, had caused the
blood of many to be shed; but if they proceeded in this their malicious
cruelty, they should be dealt withal, wheresoever they should be
apprehended, as murderers, and open enemies to God and to mankind. And
that with the same measure they had measured, and intended to measure to
others, it should be measured to them;--that is, they should, with all
force and power they had, execute just vengeance and punishment upon
them; yea begin that same war which God commandeth Israel to execute
against the Canaanites; that is, contract of peace should never be made,
till they desist from their open idolatry and cruel persecution of God's
children.' I rehearse this declaration the more expressly, because in
our day declarations of this style and strain, and aiming at the same
scope, are hideously hissed and houted at as unheard of novelties.
Finally, when by all their letters, warnings, admonitions and
protestations, they could obtain no redress, but rather an increase of
insupportable violence, they proponed the question in a general meeting,
'Whether she, whose pretences threatened the bondage of the whole common
wealth, ought to be suffered so tyrannically to domineer over them?'
Unto which the ministers, being required to give their judgment,
answered, That she ought not. And accordingly they declared her deposed
from all government over them; 'because of her persecuting the
professors of the true religion, and oppressing the liberties of the
true lieges, never being called nor convinced of any crime; because of
her intrusion of magistrates against all order of election; because of
her bringing in strangers to suppress the liberty of the country, and
placing them in greatest offices of credit; because of her altering and
subverting the old laws of the realm,' &c. Which I mention, because
hence we may see what things our fathers judged did dissolve the
relation between the people and their rulers; and, when applied to our
case, will justify their reasons that have renounced the present
tyranny. This was done at Edinburgh in the year 1559. And thereafter,
while they vindicated themselves, and went on with the work of
reformation, throwing down all monuments of idolatry, and propagating
the reformed religion, God so blessed their endeavours, that their
confession of faith, and all articles of the protestant religion, was
read and ratified by the three estates of parliament, at Edinburgh, July
1560. And the same year the book of discipline, containing the form and
order of presbyterial government, was subscribed by a great part of the
nobility. Thus, through the wisdom and power of God alone, even by the
weakness of very mean instruments, against the rage and fury of the
devil, and of all the powers of hell, was this work of reformation
advanced and effectuated; and came to the establishment of a law, which
did not only ratify and confirm the protestant religion, but abolish
antichristian popery, and appoint punishment for the professors and
promoters thereof. Which law, often confirmed and ratified afterwards,
though it be now cested and rescinded by the prerogative of the present
tyrant; because it annuls and invalidates his pretence to succession in
the government, (it being expressly enacted afterwards, by a parliament
at Edinburgh, 1567, confirming this, that all princes and kings
hereafter, before their coronation, shall take oath to maintain the true
religion then professed, and suppress all things contrary to it), yet is
still in force in the hearts of all honest men, that will not prostitute
religion, law and liberty, to the lusts of tyrants; and will be
accounted a better bottom to build the hope of enjoying religion upon,
than the perfidious promises of a popish usurper, pretending a liberty
to dissenting protestants, by taking away the penal statutes, the legal
bulwark against popery: all which yet, to the reproach of all
protestants, some are applauding and congratulating in this time by
their addresses and petitions, to this destroyer of law and religion. I
wish they would look back to see what the building of this bulwark cost
our fathers, before they sell it at such a rate; and compare the present
addresses, courting and caressing the papists, with the addresses of
these worthy builders of what they are destroying. There is one dated
Edinburgh, May 27, 1561, presented to the Council, shewing, that honesty
craved them, to make the secrets of their heart patent, which
was--'That, before ever these tyrants and dumb dogs empire over them
professing Christ Jesus within this realm, they were fully determined to
hazard life, and whatsoever they had received of God in temporal
things.--And let these enemies of God assure themselves, that if their
council put not order unto them, that they should shortly take such
order, that they shall neither be able to do what they list, neither yet
to live upon the sweet of the brows of such as are no debtors to them.'
And when the mischievous Mary, the daughter of the degraded Queen,
returning from France, set up the mass but in her own family, the godly
at that time gave plain signification, that they could not abide that
'the land which God had purged from idolatry, should in their eyes be
polluted again. Shall that idol (say they) be suffered again to take
place within this realm? It shall not.' The idolatrous priests should
die the death according to God's law. And a proclamation being issued to
protect the Queen's domestic servants that were papists, there was a
protestation given forth presently, 'That if any of her servants should
commit idolatry, say mass, participate therewith, or take the defence
thereof, in that case this proclamation was not extended to them in that
behalf, no more than if they commit murder; seeing the one is much more
abominable in the sight of God than the other; but that it may be lawful
to inflict upon them, the pains contained in God's word against
idolaters, wherever they may be apprehended, without favour.' The words
of John Knox upon the following Sabbath may be added, 'That one mass
was more fearful unto him, than if ten thousand armed enemies were
landed in any part of the realm, of purpose to suppress the whole
religion: for (said he) in our God there is strength to resist and
confound multitudes, if we unfeignedly depend upon him; but when we join
hands with idolatry, it is no doubt but both God's amiable presence and
comfortable defence will leave us, and what shall then become of us?'
Yea, when it was voted in the General Assembly, whether they might take
the Queen's mass from her? many frankly affirmed, 'That as the mass is
abominable, so it is just and right that it should be suppressed; and
that in so doing, men did no more hurt to the Queen's Majesty, than they
that should by force take from her a poisoned cup, when she was going to
drink it.' Thus we have some specimen of the zeal of our fathers against
idolatry. But in a little time court favours blunted it in many; and
then had the servants of God a double battle, fighting on the one hand
against idolatry, and the rest of the abominations maintained by the
court. And upon the other hand, against the unfaithfulness of false
brethren, and treachery of sycophants, who informed the court against
the ministers, for their free and faithful preaching and warnings on all
occasions; yet they sustained the brunt of all these assaults, and came
off with honour. At length, to be short, in process of time, this Mary,
a woman of a proud and crafty wit, and an obdured heart against God and
his truth, infilled in the same steps of tyranny and treachery (but with
greater aggravations) that her mother walked in, and was served
according to her desert. For after that her darling David Rizzo, the
Italian fidler, (whom most men then supposed, and do still suspect to be
the father of King James, this man's grandfather; and some do think it
not unlikely, that his successors have derived from this stock the
Italian complexion and constitution both of body and mind, spare and
swarthy, cruel and crafty) received his due rewards in her presence, by
the King's consent and counsel; she conceived such contempt of, and
indignation against the poor uxorious young King, Henry of Darnley, that
she never rested till she and Bothwel contrived and executed his murder,
and then she married that murdering adulterer, the said Earl of Bothwel:
whereupon the Protestant Noblemen pursuing the murder, took her, and
sent her prisoner to Lochleven, where they made her resign the
government to her son James, then an infant, and afterwards she was
beheaded by Elizabeth Queen of England. We see now by this deduction,
what was the testimony of this period, and how in many things it
confirms the heads of the present sufferings, which we may particularly

I. The reformation of Scotland had this common with all other protestant
churches, that it was carried on by resisting the opposing powers; but
it had this peculiar advantage above all, that at once, and from the
beginning, both doctrine and worship, discipline and government were
reformed: as Mr. Knox witnesseth, that there was no realm upon the face
of the earth at that time that had religion in greater purity. 'Yea,'
says he, 'we must speak the truth, whomsoever we offend, there is no
realm that hath the like purity; for all others, how sincere soever the
doctrine be, retain in their churches and ministry thereof, some
footsteps of antichrist, and dregs of popery; but we (praise to God
alone) have nothing in our churches that ever flowed from that Man of
Sin.' The doctrine was purely reformed, according to the rule of Christ,
both as to matter and manner of delivery. As to the matter of it, what
it was, the Confession of Faith, ratified in parliament in the year
1560, doth witness. In the manner of it, they studied not the smooth and
pawky prudence that is now so much applauded, for not observing which,
such as would fain be honest in this duty, are so much condemned; but
they cried aloud against, and did not spare the sins of the time, with
application to every degree of men; as we have it published and
vindicated in Mr. Knox's History. They cried, 'that the same God who
plagued Pharaoh, repulsed Sennacherib, struck Herod with worms, and made
the bellies of dogs the grave and sepulchre of the spiteful Jezebel,
will not spare misled princes, who authorize the murderers of Christ's
members in this our time. Many now a days will have no other religion
than the Queen; the Queen no other than the Cardinal; the Cardinal no
other than the Pope; the Pope no other than the devil: let men therefore
consider what danger they stand in, if their salvation shall depend upon
the Queen's faith.' And they used to defend such manner of free dealing,
from the examples of the prophets reproving Kings personally. 'Now, if
the like and greater corruptions be in the world this day, who dare
enterprize, to put to silence the Spirit of God, which will not be
subject to the appetites of misled princes.' Mr. Knox's defence before
the Queen, when rebuked for speaking of her marriage in the pulpit, was:
'The Evangel, saith he, hath two points, repentance and faith; in
preaching repentance, of necessity it is, that the sins of men may be
noted, that they may know wherein they offend.' And in his dispute with
Lethington, requiring where any of the prophets did so use Kings and
rulers; he gave the example of Elias 'reproving Ahab and Jezebel, that
dogs shall lick the blood of Ahab, and eat the flesh of Jezebel; which
was not whispered in their ears, but so as the people understood well
enough, for so witnessed Jehu after the accomplishment.' Elisha reproved
Jehoram, saying, 'What have I to do with thee; if it were not for
Jehosaphat, I would not have looked toward thee. Though a subject, yet
he gave little reverence to the King.' These were their arguments for
faithfulness then, which are now exploded with contempt. Their worship
was also reformed from all dregs of popery, and fopperies of human
ceremonies, retained in many other churches, especially in England; to
whose bishops, in Queen Elizabeth's time, the Assembly wrote, 'That if
surplice, corner cap, tippet, &c. have been the badges of idolaters in
the very act of idolatry, what have preachers to do with the dregs of
that Romish beast? Yea, what is he that ought not to fear to take,
either in his hand or forehead, the mark of that odious beast?--We think
you should boldly oppose yourselves to all power, that will dare extol
itself against God, and against all such as do burden the conscience of
the faithful, further than God hath burdened them by his own word.' The
discipline and government was from the beginning presbyterial, even
before the establishment: both in practice, among the persecuted
ministers, who kept their private meetings; and in their doctrine. This
was one of Mr. Knox's articles he sustained at St. Andrew's, upon his
first entry unto the ministry. _Art. 8._ There is no bishop, except he
preach even by himself, without any substitute. But so soon as they
attained any settlement, they assembled in their first national synod in
the year 1560, by virtue of that intrinsic power granted by the Lord to
his church; nor did they so much as petition for the indulgence of the
then authority; but upon Christ's warrant, they kept and held their
courts in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ only; and in his sole
authority, by direction of his word and Spirit, concluded all their
counsels, votes and acts. And as they knew nothing of an exotic
supremacy, so they put out and held out prelacy, and kept a perfect
parity; which was nothing infringed by the extraordinary employments and
commissions delegated to some superintendants, upon the account of the
particular exigence of these times.

II. Next we find in the practice of these renowned reformers, many
demonstrations of pure zeal, worthy of all imitation; which I remark the
rather, because poor sufferers that would now imitate it, are condemned
as blind and ignorant zealots. But why are not the reformers condemned
for the same things? We find in the first place, that they were so far
from complying with, or conniving at, or countenancing public sins, that
they could not contain themselves from declaring their detestation of
the sight of them; yea the very boys did abominate them, as at the
reformation, at St. Johnstoun, a boy cried with a bold voice, This is
intolerable, that when God by his word hath plainly condemned idolatry,
we shall stand and see it used in despight. Whereupon he and others
threw down all the monuments of idolatry in that place. But if now any
should enterprise such a thing, when the idol of the mass is set up in
every city, they might expect Jerubaal's censure of the Abiezrites;
though it is true they might have the same encouragement, because they
have the same command as he had, to wit, the perpetual precept of
throwing down idolatrous altars. Next, they were so far from complying
with the enemies, in keeping the peace with them, that they thought it a
great sin not to oppose them, when their brethren were forced to take
the sword of self-defence, being persuaded by these arguments: 'That by
their fainting and abstracting their support, the enemies would be
encouraged; and thereby they should declare themselves both traitors to
the truth once professed, and murderers of their brethren, whom their
presence and concurrence might preserve; and that if they should deny
their brethren suffering for his name's sake, they should also deny
Christ, and be denied of him; and that God hath punished subjects with
their princes, for winking at, and not resisting their manifest
iniquity; and therefore, as he is immutable in nature, so would he not
pardon them in that which he hath punished in others,' &c. Which
arguments prevailed with the noble Earl of Glencairn, in zeal to burst
forth in these words:--'Albeit never man should accompany me, yet I will
go to my brethren, and if it were but a pike upon my shoulder, I had
rather die with that company, than live after them.' But now professors
cannot only sit at home, in their shops and cieled houses, when the
Lord's people are pursued and murdered in the fields, but also can hire
their murderers, and strengthen their hands, by paying them cesses and
localities, and what they require for help to do their work, and
maintaining them in their iniquity. Which famous Mr. Knox disproveth
very much in his day, arguing, 'That if people thought they were
innocent, because they were not the actors of such iniquity, they were
utterly deceived; for God doth not only punish the chief offenders, but
the consenters to such iniquity; and all are judged to consent, who give
not testimony against it; as the rulers and bishops are criminal of all
the innocent blood that is shed for the testimony of Christ's truth; so
are all who assist and maintain them in their blind rage, and give no
declaration, that their tyranny displeaseth them. This doctrine is
strange to the blind world, but the verity of it hath been declared in
all notable punishments from the beginning. When the old world was
destroyed by water, Sodom and Jerusalem were destroyed, were all alike
wicked? Yet all perished: why? All kept silence, or did not resist; by
which all approved iniquity, and joined hands with the tyrants, as it
had been in one battle against the Omnipotent.' Which words, if
impartially applied, will condemn and confute the dull daubings of the
present compliances, in maintaining tyrants and their emissaries, by
emoluments which they require and exact, and that professedly, for
promoting their accursed projects; and will justify conscientious
sufferers, for refusing to pay these impositions. And this will the
more appear, if we add some more of his pithy expressions in the same
place, clearing the subject he is upon, and answering an objection, what
poor people might do, when compelled to give obedience to all their
rulers demanded? 'Ye may,' saith that author, without sedition,
'withhold the fruits and profits, which your false bishops and clergy
most unjustly received of you: upon which he subjoins the preceeding
arguments.' Yet now a-days these have no weight, but such as refuse
either to pay oppressors exactions, or curates stipends, are condemned
for giddy fools. Again we find, that when they were challenged for duty,
they would never decline a declaration of its righteousness, nor do any
thing directly or indirectly, which might seem a condemning of it. And
therefore they would receive no pardons for these things which they
could not confess to be offences. John Knox, challenged for offending
the Queen, had her promise, that if he would confess an offence his
greatest punishment should be, but to go within the castle of Edinburgh,
and immediately to return to his own house; he refused absolutely. But
now, if our pardon-mongers, and prudent men had been so circumstantiate,
surely they could have helped themselves with their distinctions, they
might confess and be pardoned for offending the Queen, though not
confess it to be a fault in their conscience: but Mr. Knox had not
learned that then. When they were pursuing the murderer of King Henry of
Darnly, the queen finding herself not strong enough, offers to forgive
and pardon that insurrection: the Earl of Morton, in name of all the
rest, did not only refuse a cessation, but told her they would not ask a
pardon. But now sufferers, for refusing of these base and unmanly, as
well as unchristian compliances, are much condemned. Finally, because
this strictness, especially in their severity against their enemies, may
be accused of Jewish rigidity, inconsistent with a gospel spirit of
lenity, which also is imputed to the much condemned sufferers of
Scotland at this time, for their testimonies against toleration and
liberty of conscience: let us hear what Knox says, 'whatsoever God
required of the civil magistrate in Israel or Judah, concerning the
observation of true religion during the time of the law, the same doth
he require of lawful magistrates, professing Christ Jesus, in the time
of the gospel: and cites a large testimony out of Augustine to this
purpose.' And afterward objecting to himself the practice of the
apostles, who did not punish the idolatrous Gentiles; he answers, 'That
the Gentiles, being never avowed to be God's people before, had never
received his law, and therefore were not to be punished according to the
rigour of it, to which they were never subject, being strangers from the
common-wealth of Israel; but if any think, after the Gentiles were
received in the number of Abraham's children, and so made one people
with the Jews believing; then they were not bound to the same obedience
of Israel's covenant, the same seems to make Christ inferior to Moses,
and contrary to the law of his heavenly Father; for if the contempt and
transgression of Moses' law was worthy of death, what judge we the
contempt of Christ's ordinance to be? And if Christ be not come to
dissolve, but to fulfil the law of his heavenly Father, shall the
liberty of his gospel be an occasion that the special glory of his
Father be trodden under foot, and regarded of no man? God forbid: and
therefore I fear not to affirm, that the Gentiles be bound by the same
covenant that God made with his people Israel, in these words--"Beware
that thou make not any covenant with the inhabitants of the land, but
thou shalt destroy their altars," &c. When, therefore, the Lord putteth
the sword in the hand of a people, they are no less bound to purge their
cities and countries from idolatry, than were the Israelites, what time
they received the possession of the land of Canaan.'

III. For the head of resistance of superior powers, we have no clearer
instances in any period than in this, whereof the above-mentioned hints
give some account, to which their sentiments and arguments may be here
subjoined. They prized and improved this principle so much, that they
put it in their Confession of Faith, Art. 14. To save the lives of
innocents, to repress tyranny, to defend the oppressed, are among the
good works of the second table, which are most pleasing and acceptable
to God, as these works are commanded by himself; and to suffer innocent
blood to be shed, if we may withstand it, is affirmed to be sin, by
which God's hot displeasure is kindled against the proud and unthankful
world. And if there were no more to render the late test of Scotland
detestable, that condemns all resistance of kings upon any pretence
whatsoever, this may make all Christians, and all men, abhor the
contrivance of it; that that same test that confirms this thesis, doth
also impose the antithesis upon conscience. It obliges to this
confession in the first part of it, and to deny it in the latter. But no
wonder, that men of feared consciences can receive any thing, though
never so contradictory to itself, and that men who deny sense, and that
principle radicated in human nature, may also deny conscience, and make
a tool of it in soldering contradictories. But not only did our
reformers assert this truth, for which now their children adhering to
their testimony, suffer both rage and reproach; but also gave their
reasons for it. As (1.) Mr. Knox, in his first conference with the
Queen, argues thus, 'There is neither greater honour nor obedience to be
given to princes than parents; but so it is, that the father may be
stricken with a phrensy, in the which he would slay his own children;
now if the children arise, take his weapon from him, bind his hands, do
the children any wrong? It is even so with princes, that would murder
the children of God subject to them, their blind zeal is nothing but a
very mad phrensy; and therefore to take the sword from them, and cast
them into prison till they be brought to a more sober mind, is no
disobedience against princes.' (2.) In his conference with Lethingtoun,
he proves the same point, from the consideration of the justice of God,
punishing the people for not resisting the prince. The scripture of God
teacheth me (saith he) 'Jerusalem and Judah were punished for the sins
of Manasseh; if you alledge they were punished, because they were
wicked, and not because the king was wicked; the scripture says
expressly, for the sins of Manasseh; yet will I not absolve the people,
I will grant the whole people offended with their king, but how? To
affirm that all Judah committed the acts of his impiety, hath no
certainty; who can think, that all Jerusalem should turn idolaters
immediately after Hezekiah's notable reformation? One part therefore
willingly followed him in his idolatry, the other suffered him, and so
were criminal of his sin; even as Scotland is guilty of the Queen's
idolatry this day.' In the same discourse he makes it plain, that all
are guilty of innocents murder who do not oppose it, from Jeremiah's
words in his defence before the princes.----"Know ye for certain, if ye
put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves,
and upon the city, and upon the inhabitants thereof:" Now, if the
princes, and the whole people should have been guilty of the prophet's
blood; how shall others be judged innocent before God, if they suffer
the blood of innocents to be shed, when they may save it? (3.) _Ibid._
He argues from the distinction between the person placed in authority,
and the ordinance of God, the one may be resisted, the other cannot. The
plain words of the apostle makes the difference, 'The ordinance is of
God, for preservation of mankind, punishment of vice, which is holy and
constant: persons commonly are profane and unjust: he that resisteth the
power there, is only meant of the just power wherewith God hath armed
his magistrates, which whoso resists, resists God's ordinance; but if
men, in the fear of God, oppose themselves to the fury of princes, they
then resist not God, but the devil, who abuses the sword and authority
of God: it is evident the people resisted Saul, when he had sworn
Jonathan should die, whom they delivered: the Spirit of God accuses them
not of any crime, but praises them, and condemns the king: this same
Saul again commanded the priests of the Lord to be slain, his guard
would not obey, but Doeg put the king's cruelty in execution; I will not
ask, whether the king's servants, not obeying, resisted the ordinance of
God; or whether Doeg's murdering gave obedience to just authority? The
Spirit of God condemns that fact, Psal. lii. that God would not only
punish the commander, but also the merciless executor; therefore they
who gainstood his command, resisted not the ordinance of God. (4.)
_Ibid._ He argues from examples, not only of resisting, but of punishing
tyrants; chiefly the example of Uzziah is pertinent to this purpose, 2
Chron. xxvi. who after his usurping the priest's office, was put out of
the temple.' When it was replied, that they were the priests that
withstood the king, not simple people: he answered, 'The priests were
subjects, as Abiathar was deposed by Solomon, &c. yet they made him go
out of the temple for his leprosy, and the people put him from the
kingdom.' It is noted also, that Mr. Knox, in that discourse, adduces
examples of those, who use to be brought in as objections against
defensive arms, even the primitive Christians, before that passage last
cited: 'what precepts,' says he, 'the apostle gave, I will not affirm;
but I find two things the faithful did; the one was, they assisted their
preachers even against the rulers; the other was, they suppressed
idolatry wheresoever God gave unto them force, asking no leave of the
emperor, nor of his deputies: read the Ecclesiastical histories, and ye
shall find examples sufficient.'

IV. In the next place, we may enquire into the judgment of these
reformers, concerning that question that is now so puzzling to many;
which indeed was never started before this time, as a head of suffering;
but now, when it is started, we may gather from our ancestors actings
and determinations about it, how it ought to be answered. They were
indeed in capacity, and accordingly did improve it, for disowning the
authority of both the Queens; for their capacity was not the thing that
made it duty, if it had not been so before. Capacity makes a thing
possible, but not lawful: it does indeed make a duty seasonable, and
clears the call to it, and regulates the timing of affirmative duties,
but the want of it can never dispense with negative precepts: and a
duty, negative especially, may become necessary, when it hath not the
advantage of seasonableness or capacity; certainly it were duty to
depose the Pope from his usurped authority, and to disown it even in
Rome itself, but there it would not be thought very feasible or
seasonable, for twenty or thirty people to avouch such a thing there;
yet, at all times, it is a duty never to own it. It is thought
unseasonable and unfeasible to disown the tyrants authority; but it is
made necessary, when urged, never to own it. And for this we have the
grounds of our ancestors, shewing who may be disowned, and must not be
owned. I shall first insert here John Knox's propositions, prosecuted in
his second blast, extant at the end of Anton. Gilbie's admonition to
England and Scotland, 1. 'It is not birth only, nor propinquity of
blood, that maketh a king lawfully to reign over a people professing
Christ Jesus and his eternal verity; but, in his election, the ordinance
which God hath established in the election of inferior judges, must be
observed. 2. No manifest idolater, nor notorious transgressor of God's
holy precepts, ought to be promoted to any public regimen, honour, or
dignity, in any realm, province, or city, that hath subjected themselves
to Christ Jesus, and his blessed evangel. 3. Neither can oath, or
promise, bind any such people to obey and maintain tyrants, against God
and his truth known. 4. But if rashly they have promoted any manifest
wicked person, or yet ignorantly have chosen such an one, as after
declareth himself unworthy of regimen above the people of God, (and such
be all idolaters and cruel persecutors) most justly may the same men
depose and punish him, that unadvisedly before they did nominate,
appoint and elect.' Accordingly this was done in deposing both the
Queens; which is fully vindicated by the Earl of Morton, in his
discourse to the Queen of England, as Buchanan relates it, book xx. page
746. 'The deed itself, neither the custom of our ancestors of taking a
course with their governors, will suffer it to be accounted new, nor the
moderation of the punishment to be odious; for it were not needful to
recount so many kings punished by death, bonds, and exile by our
progenitors. For the Scottish nation, being from the beginning always
free, hath created kings upon these conditions, that the government
entrusted to them by the people's suffrages, might be also (if the
matter required) removed by the same suffrages: of which law there are
many footsteps remaining even to our day; for both in the isles about,
and in many places of the continent, in which the old language and
institutions have any abode, this custom is kept, in creating their
governors of clanns: and the ceremonies, used at the entering into
government, do yet retain the express representation of this law. Whence
it is evident, that the government is nothing else but a mutual
stipulation between kings and people: which further appears, from the
inviolated tenor of the ancient law, since the beginning of the Scottish
government, reserved even unto our memory, without the least essay
either to abrogate it, or disable, or diminish it. Yea, even when our
fathers have deposed, banished, and more severely punished so many
kings, yet never was any mention or motion made of relaxing the rigour
of that law, and not without reason, seeing it was not of that kind of
constitutions, that change with the times, but of those which are
engraven in the minds of men from the first original, and approved by
the mutual consent of all nations, and by nature's sanction continued
inviolable and perpetual, which, being subject to no other laws, do
command and rule all. This, which in every action doth offer itself to
our eyes and minds, and whether we will or not, abides in our breasts,
our predecessors followed; being always armed against violence, and
ready to suppress tyrants.--And now for the present, what have we done,
but insisting in the footsteps of so many kingdoms and free nations,
suppressed tyrannical licentiousness, extolling itself above all order
of laws, not indeed so severely as our predecessors in like cases; if we
had imitated them, not only would we have been far from all fear of
danger, but also have escaped the trouble of calumnies.--What would our
adversaries be at? Is it that we should arm with authority tyrants
convicted of grievous crimes, maintained by the spoils of the subjects,
having hands embrued in loyal blood, and hearts gaping for the
oppression of all good men? And shall we put them upon our head, who are
infamously suspected of parricide, both projected and perpetrated?' To
which we may add, a foreign conclusion indeed, but adduced and
maintained by Mr. Craig, in the assembly, in the 1564, which had been
determined by learned men in Bononia, 'All rulers, be they supreme or
subordinate, may and ought to be reformed, or bridled (to speak
moderately) by them, by whom they are chosen, confirmed, or admitted to
their office; so oft as they break that promise made by oath to their
subjects, because princes are no less bound by oath to their subjects,
than are the subjects to their princes: and therefore ought it to be
kept and performed equally, according to law and condition of the oath
that is made of either party.' By comparing which two testimonies
together, we may see the reasons, why neither of the two royal brothers,
that have ruled in our day, could be conscientiously owned as
magistrates, in the case they have been in for several years past: the
first testimony is for the second brother, the latter is for the first
that's gone. But, as for Mr. Knox's opinion, it is evident he had
written a book against the government of women; which though he did not
intend it particularly against Mary of Scotland, yet it did invalidate
her authority as well as other women's. This book he owns and maintains,
in his first conference with her, and consequently could not own her
authority as of the Lord, tho' he gave her common respect, as the title
of majesty, &c. yet when he was particularly urged by the Queen's
question, you think, said she, 'That I have no just authority;' he would
not answer in the affirmative, but shifted it, by telling her, 'That
learned men, in all ages, have had their judgment free, and most
commonly disagreeing from the common judgment of the world. And though,
he says, he could live under her government (so may, and would the
greatest disowners of tyranny, if they be not troubled with questions
about owning it) yet he affirms that with the testimony of a good
conscience, he had communicated his judgment to the world, and that if
the realm found no inconveniences in her government, he would no further
disallow than within his own breast.' Certainly then, in his conscience,
he did not, and could not own her, as the magistrate of God; and that
though many things which before were holden stable, had been called in
doubt, yet neither protestant nor papist could prove, that any such
question was, at any time, moved in public or private. Neither could
ever such a question be moved, if the conscience were not posed; and
then, when it must speak, it must of necessity be unpleasant to tyrants.
Thus we have heard both the positions and scruples of this witness; let
us also hear his arguings, that people may punish princes for their
idolatry and murder, &c. and therefore much more may disown them: and
therefore again much more may they forbear to own them, when called; for
can a dead man, by law, be owned to be a magistrate, and keeper of the
law. 'Idolatry' (saith he in his conference with Lethington) 'ought not
only to be suppressed, but the idolater ought to die the death; but by
whom? By the people of God, for the commandment was given to Israel;
yea, a command, that if it be heard that idolatry is committed in any
one city, that then the whole body of the people arise and destroy that
city, sparing neither man, woman, nor child. But shall the king also be
punished? If he be an idolater, I find no privilege granted unto kings
more than unto people, to offend God's majesty. But the people may not
be judges to their king.----God is the universal judge; so that what his
word commands to be punished in the one, is not to be absolved in the
other; and that the people, yea, or a part of the people, may not
execute God's judgments against their king, being an offender; I am sure
you have no other warrant, except your own imaginations, and the opinion
of such as more fear to offend their princes than God.' In the same
conference we have the instance of Jehu adduced to prove that subjects
may execute God's judgments upon their princes. It was objected, Jehu
was a king before he executed judgment upon Ahab's house, and the fact
was extraordinary, and not to be imitated. He answered, He was a mere
subject; 'No doubt Jezabel both thought and said he was a traitor, and
so did many others in Israel and Samaria. And whereas it was said, that
the fact was extraordinary; I say, it had the ground of God's ordinary
judgment, which commandeth the idolater to die the death; and therefore
I yet again affirm, it is to be imitated of all those that prefer the
true honour of the true worship and glory of God, to the affection of
flesh and wicked princes. We are not bound, said Lethington, to follow
extraordinary examples, unless we have the like commandment and
assurance. I grant, said the other, if the example repugn to the law,
but where the example agrees with the law, and is, as it were, the
execution of God's judgment expressed within the same; I say, that the
example approved of God, stands to us in place of a commandment; for as
God, in his nature, is constant and immutable, so cannot he condemn, in
the ages subsequent, that which he hath approved in his servants before
us.' Then he brings another argument from Amaziah who fled to Lachish,
but the people sent thither and slew him there. Lethington doubted
whether they did well or not: he answered, 'Where I find execution
according to God's law, and God himself not accuse the doers, I dare not
doubt of the equity of their cause: And it appears, God gave them
sufficient evidence of his approving the fact, for he blessed them with
peace and prosperity. But prosperity does not always prove that God
approves the fact: yes, when the acts of men agree with the law, and are
rewarded according to the promise in that law, then the prosperity
succeeding the fact is a most infallible assurance that God hath
approved it; but so it is, that there is a promise of lengthening out
prosperity to them that destroy idolatry. And again, concluding Uzziah's
example, he says there, the people ought to execute God's law, even
against their princes, when that their open crimes, by God's law,
deserve punishment; especially when they are such as may infect the
rest of the multitude.'

V. There is another thing for which people have suffered much in our day
of blasphemy, rebuke and trouble, which yet we find was not so odious in
our reformers eyes as this dull and degenerate age would represent it.
That in some cases it is lawful and laudable for private persons,
touched with the zeal of God, and love to their country, and respect to
justice trampled upon by tyrants; to put forth their hand to execute
righteous judgment upon the enemies of God and mankind, intolerable
traitors, murderers, idolaters; when the ruin of the country,
destruction of religion and liberty, and the wrath of God is threatened,
in and for the impunity of that vermin of villains, and may be averted
by their destruction, always supposed, that these, whose office it is to
do it, decline their duty. The mind of our reformers as to this is
manifest, both in their practice and opinion. We heard before of the
slaughter of Cardinal Beaton, and of the fiddler Rizzio: we shall find
both commended by Mr. Knox, giving account how these that were carried
captives to France for this cause from St. Andrew's were delivered.
'This (saith he), we write, to let the posterity to come to understand,
how potently God wrought in preserving and delivering of those that had
but a small knowledge of his truth, and for the love of the same
hazarded all; that if we, in our days, or our posterity that shall
follow, shall see a dispersion of such as oppose themselves to impiety,
or take upon them to punish the same otherwise than laws of men will
permit, if such shall be left of men, yea as it were despised and
punished of God: yet let us not damn the persons that punish vice, (and
that for just cause,) nor yet despair, but that the same God that
dejects will raise up again the persons dejected, to his glory and their
comfort; and to let the world understand in plain terms what we mean;
that great abuser of this commonwealth, that poultron and vile knave
Davie was justly punished, March 9, 1565, by the counsel and hands of
James Douglas, Earl of Morton, Patrick Lord Lindsay, &c. who, for their
just act, and most worthy of all praise, are now unworthily left of all
their brethren.' This is not only commended by the author alone, but we
find it concluded by all the brethren at that time, when the Queen
brought in the idol of the mass again, and the proud papists began to
avow it: Then let it be marked that, 'The brethren universally offended,
and espying that the Queen by proclamation did but delude them,
determined to put to their own hands, and to punish for example of
others; and so some priests in the West land were apprehended,
intimation was made to others, as to the abbot of Cosragnel, the parson
of Sanquhar, and such, that they should neither complain to the Queen
nor council, but should execute the punishment that God has appointed to
idolaters in his law, by such means as they might, wherever they should
be apprehended.' Upon this the Queen sent for Mr. Knox, and dealt with
him earnestly, that he would be the instrument to persuade the people
not to put hand to punish. He perceiving her craft, willed her Majesty
to punish malefactors according to law, and he durst promise quietness,
upon the part of all them that professed Christ within Scotland: but if
her Majesty thought to delude the laws, he feared some would let the
papists understand, that without punishment they should not be suffered
so manifestly to offend God's majesty. Will ye (quoth she) allow they
shall take my sword in their hand? 'The sword of justice (said he)
Madam, is God's, and is given to princes and rulers for one end; which,
if they transgress, sparing the wicked, and oppressing the innocents,
they that in the fear of God execute judgment, where God hath commanded,
offend not God, although kings do it not: the examples are evident, for
Samuel spared not to slay Agag the fat and delicate king of Amalek, whom
king Saul had saved; neither spared Elias Jezabel's false prophets, and
Baal's priests, albeit that king Ahab was present; Phineas was no
magistrate, and yet feared he not to strike Zimri and Cozbi in the very
act of filthy fornication; and so, Madam, your Majesty may see that
others than magistrates may lawfully punish, and have punished the vice
and crimes that God commands to be punished.' He proved it also at more
length in his appellation, from Deut. xiii. "If thy brother solicit thee
secretly, saying, Let us go serve other gods, consent not to him, let
not thine eye spare him, but kill him; let thy hand be first upon him,
and afterward the hand of the whole people." Of these words of Moses,
two things appertaining to our purpose are to be noted: 'The first is,
that such as solicitate only to idolatry ought to be punished to death,
without favour or respect of person; for he that will not suffer man to
spare his son, wife, &c. will not wink at the idolatry of others, of
what state or condition soever they be: it is not unknown that the
prophets had revelations of God, which were not common to the people;
now, if any man might have claimed any privilege from the rigour of the
law, or might have justified his fact, it should have been the prophet,
but God commands, that the prophet that shall so solicitate the people
to serve strange gods, shall die the death, notwithstanding that he
alledge for himself, dream, vision, or revelation, because he teacheth
apostacy from God: hereby it may be seen, that none, provoking the
people to idolatry, ought to be exempted from the punishment of death.
Evident it is, that no state, condition, nor honour can exempt the
idolater from the hands of God, when he shall call him to an account:
how shall it then excuse the people, that they according to God's
command, punish not to death such as shall solicitate or violently draw
the people to idolatry? The second is, that the punishment of such
crimes, as idolatry, blasphemy, and others that touch the majesty of
God, doth not appertain to kings and chief rulers only, but also to the
whole body of the people, and to every member of the same, according to
the vocation of every man, and according that possibility and occasion
which God doth minister, to revenge the injury done against his glory:
and that doth Moses more plainly speak in these words of the same
chapter, "If in any city which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt
hear this brute, there are some men sons of Belial."--Plain it is, that
Moses speaks not nor giveth charge to kings, rulers, and judges only;
but he commands the whole body of the people, yea and every member of
the same, according to their possibility. And who dare be so impudent as
to deny this to be most reasonable and just? For seeing God had
delivered the whole body from bondage, and to the whole multitude had
given his law, and to the twelve tribes had distributed the land of
Canaan: was not the whole and every member addebted to confess the
benefits of God, and to study to keep the possession received? which
they could not do, except they kept the religion established, and put
out iniquity from amongst them. To the carnal man this may seem to be a
rigorous and severe judgment, that even the infants there should be
appointed to the cruel death; and as concerning the city and spoil of
the same, man's reason cannot think but that it might have been better
bestowed, than to be consumed. But in such cases, let all creatures
stoop, and desist from reasoning, when commandment is given to execute
his judgment. I will search no other reasons than the Holy Ghost hath
assigned; first, That all Israel should fear to commit the like
abomination; and, secondly, That the Lord might turn from the fury of
his anger: which plainly doth signify, that, by the defection and
idolatry of a few, God's wrath is kindled against the whole, which is
never quenched, till such punishment be taken upon the offenders, that
whatsoever served them in their idolatry be brought to destruction,' &c.
I have enlarged so far upon this period, that it may appear, there is
nothing now in controversy, between the suffering and reproached party
now in Scotland, and either their friends or enemies, which could fall
under our reformers inquiry; but they have declared themselves of the
same sentiments that are now so much opposed; and therefore none can
condemn the present heads of suffering, except also they condemn the
reformers judgment; and consequently the imputation of novelty must


_Containing the Testimony of the first Contenders against Prelacy and
Supremacy, from the Year 1570, to 1638._

Hitherto the conflict was for the concerns of Christ's prophetical and
priestly office, against paganism and popery. But from the year 1570,
and downward, the testimony is stated, and gradually prosecuted for the
rights, privileges and prerogatives of Christ's kingly office; which
hath been the peculiar glory of the church of Scotland, above all the
churches in the earth, that this hath been given to her as the word of
her testimony; and not only consequentially and reductively, as all
other churches may challenge a part of this dignity, but formally and
explicitly to contend for this very head, the headship and kingship of
Jesus Christ, the prince of the kings of the earth, and his mediatory
supremacy over his own kingdom of grace, both visible and invisible.
This is Christ's supremacy, a special radiant jewel of his imperial
crown, which as it hath been as explicitly encroached upon in Scotland,
by his insolent enemies, as ever by any that entered in opposition to
him, so it hath been more expressly witnessed and wrestled for by his
suffering servants in that land than in any place of the world. This was
in a particular manner the testimony of that period, during the reign of
King James the 6th; as it hath been in a great measure in our day, since
the year 1660. Which, as it is the most important cause, of the greatest
consequence that mortals can contend for; so it hath this peculiar glory
in it, that it is not only for the truth of Christ, of greater value
than the standing of heaven and earth, but also it is the very truth for
which Christ himself died, considered as a martyr; and which concerns
him to vindicate and maintain as a monarch. The witnesses of that day
made such an high account of it, that they encouraged one another to
suffer for it, as the greatest concern; 'being a witness for Christ's
glorious and free monarchy, which, as it is the end of the other two
offices, so the testimony is more glorious to God, more honourable to
his Son, and more comfortable to them, than the testimony either for his
prophetical office, or for his priesthood, because his kingdom was
especially impugned at the time;' as Mr. Forbes and Mr. Welch wrote in a
letter to the Ministers at court. The corruptions and usurpations
wronging this truth, that they contended against, were prelacy and the
King's supremacy in ecclesiastical matters; which will be useful to hint
a little, how they prosecuted the conflict. When Satan (whose kingdom
was then declining) by several instruments and means, both by force and
fraud, did endeavour to put a stop to the reformation, by reintroducing
the antichristian hierarchy of prelacy, when he could not re-establish
the antichristian doctrine of popery; he left no means unessayed to
effectuate it. And first he began to bring the name Bishop in request,
that was now growing obsolete and odious, by reason of the abuse of it
(as it ought to be still, for though the name be found in the
scriptures, yet neither is that catechestical application of it to
prelates to be found, nor was there any other reason for the translation
of it after that manner, except it were to please princes; seeing the
native signification of it is an overseer, proper and common to all
faithful pastors.) And indeed his first essay reached little further
than the bare name, for they were to be rejected to, and tried by
assemblies, and hardly had so much power as superintendants before. But
it was a fine court juggle for noblemen to get the church-revenues into
their hands, by restoring the ecclesiastical titles, and obtaining from
the titulars either temporal lands, or pensions to their dependers; so
they were only Tulchan bishops, _a calf-skin to cause the cow give
milk_. Yet, though this in our day would have been thought tolerable,
the faithful servants of Christ did zealously oppose it. Mr. Knox
denounced Anathema to the giver, and Anathema to the receiver. And the
following Assembly condemned the office itself, 'as having no sure
warrant, authority, nor ground in the book of God, but brought in by the
folly and corruption of men's invention, to the overthrow of the church;
and ordained all that brooked the office, to demit simpliciter, and to
desist and cease from preaching, while they received _de novo_ admission
from the General Assembly, under the pain of excommunication.' Hereby
they were awakened and animated to a more vigorous prosecution of the
establishment of the house of God in its due government. In pursuance
whereof, the Assemblies from that time, until the year 1581, did with
much painfulness and faithfulness attend the work: until, by perfecting
of the second book of discipline, they completed their work, in the
exact model of Presbyterial Government, in all its courts and officers;
which was confirmed and covenanted to be kept inviolate, in the
National Covenant, subscribed that year by the King, his Court and
Council; and afterwards by all ranks of people in the land. Whence it
may be doubted, whether the impudence of the succeeding prelates, that
denied this, or their perjury in breaking of it, be greater. This was
but the first brush. A brisker assault follows; wherein, for the better
establishment of prelacy, that what it wants of divine right, might be
supplied by the accession of human prerogative, and not only Diocesan,
but also Erastian prelacy might be set up, to destroy Christ's kingdom,
and advance Satan's; the Earl of Arran, and his wicked accomplices move
the King, contrary both to the word and oath of God, to usurp the
prerogative of Jesus Christ, and assume to himself a blasphemous monster
of supremacy, over all persons, and in all causes, as well
ecclesiastical as civil. But this also the faithful servants of God did
worthily and valiantly resist; and at the very appearance of it, gave in
a grievance to the King in the year 1582, 'That he had taken upon him a
spiritual power, which properly belongs to Christ, as only king and head
of the church; the ministry and execution whereof is only given to such
as bear office in the ecclesiastical government in the same: so that in
the King's person, some men press to erect a new popedom, as though he
could not be full king of this commonwealth, unless as well the
spiritual as temporal sword be put in his hand, unless Christ be reft of
his authority, and the two jurisdictions confounded, which God hath
divided, which directly tendeth to the wreck of all true religion.'
Which being presented by the Commissioners of the General Assembly, the
Earl of Arran asked with a frowning countenance, who dare subscribe
these treasonable articles? Mr. Andrew Melvin answered, we dare, and
will subscribe, and render our lives in the cause. And afterward, that
same Assembly presented articles, shewing, 'That seeing the spiritual
jurisdiction of the church is granted by Christ, and given only to
them, that by preaching, teaching, and overseeing, bear office within
the same, to be exercised, not by the injunctions of men, but by the
only rule of God's word.--Hereafter, no other, of whatsoever degree, or
under whatsoever pretence, have any colour to ascribe, or to take upon
them any part thereof either in placing or displacing of ministers,
without the church's admission, or in stopping the mouths of preachers,
or putting them to silence, or take upon them the judgment of trial of
doctrine,' &c. But in contempt and contradiction to this, and to
prosecute and exert this new usurped power, Mr. Andrew Melvin was
summoned before the Secret Council, for a sermon of his, applying his
doctrine to the time's corruptions; whereupon he gave in his declinature
against them, as incompetent judges, and told them, 'They were too bold,
in a constitute Christian church, to pass by the pastors, prophets, and
doctors, and to take upon them to judge the doctrine, and to controul
the ambassadors of a greater than was there, which they neither ought
nor can do. There are (saith he, loosing a little Hebrew bible from his
girdle) my instructions and warrant: see if any of you can controul me,
that I have past my injunctions.' For this he was decerned to be warded
in the castle of Edinburgh; but he being informed that if he entered in
ward, he would not be released, unless it were for the scaffold, he
conveyed himself secretly out of the country. Hereafter when the
parliament 1584 had enacted this supremacy, and submission to prelacy,
to be subscribed by all ministers; the faithful first directed Mr. David
Lindsay to the King, desiring, that nothing be done in parliament
prejudicial to the church's liberty, who got the prison of Blackness for
his pains. And then when they could not get access for shut doors to
protest before the parliament; yet when the acts were proclaimed at the
cross of Edinburgh, they took public documents in name of the church of
Scotland (though they were but two) that they protested against the said
acts, and fled to England, leaving behind them reasons that moved them
to do so. And Mr. James Melvin wrote against the subscribers at that
time very pertinently; proving first, 'That they had not only set up a
new pope, and so become traitors to Christ; and condescended to that
chief error of papistry, whereupon all the rest depend; but further, in
so doing, they had granted more to the King, than ever the popes of Rome
peaceably obtained,' &c. And in the end, as for those that lamented
their own weakness and feebleness, he adviseth them, to remove the
public slander, 'by going boldly to the King and Lords, and shew them
how they had fallen through weakness, but by God's power are risen
again; and there by public note and witness taken, free themselves from
that subscription, and to will the same to be delete, renouncing and
detesting it plainly, and thereafter publicly in their sermons; and by
their declaration and retractation in writ, presented to the faithful,
manifest the same, let them do with stipend, benefice, and life itself,
what they list.' This I inferr, because this counsel is now condemned;
and when poor people, offended with ministers subscriptions of bonds and
other compliances, desire acknowledgments of the offence, they reject it
as an impertinent imposition, and plead they are not obliged to manifest
any retractation but to an ecclesiastical judicatory. To which I shall
say nothing here, but this is no novelty. After this, it is known what
bickerings the faithful witnesses of Christ had, in their conflicts with
this supremacy upon the account of Mr. David Black's declinature, which
they both advised him to, and approved when he gave it in, against the
King and Council, as judges of his doctrine. And the Commissioners of
the General Assembly ordained all, to deal mightily with the power of
the word, against the Council's encroachments; for which they were
charged to depart forth of Edinburgh. After which he added a second
declinature: 'Declaring, there are two jurisdictions in this realm; the
one spiritual, the other civil; the one respecting the conscience, the
other externals, &c.--Therefore, in so far as he was one of the
spiritual office-bearers, and had discharged his spiritual calling in
some measure of grace and sincerity, should not, nor could not be
lawfully judged for preaching and applying the word, by any civil power;
he being an ambassador and messenger of the Lord Jesus, having his
commission from the King of kings, and all his instructions set down and
limited in the book of God, that cannot be extended, abridged, or
altered by any mortal wight, king or emperor; and seeing he was sent to
all sorts, his commission and discharge of it should not, nor cannot be
lawfully judged by them to whom he was sent; they being sheep, and not
pastors, to be judged by the word, and not to be judges thereof in a
judicial way.' The interlocutor being past against him for this, the
brethren thought it duty, that the droctrine of the preacher should be
directed against the said interlocutor, as against a strong and mighty
hold set up against the Lord Jesus, and the freedom of the gospel; and
praised God for the force and unity of the spirit that was among
themselves. And being charged to depart out of the town, they leave a
faithful declaration at large, shewing how the liberties of the church
were invaded and robbed. But all this was nothing, in comparison of
their wrestlings for the royalties of their princely Master, and
privileges of his kingdom, against the tyrant's insolences, after he
obtained the crown of England; for then he would not suffer the church
to indict her own Assemblies. And when the faithful thought themselves
obliged to counteract his encroachments, and therefore convened in an
Assembly at Aberdeen in the year 1605, they were forced to dissolve,
and thereafter, the most eminent of the ministers there assembled were
transported prisoners to Blackness; whence being cited before the
Council, they decline their judicatory. And one of their brethren, Mr.
Robert Youngson, who had formerly succumbed, being moved in conscience,
returned; and when the rest were standing before the Council, desired to
be heard, and acknowledged his fault; and therefore, howbeit not
summoned by the Lords, was charged by the living God, and compelled to
compear that day, to justify that Assembly, to the great astonishment of
the Lords, and comfort of his brethren; he subscribed the declinature
with the rest; and for this they were arraigned, and condemned, as
guilty of treason, and banished. Before the execution of which sentence,
Mr. Welch wrote to the Lady Fleming, to this effect: 'What am I, that he
should first have called me, and then constituted me a minister of glad
tidings of the gospel of salvation, these fifteen years already, and now
last of all to be a sufferer of his cause and kingdom? To witness that
good confession, that Jesus Christ is the King of saints, and that his
church is a most free kingdom; yea, as free as any kingdom under heaven,
not only to convocate, hold and keep her meetings, conventions and
assemblies; but also to judge of all her affairs in all her meetings and
conventions among his subjects. These two points, (1.) That Christ is
the head of his church. (2.) That she is free in her government from all
other jurisdiction except Christ's, are the special cause of our
imprisonment, being now convict as traitors, for maintaining thereof. We
have now been waiting with joyfulness to give the last testimony of our
blood in confirmation thereof, if it would please our God to be so
favourable, as to honour us with that dignity.' After this, the King
resolving by parliament to advance the state of bishops again, as in the
time of popery, without cautions as before; and further, to establish
not only that Antichristian Hierarchy, but an Erastian supremacy: the
faithful ministers of Christ thought themselves bound in conscience to
protest; and accordingly they offered protestation to the parliament
July----1606, obtesting, 'That they would reserve into the Lord's own
hands, that glory which he will communicate neither to man nor angel, to
wit, to prescribe from his holy mountain a lively pattern, according to
which his own tabernacle should be formed: remembring always, that there
is no absolute and undoubted authority in this world, except the
sovereign authority of Christ the King; to whom it belongeth as properly
to rule the church, according to the good pleasure of his own will, as
it belongeth to him to save his church by the merit of his own
sufferings: all other authority is so entrenched within the marches of
divine command, that the least overpassing of the bounds, set by God
himself, brings men under the fearful expectation of temporal and
eternal judgment.--If ye should authorize bishops, ye should bring into
the church the ordinance of man, which experience hath found to have
been the ground of that Antichristian Hierarchy, which mounted up on
steps of bishops pre-eminence, until that man of sin came forth, as the
ripe fruit of man's wisdom, whom God shall consume with the breath of
his own mouth. Let the sword of God pierce that belly, which brought
forth such a monster; and let the staff of God crush that egg, which
hath hatched such a cockatrice: and let not only that Roman Antichrist
be thrown down from the high bench of his usurped authority, but also
let all the steps, whereby he mounted up to that unlawful pre-eminence,
be cut down and utterly abolished in this land: and beware to strive
against God with an open displayed banner, by building up again the
walls of Jericho, which the Lord hath not only cast down, but also hath
laid them under an horrible interdiction and execration; so that the
building of them again must needs stand to greater charges to the
builders, than the re-edifying of Jericho, to Hiel the Bethelite in the
days of Ahab.' Yet notwithstanding of all opposition, prelacy was again
restored in parliament. And to bring all to a compliance with the same,
presbyteries and synods universally charged, under highest pains, to
admit a constant moderator without change; which many refused
resolutely, as being the first step of prelacy. Upon this followed a
great persecution of the faithful, for their non-conformity, managed by
that mongrel and monstrous kind of court, made up of clergymen and
statesmen, called the high commission court, erected in the year 1610,
whereby many honest men were put violently from their charges and
habitations; the generality were involved in a great and fearful
defection. But the cope-stone of the wickedness of that period, was the
ratification of the five articles of Perth, 'kneeling at the communion;
private communion to be given to the sick, private baptism: and
confirmation of children by the bishop; and observation of festival
days:' which were much opposed and testified against by the faithful,
from their first hatching in the year 1618, to the year 1621, when they
were ratified in parliament; at what time they were also witnessed
against from heaven; by extraordinary lightnings and tempests. And
against this the testimony of the faithful continued, till the
revolution in the year 1638. Here we see how the cause was stated in
this period; and may gather also wherein it agrees; and how far it
differs from the present testimony, now suffered for under all rage and

I. The matter of the testimony was one with that we are suffering for,
against popery, prelacy and supremacy; except that it was not so far
extended against tyranny, because that tyrant was not such an usurper,
nor such a violator of the fundamental constitutions of the civil
government, as these that we have had to do withal. But as to the
managing the testimony; they far outstripped their successors in this
generation, in conduct and courage, prudence and zeal, as is above
hinted in many instances; to which we may add some more. When several
plots of papist lords had been discovered, conspiring with the king of
Spain, and they were by the king's indulgence favoured, and some were
also persuaded to treat with them, famous Mr. Davidson opposed with
great resolution; declaring before the synod of Lothian, 'That it
savoured much of defection in these days, that such notorious rebels to
God, his church, and the country, should be so treated with; we should
not rashly open a door to God's enemies, without better proof of their
manners nor were yet seen.' And when a convention in Falkland was
consulting to call home these conspiring traitors, Mr. Andrew Melvin
went thither uncalled; and when found fault with by the king for his
boldness, he answered, 'Sir, I have a call to come here from Christ and
his church, who have special interest in this turn, and against whom
this convention is assembled directly; I charge you, and your estates,
in the name of Christ and his church, that ye favour not his enemies
whom he hateth, nor go about to call home, nor make citizens of these,
who have traiterously fought to betray their city and native country,
with the overthrow of Christ's kingdom.' And further challenged them of
treason against Christ, his church and the country, in that purpose they
were about. About the same time, in a private conference with the king,
he calls the king God's silly vassal; and taking him by the sleeve, told
him, 'Sir, you, and church and country is like to be wrecked for not
telling the truth, and giving you faithful counsel; we must discharge
our duty, or else be enemies to Christ and you: therefore I must tell
you, there are two kings and two kingdoms; there is Christ and his
kingdom, whose subject king James VI. is, and of whole kindom he is not
a king, nor a head, nor a lord, but a member; and they whom Christ hath
called to watch over and govern his church, have sufficient authority
and power from him, which no Christian king should controul, but assist,
otherwise they are not faithful subjects to Christ. Sir, when you were
in your swaddling clouts, Christ reigned freely in this land, in spight
of all his enemies; but now the wisdom of your council, which is
devilish and pernicious, is this, that you may be served of all sorts of
men to your purpose and grandeur, Jew and Gentile, Papist and
Protestant, because the ministers and Protestants in Scotland are too
strong, and controul the king, they must be weakened and brought low, by
stirring up a party against them; and the king being equal and
indifferent, both shall be fain to flee to him, so shall he be well
settled: but, Sir, let God's wisdom be the only wisdom, this will prove
mere and mad folly; for his curse cannot but light upon it; so that in
seeking both, you shall lose both.' To the like effect Mr. Robert Bruce,
in a sermon upon Psal. li. gives faithful warning of the danger of the
times. 'It is not we (says he) that are party in this cause; no, the
quarrel is betwixt a greater prince and them. What are we but silly men:
Yet it has pleased him to let us in this office, that we should oppone
to the manifest usurpation that is made upon his spiritual kingdom. Is
there a more forcible mean to draw down the wrath of God, than to let
Barabbas that nobilitate malefactor pass free, and to begin the war
against Christ and his ministry. It putteth on the cope-stone, that so
many of our brethren should not be so faithful, as their calling and
this cause craveth. Fy upon false brethren, to see them dumb, so
faint-hearted, when it comes to the shock; not only are they ashamed to
speak the thing they think, which is a shame in a pastor, but speak
directly against their former doctrine. They will speak the truth a
while, till they be put at, but incontinent they will turn, and make
their gifts weapons to fight against Christ; for there is none so
malicious as an apostate, when he begins to slide back,' &c. The same
faithful witness, because he would not preach as the king would have
him, against his own conscience, to justify and proclaim the king's
innocency, in a forged conspiracy against him, was put from his church
in Edinburgh; and being requested in an insinuating manner to desist
from preaching but for nine or ten days; he condescended at first,
thinking the matter of no great importance; yet that night his body was
cast in a fever, with the terror of his conscience, and he promised he
should never obey their commandments any more. These were faithful men,
yet we find they challenge themselves, in deep humiliation, for their
short-comings and defections. At the renovation of the national covenant
March 30th, 1596, was the greatest solemnity ever had been seen in
Scotland before that time; so that the place might worthily have been
called Bochim. O when shall we see such a day, when even the most
faithful among us, shall mourn over our far more aggravated defections!
but if they mourned then for these first degrees of declensions; we may
say, 'How heavily would these valiant men groan, who formerly contended
so stoutly for the liberty of the church of Scotland, if they beheld
this our laziness (that I may call it by no worse name!') I know
notwithstanding of all this, that some encourage themselves in a base
compliance with the present corruptions of our church, from the practice
of these worthies; alledging, they did not scruple to hear and join with
prelatical men, dispensing the ordinances. But this objection will be
easily refelled, if we consider, first, the period wherein they were but
growing up to a more perfect reformation, and therefore might bear with
many things which we cannot, after we have been reformed from them:
they were then advancing, and still gaining ground, we are now
declining, and therefore should be more shy to lose what we have gained.
They had then of a long time enjoyed their judicatories, unto which they
might recur for an orderly redress of such grievances that offended
them; and when they were deprived of them, yet they were still in hopes
of recovering them; and so suspended their total secession from that
corrupt church, until they should recover them; in the mean time still
holding their right, and maintaining their cause against these invaders.
But we were, at the very first beginning of this unhappy revolution,
totally deprived of our judicatories, and denuded of all expectation of
them in an ordinary way, and of all place, but what they are masters of
to contend with them that way; therefore must keep ourselves free of
their communion. But next, if we consider their practice, we shall find
these worthies were not such conformists, as our compliers would make
them. What if we find among them meetings, that were called and counted
as seditious and schismatic as ours are now? We find a field meeting,
yea, a General Assembly at Dumfermline, without and against the king's
warrant, when the ports were shut against them, in the year 1585. But
that is not so pat to the purpose, as that we find private meetings at
Edinburgh, and that in the very time of public service in the churches,
discharged by open proclamation in 1624, wherein it is charged, that
they had no respect to the ordinary pastors, contemned and impugned
their doctrine, disobeyed and controuled their discipline, abstained to
hear the word preached, and to participate of the sacraments. And long
before that, we find the sincerer sort scrupled to hear Bishop Adamson,
notwithstanding that he was absolved in the Assembly. And that
afterwards, the doubt being proponed to the Assembly, if it be a slander
to a Christian to absent himself from the sermons of them that are
suspended from all function in the ministry? The Assembly answered,
there is no slander in the case, but rather it is slanderous to resort.
And why is not this ground to think it slanderous, or scandalous to
resort to them, who deserve to be suspended (all of them by a spiritual
cognizance, and some of them to be suspended corporally for their
villany) when there can be no access orderly to do it. And the rather,
because we find in this period, that sometimes ministers were so
faithful and zealous against the corruptions of the ministry, that they
decerned ministers to be suspended for far smaller faults, than many now
could exempt themselves from, viz. if they were not powerful and
spiritual; if they did not apply their doctrine to corruptions; if they
were obscure and too scholastic before the people; cold and wanting
zeal, flatterers, dissembling at public sins for flattery or fear, &c.
As we may read in the advice of the brethren, deputed for penning the
corruptions in the ministry, in 1596. I wish our silent prudent
ministers now would consider the justness of this censure, and what
ground people have to be offended at such censurableness. But not only
this may answer the false imputation of conformity on these witnesses of
Christ at that time; but I shall set down a part of a letter of one of
the banished ministers at that time, discovering his mind about hearing
these men, that were then serving the times. Mr. John Welch, writing to
Mr. Robert Bruce,----'What my mind is concerning the root of these
branches, the bearer will shew you more fully. They are no more to be
counted orthodox, but apostates; they have fallen from their callings,
by receiving an antichristian, and bringing in of idolatry, to make the
kingdom culpable, and to expose it to fearful judgments, for such an
high perfidy against an oath so solemnly enacted and given; and are no
more to be counted Christians, but strangers, apostates, and
persecutors; and therefore, not to be heard any more, either in public,
or in consistories, colleges, or synods; for what fellowship hath light
with darkness?' We see then as to that part of the testimony, they were
not dissonant to the witness of the present reproached sufferers.

II. As the matter and manner of their testimony against all the invaders
of the church's privileges, did speak forth a great deal of sincere and
pure zeal; so their practice was conform, shewing forth a great deal of
strictness and averseness from all sinful compliances, even with things
that would be now accounted of very minute and inconsiderable
consequence, and for which honest sufferers now are flouted at as fools.
When that oath was formed for acknowledging the supremacy, there was a
clause added which might have been thought to salve the matter,
"according to the word of God." I fear many now would not stand to
subscribe with such a qualification. Yet the faithful then perceived the
sophistry, that it made it rather worse, affirming that that brat of
hell was according to the word of God: and therefore, though there were
several eminent men to persuade them to it, both by advice and example,
yet they could not, in conscience, comply; and pleaded also from the
illegality of that imposition, that they should be charged with the
subscription of laws, a thing never required before of any subject; if
they offended against the laws, why might they not be punished according
to the laws? When many honest faithful patriots, for the attempt at
Ruthven to deliver the country from a vermin of villains that abused the
King, to the destruction of the church and kingdom, were charged to
crave pardon, and take remission; they would do neither, judging it a
base condemning duty, which puts a brand upon our sneaking supplicators
and petitioners, and pardon mongers, as unworthy to be called the race
of such worthies, who scorned such baseness; and choosed rather to
endure the extremity of their unjust sentences of intercommuning and
banishment, &c. And when the Earl of Gowrie accepted of a remission, he
afterwards condemned himself for it, and desired that his old friends
would accept of his friendship, to whom he had the same favour offered
to him, refused altogether, lest so doing he should condemn himself, and
approve the courts proceedings: and the brethren, conferring with the
counsellors, craving that some penalty should be condescended unto for
satisfying his majesty in his honour, would not condescend to any, how
light soever; lest thereby they should seem to approve the judicatory
and their proceeding. The imprisoned ministers, for declining the
counsel, had it in their offer, that if they would, without any
confession of offence, only submit themselves to his majesty, "for
scandal received, not given," they should be restored to their places:
but it pleased God so to strengthen them, that they stopped their
mouths, and convinced them in their consciences, that they could not do
it without betraying of the cause of Christ. Again, in another case, we
have instances of such strictness, as is much scorned now a-days. The
ministers of Edinburgh were committed to ward, for refusing to pray for
the queen, before her execution in Fothringham castle 1586. They refused
not simply to pray for her, but for the preservation of her life, as if
she had been innocent of the crimes laid to her charge, which had
imported a condemnation of the proceedings against her. Afterwards, in
the year 1600. The ministers of Edinburgh would not praise God for the
delivery of the king from a pretended conspiracy of the Earl of Gowrie
at that time, of which they had no credit nor assurance; and would not
crave pardon for it neither. For this Mr. Robert Bruce was deprived of
the exercise of his ministry, and never obtained it again in Edinburgh:
but now, for refusing such compelled and imposed devotion, to pray or
praise for the king, poor people are much condemned. I know it is
alledged, that these faithful sufferers in those days, were not so
strict as they are now, in submitting to unjust sentences, and obeying
and keeping their confinements. I shall grant, there was much of this,
and much might be tolerate in their circumstances, when the court's
procedure against them was not so illegal, their authority was not so
tyrannical, nor so necessary to be disowned, and they were so stated,
that they were afraid to take guilt upon them, in making their escapes;
whereas it is not so with us. Yet we find very faithful men broke their
confinements; as Mr. John Murray, confined at Dumfries, perceiving there
was no end of the bishop's malice, and that he would be in no worse case
than he was, he resolved without licence, either of king or council, to
transport himself: so did also Mr. Robert Bruce.

III. For resistance of superior powers, we have in this period, first
the practice of some noblemen at Ruthven, in the [year] 1582. who took
the King, and seized on that arrant traitor, enemy to the church and
country the Earl of Arran; declaring to the world the causes of it, the
King's correspondence with papists, his usurping the supremacy over the
church, and oppressing the ministers, all by means of his wicked
counsellers, whom therefore they removed from him. The King himself
emitted a declaration allowing this deed. The General Assembly approved
of it, and persuaded to a concurrence with it, and nothing was wanting
to ratify it, as a most lawful and laudable action. At length the fox
escapes, and changes all, and retracts his former declaration. The lords
again rally, and interprise the taking of the castle of Stirling, and
gain it; but afterward surrender it: after which the Earl of Gowrie was
executed, and ministers are commanded to retract the approbation of
Ruthven business, but they refused; and many were forced to flee to
England, and the lords were banished. But, in the year 1585, they return
with more success, and take the castle of Stirling. The cowardly king
does again acknowledge and justify their enterprise, 'that they needed
no apology of words, weapons had spoken well enough, and gotten them
audience to clear their own cause:' but his after carriage declared him
as crafty and false, as he was cowardly and fearful. Again, we have the
advice of the General Assembly, for resisting, when the ministers were
troubled upon Mr. Black's business, and there was an intention to pull
them out of their pulpits; they advised them to stand to the discharge
of their calling, if their flocks would save them from violence, and yet
this violence was expected from the King and his emissaries. As to that
point then there can be no dispute.

IV. There was little occasion for the question about the King's
authority in this period, but generally all acknowledged it; because
they were not sensible of his usurpation, and his cowardice made him
incapable of attempting any thing that might raise commotions in civil
things. Yet we remark, that whatsoever authority he usurped beyond his
sphere, that was disowned and declined by all the faithful, as the
supremacy. Next that they resented, and represented very harshly, any
aspiring to absoluteness; as Mr. Andrew Melvin could give it no better
name, nor entertain no better notion of it, than to term it, the bloody
gully, as he inveighs against it in the Assembly 1582. And next, in this
same period, we have a very good description of that authority, which
the King himself allows not to be owned, which out of a King's mouth
abundantly justifies the disowning of the present tyranny: this same
King James, in a speech to the parliament, in the year 1609, saith, 'A
king degenerateth into a tyrant, when he leaveth to rule by law, much
more when he beginneth to invade his subjects persons, rights and
liberties, to set up an arbitrary power, impose unlawful taxes, raise
forces, make war upon his subjects, to pillage, plunder, waste, and
spoil his kingdoms.'


_Containing the Testimony for the last Reformation from Prelacy, in all
its steps, from the year 1638. to 1660._

The following period, from the year 1638, to 1660, continues and
advances the testimony, to the greatest height of purity and power, that
either this church, or any other did ever arrive unto, with a gradation,
succession, and complication of wonders, of divine wisdom, power,
justice and mercy, signally and singularly owning and sealing it, to the
confusion of his enemies, comfort of his people, conviction of
indifferent neutrals, and consternation of all. Now after a long winter,
and night of deadness and darkness, the sun returns with an amiable
approach of light and life; now the winter was past, the rain was over
and gone, the flowers appear on earth, and the time of singing of birds
is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. Now the
second time, the testimony comes to be managed in an active manner, as
before it was passive: as the one hath been always observed to follow
interchangeably upon the other, especially in Scotland, and the last
always the greatest; which gives ground to hope, though it be now our
turn to suffer, that when the summer comes again after this winter, and
the day after this night, the next active testimony shall be more
notable than any that went before. The matter of the testimony was the
same as before, for the concerns of Christ's kingly prerogative, but
with some more increase as to its opposites: for these grew successively
in every period, the last always including all that went before. The
first period had Gentilism principally to deal with; the second Popery;
the third Popery and Tyranny; the fourth Prelacy and Supremacy; this
fifth hath all together, and Sectarianism also, to contend against. The
former had always the opposites on one hand, but this hath them in
extremes on both hands; both fighting against one another, and both
fighting together against the church of Scotland, and she against both,
till at length one of her opposites prevailed, viz. the Sectarian party,
and that prevailing brought in the other, to wit, the Malignant, which
now domineers over all together. Wherefore, because this period is in
itself of so great importance, the revolutions therein emergent so
eminent, the reformation therein prosecuted wanting little of its
perfect complement, the deformation succeeding in its deviation from the
pattern being so destructive; to the end it may be seen from whence we
have fallen, and whether or not the present reproached sufferers have
lost or left their ground, we must give a short deduction of the rise,
progress, and end of the contendings of that period.

In the midst of the forementioned miseries and mischiefs, that the pride
of prelacy and tyrannical supremacy had multiplied beyond measure upon
this church and nation, and at the height of all their haughtiness, when
they were setting up their Dagon and erecting altars for him, imposing
the service-book, and book of Canons, &c. the Lord in mercy remembred
his people, and surprised them with a sudden unexpected deliverance, by
very despicable means; even the opposition of a few weak women, at the
beginning of that contest, which, ere it was quashed, made the tyrant
tumble headless off his throne. The zeal against the English popish
ceremonies, obtruded on Edinburgh, did first inflame some feminine
hearts to witness their detestation of them; but afterwards was followed
out with more masculine fervor, accosting King and Council with
petitions, remonstrances, protestations and testimonies against the
innovations, and resolving upon a mutual conjunction, to defend
religion, lives and liberties, against all that would innovate or invade
them. To fortify which, and conciliate the favour both of God and man in
the resolution, all the lovers of God, and friends to the liberty of
the nation, did solemnly renew the national covenant, (wherein they were
signally countenanced of the Lord,) which, though in itself obliging to
the condemnation of prelatical Hierarchy, and clearly enough confirming
presbyterial government, yet they engaged into it with an enlargement,
to suspend the practice of novations already introduced, and the
approbation of the corruptions of the present government, with the late
places and power of church men, till they be tried in a free General
Assembly. Which was obtained that same year, and indicted at Glasgow:
and there, notwithstanding all the opposition that the King's
commissioner could make, by protestations and proclamations to dissolve
it, the six preceeding Assemblies establishing Prelacy were annulled,
the service-book, and high commission were condemned; all the bishops
were deposed, and their government declared to be abjured in that
national covenant; though many had, through the commissioners
persuasions, subscribed it in another sense without that application: as
also the five articles of Perth were there discovered to have been
inconsistent with that covenant and confession, and the civil places and
power of church men were disproved and rejected: on the other hand
presbyterial government was justified and approved, and an act was
passed for their keeping yearly General Assemblies. This was a bold
beginning, into which they were animated with more than human
resolution, against more than human opposition, hell as well as the
powers of the earth being set against them. But when the Lord gave the
call, they considered not their own deadness, nor were daunted with
discouragements, nor staggered at the promise through unbelief, but gave
glory to God, outbraving all difficulties. Which in the following year
were much increased, by the prelates and their popish partakers
rendezvousing their forces under the King's personal standard, and
menacing nothing but misery to the zealous covenanters; yet when they
found them prepared to resist, were forced to yield to a pacification,
concluding that an Assembly and Parliament should be held, for healing
all grievances of church and state.

In which Assembly at Edinburgh, the covenant is ratified and subscribed
by the Earl of Traquair commissioner, and enjoined to be subscribed by
the body of the whole land, with an explication, expressly condemning
the five articles of Perth, the government of bishops, the civil places
and power of churchmen: but the sons of Belial cannot be taken with
hands, nor bound with bonds of faith, humanity, or honour, for in the
year following, king and prelates, with their popish abettors, go to
arms again; but were fain to accommodate the matter by a new
pacification, whereby all civil and religious liberties were ratified.
And in the following year 1641, by laws, oaths, promises, subscriptions
of king and parliament, fully confirmed, the king, Charles I. being
present, and consenting to all; though in the mean time he was
treacherously encouraging the Irish murderers, who by his authority made
a massacre of many thousand innocent protestants in Ireland. But in
Scotland things went well, the kingdom of our Lord Jesus was greatly
advanced, the gospel flourished, and the glory of the Lord did shine
upon us with such a splendour, that it awaked England, and animated the
Lord's people there, then groaning under those grievances from which
Scotland was delivered, to aspire to the like reformation. For advice in
which, because though all agreed to cast off the yoke of prelacy, yet
sundry forms of church government were projected to be set up in the
room thereof, chiefly the Independent order, determining all acts of
church government, as election, ordination, and deposition of officers,
with admission, excommunication, and absolution of members, to be done
and decided by the voices of every particular congregation, without any
authoritative concurrence or interposition of any other, condemning all
imperative and decisive power of classes, &c. as a mere usurpation.
Therefore, the brethren in England wrote to the Assembly then sitting at
Edinburgh, who gave them answer,----'That they were grieved, that any of
the godly should be found not agreeing with other reformed churches, in
point of government as well as doctrine; and that it was to be feared,
where the hedge of discipline and government is different, the doctrine
and worship shall not long continue the same without change; that the
government of the church, by compound presbyteries and synods, is a help
and strength, and not a hindrance to particular congregations and
elderships, in all the parts of government; and are not an extrinsical
power set over particular churches, but the intrinsical power wherewith
Christ hath invested his officers, who may not exercise it
independently, but with subordination, unto presbyteries, &c. which as
they are representative of particular churches, conjoined together in
one under their government; so their determination, when they proceed
orderly, whether in causes common to all, or brought before them by
reference in case of aberration, is to the several congregations
authoritative, and not consultatory only. And this subordination is not
only warranted by the light of nature, but grounded upon the word of
God, and conform to the pattern of the primitive and apostolic church,
for the preservation of verity and unity, against schism, heresy and
tyranny, which is the fruit of this government wheresoever it hath
place.' So from henceforth the Assembly did incessantly urge uniformity
in reformation with their brethren in England, as the chiefest of their
desires, prayers and cares. And in the year 1643, prevailed so far, that
the English parliament did first desire, that the two nations might be
strictly united for their mutual defence, against the papists and
prelatical faction, and their adherents in both kingdoms; and not to
lay down arms, till these implacable enemies should be brought in
subjection; and instantly urge for help and assistance from Scotland.
Which, being sent, did return with an olive branch of peace, and not
without some beginnings of a reformation in England. And afterwards, a
bloody war beginning between the King and Parliament, with great success
on the King's side, whence the papists at the time got great advantage,
(witness the cessation of arms concluded in Ireland,) commissioners were
sent from both houses to Scotland, earnestly inviting to a nearer union
of the kingdoms, and desiring assistance from this nation to their
brethren in that their great distress. And this, by the good hand of
God, produced the solemn league and covenant of the three kingdoms,
first drawn up in Scotland, and approven in the Assembly at Edinburgh,
and afterward embraced in England to the terror of the popish and
prelatical party, and to the great comfort of such as were wishing and
waiting for the reformation of religion, and the recoveries of just

The tenor whereof did import, their sincere and constant endeavours, in
their several places and callings, for preservation of the uniformity in
reformation, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government: the
extirpation of popery, prelacy, error and profanity; the preservation of
the rights and liberties of the people; and of the magistrates
authority, in defence of the true religion and liberty; the discovery
and punishment of incendiaries; the retaining of the peace and union of
the kingdoms; the mutual assistance and defence of all under the bond of
this covenant; and the performing all duties we owe to God, in the
amendment of our lives, and walking exemplarily one before another. This
is that covenant comprehending the purpose of all prior, and the pattern
of all posterior covenants, to which Christ's witnesses did always
adhere, for which the present witnesses do suffer and contend; that
covenant, which the representatives of church and state in the three
nations did solemnly subscribe and swear, for themselves and posterity,
of which the obligation, either to the duty or the punishment, continues
indispensibly on the generation; which for the moral equity of its
matter, the formality of its manner, the importance of its purpose, the
holiness of its solemn engagement, and the glory of its ends, no power
on earth can disannul, disable, or dispense; that covenant, which the
Lord did ratify from heaven, by the conversion of many thousands at
their entering under the bond of it, securing and establishing unto
them, and all the faithful, the blessings and privileges therein
express, and avouching himself to be their God, as they had avouched
themselves to be his people; that covenant, which, in all the
controversies it hath occasioned, did never receive a greater
confirmation than from the malice and opposition of its adversaries;
that covenant, which malignants do malign and deny, and sectaries scorn
and lay aside, as an almanack out of date; which hath been many ways
traduced and reproached by enemies, and yet could never be reflected on
by any serious in this land, without an honourable and fragrant
remembrance: especially that retortion of adversaries of the rigour of
its imposition upon recusants, to justify their cruelty upon its
asserters now, is to be refelled, not with confutation of its
importance, but with disdain of its impudence. For who were the
recusants; but wicked enemies to God, and church, and nation, who for
their malignancy were then to be prosecuted, not for their scrupling at
a covenant, but for their contumacious contempt of a law? This was no
violence done to their conscience; for as they had none, and could not
pretend to any, so they were never troubled for that, but for their
opposition and conspiracy against the common cause. However, it went
through at that time: and that the covenanted reformation, in a nearer
conjunction betwixt the united churches, might be promoted, the
parliament of England called an Assembly of divines at Westminster, and
desired the Assembly of Scotland to send thither their commissioners;
which accordingly nominated and elected Mr. Alexander Henderson, Mr.
Robert Douglas, Mr. Samuel Rutherford, Mr. Robert Balzie, Mr. George
Gillespie, ministers; John Earl of Cassils, John Lord Maitland, and Sir
Archibald Johnston of Waristoun, ruling elders; to propone, consult,
treat, and conclude in all such things as might conduce to the
extirpation of popery, prelacy, heresy, schism, superstition, and
idolatry; and for the settling of the so much desired union of the whole
island, in one form of church-government, one confession of faith, one
common catechism, and one directory for the worship of God. Forces were
also sent to assist the parliament of England: which were favoured with
great success in their enterprizes, till that war was ended by the total
overthrow of tyranny at that time, and all its upholders. But that
popish, prelatical, and malignant faction, being brought much under in
England, attempted (not unlike the Syrians, who thought the God of
Israel was not God of the hills and valleys both) to try the fortune of
war in Scotland, under the conduct of that treacherous and truculent
traitor Montrose, gathering an army of wicked apostates and Irish
murderers: who prevailing for a time, did punish in the justice of God,
the hypocrisy and self-seeking of such in this land, whose hearts were
not upright in his covenant; at length was defeat at Philiphaugh, in the
year 1645. Yet certain it is, that they had commission and warrant from
the King; as the Assembly that year, February 13. remonstrates it to
himself? warning him, in the name of their Master, the Lord Jesus
Christ, 'That the guilt, which cleaved to his throne, was such, as
(whatsoever flattering preachers or unfaithful counsellors, might say to
the contrary) if not timely repented, could not but involve himself and
his posterity, under the wrath of the ever-living God, for his being
guilty of the shedding of the blood of many thousand of his best
subjects, for his permitting the mass and other idolatry in his family
and dominion,' &c. At the same time also, the Assembly did zealously
incite the Parliament to a speedy course of justice, against these
incendiaries and murderers, as the only mean of cleansing the land from
that deluge of blood then current, and of appeasing the wrath of God:
and solemnly and seasonably warned all ranks to applaud the glory and
righteousness of that judgment of the sword, in the hands of these
apostates, and murderers, and to search to understand the language of
that dispensation; wherein many public sins and breaches of covenant are
pointed at, as the causes of that desolation; and the covenant itself is
there very encomiastically vindicated. 'We are so far from repenting of
it (say they) that we cannot mention it without great joy and
thankfulness to God, as that which hath drawn many blessings after it,
and unto which God hath given manifold evident testimonies: for no
sooner was the covenant begun to be taken in England, but sensibly the
condition of affairs there was changed to the better, and our forces
sent into that kingdom, in pursuance of that covenant, have been so
mercifully and manifestly assisted and blessed from heaven, that we have
what to answer the enemy that reproacheth us concerning that business,
and that which may make iniquity itself to stop her mouth; but which is
more unto us than all victories, the reformation of religion in England,
and uniformity therein between both kingdoms (a principal end of that
covenant) is so far advanced, that the government of the church by
congregational elderships, classical presbyteries, provincial and
national assemblies, is agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at
Westminster, and voted and concluded in both houses of Parliament.'
After this the malignants in England being crushed in all their
projects, the King renders himself to the Scots in Newcastle: by whom
(because by covenant they were not obliged to defend him, but only in
defence of religion and liberty, which he had been destroying, and they
defending, because in this war he did directly oppose and oppugn these
conditions, under which they were only to defend him; and therefore they
had all along carried towards him as an enemy, as he to them; and
because, by the same covenant, they were obliged to discover, and render
to condign punishment all malignants and incendiaries, of whom he was
the chief, and to retain the peace and union of the kingdoms, which
could not be retained in maintaining their destroyer, and to assist
mutually all entred into that covenant, which he was fighting against)
he was delivered up unto the English, and kept under restraint in the
isle of Wight, until he received his just demerit, for all his
oppressions, murders, treachery, and tyranny; being condemned and
execute January 30th, in the 1648-9. Which fact, though it was protested
against, both before and after, by the Assembly of the church of
Scotland, out of zeal against the Sectarians, the executioners of that
extraordinary act of justice; yet it was more for the manner than for
the matter, and more for motives and ends of it, than for the grounds of
it, that they opposed themselves to it, and resented it. For they
acknowledged and remonstrated to himself, the truth of all these things
upon which that sentence and execution of justice was founded. And when
a wicked association, and unlawful engagement was on foot to rescue him,
they opposed it with all their might: shewing, in their answers to the
estates that year 1648, and declarations and remonstrances, the
sinfulness and destructiveness of that engagement; that it was a breach
of the commandments of God, and of all the articles of the covenant;
declaring withal, they would never consent to the King's restitution to
the exercise of his power, without previous assurance, by solemn oath,
under his hand and seal, for settling of religion according to the
covenant. By which it appears, they were not so stupidly loyal, as some
would make them. Yet indeed it cannot be past without regret, that
there was too much of this plague of the king's-evil even among good
men: which from that time forth hath so infected the heads and hearts of
this generation, that it hath almost quite extinct all loyalty to
Christ, and all zeal for religion and liberty.

Then it began to infuse and diffuse its contagion, when after the death
of Charles first, in the year 1649, they began, after all that they had
smarted for their trusting these treacherous tyrants, and after that
grace had been shewed them from the Lord their God, by breaking these
men's yokes from off their necks, and putting them again into a capacity
to act for the good of religion, their own safety, and the peace and
safety of the kingdom, to think of joining once more with the people of
these abominations, and taking into their bosom these serpents which had
formerly stung them almost to death. Hence these tears, lo the origin
and spring of our defection! There was indeed at that time a party
faithful for God, who considering the many breaches of the solemn league
and covenant, and particularly by the late engagement against England,
did so travel, that they procured the covenant to be renewed, with the
solemn acknowledgment of sins and engagement to duties, which was
universally subscribed and sworn through all the land; wherein also they
regret this tampering with malignants. And therefore the Lord did
mightily save and defend them from all their adversaries, subdued them
at Stirling, and in the north. They did also give warning concerning the
young King, 'That notwithstanding of the Lord's hand against his father,
yet he hearkens unto the counsels of these, who were authors of these
miseries to his father, by which it hath come to pass, that he hath
hitherto refused to grant the just and necessary desires of the church
and kingdom, for securing of religion and liberty: And it is much to be
feared, that these wicked counsellors, may so far prevail upon him, as
to engage him in a war, for overturning the work of God, and bearing
down all those in the three kingdoms that adhere thereto. Which if he
shall do, cannot but bring great wrath from the Lord upon himself and
throne, and must be the cause of many new and great miseries and
calamities to these lands.' And, in the same warning, by many weighty
reasons, they prove, that he is not to be admitted to the exercise of
his power, without security for religion and liberty. And when the
bringing home of the King came to be voted in the Assembly, there was
one faithful witness, Mr. Adam Kae, minister in Galloway, protested
against it: foreshewing, and foretelling, what mischief and misery he
would bring with him when he should come. These things might have had
some weight, to demur the nation from meddling with that perfidious
traitor. But all this serves only to aggravate the sin and shame of that
distraction, which hath procured all this destruction, under which the
land mourns to this day: that notwithstanding of all these convictions,
warnings; yea, and discoveries of his malignancy, treachery, and
inclination to tyranny; they sent commissioners, and concluded a treaty
with him at Breda. During which treaty, the commissions which he had
sent to that bloody villain Montrose, and his cut-throat complices, to
raise an army, and waste, and invade the country with fire and sword the
second time; were brought to the Committee of Estates, discovering what
sort of a king they were treating with. Whereupon, after serious
consulting, not only together, but with the Lord: and after many debates
what to do in such a doubtful case, wherein all was in danger, the
Estates concluded to break off the treaty, and recal their
Commissioners. To which intent, they sent an express with letters to
Breda; which, by providence, falling into the hands of Libberton, a true
libertine, and false betrayer of his trust and country, was by him,
without the knowledge of the other Commissioners, delivered unto the
King; who consulting the contents of the packet with his jesuitical and
hypocritical cabal, found it his interest to play the fox (being
disappointed at that time to play the tyger) and dissemble with God and
man. And so sending for the Commissioners, he made a flattering speech
to them, shewing, that now after serious deliberation, he was resolved
to comply with all their proposals. Whereupon the poor cheated
Commissioners dispatch the post back with letters full of praise and joy
for the satisfaction they had received. The Estates, perceiving
themselves imposed upon, consulted again what to do; and in end, being
overswayed more with respect to their own credit, (which they thought
should be impeached, if they should retract their own plenipotentiary
instructions, to conclude the treaty, upon the King's assent to their
conditions) than to their reclamant consciences, they resolved to bring
home that pest, and thereby precipitated themselves and us into
eluctable misery. Yet they thought to mend the matter, by binding him
with all cords, and putting him to all most explicit engagements, before
he should receive the imperial crown. Well, upon these terms, home he
comes, and, before he sets his foot on British ground, he takes the
covenant: and thereafter, because the commission of the General
Assembly, by the act of the West-kirk, August 13th, 1650, precluded his
admittance unto the crown, if he should refuse the then required
satisfaction, before his coronation, he emits that declaration at
Dunfermline; wherein, 'Professing and appearing in the full persuasion
and love of the truth, he repenteth (as having to do with and in the
fight of God) his father's opposition to the covenant and work of God,
and his own reluctances against the same, hoping for mercy through the
blood of Jesus Christ, and obtesting the prayers of the faithful to God
for his stedfastness. And then protesteth his truth and sincerity in
entring into the oath of God, resolving to prosecute the ends of the
covenant to his utmost, and to have with it the same common friends and
enemies, exhorting all to lay down their enmity against the cause of
God, and not to prefer man's interest to God's, which will prove an idol
of jealousy to provoke the Lord: and he himself accounteth to be but
selfish flattery.' A declaration so full of heart-professions, and high
attestations of God, that none, considering what followed, can reflect
thereon, without horror and trembling from the holy jealousy of the
Lord, either for the then deep dissimulation, or the after unparalleled
apostasy. I know it is objected by court-parasites, that the king was
then compelled to do these things. To which I shall only say, it would
have cost any of them their head at that time, to have asserted, that he
did upon deliberation and choice mock God and man, and entered into
these engagements, only with a purpose to be thereby in better capacity
to destroy what he swore to maintain, only because he could not have the
crown without this way, which, in the confession of the objectors
themselves, was only deliberate and premeditate perjury. Next, if it
should be granted he was compelled; let it be also considered, who
compelled him; and these will be found to be the deceitful courtiers.
For, let it be adverted, what Mr. Gillespie declares of the case, who
put the pen in his hand when he subscribed that declaration: he,
perceiving there was sufficient ground to jealouse his reality, and
seeing evidently that the courtiers prevailed with the king on a sudden
to offer to subscribe the declaration (when they observed that the
commissioners of church and state were resolute, and ready to go away in
a fixedness, to leave out the putting of his interest in the state of
the quarrel) and being afraid of the said consequences of it, spoke his
mind plainly to the king: 'That if he was not satisfied in his soul and
conscience, beyond all hesitation of the righteousness of the
subscription, he was so far from over-driving him to run upon that, for
which he had no light, as he obtested him, yea, he charged him in his
master's name, and in the name of these who sent him, not to subscribe
this declararation, no not for the three kingdoms.' Whereupon the king
answered,--Mr. Gillespie, Mr. Gillespie, I am satisfied, I am satisfied
with the declaration, and therefore will subscribe it. Upon which some
of the courtiers swore that Mr. Gillespie intended simply to dissuade
the king from subscribing it, that so church and state might professedly
lay aside his interest; which would have defeat their hopes to make up
themselves, as now they have done, upon the then designed ruin of the
interest of truth. Then at his coronation, we have his again reiterated
confirmations of that covenant; first, he is desired in name of the
people to accept the crown, and maintain religion according to the
national and solemn league and covenant; whereunto he gave his
apparently cordial consent (the words are in the form and order of the
coronation with the whole action.) Then next, a sermon being preached
upon 2 Kings xi. 12 and 17. the action commenceth, with his most solemn
renewing of the national and solemn league and covenant, by oath. Then,
he is presented to the people, and their willingness demanded to have
him for their king on these terms. At the same time, in the next place,
he took the coronation oath. Then on these terms he accepted the sword.
And after the crown is set upon his head, the people's obligatory oath
is proclaimed on the terms foresaid, otherwise he is not that king to
whom they swore subjection. Then being set upon the throne, he was by
the minister put in mind of his engagements, from 1 Chron. xxix. 33. And
then the nobles of the land came one by one kneeling, and lifting up
their hands between his hands, swore the same oath. These things done,
the whole action was closed with a most solid and severe exhortation
from several instances, Neh. v. 13. Jer. xxxiv. 18, 19, 20. &c.
Thereafter in the year 1651, followed the ratification of all these
preceeding treaties, transactions, and engagements, concluded and
enacted by the king, and the parliament then fully and freely conveened;
whereby the same did pass into a perpetual law. And this covenant, which
from the beginning was and is the most sure and indispensible oath of
God, became at length the very fundamental law of the kingdom, whereon
all the rights or privileges, either of king or people, are principally
bottomed and secured. This might seem security sufficient, but
considering the former discoveries and experiences they had of his
treachery, and the visible appearances (in the mean time) of his
refusals, visible reluctances, manifest refilings, open counter actings,
and continued prejudices against the covenant, and his following
unprecedented avowed perjury, every thing doth indelibly fasten upon
them the weakness at least of an overweening credulity, and upon him the
wickedness of a perfidious policy, in all these condescensions. After
this it came to pass, that zeal for the cause rightly stated was
suddenly contracted to a few, and the flame thereof extinguished in
many, and court wild-fire substitute in its place: whereby a plain
defection was violently carried on by the public resolutioners, who
relapsing into that most sinful conjunction with the people of these
abominations, so solemnly repented for and resolved against, did
notwithstanding bring in notorious malignants, into places of power and
trust, in judicatories and armies, in a more politic than pious way of
requiring of them a constrained and dissembled repentance, to the
mocking of the God of truth, and scorn of all our holy engagements.
Which defection did not only cause for a long time an incurable
division; the first of that kind, and most permanent of any that ever
was in the church of Scotland, by reason of the surcease of general
assemblies, stopped and hindered by the yoke of the sectarian
usurpation; but also was the spring and source of all our defections
since, all flowing from and fomented by that same spirit that fostered
that: and for that, since that time, the Lord hath been contending with
this church and nation, bringing us under the bondage of these malignant
enemies, whom we suffered them then to encourage and introduce. And both
at that time, and since that time, the Lord never countenanced an
expedition where that malignant interest was taken in unto the state of
that quarrel. Upon this our land was invaded by Oliver Cromwel, who
defeated our army at Dunbar, where the anger of the Lord was evidently
seen to smoke against us, for espousing that interest. And remarkable it
is, how in that very day wherein the public resolutions were concluded
in the assembly at St. Andrew's, the Lord then shed the blood of his
people at Inverkeithing; so as that the assembly, having in great haste
hurried through this approbation, were all made to run for it, and
adjourn themselves to Dundee, where they met and completed that step of
defection. And afterwards it is known, what a peculiar vengeance fell
upon that city, where this deed was done, beyond all other cities of the
nation. Next, an army being raised, according to these unhallowed
resolutions, and the Lord putting remarkable discountenance upon them in
their attemptings at home, as was manifest in their attemptings at
Torwood, &c. They march into England, and there did the Lord continue,
by his leaving our army to the sword, to preach that doctrine to the
world, Josh. vii. 10, 11, 12. ('Israel hath sinned and transgressed the
covenant--have taken the accursed thing--and dissembled also, and have
put it even amongst their own stuff, therefore the children of Israel
could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before
their enemies, because they were accursed: Neither will I be with you
any more, except ye destroy the accursed thing from among you.') An army
of near 30,000 was totally routed at Worcester, and the Achan, the cause
of the overthrow, was forced to hide himself in the oak, and thence to
transport himself beyond sea, where he continued a wandering fugitive
in exile, till the year 1660. In the mean time the sectarian army here
prevailed, till, after the usurper Cromwel's death, the false Monk then
general, with a combination of malignants and public resolutioners, did
machinate our misery, and effectuated it by bringing home the king to
England from his banishment: Wherein he was habituate into an implacable
hatred against the work of God. Yet, though since the king's first
reception into Scotland, our declensions were still growing, until they
produced this dreadful revolt from God, wherein the nation is now
involved; there was still a faithful remnant of ministers and
professors, zealous for the cause, keeping their integrity; who in their
remonstrances and testimonies witnessed against both their malignant
enemies, and their backsliding brethren the revolutioners, and also
against the sectarians their invaders; whose vast toleration and liberty
of conscience, which they brought in to invade our religion as they had
invaded our land, and infected it with their multifarious errors, was
particularly by the synod of Fife, and other brethren in the ministry
that joined themselves to them, testified against, and demonstrated to
be wicked and intolerable. Now to see how far the present testimony is
confirmed by the witnesses of this period, we may resume some
reflections on it.

I. They impartially carried on the testimony against prelacy, and the
popish, prelatical and malignant factions on the one hand, and the
sectarians on the other, without ever waving the testimony against
either, or at the least, winking at the one to weaken the other: both
which testimonies they thought of so great importance, that they could
not dispense with but faithfully maintain both, in their witnessings and
warnings. In that seasonable and necessary warning and declaration,
concerning present and imminent dangers, given at Edinburgh July 27.
sess. 27. they first say of the sectaries, 'That prevailing party of
sectaries in England, who have broken the covenant, and despised the
oath of God, corrupted the truth, subverted the fundamental government,
look upon us with an evil eye, as upon these who stand in the way of
their monstrous and new fangled devices in religion and government; and
though there were no cause to fear any thing from that party, but the
gangrene and infection of those many damnable and abominable errors
which have taken hold on them; yet our vicinity unto and daily commerce
with that nation, may justly make us afraid, that the Lord may give up
many in this land into a spirit of delusion to believe lies, because
they have not received the love of the truth. In that same warning they
say, We are not so to have the one of our eyes upon the sectarians, as
not to have the other upon malignants, they being an enemy more numerous
and more dangerous than the other; not only because experience hath
proven, that there is a greater aptitude and inclination in these of our
land to comply with malignants, than sectaries, in that they carry on
their wicked design, under a pretext of being for the king, but also
because there be many of them in our own bowels.' By which we may see
how impartially they opposed both; and that this cannot be condemned in
the testimonies of the present sufferers, except the assembly be
condemned. And because many now a-days have extenuating notions of those
debates, against prelacy and sectarianism, about the government of the
church, &c. and condemn these that would adhere to and suffer for the
punctilios of it, as rigid nicety: I shall, for seeing what account the
assembly had of them, cite their words in a letter to the assembly of
divines at Westiminster, dated Edinburgh, June 18, 1646. The 'smallest
(say they) of Christ's truths (if it be lawful to call any of them
small) is of greater moment than all the other businesses, that ever
have been debated since the beginning of the world to this day: but the
highest of honours and heaviest of burdens is put upon you; to declare
out of the sacred records of divine truth, what is the prerogative of
the crown and extent of the sceptre of Jesus Christ; what bounds are to
be set between him ruling in his house, and powers established by God on
earth; how and by whom his house is to be governed; and by what ways a
restraint is to be put on these who would pervert his truth and subvert
the faith of many.'

II. In the manner of maintaining this testimony, these famous fathers,
while faithful for God, gave us a perfect pattern of purity and
strictness, in opposition to all degrees of conformity and compliance
with the corruptions of the time; and laid down such rules and
constitutions, as might regulate us in our contendings about present
defections, and teach us what account to make of them, and how to carry
towards them: which if adverted unto, would evince how manifest and
manifold the declinings of many have been from the late reformation,
that yet pretend to adhere unto it, and how justifiable the aversation
and abstraction of the present reproaching suffering party is, from all
these defections and the daubings of them, because so much deviating and
declining from the attained reformation. I need not repeat how prelacy,
and all the parts and pendicles of that antichristian hierarchy, were
abjured in the national covenant, and condemned in the acts of
assemblies, and re-abjured in the solemn league and covenant, and in the
solemn acknowledgement of sins and engagement to duties, where also we
came under sacred and inviolable engagements, to endeavour the
extirpation thereof: Which doth clearly file the present countenancing
and submitting to the prelatic curates, in receiving ordinances from
them, among the grossest of defections; being altogether inconsistent
with these acts and constitutions, and covenant obligations to extirpate
them, as much as the countenancing of popish priests were inconsistent
therewith, being both equally covenanted to be extirpated. Next, though
in this period, tyranny being in its retrograde motion, erastian
supremacy was not so much contended for, and therefore not so much
questioned as formerly, being held exploded with execration out of doors
and out of doubt; yet the testimony was still continued against it, in
the uninterrupted maintaining of the church's privileges and freedom of
assemblies, against all encroachings of adversaries. And therefore the
embracing of the late detestable indulgences, were as contrary to the
actings of this as to the testimonies of the former period, against the
supremacy from which they flow. Yea many particulars, might be
instanced, wherein the accepters had declined from the covenanted
reformation then prosecuted; not only in their confederating with
malignant usurpers, for the pretended benefit of them (by which, if
there had been no more, they are obnoxious to the censure of the church,
standing registered in an act of assembly, ordaining all persons in
ecclesiastic office, for the like or lesser degrees of compliance, yea
even for procuring protections from malignant enemies, to be suspended
from their office and all exercise thereof at Edin. 1646. sess. 14.) Nor
only in their taking sinful instructions from them, restricting them in
the exercise of their ministry; but in admitting themselves, by their
patronage, to be by them presented to their prelimited and pre-imposed
congregations: which involves them in the iniquity of the abolished
patronages, condemned by the assembly; for that ministry of such so
presented, is made too much to depend upon the will and pleasure of man,
and such an imposition is destructive of the church and people's
liberties, obstructive of the gospel's freedom and faithful plainness,
and occasion of much base flattery and partiality; and in subjecting to,
homologating, and fortifying a sacrilegious supremacy, overturning the
intrinsic power of the church, contrary to the covenant obliging to the
preservation of the government, as well as to the doctrine of the
church, in the first article thereof; and in their suffering themselves,
either directly or indirectly, either by combination, persuasion, or
terror, to be divided and withdrawn from that blessed union and
conjunction, which they were obliged to maintain and promove, according
to the sixth article of the solemn league and covenant; and in their
strengthening the erastian usurpations of enemies encroaching upon the
church's liberties and Christ's prerogatives, against which we are
engaged expressly in the solemn acknowledgment of sins and engagement to
duties, where also we have these words article 2. Because many have of
late laboured to supplant the liberties of the church, we shall maintain
and defend the church of Scotland, in all her liberties and privileges,
against all who shall oppose or undermine the same, or encroach
thereupon under any pretext whatsomever. Next, we have many
demonstrations of the zeal and strictness of these servants of Christ,
in their synodical determinations of censures, to be past upon many
ministerial corruptions; which will condemn the present course of
covering and countenancing them, and commend the contendings of a poor
reproached party against them, in their conscientious abstracting from
them. Of which determinations, I shall rehearse some. Among the
enormities and corruptions of the ministry, in their callings, this is
one, sect. 4, 5. Silence in the public cause--some accounting it a point
of wisdom to speak, ambiguously--whereof the remedy is sect. 15. 'That
beside all other scandals, silence or ambiguous speaking in the public
cause--be seasonably censured, general assembly, at Edinburgh, June 13.
1646.' There is indeed an act against withdrawers from ministers: but in
the self same act they are charged to be diligent in fulfilling their
ministry, 'to be faithful in preaching, declaring the whole counsel of
God, and as they have occasion from the text of scripture to reprove the
sins and errors, and press the duties of the time, and in all these to
observe the rules prescribed by the acts of assembly, wherein if they
be negligent, they are to be censured, general assembly Edinburgh, Aug.
24. 1647. sess. 19.' Then there is that act, Aug. 3. 1648. sess. 26. for
censuring ministers for their silence, and not speaking to the
corruptions of the time; 'calling it, a great scandal, through some
ministers their reserving and not declaring themselves against the
prevalent sins of the times; appointing, that all that do not apply
their doctrine to these corruptions, which is the pastoral gift, and
that are cold or wanting of spiritual zeal, dissembling of public sins,
that all such be censured even to deprivation; for forbearing or passing
in silence the errors and exorbitancies of sectaries in England, or the
defections current at home, the plots and practices of malignants, the
principles and tenets of erastianism; and if they be found too sparing,
general, or ambiguous in their applications and reproofs, and continuing
so, they are to be deposed, for being pleasers of men rather than
servers of Christ, for giving themselves to a detestable indifferency or
neutrality in the cause of God for defrauding the souls of people, yea
for being highly guilty of the blood of souls, in not giving them
warning.' And in that seasonable and necessary warning of the general
assembly, Edinbugh July 27. 1649. sess. 27. we are taught how they
resented the unfaithfulness of ministers continuing in defections, and
how we are to look upon them and carry to them: where they say, it is
undeniably true, that many of the evils, 'wherewith this church and
kingdom hath been afflicted in our age, have come to pass because of the
negligence of some and corruptions of others of the ministry; and the
course of backsliding was carried on, until it pleased God to stir up
the spirits of these few, who stood in the gap, to oppose and resist the
fame, and to begin the work of reformation in the land; since which
time, the silence of some ministers, and the compliance of others, hath
had great influence upon the backslidings of many amongst the people,
who, upon the discovery of the evil of their way, complain that they got
no warning, or that if they were warned by some, others held their
peace, or did justify them in the course of their backsliding: we can
look upon such ministers no otherwise, than upon these that are guilty
of the blood of the Lord's people, and with whom the Lord will reckon,
for all the breach of covenant and defection that hath been in the land;
the priest's lips should preserve knowledge, and they should seek the
law at his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts, but such
as are departed out of the way, and have caused many to stumble at the
law, therefore hath the Lord made them contemptible before all the
people, according as they have not kept his ways, but have been partial
in his law, because they have lost their favour, he hath cast out many
of them as unsavoury salt.' Furthermore, to evidence the purity and
power of zeal burning and blazing in these days in their contendings
against public enemies on all hands, I shall instance some of their acts
and testimonies, clearly condemning the manifold compliances of this
generation and which may contribute somewhat to justify the reproached
preciseness of a remnant, standing at the furthest distance from them.
There is an act for censuring the compliars with the public enemies of
this church and kingdom, general assembly, June 17. 1646, sess. 14.
'where, they judge it a great and scandalous provocation, and grievous
defection from the public cause, to comply with those malignants (such
as James Graham then was) in any degree, even to procure protections
from them, or to have invited them to their houses, or to have drunk
James Graham's health, or to be guilty of any other such gross degrees
of compliance; censured to be suspended from the communions, ay and
while they acknowledge their offence.' And yet now, for refusing these
degrees of compliance, for not having the protection of a pass from the
wicked courts of malignant enemies, by taking a wicked oath, and for
refusing to drink the king's health, a greater enemy then ever James
Graham was, some poor conscientious people have not only been murdered
by enemies, but mocked and condemned by professors. There is an act
likewise, and declaration against all new oaths or bonds in the common
cause imposed without consent of the church general assembly, Edinburgh
July 28. 1648. sess. 18. 'Enjoining all the members of the church to
fearbear the swearing or subscribing any new oaths, or bonds, in this
cause without advice and concurrence of the church, especially any
negative oaths or bonds, which may any way limit or restrain them in the
duties whereunto they are obliged, by national or solemn league or
covenant.' Yet now, for refusing oaths, not only limiting in covenanted
duties, but contradicting and condemning many material principles of the
covenanted reformation, many have not only lost their lives, but also
have been condemned, by them that are at ease, having a wider conscience
to swallow such baits. It is known how pertinacious the most faithful in
those days were, in their contendings against associations, in any
undertaking for the cause, with persons disaffected to the true state
thereof. I need not give any account of this, were it not that now that
principle is quite inverted; and poor adherers to it, for their
abstracting and substracting their concurrence with such promiscuous
associations, are much hated and flouted; therefore I shall give some
hints of their sentiments of them. In their answer to the committee of
estates, July 25, 1648, sess. 14. the general assembly says, 'It was
represented to the parliament, that for securing of religion it was
necessary, that the popish, prelatical, and malignant party, be declared
enemies to the cause upon the one hand, as well as sectaries upon the
other, and that all associations either in forces or counsels, with the
former as well as with the latter, be avoided.' And in their declaration
concerning the present dangers of religion, especially the unlawful
engagement in war, July ult. 1648. sess. 21. they say, 'Suppose the ends
of that engagement be good (as they are not) yet the means and ways of
prosecution are unlawful; because there is not an equal avoiding of
rocks on both hands, but a joining with malignants to suppress
sectaries, a joining hands with a black devil to beat a white devil;
they are bad physicians who would so cure one disease, as to breed
another as evil or worse--we find in the scriptures condemned, all
confederacies and associations with the enemies of true religion,
whether Canaanites, Exod. xxiii. 32 and 24. xii. 15. Deut. vii. 2. or
other heathens, 1 Kings xi. 1, 2.' More arguments against associations
may be seen in that excellent discussion of this useful case, concerning
associations and confederacies with idolaters, infidels, hereticks, or
any other known enemy of truth or godliness, by famous Mr. G. Gillespie,
published at that same time: whereunto is appended his letter to the
commission of the general assembly, having these golden words in it,
words fitly spoken in that season, when he was a-dying, at the beginning
of the public resolutions: 'Having heard of some motions and beginnings
of compliance, with these who have been so deeply engaged in a war
destructive to religion and the kingdom's liberties, I cannot but
discharge my conscience, in giving a testimony against all such
compliance. I know and am persuaded, that all the faithful witnesses
that gave testimony to the thesis, that the late engagement was contrary
and destructive to the covenant, will also give testimony to the
appendix, that compliance with any who have been active in that
engagement is most sinful and unlawful. I am not able to express all the
evils of that compliance, they are so many--But above all, that which
would heighten this sin even to the heavens is, that it were not only a
horrid backsliding, but a backsliding into that very sin, which was
specially pointed at and punished by the prevalency of the malignant
party, God justly making them thorns and scourges who were taken in as
friends. Alas! shall we split twice upon the same rock? yea run upon it,
when God hath set a beacon on it? yea I may say, shall we thus outface
and outdare the Almighty, by protecting his and our enemies, by making
peace and friendship with them, when the anger of the Lord is burning
against them. I must here apply to our present condition, the words of
Ezrah, ix. 14.--O happy Scotland, if thou canst now improve and not
abuse this golden opportunity! but if thou help the ungodly, and love
them that hate the Lord, wrath upon wrath, and wo upon wo, shall be upon
thee from the Lord.' Whereunto is subjoined his dying testimony to the
same purpose; wherein are these words: 'But if there shall be falling
back, to the sin of compliance with malignant ungodly men, then I look
for the breaking out of the wrath of the Lord, till there be no remedy.'
This was the warning of a worthy dying man. Notwithstanding of which and
many other warnings and witnessings, a course of compliance was
commenced by the public resolutioners, and continued in to this day;
wherein that faithful warning of a dying servant of Christ is verified.
But before I leave this purpose, I must obviate an objection that some
make use of for strengthening themselves in their incorporations and
joining at least in worship, with the corruptions of the time, and for
condemning conscientious withdrawers; that the godly in those days did
not separate from the men of these compliances and defections, as many
do now, viz. the protesting party did not withdraw from the public
resolutioners and associators with malignants. I answer, first, many and
these the most godly and tender did withdraw, even from their own
ministers, and would have gone forty or fifty miles to hear a faithful
minister at that time: yea ministers themselves, in the case of
intrusion of the unfaithful, would have supplied the paroch, as if the
church had been vacant, and when they could not get access to the
pulpit, they preached in the fields, on purpose to witness against, and
professedly to withdraw the people from such an unfaithful intruder; as
might be instanced particularly for time and place, if need were. But
next, the church then, though broken by division, and under the
subjection of strangers deprived of her general assemblies, yet was in a
constitute case, enjoying the privilege, power and order of synods and
presbyteries, to whom the people offended with their ministers might
address themselves, for an orderly redress, and removal of these
scandals in an ordinary way; and so they needed not assume to themselves
that power to regulate their communion, that in a broken state, as now
is, must be allowed to them. And besides, both the ministers at that
time who were faithful, though they might have proceeded to censure and
silence the corrupt party as they were obliged, yet not only found it
difficult by reason of the injury of the times; but also thought it best
to spare them, and the people to bear them, as burdens; until, as they
were still in hopes, they should obtain a general assembly to take order
with them, but now it is not so. And then the defection was but
beginning, and people did not know and could not expect it would go such
a length, and therefore could not fall upon the rigour of that duty,
which such disorders call for at first: but if they had seen where these
beginnings would land them at length, I doubt not but they would have
resisted those beginnings, in such a way as would have precluded this
imputation of novelty upon our necessitated withdrawings.

III. We have in this period, not only an illustrious testimony for the
principle, but a continued and unintermitted putting into practice the
duty of defensive arms, in resisting the sovereign power, maleversing
and abusing authority to the destruction of the ends of it; which
resistance was avowed, encouraged, and furthered by the general
assembly, both for the defence of themselves, and for the help of their
brethren in England. Take one expression in their solemn and seasonable
warning to all ranks, Feb. 12, 1645, sess. 18.--'Unless men will blot
out of their hearts the love of religion and cause of God, and cast off
all care of their country, laws, liberties, &c. (all being in visible
danger of present ruin and destruction) they must now or never appear
actively, each one stretching himself to, yea beyond his power. It is
not time to dally, or go about the business by halves, nor be almost,
but altogether zealous: Cursed is he that doeth the work of the Lord
negligently. If we have been forward to assist our neighbour kingdoms,
shall we neglect to defend our own? Or shall the enemies of God be more
active against his cause than his people for it? God forbid.' In another
seasonable and necessary warning, July 27, 1649, sess. 27. they say,
'But if his majesty, or any having or pretending power and commission
from him, shall invade this kingdom, upon pretext of establishing him in
the exercise of his royal power; as it will be an high provocation
against God, to be accessory or assisting thereto, so it will be a
necessary duty to resist and oppose the same.' These fathers could well
distinguish, between authority and the person abusing it: and were not
so loyal, as now their degenerate children are ambitious to shew
themselves, stupidly stooping to the shadow thereof, and yet will be
called the only asserters of presbyterian principles. But we find, they
put it among the characters of malignants, to confound the king's honour
and authority with the abuse and pretence thereof, and with commissions,
warrants, and letters, procured from the king by the enemies of the
cause and covenant, as if we could not oppose the latter, without
incroaching upon the former. But here an objection or two must be
removed out of the way before we go forward. One is, from the third
article of the covenant; where there seems to be a great deal of
loyalty, obliging to defend the king's majesty, his person and
authority, in the preservation and defence of the true religion and
liberties of the kingdoms, 'that the world may bear witness with our
consciences of our loyalty, and that we have no thoughts or intentions
to diminish his majesty's just power and greatness.' I answer, there is
indeed a deal of loyalty there, and true loyalty, because lawfully
limited, being qualified with, and subordinate unto the preservation and
defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdom (as the makers
of the covenant do expound it, in the assembly's declaration against the
unlawful engagement, July _ult._ 1648, sess. 21.) not that reverse
loyalty, which makes duties to God conditional and limited, and duties
to the king absolute and unlimited, as our loyalists do now. And I wish
others were free of it, who have sworn oaths of unlimited allegiances to
maintain the king in any power unto which his force aspires; and to
justify this their loyalty, will bring in this article of the covenant
with a distorted sense, reading it backward, 'that we in the
preservation and defence of religion must preserve and defend the king:'
As if religion obliged to defend him, do what he will. It were better
such pretended covenanters denied the covenant, than to be such a
reproach to it, in wresting its genuine sense. But I have adduced the
sense of the best interpreters of it, the general assembly. Next when
they entered under the bond of this covenant, they did it with a purpose
to oppose all his invasions upon religion and the liberties of the
people, and to vindicate these precious interests from his usurpings,
into a state of liberty: And shall we imagine, that that very oath of
God did lay upon them or us an obligation to defend the person who is a
destroyer of all these, contrary to the very nature of the oath,
contrary to the hope of the covenanters, and contrary to their
subsequent practice? But then it will be urged, why then was that clause
cast into the covenant? I answer we have not the same cause to keep it,
as they had some cause to put it in, with accommodation to the present
possessor of the sovereignty. The owning of it in our circumstances
would be as great a reproach to us, as the want of it was to them in
theirs. They put in the words to prevent the world's mistake, and to
remove that odium industriously heaped upon the heads of whose hearts
were associate in the defence of religion and liberty, therefore they
would profess they would not be disloyal while he was for God. And a
defiance may be given to clamour, and calumny itself, to give one
instance of the defect of performance hereof, while he went not about to
ruin those things, incomparably more precious than his person or
authority, and in ruining whereof no person can retain authority.

IV. But now two things will chiefly be desiderated, which now we own in
our testimony, for which many have died, that seem not to be confirmed
by or consistent with the testimony of this period. One is, that we not
only maintain defensive resistance, but in some cases vindictive and
punitive force, to be executed upon men that are bloody beasts of prey,
and burdens to the earth, in cases of necessity, when there is no living
among them. This principle of reason and natural justice, was not much
inquired into in this time; when the sun was up, whose warmth and light
made these beasts creep into their dens, and when they, being brought
under subjection, could not force people into such extraordinary violent
courses when the ordinary and orderly course of law was running in its
right channel. Yet from the ground of their ordinary procedure, military
and civil, against such monsters, we may gather the lawfulness of an
ordinary procedure in a pinch of necessity, conform to their grounds: I
hope to make this evident, when I come _ex proposito_ to vindicate this
head. But there is another thing that we own, which seems not to have
been known in these days, viz. That when we are required to own the
authority of the present dominator, we hold sinful to own it. Yet we
find these reverend and renowned fathers owned King Charles I. and did
not refuse the succession of Charles II. I shall answer in order. First,
As to King Charles I. there was a great difference betwixt him and his
sons that succeeded; he never declared parliamentarily that neither
promises, contracts, nor oaths should bind him, as the first of his
perfidious sons did; it might have been then presumed, if he had engaged
so far for promoving the work of God, he would have been a man of his
word (for to say a king of his word, is antiquitate in a good sense,
except that it means he is as absolute in his word as in his sword, and
scorns to be a slave to it.) Neither professed he himself a papist, as
the second son hath done: Again it must be granted, that more might have
been comported with in the beginning, when there were some hopes of
redress, than after such process of time; whereby now we see and feel
beyond all debate, that the throne stands and is stated, not only in
opposition to, but upon the ruins of the rights and privileges both of
religion and liberty. But was not the equivalent done by the church,
anno 1648, when they refused to concur with that unlawful engagement,
for restoring of the king, 'till security be had, by solemn oath under
his hand and seal, that he shall for himself and successors, give his
assent to all acts and bills for enjoining presbyterial government, and
never make opposition to it, nor endeavour any change thereof? July
_ult._ 1648. sess. 21.' But it will be laid, that in their renewing the
covenant that year, they did not leave out that article. True, thereby
they stopped the mouths of their adversaries; and then they were not
without hopes, but that in his straits he might have proved a Manasseh
taken among the thorns. And the covenanters at that time, not being
clear that he had done that which _ipso jure_ made him no magistrate,
chused rather, while matters stood so, to engage to maintain him, than
simply to disown him (which yet our forefathers did upon smaller grounds
many times) in the hopes of being prevailed with at last. But when they
saw that this proved ineffectual, therefore at the coronation of the new
king they made the covenanted interest the sole basis upon which alone
authority was conferred upon him. For the second, though they did not
refuse the succession of Charles the Second (which was their blame and
our bane, of which we may blush this day) yet we find many things in
that transaction which justify our disowning of him, and condemn the
owning of the present possessor. (1.) In that seasonable and necessary
warning, July 27, sess. 27. 'whereas many would have admitted his
majesty to the exercise of his royal power, upon any terms whatsoever:
the assembly declares first; that a boundless and unlimited power is to
be acknowledged in no king nor magistrate; neither is our king to be
admitted to the exercise of his power, as long as he refuses to walk in
the administration of the same, according to this rule. Secondly, that
there is a mutual stipulation and obligation between the king and the
people, as both of them are tied to God, so each of them are tied to one
another, for the performance of mutual and reciprocal duties;
accordingly kings are to take the oath of coronation, to abolish popery
and maintain the protestant religion: As long therefore as the king
refuses to engage and oblige himself for security of religion and safety
of his people, it is consonant to scripture and reason and laws of the
kingdom, that he should be refused. Thirdly, in the league and covenant
the duty of defending and preserving the king, is subordinate to the
duty of preserving religion and liberty: And therefore, he standing in
opposition to the public desires of the people for their security, it
were a manifest breach of covenant, and a preferring the king's
interest to the interest of Jesus Christ, to bring him to the exercise
of his power. Fourthly, That it was for restraint of arbitrary
government, and for their just defence against tyranny, that the Lord's
people did join in covenant, and have been at the expence of so much
blood these years past; and if he should be admitted to the government
before satisfaction, it were to put in his hand that arbitrary power,
and so to abandon their former principles, and betray the cause.
Fifthly, That he, being admitted before satisfaction, would soon
endeavour an overturning of the things which God hath wrought, and
labour to draw public administrations, concerning religion and liberty,
into that course and channel in which they did run under prelacy, and
before the work of reformation. Whence they warn that every one take
heed of such a snare, that they be not accessory to any such design, as
they would not bring upon themselves and their families, the guilt of
all the detriment that will undoubtedly follow thereupon, of all the
miseries it will bring upon the kingdoms--And therefore whosoever
attempt the same, oppose themselves to the cause of God, and will at
last dash against the rock of the Lord's power, which hath broken in
pieces many high and lofty ones, since the beginning of the work in the
kingdoms.' 2. I shall here insert the act of the West-kirk, declaring
their mind very manifestly.

     '_West Kirk, August 13, 1650._ The commission of the general
     assembly, considering that there may be just ground of stumbling,
     from the king's majesty refusing to subscribe and emit the
     declaration, offered to him by the committee of estates and the
     commission of the general assembly, concerning his former carriage
     and resolutions for the future, in reference to the cause of God
     and the enemies and friends thereof; doth therefore declare, That
     this kirk and kingdom doth not own or espouse any malignant party,
     or quarrel, or interest, but that they fight merely upon their
     former grounds and principles, and in the defence of the cause of
     God and of the kingdom, as they have done these twelve years past:
     And therefore, as they disclaim all the sin and guilt of the king
     and of his house, so they will not own him nor his interest,
     otherwise than with a subordination to God, and so far as he owns
     and prosecutes the cause of God, and disclaims his and his father's
     opposition to the work of God, and to the covenant, and likewise
     all the enemies thereof; and that they will with convenient speed
     take unto consideration the papers, lately sent unto them by
     Oliliver Cromwel, and vindicate themselves from all the falshoods
     contained therein; especially in these things wherein the quarrel
     betwixt us and that party is mistated, as we owned the late king's
     proceedings, and were resolved to prosecute and maintain his
     present majesty's interest, before and without acknowledgement of
     the sin of his house and former ways, and satisfaction to God's
     people in both kingdoms.'

'A. KER.'

     '_August 13, 1650._ The committee of estates, having seen and
     considered a declaration of the commission of the general assembly,
     anent the stating of the quarrel wherein the army is to fight, do
     approve the same, and heartily concur therein.'


In the third place: It is specified in the Causes of Wrath, as one of
the steps of defection, Art. 9. Step. 5. 'That a treaty should have been
closed with him, upon his subscribing demands, after he had given many
clear evidences of his disaffection and enmity to the work and people of
God: That these demands, which he was required to subscribe, did not
contain a real security, a real abandoning of former malignant courses
and principles, and cleaving to the work of God; it was not a paper or
verbal security which we were bound to demand of him, but a real one;
and to entrust him without this, was but to mock God, and to deceive the
world, and to betray and destroy ourselves, by giving up all the
precious interests of religion and liberty unto the hands of one, who
was in a course of enmity to them: That both before, and in the mean
time of the treaty, he had given evidences of his enmity in many
instances there condescended upon particularly; that he authorized James
Graham to invade this kingdom, and encouraged him by letters to go on in
that invasion, even whilst he was in terms of a treaty with us, as
appeared by bringing into our hands the authentic commission itself, and
sundry letters under his own hand.' Next, in the same Causes of Wrath,
among the sins of the ministry, in relation to the public, sect. 10, 11,
12, 13. 'That they agreed to receive the king to the covenant, barely
upon writing, without any apparent evidences of a real change of
principle: That they did not use freedom, in showing what was sinful in
reference to that treaty, but went on therein when they were not
satisfied in their consciences, for fear of reproach, and of being
mistaken: That they were silent in public, and did not give testimony,
after a discovery of the king's commission to James Graham for invading
the kingdom: That they pressed the king to make a declaration to the
world, whilst they knew by clear evidences that he had no real
conviction of the things contained therein.'


_Containing the Testimony through the continued tract of the present
deformation from the year 1660 to this day._

Now comes the last catastrophe of the deformation of the church of
Scotland, which now renders her to all nations as infamously despicable,
as her reformation formerly made her admired and envied; which in a
retrograde motion hath gradually been growing these 27 years, going back
through all the steps by which the reformation ascended, till now she is
returned to the very border of that Babylon, from whence she took her
departure, and reduced through defection, and division, and persecutious
to a confused chaos of almost irreparable dissolution, and unavoidable
desolation. Through all which steps notwithstanding, to this day,
Scotland hath never wanted a witness for Christ, against all the various
steps of the enemy's advancings, and of professed friends declinings:
though the testimony hath had some singularities, some way
discriminating it from that of former periods; in that it hath been more
difficult by reason of more desperate and dreadful assaults of more
enraged enemies, more expert and experienced in the accursed art of
overturning than any formerly; in that it hath been attended with more
disadvantages, by reason of the enemies greater prevalency, and friends
deficency, and greater want of significant asserters, than any formerly;
in that it hath been intangled in more multifarious intricacies of
questions, and debates, and divisions among the assertors themselves,
making it more dark, and yet in the end contributing to clear it more
than any formerly; in that it hath been intended and extended to a
greater measure, both as to matter and manner of contendings against the
adversaries, and stated upon nicer points; more enixly prosecuted and
tenaciously maintained, and sealed with more sufferings, than any
formerly; in that it hath had more opposition and contradiction, and
less countenance from professed friends to the reformation, either at
home or abroad, than any formerly. And yet it hath had all these several
speciallties together, which were peculiar to the former testimonies, in
their respective periods: being both active and passive, both against
enemies and friends; and _in cumulis_ stated against atheism, popery,
prelacy, and erastian supremacy, which were the successive heads of the
former testimonies, and also now extended in a particular manner against
tyranny. And not only against the substance and circumstance, abstract
and concret root and branch, head and tail of them, and all complying
with them, conforming to them, or deduced from them, any manner of way,
directly or indirectly, formally or interpretatively. This is that
extensive and very comprehensive testimony of the present period, as it
is now stated and sealed with the blood of many: which in all its parts,
points and pendicles is most directly relative, and dilucidly reducible,
to a complex witness for the declarative glory of Christ's kingship and
headship over all, as he is Mediator, which is the greatest concern that
creatures have to contend for, either as men or as Christians. The
matter of this testimony, I shall give a short manuduction to the
progress and result of its management.

During the exile of the royal brothers, it is undeniably known that they
were, by their mothers caresses and the jesuits allurements, seduced to
abjure the reformed religion (which was easy to induce persons to, that
never had the sense of any religion) and to be reconciled to the church
of Rome: and that, not only they wrote to the pope many promises of
promoting his projects, if ever they should recover the power into their
hands again, and often frequented the mass themselves; but also, by
their example and the influence of their future hopes, prevailed with
many of their dependents and attendants abroad, to do the like. Yet it
is unquestionably known, that in the mean time of his exile, he renewed
and confirmed, by private letters to presbyterians, his many reiterated
engagements to adhere to the covenant, and declared that he was and
would continue the same man, that he had declared himself to be in
Scotland, (wherein doubtless, as he was an expert artist, he
equivocated, and meant in his heart he would continue as treacherous as
ever) which helped to keep a loyal impression of his interest in the
hearts of too many, and an expectation of some good of him, of which
they were ashamed afterwards. And immediately before his return, it is
known what promises are contained in that declaration from Breda (from
whence he came also the second time, with greater treachery than at the
first) to all protestants that would live peaceably under his
government; beginning now to weigh out his perfidy, and perjury, and
breach of covenant, in offering to tolerate that in an indulgence, which
he swore to maintain as a duty. But in all this he purposed nothing, but
to ingere and ingratiate himself into the peoples over credulous
affections, that they might not obstruct his return, which a jealousy of
his intended tyranny would have awakened them to withstand. And so
having seated himself, and strengthened his power against the
attemptings of any, whom his conscience might suggest an apprehension
that they ought to resist him, he thought himself discharged from all
obligations of covenants, oaths, or promises, for which his faith had
been pledged. And from the first hour of his arrival, he did in a manner
set himself to affront and defy the authority of God, and to be revenged
upon his kingdoms for inviting him so unanimously to sway their sceptre;
in polluting and infecting the people with all debaucheries and
monstrous villanies; and commencing his incestous whoredoms that very
first night he came to his palace, wherein he continued to his dying day
outvying all for vileness. Yet he went on deluding our church with his
dissimulations, and would not discover all his wickedness hatched in his
heart at first, till his designs should be riper; but directed a letter
to the presbytery of Edinburgh, declaring he was resolved to protect and
preserve the government of the church of Scotland, as it is settled by
law without violation: wherein it was observed he altered the stile, and
spake never a word of the covenant, our _Magna Charta_ of religion and
righteousness, our greatest security for all interests intrusted to him,
but only of law; by which, as his practice expounded it afterwards, he
meant the prelatical church, as it was settled by the law of his father,
since which time he reckoned there was no law but rebellion. This was a
piece and prelude of our base defection, and degeneration into blind
blockish, and brutish stupidity; that after he had discovered so much
perfidy, we not only at first tempted him to perjury, in admitting him
to the crown, upon his mock-engagement in the covenant, whereby God was
mocked, his Spirit was grieved, his covenant prostituted, the church
cheated, and the state betrayed; but after the Lord had broken his yoke
from off our necks, by sending him to exile ten years, where he was
discovered to be imbibing all that venom and tyrannical violence, which
he afterward vented in revenge upon the nation; and after we had long
smarted for our first transaction with him; yet notwithstanding of all
this, we believed him again, and Issachar-like couched under his burdens
and were so far from withstanding, that we did not so much as witness
against the re-admission and restoration of the head and tail of
malignants, but let them come in peaceably to the throne, without any
security to the covenanted cause, or for our civil or religious
interests, and by meal, at their own ease, leisure and pleasure, to
overturn all the work of God, and reintroduce the old antichristian
yoke of absurd prelacy, and blasphemous sacreligious, supremacy, and
absolute arbitrary tyranny with all their abominations: which he, and
with him the generality of our nobility, gentry, clergy, and commonality
by him corrupted, without regard to faith, or fear of God or man, did
promote and propogate, the nation was involved in the greatest revolt
from, and rebellion against God, that ever could be recorded in any age
or generation; nay attended with greater and grosser aggravations, than
ever any could be capable of before us, who have had the greatest
privileges that ever any church had, since the national church of the
Jews, the greatest light, the greatest effects of matchless magnified
love, the greatest convictions of sin, the greatest resolutions and
solemn engagements against it, and the greatest reformation from it,
that ever any had to abuse and affront. O heavens be astonished at this,
and horribly afraid! for Scotland hath changed her glory, and the crown
hath fallen from off her head, by an unparalelled apostasy, a free and
voluntary, wilful and deliberate apostasy, an avowed and declared and
authorized apostasy, tyrannically carried on by military violence and
cruelty, a most universal and every way unprecedented apostasy! I must a
little change my method, in deducing the narration of this catastrophe,
and subdistinguish this unhappy period into several steps; shewing how
the enemies opposition to Christ advanced, and the testimony of his
witnesses did gradually ascend, to the pitch it is now arrived at.

I. These enemies of God, having once got footing again, with the favour
and the fawnings of the foolish nation, went on fervently to further and
promote their wicked design: and meeting with no opposition at first,
did encourage themselves to begin boldly. Wherefore, hearing of some
ministers peaceably assembled, to draw up a monitory letter to the king,
minding him of his covenant engagements and promises (which was though
weak, yet the first witness and warning against that heaven-daring
wickedness then begun) they cruelly incarcerate them. Having hereby much
daunted the ministry from their duty in that day, for fear of the like
unusual and outrageous usage. The parliament convenes January 1, 1661,
without so much as a protestation for religion and liberty given in to
them. And there, in the first place, they frame and take the oath of
supremacy, exauctorating Christ, and investing his usurping enemy with
the spoils of his robbed prerogative, acknowledging the king 'only
supreme governor over all persons and in all causes, and that his power
and jurisdiction must not be declined.' Whereby under all persons and
all causes, all church officers, in their most properly ecclesiastic
affairs and concerns of Christ, are comprehended: And if the king shall
take upon him to judge their doctrine, worship, discipline, or
government, he must not be declined as an incompetent judge. Which did
at once enervate all the testimony of the 4th period above declared, and
laid the foundation for all this Babel they have built since, and of all
this war that hath been waged against the Son of God, and did introduce
all this tyranny and absolute power, which hath been since carried to
its complement, and made the king's throne the foundation of all the
succeeding perjury and apostacy. Yet, though then our synods and
presbyteries were not discharged, but might have had access in some
concurrence to witness against this horrid invasion upon Christ's
prerogative and the church's privilege, no joint testimony was given
against it, except that some were found witnessing against it in their
singular capacity by themselves. As faithful Mr. James Guthrie, for
declining this usurped authority in prejudice of the kingdom of our Lord
Jesus, suffered death, and got the martyr's crown upon his head: And
some others, for refuting that oath arbitrarily imposed, were banished
or confined, when they had gained this bulwark of Christ's kingdom; then
they waxed more insolent, and set up their ensigns for signs, and broke
down the carved work of reformation with axes and hammers. In this
parliament, 1661, they past an _act rescissory_ whereby they annulled and
declared void the national covenant, the solemn league and covenant,
presbyterial government, and all laws made in favour of the work of
reformation since the year 1643. O horrid wickedness! both in its nature
so atrocious, to condemn and rescind what God did so signally seal as
his own work, to the conviction of the world, and for which he will
rescind the rescinders, and overturn these overturners of his work, and
make the curse of that broken covenant bind them to the punishment, whom
its bond could not oblige to the duty covenanted; and in its design and
end so base and detestable, for nothing but to flatter the king in
making way for prelacy, tyranny, and popery, and to indulge the
licentiousness of some debauched nobles, who could not endure the yoke
of Christ's government, and to suppress religion and righteousness under
the ruins of that reformation. But O holy and astonishing justice, thus
to recompence our way upon our own head! to suffer this work and cause
to be ruined under our unhappy hands, who suffered this destroyer to
come in before it was so effectually secured, as it should not have been
in the power of his hand (whatever had been in his heart, swelled with
enmity against Christ) to have razed and ruined that work as now most
wickedly he did, and drew in so many into the guilt of the same deed,
that almost the whole land not only consented unto it but applauded it;
by approving and countenancing another wicked act framed at the same
time, by that same perfidious parliament for an anniversary
thanksgiving, commemorating every 29th of May, that blasphemy against
the Spirit and work of God, and celebrating that unhappy restoration of
the rescinder of the reformation; which had not only the concurrence of
the universality of the nation, but (alas for shame that it should be
told in Gath, &c!) even of some ministers who afterwards accepted of
the indulgence (one of which, a pillar among them, was seen scandalously
dancing about the bonefires.) And others, who should have alarmed the
whole nation _quasi pro aris & focis_, to rise for religion and liberty,
to resist such wickedness, did wink at it. O how righteous is the Lord
now in turning our harps into mourning! Though alas! we will not suffer
ourselves to this day, to see the shining righteousness of this
retribution: And though we be scourged with scorpions, and brayed in a
mortar, our madness, our folly in these irreligious frolics, is not yet
acknowledged, let be lamented. Yet albeit, neither in this day when then
the covenant was not only broken, but cassed and declared of no
obligation, nor afterward when it was burnt (for which Turks and Pagans
would have been ashamed and afraid at such a terrible sight, and for
which the Lord's anger is burning against these bold burners, and
against them who suffered it, and did not witness against it) was there
any public testimony by protestation or remonstrance, or any public
witness? though the Lord had some then, and some who came out afterward
with the trumpet at their mouth, whole heart then sorrowed at the sight;
and some suffered for the sense they shewed of that anniversary
abomination, for not keeping which they lost both church and liberty. It
is true the ordinary meetings of presbyteries and synods were about that
time discharged, to make way for the exercise of the new power conferred
on the four prelates who were at court, re-ordained and consecrated
thereby renouncing their former title to the ministry. But this could
not give a discharge from a necessary testimony, then called for from
faithful watchmen. However the reformation being thus rescinded and
razed, and the house of the Lord pulled down, then they begin to build
their Babel. In the parliament 1662, by their first act they restore and
re-establish prelacy, upon such a foundation as they might by the same
law bring in popery, which was then designed; and so settled its
harbinger diocesan and erastian prelacy, by fuller enlargement of the
supremacy. The very act begins thus: 'For as much as the ordering and
disposal of the external government of the church, doth properly belong
to his majesty as an inherent right of the crown, by virtue of his royal
prerogative, and supremacy in causes ecclesiastic--whatever shall be
determined by his majesty, with advice of the archbishops, and such of
the clergy as he shall nominate, in the external government of the
church (the same consisting with the standing laws of the kingdom) shall
be valid and effectual. And in the same act all laws are rescinded, by
which the sole power and jurisdiction within the church doth stand in
the church assemblies, and all which may be interpreted, to have given
any church power, jurisdiction, or government to the office-bearers of
the church, other than that which acknowledgeth a dependence upon, and
subordination to the sovereign power of the king as supreme.' By which,
prelates are redintegrated to all their privileges and pre-eminencies,
that they possessed 1637. And all their church power (robbed from the
officers of Christ) is made to be derived from, to depend upon, and to
be subordinate to the crown prerogative of the king: whereby the king is
made the only fountain of church power, and that exclusive even of
Christ, of whom there is no mentioned exception: And his vassals the
bishops, as his clerks in ecclesiastics, are accountable to him for all
their administrations; a greater usurpation upon the kingdom of Christ,
than ever the papacy itself aspired unto. Yet, albeit here was another
display of a banner of defiance against Christ, in altering the church
government of Christ's institution into the human invention of lordly
prelacy, in assuming a power by prerogative to dispose then of the
external government of the church, and in giving his creatures patents
for this effect, to be his administrators for that usurped government;
there was no public, ministerial, at least united testimony against this
neither. Therefore the Lord punished this sinful and shameful silence of
ministers, in his holy justice, though by men's horrid wickedness; when
by another wicked act of the council at Glasgow, above 300 ministers
were put from their charges; and afterwards, for their non-conformity in
not countenancing their diocesan meeting, and not keeping the
anniversary day, May 29, the rest were violently thrust from their
labours in the Lord's vineyard, and banished from their parishes, and
adjudged unto a nice and strange confinement, twenty miles from their
own parishes, six miles from a cathedral church, as they called it, and
three miles from a burgh; whereby they were reduced into many
inconveniencies. Yet in this fatal convulsion of the church, generally
all were struck with blindness and baseness, that a paper proclamation
made them all run from their posts, and obey the king's orders for their
ejection. Thus were they given up, because of their forbearing to sound
an alarm, charging the people of God, in point of loyalty to Christ, and
under the pain of the curse of the covenant, to awake and aquit
themselves like men, and not to suffer the enemy to rob them of that
treasure of reformation, which they were put in possession of, by the
tears, prayers, and blood of such as went before them; instead of those
prudential fumblings and firstlings then and since so much followed.
Wherefore the Lord in his holy righteousness, left that enemy (against
whom they should have cried and contended, and to whose eye they should
have held the curse of the covenant, as having held it first to their
own, in case of unfaithful silence in not holding it to his) to call
them out of the house of the Lord, and dissolve their assemblies, and
deprive them of their privileges, because of their not being so valiant
for the truth, as that a full and faithful testimony against that
encroachment might be found upon record. Nevertheless some were found
faithful in that hour and power of darkness, who kept the word of the
Lord's patience, and who were therefore kept in and from that temptation
(which carried many away into sad and shameful defections) though not
from suffering hard things from the hands of men; and only these who
felt most of their violence, found grace helping them to acquit
themselves suitably to that day's testimony, being thereby prevented
from an active yielding to their impositions, when they were made
passively to suffer force. However that season of a public testimony was
lost, and as to the most part never recovered to this day. The prelates
being settled, and re-admitted to voice in parliament, they procure an
act, dogmatically condemning several material parts and points of our
covenanted reformation, to wit, these positions, 'That it was lawful for
subjects, for reformation or necessary self-defence, to enter into
leagues, or take up arms against the king: And particularly declaring,
that the national covenant, as explained in the year 1638, and the
solemn league and covenant, were and are in themselves unlawful oaths,
and were taken by and imposed upon the subjects of this kingdom against
the fundamental laws and liberties thereof, that all such gatherings and
petitions that were used in the beginning of the late troubles, were
unlawful and seditious: And whereas then people were led unto these
things, by having disseminated among them such principles as these, That
it was lawful to come with petitions and representations of grievances
to the king, that it was lawful for people to restrict their allegiance
under such and such limitations, and suspend it until he should give
security for religion, &c. It was therefore enacted, that all such
positions and practices founded thereupon, were treasonable.--And
further did enact, that no person, by writing, praying, preaching, or
malicious or advised speaking, express or publish any words or
sentences, to stir up the people to the dislike of the king's
prerogative and supremacy, or of the government of the church by
bishops, or justify any of the deeds, actings, or things declared
against by that act.' Yet notwithstanding of all this subversion of
religion and liberty, and restraint of asserting these truths here
trampled upon either before men by testimony, or before God in mourning
over these indignities done unto him, in everting these and all the
parts of reformation, even when it came to Daniel's case of confession,
preaching and praying truths interdicted by law; few had their eyes open
(let be their windows in an open avouching them) to see the duty of the
day calling for a testimony. Though afterwards, the Lord spirited some
to assert and demonstrate the glory of these truths and duties to the
world. As that judicious author of the Apologetical Relation, whose
labours need no eulogium to commend them. But this is not all: for these
men, having now as they thought subverted the work of God, they provided
also against the fears of its revival: making acts, declaring, 'that if
the outed ministers dare to continue to preach, and presume to exercise
their ministry, they should be punished as seditious persons; requiring
of all a due acknowledgement of, and hearty compliance with, the king's
government, ecclesiastical and civil; and that whosoever shall
ordinarily and wilfully withdraw and absent from the ordinary meetings
for divine worship in their own churches on the Lord's day, shall incur
the penalties there insert.' Thus the sometimes chaste virgin, whose
name was Beulah to the Lord, the reformed church of Scotland, did now
suffer a violent and villainous rape, from a vermin of vile schismatical
apostates, obtruded and imposed upon her, instead of her able, painful,
faithful, and successful pastors, that the Lord had set over her, and
now by their faintness and the enemy's force, robbed from her, and none
now allowed by law to administer the ordinances, but either apostate
curates, who by their perjury and apostacy forfaulted their ministry, or
other hirelings and prelates journeymen, who run without a mission,
except from them who had none to give according to Christ's institution,
the seal of whose ministry could never yet be shewn in the conversion of
any sinner to Christ: but if the tree may be known by its fruits, we may
know whose ministers they are; _ut ex ungue leonem_, by their
conversions of reformation into deformation, of the work and cause of
God into the similitude of the Roman beast, of ministers into hirelings,
of their proselytes into ten times worse children of the devil than they
were before, of the power of godliness into formality, of preaching
Christ into orations of morality, of the purity of Christ's ordinances
into the vanity of men's inventions, of the beautiful government of the
house of God for edification, to a lordly pre-eminence and domination
over consciences; in a word, of church and state constitutions for
religion and liberty, all upside dwon into wickedness and slavery: These
are the conversions of prelacy. But now this astonishing blow to the
gospel of the kingdom, introducing such a swarm of locusts into the
church, and in forcing a compliance of the people with this defection,
and that so violently and rigorously, as even simple withdrawing was so
severely punished by severe edicts of fining, and other arbitrary
punishments at first; what did it produce? did it awaken all Christ's
ambassadors, now to appear for Christ, in this clear and claimant case
of confessing him, and the freedom and purity of his ordinances? Alas!
the backwardness and bentness to backsliding, in a superseding from the
duties of that day, did make it evident, that now the Lord had in a
great measure forsaken them, because they had forsaken him. The standard
of the gospel was then fallen, and few to take it up. The generality of
ministers and professors both went and conformed so far as to hear the
curates, contrary to many points of the reformation formerly attained,
contrary to their covenant engagements, and contrary to their own
principles and practice at that same time; scrupling and refusing to
keep the bishops visitations, and to countenance their discipline and
power of jurisdiction, because it was required as a testification of
their acknowledgment of, and compliance with the present government, and
yet not scrupling to countenance their doctrine and usurped power of
order required also by the same law, as the same test of the same
compliance and submission. Its strange that some yet do plead for
persisting in that same compliance, after all the bitter consequents of
it. Other ministers lay altogether by in their retired recesses, waiting
to see what things would turn to: others were hopeless, turned farmers
and doctors: others more wily, staid at home, and preached quietly in in
ladies chambers. But the faithful thought that this tyrannical ejection
did not nor could not unminister them, so as they might not preach the
gospel wherever they were, as ambassadors of Christ; but rather found
themselves under an indispensible necessity to preach the gospel and
witness for the freedom of their ministry, and make full proof of it, in
preaching in season and out of season: and thereupon as occasion offered
preached to all such as were willing to hear; but at first only in
private houses, and that for the most part at such times, when sermons
in public surceased (a superplus of caution.) But afterwards, finding so
great difficulties and persecutions for their house meetings, where they
were so easily entrapped, were constrained at last to keep their
meetings in the fields, without shelter from cold, wind, snow, or rain.
Where testifying both practically and particularly against these
usurpations on their Master's prerogatives, and witnessing for their
ministerial freedom, contrary to all law-interdictions, without any
licences or indulgences from the usurper, but holding their ministry
from Jesus Christ alone, both as to the office and exercise thereof;
they had so much of their Master's countenance, and success in their
labours, that they valued neither hazards nor hardships, neither the
contempt of pretended friends, not the laws nor threatnings of enemies,
adjudging the penalty of death itself to preachers at field conventicles
as they called them. Now having thus overturned the church-government,
by introducing prelacy, to advance an absolute supremacy; the effects
whereof were either the corruption, or persecution of all the ministry,
encouragement of profanity and wickedness, the encrease and advancement
of popery, superstition, and error, cruel impositions on the conscience,
and oppressions for conscience sake, by the practices of cruel
supra-Spanish inquisitions, and all manner of outcries of outragious
violence and villany: the king proceeds in his design, to pervert and
evert the well modelled and moderated constitution of the state
government also, by introducing and advancing an arbitrary tyranny; the
effects whereof were, an absolute mancipation of lives and liberties and
estates unto his lust and pleasure, the utter subversion of laws, and
absolute impoverishing of the people. For effectuating which, he first
procures a lasting imposition of intollerable subsidies and taxations,
to impoverish that he might the more easily enslave the nation; next a
further recognizance of his prerogative, in a subjection of persons,
fortunes, and whole strength of the kingdom to his absolute arbitrement,
'in a levy of militia of 20,000 footmen, and 2000 horsemen sufficiently
armed with 40 days provision, to be ready upon the king's call to march
to any part of his dominions, for opposing whatsoever invasion, or
insurrection, or for any other service.' The first sproutings of tyranny
were cherished, by the cheerful and stupid submission generally yielded
to these exorbitancies; under which they who suffered most were inwardly
malecontents, but there was no opposition to them by word or action, but
on the contrary, generally people did not so much as scruple sending
out, or going out as militiamen: never adverting unto what this
concurrence was designed, and demanded, and given for; nor what an
accession it was, in the nature and influence of the mean itself, and
in the sense and intention of the requirers, unto a confederacy for a
compliance with, and a confirmation and strengthening of arbitrary
tyranny. After the fundamental constitutions of both church and state
are thus razed and rooted up, to confirm this absolute power, he
contrived to frame all inferior magistrates according to his mould: And
for this end appointed, that all persons in any public trust or office
whatsoever should subscribe a declaration, renouncing and abjuring the
covenants; whereby perjury was made the chief and indispensible
qualification, and _conditio sine qua non_, of all that were capable of
exercising any power or place in church or state. But finding this not
yet sufficient security for this unsettled settlement; because he well
understood, the people stood no ways obliged to acknowledge him but only
according to the solemn covenants, being the fundamental conditions
whereupon their allegiance was founded (as amongst all people, the
articles mutually consented betwixt them and these whom they set over
them, are the constituent fundamentals of government) and well knowing,
that he and his associates, by violating these conditions, had loosed
the people from all subjection to him, or any deriving power from him,
whereby the people might justly plead, that since he had kept no
condition they were not now obliged to him, he therefore contrived a new
oath of allegiance to be imposed upon all in public trust both in church
and state; wherein they are made to oblige themselves to that boundless
breaker of all bonds sacred and civil, and his successors also, without
any reciprocal obligation from him to them, or any reserved restriction,
limitation, or qualification, as all human authority by God's ordinance
must be bounded. Whereby the swearers have by oath homologated the
overturning of the very basis of the government, making free people
slaves to the subverters thereof, betraying their native brethren and
posterity to the lust of tyranny, and have in effect as really as if in
plain terms affirmed, that whatsoever tyranny shall command or do,
either as to the overturning of the work of God, subverting of religion,
destroying of liberty, or persecuting all the godly to the utmost
extremity, they shall not only stupidly endure it, but actively concur
with it, and assist in all this tyranny. Alas there was no public
testimony against this trick, to bring people under the yoke of tyranny;
except by some who suffered for conscientious refusing it, while many
others did take it, thinking to salve the matter by their pitiful
quibbling senses, of giving Cesar his due. Whereas this Cesar, for whom
these loyal alledgers plead, is not an ordinary Cesar, but such a Cesar,
as Nero, or Caligula, that if he got his due, it would be in another
kind. Strange! can presbyterians swear that allegiance, which is
substituted in the place of the broken and burnt covenant? Or could they
swear it to such a person, who having broken and buried the covenant,
that he who had sworn it might have another right and allegiance than
that of the covenant, had then remitted to us all allegiance founded
upon the covenant? However, having now prepared and furnished himself
with tools so qualified for his purpose, in church and state, he
prosecutes his persecution with such fervour and fury, rage and revenge,
impositions and oppressions, and with armed formed force, against the
faithful following their duty in a peaceable manner, without the least
shadow of contempt even of his abused authority, that at length in the
year 1666, a small party were compelled to go to defensive arms. Which,
whatever was the desire of the court (as it is known how desirous they
have been of an insurrection, when they thought themselves sure to
suppress it, that they might have a vent for their cruelty; and how one
of the brothers hath been heard say, that if he might have his wish, he
would have them all turn rebels and go to arms.) Yet it was no
predetermined design of that poor handful. For Sir James Turner,
pursuing his cruel orders in Galloway, sent some soldiers to apprehend a
poor old man; whom his neighbours compassionating, intreated the
soldiers to loose him as he lay bound, but were answered with drawn
swords and necessitated to their own defence: In which they relieve the
man, and disarm the soldiers, and further attacked some others
oppressing that country, disarming ten or twelve more, and killing one
that made resistance. Whereupon, the country being alarmed, and fearing
from sad experience Sir James would certainly avenge this affront upon
the whole country, without distinction of free and unfree, they gather
about 54 horsemen, march to Dumfries, take Sir James Turner prisoner,
and disarm the soldiers, without any more violence. Being thus by
providence engaged without any hope of retreat, and getting some
concurrence of their brethren in the same condition, they came to
Lanark, where they renew the covenant, and thence to Pentland hills;
where, by the holy disposal of God, they were routed, many killed, and
130 taken prisoners, who were treated so treacherously and truculently,
as Turks would have blushed to have seen the like. Hence now on the one
hand, we may see the righteousness of God in leaving that enemy to him,
whom we embraced, to make such avowed discoveries of himself, without a
blush to the world, and to scourge us with scorpions that we nourished
and put in his hands: And also, how justly at that time he left us into
such a damp, that like asses we couched under all burdens, and few came
out to the help of the Lord against the mighty, drawing on them Meroz's
curse, and the blood of their butchered brethren; after we had sat, and
seen, and suffered all things civil and sacred to be destroyed in our
fight, without resentment. And though the Lord, who called out these
worthy patriots who fell at Pentland to such an appearance for his
interests, did take a testimony of their hands with acceptance by
sufferings, and singularly countenanced them in sealing it with their
blood; yet he would not give success nor his presence to the enterprise,
but left them in a sort of infatuation, without counsel and conduct, to
be a prey to devourers, that by a sad inadvertency they took in the
tyrant's interest into the state of the quarrel. Which should have
warned his people for the future to have stated the quarrel otherwise.

II. By this time, and much more after, the king gave as many proofs and
demonstrations of his being true to antichrist, in minding all the
promises and treaties with him, as he had of his being false to Christ,
in all his covenanted engagements with his people. For in this same year
1666, he, with his dear and royal brother the duke of York, contrived,
countenanced, and abetted, the burning of London, evident by their
employing their guards to hinder the people from saving their own, and
to dismiss the incendiaries, the papists, that were taken in the fact.
The committee, appointed to cognosce upon that business, traced it so
far, that they durst go no further, unless they would arraign the duke,
and charge the king, and yet before this, it was enacted as criminal for
any to say the king was a papist. But having gained so much of his
design in Scotland, where he had established prelacy, advanced tyranny
to the height of absoluteness, and his supremacy almost beyond the reach
of any additional supply, yea above the pope's own claim, and had now
brought his only opposites, the few faithful witnesses of Christ, to a
low pass; he went on by craft as well as cruelty, to advance his own in
promoting antichrist's interest. And therefore, having gotten the
supremacy devolved upon him by law (for which also he had the pope's
dispensation, to take it to himself for the time, under promise to
restore and surrender it to him, as soon as he could obtain his end by
it, as the other brother succeeding hath now done) he would now exert
that usurped power, and work by insnaring policy to effectuate the end
which he could not do by other means. Therefore, seeing he was not able
to suppress the meetings of the Lord's people for gospel ordinances, in
house and fields, but that the more he laboured by violent courses, the
greater and more frequent they grew; he fell upon a more crafty device,
not only to overthrow the gospel and suppress the meetings, but to break
the faithful, and to divide, between the mad-cap and the moderate
fanatics (as they phrased it) that he might the more easily destroy
both, to confirm the usurpation, and to settle people in a sinful
silence, and stupid submission to all the incroachments made on Christ's
prerogatives, and more effectually to overturn what remained of the work
of God. And, knowing that nothing could more fortify the supremacy than
minister's homologating and acknowledging it; therefore he offered the
first indulgence in the year 1669, signifying in a letter, dated that
year June 7, his gracious pleasure was, 'to appoint so many of the outed
ministers, as have lived peaceably and orderly, to return to preach and
exercise other functions of the ministry, in the parish churches where
they formerly served (provided they were vacant) and to allow patrons to
present to other vacant churches, such others of them as the council
should approve: That all who are so indulged, be enjoined to keep
presbyteries, and the refusers to be confined within the bounds of their
parishes: And that they be enjoined not to admit any of their neighbour
parishes unto their communions, nor baptize their children, nor marry
any of them, without the allowance of the minister of the parish, and if
they countenance the people deserting their own parishes, they are to be
silenced for shorter or longer time, or altogether turned out, as the
council shall see cause; and upon complaint made and verified, of any
seditious discourse or expressions in the pulpit, uttered by any of the
ministers, they are immediately to be turned out, and further punished
according to law: And seeing by these orders, all pretences for
conventicles were taken away, if any should be found hereafter to preach
without authority, or keep conventicles, his pleasure is, to proceed
with all severity against them, as seditious persons and contemners of
authority.' To salve this in point of law, (because it was against
former laws of their own) and to make the king's letter the supreme law
afterwards, and a valid ground in law, whereupon the council might
proceed, and enact, and execute what the king pleased in matters
ecclesiastic; he therefore caused frame a formal statutory act of
supremacy, of this tenor, 'That his majesty hath the supreme authority
and supremacy over all persons and in all causes ecclesiastic, within
his dominions, and that by virtue thereof, the ordering and disposal of
the external government of the church, doth properly belong to him and
his successors, as an inherent right to the crown: And that he may
settle, enact, and emit such constitutions, acts, and orders, concerning
the administrating thereof, and persons employed in the same, and
concerning all ecclesiastical meetings and matters, to be proposed and
determined therein, as he in his royal wisdom, shall think fit: which
acts, orders, and constitutions, are to be observed and obeyed by all
his majesty's subjects, any law, act, or custom to the contrary
notwithstanding.' Whereupon, accordingly the council, in their act July
27, 1669, do nominate several ministers, and 'appoint them to preach,
and exercise the other functions of the ministry, at their respective
churches there specified, with consent of the patrons.' The same day
also they conclude and enact the forementioned restrictions, conform to
the king's letter above rehearsed, and ordain them to be intimate to
every person, who is by authority foresaid allowed the exercise of the
ministry. These indulged ministers, having that indulgence given only
upon these terms, that they should accept these injunctions, and having
received it upon these terms also (as an essential part of the bargain
and condition, on which the indulgence was granted and accepted, as many
following proclamations did expressly declare) do appoint Mr. Hutcheson,
one of the number, 'to declare so much; in acknowledging his majesty's
favour and clemency, in granting that liberty, after so long a
restraint; and however they had received their ministry from Jesus
Christ, with full prescriptions from him for regulating them therein,
yet nothing could be more refreshing on earth to them, than to have free
liberty for the exercise of their ministry, under the protection of
lawful authority; and so they purposed to behave themselves in the
discharge of their ministry, with that wisdom that became faithful
ministers, and to demean themselves towards lawful authority,
notwithstanding of their known judgment in church affairs, as well
becometh loyal subjects; and their prayer to God should be, that the
Lord should bless his majesty in his person and government, and the
council in the public administration, and especially in the pursuance of
his majesty's mind in his letter, wherein his singular moderation
eminently appears.'--Afterwards they issued out proclamations,
reinforcing the punctual observation of the forementioned injunctions,
and delivered them into the indulged. In the mean time, though cruel
acts and edicts were made against the meetings of the Lord's people, in
houses and the fields, after all these Midianitish wiles to suppress
them, such was the presence of the Lord in these meetings, and so
powerful was his countenance and concurrence with the labours of a few,
who laid up themselves to hold up the standard of Christ; that the
number of converts multiplied daily, to the praise of free grace, and to
the great encouragement of the few hands that wrestled in that work,
through all human discouragement. Therefore, the king and council was
put to a new shift, which they supposed would prove more effectual: To
wit, because there was a great number of nonconformed ministers not yet
indulged, who either did or might hereafter hold conventicles, therefore
to remeed or prevent this in time coming, they appoint and ordain them
to such places where indulged ministers were settled, there to be
confined with allowance to preach as the indulged should employ them;
thinking by this means to incapacitate many to hold meetings there or
elsewhere: And to these also they give injunctions and restrictions to
regulate them in the exercise of their ministry. And to the end that all
the outed ministers might be brought under restraint, and the word of
God be kept under bonds, by another act of council they command, that
all other ministers (not disposed of as is said) were either to repair
to the parish churches where they were, or to some other parishes where
they may be ordinary hearers, and to declare and condescend upon the
parishes where they intend to have their residence. After this they
assumed a power, to dispose of these their curates as they pleased, and
transport them from place to place; whereof the only ground was a simple
act of council, the instructions always going along with them, as the
constant companion of the indulgence. By all which it is apparent;
whatever these ministers alledge, in vindication of it to cover its
deformity, in their balms to take away its stink, and in their surveys
to gather plaisters to scurf over its scurviness, viz. that it was but
the removal of the civil restraint, and that they entered into their
places by the call of the people (a mere mock pretence for a prelimited
imposition, whereby that ordinance of Christ was basely prostituted and
abused) and that their testimony and protestation was a salvo for their
conscience (a mere Utopian fancy, that the indulgers with whom they
bargained never heard of, otherwise, as they did with some who were
faithful in testifying against their encroachments, they would soon have
given them a bill of ease). It cannot be denied, that that doleful
indulgence, both in its rise, contrivance, conveyance, grant, and
acceptance, end and effects, was a grievous encroachment upon the
princely prerogative of Jesus Christ the only head of the church;
whereby the usurper's supremacy was homologated, bowed to, complied
with, strengthened and established, the cause and kingdom of Christ
betrayed, his church's privileges surrendered, his enemies hardened, his
friends stumbled, and the remnant rent and ruined; in that it was
granted and deduced from the king's supremacy, and conveyed by the
council; in that, according to his pleasure, he gave and they received a
licence and warrant, to such as he nominated and elected, and judged fit
and qualified for it, and fixed them in what particular parish he
pleased to assign, under the notion of a confinement, in that he imposed
and they submitted to restrictions in the exercise of their ministry, in
these particular parishes, inhibiting to preach elsewhere in the church;
and with these restrictions, he gave and they received instructions to
regulate and direct them in their functions: all which was done without
advice or consent of the church: and thereupon they have frequently been
called and conveened before the council, to give account of their
ministerial exercise, and some of them sentenced, silenced, and deposed
for alledged disobedience. This was a manifest treason against Christ,
which involved many in the actual guilt of it that day, and many others
who gaped after it, and could not obtain it, and far more at that time
and since in the guilt of misprision of treason, in passing this also
without a witness. Thus, in holy judgment, because of our indulging and
conniving at the usurper of Christ's throne, he left a great part of the
ministers to take that wretched indulgence; and another part, instead of
remonstrating the wickedness of that deed, have been left to palliate,
and plaister, and patronize it, in keeping up the credit of the king and
council's curates, wherein they have shewed more zeal, than ever
against that wicked indulgence. Yet the Lord had some witnesses, who
pretty early did give significations of their resentment of this
dishonour done to Christ, as Mr. William Weir, who having got the legal
call of the people, and discharging his duty honestly, was turned out;
and Mr. John Burnet, who wrote a testimony directed to the council,
shewing why he could not submit to that indulgence, inserted at large in
the history of the indulgence; where also we have the testimony of other
ten ministers, who drew up their reasons of non-compliance with such a
snare; and Mr. Alexander Blair, who, upon occasion of a citation before
the council for not observing the 29th of May, having with others made
his appearance, and got new copies of instructions presented to them,
being moved with zeal and remembering whose ambassador he was, told the
council plainly, that he could receive no instructions from them in the
exercise of his ministry, otherwise he should not be Christ's ambassador
but theirs, and herewith lets their instructions drop out of his hand,
knowing of no other salvo or manner of testifying for the truth in the
case; for which he was imprisoned, and died under confinement. But
afterwards, the Lord raised up some more explicit witnesses against that
defection. All this trouble was before the year 1673. About which time,
finding this device of indulgences proved so steadable for his service
in Scotland, he was induced to try it also in England; which he did
almost with the same or like success, and producing the same effects of
defection, security, and unfaithfulness. The occasion was upon his wars
with the Dutch; which gave another demonstrative discovery of his
treachery and popish perfidy, in breaking league with them, and entering
into one with the French, to destroy religion and liberty in Britain:
'Wherein the king of France assures him an absolute authority over his
parliaments, and to re-establish the catholic religion in his kingdoms
of England, Scotland and Ireland; to compass which it was necessary
first to abate the pride and power of the Dutch, and to reduce them to
the sole province of Holland, by which means the king of England should
have Zealand for a retreat in case of need, and that the rest of the Low
Countries should remain to the king of France, if he could render
himself master of it. But to return to Scotland.' While by the
forementioned device, he thought he had utterly suppressed the gospel in
house and field meetings, he was so far disappointed, that these very
means and machines by which he thought to bury it, did chiefly
contribute to its revival. For, when by persecution many ministers had
been chased away by illegal law sentences, many had been drawn away from
their duty, and others were now sentenced with confinements and
restraints, if they should not chuse and fix their residence where they
could not keep their quiet and conscience both; they were forced to
wander and disperse through the country, and the people being tired of
the cold and dead curates, and wanting long the ministry of their old
pastors, so longed and hungered after the word, that they behoved to
have it at any rate cost what it would; which made them entertain the
dispersed ministers more earnestly, and encouraged them more to their
duty. By whose endeavours, through the mighty power and presence of God,
and the light of his countenance now shining through the cloud, after so
fatal and fearful a darkness that had overclouded the land for a while,
with such a resplendent brightness, that it darkened the prelatic
locusts, and made them hiss and gnash their tongues for pain, and
dazzled the eyes of all onlookers; the word of God grew exceedingly, and
went through at least the southern borders of the kingdom like
lightning, or like the sun in its meridian beauty; discovering so the
wonders of God's law, the mysteries of his gospel, and the secrets of
his covenant, and the sins and duties of that day, that a numerous issue
was begotten to Christ, and his conquest was glorious, captivating poor
slaves of satan, and bringing them from his power unto God, and from
darkness to light. O! who can remember the glory of that day, without a
melting heart, in reflecting upon what we have lost, and let go, and
sinned away, by our misimprovements. O that in that our day we had
heartened to his voice, and had known the things that belonged to our
peace! A day of such power, that it made the people, even the bulk and
body of the people, willing to come out and venture, upon the greatest
of hardships and the greatest of hazards, in pursuing after the gospel,
through mosses and muirs, and inaccessible mountains, summer and winter,
through excess of heat and extremity of cold, many days and
night-journeys; even when they could not have a probable expectation of
escaping the sword of the wilderness, and the barbarous fury of bloody
Burrio's raging for their prey, sent out with orders to take and kill
them, it being now made criminal by law, especially to the preachers and
convocaters of those meetings. But this was a day of such power, that
nothing could daunt them from their duty, that had tasted once the
sweetness of the Lord's presence at these persecuted meetings. Then had
we such humiliation-days for personal and public defections, such
communion-days even in the open fields, and such sabbath-solemnities,
that the places where they were kept might have been called Bethel, or
Peniel, or Bochim, and all of them Jehovah-Shammah; wherein many were
truly converted, more convinced, and generally all reformed from their
former immoralities: that even robbers, thieves, and profane men, were
some of them brought to a saving subjection to Christ, and generally
under such a restraint, that all the severities of heading and hanging,
&c. in a great many years, could not make such a civil reformation, as a
few days of the gospel, in these formerly the devils territories, now
Christ's quarters, where his kingly standard was displayed. I have not
language to lay out in the inexpressible glory of that day: but I will
make bold to say two things of it, first, I doubt if ever there was
greater days of the Son of man upon the earth since the apostolic times,
than we enjoyed for the space of seven years at that time: and next, I
doubt, if upon the back of such a lightsome day there was ever a blacker
night of darkness, defection, division, and confusion, and a more
universal impudent apostasy, than we have seen since. The world is at a
great loss, that a more exact and complete account demonstrating both
these, is not published, which I am sure would be a fertile theme to any
faithful pen. But this not being my scope at present, but only to deduce
the steps of the contendings of Christ's friends and his enemies, I must
follow the thread of my narration. Now when Christ is gaining ground by
the preached gospel in plenty, in purity, and power, the usurper's
supremacy was like to stagger, and prelacy came under universal
contempt, in so much that several country curates would have had but
scarce half a dozen of hearers, and some none at all. And this was a
general observe that never failed, that no sooner did any poor soul come
to get a serious sense of religion, and was brought under any real
exercise of spirit about their souls concerns, but as soon they did fall
out with prelacy and left the curates. Hence to secure what he had
possessed himself of by law, and to prevent a dangerous paroxism which
he thought would ensue upon these commotions, the king returned to
exerce his innate tyranny, and to emit terrible orders, and more
terrible executioners, and bloody emissaries, against all field
meetings: which, after long patience, the people at length could not
endure; but being first chased to the fields, where they would have been
content to have the gospel with all the inconveniences of it, and also
expelled from the fields, being resolute to maintain the gospel, they
resolved to defend it and themselves by arms. To which, unavoidable
necessity in unsupportable extremity did constrain them, as the only
remaining remedy. It is known, for several years they met without any
arms, where frequently they were disturbed and dispersed with soldiers,
some killed, others wounded, which they patiently endured without
resistance: At length the ministers that were most in hazard, having a
price set upon their heads to be brought in dead or alive, with some
attending them in their wanderings, understanding they were thus
appointed for death, judged it their duty to provide for the necessary
defence of their lives from the violence of their armed assaulters. And
as meetings increased, diverse others came under the same hazards, which
enforced them to endeavour the same remedy, without the least intention
of prejudice to any. Thus the number of sufferers increasing, as they
joined in the ordinances at these persecuted meetings, found themselves
in some probable capacity to defend themselves, and these much endeared
and precious gospel privileges, and to preserve the memory of the Lord's
great work in the land, which to transmit to posterity was their great
design. And they had no small encouragement to endeavour it, by the
satisfying sweetness and comfort they found in these ordinances, being
persuaded of the justness of their cause, and of the groundlessness of
their adversaries quarrel against them: And hereunto also they were
incited and prompted, by the palpableness of the enemy's purposes to
destroy the remainder of the gospel, by extirpating the remnant that
professed it. Wherefore in these circumstances, being redacted to that
strait, either to be deprived of the gospel, or to defend themselves in
their meetings for it; and thinking their turning their backs upon it
for hazard was a cowardly deserting duty, and palpable breach of
covenant-engagements, abandoning their greatest interest, they thought
it expedient, yea necessary, to carry defensive arms with them. And as
for that discouragement, from the difficulty and danger of it, because
of their fewness and meanness, it did not deter or daunt them from the
endeavour of their duty; when they considered the Lord in former times
was wont to own a very small party of their ancestors, who in extremity
jeoparded their lives in defence of reformation against very potent and
powerful enemies: These now owning the same cause, judged themselves
obliged to run the same hazard, in the same circumstances, and to follow
the same method, and durst not leave it unessayed, leaving the event to
God: considering also, that not only the law of nature and nations doth
allow self defence from unjust violence, but also the indissoluble
obligation of their covenants, to maintain and defend the true religion,
and one another in promoving the same, made it indispensible to use that
endeavour, the defect of which, through their former supineness gave no
small encouragement to the enemies: They considered also what would be
the consequence of that war, declared against all the faithful of the
land with a displayed banner, prosecuted with fire and sword, and all
acts of horrid hostility published in printed proclamations, and written
in characters of blood by barbarous soldiers, so that none could enjoy
gospel ordinances dispensed in purity, but upon the hazard of their
lives: and therefore, to prevent and frustrate these effects, they
endeavoured to put themselves in a posture. And hereunto they were
encouraged, by the constant experience of the Lord's countenancing their
endeavours in that posture, which always proved successful for several
years, their enemies either turning their backs without disturbance,
when they observed them resolve defence, or in their assaultings
repulsed: So that there was never a meeting which stood to their
defence, got any considerable harm thereby. Thus the Lord was with us
while we were with him, but when we forsook him, then he forsook us, and
left us in the hands of our enemies. However, while meetings for gospel
ordinances did continue, the wicked rulers did not cease from time to
time to encrease their numerous bands of barbarous soldiers for
suppressing the gospel in these field meetings. And for their
maintenance, they imposed new wicked and arbitrary cesses and taxations,
professedly required for suppressing religion and liberty, banishing the
gospel out of the land, and preserving and promoting his absoluteness
over all matters and persons sacred and civil: Which, under that
temptation of great suffering threatened to refusers, and under the
disadvantage of the silence and unfaithfulness of many ministers, who
either did not condemn it, or pleaded for the peaceable payment of it,
many did comply with it then, and far more since. Yet at that time there
were far more recusants, in some places, (especially in the western
shires) than compliers; and there were many of the ministers that did
faithfully declare to the people the sin of it; not only from the
illegality of its imposition, by a convention of overawed and
prelimitated states; but from the nature of that imposed compliance,
that it was a sinful transaction with Christ's declared enemies, a
strengthening the hands of the wicked, an obedience to a wicked law, a
consenting to Christ's expulsion out of the land, and not only that, but
(far worse than the sin of the Gadarenes) a formal concurrence to assist
his expellers, by maintaining their force, a hiring our oppressors to
destroy religion and liberty; and from the fountain of it, an arbitrary
power domineering over us, and oppressing and overpressing the kingdoms
with intolerable exactions, that to pay it, it was to entail slavery on
their posterity; and from the declared end of it, expressed in the very
narrative of the act, viz. to levy and maintain forces for suppressing
and dispersing meetings of the Lord's people, and to show unanimous
affection for maintaining the king's supremacy as now established by
law; which designs he resolved, and would be capacitate by the granters
to effectuate by such a grant, which in effect, to all tender
consciences had an evident tendency to the exauctorating the Lord
Christ, to maintain soldiers to suppress his work, and murder his
followers, yet all this time ministers and professors were unite, and
with one soul and shoulder followed the work of the Lord, till the
indulged, being dissatisfied with the meetings in the fields, whose
glory was like to overcloud and obscure their beds of ease, and
especially being offended at the freedom and faithfulness of some, who
set the trumpet to their mouth, and shewed Jacob his sins, and Israel
his transgressions, impartially without a cloak or cover, they began to
make a faction among the ministers, and to devise how to quench the
fervour of their zeal who were faithful for God. But the more they
sought to extinguish it, the more it broke out and blazed into a flame.
For several of Christ's ambassadors, touched and affected with the
affronts done to their princely master by the supremacy and the
indulgence its bastard brood and brat, began after long silence to
discover its iniquity, and to acquaint the people how the usurper had
invaded the Mediator's chair, in taking upon him to depose, suspend,
silence, plant, and transplant his ministers, where and when and how he
pleased, and to give forth warrants and licences for admitting them,
with canons and instructions for regulating them in the exercise of
their ministry, and to arraign and censure them at his courts for
delinquencies in their ministry; pursuing all to the death who are
faithful to Christ, and maintain their loyalty to his laws, and will not
prostitute their consciences to his lusts, and bow down to the idol of
his supremacy, but will own the kingly authority of Christ. Yet others,
and the greater number of dissenting ministers, were not only deficient
herein, but defended them, joined with them, and (pretending prudence
and prevention of schism) in effect homologated that deed and the
practice of these priests. Ezek. xxii. 16. teaching and advising the
people to hear them, both by precept and going along with them in that
erastian course: and not only so, but condemned and censured such who
preached against the sinfulness thereof, especially in the first place,
worthy Mr. Welwood, who was among the first witnesses against that
defection, and Mr. Kid, Mr. King, Mr. Cameron, Mr. Donald Gargil, &c.
who sealed their testimony afterwards with their blood; yet then even by
their brethren were loaden with the reproachful nicknames of
schismatics, blind zealots, Jesuits, &c. But it was always observed, as
long as ministers were faithful in following the Lord in the way of
their duty, professors were fervent, and under all their conflicts with
persecutors, the courage and zeal of the lovers of Christ was blazing,
and never out-braved by all the enemies boastings to undertake brisk
exploits: which from time to time they were now and then essaying, till
defection destroyed, and division diverted their zeal against the
enemies of God, who before were always the object against which they
whetted the edge of their just indignation. Especially the insulting
insolency and insolent villany of that public incendiary, the
arch-prelate Sharp, was judged intolerable by ingenuous spirits; because
he had treacherously betrayed the church and nation, and being employed
as their delegate to oppose the threatened introduction of prelacy, he
had like a perjured apostate and perfidious traitor advanced himself
into the place of primate of Scotland, and being a member of council he
became a chief instrument of all the persecution, and main instigator to
all the bloody violence and cruelty that was exerced against the people
of God; by whose means, the letter sent down to stop the shedding of
more blood after Pentland was kept up, until several of these martyrs
were murdered. Therefore in July 1668, Mr. James Mitchel thought it his
duty to save himself, deliver his brethren, and free the land of the
violence of that beast of prey, and attempted to cut him off: which
failing, he then escaped, but afterwards was apprehended; and being
moved by the council's oath, and act of assurance promising his life, he
made confession of the fact: yet afterwards for the same he was
arraigned before the justiciary, and the confession he made was brought
in against him, and witnessed by the perjured chancellor Rothes, and
other lords, contrary to their oath and act produced in open court, to
their indelible infamy: whereupon he was tortured, condemned, and
executed. But justice would not suffer this murder to pass long
unrevenged, nor that truculent traitor, James Sharp the arch-prelate,
who was the occasion and cause of it, and of many more both before and
after, to escape remarkable punishment; the severity whereof did
sufficiently compense its delay, after ten years respite, wherein he
ceased not more and more to pursue, persecute, and make havock of the
righteous for their duty, until at length he received the just demerit
of his perfidy, perjury, apostacy, sorceries, villanies, and murders,
sharp arrows of the mighty and coals of juniper. For upon the 3d of May
1679, several worthy gentlemen, with some other men of courage and zeal
for the cause of God and the good of the country, executed righteous
judgment upon him in Magus Moor near St. Andrews. And that same month,
on the anniversary day, May 29, the testimony at Rutherglen was
published against that abomination of celebrating an anniversary day,
kept every year for giving thanks for the setting up an usurped power,
destroying the interest of Christ in the land.--And against all sinful
and unlawful acts, emitted and executed, published and prosecuted
against our covenanted reformation. Where also they burnt the act of
supremacy, the declaration, the act recissory, &c. in way of retaliation
for the burning of the covenants. On the Sabbath following June 1. a
field meeting for the worship of God near to Loudoun-hill was assaulted
by Graham of Claverhouse, and with him three troops of horse and
dragoons, who had that morning taken an honest minister and about
fourteen country men out of their beds, and carried them along with them
as prisoners to the meeting in a barbarous manner. But by the good hand
of God upon the defendents, they were repulsed at Drumclog and put to
flight, the prisoners relieved, about thirty of the soldiers killed on
the place, and three of the meeting, and several wounded on both sides.
Thereafter the people retreating from the pursuit, consulted what was
expedient in that juncture, whether to disperse themselves as formerly,
or to keep together for their necessary defence. The result was, that
considering the craft and cruelty of those they had to deal with, the
sad consequence of falling into their hands now more incensed than ever,
the evil effects that likely would ensue upon their separation, which
would give them access to make havock of all; they judged it most safe
in that extremity for some time not to separate. Which resolution,
coming abroad to the ears of others of their brethren, determined them
incontinently to come to their assistance, considering the necessity,
and their own liableness to the same common danger, upon the account of
their endeavours of that nature elsewhere to defend themselves, being of
the same judgment for maintaining of the same cause, to which they were
bound by the same covenants, and groaning under the same burdens; they
judged therefore that if they now with-held their assistance in such a
strait, they could not be innocent of their brethren's blood, nor found
faithful in their covenant: to which they were encouraged with the
countenance and success the Lord had given to that meeting, in that
defensive resistance. This was the rise and occasion of that appearance
at Bothwel-bridge, which the Lord did in his holy sovereignty confound,
for former defections by the means of division, which broke that little
army among themselves, before they were broken by the enemy. They
continued together in amiable and amicable peace for the space of eight
or nine days, while they endeavoured to put out and keep out every
wicked thing from amongst them, and adhered to the Rutherglen testimony,
and that short declaration at Glasgow confirming it; representing their
'present purposes and endeavours, where, only in vindication and defence
of the reformed religion--as they stood obliged thereto by the national
and solemn league and covenant, and the solemn acknowledgment of sins
and engagement to duties; declaring against popery, prelacy,
erastianism, and all things depending thereupon.' Intending hereby to
comprehend the defection of the indulgence, to witness against which all
unanimously agreed: until the army increasing, the defenders and daubers
of that defection, some ministers and others, came in who broke all, and
upon whom the blood of that appearance may be charged. The occasion of
the breach was, first, when in the sense of the obligation of that
command, when the host goeth forth against thine enemies, keep thee from
every wicked thing, an overture was offered to set times apart for
humiliation for the public sins of the land, according to the practice
of the godly in all ages, before engaging their enemies, and the
laudable precedents of our ancestors; that so the causes of God's wrath
against the nation might be enquired into and confessed, and the Lord's
blessing, counsel, and conduct to and upon present endeavours, might be
implored. And accordingly the complying with abjured erastianism, by the
acceptance of the ensnared indulgence, offered by and received from the
usurping rulers, was condescended upon among the rest of the grounds of
fasting and humiliation, so seasonably and necessarily called for at
that time. The sticklers for the indulgence refused the overture, upon
politic considerations, for fear of offending the indulged ministers and
gentlemen, and provoking them to withdraw their assistance. This was the
great cause of the division, that produced such unhappy and destructive
effects. And next, whereas the cause was stated before according to the
covenants, in the Rutherglen-testimony and Glasgow-declaration, wherein
the king's interest was waved; these dividers drew up another large
paper (called the Hamilton-declaration) wherein they assert the king's
interest, according to the third article of the solemn league and
covenant. Against which the best affected contended, and protested they
could not in conscience put in his interest in the state of the quarrel,
being now in stated opposition to Christ's interests, and inconsistent
with the meaning of the covenant, and the practices of the covenanters,
and their own testimonies; while now he could not be declared for as
being in the defence of religion and liberty, when he had so palpably
overturned and ruined the work of reformation, and oppressed such as
adhered thereunto, and had burnt the covenant, &c. Whereby he had loosed
the people from all obligation to him from it. Yet that contrary faction
prevailed, so far as to get it published in the name of all: whereby the
cause was perverted and betrayed, and the former testimonies rendered
irrite, and the interest of the public enemy espoused. Finally, the same
day that the enemy approached in sight, and a considerable advantage was
offered to do execution against them, these loyal gentlemen hindered and
retarded all action, till a parly was beat, and an address dispatched to
the duke of Monmouth, who then commanded his father's army. By which
nothing was gained, but free liberty given to the enemies to plant their
cannon, and advance without interruption. After which, in the holy all
over-ruling providence of God, that poor handful was signally
discountenanced of God, deprived of all conduct, divested of all
protection, and laid open to the raging sword, the just punishment of
all such tamperings with the enemies of God, and espousing their
interest, and omitting humiliation for their own and the land's sins.
About 300 were killed in the fields, and 1000, and upwards were taken
prisoners, stripped, and carried to Edinburgh, where they were kept for
a long time in the Greyfriar's church-yard, without shelter from cold
and rain. And at length had the temptation of an insnaring bond of
peace: Wherein they were to acknowledge that insurrection to be
rebellion, and oblige themselves never to rise in arms against the king,
nor any commissionate by him, and to live peaceably, &c. Which, through
fear of threatened death, and the unfaithfulness of some, and the
impudence of other ministers that persuaded them to take it, prevailed
with many: Yet others resolutely resisted, judging it to imply a
condemning of their duty, an abandoning of their covenant engagements,
wherein they were obliged to duties inconsistent with such bonds, and a
voluntary binding up their hands from all oppositions to the declared
war against Christ, which is the native sense of the peace they require,
which can never be entertained long with men so treacherous. And
therefore, upon reasons of principle and conscience they refused that
pretended indemnity, offered in these terms. Nevertheless the most part
took it: and yet were sentenced with banishment, and sent away for
America as well as they who refused it; and by the way, (a few
excepted,) perished in shipwreck: whose blood yet cries both against the
imposers, and the persuaders to that bond.

III. This fearful and fatal stroke at Bothwel, not only was in its
immediate effects so deadly, but in its consequents so destructive, that
the decaying church of Scotland, which before was beginning to revive,
was then cast into such a swoon that she is never like to recover to
this day. And the universality of her children, which before espoused
her testimony, was after that partly drawn by craft, and partly drawn by
cruelty, from a conjunction with their brethren in prosecuting the same,
either into an open defection to the contrary side, or into a detestable
indifferency and neutrality in the cause of God. For first of all the
duke of Monmouth, whose nature, more averse from cruelty than the rest
of that progeny, made him pliable to all suggestions of wicked policy
that seemed to have a shew of smoothness and lenity, procured the
emission of a pretended indemnity, attended with the foresaid bond of
peace for its companion. Which were dreadful snares, catching many with
flatteries, and fair pretences of favours, fairded over with curious
words, and cozening names, of living peaceably, &c. while in the mean
time a most deadly and destructive thrust (as it were under the fifth
rib) because most secret, was intended against all that was left
remaining of the work of God undestroyed, and a bar put upon all essays
to revive or recover it by their own consent who should endeavour it.
This course of defection carried away many at that time: And from that
time, since the taking of the bond of peaceable living, there hath been
an universal preferring of peace to truth, and of ease to duty. And the
generality have been left to swallow all baits, though the hook was
never so discernible, all those ensnaring oaths and bonds imposed since,
which both then and since people were left to their own determination to
chuse or refuse; many ministers refusing to give their advice when
required and requested thereunto, and some not being ashamed or afraid
to persuade the people to take them. The ministry then also were
generally insnared with that bonded indulgence, the pretended benefit of
that indemnity, which as it was designed, so it produced the woful
effect of propagating the defection, and promoting the division, and
laying them by from their duty and testimony of that day, which to this
day they have not yet taken upon their former ground. For when a
proclamation was emitted, inveighing bitterly against field meetings,
and absolutely interdicting all such for the future under highest pain,
but granting liberty to preach in houses upon the terms of a cautionary
bond given for their living peaceably: yet excluding all these
ministers who were suspected to have been at the late rebellion, and all
these who shall afterward be admitted by non-conform ministers: and
certifying, that if ever they shall be at any field conventicle, the
said indemnity shall not be useful to such transgressors any manner of
way: and requiring security, that none under the colour of this favour
continue to preach rebellion. Though there seems to be enough in the
proclamation itself to have scared them from this scandalous snare, yet
a meeting of ministers at Edinburgh made up of indulged, avowed
applauders of the indulgence, or underhand approvers and favourers of
the same, and some of them old public resolutioners, assuming to
themselves the name of a general assembly, yea of the representatives of
the church of Scotland, voted for the acceptance of it. And so formally
transacted and bargained upon base, dishonest, and dishonourable terms
with the usurper, by consenting and compacting with the people to give
that bond, wherein the people upon an humble petition to the council,
'obtaining their indulged minister to bind and oblige--that the
said--shall live peaceably. And in order thereto to present him, before
his majesty's privy council, when they shall be called so to do; and in
case of failzie in not presenting him, to be liable to the sum of 6000
merks.' Whereby they condemned themselves of former unpeaceableness, and
engaged to a sinful peace with the enemies of God, and became bound and
fettered under these bonds to a forbearance of a testimony, and made
answerable to their courts, and the people were bound to present them
for their duty. The sinfulness, scandalousness, and inconveniences of
which transactions, are abundantly demonstrated by a treatise thereupon,
intitled, the banders disbanded. Nevertheless many embraced this new
bastard indulgence, that had not the benefit of the former brat, of the
same mother the supremacy, and far more consented to it without a
witness, and most of all did some way homologate it, in preaching under
the sconce of it: declining the many reiterated and urged calls of the
zealous lovers of Christ, to come out and maintain the testimony of the
gospel in the open fields, for the honour of their Master and the
freedom of their ministry. Whereupon, as many poor people were stumbled
and jumbled into many confusions, so that they were so bewildered and
bemisted in doubts and debates, that they knew not what to do, and were
tempted to question the cause formerly so fervently contended for
against all opposition, then so simply abandoned, by these that seemed
sometimes valiant for it, when they saw them consulting more their own
ease than the concerns of their Master's glory, or the necessity of the
poor people hungering for the gospel, and standing in need of counsel in
time of such abounding snares, whereby many became a prey to all
tentations: so the more zealous and faithful, after several addresses,
calls, and invitations to ministers, finding themselves deserted by
them, judged themselves under a necessity to discountenance many of
them, whom formerly they followed with pleasure; and to resolve upon a
pursuit and prosecution of the duty of the day without them, and to
provide themselves with faithful ministers, who would not shun for all
hazards to declare the whole counsel of God. And accordingly through the
tender mercy of God, compassionating the exigence of the people, the
Lord sent them first Mr. Richard Cameron, with whom after his serious
solicitation his brethren denied their concurrence, and then Mr. Donald
Cargil; who, with a zeal and boldness becoming Christ's ambassadors,
maintained and prosecuted the testimony, against all the indignities
done to their Master and wrongs to the cause, both by the encroachments
of adversaries and defections of their declining brethren. Wherein they
were signally countenanced of their Master; and the Lord's inheritance
was again revived with the showers of the gospel's blessings, wherewith
they had been before refreshed; and enlightened with a glance and
glimpse of resplendent brightness, immediately before the obscurity of
this fearful night of darkness that hath succeeded. But as Christ was
then displaying his beauty, to his poor despised and persecuted people;
so antichrist began to blaze his bravery, in the solemn and shameful
reception of his harbinger, that pimp of the Romish whore, the duke of
York. Who had now pulled off the mask, under which he had long covered
his antichristian bigotry, through a trick of his brother, constrained
by the papists importunity, and the necessity of their favour, and
recruit of their coin, either to declare himself papist, or to make his
brother do it: whereby all the locusts were engaged to his interest,
with whom he entered into a conspiracy and popish plot; as was
discovered by many infallible evidences, and confessed by Coleman his
secretary, to Sir Edmund-Bury Godfrey; for which, lest he should witness
against him, when Coleman was apprehended, that gentleman was cruelly
murdered by the duke of York's contrivance and command. Yet for all the
demonstrations of his being a bigot papist, that he had long given unto
the world, it is known what some suffered for saying, that the duke of
York was a papist, and being forced to leave England, he was come to
Scotland to promote popery and arbitrary government. However, though the
parliament of England, for his popery and villany, and his plotting and
pursuing the destruction of the nation, did vote his exclusion; yet
degenerate Scotland did receive him in great pomp and pride. Against
which, the forementioned faithful witnesses of Christ did find
themselves obliged to testify their just resentment, and to protest
against his succeeding to the crown, in their declaration published at
Sanquhar, June 22d, 1680. 'Wherein also they disown Charles Stewart, as
having any right, title, or interest in the crown of Scotland or
government thereof, as being forefaulted several years since, by his
perjury and breach of covenant, usurpation on Christ's prerogatives, and
by his tyranny and breaches in the very _leges regnandi_ in matters
civil--and declare a war with him, and all the men of these
practices--homologating the testimony at Rutherglen, and disclaiming
that declaration at Hamilton.' This action was generally condemned by
the body of lurking ministers, both for the matter of it, and the
unseasonableness of it, and its apparent unfeasibleness, being done by a
handful so inconsiderable, for number, strength, or significancy. But as
they had very great and important reasons to disclaim that tyrant's
authority, hinted in the declaration itself, and hereafter more fully
vindicated: so the necessity of a testimony against all the tyrannical
encroachments on religion and liberty, then current and increasing; and
the sin and shame of shifting and delaying it so long, when the
blasphemous supremacy was now advanced to its summit; the church's
privileges all overturned; religion and the work of reformation trampled
under foot; the people's rights and liberties destroyed, and laws all
subverted; and no shadow of government left but arbitrary absoluteness,
obtruding the tyrant's will for reason, and his letter for the supreme
law (witness the answer which one of the council gave to another;
objecting against their proceedings as not according to law, what devil
do ye talk of law? have not we the king's letter for it?) and all the
ends of magistracy wholly inverted; while innocent and honest people
were grievously oppressed in their persons, consciences, and estates;
and perjuries, adulteries, idolatries, and all impieties were not only
connived at, but countenanced as badges of loyalty, and manifest and
monstrous robberies and murders authorized, judgement turned into gall,
and the fruit of righteousness into hemloc; do justify its
seasonableness: and the ends of the declaration, to keep up the standard
of the gospel, and maintain the work of reformation, and preserve a
remnant of faithful adherers to it; the nature of the resolution
declared, being only to endeavour to make good and maintain their
revolt, in opposition to all who would pursue them for it, and reinforce
them to a subjection to that yoke of slavery again; and the extremity of
danger and distress that party was in, while declared and pursued as
rebels, and intercommuned and interdicted of all supply and solace,
being put out of their own, and by law precluded of the harbour of all
other habitations, and so both for safety and subsistence compelled by
necessity to concur and keep together, may alleviate the censure and
stop the clamour of its unfeasibleness. But though it is not the
prudence of the management, but the justness of the action, that I would
have vindicated from obloquies; yet it wanted nothing but success to
justify both, in the conviction of many that made much outcry against
it. In these dangerous circumstances their difficulties and
discouragements daily increased, by their enemies vigilance, their
enviers treachery, and their own inadvertency, some of their number
falling into the hands of them that sought their lives. For two of the
most eminent and faithful witnesses of Christ, Mr. Donald Cargil and
Henry Hall, were surprized at Queensferry; Mr. Cargil escaped at that
time, but the other fervent contender for the interest of Christ, fixed
in the cause, and courageous to his death, endeavouring to save him and
resist the enemies, was cruelly murdered by them. And with him they got
a draught of a covenant, declaring their present purposes and future
resolutions. The tenor whereof was an engagement. '1. To avouch the only
true and living God to be their God, and to close with his way of
redemption by his Son Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is only to be
relied upon for justification; and to take the scriptures of the old and
new testament, to be the only object of faith, and rule of conversation
in all things. 2. To establish in the land righteousness and religion,
in the truth of its doctrine, purity and power of its worship,
discipline, and government; and to free the church of God of the
corruption of prelacy on the one hand; and the thraldom of erastianism
on the other. 3. To persevere in the doctrine of the reformed churches,
especially that of Scotland, and in the worship prescribed in the
scriptures, without the inventions, adornings, and corruptions of men;
and in the presbyterian government, exercised in sessions, presbyteries,
synods, and general assemblies, as a distinct government from the civil,
and distinctly to be exercised, not after a carnal manner, by plurality
of votes, or authority of a single person, but according to the word of
God, making and carrying the sentence. 4. To endeavour the overthrow of
the kingdom of darkness, and whatsoever is contrary to the kingdom of
Christ, especially idolatry, and popery in all its articles, and the
overthrow of that power that hath established and upheld it--and to
execute righteous judgments impartially, according to the word of God,
and degree of offences, upon the committers of these things especially,
to wit, blasphemy, idolatry, atheism, bougery, sorcery, perjury,
uncleanness, profanation of the Lord's day, oppression and
malignancy.----5. Seriously considering--there is no more speedy way of
relaxation from the wrath of God, that hath ever lien on the land since
it engaged with these rulers, but of rejecting them who hath so
manifestly rejected God--disclaiming his covenant----governing contrary
to all right laws, divine and human----and contrary to all the ends of
government, by enacting and commanding impieties, injuries, and
robberies, to the denying of God his due, and the subjects theirs; so
that instead of government, godliness, and peace, there is nothing but
rapine, tumult, and blood, which cannot be called a government, but a
lustful rage----and they cannot be called governors, but public
grassators and land-judgments, which all ought to set themselves
against, as they would do against pestilence, sword, and famine raging
amongst them----Seeing they have stopped the course of law and justice
against blasphemers, idolaters, atheists, bougerers, sorcerers,
murderers, incestuous and adulterous persons--And have made butcheries
on the Lord's people, sold them as slaves, imprisoned, forefaulted &c.
and that upon no other account, but their maintaining Christ's right of
ruling over their consciences against the usurpations of men. Therefore,
easily solving the objections, (1.) Of our ancestors obliging the nation
to this race and line: That they did not buy their liberty with our
thraldom, nor could they bind their children to any thing so much to
their prejudice, and against natural liberty (being a benefit next to
life, if not in some regard above it) which is not as an engagement to
moral things: they could only bind to that government, which they
esteemed the best for common good, which reason ceasing, we are free to
choose another, if we find it more conducible for that end. (2.) Of the
covenant binding to defend the king: That this obligation is only in his
maintenance of the true covenanted religion--which homage they cannot
now require upon the account of the covenant, which they have renounced
and disclaimed; and upon no other ground we are bound to them--the crown
not being an inheritance that passeth from father to son without the
consent of tenants--(3.) Of the hope of their returning from these
courses: whereof there is none, seeing they have so often declared their
purposes of persevering in them, and suppose they should dissemble a
repentance--supposing also they might be pardoned, for that which is
done--from whose guiltiness the land cannot be cleansed, but by
executing God's righteous judgments upon them--yet they cannot now be
believed, after they have violated all that human wisdom could devise
to bind them. Upon these accounts they reject that king, and those
associate with him in the government--and declare them henceforth no
lawful rulers, as they had declared them to be no lawful subjects--they
having destroyed the established religion, overturned the fundamental
laws of the kingdom, taken away Christ's church-government, and changed
the civil into tyranny, where none are associate in partaking of the
government, but only these who will be found by justice guilty
criminals--and declare they shall, God giving power, set up government
and governors according to the word of God, and the qualifications
required Exod. xviii. verse 20.--And shall not commit the government to
any single person, or lineal succession, being not tied as the Jews were
to one single family--and that kind being liable to most inconveniences,
and aptest to degenerate into tyranny--and moreover, that these men set
over them shall be engaged to govern principally, by that civil and
judicial law (not that which is any way typical) given by God to his
people of Israel--as the best so far as it goes, being given by
God--especially in matters of life and death--and other things, so far
as they reach, and are consistent with Christian liberty--exempting
divorces and polygamy--6. Seeing the greatest part of ministers not only
were defective in preaching against the acts of the rulers for
overthrowing religion--but hindered others also who were willing, and
censured some that did it--and have voted for acceptation of that
liberty, founded upon and given by virtue of that blasphemously arrogate
and usurped power--and appeared before their courts to accept of it, and
to be enacted and authorized their ministers--whereby they have become
the ministers of men, and bound to be answerable to them as they
will--and have preached for the lawfulness of paying that tribute,
declared to be imposed for the bearing down of the true worship of
God--and advised poor prisoners to subscribe that bond--which if it were
universally subscribed--they should close that door, which the Lord hath
made use of in all the churches of Europe, for casting off the yoke of
the whore--and stop all regrets of men, when once brought under tyranny,
to recover their liberty again.--They declare they neither can nor will
hear them &c. nor any who encouraged and strengthened their hands, and
pleaded for them, and trafficked for union with them. 7. That they are
for a standing gospel ministry, rightly chosen and rightly ordained--and
that none shall take upon them the preaching of the word &c. unless
called and ordained thereunto--and whereas separation might be imputed
to them, they resell both the malice, and the ignorance of that
calumny--for if there be a separation, it must be where the change is;
and that was not to be found in them, who were not separating from the
communion of the true church, nor setting up a new ministry, but
cleaving to the same ministers and ordinances, that formerly they
followed, when others have fled to new ways, and a new authority, which
is like the old piece in the new garment. 8. That they shall defend
themselves in their civil, natural, and divine rights and
liberties----and if any assault them, they shall look on it as a
declaring a war, and take all advantages that one enemy does of
another--but trouble and injure none but those that injure them.' This
is the compend of that paper which the enemies seized and published,
while it was only in a rude draught, and not polished, digested, nor
consulted by the rest of the community: yet, whether or not it was for
their advantage, so to blaze their own baseness in that paper truly
represented, I leave it to the reader to judge: or, if they did not
thereby proclaim their own tyranny, and the innocency and honesty of
that people, whom thereby they were seeking to make odious; but in
effect inviting all lovers of religion and liberty to sympathise with
them, in their difficulties and distresses there discovered. However
that poor party continued together in a posture of defence, without the
concurrence or countenance of their convenanted brethren, who staid at
home, and left both them to be murdered and their testimony to be
trampled upon, until the 22d of July 1680. Upon the which day they were
attacked at Airsmoss, by a strong party of about 120 horse well armed,
while they were but 23 horse and 40 foot at most; and so fighting
valiantly were at length routed, not without their adversaries testimony
of their being resolute men: Several of Zion's precious mourners, and
faithful witnesses of Christ were killed; and among the rest, that
faithful minister of Christ, Mr. Richard Cameron, sealed and fulfilled
his testimony with his blood. And with others, the valiant and much
honoured gentleman, David Hackstoun of Rathillet, was after many
received wounds apprehended, brought in to Edinburgh; and there,
resolutely adhering to the testimony, and disowning the authority of
king and council, and all their tyrannical judicatories, was cruelly
murdered, but countenanced eminently of the Lord. Now remained Mr.
Donald Cargill, deprived of his faithful colleague, destitute of his
brethren's concurrence, but not of the Lord's counsel and conduct; by
which he was prompted and helped to prosecute the testimony against the
universal apostacy of the church and nation, tyranny of enemies,
backsliding of friends, and all the wrongs done to his Master on all
hands. And considering, in the zeal of God, and sense of his holy
jealousy, provoked and threatening wrath against the land, for the sins
especially of rulers, who had arrived to the height of heaven-daring
insolence in all wickedness, in which they were still growing and going
on without controul; that notwithstanding of all the testimonies given
against them, by public preachings, protestations, and declarations,
remonstrating their tyranny, and disowning their authority; yet not only
did they still persist in their sins and scandals, to make the Lord's
fierce anger break forth into a flame, but were owned also by
professors, not only as magistrates, but as members of the christian and
protestant church; and that, however both the defensive arms of men had
been used against them, and the christian arms of prayer, and the
ministerial weapon of preaching, yet that of ecclesiastical censure had
not been authoritatively exerted against them: Therefore, that no weapon
which Christ allows his servants under his standard to manage against
his enemies, might be wanting, though he could not obtain the
concurrence of his brethren to strengthen the solemnity and formality of
the action, yet he did not judge that defect, in this broken case of the
church, could disable his authority, nor demur the duty, but that he
might and ought to proceed to excommunication. And accordingly in
September 1680, at the Torwood, he excommunicated some of the most
scandalous and principal promoters and abettors of this conspiracy
against Christ, as formally as the present case could admit: After
sermon upon Ezek. xxi. 25, 26, 27. 'And thou profane wicked prince of
Israel, whose day is come,' &c. He had a short and pertinent discourse
on the nature, the subject, the causes, and the ends of excommunication
in general: And then declared, that he was not led out of any private
spirit or passion to this action, but constrained by conscience of duty,
and zeal to God to stigmatize with this brand, and wound with the sword
of the Lord, these enemies of God that had so apostatized, rebelled
against, mocked, despised, and defied our Lord, and to declare them as
they are none of his, to be none of ours. 'The persons excommunicated;
and the sentence against them was given forth as follows: 'I being a
minister of Jesus Christ, and having authority and power from him, do,
in his name, and by his Spirit, excommunicate, cast out of the true
church, and deliver up to Satan, Charles the Second, king,' &c. The
sentence was founded upon these grounds, declared in the pronunciation
thereof, (1.) 'For his high mocking of God, in that after he had
acknowledged his own sins, his father's sins, his mother's idolatry, yet
he had gone on more avowedly in the same than all before him. (2.) For
his great perjury in breaking and burning the covenant. (3.) For his
rescinding all laws for establishing the reformation, and enacting laws
contrary thereunto. (4.) For commanding of armies to destroy the Lord's
people. (5.) For his being an enemy to true protestants, and helper of
the papists, and hindering the execution of just laws against them. (6.)
For his granting remissions and pardons for murderers, which is in the
power of no king to do, being expressly contrary to the law of God. (7.)
For his adulteries, and dissembling with God and man.' Next, by the same
authority, and in the same name, he excommunicated James duke of York,
'for his idolatry, and setting it up in Scotland to dedefile the land,
and enticing and encouraging others to do so:' Not mentioning any other
sins but what he scandalously persisted in in Scotland, &c. With several
other rotten malignant enemies, on whom the Lord hath ratified that
sentence since very remarkably, whole sins and punishments both may be
read more visible in the providences of the time, than I can record
them. But about this time, when amidst all the abounding defections and
divisions of that dark and dismal hour of temptation, some in zeal for
the cause were endeavouring to keep up the testimony of the day, in an
abstraction from complying ministers; others were left (in holy
judgment, to be a stumbling-block to the generation hardening them in
their defections, and to be a beacon to the most zealous to keep off
from all unwarrantable excesses) to fall into fearful extravagancies,
and delirious and damnable delusions, being overdriven with ignorant and
blind zeal into untrodden paths, which led them into a labyrinth of
darkness; when as they were stumbled at many ministers unfaithfulness,
so through the deceit of Satan, and the hypocrisy of his instruments,
they came to be offended at Mr. Cargil's faithfulness, who spared
neither left hand declensions, nor right hand extremes, and left him and
all the ministers; not only disowning all communion with those that were
not of their way, but execrating and cursing them; and kept themselves
in desert places from all company; where they persisted prodigiously in
fastings and singing psalms, pretending to wonderful raptures and
enthusiasms: and in fine, J. Gib, with four more of them came to that
height of blasphemy, that they burnt the Bible and Confession of Faith.
These were the 'sweet singers,' as they were called, led away into these
delusions by that impostor and sorcerer, John Gib, who never encreased
to such a number, as was then feared and reported, being within thirty,
and most part women: all which for the most part have been through mercy
reclaimed from that destructive way, which through grace the reproached
remnant, adhering to the foresaid testimony, had always an abhorrence
of. Wherefore that ignorant and impudent calumny, of their consortship
with Gib's followers, is only the vent of viperous envy. For they were
the first that discovered them, and whose pains the Lord blessed in
reclaiming them, and were always so far from partaking with them, that
to this day these that have come off from that way, and have offered the
confession of their scandal, do still complain of their over rigid
severity, in not admitting them to their select fellowships. To which
may be added this undeniable demonstration, that whereas the persecuting
courts of inquisition did always extend the utmost severity against the
owners of this testimony, yet they spared them: And the duke of York,
then in Scotland, was so well pleased with Gib's blasphemies, that he
favoured him extraordinarily, and freely dismissed him. This was a
cloudy and dark day, but not without a burning and shining light as long
as that faithful minister of Christ, Mr. Donald Cargil, was following
the work of the Lord; who shortly after this finished his testimony,
being apprehended with other two faithful and zealous witnesses of
Christ, Mr. Walter Smith, and Mr. James Boog, who with two more were
altogether, at Edinburgh, 27 July, 1681, crowned with the glory of
martyrdom. Then came the day of the remnant's vexation, trouble,
darkness and dimness of anguish, wherein whoso looked unto the land
could see nothing but darkness and sorrow, and the light darkened in the
heavens thereof, wherein neither star nor sun appeared for many days,
and poor people were made to grope for the wall like the blind, and to
stumble in noon-day as in the night. While the persecution advanced on
the one hand, a violent spait of defection carried down the most part of
ministers and professors before it, driving them to courses of sinful
and scandalous conformings with the time's corruptions, compearings
before their courts, complyings with their commands, paying of their
cesses and other exactions, taking of their oaths and bonds, and
countenancing their prelatical church-services, which they were ashamed
to do before: and thereupon on the other hand the divisions and
confusions were augmented, and poor people that desired to cleave to the
testimony were more and more offended and stumbled at the ministers,
who, either left the land in that clamant call of the people's
necessity, or lurked in their own retirements, and declined the duty of
that day, leaving people to determine themselves in all their
perplexities, as a prey to all temptations. But the tender Pastor and
Shepherd of Israel, who leads the blind in the way they know not, did
not forsake a remnant in that hour of temptation who kept the word of
his patience; and as He helped those that fell into the hands of enemies
to witness a good confession, so He strengthened the zeal of the
remaining contenders, against all the machinations of adversaries to
crush it, and all the methods of backsliding professors to quench it.
And the mean which most effectually preserved it in life and vigour, was
the expedient they fell upon of corresponding in general meetings, to
consult, inform, and confirm, one another about common duties in common
dangers, for preservation of the remnant from the destruction and
contagion of the times, and propagation of the testimony: laying down
this general conclusion for a foundation of order, to be observed among
them in incident doubtful cases, and emergent controversies, that
nothing relative to the public, and which concerns the whole of their
community, be done by any of them, without harmonious consent sought
after and rationally waited for, and sufficient deliberation about the
means and manner. In the mean time, the duke of York, as commissioner
from his brother, held a parliament wherein he presided, not only
against all righteous laws that make a bloody and avowed papist
incapable of such a trust, but against the letter of their own wicked
laws, whereby none ought to be admitted but such as swear the oaths; yet
not only was he constitute in this place, but in the whole
administration of the government of Scotland without the taking any
oath, which then he was courting to be entailed successor and heir of
the crown thereof; and for this end made many pretences of flatteries,
and feigned expressions of love, and of doing many acts of kindness to
that ancient kingdom, as he hath made many dissembling protestations of
it since, for carrying on his own popish and tyrannical designs: but
what good-will he hath borne to it, not only his acts and actings
written in characters of the blood of innocents declare, but his words
do witness, which is known when and to whom he spake, when he said, It
would never be well till all on the southside of Forth were made a
hunting field. However in that parliament, anno 1681, he is chiefly
intended, and upon the matter by a wicked act declared legal and lineal
successor, and a detestable blasphemous and self-contradictory test is
framed for a pest to consciences, which turned out of all places of
trust any that had any remaining measure of common honesty; and when
some was speaking of a bill for securing religion in case of a popish
prince, the duke's answer was notable, that whatsoever they intended or
prepared against papists should light upon others: whereby we may
understand what measures we may expect, when his designs are ripe. And
to all the cruel acts then and before made against the people of God,
there was one superadded regulating the execution of all the rest,
whereby at one dash all civil and criminal justice was overthrown, and a
foundation laid for popish tyranny, that the right of jurisdiction both
in civil and criminal matters is so inherent in the crown, that his
majesty may judge all causes by himself, or any other he thinks fit to
commissionate. Here was law for commissionating soldiers to take away
the lives of innocents, as was frequently exemplified afterwards, and
may serve hereafter for erecting the Spanish inquisition to murder
protestants when he thinks fit to commissionate them. Against which
wicked encroachments on religion and liberty, the faithful thought
themselves obliged to emit a testimony: and therefore published a
declaration at Lanark, January 12. 1682. Confirming the preceeding at
Sanquhar, and adding reasons of their revolt from the government of
Charles the second. 1. 'For cutting off the neck at one blow of the
noble constitution of church and state, and involving all officers in
the kingdom in the same perjury with himself. 2. For exalting himself
into a sphere exceeding all measures divine and human, tyrannically
obtruding his will for a law in his arbitrary letters, so that we are
made the reproach of nations, who say, we have only the law of letters
instead of the letter of the law. 3. For his constant adjourning and
dissolving parliaments at his pleasure. 4. For his arrogantly arrogated
supremacy in all causes civil and ecclesiastic, and oppressing the godly
for conscience and duty. 5. For his exorbitant taxings, cessings, and
grinding the faces of the poor, dilapidating the rights and revenues of
the crown, for no other end but to employ them for keeping up a brothel
rather than a court. 6. For installing a successor, such an one (if not
worse) as himself, contrary to all law, reason, and religion, and
framing the test, &c. And in end offer to prove, they have done nothing
in this against our ancient laws, civil or ecclesiastic--but only
endeavoured to extricate themselves from under a tyrannous yoke, and to
reduce church and state to what they were in the year 1648 and 1649.'
After which declaration, they were more condemned by them that were at
ease than ever, and very untenderly dealt with; being without any
previous admonition reproached, accused, and informed against, both at
home and abroad, as if they had turned to some wild and unhappy course.
For which cause, in the next general meeting, they resolved to delegate
some of their number to foreign churches, on purpose to vindicate
themselves from these calumnies, and to represent the justness of their
cause, and the sadness of their case, and provoke them to some sympathy
abroad, which was then denied at home: and withal to provide for a
succession of witnesses, who might maintain the testimony, which was
then in appearance interrupted, except by martyrdom and sufferings.
Therefore by that means having obtained access for the instruction of
some young men, at an university in the united provinces, in process of
time, Mr. James Renwick received ordination there, and came home to take
up the standard of his master, upon the ground where it last was left,
and to carry on the testimony against all the oppositions of that day,
from open enemies and backsliding professors: an undertaking more
desperate-like than that _Unus Athanasius contra totam orbem_, and like
that of a child threshing down a mountain. Which yet against all the
outrageous rage of ravening enemies, ranging, ravaging, hunting,
chasing, pursuing after him, through all the towns, villages, cottages,
woods, moors, mosses, and mountains of the country; and against all the
scourge of tongues, contradictions, condemnations, obliquies,
reproaches, and cruel mockings of incensed professors, and generally of
all the inhabitants of the land; he was helped to prosecute, by many
weary wanderings, travels, and traversings thro' the deserts, night and
day, preaching, conferring, and catechising, mostly in the cold
winter-nights in the open fields: until, by the blessing of God upon his
labours, not only was the faithful witnessing remnant that joined in the
testimony, further cleared, confirmed, and encouraged, and their number
much increased by the coming in and joining of many others to the
fellowship of their settled societies; but also many others, in other
places of the country were induced to the contracting themselves in the
like, to the settling such fellowships in most of the southern shires.
But then the fury of persecutors began to flame more flagrantly than
ever; not only in sending out cruel soldiers, foot, horse and dragoons,
habitually fleshed in, and filled with the blood of the saints, to hunt,
hound, chase, and pursue after them, and seek them out of all their dens
and hiding-holes, in the wildest glens, fens, and remotest recesses in
the wilderness; but emitting edicts allowing them to kill, slay, hang,
drown, and destroy such as they could apprehend of them _pro libitu_;
and commanding the country to assist them, in raising the hue and cry
after them, and not to refer, harbour, supply, or correspond any manner
of way with them, under the hazard and pain of being liable to the same
punishment. Whereby the country was harassed and spoiled in searching
after them, and many villains were stirred up to give informations and
intelligence of these wanderers wherever they saw them, or learned
where they were. Hence followed such a slaughter and seizure of them,
that common people usually date their common occurrences since, from
that beginning of killing time, as they call it. For which cause, to
preserve themselves from, and put a stop to that deluge of blood, and
demur and deter the insolency of intelligencers and informers, they were
necessitate to publish the Apologetical Relation, and affix it upon
several market-crosses and parish-doors, November 8, 1684. Wherein they
'declare their firm resolution, of constant adherence to their covenants
and engagements, and to the declarations disowning the authority of
Charles Stewart. And to testify to the world, that they purpose not to
injure or offend any whomsoever, but to pursue the ends of their
covenants, in standing to the defence of the work of reformation, and of
their own lives; yet, if any shall stretch forth their hand against
them, by shedding their blood actually, either by authoritative
commanding or obeying such commands, to search for them, and deliver
them up to the spilling of their blood, to inform against them, to raise
the hue and cry after them, and delate them before their courts. All
these shall be reputed by them enemies to God and the covenanted
reformation, and punished as such, according to their power and the
degree of their offence, if they shall continue so maliciously to
proceed against them; and declare, they abhor and condemn any personal
attempt, upon any pretext whatsomever, without previous deliberation,
common or competent consent, without certain probation by sufficient
witnesses, the guilty person's confession, or the notourness of the
deeds themselves; and in the end warn the bloody Doegs, and flattering
Ziphites informing against them, to expect to be dealt with as they deal
with them.' This declaration, though it occasioned greater trials to
them and trouble to the country, by the courts of inquisition, pressing
an oath abjuring the same universally upon all, as well women as men,
and suffering none to travel without a pass, declaring they had taken
that oath: yet it was so far effectual, as to scare many from their
former diligence in informing against them, and to draw out some to join
with the wanderers more publicly, even when the danger was greatest of
owning any respect to them. But at length in the top and height of their
insulting insolency, and heat of their brutish immanity and barbarous
cruelty, designing to cut off the very name of that remnant, the king of
terrors (a terror to kings) cut off that supreme author and authorizer
of these mischiefs, Charles the Second, by the suspicious intervention
of an unnatural hand as the instrument thereof. Wherein much of the
justice of God was to be observed, and of his faithfulness verified,
that 'bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days.' His
bloody violence was recompensed with the unnatural villany of his
brother, and his unparalleled perfidy was justly rewarded with the most
ungrate and monstrous treachery of a parricide: for all the numerous
brood of his adulterous and incestuous brats, begotten of other men's
wives, and of his numerous multitude of whores at home and abroad, yea
of his own sister too, he died a childless pultron, and had the
unlamented burial of an ass, without a successor save him that murdered
him: and for all his hypocritical pretensions to a protestant
profession, he not only received absolution and extreme unction from a
popish priest at his death, but drunk his death in a popish potion,
contrived by his own dear brother that succeeded him; impatiently
longing to accomplish that conspiracy of reintraducing popery, wherein
the other moved too slowly, and passionately resenting Charles's vow, to
suffer the murder of the earl of Essex to come to a trial (which was
retorted by the reiterated solicitations of some, who offered to
discover by whom it was contrived and acted) which made the duke's
guilty conscience to dread a detection of his deep accession to it:
whereupon the potion quickly after prepared, put a stop to that, and an
end to his life, Feb. 6, 1685. Of which horrid villany time will
disclose the mystery, and give the history when it shall be seasonable.

IV. The former persecution and tyranny, mainly promoted by the duke of
York's instigation, did not only oppress the poorer sort, but reached
also the greatest of the nobility and gentry in both kingdoms. In
Scotland, the earl of Argyle was arraigned and condemned for his
explanation of the test, but escaped out of the castle of Edinburgh,
_anno_ 1681. And after him several gentlemen were arbitrarily oppressed
and troubled, upon the act of intercommuning with rebels, and for a
pretended plot against the government (as they called it) but really
because they knew these gentlemen had a desire, and would design to
preserve the nation, which they were seeking to destroy, and would
counteract their wicked projects to advance popery and tyranny upon the
ruins of the nation's interest. For which cause they left their native
country, to seek safety and quiet abroad. And in England, upon the same
pretences, the lord Russel was murdered by law, and the earl of Essex by
a razor in the Tower, in a morning when the king and duke of York came
to pay it a visit. And many other gentlemen lost either their lives or
fortunes, upon the same grounds of opposing the duke's designs: which
made many resort to the United Provinces. Where they, with the Scots
gentlemen, as soon as they heard of the death of Charles II. and of the
ascending of James duke of York, a notorious and bigot papist, to the
throne, associating themselves in counsel, to essay some diversion and
opposition to the present current of tyranny and popery, threatening the
ruin of both nations; resolved and agreed upon the declaring a war
against that usurper and all his complices. And in order thereunto,
having provided themselves with arms, concluded that a certain number
should, under the conduct of James duke of Monmouth, direct their course
for England, for managing the war there: And others to go for the same
ends to Scotland, under the conduct of Archibald earl of Argyle, their
chosen captain. Whereupon in a short time they arrived at Orkney, where
two gentlemen of their company going ashore, were taken prisoners, and
carried to Edinburgh; whereby the country was alarmed, and a huge host
gathered to oppose them. From thence they went to the West Highlands,
where encreasing to the number of about 2000 men, they traversed to and
again about Kintyre and Bute, and other places in the Highlands, for six
or seven weeks, until many of their men ran away, and the rest were much
straitened for want of victuals, their passage by sea was blocked up by
ships of war, and by land with their numerous enemies, who got time to
gather and strengthen themselves, whereby their friends were frustrate
and more oppressed, and themselves kept little better than prisoners,
till their spirits were wearied and worn out, and all hope lost. At
length the earl determined, when out of time, to leave the Highlands,
and the ships, cannons, arms, and ammunition at Island Craig, and
marched towards Dumbarton, crossing the water of Leven about three miles
above it. Next morning near Duntreith, they discovered a party of the
enemy, and faced towards them, but they retired. And then directed their
course towards Glasgow, were intercepted by a body of the enemy's army:
where they drew up in battalia one against another, and stood in arms
till the evening, a water being betwixt them. But Argyle's party,
perceiving that their enemies were above ten times their number, and
that themselves were wearied out with a long and tedious march, want of
victuals and sleep, resolved to withdraw: but as soon as it grew dark,
all hope lost, they dispersed, every man shifting for himself; only a
few keeping together all the next day, had a skirmish with a party of
the enemies, in which they slew the captain, and about 12 or some more
of his men, and afterwards they dispersed themselves also. The enemies,
searching the country, gleaned up the earl of Argyle himself, colonel
Rumbol an Englishman, Mr. Thomas Archer minister, Gavin Russel, and
David Law, who were all condemned and executed at Edinburgh, and many
others who were banished to America: and about some 20 in the Highlands,
who were hanged at Inveraray. In England, the duke of Monmouth's
expedition, though it had more action, yet terminated in the same
success, the loss of many hundred lives, many killed in battle: and
afterwards, by the mercy of the duke of York, several hundreds in the
west of England were carried about, and hanged before the doors of their
own habitations; and to make his captains sport by the way, according to
the number of the hours of the day, when the murdering humour came in
their head, so many of the poor captives were hanged, as a prodigious
monument of monstrous cruelty. This was the commencement of the present
tyrant's government. In the mean time, the wanderers in Scotland, though
they did not associate with this expedition upon the account of the too
promiscuous admittance of persons to trust in that party, who were then
and since have discovered themselves to be enemies to the cause, and
because they could not espouse their declaration as the state of their
quarrel, being not concerted according to the constant plea of the Scots
covenanters, and for other reasons given in their late vindication: yet
against this usurpation of a bloody papist, advancing himself to the
throne in such a manner, they published another declaration at Sanquhar,
May 28, 1685. 'Wherein approving and adhering unto all their former
declarations, and considering that James Duke of York, a profest and
excommunicate papist, was proclaimed.--To testify their resentment of
that deed, and to make it appear unto the world, that they were free
thereof, by concurrence or connivance; they protest against the foresaid
proclamation of James duke of York as king: in regard that it is the
chusing of a murderer to be a governor, who hath shed the blood of the
saints--that it is the height of confederacy with an idolater, forbidden
by the law of God--contrary to the declaration of the general assembly
of the church, July 27, 1649. And contrary to many wholesome and
laudable acts of parliament----and inconsistent with the safety, faith,
conscience, and christian liberty of a Christian people, to chuse a
subject of antichrist to be their supreme magistrate----and to instruct
an enemy to the work and people of God with the interests of both: and
upon many important grounds and reasons (which there they express) they
protest against the validity and constitution of that parliament,
approving and ratifying the foresaid proclamation.----And against all
kind of popery in general and particular heads----as abjured by the
national covenant, and abrogated by acts of parliament----and against
its entry again into this land, and every thing that doth or may
directly or indirectly make way for the same: disclaiming likewise all
sectarianism, malignancy, and any confederacy therewith.'----This was
their testimony against popery in the season thereof: which though it
was not so much condemned as any former declarations, yet neither in
this had they the concurrence of any ministers or professors; who as
they had been silent, and omitted a seasonable testimony against
prelacy, and the supremacy, when these were introduced, so now also,
even when this wicked mystery and conspiracy of popery and tyranny,
twisted together in the present design of antichrist, had made so great
a progress, and was evidently brought above board, they were left to let
slip this opportunity of a testimony also, to the reproach of the
declining and far degenerate church of Scotland. Yea to their shame,
the very rabble of ignorant people may be brought as a witness against
the body of presbyterian ministers in Scotland, in that they testified
their detestation of the first erection of the idolatrous mass, and some
of the soldiery, and such as had no profession of religion, suffered
unto death for speaking against popery and the designs of the king,
while the ministers were silent. And some of the curates, and members of
the late parliament, 1686, made some stickling against the taking away
of the penal statutes against papists; while presbyterians, from whom
might have been expected greater opposition, were sleeping in a profound
submission. I cannot without confusion of spirit touch these obvious and
dolorous reflections, and yet in candour cannot forbear them. However
the persecution against the wanderers went on, and more cruel edicts
were given forth against them, while a relenting abatement of severity
was pretended against other dissenters. At length what could not be
obtained by law at the late parliament, for taking off the statutes
against papists, was effectuated by prerogative: and to make it pass
with the greater approbation, it was conveyed in a channel of pretended
clemency, offering a sort of liberty, but really introducing a
licentious latitude, for bringing in all future snares by taking off
some former, as arbitrarily as before they were imposed, in a
proclamation, dated Feb. 12, 1687. 'Granting by the king's sovereign
authority, prerogative royal, and absolute power, which all subjects are
to obey without reserve, a royal toleration, to the several professors
of the Christian religion afternamed, with and under the several
conditions, restrictions, and limitations aftermentioned. In the first
place, tolerating the moderate presbyterians to meet in their private
houses, and there to hear all such ministers, as either have or are
willing to accept of the indulgence allenerly, and none other: and that
there be nothing said or done contrary to the well and peace of his
reign, seditious or treasonable, under the highest pains these crimes
will import, nor are they to presume to build meeting houses, or to use
out-houses or barns----in the mean time it is his royal will and
pleasure, that field conventicles, and such as preach at them, or who
shall any way assist or connive at them, shall be prosecute according to
the utmost severity of laws made against them----in like manner
tolerating the quakers to meet and exercise in their form, in any place
or places appointed for their worship----and by the same absolute power,
foresaid, suspending, stopping, and disabling all laws or acts of
parliament, customs or constitutions against any Roman catholic
subjects----so that they shall in all things be as free in all respects
as any protestant subjects whatsoever, not only to exercise their
religion, but to enjoy all offices, benefices, &c. which he shall think
fit to bestow upon them in all time coming----and cassing, annulling,
and discharging all oaths whatsoever, and tests, and laws enjoining
them. And in place of them this oath only is to be taken----I A.B. do
acknowledge, testify, and declare that James the VII. &c. is rightful
king and supreme governor of these realms, and over all persons therein;
and that it is unlawful for subjects, on any pretence or for any cause
whatsoever, to rise in arms against him, or any commissionated by him;
and that I shall never so rise in arms nor assist any who shall so do;
and that I shall never resist his power or authority, nor ever oppose
his authority to his person--but shall to the utmost of my power assist,
defend, and maintain him, his heirs and lawful successors, in the
exercise of their absolute power and authority against all deadly--and
by the same absolute power giving his full and ample indemnity, to all
the foresaid sorts of people, under the foresaid restrictions.' Here is
a proclamation for a prince: that proclaims him in whose name it is
emitted, to be the greatest tyrant that ever lived in the world, and
their revolt who have disowned him to be the justest that ever was. For
herein that monster of prerogative is not only advanced, paramount to
all laws divine and human, but far surmounting all the lust, impudence,
and insolence of all the Roman, Sicilian, Turkish, Tartarian, or Indian
tyrants that ever trampled upon the liberties of mankind: who have
indeed demanded absolute subjection, and surrender of their lives,
lands, and liberties at their pleasure, but never arrived at such a
height of arrogance as this does, to claim absolute obedience, without
reserve of conscience, religion, honour, or reason; not only that which
ignorantly is called passive, never to resist him, not only on any
pretence, but for cause, even though he should command his popish
janissaries to murder and massacre all protestants, which is the tender
mercy and burning fervent charity of papists; but also of absolute
active obedience without reserve, to assist, defend, and maintain him in
every thing, whereby he shall be pleased to exercise his absolute power,
though he should command to burn the Bible as well as the covenant (as
already he applauded John Gib in doing of it) and to burn and butcher
all that will not go to mass, which we have all grounds to expect will
be the end of his clemency at last. Herein he claims a power to command
what he will, and obliging subjects to obey whatsoever he will command:
a power to rescind, stop, and disable all laws; which unhinges all
stability and unsettles all the security of human society, yea
extinguishes all that remains of natural liberty: wherein, as is well
observed by the author of the representation of the threatening dangers
impending over protestants page 53. 'It is very natural to observe, that
he allows the government, under which we were born, and to which we were
sworn, to be hereby subverted and changed, and that thereupon we are not
only absolved and acquitted from all allegiance to him, but
indispensibly obliged, by the ties and engagements that are upon us, to
apply ourselves to the use of all means and endeavours against him, as
an enemy of the people and subverter of the legal government.' But this
was so gross, and grievously gripping in its restrictions, as to
persons, as to the place, as to the matter allowed the presbyterians in
preaching, that it was disdained of all; and therefore he behoved to
busk it better, and mend the matter, in a letter to the council (the
supreme law of Scotland) bearing date March 31. 1687. of this
tenor--'Whereas we did recommend to you to take care, that any of the
presbyterians should not be allowed to preach, but such only as should
have your allowance for the same, and that they at the receiving the
indulgence should take the oath contained in the proclamation----these
are therefore to let you know, that thereby we meant such of them as did
not solemnly take the test; but if nevertheless the presbyterian
preachers do scruple to take the said oath, or any other oath
whatsoever, and that you shall find it reasonable or fit to grant them
or any of them our said indulgence, so as they desire it upon these
terms, it is now our will and pleasure----to grant them our said
indulgence, without being obliged to take the oath, with power unto them
to enjoy the benefit of the said indulgence (during our pleasure only)
or so long as you shall find they behave themselves regularly and
peaceably, without giving any cause of offence to us, or any in
authority or trust under us in our government.'----Thus finding the
former proposal not adequately apportioned to his design, because of its
palpable odiousness, he would pretend his meaning was mistaken (though
it was manifest enough) and mitigate the matter by taking away of the
oaths altogether, if any should scruple it; whereas he could not but
know, that all that had sense would abhor it: yet it is clogged with the
same restrictions, limited to the same persons, characterized more
plainly and peremptorily, with an addition of cautions, not only that
they shall not say or do any thing contrary to the well and peace of his
reign seditious or treasonable, but also that they behave themselves
regularly and peaceably without giving any cause of offence to him or
any under him; which comprehends lesser offences than sedition or
treason, even every thing that will displease a tyrant and a papist,
that is, all faithfulness in seasonable duties or testimonies. But at
length lest the deformity and disparity of the proclamation for the
toleration in Scotland, and the declaration for liberty of conscience in
England, should make his pretences to conscience suspect of
disingenuity, and lest it should be said he had one conscience for
England and another for Scotland; therefore he added a third eik to the
liberty, but such as made it still an ill favoured patched project to
destroy religion and true liberty, in another proclamation dated at
Windsor, June 28, 1687, wherein he says--'Taking into our royal
consideration, the sinistrous interpretations, which either have or may
be made of some restrictions (mentioned in the last) we have thought fit
by this further to declare, that we will protect our arch bishops, &c.
And we do likewise, by our sovereign authority, prerogative-royal, and
absolute power, suspend, stop, and disable, all penal and sanguinary
laws; made against any for non-conformity to the religion established by
law in that our ancient kingdom----to the end, that by the liberty
thereby granted the peace and security of our government in the practice
thereof may not be endangered, we hereby strictly charge all our loving
subjects, that as we do give them leave to meet and serve God after
their own way, in private houses, chapels, or places purposely hired or
built for that use, so that they take care that nothing be preached or
taught, which may any way tend to alienate the hearts of our people from
us and our government, and that their meetings be peaceably and publicly
held, and all persons freely admitted to them, and that they do signify
and make known to some one or more of the next privy counsellors,
sheriffs, stewards, bailiffs, justices of the peace, or magistrates of
burghs royal, what place or places they set apart for these uses, with
the names of the preachers----provided always that the meetings be in
houses, and not in the open fields for which now after this our royal
grace and favour (which surpasses the hopes, and equals the very wishes
of the most zealously concerned) there is not the least shadow of excuse
left: which meeting in the fields we do hereby strictly prohibit and
forbid, against all which we do leave our laws and acts of parliament in
full force and vigour, notwithstanding the premises; and do further
command all our judges, magistrates, and officers of forces, to
prosecute such as shall be guilty of the said field conventicles with
the utmost rigour; for we are confident, none will after these liberties
and freedoms, given to all without reserve to serve God in their own
way, presume to meet in these assemblies, except such as make a pretence
of religion to cover their treasonable designs against our royal person
and the peace of our government.'----

This is the royal charter for security of the protestant religion
(intended to secure it so, that it shall not go much abroad again) in
lieu of all the laws, constitutional oaths, and covenants wherewith it
was formerly confirmed. This is the only patent which the royal dawties,
the moderate presbyterians, have now received to ensure their enjoyment
of it _durante bene placito_, during his pleasure whole faith is as
absolute over all ties of promises, as his power from whence it flows is
over all laws; whose chiefest principle of conscience is that no faith
is to be kept to hereticks. Here is the liberty which is said to surpass
the hopes, and equal the wishes of the most zealously concerned; holding
true indeed of too many, whose hopes and wishes and zeal are terminate
upon peace rather than truth, case rather than duty, and their own
things rather than the things of Christ; but as for the poor wild
wanderers, it some way answers their fears and corresponds with their
jealousies, who put the same interpretation upon it as on all the former
indulgences, indemnities and tolerations, proceeding from the same
fountain, and designed for the same sinistrous ends with this, which
they look upon as more openly and obviously antichristian: and
therefore, while others are rejoicing under the bramble-shadow of it,
they think it a cause of weeping and matter of mourning, not because
they do not share of the benefit of it, but because they are afraid to
share of the curse of it. For which cause, though a freedom be pretended
to be given, to all without reserve to serve God in their own way, they
think it necessary to reserve to themselves the liberty wherewith Christ
hath made them free, and to serve him in his way though interdicted by
men, and to take none from antichrist restricted with his reserves; and
do look upon it as a seasonable testimony for the cause of Christ, and
the interest of the protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of
the country, all overturned and subverted by this toleration, to keep
their meetings as in former times, in the open fields whither their
tyranny hath driven them. And let them call these meetings covered and
treasonable designs against the government on pretence of religion, I
trust it shall be made evident to the conviction of all that know
religion, that their designs are to preserve it, in opposition to the
tyranny that goes about all these ways to suppress it. Though I must
suspend the reasons of their keeping their meetings in the fields, till
I come to discuss that case in its own place: here I shall only say,
none that are acquainted with their circumstances, which are as
dangerously stated as ever, by reason of the constant persecution of
cruel enraged enemies incessantly pursuing them without relenting,
notwithstanding of all this pretence of clemency and tenderness to
conscience, but may know they can neither have safety, secrecy, nor
conveniency in houses for fear of their entrapping enemies, and none
will blame them, that after so many discoveries of their truculent
treachery they dare not trust them: and besides, they think it sinful,
scandalous, and inconvenient to seem to homologate this toleration, the
wickedness whereof they are convinced of, from these reasons.

I. Considering the granter in his personal capacity, as to his morals,
they look upon him as a person with whom they cannot in prudence
communicate, in any transaction of that nature. First, because being in
his principles and practice professedly treacherous, yea, obliged to be
both perfidious and cruel by that religion whereunto he is addicted, he
cannot be trusted in the least concerns, let be those of such momentous
consequence as this, without a stupid abandoning of conscience, reason
and experience. Since both that known principle, that 'no faith is to be
kept to 'hereticks,' which is espoused by all papists, does to them
justify all their lying dissimulations, equivocations, and treacheries
imaginable; and that lateran canon, that enjoins kings 'to destroy and
extirpate 'hereticks, under pain of excommunication,' does oblige them
to be cruel; besides what deep engagements he is known to be under by
oaths and promises to the pope, both in his exile, and while a subject,
and since he came to the crown; which make him, to all considering
persons, to be a person of that character, whose deceitful dainties are
not to be desired, and that when he speaketh fair is not to be believed,
for there are seven abominations in his heart. Of which open and
affronted lies we have a sufficient swatch, both in his proclamation for
Scotland, and declaration for England; where he speaks of his constant
resolves of 'uniting the hearts of subjects to God in religion, and to
their neighbours in christian love, and that it never was his principle
to offer violence to any man's conscience, or use invincible necessity
against any man on the account of his persuasion;' and that their
property was never in any case invaded since his coming to the crown;
and that it hath been his constant sense and opinion, that 'conscience
ought not to be constrained, nor people forced to matters of mere
religion.' To which his uninterrupted endeavours to divide us from God,
and from one another, that he might the more easily destroy us, and his
constant encroachments upon laws, liberties, and properties, and all
interests of men and christians for conscience sake, do give the lie
manifestly. And it must be great blindness not to see, and great
baseness willingly to wink at that double-faced equivocation, in matters
of mere religion; by which he may elude all these flattering promises of
tenderness, by excepting at the most necessary and indispensible duties,
if either they be such wherein any other interest is concerned, beside
mere religion, or if their troubles sustained thereupon be not
altogether invincible necessities. Hence the plain falsehood and
doubleness of his assertions as to what is past, may give ground to
conclude his intended perfidy in the promises of what is future. Next,
it is known what his practice and plots have been for the destruction of
all honest and precious interests; what a deep hand he had in the
burning of London, in the popish plot discovered in 1678, in the murder
of the earl of Essex, yea in the parricide committed upon his own
brother. By all which it appears, nothing is so abominable and barbarous
which he hath not a conscience that will swallow and digest without a
scruple; and what he hath done of this kind must be but preparatory to
what he intends, as meritorious to atone for these villanies. And in his
esteem and persuasion of papists, nothing is thought more meritorious
than to extirpate the protestant religion, and destroy the professors
thereof. Therefore being such a person with whom in reason no honest man
could transact, for a tenure of the least piece of land or house, or
any holding whatsoever, they dare not accept of his security or
protection for so great an interest, as the freedom and exercise of
their religion under the shadow of such a bramble. If it was the
Shechemites sin and shame to strengthen a naughty Abimelech, and
strengthen themselves under the shadow of his protection, much more must
it be to take protection for religion, as well as peace, from such a
monster of cruelty and treachery. This were against their testimony, and
contrary to the laudable constitutions of the church of Scotland, to
take no protections from malignant enemies, as was shewed above in
Montrose's case. See page 107 above.

II. Considering his religion more particularly, they judge it unlawful
so to bargain with him as this acceptance would import. It is known he
is not only a papist, an apostate papist, and an excommunicate papist
(as is related above) but a fiery bigot in the Romish religion, and
zealous sworn votary and vassal of antichrist: who, as the letter from
the Jesuits in Liege lately published in print, tells us, is resolved
'either to convert England to popery, or die a martyr,' and again that
he stiles himself 'a son of the society of Jesuits, and will account
every injury done to them to be a wrong done against himself;' being
known to be under the conduct and guidance of that furious order, yea
and enrolled as a member of that society. Which makes it the less to be
wondered, that he should require absolute obedience without reserve,
seeing he himself yields absolute obedience as well as implicit faith
without reserve, to the Jesuits. Such a bigot was Mary of England (as
also his great grand dame of Scotland if she had got her will;) and his
bigotry will make him emulous of her cruelty, as counting it a
diminution of his glory, for such a champion as he under antichrist's
banner to come short of a woman's enterprizes: Nor would the late king
have been so posted off the stage, if his successor were not to act
more vigorously than he in this tragical design, to which this
toleration is subservient. He is then a servant of antichrist, and as
such under the Mediator's malediction; yea in this respect is heir to
his grandfather's imprecations, who wished the curse of God to fall upon
such of his posterity as should at any time turn papists. How then can
the followers of the Lamb strike hands, be at peace, associate,
confederate, or bargain with such a declared enemy to Christ, certainly
the scripture-commands of making no covenant or league, interdicting
entering into any affinity with the people of these abominations, and
forbidding saying a confederacy with them, do lay awful bonds on the
faithful to stand aloof from such. The people might have had liberty of
conscience under the Assyrian protection, when they were saying a
confederacy with him, but in so doing they forefaulted the benefit of
the Lord's being a sanctuary to them. To bargain therefore with such an
one for a toleration of religion, were contrary to the scriptures,
contrary to the covenants and principles of the church of Scotland,
against associations and confederacies with such enemies. See
Gillespie's useful Case of Conscience concerning associations, hinted
page 109, and more head 3. argument 1. But to accept of this liberty as
now offered were a bargaining; for where there is a giving and receiving
upon certain conditions, where there are demands and compliance;
commands and obedience, promises and reliance, offers upon terms, and
acquiescence in these terms, what is there wanting to a bargain, but the
mere formality of subscriptions? at least it cannot be denied, but the
addressers have bargained for it, and in the name of all the accepters,
which must stand as their deed also; if they do not evidence their
resentment of such presumption, which I do not see how they can, if they
abide under the shadow thereof the same way as they do. I grant liberty
is very desirable, and may be taken and improven from enemies of
religion: and so do the wanderers now take it and improve it to the
best advantage, without receiving it by acquiescing in any terms. But
such a liberty as this was never offered without a destructive design,
nor ever received without a destructive effect. It is one of the filthy
flatteries found in the English addresses, particularly that from
Totness, that the present indulger is like another Cyrus who proclaimed
liberty to the people of God, Ezra i. But who sees not the disparity in
every respect? Cyrus at his very first entry into the government did lay
out himself for the church's good; this man who speaks now so fair, his
first work was to break our head, and next to put on our hood, first to
assert and corroborate his prerogative, and then by virtue of that to
dispense with all penal laws: it was foretold that Cyrus should deliver
the church at that time; but was it ever promised that the church should
get liberty to advance antichrist? or that antichrist, or one of his
limbs, should be employed in the church's deliverance, while such? The
Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus; can it be said without blasphemy
that the Lord stirred up this man, to contrive the introduction of
popery by this gate and gap, except in a penal sense for judgment? Cyrus
had a charge to build the Lord a house, but this is not a charge but a
grant or licence, not from nor according to God's authority but man's,
not to build Christ a house, but a Babel for antichrist; and all this
liberty is but contrived as scaffolding for that edifice, which when it
is advanced then the scaffolding must be removed.

3. Considering him in his relation as a magistrate, it were contrary to
their testimony so often renewed and ratified, and confirmed with so
many reasons, and sealed by so much blood, bonds, banishment, and other
sufferings, to own or acknowledge his authority which is mere usurpation
and tyranny; in that by the laws of the land he is incapable of
government, and that he had neither given nor can give, without an
hypocritical and damning cheat, the oath and security indispensibly
required of him before and at his entry to the government. Yet this
liberty cannot be complied with, without recognizing his authority that
he arrogates in giving it: seeing he tenders it to all his good
subjects, and gives it by his sovereign authority, and to the end that
by the liberty thereby granted, the peace and security of the government
in the practice thereof may not be indangered; and in the declaration to
England, it is offered as an expedient to establish his government on
such a foundation, as may make his subjects happy, and unite them to him
by inclination as well as duty; to which indeed the acceptance thereof
hath a very apt subserviency: seeing it implies, not only owning of the
government out of duty, but an union and joining with it and him by
inclination, which is a cordial confederacy with God's enemy, and a
co-operating to the establishment of his tyranny; that the peace and
security thereof may not be endangered. And in his former proclamation,
he gives them the same security for their rights and properties, which
he gives for religion; and in the English declaration, addeth that to
the perfect enjoyment of their property, which was never invaded, &c.
Which to accept, were not only to take the security of a manifest lie,
but to prefer the word of a man that cannot, must not, will not keep it
(without going cross to his principles) to the security of right and law
which is hereby infringed, and to acknowledge not only the liberty of
religion, the right of property to be his grant: which when ever it is
removed, there must remain no more character for it, but stupid slavery
entailed upon posterity, and pure and perfect tyranny transmitted to
them. The sin and absurdity whereof may be seen demonstrated, head 2.

4. Considering the fountain whence it flows, they cannot defile
themselves with it. In the English declaration, it flows from the royal
will and pleasure which speaks a domination despotical and arbitrary
enough, but more gently expressed than in the Scots proclamation; when
it is refounded on sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and absolute
power: proclaiming by sound of trumpet a power paramount to all law,
reason, and religion, and outvying the height of Ottoman tyranny: a
power which all are to obey without reserve: a power to tolerate or
restrain the protestant religion, according to his royal will or
pleasure: an absolute power which cannot be limited by laws, nor most
sacred obligations, but only regulated by the royal lust; whereby indeed
he may suffer the protestant religion, but only precariously so long as
he pleases, and until his royal pleasure shall be to command the
establishment of popery, which then must be complied with without
controul. Whereby all the tenure that protestants have for their
religion, is only the arbitrary word of an absolute monarch, whose
principles oblige him to break it, and his ambition to disdain to be a
slave to it. Now the acceptance of this grant, would imply the
recognizance of this power that the granter claims in granting it; which
utterly dissolves all government, and all security for religion and
liberty, and all the precious interests of men and Christians: Which to
acknowledge, were contrary to scripture, contrary to reason, and
contrary to the principles of the church of Scotland, particularly the
declaration of the general assembly, July 27, 1649. See page 117, &c.
and contrary to the covenant.

5. Considering the channel in which it is conveyed, they cannot comply
with it. Because it comes through such a conveyance, as suspends, stops,
and disables all penal laws against papists, and thereby averts all the
securities and legal bulwarks that protestants can have for the
establishment of their religion; yea in effect leaves no laws in force
against any that shall attempt the utter subversion of it, but ratifies
and leaves in full vigour all wicked laws and acts of parliament,
against such as would most avowedly assert it; and stops and disables
none of the most cruel and bloody laws against protestants: for the most
cruel are such as have been made against field-meetings, which are
hereby left in full force and vigour. Hence as he hath formally by
absolute power suspended all laws made for the protection of our
religion, so he may when he will dispense with all the laws made for its
establishment; and those who approve the one by such an acceptance,
cannot disallow the other, but must recognosce a power in the king to
subvert all laws, rights, and liberties, which is contrary to reason as
well as religion, and a clear breach of the national and solemn league
and covenants.

6. Considering the ends of its contrivance, they dare not have any
accession to accomplish such wicked projects, to which this acceptance
would be so natively subservient. The expressed ends of this grant are,
to unite the hearts of his subjects to him in loyalty and to their
neighbours in love, as in the former proclamation; and that by the
liberty granted the peace and security of his government in the practice
thereof may not be endangered, as in the latter proclamation; and to
unite the subjects to him by inclination as well as duty, which he
thinks can be done by no means so effectually as by granting the free
exercise of religion, as in the English declaration. Whence we may
gather not obscurely, what is the proper tendency of it, both as to the
work and worker, to wit, to incline and induce us by flattery to a
lawless loyalty, and a stupid contented slavery when he cannot compel us
by force, and make us actively co-operate in setting and settling his
tyranny, in the peaceable possession of all his usurpations, robberies,
and encroachments upon our religion, laws, and liberties, and to
incorporate us with Babylon; for who are the neighbours he would have us
unite with in love, but the papists? against whom all the lovers of
Christ must profess themselves irreconcileable enemies. The English
declaration does further discover the design of this device, in one
expression which will most easily be obtained to be believed of any in
it, viz. that he heartily wishes that all the people of these dominions
were members of the catholic church: which clearly insinuates, that
hereby he would entice them to commit fornication with that mother of
harlots; which enticing to idolatry (if we consult the scripture) should
meet with another sort of entertainment than such a kind and thankful
acceptance, which is not an opposing of such a wicked wish, but an
encouraging and corroborating of it. And further he says, that all the
former tract of persecutions never obtained the end for which it was
employed; for after all the frequent and pressing endeavours that were
used, to reduce this kingdom to an exact conformity in religion, it is
visible the success has not answered the design, and that the difficulty
is invincible. Wherein we may note his extorted acknowledgment, that all
former endeavours to destroy the work of God have been successless,
which induces him to try another method, to which this acceptance is
very subservient, to wit, to destroy us and our religion by flatteries,
and by peace to overturn truth, and by the subversion of laws to open a
door to let in popery and all abominations. But what is more obscurely
expressed in his words, is more visibly obvious in his works, to all
that will not willingly wink at them; discovering clearly the end of
this liberty is not for the glory of God, nor the advantage of truth, or
the church's edification, nor intended as a benefit to protestants; but
for a pernicious design, by gratifying a few of them in a pretended
favour to rob all of them of their chiefest interests, religion, laws,
rights, and liberties, which he could not otherwise effectuate but by
this arbitrary way; for if he could have obtained his designs by law: he
would never have talked of lenity or liberty, but having no legal ends,
he behoved to compass them by illegal means. They must then be very
blind who do not see, his drift is, first to get in all popish officers
in places of public trust, by taking off the penal laws disabling them
for the same; then to advance his absoluteness over all laws, in a way
which will be best acknowledged and acquiesced in by people, till he be
so strengthened in it that he fears no control; and then to undermine
and overturn the protestant religion, and establish popery and idolatry:
which he is concerned the more violently to pursue, because he is now
growing old, and therefore must make haste, lest he leave the papists in
a worse condition than he found them: which, to be sure, the papists are
aware of, and their conscious fears of the nation's resentments of their
villanies will prompt them, as long as they have such a patron, to all
vigilance and violence in playing their game; and withal, hereby he may
intend to capacitate himself for subduing the Dutch, against whom he
hath given many indications of a hostile mind of old and of late; not
only in hiring two rascals to burn the Amsterdam-fleet heretofore, but
in stirring up and protecting the Algerine pirates against them; so
universal a protector is he become of late, that Papists and
Protestants, Turks and Jews are shrouded under the shadow of his
patrociny, but with a design to destroy the best, when his time comes.
Which cursed designs cannot be counteracted, but very much strengthened
by this acceptance.

7. Considering the effects already produced thereby, they cannot but
abhor it. Seeing the eyes of all that are tender may afflict their
hearts, observing how the papists are hereby encouraged and encreased in
numbers, the whole nation overflowed with their hellish locusts, and all
places filled with priests and Jesuits, yea the executive power of the
government put into the hands of the Romanists, and on the other hand
how the people are endangered with their abounding and prevailing errors
(to which the Lord may and will give up those that have not received
the love of the truth) truth is fallen in the streets and equity cannot
enter, a testimony against antichrist is abandoned and laid aside as
unseasonable, the edge of zeal for the interest of Christ is blunted and
its fervour extinguished, they that should stand in the gap and upon the
watch tower are laid aside form all opposition to the invasions of the
enemy, and lulled asleep by this bewitching charm and intoxicating
opium, ministers and, professors are generally settling on their lees
and languishing in a fatal security, defection is carried on, division
promoted, and destruction is imminent. Is it not then both a part of the
witness of the faithful, and of their wisdom to stand aloof from such a
plague, that hath such destructive effects?

8. Considering the nature and name of this pretended liberty, they
cannot but disdain it as most dishonourable to the cause of Christ. It
is indeed the honour of kings and happiness of people, to have true
human and Christian liberty established in the common wealth, that is,
liberty of persons from slavery; liberty of privileges from tyranny, and
liberty of conscience from all impositions of men; consisting in a
freedom from the doctrines, traditions, and commandments of men against
or beside the word of God in the free enjoyment of gospel ordinances in
purity and power, and in the free observance and establishment of all
his institutions of doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, in
subordination to the only rule of conscience, the revealed will of its
only lawgiver Jesus Christ. When this is ratified as a right by the
sanction of approven authority, and countenanced and encouraged as
religion, by the confirmation of laws, approving whatsoever is commanded
by the God of heaven to be done for the house of the God of heaven
(which is the full amount of all magistrates authority) then we are
obliged to accept of it with all thankful acceptation. But such a
liberty, as overturns our rights, our privileges, our laws, our
religion, and tolerates it only under the notion of a crime, and
indemnifies it under the notion of a fault to be pardoned, and allows
the exercise thereof only in part so and so modified, cannot be accepted
by any to whom the reproach thereof is a burden, and to whom the
reproaches of Christ are in esteem, in such a day, when even the hoofs
of Christ's interest buried in bondage are to be contended for. Whatever
liberty this may be to some consciences, it is none to the tender
according to the rule of conscience, it is only a toleration which is
always of evil: for that which is good cannot be tolerated under the
notion of good, but countenanced and encouraged as such. Therefore this
reflects upon our religion, when a toleration is accepted which implies
such a reproach: and the annexed indemnity and pardon tacitely condemns
the profession thereof as a fault or crime, which no Christian can bear
with or by his acceptance homologate these reproaches, if he consider
the nature of it: and much more will he be averse from it, if he
consider how dishonourable it is to God (whatever some addresses,
particularly the presbyterians at London, have blasphemously alledged,
that God is hereby restored to his empire over the conscience) since the
granter, after he hath robbed the Mediator of his supremacy and given it
away to antichrist, and God of his supremacy imperial as universal king
by a claim of absolute power peculiar to him, he hath also robbed him of
his empire over the conscience, in giving every man the empire over his
own conscience, which he reserves a power to retract whom he pleases.

9. Considering the extent of it, they cannot class themselves among the
number of them that are indulged thereby. It takes in not only the
archbishops and bishops, and the prelatical and malignant crew, but all
quakers, and papists, reaching all idolatry, blasphemy, and heresy, and
truth also (which could never yet dwell together under one sconce.)
Whereby the professors of Christ come in as partners in the same bargain
with antichrist's vassals; and the Lord's ark hath a place with Dagon,
and its priests and followers consent to it; and the builders of Babel
and of Jerusalem are made to build together, under the same protection;
and a sluice is opened to let the enemy come in like a flood, which to
oppose the accepters cannot stand in the gap, nor lift up a standard
against them. Liberty indeed should be universally extended to all the
Lord's people, as Cyrus's proclamation was general, who is there among
you of all his people? his God be with him. But a toleration of
idolaters, blasphemers, and hereticks, as papists, &c. is odious to God,
because it is contrary to scripture, expresly commanding idolaters to
die the death, and all seducers and enticers to apostacy from God to be
put to death without pity; and commending all righteous magistrates that
executed judgment accordingly, as Asa, Hezekiah, &c. yea even heathen
magistrates that added their faction to the laws of God, as Artaxerxes
is approven for that statute, that whosoever will not do the law of God
and of the king, judgment should be executed speedily upon him. And in
the new testament this was never repealed but confirmed, in that the
sword is given to magistrates, not in vain, but to be a terror to, and
revengers to execute wrath upon all that do evil, among whom seducers
that are evil workers and idolaters are chiefly to be ranked, being such
as do the worst of evil to mankind. Ephesus is commended because they
could not bear them which are evil: and Thyatira reproved for suffering
Jezebel: by which it appeareth, that our Lord Jesus is no friend to
toleration. It is true this is spoken against churchmen; but will any
think that will be approven in civil powers, which is so hateful in
church officers? Surely it will be the duty and honour of these horns
spoken of Rev. xvii. to eat the whore's flesh and burn her with fire:
and shall that be restricted only to be done against the great
antichrist, and not be duty against the lesser antichrists, the limbs of
the great one? it is recorded of Julian the apostate, that among other
devices he used, to root out Christianity this was one, that he gave
toleration openly to all the different professions that were among
Christians, whereof there were many heretical in those days: which was
exactly aped by James the apostate now for the same end. It is also
contrary to the confession of faith, chap. 20, sect. 4. asserting that
'for their publishing such opinions, or maintaining of such practices,
as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of
Christianity, whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation, or to
the power of godliness, or such erroneous opinions or practices, as
either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or
maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order, which
Christ hath established in the church; they may lawfully be called to
account, and proceeded against by the censures of the church, and by the
power of the civil magistrate.' And therefore to accept of this
toleration is inconsistent with the principles of the church of
Scotland, with the national and solemn league and covenants, and solemn
acknowledgment of sins and engagement to duties, in all which we are
bound to extirpate popery, prelacy, &c. With the whole tract of
contendings in the fifth period above related, and particularly by the
testimony of the synod of Fife, and other brethren in the ministry,
against Cromwell's vast toleration and liberty of conscience, mentioned
above page ----, for it is plain, if it be not to be suffered, then it
is not to be accepted.

10. Considering the terms wherein it is offered, they cannot make such a
shameful bargain. In the former proclamation it is granted expresly
under several conditions, restrictions, and limitations: whereof indeed
some are retracted in the latter, as the restriction of it to moderate
presbyterians, which would seem to be taken off by extending to all
without reserve to serve God in their own way; but being evidently
exclusive of all that would serve God in Christ's way, and not after the
mode prescribed, it is so modified and restricted that all that will
accept of it must be moderate presbyterians indeed, which as it is taken
in the court sense, must be an ignominy to all that have zeal against
antichrist. The limitation also to private houses and not to out-houses,
is further enlarged to chapels, or places purposely hired, but still it
is stinted to these, which they must bargain for with counsellors,
sheriffs, &c. So that none of these restrictions and limitations are
altogether removed, but the condition of taking the oath only: yet it is
very near to an equivalency homologated, by the accepters acknowledging
in the granter a prerogative and absolute power over all laws, which is
confirmed and maintained by their acceptance. As for the rest that are
not so much as said to be removed, they must be interpreted to remain,
as the terms, conditions, restrictions, and limitations, upon which they
are to enjoy the benefit of this toleration. And what he says, that he
thought fit by this proclamation further to declare, does confirm it,
that there are further explications, but no taking off of former
restrictions. Hence it is yet clogged with such provisions and
restrictions, as must make it very nauseous to all truly tender. (1.)
The restriction as to the persons still remains, that only moderate
presbyterians, and such as are willing to accept of this indulgence
allenarly, and none other, and such only whose names must be signified
to these sheriffs, stewards, bailiffs, &c. are to have the benefit of
this indulgence: whereby all the zealous and faithful presbyterians are
excluded, (for these they will not call them moderate) and all that
would improve it without a formal acceptance, and all who for their
former diligence in duty are under the lash of their wicked law, and
dare not give up their names to those who are seeking their lives, must
be deprived of it. (2.) It is restricted to certain places still, which
must be made known to some one or more of the next privy counsellors,
and whereby they are tied to a dependence on their warrant, and must
have their lease and licence for preaching the word in any place, and
field-meetings are severely interdicted, though signally countenanced of
the Lord, whereby the word of the Lord is bound and bounded; and by this
acceptance their bloody laws against preaching in the open fields, where
people can have freest access with conveniency and safety, are
justified. (3.) The manner of meeting is restricted, which must be in
such a way as the peace and security of the government in the practice
thereof may not be endangered, and again that their meetings be
peaceably held, which is all one upon the matter with the bond of peace,
and binding to the good behaviour so much formerly contended against by
professors, and is really the same with the condition of the cautionary
bond in the indulgence after Bothwel, of which see page ----. And
further they must be openly and publicly held, and all persons freely
admitted to them; which is for the informing trade, exposing to all the
inconveniencies of Jesuits, and other spies and flies their delations,
in case any thing be spoken reflecting on the government, a great
temptation to ministers. (4.) The worst of all is upon their matter of
preaching, which is so restricted and limited, that nothing must be said
or done contrary to the well and peace of his reign, seditious or
treasonable; and in case any treasonable speeches be uttered, the law is
to take place against the guilty, and none other present, providing they
reveal to any of the council the guilt so committed, as in the former
proclamation: and in the last it is further declared, that nothing must
be preached or taught, which may any way tend to alienate the hearts of
the people from him or his government. Here is the price at which they
are to purchase their freedom (a sad bargain to buy liberty and sell
truth) which yet hardly can be so exactly paid, but he may find a
pretence for retrenching it when he pleases; for if a minister shall
pray for the overturning of a throne of iniquity, or for confounding all
that serve graven images, and for destruction to the pope, and all that
give their power to that beast, there will be something said against the
well of his government; or if any shall hear this and not delate it,
then the same pretence is relevant; or if he shall preach against the
king's religion as idolatry, and the church of Rome as Babylon, and
discharge his conscience and duty in speaking against the tyranny of the
times; or let him preach against any public sin faithfully, a popish
critic or Romish bigot shall interpret it to be an alienation of the
people's hearts from the king and his government. But who can be
faithful, and preach in season and out of season now, but he must think
it his duty to endeavour to alienate the hearts of the people from such
an enemy to Christ, and his absolute tyranny, so declaredly stated
against God? What watchman must not see it his indispensible duty, to
warn all people of his devilish designs to destroy the church and
nation, and preach so that people may hate the whore, and this pimp of
her's? sure if he preach the whole counsel of God, he must preach
against popery and tyranny. And if he think this indulgence from
absolute prerogative, granted and accepted on these terms, can supersede
him from this faithfulness, then he is no more the servant of Christ but
a pleaser of men. Therefore since it is so clogged with so many
restrictions, so inconsistent with duty, so contrary to scripture, so
clearly violatory of covenant-engagements, so cross to the constant
contendings and constitutions of this church, and acts of assembly (see
page ----, &c.) it were a great defection to accept of it.

11. Considering the scandal of it, they dare not so offend the
generation of the righteous by the acceptance, and dishonour God,
disgrace the protestant profession, wrong the interest thereof, and
betray their native country, as thus to comply with the design of
antichrist, and partake of this cruel tender mercy of the beast; who
hath always mischief in his heart, and intends this as a preparative for
inducing or inforcing all that are hereby lulled asleep either to take
on his mark, or bear the marks of his fiery fury afterwards. For hereby
foreign churches may think, we are in a fair way of reconciliation with
antichrist, when we so kindly accept his harbinger's favours. And it
cannot but be very stumbling to see the ministers of Scotland, whose
testimony used to be terrible to the popish, and renowned through all
the protestant churches, purchasing a liberty to themselves at the rate
of burying and betraying the cause into bondage and restraint, and thus
to be laid by from all active and open opposition to antichrist's
designs, in such a season. The world will be tempted to think, they are
not governed by principles but their own interest in this juncture,
seeking their own things more than the things of Christ; and that it was
not the late usurpation upon, and overturning of religion and liberty
that offended them, so much as the persecution they sustained thereby;
but if that arbitrary power had been exerted in their favours, though
with the same prejudice of the cause of Christ, they would have complied
with it as they do now. Alas, sad and dolorous have been the scandals
given, and taken by and from the declining ministers of Scotland
heretofore, which have rent and racked the poor remnant, and offended
many both at home and abroad, but none so stumbling as this. And
therefore the tender will be shy to meddle with it.

12. Considering the addresses made thereupon, with such a stain of
fulsome and blasphemous flatteries, to the dishonour of God, the
reproach of the cause, the betraying of the church, and detriment of the
nation, and exposing themselves to the contempt of all, the poor
persecuted party dare not so much as seem to incorporate with them. I
shall set down the first of their addresses, given forth in the name of
all the presbyterian ministers, and let the reader judge whether there
be not cause of standing aloof from every appearance of being of their
number. It is dated at Edinburgh, July 21, 1687, of this tenor.

     _To the king's most excellent majesty. The humble address of the
     presbyterian ministers of his majesty's kingdom of Scotland._

     'We your majesty's most loyal subjects, the ministers of the
     presbyterian persuasion in your ancient kingdom of Scotland, from
     the due sense we have of your majesty's gracious and surprising
     favour, in not only putting a stop to our long sad sufferings for
     non-conformity, but granting us the liberty of the public 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 ourselves 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 persuasion 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 we 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 majesty's dominions) and by the help of
     God so to demean ourselves, as your majesty may find cause rather
     to enlarge than to diminish your favours towards us; throughly
     persuading ourselves from your majesty's justice and goodness, that
     if we shall at any time be otherwise represented, your majesty
     will not give credit to such information, until you have due
     cognition thereof: and humbly beseeching, that those who promote
     any disloyal principles and practices (as we disown them) may be
     looked upon as none of ours, whatsoever name they may assume to
     themselves. May it please your most excellent majesty graciously to
     accept of this our most humble address, as proceeding from the
     plainness and sincerity of loyal and thankful hearts, much engaged
     by 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 rendered to your
     majesty, by

     _Your majesty's most humble, most faithful,
                            and most obedient subjects_.

     Subscribed in our names, and in the name of the rest of our
     brethren of our persuasion, at their desire.'

Which received this gracious return.

     _The king's letter to the presbyterians in his ancient
                            kingdom of Scotland_.

     'We love you well: and we heartily thank you for your address: we
     resolve to protect you in your liberty, religion, and properties,
     all our life: and we shall lay down such methods, as shall not be
     in the power of any to alter hereafter. And in the mean time, we
     desire you to pray for our person and government.' To which may be
     added that kind compliment of the chancellor's: 'Gentlemen, My
     master hath commanded me to tell you, that I am to serve you in all
     things within the compass of my power.'

These gentlemen needed not to have been solicitous that those who avouch
an adherance to the covenanted reformation, and avow an opposition to
antichristian usurpers (which they call promoting disloyal principles
and practices) might not be looked upon as of their confederacy: for all
that abide in the principles and practices of the church of Scotland
(which they have deserted) and that desire to be found loyal to Christ,
in opposition to his and the church's, and the country's declared enemy,
would count it a sin and scandal, laying them obnoxious to the
displeasure of the holy and jealous God, who will resent this heinous
indignity they have done unto his majesty (if they do not address
themselves unto him for pardon of the iniquity of this address, which is
the desire of those whom they disown that they may find grace to do so)
and a shameful reproach, exposing them to the contempt of all of whom
they expect sympathy, to be reckoned of their association who have thus
betrayed the cause and the country. These mutual compliments (so like
the caresses of the Romish whore, whereby she entices the nations to her
fornication) between the professed servants of Christ and the vassals of
antichrist, if they be cordial, would seem to import that they are in a
fair way of compounding their differences, and to accommodate their
oppositions at length; which yet I hope will be irreconcileably
maintained and kept up by all true presbyterians, in whose name they
have impudence to give out their address: but it they be only adulatory
and flattering compliments, importing only a conjunction of tails (like
Samson's foxes) with a disjunction of heads and hearts, tending towards
distinct and opposite interests; then, as they would suit far better the
dissimulations of politicians, than the simplicity of gospel-ministers,
and do put upon them the brand of being men-pleasers rather than
servants of Christ, so for their dissemblings with dissemblers, who know
their compliments to be and take them for such, they may look to be
paid home in good measure, heaped up and running over, when such methods
shall be laid down as shall not be in the power of any to alter, when
such designs shall be obtained by this liberty and these addresses, that
the after-bought wit of the addressers shall not be able to disappoint.
However the address itself is of such a dress, as makes the thing
addressed for to be odious, and the addressers to forefault the respect,
and merit the indignation of all that are friends to the protestant and
presbyterian cause, as may appear from these obvious reflections. 1. It
was needful indeed they should have assumed the name of presbyterians
(though it might have been more tolerable to let them pass under that
name, if they had not presumed to give forth their flatteries in the
name of all of that persuasion, and to alledge it was at their desire;
which is either an illuding equivocation, or a great untruth, for though
it might be the desire of the men of their own persuasion, which is a
newly start up opinion that interest hath led them to espouse, yet
nothing could be more cross to the real desires of true presbyterians,
that prefer the truth of the cause to the external peace of the
professors thereof) and call it the humble address of presbyterian
ministers: for otherwise it could never have been known to come from men
of the presbyterian persuasion; seeing the contents of this address are
so clearly contrary to their known principles. It is contrary to
presbyterian principles, to congratulate an antichristian usurper for
undermining religion, and overturning laws and liberties. It is contrary
to presbyterian principles, to justify the abrogation of the national
covenant, in giving thanks for a liberty whereby all the laws are cassed
and disabled therein confirmed. It is contrary to presbyterian
principles, to thank the king for opening a door to bring in popery,
which they are engaged to extirpate in the solemn league and covenant.
It is contrary to presbyterian principles, to allow or accept of such a
vast toleration for idolaters and hereticks, as is evident above from
all their contendings against it, which is also contrary to the
confession of faith, generally owned by presbyterians, as may be seen in
the place forecited, chap. 20. par. 4. It is contrary to presbyterian
principles, to consent to any restrictions, limitations, and conditions,
binding them up in the exercise of the ministerial function, wherewith
this liberty is loaded and clogged; whereby indeed they have the liberty
of the public and peaceable exercise of it, without any hazard of
present persecution, but not without great hazard of sin; and incurring
the guilt of the blood of souls, for not declaring the whole counsel of
God, which addressers cannot declare, if they preserve an entire loyalty
in their doctrine, as here they promise. 2. There is nothing here sounds
like the old presbyterian strain; neither was there ever an address of
this stile seen before from presbyterian hands. It would have looked far
more presbyterian like, instead of this address, to have sent a
protestation against the now openly designed introduction of popery, and
subversion of all laws and liberties which they are covenanted to
maintain, or at least to have given an address in the usual language of
presbyterians, who used always to speak of the covenants, and work of
reformation; but here never a word of these, but of loyalty to his
excellent, to his gracious, and to his sacred majesty, of loyalty not to
be questioned, an entire loyalty in doctrine, a resolved loyalty in
practice, and a fervent loyalty in prayers: and all that they are
solicitous about is not lest the prerogatives of their master be
encroached upon, and the liberties of the church be supplanted, and
religion wronged; but lest their loyalty be questioned, and they be
otherwise represented: and all that they beseech for is, not that the
cause of Christ be not wronged, nor antichristian idolatry introduced by
this liberty; but that these who promove any disloyal principles and
practices may be looked upon as none of theirs, wherein all their
encouragement is, that they persuade themselves from his majesty's
justice and goodness, that he will not give credit to any other
information, until he take due cognition thereof. Here is a lawless
unrestricted loyalty to a tyrant, claiming an absolute power to be
obeyed without reserve, not only professed, but solicitously sought to
be the principle of presbyterians; whereas it is rather the principle of
atheistical hobbes exploded with indignation by all rational men. This
is not a Christian loyalty, or profession of conscientious subjection,
to a minister of God for good, who is a terror to evil doers, but a
stupid subjection and absolute allegiance to a minister of antichrist,
who gives liberty to all evil men and seducers. This is not the
presbyterian loyalty to the king, in the defence of Christ's evangel,
liberties of the country, ministration of justice, and punishment of
iniquity, according to the national covenant; and in the preservation
and defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdoms,
according to the solemn league and covenant; but an erastian loyalty to
a tyrant, in his overturning religion, laws and liberties, and
protecting and encouraging all iniquity. This loyalty in doctrine will
be sound disloyalty to Christ, in a sinful and shameful silence at the
wrongs done to him, and not declaring against the invasions of his open
enemies. This loyalty in practice is a plain betraying of religion and
liberty, in lying by from all opposition to the open destroyer of both.
And this loyalty in prayers, for all blessings ever to attend his person
and government, will be found neither consonant to presbyterian prayers
in reference to popish tyrants, nor consistent with the zeal of
Christians, and the cries of all the elect unto God to whom vengeance
belongs, against antichrist and all his supporters, nor any way conform
to the saints prayers in scripture, nor founded upon any scripture
promises, to pray for a blessing to a papist's tyranny, which cannot be
of faith and therefore must be sin. It were much more suitable to pray,
that the God which hath caused his name to dwell in his church, may
destroy all kings that shall put to their hand to alter and destroy the
house of God, Ezrah vi. 12. 3. This address is so stuffed with sneaking
flatteries, that it would become more sycophants and court-parasites
than ministers of the gospel; and were more suitable to the popish,
prelatical, and malignant faction, to congratulate and rejoice in their
professed patron and head, and fill the gazettes with their adulatory
addresses, which heretofore used to be deservedly inveighed against by
all dissenters; than for presbyterians to take a copy from them, and
espouse the practice which they had condemned before, and which was
never commended in any good government, nor never known in these British
nations, before Oliver's usurpation and Charles' tyranny; flattery being
always counted base among ingenuous men. But here is a rhapsody of
flatteries, from the deep sense they have of his majesty's gracious and
surprising favour----finding themselves bound in duty to offer their
most humble and hearty thanks, to his sacred majesty, the favour
bestowed being to them----valuable above all earthly comforts. One would
think this behoved to be a very great favour, from a very great friend,
for very gracious ends: but what is it? in not only putting a stop to
their long sad sufferings; which were some ground indeed if the way were
honest: but this not only supposes an also; what is that? but also
granting us the liberty----which is either a needless tautology (for if
all sufferings were stopped, then liberty must needs follow) or it must
respect the qualifications of the liberty; flowing from such a fountain,
absolute power; through such a conveyance, the stopping all penal laws
against papists; in such a form as a toleration; for such ends, as
overturning the reformation, and introducing popery. This is the favour
for which they offer most humble and hearty thanks, more valuable to
them than all earthly comforts; though it be manifestly intended to
deprive the Lord's people, at the long run, of the heavenly comforts of
the preached gospel. Sure, if they thank him for the liberty, they must
thank him for the proclamation whereby he grants it, and justify all his
claim there to absoluteness, being that upon which it is superstructed,
and from which it emergeth, and so become a listed faction to abett and
own him in all his attemptings, engaged now to demean themselves as that
he may find cause rather to enlarge than to diminish his favours, which
can be no other way but assisting him to destroy religion and liberty,
at least in suffering him to do what he will without controul. O what an
indelible reproach is this for ministers, who pretend to be set for the
defence of the gospel, thus to be found betraying religion, through
justifying and magnifying a tyrant, for his suspension of so many laws
whereby it was established and supported. 4. It were more tolerable if
they went no further than flatteries: but I fear they come near the
border of blasphemy, when they say, that the great God hath put this in
his royal heart: which can bear no other construction but this, that the
holy Lord hath put it in his heart to assume to himself a blasphemous
and absolute power, whereby he stops and suspends all penal laws against
idolaters, and gives a toleration for all errors: or if it be capable of
any other sense, it must be like that as the Lord is said to have moved
David to number the people, or that Rev. xvii. 17.

"God hath put it in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and
give their kingdom unto the beast." But to bless God and thank the
tyrant for this wicked project, as deliberate and purposed by men, I say
is near unto blasphemy. And again where they say, they are firmly
resolved by the help of God so to demean themselves as his majesty may
find cause rather to enlarge than to diminish his favours; this in
effect is as great blasphemy as if they had said, they resolved by the
help of God to be as unfaithful, time-serving and silent ministers as
ever plagued the church of God; for no otherwise can they demean
themselves so as he may find cause to enlarge his favours towards them,
it being in no way supposeable that his enlarging his favours can
consist with their faithfulness, but if they discover any measure of
zeal against antichrist, he will quickly diminish them.

Thus far I have compendiously deduced the account of the progress, and
prosecution of the testimony of this church to the present state
thereof, as it is concerted and contended for, by the reproached remnant
now only persecuted: which I hope this pretended liberty shall be so far
from obscuring and interrupting, that it shall contribute further to
clear it, and engage them more to constancy in it, and induce others
also to countenance it, when they shall see the sad effects of this
destructive snare, which I leave to time to produce; and hope, that as
the former representation of their cause will conciliate the charity of
the unbiassed, so an account of their sufferings thereupon will provoke
them to sympathy. To which I now proceed.


_Containing a brief account of the persecution of the last period, and
of the great suffering whereby all the parts of its testimony were

The foregoing deduction, being the first thing I proposed to be
discussed in the method of this essay, hath now swelled to such a bulk,
that the last period of it doth, in a manner, swallow up what I intended
to have said on the second: because it gives grounds to gather the
methods and measures that our adversaries have managed, for the ruin of
this witnessing remnant, and also discover some special steps of their
sufferings within these 27 years past, under the tyranny of both the
brothers. It will now be the more easy to glean the gradations of the
means and machines, used by this popish, prelatical, and malignant
faction, to raze the work of reformation, and to build their Babel of
popery and slavery on the ruins thereof; and to aggregate an account in
brief of the great sufferings of the faithful. Which though it be beyond
my power, and besides my purposes at present, to offer a narrative of
it, with any proportion to the greatness of the subject; a more
particular relation thereof, being now projected, if providence permit,
to be published to the world, which will discover strange and unheard of
cruelties: yet, in this little heap of some hints only of the kinds of
their sufferings, I do not question but it will appear, that the
persecution of Scotland hath been very remarkable, and scarcely out-done
by the most cruel in any place or age, in respect of injustice,
illegality, and inhumanity, though perhaps inferior in some other
circumstances. But that none could be more unjust, illegal, or inhuman,
I need not further, I cannot better, demonstrate than only to declare
the matter of fact, as it fell out in the several steps of the last

I. In the entry of this fatal catastrophe, the first of their
mischievous machinations was to remove out of the way all who were
eminent instruments in carrying on the former work of God, or might be
of influence for obstructing their antichristian and tyrannical designs,
both in the state and in the church. And accordingly, when the marquis
of Argyle, who had a main hand in bringing home the king, and closing
the second treaty at Breda, went up to London, to congratulate his
return from exile, he was made prisoner in the tower, thereafter sent
down to Scotland, indicted of high treason, at length beheaded, and his
head placed upon the tolbooth of Edinburgh (a watch-word of warning to
our addressers, who may, ere all be done, meet with the same sauce) for
no other alledged cause, but for his compliance with the English, when
they had our land in subjection; a thing wherein the judges who
condemned him were equally criminal; but really for another provocation
that incensed the king against him, which made him a tyrant as infamous
for villany as for violence, to wit, for his reproving the king (when
others declined it) for an adulterous rape, which he held for so
piacular a crime, that he resolved nothing should expiate it but the
blood of this nobleman. For the same pretended cause was the lord
Wariston afterwards executed to death at Edinburgh, after they had
missed of their design of taking him off by clandestine ways abroad.
Then they fall upon the ministers: and because Mr. James Guthrie was a
man, who had been honoured of God to be zealous and singularly faithful,
in carrying on the work of reformation, and had asserted the kingly
authority of Christ, in opposition to the erastian supremacy encroaching
thereupon, therefore he must live no longer, but is condemned to die,
and most basely handled, as if he had been a most notorious thief or
malefactor; he is hanged, and afterward his head placed upon one of the
ports of Edinburgh, where it abideth to this day, preaching not only
against the enemies rebellion against God, but against the defection of
many ministers since, who have practically denied that great truth for
which he suffered, to wit, his testimony against the supremacy, and for
declining the usurped authority of him who arrogated it. At the same
time there was a proclamation, which they caused to be read at all the
church-doors, discharging ministers to speak against them or their
proceedings, whereby profane and malicious persons were encouraged to
witness against their ministers. By which means (though many were in no
hazard, thinking it commendable prudence, commended indeed by the world,
but hateful unfaithfulness before God, to be silent at such a time) some
faithful ministers giving faithful and free warning, and protesting
against the present defection, were condemned of treason, and banished
out of the three dominions. Others, without a legal citation, or without
access to give in their defences, were sentenced with banishment, and
could never get an extract of their sentence: and further, were
compelled to subscribe a bond, under pain of death, to remove out of all
the dominions betwixt and such a day. This was the lot, and also the
blot of these famous and faithful ministers, Mr. John Livingston, Mr.
Robert Macward, Mr. John Brown, &c. who spent the rest of their days in
Holland, serving their generation by their excellent writings. Then,
after they had disposed of many other ministers, whom they thrust out,
for not keeping the 29th of May, having now laid by the most eminent,
and whom they feared most of the ministry, they shortly thereafter
outed, and violented the rest from the exercise of their ministry, and
straitned them with strange and severe confinements; yea, because they
would not be outdone in suppressing religion by any, no, not by Julian
the apostate, they proceeded to poison all the springs and fountains of
learning; ordaining that none be masters in universities, except they
take the oath of supremacy, and own the government of prelacy; and none
be admitted to teach in a school, without the prelate's licence. These
courses brought many ministers and expectants to great sufferings.

II. Hitherto they reached only noblemen, gentlemen and ministers, and
others whom they thought might stand in their way of advancing their
cursed designs. The next drift is, when they had emptied the churches of
ministers, and filled them with the vermin of ignorant and scandalous
curates, to force the people to conformity, and to disown and
discountenance their own ministers; first, by severe edicts of
exorbitant fining not only the persons themselves contraveening, but
those that had the superiority over them, and rigorous exaction of these
fines, to the depopulation of a poor country, by military force;
whereby, where there was but one church in the bounds, still enjoying a
minister whom the people could hear, the profane soldiers would beset
that church in time of worship, and cause all within to pay their fines,
or take the garments from them that could not, and beat them to the
effusion of their blood: and where the church was planted with a curate,
the soldiers would come, and call the names of the parishioners, and
amerciate the absents in such fines as they pleased. In other places
they went to private houses, and by force drove them to church, even
though sick and unable. But where the dissenters were numerous, great
bands of legal robbers were sent to exact and extort these exorbitant
fines, by plundering, quartering, beating, wounding, binding men like
beasts, chasing away from houses, and harassing whole country-sides in a
hideous manner. And yet after all these insolencies, some of the common
sort were compelled to subscribe an acknowledgment, that the captain had
used them civilly and discreetly; though the account of others of that
place manifests the violence to have been so monstrous, that it
justified the great barbarity; shewing their exactions to have been
intolerable, both for the quantity, without all proportion or pity, and
for the manner of it, consuming and wasting poor people's provision by
their very dogs, and sparing no more these who conformed, than others
who did not conform at all, and punishing husbands for their wives, yea,
doubling and tripling the same exactions after payment. Next, though at
first they did not imprison any for simple absenting themselves from the
curates, yet they began to fill prisons with such as at any time shewed
more than ordinary zeal against the curates intrusion, and testified
their dissatisfaction to his face; for which, some were imprisoned,
scourged, stigmatized, and thereafter carried to Barbadoes. Others,
because they would not give the prelates their title of lords, when
conveened before them, were also scourged: and one minister seized for
preaching, and offending the prelates by the same fault, was carried
first to the thieves hole, laid in irons in company with a madman, and
then banished to Shetland, the coldest and wildest of all the Scots

III. But when fining would not do, and still the people were more averse
from the curates, by getting sometimes occasions of hearing their own
ministers in private; hence were houses forced and searched, many hawled
to prisons, and several necessitate to escape at windows with the hazard
of their lives, spies sent unto and set in suspected places, to seize
and fall upon such as they found at such meetings, or but suspected to
have been there. Whence it came to pass, that many, both men and women,
young and old, have been dragged to prisons, and there close kept as
malefactors, besides several other outrageous and illegal acts of
violence and oppression committed against them, contrary to all law,
equity and conscience.

IV. After Pentland defeat, they ruled by rage more than either law or
reason. There 40 prisoners, who were taken upon quarter, and solemn
parole to have their life spared, yet treacherously and bloodily were
all hanged (except five that were reprieved) who had much of the Lord's
presence at their deaths, and assurance of his love, strengthening them
to seal a noble testimony. One of them, a much honoured young minister,
only for having a sword about him, though not present at the fight, did
first most patiently endure the cruel torture of the boots (a cruel
engine of iron, whereby with wedges the leg is tortured, until the
marrow come out of the bone) and afterwards death, with great courage
and constancy. Upon the scaffold, at their execution, they then began
that barbarity never practised in Scotland before, but frequently, and
almost always at all the executions since, to beat drums, that they
might not be heard. After this conflict, many were forefaulted of their
estates, and intercommuned, with inhibition to all to reset, conceal, or
correspond with any that had escaped, under the pain of being accounted
guilty of the same rebellion, as they called it. Soldiers are permitted
to take free quarter in the country, and licensed to all the abuses,
that either rapine or cruelty may suggest; to examine men by tortures,
threatning to kill or roast alive, all that would not delate all they
knew were accessory to that rising; to strip them who did so much as
reset the fugitives, and thrust them into prisons, in cold, hunger and
nakedness, and crowd them so with numbers, that they could scarce stand
together, having the miseries of their own excrements superadded; yea,
to murder without process, such as would not, nay could not, discover
those persecuted people. But not only time, but heart and tongue would
fail, to relate all the violences and insolencies, the stobbings,
woundings, stripping and imprisonings of mens persons, violent breaking
of their houses both by day and night, beating of wives and children,
ravishing of women, forcing of them by fire-matches and other tortures,
to discover their husbands and nearest relations, although not within
the compass of their knowledge, and driving away all their goods that
could be carried away without respect to guilt or innocency, and all the
cruelties that were exercised without a check by these ruffians at that

V. After all these tender mercies and clemencies, or cruelties, which
his gracious majesty was pleased to confer or commit upon these poor
contenders for religion and liberty, he and his cabal the council
thought it not enough to suppress them with oppressions and force,
distrusting the authority of his law (that he knew the people would no
more observe, than he would observe a promise or oath) and diffiding
also the authority of his sword, which he had above their heads, he
proposes terms of bargaining with them, whereupon he would suffer them
to live, and to which he would have them bound to live according to his
prescript; therefore, besides the old oaths of allegiance and supremacy,
that were still going among hands, he caused coin new ones to keep the
peace, and to live orderly, meaning to conform themselves to the
disorders of the times! whereby, after he had wrought such destruction
to their bodies and estates, and almost nothing was left them but a bit
of a conscience, he would rob them of that too, verifying the constant
character of the wicked, they only consult to cast a man down from his
excellency. What is a man's excellency but a good conscience? But these
men, having feared consciences of their own, not capable of any
impression, they presume to impose upon all others, and cannot endure so
much as to hear of the name of conscience in the country, except it be
when it is baffled in the belchings of beastly mouths; as one, that was
well acquaint with the council's humour in this point, told a gentleman
that was going before them, to have one of these oaths imposed upon him,
who was beforehand signifying his scruples, that he could not do such
things in conscience. Conscience (said he) I beseech you whatever you
do, speak nothing of conscience before the lords, for they cannot abide
to hear that word. Therefore it is, that since this last revolution,
there have been more conscience-debauching and ensnaring oaths invented
and imposed, and some repugnant and contradictory to others, than ever
was in any nation in the world in so short a time: and hereby they have
had woful success in their designs, involving the generality of the land
in the sin of perjury and false swearing with themselves. And it hath
been observed, that scarcely have they let one year pass, without
imposing some oaths or bonds upon presbyterians; such always as are
unlawful to take, yea and impossible to keep, sometimes more obviously
gross, sometimes more seemingly smooth, sometimes tendered more
generally through the kingdom, sometimes imposed upon particular shires;
and these carried on by craft and cunning, sometimes by force and
cruelty. Doubtless it is not the least part of their design, hereby to
make oaths and bonds become a trivial and common thing, and by making
all men of as capacious consciences as themselves.

VI. Further, they never ceased to express their fear of another rising,
(their guilty consciences dictating that they deserved greater
opposition.) Hence, to secure themselves, and incapacitate the people
from further attempts of that nature, they order all withdrawers from
churches, all who did not join to suppress the Lord's people, to deliver
up their arms betwixt and such a day, and not keep a horse above such a
very mean price, unfit for service.

VII. When force could not do the business, then they try flatteries; and
hence contrive that wicked indulgence to divide and destroy the
ministers that remained, and to suppress meetings. But when this bait,
so well busked, could not catch all, but still there were meetings for
administring the ordinances; their flattery turns to fury, and the
acceptance of that indulgence by some, and despising of it by others,
did both animate and instigate them unto a following forth of their
design, by all the cruel acts and bloody executions. And hereby the
residue of the faithful of the land were exposed unto their rage, while
the indulged became interpretatively guilty of, and accessory to all the
cruelties used and executed upon ministers and professors, for adhering
unto that way. Hence it was common at private and peaceable meetings,
when, without arms of defence, they were disturbed by soldiers, and
exposed to all manner of villanous violence, some being dragged to
prisons, some banished and sold to French captains to be transported
with rascals, many intercommuned and driven from their dwellings and
relations, great sums of money were proffered to any that would bring in
several of the most eminent ministers, either dead or alive; yea several
at several times were killed, and others cruelly handled: all which, for
several years, they patiently endured without resistance. But
especially, when not only they were driven to the fields to keep their
meetings in all weathers, summer and winter, but necessitate to meet
with arms, then they raised more troops of horse and dragoons to pursue
them with all rage, as traitors and rebels. Hence what pursuings,
hornings, huntings, hidings, wanderings through mountains and muirs, and
all kinds of afflictions, the people of God then met with, because of
their following that necessary and signally blessed duty; all the lands
inhabitants know, the jailors can witness to this day, and the barbarous
soldiers, bloody executioners of the commands of their enraged masters,
having orders to wound and kill, and apprehend all they could take at
these meetings, or on the way suspected to be going to or coming from
them, having encouragement to apprehend some ministers, and bring them
dead or alive, by the promise of 2000 merks, others valued at 1000, and
several professors also with prices put upon their heads. Hence others
that were taken of them were sent into the Bass, a dry and cold rock in
the sea, where they had no fresh water, nor any provision but what they
had brought many miles from the country; and when they got it, it would
not keep unspoiled. And others, both ministers and many hundreds of
professors, were outlawed; whereby all the subjects were prohibited to
reset, supply, intercommune with any of them, or to correspond with them
by word, writ, or message, or furnish them with meat, drink, house,
harbour, victual, or any other thing useful, under the highest pains.
Hence also prisons were filled, and the wives and children of the outed
ministers, that were come to Edinburgh for shelter, were commanded to
dislodge, within a short day prefixed, under the pain of being forcibly
shut up or dragged out. For which and other such uses, to apprehend and
seize, on meetings, a major was appointed in Edinburgh, with command
over the town guards, and a good salary for that end. Then prisons being
filled, they were emptied to make room for others in ships, to be taken
away to be sold for slaves, in one of which were sent to Virginia above
60 men, some ministers; who, through the kindness and sympathy of some
English godly people, were relieved at London. A greater barbarity not
to be found in the reigns of Caligula or Nero.

VIII. But all this is nothing to what followed; when, thinking these
blood-hounds were too favourable, they brought down from the wild
Highlands an host of savages upon the western shires, more terrible than
Turks or Tartars, men who feared not God nor regarded man; and being
also poor pitiful Skybalds, they thought they had come to a brave world,
to waste and destroy a plentiful country, which they resolved, before
they left it, to make as bare as their own. This hellish crew was
adduced to work a reformation, like the French conversions, to press a
band of conformity, wherein every subscriber was bound for himself and
all under him, wife, children, servants, tenants, to frequent their
parish churches, and never to go to these meetings, nor reset, nor
entertain any that went, but to inform against, pursue, and deliver up
all vagrant preachers, as they called them, to trial and judgment. Which
they prosecuted with that rigour and restless, boundless rage, that the
children then unborn, and their pitiful mothers do lament the memory of
that day, for the loss of their fathers and husbands. Many houses and
families then were left desolate in a winter flight, many lost their
cattle and horses, and some, in seeking to recover them, lost their
lives, by the sword of these Burrios. So that it was too evident, both
by what orders was given, the severity of prosecuting, and the
expressions of some great ones since, that nothing less than the utter
ruin and desolation of these shires was consulted and concluded, and
that expedition, at that time, calculated for that end; for what else
can be imagined could induce to the raising 10 or 11,000 barbarous
savages, the joining them to the standing forces, and with such cruel
orders the directing them all to the west, where there was not one
person moving the finger against them: neither could they pretend any
quarrel, if it was not the faithfulness of the people there in their
covenanted religion, and their hopelessness of complying to their popish
and tyrannical designs, and therefore no course so feasible as to
destroy them; so for dispatching thereof, order is given forth, that
whosoever refuseth to subscribe that hell-hatched bond, must instantly
have 10, 20, 30, 40, more or fewer according to his condition as he is
poorer or richer, of these new reformers sent to him, to ly not only
upon free quarters to eat up and destroy what they pleased, but also
(for the more speedy expedition) ordered to take a sixpence for each
common soldier a-day, and the officers more, according to their degrees,
and so to remain till either the bond was subscribed, or all destroyed;
nor was these trustees deficient to further their purposes in
prosecuting their orders, who, coming to their quarters, used ordinarily
to produce a billgate for near to as many more as came, and for these
absents they must have double money, because their landlord was not
burdened with their maintenance, and, where that was refused, would take
the readiest goods, and if any thing remained not destroyed and
plundered at their removing, which was not transportable, rather than
the owner should get any good of it, they would in some places set fire
to it, as they did with the cornstacks. It would require several great
volumes to record the many instances of horrid barbarities, bloods and
villanies of that wicked expedition; so that what by free quarterings,
exactions, robberies, thefts, plunderings, and other acts of violence
and cruelty, many places were ruined almost to desolation, all which the
faithful choosed rather to suffer, than to sin in complying: and albeit
their oppression was exceeding lamentable, and their loss great, yet
that of the compliers was greater and sadder, who losed a good
conscience in yielding to them, and compounding with them.

IX. Then the country behoved to pay the soldiers for all this service,
and hire them to do more, by paying the imposed cess; whereby they were
sharpened into a greater keenness in cruel executions of their orders,
returning to those places of the country whither they had chased the
persecuted people, who still kept their meetings wherever they were,
though they could not attend them, but upon the hazard of being killed,
either in the place (where some had their blood mingled with their
sacrifice) or fleeing, or be exposed to their dreadful cruelties, more
bitter than death. For then it was counted a greater crime, and punished
with greater severity, for persons to hear a faithful minister preach,
than to commit murder, incest, adultery, or to be guilty of witchcraft,
or idolatry, or the grossest abominations: for these have passed
unpunished, when some, for their simple presence at a meeting, have been
executed unto the death. Then also, when some were forced to flee into
the English border for shelter, there also were parties ordered to
pursue these poor hunted partridges, who could not find a hole to hide
their head in. There we lost a valiant champion for truth, and truly
zealous contender for the interest of Christ, that universally
accomplished gentleman and Christian, Thomas Ker of Heyhope, who was
cruelly murdered in a rencounter with a party of the English side.

Thereafter followed that lamentable stroke at Bothwel, where about 300
were killed on the field, and about 10 or 1100 taken prisoners, and
stript, and brought into Edinburgh in a merciless manner. After which,
first two faithful and painful ministers and witnesses of Christ, Mr.
John Kid and Mr. John King, received the crown of martyrdom, sealing
that testimony with their blood, and many others after them for the same
cause. Then the enemy, after the manner used before, first to wound our
head, and then put on a hood upon it, (as they have done always after a
mischief, and intending a greater), offered their bond of peace, on
terms that clearly condemned the cause, never to rise in arms against
the king, &c. by which bond, many of the prisoners, after they had lien
several weeks in a church-yard, without the shadow of a house to cover
them night and day, were liberate: and many of the rest, by the
persuasion of some ministers, at whose door their blood lies as well as
at the enemy's, took that bond; and yet were sent away with others that
did not take it, in a ship bound for America between 2 and 300 in all,
who were all murdered in the ship, being shut up under the hatches, when
it split upon a rock in the north of Scotland, except about 50 persons;
whereof many to this are living witnesses of such a cruelty.

X. Hitherto only the common rules and rudiments of the art of
persecution were put in practice, exactly quadrating with the rules of
Adam Contzen the Jesuit for introducing of popery, in his polit. lib. 2.
cap. 18. which are, (1.) To proceed as musicians do, in tuning their
instruments gradually. (2.) To press the examples of some eminent men to
draw on the rest. (3.) To banish all arch-heretics at once (that is the
most zealous witnesses of Christ) or at least with all expedition by
degrees. (4.) To put them out of all power and trust, and put in friends
to the catholic interest. (5.) To load the protestant opinions, as are
most obnoxious, with all odious contions. (6.) To discharge all private
conventicles. (7.) To make and execute rigorous laws against the most
dangerous. (8.) To foment all quarrels among protestants, and strengthen
the party that is ready to comply. But these, and many other of a deeper
projection, and greater perfection, were fallen upon afterwards,
equalling the most mischievous machines of Spanish inquisition, or the
methods that effectuated the desolation of the church of Bohemia; that
were exactly followed, as they are related in Clark's Martyrology.
Especially the last of Contzen's rules were industriously observed, in
the device of the indulgence both before and after Bothwel, which
contributed more to the rending and ruining the remnant, and to expose
the faithful to rage and cruelty, than any thing; for when, by these
ensnaring favours, many were drawn away from their duty, the rest that
maintained it, and kept up the testimony, were both the more easily
preyed upon, and more cruelly insulted over. Hence the field-meetings
that were kept, were more fiercely pursued after Bothwel than the many
before, and more cruel laws were made against them, and more bloody
executions, than I can find words to express in short. But, in a word,
no party of Tartars invading the land, or crew of cut-throats destroying
the inhabitants, or the most capital malefactors, could have been more
violently opposed, or more vigorously fought to be suppressed, than
these poor meeters were. But I must make some more special hints.

1. They not only raised more forces to exhaust the strength and
substance of the already wasted country, and laid on and continued from
one term to another that wicked exaction and cruel oppression of the
cess, for the same declared ends of suppressing and banishing what
remained of the gospel, and imposed localities for maintaining the
soldiers employed in those designs; for refusing which many families
were pillaged, plundered, and quite impoverished, besides the beating
and abusing them: but also they went on unweariedly with their courts
of inquisition, pressing the bonds of peace, and dragging them like dogs
to prisons that would not subscribe them, and for taking up in their
Porteous' rolls the names of all that were suspected to have been at
Bothwel insurrection: which they gathered by the information of
sycophants, and reputed them convict, if being summoned they did not
appear, and forced others to swear concerning things that are to be
enquired after, and delate upon oath whom they did either see or heard
that they were in arms, or went to meetings; and such as refused,
suffered bonds or banishment. Yea, having made it criminal to reset,
harbour, correspond, or converse with these whom they declared rebels,
they thereupon imprisoned, fined, and ruined vast numbers, for having
seen or spoken with some of them, or because they did not discover or
apprehend them when they fancied they might, and even when they were not
obliged, and could not know whether they were obnoxious persons or not:
for which many gentlemen and others were indicted and imprisoned, and
some arraigned and condemned to death. For these causes, the country was
harrassed and destroyed by four extraordinary circuit courts,
successively going about with their numerous train, whereby many were
grievously oppressed, and with their oppressions tempted with many
impositions of conscience-debauching oaths, and bonds to compear when
called, and to keep the church, and to refrain from going to meetings,
&c. and by these temptations involved in compliances and defections.

2. To enrich themselves, by these means, with the spoil of the country,
did not satisfy these destroyers; but they must glut themselves with the
blood of the saints, upon every pretext that they could catch, under any
colour of law. As upon the account of Bothwel insurrection, many were
cruelly executed to the death, some gentlemen, and some common country
men, without any legal conviction, by packing bloody juries and assizes
most partially for their murdering ends, besides more than can be
reckoned that were kept to perish in their imprisonments. And not only
for being actually in arms, or any ouvert act of transgressing their
wicked laws, but even for their extorted opinion of things, or because
they could not condemn these necessitated risings in arms to be
rebellion, and a sin against God, which they were forced to declare by
terrible menacings of death and torture, they have been condemned to
death; making their arbitrary laws to reach the heart, thoughts, and
inward sentiments of the mind, as well as outward actions. Whereupon
this became a criminal question robbing many of their lives, Was the
rising at Bothwel-bridge rebellion, and a sin against God? And this
another, Was the killing of the bishop of St. Andrew's horrid murder?
Which if any answered negatively, or did not answer affirmatively, they
were cruelly condemned to death; for which, first, five innocent
Christians were execute upon the spot, where that murderer fell. Though
they declared, and it was known, they were as free as the child unborn,
and that some of them had never seen a bishop that they knew from
another man, and were never in that place of the country where he was
killed. And afterwards this was the constant question that all brought
before them were troubled with, which some avouching to be duty, were
dismembered alive, their hands struck off, and then hanged, and their
heads cut off when dead.

3. After Sanquhar declaration, they observed the jesuits rules more
exactly, especially that mentioned above, to load the opinions that are
most obnoxious with all odious constructions, and to make it both
criminal to declare them, and also criminal to conceal and wave their
intrapping questions thereupon. For after Mr. Hall was killed at the
Queensferry, and Mr. Cameron with several worthies were slain at
Airsmoss, and after Mr. Hackston for declining the authority of his
murderers, head and tail, and for being accessory to executing judgment
upon the arch traitor, or arch bishop of St. Andrew's (though he laid
not his hands on him himself, nor was present at the action, but at a
distance when it was done) was tortured alive, with the cutting off of
his hands, and then hanged, and before he was dead, ripped up, his heart
taken out, and carried about on the point of a knife, and thrown into a
fire, and afterwards his body quartered. Then, not only such as were
with that little handful at Airsmoss were cruelly murdered, but others
against whom they could charge no matter of fact, were questioned if
they owned the king's authority? which if any did not answer
affirmatively and positively, he was to look for nothing but exquisite
torments by terrible kinds of tortures, and death besides. And if any
declared their judgment, that they could not, in conscience, own such
authority as was then exercised; or if they declined to give their
thoughts of it, as judging thoughts to be under no human jurisdiction;
or if they answered with such innocent specifications as these, that
they owned all authority in the Lord, or for the Lord: or according to
the word of God, or all just and lawful authority, these underwent and
suffered the capital punishment of treason. And yet both for declining
and declaring their extorted answers about this, they were condemned as
unsufferable maintainers of principles inconsistent with government.

4. But here, as in Egypt, the more they were afflicted, the more they
grew, the more that the enemies rage was increased, the more were the
people inflamed to inquire about the grounds of their suffering, seeing
rational men and religious christians die so resolutely upon them; and
the more they insisted in this inquisition, the more did the number of
witnesses multiply, with a growing increase of undauntedness, so that
the then shed blood of the martyrs became the seed of the church, and as
by hearing and seeing them so signally countenanced of the Lord, many
were reclaimed from their courses of compliance, so others were daily
more and more confirmed in the ways of the Lord, and so strengthened by
his grace, that they chose rather to endure all torture, and embrace
death in its most terrible aspect, than to give the tyrant and his
complices any acknowledgment: yea, not so much as to say, God save the
king, which was offered as the price of their life, and test of their
acknowledgment, but they would not accept deliverance on these terms,
that they might obtain a better resurrection. Which so enraged the
tygrish truculency of these persecutors, that they spared neither age,
sex, nor profession: the tenderness of youth did not move them to any
relenting, in murdering very boys upon this head, nor the grey hairs of
the aged; neither were women spared, but some were hanged, some drowned,
tied to stakes within the sea-mark, to be devoured gradually with the
growing waves, and some of them of a very young, some of an old age.
Especially after the murder of the never to be forgotten martyr, Mr.
Cargil, the multitude of merciless sufferings upon this account cannot
be enumerated; which increased far beyond all the former steps, after
the Lanark declaration, which was burnt with great solemnity by the
magistrates of Edinburgh in their robes, together with the solemn league
and covenant, which had been burnt before, but then they would more
declaredly give new demonstrations of their rage against it, because
they confessed, and were convinced of its being conform unto and founded
upon that covenant. And because the incorporation of Lanark did not,
because they could not, hinder the publishing of it; therefore they were
threatened with the loss of their privileges, and forced to pay 6000
merks. Upon the back of which, the sufferings of poor people that owned
the testimony were sadder and sharper, and further extended than ever:
some being banished for soldiers to Flanders, &c. some to be sold as
slaves in Carolina, and other places in America, to empty the filled
prisons, and make room for more, which were daily brought in from all
quarters, and either kept languishing in their nasty prisons, or thieves
holes, in bolts and irons to make them weary of their life, or
dispatched as sacrifices, and led as dumb sheep to the slaughter,
without suffering them to speak their dying words, for beating of drums,
or disposed of to masters of ships to be transported to slavery.

5. Had they satisfied themselves with murdering them out of hand, it
would have been more tolerable, and reckoned some degree of mercy, in
comparison of their malice; which, after all their endeavours to murder
their souls, by ensnaring offers, enslaving bonds, blasphemous and
contradictory oaths, and multiplying captious questions to catch the
conscience, or at least vex the spirits of the righteous, whom they
could not prevail with to put forth their hands into iniquity, did
proceed to invent all exquisite torments more terrible than death. Some
at their first apprehending were tortured with fire-matches, burning and
for ever thereafter disabling their hands: then laid fast, and locked up
in great irons upon their legs, where they lay many months in the cold
of winter, without any relaxation. Some were tortured with the boots,
squeezing out the marrow of their legs: others with thumbkins, piercing
and bruising the bones of their thumbs: and some tormented with both one
after another, and besides, kept waking nine nights together by watchful
soldiers, who were sworn not to let the afflicted person sleep all that

6. All this tyranny had been the more tolerable, if they had kept within
any bounds of colourable or pretended shadow of legality, or in any
consonancy to their own wicked laws, or exemplars of any former
persecutions. But in an ambition to outdo all the Neros, Domitians,
Dioclesians, duke d'Alvas, or Lewis le Grands, they scorned all forms,
as well as justice of law, and set up monstrous monuments of
unprecedented illegality and inhumanity. For when, after all their
hornings, harassings, huntings, searchings, chafings, catchings,
imprisonments, torturings, banishments, and effusions of blood, yet they
could not get the meetings crushed, either in public or private, or the
zeal of the poor wanderers quenched, with whom they had interdicted all
harbour, supply, comfort, refreshment, converse or correspondence, and
whom they had driven out of their own and all other habitations, in
towns, villages, or cottages, to the deserts, mountains, muirs, and
mosses, in whose hags and holes they were forced to make dens and caves
to hide themselves, but that they would still meet for the worship of
God, either in public (though mostly in the cold winter nights) or in
their private fellowships for prayer and conference; and to rescue their
brethren, and prevent their murder in these extremities, would surprize
and take advantages of the soldiers now and then: they then raged beyond
all bounds, and not only apprehending many innocent persons (against
whom they had nothing to accuse them of, but because they could not
satisfy them in their answers) sentenced, and executed them, all in one
day, and made an act to do so with all; but allowed the bloody soldiers
to murder them, without either trial or sentence. Especially after the
apologetical declaration, affixed on the church doors, they acted with
an unheard of arbitrariness. For not only did they frame an oath of
abjuration, renouncing the same, but pressed it universally upon pain of
death, upon all men and women in city and country, and went from house
to house, forcing young and old to give their judgment of that
declaration, and of the king's authority, &c. to ridicule and reproach,
and make a mocking stock of all government: yea impowered soldiers, and
common varlets, to impannel juries, condemn, and cause to be put to
death, innocent recusants, and having stopt all travel and commerce
without a pass, signifying they had taken that oath, they gave power to
all hostlers and inn-keepers to impose oaths upon all passengers,
travellers, gentlemen and countrymen, who were to swear, that their pass
was not forged. And prisoners that would not take the oath were,
according to the foresaid act, condemned, sentenced and execute, all in
one day, and early in the morning, that the people might not be affected
with the spectacles of their bloody severities. Yea spectators also,
that gathered to see the execution, were imposed upon, and commanded to
give their judgment, whether these men were justly put to death or not.
And not only so, but after that, they gave orders and commands to the
soldiers to pursue the chase after these wanderers more violently, and
shoot, or otherwise put them to death wherever they could apprehend
them; whereby many were taken and instantly most inhumanly murdered.

XI. In the beginning of this killing time, as the country calls it; the
first author or authorizer of all these mischiefs, Charles II. was
removed by death. Then one would have thought the severity would have
stopped: and the duke of York succeeding, in his late proclamation would
make the world believe, that it never was his principle, nor will he
ever suffer violence to be offered to any man's conscience, nor use
force or invincible necessity against any man on the account of his
persuasion: smooth words, to cover the mischiefs of his former
destructions, and the wickedness of his future designs. To which his
former celebrated saying, that it would never be well till all the south
side of Forth were made a hunting field; and his acts and actings
designed to verify it, since his unhappy succession, do give the lie.
For immediately, upon his mounting the throne, the executions and acts,
prosecuting the persecution of the poor wanderers, were more cruel than

1. There were more butchered and slaughtered in the fields, without all
shadow of law, or trial, or sentence, than all the former tyrant's
reign; who were murdered without time given to deliberate upon death,
or space to conclude their prayers, but either in the instant, when they
were praying, shooting them to death, or surprizing them in their caves,
and murdering them there, without any grant of prayer at all; yea many
of them murdered without taking notice of any thing to be laid against
them, according to the worst of their own laws, but slain and cut off
without any pity, when they were found at their labour in the field, or
travelling upon the road. And such as were prisoners, were condemned for
refusing to take the oath of abjuration, and to own the authority, and
surprized with their execution, not knowing certainly the time when it
should be, yea left in suspense whether it should be or not, as if it
had been on design to destroy both their souls and bodies. Yea
Queensberry had the impudence to express his desire of it, when some
went to solicit him, being then commissioner, for a reprieval in favours
of some of them, he told them, they should not have time to prepare for
heaven, hell was too good for them.

2. There have been more banished to foreign plantations in this man's
time, than in the other's. Within these two years, several shipfuls of
honest and conscientious sufferers have been sent to Jamaica, (to which
before they were sent, some had their ears cut) New Jersey, and
Barbadoes, in such crouds and numbers, that many have died in
transportation; as many also died before in their pinching prisons, so
thronged that they had neither room to ly nor sit. Particularly the
barbarous usage of a great multitude of them that were sent to Dunotter
castle, when there was no room for them in Edinburgh, is never to be
forgotten; which the wildest and rudest of savages would have thought
shame of. They were all that long way made to travel on foot, men and
women, and some of both sexes, very infirm and decrepit through age; and
several sick, guarded by bands of soldiers, and then put into an old
ruinous and rusty house, and shut up under vaults above 80 in a room,
men and women, without air, without ease, without place, either to ly or
walk, and without any comfort save what they had from heaven, and so
straitned for want of refreshment, which they could not have but at
exorbitant prices inconsistent with their poor empty purses, and so
suffocated with the smell of the place, and of their own excrements,
that as several of them died; so it was a wonder of mercy that any of
them could outlive that misery, yet there they remained some months, at
a distance from all their friends, being sent thither to that northern
corner out of the south and west borders of the country; and some out of
London. Whose transportation hither, if it were not a part of this
tragical story, would seem a merry and ridiculous passage to strangers,
discovering the ridiculous folly as well as the outrageous fury of their
persecutors. For at a private meeting in London, among others, some
Scotsmen, of very mean figure, some taylors, a shoemaker, a chapman, &c.
were taken, and being found to be Scotsmen, were not only examined at
the common courts there, but by Sir Andrew Foster, by express commission
from the late king a little before his death; who threatened them under
a strange sort of certification, (considering what fell out immediately
thereafter) that assuredly they should be sent to Scotland very shortly,
if there were not a revolution of the government. But this revolution,
following within a few days, retarded it a little: yet not long
thereafter they were sent in a yacht, with a guard of soldiers, and a
charge of high treason. But, when brought before the council of
Scotland, the amount of all that bustle was, a question posed to them
under pain of death, whether the king should be king or no? that is,
whether they owned his authority or not. Yet though some of the poor men
did own it, they were sent to Dunotter castle: and thence among the rest
banished and transported to New Jersey; in which passage, by reason of
their crude and bad provision, the most part in the ship were cast into
a fever, and upwards of sixty died, yea even since the former
proclamation for this pretended liberty, there are twenty-one men and
five women sent to Barbadoes, against whom nothing could be alledged but
matters of mere religion and conscience: which, as it proclaims the
notoriousness of these impudent lies, wherewith the proclamations for
this liberty are stuffed; so it puts an indelible brand of infamy upon
some London merchants, that are said to pretend to some profession of
religion, who sent the ship to transport them, thereby to make gain of
the merchandise of the Lord's captives.

3. There have been more cruel acts of parliament enacted in this
tyrant's time, than the former made all his reign. For in his first
parliament held by Queensberry, commissioner, not only was there an act
for making it treason to refuse the oath of abjuration, confirming all
the illegalities of their procedure hereupon before; but an act making
it criminal to own the covenant, and another act making it criminal for
any to be present at a field-meeting, which was only so to preachers
before. Yet neither these acts, and all the executions following upon
them, have daunted, nor I hope shall drive them, nor the indemnity and
toleration (so generally now applauded) draw them from the duty of
owning both these, that are so much the more publicly to be avouched,
that they are so openly interdicted by wicked and blasphemous tyranny,
though for the same they expect from the Scottish inquisition all the
murdering violence, that hell and Rome and malignant rage can exert.

But to conclude this tragical deduction: as these hints we have heaped
together of the kinds and several sorts (the particulars being
impossible to be reckoned) of barbarities and arbitrary methods, used in
carrying on this persecution, demonstrating the reign, or rather rage of
these two dominators, under which we have howled these twenty-seven
years, to be a complete and habitual tyranny, to discover the inhumanity
and illegality of their proceedings, having no other precedent save that
of the French conversions, or Spanish inquisition, out-done by many
stages, in respect of illegality, by the Scottish inquisition, and the
practices of the council of Scotland, and judiciary court; so I shall
shut up all in a summary relation of the common practices and forms of
procedure in these courts: which will be useful to understand a little
more distinctly, to the end the innocency of sufferers may more clearly
appear. 1. They can accuse whom they will, of what they please; and if
by summar citation, he will not, may be, because he cannot, compear; if
once his name be in their Porteons' rolls, that is sufficient to render
him convict. 2. They used also to seize some, and shut them up in prison
year and day, without any signification of the cause of their
imprisonment. 3. They can pick any man off the street; and if he do not
answer their captious questions, proceed against him to the utmost of
severity; as they have taken some among the croud at executions, and
imposed upon them the questions. 4. They can also go through all the
houses of the city, as well as the prisons, and examine all families
upon the questions of the council's catechism, upon the hazard of their
life, if they do not answer to their satisfaction, as has been done in
Edinburgh. 5. When any are brought in by seizures, sometimes (as is said
before) they let them lie along without any hearing, if they expect they
cannot reach them; but if they think they can win at them any way, then
they hurry them in such haste, that they can have no time to deliberate
upon, and oftentimes have no knowledge or conjecture of the matter of
their prosecution: yea, if they be never so insignificant, they will
take diversion from their weightiest affairs, to examine and take
cognizance of poor things, if they understand they dare vent or avow any
respect to the cause of Christ: and the silliest body will not escape
their catechization about affairs of state, what they think of the
authority, &c. 6. If they be kept in prison any space, they take all
ways to pump and discover what can be brought in against them: yea,
sometimes they have exactly observed that device of the Spanish
inquisition, in suborning and sending spies among them, under the
disguise and shew of prisoners, to search and find out their minds, who
will outstrip all in an hypocritical zeal, thereby to extort and draw
forth words from the most wary, which may be brought in judgment against
them the next day. 7. When prisoners are brought in before them, they
have neither libel nor accuser, but must answer concerning things that
are to be enquired after, to all questions they are pleased to ask. 8.
If at any time they form a sort of libel, they will not restrict
themselves to the charges thereof, but examine the person about other
things altogether extraneous to the libel. 9. They have frequently
suborned witnesses, and have sustained them as witnesses, who either
were sent out by themselves as spies and intelligencers, or who palpably
were known to delate those against whom they witnessed, out of a pick
and prejudice, and yet would not suffer them to be cast for partial
counsel. 10. If they suppose a man to be wary and circumspect, and more
prudent than forward in the testimony; then they multiply questions, and
at first many impertinent interrogations, having no connexion with the
cause, to try his humour and freedom, that they may know how to deal
with him: and renew and reiterate several criminal examinations, that
they may know whereof, and find matter wherein, to indict him, by
endeavouring to confound, or intrap, or involve him in confessions or
contradictions, by wresting his words. 11. They will admit no time for
advice, nor any lawful defence for a delay, but will have them to answer
presently, except they have some hopes of their compliance, and find
them beginning to stagger and succumb in the testimony; in that case,
when a man seeks time to advise, they are animated to a keenness to
impose, and encouraged to an expectation of catching by their snares,
which then they contrive and prepare with greater cunning. 12. If a man
should answer all their questions, and clear himself of all things they
can alledge against him, yet they used to impose some of the oaths, that
they concluded he would not take; and according to the measure of the
tenderness they discovered in any man, so they apportioned the oaths to
trap them, to the stricter the smoother oaths, to the laxer, the more
odious, that all natural consciences did fear at. 13. They will not only
have their laws obeyed, but subscribed, and they reckon not their
subjects obedience secured by the lawmaker's sanction, but the people's
hand-writing; and think it not sufficient that people transgress no
laws, but they must also own the justness of them, and the authority
that enacts them, and swear to maintain it: and yet when some have done
all this, and cleared themselves by all compliances, they will not
discharge them, but under a bond to answer again when called. 14. They
will have their laws to reach not only actions, but thoughts; and
therefore they require what people think of the bishop's death, and of
Bothwel insurrection; and whether they own the authority, when they can
neither prpve their disowning of it, nor any way offending it. 15. They
will have them to declare their thoughts, and hold them convict, if they
do not answer positively all their captious questions; and if they will
not tell what they think of this or that, then they must go as guilty.
16. If they insist in waving, and will not give categorical answers,
then they can extort all, and prove what they please by torture: and
when they have extorted their thoughts of things, though they be
innocent as to all actions their law can charge them with, then they
used to hang them when they had done. 17. They have wheedled men
sometimes into confession either of practices or principles, by
promising to favour their ingenuity, and upbraiding them for dissemblers
if they would not, and by mock expostulations, why were they ashamed to
give a testimony? and then make them sign their confessions at the
council, to bring them in as a witness against them at the criminal
court. 18. Yea, not only extrajudicial confession will sustain in their
law: but when they have given the public faith, the king's security the
act and oath of council, that their confession shall not militate
against them, they have brought it in as witness against them, and given
it upon oath, when their former oath and act was produced in open court,
in demonstration of their perjury. 19. When the matter comes to an
assize or cognizance of a jury, they use to pack them for their purpose,
and pick out such as they listed, who they think will not be bloody
enough. 20. Sometimes when the jury hath brought their verdict in
favours of the pannel, they have made them sit down, and resume the
cognition of the case again, and threatened them with an assize of
error, if they did not bring him in guilty. 21. Yea, most frequently the
king's advocate used to command them to condemn, and bring in the pannel
guilty, under most peremptory certifications of punishment if they
should not; so that they needed no juries, but only for the fashion. 22.
Sometimes they have sentenced innocent persons twice, once to have their
ears cut and be banished, and after the lopping of their ears, some have
been re-examined, and sentenced to death, and execute. 23. They have
sentenced some and hanged them both in one day; others early in the
morning, both to surprize the persons that were to die, and to prevent
spectators of the sight of their cruelty; others have been kept in
suspence, till the very day and hour of their execution. 24. Not only
have they murdered, serious and zealous followers of Christ in taking
away their lives, but endeavoured to murder their names, and to murder
the cause for which they suffered; loading it with all reproaches, as
sedition, rebellion, &c. which was their peculiar policy, to bring the
heads of sufferings to points that are most obnoxious to men's censure,
and accounted most extrinsic to religion, whereby they levelled their
designs against religion, not directly under that notion, but obliquely
in the destruction of its professors, under the odium and reproach of
enemies to government. 25. But chiefly they labour to murder the soul,
defile the conscience, and only consult to cast a man down from his
excellency, which is his integrity; that is a christian's crown, and
that they would rather rob him of as any thing, either by hectoring or
flattering him from the testimony: which they endeavour, by proposing
many offers, with many threatnings in subtile terms; and pretend a great
deal of tenderness, protesting they will be as tender of their blood as
of their own soul (which in some sense is true, for they have none at
all of their own souls) and purging themselves as Pilate did, and
charging it upon their own heads. 26. They will be very easy in their
accommodations, where they find the poor man beginning to faint, and
hearken to their overtures, wherein they will grant him his life,
yielding to him as cunning anglers do with fishes: and to persuade him
to complying, they will offer conference sometimes or reasoning upon the
point, to satisfy and inform his conscience, as they pretend, but really
to catch him with their busked hook. 27. Sometimes they used to stage
several together, whereof they knew some would comply, to tantalize the
rest with the sight of the others liberty, and make them bite the more
eagerly at their bait, to catch the conscience. But when they had done
all they could, Christ had many witnesses, who did retain the crown of
their testimony in the smallest points, till they obtained the crown of
martyrdom, and attained boldly to them without fear or shame, and
disdaining their flattering proposals, but looking on them under a right
notion, as stated there in opposition to Christ; whereby they found
this advantage, that hence they were restrained from all sinful
tampering with them, or entertaining any discourse with them, but what
was suitable to speak to Christ's enemies, or doing any thing to save
their life, but what became Christ's witnesses, who loved not their
lives unto the death. Of whom universally this was observed, that to the
admiration of all, the conviction of many enemies, the confirmation of
many friends, the establishment of the cause, and the glory of their
Redeemer, they went off the stage with so much of the Lord's
countenance, so much assurance of pardon and eternal peace, so much hope
of the Lord's returning to revive his work, and plead his cause again in
these lands, that never any suffered with more meekness humility and
composure of spirit, and with more faithfulness, stedfastness and
resolution, than these worthies did for these despised and reproached
truths; for which their surviving brethren are now contending and
suffering, while others are at ease.


_The Present testimony stated and vindicated in its principal heads._

By what is above premitted, the reader may see the series and succession
of the testimony of Christ's witnesses in Scotland from time to time, in
all the periods of that church; how it hath been transmitted from one
generation to another down to our hands; how far it hath been extended,
and what increasements it hath received in every period; how it hath
been opposed by a continued prosecution of an hereditary war against
Christ, by an atheistical, papistical, prelatical, and tyrannical
faction; and how it hath been concerted, contended for, maintained, and
sealed actively and passively, by an anti-pagan, anti-popish,
anti-prelatical, anti-erastian, anti-sectarian, and anti-tyrannical
remnant of the followers, professors, confessors, and martyrs of Christ
in all ages. Now it remains in the third and last place, to consider the
merit of the cause as it is now stated, to see whether it will bear the
weight of those great sufferings wherewith it hath been sealed. I hope
all the lovers of Christ, who have an esteem even of his reproaches
above all the treasures of Egypt, will grant, that if these sufferings
be stated on the least or lowest of the truths of Christ, then they are
not mistated, nor built upon a bottom that will not bear them, or is not
of that worth to sustain them. For certainly every truth, the least of
truths, is of greater value than any thing that we can suffer the loss
of for it; yea, of infinitely greater value, than the whole world. So
that if I prove these heads of suffering to be truths wherein conscience
is concerned, the cause will be sufficiently vindicated from the
loadings and lashings of such as prefer peace to truth, and ease to
duty, who to justify their own backwardness and detestable lukewarmness,
call some of them only state questions about things civil, and not
gospel truths and heads to state suffering upon: and if they be truths
and duties, the cause will some way be rendered more illustrious, that
it is stated upon the smallest hoofs and hair-breadths of the concerns
of Christ's declarative glory; as being a greater witness of its owners
love and loyalty to Christ, and of their pure and tender zeal for his
honour, than if for more substantial and fundamental truths, which a
natural conscience may reclaim to decline, when for the meanest
circumstantials of Christ's truths they dare and are ambitious to bestow
their dearest blood. But if the complex of them be impartially
considered, no unprejudiced arbiter will suffer himself to have such
extenuating impressions of the present word of patience, and testimony
of the suffering remnant in Scotland this day: but it will appear to be
a very weighty and worthy concern, as any that either men or Christians
can be called to witness for; being the privilege of all mankind, the
duty of all Christians, and the dignity of all churches, to assert; it
is for the glory and crown prerogatives and imperial regalia of the King
of kings, with reference to his visible kingdom, of which the government
is laid upon his shoulders, against the heaven daring usurpations and
encroachments made thereupon, both as he is Mediator, and King, and Head
of the church, and as he is God and universal King of the world. As he
is Mediator, it is his peculiar prerogative to have a supremacy and sole
sovereignty over his own kingdom, to institute his own government, to
constitute his own laws, to ordain his own officers, to appoint his own
ordinances, which he will have observed without alteration, addition, or
diminution, until his second coming: this his prerogative hath been, and
is invaded by erastian prelacy, sacrilegious supremacy, and now by
antichristian popery, which have overturned his government, inverted his
laws, subverted his officers, and perverted his ordinances. As he is God
and universal King, it is his incommunicable property and glory, not
only to have absolute and illimited power, but to invest his deputed
ministers of justice with his authority and ordinance of magistracy, to
be administred in subordination to him, to be regulated by his laws, and
to be improved for his glory, and the good of mankind; this glory of
his, hath been invaded by tyrants and usurpers arrogating to themselves
an absolute power, intruding themselves without his investment into
authority, in a rebellion against him, in opposition to his laws, and
abusing it to his dishonour, and the destruction of mankind. Against
both which encroachments the present testimony is stated, in a witness
for religion and liberty, to both which these are destructive. This will
appear to be the result and tendency of the testimony in all its parts,
opposed by the enemies of religion and liberty, and the end of all their
opposition, to bring it to this crinomenon, who shall be king? Jesus or
Cæsar? Let any seriously search into all their proclamations and edicts
against religion and liberty, this will be found to be the soul and
sense of them, practically and really speaking to this purpose,
especially since this man came to the throne.

     '_J. R._

     'James the VII. II. by the V. of G. king of Scotland, England,
     France, and Ireland, defender of the antichristian faith: To all
     and sundry our good subjects, whom these presents do, or may
     concern: greeting. We having taken into our royal consideration,
     the many and great inconveniencies which have happened in that our
     ancient kingdom of Scotland, especially of late years, through the
     persuasions of the christian religion, and the great heats and
     animosities, betwixt the professors thereof, and our good and
     faithful subjects, whose faith and religion is subject and
     subservient to our royal will (the supreme law, and reason, and
     public conscience) to the disappointment of our projects, restraint
     of our pleasures, and contempt of the royal power, converting true
     loyalty and absolute subjection, into words and names (which we
     care not for) of religion and liberty, conscience and the word of
     God, thereby withdrawing some to the christian faction, from an
     absolute and implicit subjection to us and our will, as if there
     were a superior law to which they might appeal; and considering
     that these rebellious christians do never cease to assert and
     maintain strange paradoxes, such principles as are inconsistent
     with the glory and interest of our government, as that the
     authority of kings should be hemmed in with limits, and that their
     acts and actions are to be examined by another rule than their own
     authority to make them lawful, that some things in the kingdom are
     not subject to the king's authority, that there is a kingdom within
     a kingdom not subordinate to the king, and that there is another
     King superior to the supreme whom they will rather obey than us,
     and that we must either take laws from him, or otherwise we are no
     magistrates; and considering also their practices are conform to
     their principles, they will not obey our laws, but the laws of
     another inconsistent with ours, and will calculate their religion
     according to his laws, and not according to ours, and continually
     make their addresses to, and receive ambassadors from a prince whom
     we know not, whom our predecessors, of truly worthy memory, did
     crucify, one Jesus who was dead, whom they affirm to be alive,
     whose government they alledge is supreme over all kings, whom they
     acknowledge but as his vassals: being now by favourable fortune,
     not only brought to the imperial crown of these kingdoms through
     the greatest difficulties, but preserved upon the throne of our
     royal ancestors, which from our great founder Nimrod of glorious
     memory, and our illustrious predecessors Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar,
     Herod the great, Nero, Caligula, &c. of blessed and pious memory,
     hath been ever opposite to, and projecting the destruction of that
     kingdom of Christ, do, after their laudable example, resolve to
     suppress that kingdom by all the means and might we can use,
     because his government is hateful to us, his yoke heavy, his
     sayings are hard, his laws are contrary to our lusts; therefore we
     will not let this man reign over us, we will break his bonds, and
     cast away his cords from us; and advance and exercise our sovereign
     authority, prerogative royal, and absolute power, which all our
     subjects are to obey without reserve. 'And as by virtue of our
     supremacy, whereby we are above all, but such as we are pleased to
     subject ourselves to, settled by law, and lineally derived to us as
     an inherent right to the crown, we have power to order all matters
     of church as well as state, as we in our royal wisdom shall think
     fit, all laws and acts of Christ to the contrary notwithstanding;
     and accordingly in our royal wisdom have overturned the platform of
     that government which Christ hath instituted, razed all courts
     fenced in his name, and severely interdicted all meetings of his
     subjects, and entertainment of his ambassadors: many of whom, in
     contempt of him that sent them, we have punished according to law,
     for negotiating his affairs in our kingdoms without our pleasure,
     and requiring allegiance and obedience to him, after we had
     exauctorated him; we have also established our right trusty, and
     well beloved clerks in ecclestiastic affairs, and their underlings,
     by our authority to have the administration of the business of
     religion and impowered our right trusty and well beloved cousins
     and counsellors, to compel all to submit to them, by finings,
     confinings, imprisonment, banishment, oaths, and bonds, and all
     legal means: so now having prosecuted this war against Christ to
     this length, that we have no fears of a rally of his forces again
     so often beaten, we are now engaged with other antichristian
     princes to give our power to our holy father antichrist, so far as
     may serve his purpose to oppose Christ in his way; but we reserve
     so much to ourselves, as may encroach upon him in our capacity. And
     therefore we have thought fit to restore to antichrist our
     ecclesiastical supremacy, from whom we borrowed it, and for which
     we have no use at present: but we resolve to maintain and prosecute
     our sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and absolute power
     foresaid, against Christ, and without subordination to him, from
     whom, as we sought none, so we received no power by his warrant and
     grant, and against whom we mind to manage it to the uttermost of
     our power. Yet reflecting upon the conduct of the four last
     reigns, how, after all the frequent and pressing endeavours that
     were used in each of them, to reduce our kingdoms to antichrist,
     the subjects of Christ were so stubborn, that the success hath not
     answered the design: we must now change our methods a little, and
     tolerate that profession of Christ which we cannot yet get
     overturned, his subjects being so numerous, but always upon these
     terms, that they take a special care that nothing be preached or
     taught among them, which may be a testimony for Christ's
     prerogatives, in opposition to our usurpation, or may any way tend
     to alienate the hearts of our people from us, or our government, or
     preach his truths which we have condemned as seditious and
     treasonable, under the highest pains these crimes will import.
     Hereby we shall establish our government on such a foundation, on
     the ruin of Christ's, as may make our subjects happy, and unite
     them to us by inclination as well as duty, in a belief that we will
     not restrain conscience in matters of mere religion: for which we
     have a dispensation from our holy father, and also from our own
     absoluteness, to be slaves to this promise no longer than consists
     with our own interest; and which we have power to interpret as we
     please: and would have all to understand, that no testimony for
     Christ's supremacy against our encroachments thereupon, shall be
     comprehended under these matters of mere religion, for which the
     conscience shall not be constrained: but we will have the
     consciences of such subjects of his, that dare assert it, brought
     to a test and probation how they stand affected in this competition
     betwixt us and this King Jesus, and see whether they will own or
     decline our authority, because not of him, nor for him, nor to him,
     but against him and all his interests. Our will is therefore, that
     all who will countenance any other meetings of his subjects than we
     have allowed, or connive at them, shall be prosecuted according to
     the utmost severity of our laws made against them, which we leave
     in full force and vigour, notwithstanding of all the premises. And
     for this effect, we further command all our judges, magistrates,
     and officers of our forces, to prosecute all these subjects and
     followers of Christ, who shall be guilty of treating with, or
     paying homage to that exauctorated king of theirs, in their
     assemblies with his ambassadors in the fields with the utmost
     rigour, as they would avoid our highest displeasure: for we are
     confident none will, after these liberties and freedom we have
     given to all without reserve, to serve God publicly, in such a way,
     as we, by our sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and absolute
     power aforesaid, have prescribed and allowed, presume to meet in
     these assemblies, except such whose loyalty to Christ doth alienate
     them from us and our government. As also, under the same
     certifications, by the same sovereign authority, and prerogative
     royal, and absolute power foresaid, we charge, impower, warrant,
     and authorize, against all hazards (hell excepted) all our foresaid
     judges and officers, in their respective places, to prosecute and
     execute our laws, against all that may be suspected or convicted of
     their adherence to Christ, or be found guilty of owning their
     allegiance to him as their liege Lord, by solemn covenant, which we
     have caused burn by the hand of the hangman, and declared criminal
     to own it, or shall be found guilty of declining allegiance to us
     and our absolute authority, stated in opposition to him and his, or
     of maintaining that pernicious principle, inconsistent with our
     government, that their lives are their own, which they will
     preserve without surrender to our mercy: all which we command to be
     executed to death, or banished as slaves, as shall be found most
     conducible to our interest. And to the end, the few that remain of
     that way may be totally exterminated, we straitly command all our
     soldiers, horse and foot, to be ready upon order, to march and
     make search, pursue and follow, seize and apprehend, kill and slay,
     and cause to perish, all such, whether they shall be found at
     meetings, or in their wanderings, wherever they may be apprehended:
     and ordain all our good subjects to be assistant to these our
     forces, in prosecuting this war against Christ and his followers,
     and contribute their best help and encouragement, in giving them
     their required maintenance, and duly paying cess and locality
     imposed for that end; and that they shall not dare to countenance,
     converse with, refer, harbour, supply, or keep any manner of
     correspondence with any of these traitors that adhere to Christ,
     under the pain of being found art and part with them, and obnoxious
     to the same punishments to which they are liable; but on the
     contrary, to assist our forces to apprehend, and raise the hue and
     cry after them wherever they shall be seen, that they may be
     forthwith pursued, seized, cut off, and destroyed, which we order
     to be instantly done upon the place, where they or any of them are
     apprehended, and that without any delay or mercy to age or sex,'

On the other hand, if any will take a look of the declarations and
testimonies of the other party without prejudice or stumbling at some
expressions, which may be offensive to critics, he will find the scope
and strain of them to have this importance.

     'We, a poor company of persecuted, reproached, and despised
     Christians; who indeed have not many wise men among us after the
     flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, but are a few foolish,
     weak, base, and despised nothings in the world; yet having this
     ambition to be his called chosen; and faithful soldiers, who is
     King of glory, King of heaven, King of saints, King of nations,
     King of kings, whose kingdom is everlasting and universal;
     considering the many insolent indignities, affronts, and
     reproaches cast upon his name and glory, and the many usurpations,
     encroachments, and invasions made upon his crown and dignity, by a
     pestilent generation of his atheistical, papistical, prelatical,
     and tyrannical enemies, who have rebelled against him, and have
     renounced, corrupted, and subverted his royal government, both in
     the church and in the world, both in his kingdom of grace and of
     power: do bear witness and testimony against these rebels, from the
     highest to the lowest: and assert the interest and title of our
     princely Master, and own allegiance and absolute obedience to him
     and his government, to which he hath undoubted right; an essential
     right by his eternal Godhead, being the everlasting Father, whose
     goings forth have been of old from everlasting; a covenant-right by
     compact with the Father, to bear the glory and rule upon his
     throne, by virtue of the council of peace between them both; a
     donative right by the Father's right of delegation, by which he
     hath all power given to him in heaven and in earth, and all
     authority, even because he is the Son of man; an institute right by
     the Father's inauguration, which hath set him as King in Zion; an
     acquisite right by his own purchase, by which he hath merited and
     obtained not only subjects to govern, but the glory of the sole
     sovereignty over them in that relation, a name above every name; a
     bellical right by conquest, making the people fall under him, and
     be willing in the day of his power, and overcoming those that make
     war with him; an hereditary right by proximity of blood and
     primogeniture, being the first born, higher than the kings of the
     earth, and the first born from the dead, that in all things he
     might have the pre-eminence; an electing right by his people's
     choice and surrender, a crown wherewith his mother crowned him in
     the day of his espousals. In a humble recognizance of all which
     rights, we own and avouch, that he hath that incommunicable
     prerogative of sole sovereignty over his visible kingdom, as well
     as invisible, without a co-partner or competitor, either
     co-ordinate or subordinate; in prescribing laws, by no human
     authority to be reversed; in appointing ordinances immutable,
     without addition or diminution, for matter or manner; instituting a
     government, which no man or angel can, without blasphemy, arrogate
     a power either to invert or evert, change or overturn; and
     constituting officers, which must depend only on his authority, and
     his alone; and must be cloathed only with his commission, and his
     alone; guided by his instructions, and his alone; acting according
     to his laws and prescribed platform, and his alone; without any
     dependence on, subordination to, licence, warrant or indulgence
     from any mortal. And therefore we disown and detest every thing
     that hath not the stamp of his authority, either in doctrine,
     worship, discipline or government: and will discountenance prelacy,
     supremacy, popery, and all corruption contrary to his institution,
     who is sole and supreme lawgiver to the conscience, and will submit
     to, or comply with nothing that may directly or indirectly signify
     our respect unto them. Hence we will take none of their oaths,
     subscribe none of their bonds, yield to none of their impositions,
     pay none of their exactions; neither will we hear or receive
     ordinances from any minister, but the faithful authorized
     ambassadors of Christ our king, whatever either rage or reproach we
     suffer for it. We assert and affirm also, that our exalted Prince
     is King of the whole world, by whom kings reign, and princes decree
     justice, as his ministers of justice, in subordination to him; whom
     he hath hath appointed to rule over us, with just boundaries, that
     they may not exceed, and true characters, by which we should know
     them and pay them deference. And therefore, whosoever shall
     arrogate to themselves, and extend their power beyond and above
     his prescripts, being neither called to, nor qualified for, nor
     improving the office for the ends he hath appointed; we will
     acknowledge them no otherwise than usurping tyrants, and not
     magistrates nor ministers of justice, to whom he hath given the
     sword by his perceptive will; only as lions, bears, wolves, to whom
     he hath given a rod by his providential will; in that case we may
     be passively subject, when we cannot do better; but will never own
     conscientious allegiance to them, nor own them as our lawful
     magistrates; and therefore we will not bow down to their idols they
     have set up, nor prostitute either conscience or liberty to their
     lust, but will endeavour, under our Master's banner and conduct, to
     preserve whatever he hath intrusted to us religion, life, liberty,
     estate, and whatsoever the Lord our God hath given us to possess,
     as they unjustly possess what their god gives them; and will
     maintain a war of constant opposition to them (against whom our
     Lord hath declared a war for ever) without parley, treaty of peace,
     capitulation, composition, truce, or any transaction; we will
     neither meddle nor make with them, less or more, nor seek their
     favour, nor embrace it when it is offered, on any terms that may
     imply any obligation to surcease from our duty to our King, and
     irreconcileable opposition to them,' &c.

Now I shall come more distinctly to the purpose, in offering a short
vindication of the heads and grounds of our great sufferings, dividing
them into their principal parts, which I reduce to two, to wit,
negatives and positives. The negative grounds I reckon three
principally. 1. For refusing to acknowledge a corrupt ministry. 2. For
refusing to own a tyrannical magistracy. 3. For refusing to swear and
subscribe their unlawful imposed oaths, chiefly that of abjuration,
which was the occasion of suffering unto death. The positive grounds are
also three. 1. For frequenting field-meetings, to receive gospel
ordinances from faithful ministers. 2. For maintaining the principle
and practice of defensive resistance of superior powers. 3. For
maintaining the privilege and duty of offensive revenge, in executing
justice upon murdering enemies of mankind, in cases of extreme
necessity, in prosecuting which, I shall intertex some subordinate
questions relating to their respective heads, and endeavour to discuss
them briefly.


_Where the sufferings of many, for refusing to acknowledge a corrupt
ministry, are vindicated; and the question of hearing curates is

This question, though it may seem nice, and of no great moment, to
persons of Gallio's or Laodicea's temper, indifferent and lukewarm
dispositions, consulting their own more than the things of Christ, which
make it pass without any enquiry with the most part of the world; yet,
to all who are truly tender in keeping a good conscience, free of the
times contagion, to all who have the true impression of the fear of God,
who is jealous, especially in the matters of his worship; to all who
have the true zeal of God eating them up, in a just indignation at the
indignities done to him, in usurping the office and corrupting the
administration of the ministry; to all who truly love the gospel, and
put a due value on the ordinances of Christ, the corruptions whereof
this question touches, it will be accounted of great importance.

There are three questions about the duty of hearing the word, concerning
which the Lord Jesus gives us very weighty cautions, to wit, what we
should hear, Mark iv. 24. how we should hear, Luke viii. 28. and whom we
should hear. The last of which, though it be not so expressly stated as
the other two, yet the searcher of the scriptures will find it as
clearly determined, and as many cautions to guard from erring in it, as
in any other case, and that the concern of conscience in it is very
weighty. And certain it is, if there had been more advertency in this
point, there would not have been such inconsideration and licentiousness
in the matter and manner of hearing. Nor would that itching humour and
luxuriancy of lust, in heaping up teachers to please the fancy, have
been so much encouraged, to the great detriment of the church, disgrace
of the gospel, and destruction of many poor souls. But through the
ignorance and neglect of this duty of trying whom we should hear, by
seeking some satisfying evidence of their being cloathed with authority
from Christ, the world hath been left loose in a licence to hear what
they pleased, and so have received the poison of error from the
mountebanks, instead of the true and wholesome potions of Christ's
prescripts from them that had power and skill to administer them. Hence
the many sects, and schisms, and errors that have pestered the church in
all ages, have in a great measure proceeded from this latitude and
laxness of promiscuous hearing of all whom they pleased, whom either the
world's authority impowered, or by other means were possessed of the
place of preaching, without taking any cognizance whether they had the
characters of Christ's ambassadors or not. If this had been observed,
and people had scrupled and refused to hear these whom they might know
should not have preached; neither the great antichrist, nor the many
lesser antichrists, would have had such footing in the world as they
have this day. It is then of no small consequence to have this question
cleared. Neither is it of small difficulty to solve the intricacies of
it, what characters to fix for a discovery of Christ's true ministers;
whom we should submit to and obey in the Lord, and love and esteem them
for their work's sake, and for their qualities sake, as standing in
Christ's stead, having the dispensation of the word of reconciliation
committed to them; and how we may discern those characters; what
judgment is incumbent to private Christians, for the satisfaction of
their own consciences in the case; and how they ought to demean
themselves in their practice, without scandal on either hand, or sin
against their own conscience; how to avoid the rocks and extremes that
inadvertency or precipitancy in this matter may rush upon; so as to
escape and sail by the Scylla of sinful separation on the one hand, and
the Charybdis of sinful union and communion on the other, which are
equally dangerous; especially how these cautions are to be managed in a
broken, and disturbed, and divided case of the church. The question also
is the more difficult, that as it was never so much questioned before
this time, and never so much sought to be obscured, by the perverse
disputings of men of corrupt minds, to find out evasions to cover sin
and escape sufferings upon this account; so it hath never been discussed
by divines either at home or abroad, with relation to our case, except
what hath been of late by some faithful men, who have suffered upon this
head, from whom I shall gather the most of my arguments, in as
compendious a way as I can without wronging them. The reason, I fancy,
that we are at such a loss in our helps from the learned on this head,
is partly, that they have written with relation to their own times, in a
constitute case of the church, when corruptions and disorders might be
orderly rectified, and people might have access to get their scruples
removed in a legal way by church-order, in which case the learned and
judicious Mr. Durham hath written excellently in his book on scandal;
but therein neither he nor others did consult, nor could have a prospect
of such a case as ours is; and partly, that foreign divines, not having
this for their exercise, could not be acquainted with our
circumstantiate case, and so are not fit nor competent arbiters to
decide this controversy; hence many of them do wonder at our sufferings
upon this head. Every church is best acquainted with her own testimony.
Yet we want not the suffrage of some of the most learned of them, as the
great Gisb. Voetius in his polit. eccles. in several places comes near
to favour us: where he allows people to leave some, and hear such
ministers as they profit most by, from these grounds, 'That people
should choose the best and most edifying gifts, and from that scripture,
1 Thess. v. 21. Prove all things, &c. and answers objections to the
contrary, and granteth, that, upon several occasions, one may abstain
from explicit communion with a corrupt church, for these reasons, that
such communion is not absolutely necessary, by necessity either of the
mean or precept, where the Christian shall have more peace of
conscience, and free exercise of Christian duties elsewhere, and that he
may keep communion with more purity in other places, polit. eccles.
quest. 17. pag. 68. And he approves of the people refusing to bring
their children to be baptized by such corrupt ministers, because they
may wait until they have occasion of a minister; for if the best gifts
be to be coveted, why should not the best ministers be preferred? and
why should not Christians shew by their deeds, that they honour such as
fear the Lord, and contemn a vile person? They ought not to partake of
other men's sins, 1 Cor. v. 9, 11. Eph. v. 11. They should not
strengthen the hands of the wicked, and make sad the godly; the
authority of such ministers should not be strengthened,' Voet. polit.
eccles. pag. 637 to 640. But though it labour under all these
disadvantages; yet it is not the less, but so much the rather necessary,
to say somewhat to clear it, with dependence upon light from the
fountain, and with the help of faithful men who have sufficiently
cleared it up, to all that have a conscience not blinded nor bribed with
some prejudices, by which more light hath accrued to the church in this
point of withdrawing from corrupt ministers than ever was attained in
former times; which is all the good we have got of prelacy. Insomuch
that I might spare labour in adding any thing, were it not that I would
make the arguments, vindicating this cause of suffering, a little more
public, and take occasion to shew, that the grounds espoused by the
present and reproached party for their withdrawings, so far as they are
stretched, are no other than have been owned by our writers on this
head; to the intent that it may appear, there is no discrepancy, but
great likeness and harmony between the arguments and grounds of
withdrawing, in the late informatory vindication, &c. and those that are
found in other writings. And so much the rather I think it needful to
touch this subject now, that not only this hath been the first ground of
our sufferings, but many that suffered a while for it, now have fainted,
and condemned all their former contendings for this part of the
testimony, calling in question all these reasons that formerly satisfied
them. But to proceed with some distinctness in this thorny point: some
concessory assertions must first be permitted, and then our grounds

First, I willingly yield to, and cordially close with the truth of these

I. The unity of the spirit, in the bond of peace, ought to be the
endeavour of all that are members of the one body of Christ, partakers
of his one Spirit, called in one hope, professing one Lord, confessing
one faith, sealed with one baptism, Eph. iv. 3. &c. and for brethren to
dwell together in unity, is good and pleasant, and like the precious
ointment upon the head, that ran down upon Aaron's beard, Psal. cxxxiii.
1, 2. A fragrant ointment indeed, if it be composed aright of gospel
simples, according to divine art, and the wisdom that is from above,
which is pure, and then peaceable: and not made up of adulterate
politics: that union that hath the Spirit for its author, the scripture
for its rule, peace for its bond and beauty, love for its cement, faith
for its foment, Christ for its foundation, and truth and holiness for
its constant companions, cannot but be intensely desired, enixly
endeavoured, and fervently followed by all the professors of the gospel
of peace, and subjects of the Prince of peace: which makes division and
schism, not only a great misery, but a grand sin. But it must be in the
way of truth and duty, and consistent with holiness and the honour of
Christ, otherwise if it be in the way of apostasy and defection, it is
but a confederacy and conspiracy against the Lord. And true union can
neither be attained, nor retained, nor recovered, except the sinful
cause of division, defection, and the holy over-ruling cause, the anger
of the Lord be removed, in turning to and following him.

II. Though there be not perfect union, but diversity both of judgments
and practices, in several cases there may be communion with a church in
its ordinances and ministry. As, 1. We may have a catholic communion
with all christian ministers and members of the catholic church,
considered as such; holding the head Christ, and the fountain sure. And
so we may meet for worship with all devout men in every nation under
heaven, whether they be Parthians, or Medes, or Elamites, or French or
Dutch, &c. though differing in controversies of lesser moment, not
overturning that; if they hold the universal testimony of the gospel,
against the common enemies thereof, Jews, Turks, or Pagans: for there is
neither Greek nor Jew, if he be a christian, Christ is all and in all,
Col. iii. 11. But if they be heretics, we can have no communion with
them. 2. We may have a more special communion with all protestant
ministers and members of the reformed church, considered as such, more
strictly, and upon stricter conditions: providing they hold, not only
the universal of christians, but the general testimony of protestants,
against the greater and lesser antichrists; though differing from us in
some circumstantial points, not reformed, and not contradictory unto the
protestant testimony against popery, and all heresy; nor declining from
their own reformation, by defection or schism. And consequently, it is
lawful to own communion with the churches of the united provinces, and
take ordination from them, though they have some forms not allowable,
from which they were never reformed, because they are sound in the
protestant testimony. But with the sectarians, or schismatics, or
apostates among them, we cannot own that special communion. 3. We may
have a more particular communion upon yet stricter conditions with all
our covenanted brethren, ministers and members of the churches of
Britain and Ireland, considered as such: providing they hold, not only
the universal, not only the more special, protestant testimony against
the greater and lesser antichrists, but the covenanted testimony for the
reformation in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, against
popery, prelacy, superstition, heresy, schism, and profaneness,
according to the covenant; though differing from us in those
controversial points, never reformed, and which were never the word of
Christ's patience, and do not overturn the covenanted testimony. But
with those that contradict and counteract that, we own that particular
communion. 4. We may have yet a nearer organical communion, upon
stricter conditions still with all the ministers and members of the
national church of Scotland constitute and confederate under one
reformed government, according to the rule of Christ: providing they
hold, not only all the former testimonies under the foresaid
considerations, but the presbyterian testimony as stated in the
ecclesiastical constitution, and sworn to in the national covenants and
engagements of that church, founded upon the word of God, against
popery, prelacy, erastianism, sectarianism, toleration, schism and
defection; though differing in some things from us, never reformed,
never considered in ecclesiastical judicatories, never engaged against
in our covenants, never stated as the word of patience and matter of
testimony. But with those that oppose, suppress, reproach, and abandon
this testimony, we cannot own this organical communion, in this broken
state of the church. We may have yet a stricter congregational
communion, upon stricter conditions, in and with the ordinary or
extraordinary meetings or societies of the Lord's people for gospel
ordinances, with any minister or ministers, duly and truly admitted to
that function, according to Christ's appointment, and the call of the
people, whether in a fixed or unfixed relation; providing he holds the
testimony of Christ, under all the considerations, and owns and adheres
unto the true received principles of the church of Scotland, in
doctrine, worship, discipline and government, founded upon the written
word of God, and whatsoever declarations or testimonies, former or
latter, particular or more general, are agreeable thereunto; though
differing from us in some of the integral and not essential parts of our
testimony against the enemies of our covenanted reformation. But with
such as deny or decline from it, by schism or defection, or compliance
with the enemies thereof, we cannot own this congregational communion,
in this broken state of the church.

III. Though there be many things in a church, to brangle and lessen the
comfort of our communion with it, and the ministry thereof; yet we may
keep fellowship with a true church, though in many things faulty and
corrupt, as all churches are, in some measure, in this militant state.
As the church of Corinth had many corruptions in their practice, yet no
separation is enjoined from it. And the Lord did not require separation
from the churches of Pergamos and Thyatira; though they had many
corruptions and deficiences in discipline, in a toleration of heretics;
and would lay no other burden upon them, but to hold fast what they had:
as Mr. Durham shews in his Commentary on the Revelation, chap. 2. lect.
6. page 148, 149. as also chap. 18. lect. 1. page 585. in 4to. This must
be granted especially in these cases, 1. In the infant state of the
church, when the reformation is only begun: then many things may be
tolerated, before they be gradually reformed, which, in an adult state,
are not to be suffered. 2. In a growing case of the church, advancing
out of corruptions, then many things may be borne with, while they are
ascending and wrestling up the hill, which in a declining state, when
the church is going backward, must not be yielded unto. See that
objection of hearing prelatical men in the time of former prelacy,
answered above, Period 4. In a constitute and settled case of the
church, enjoying her privileges and judicatories, corruptions may be
forborn, and the offended are not to withdraw, before recourse to the
judicatories for an orderly redress; but in a broken and disturbed
state, when there is no access to these courts of Christ; then people,
though they must not usurp a power of judicial censuring these
corruptions, yet they may claim and exercise a discretive power over
their own practice; and by their withdrawing from such ministers as are
guilty of them, signify their sense of the moral equity of these
censures that have been legally enacted against these and the equivalent
corruptions, and when they should be legally inflicted. As we do upon
this ground withdraw from the prelatic curates, and likewise from some
of our covenanted brethren, upon the account of their being chargeable
with such corruptions and defections from our reformation, as we cannot
but shew our dislike of. This the reverend author of Rectius Instruendum
justifies, Confut. 3. Dial. chap. 10. p. 8. where he is shewing what
separation is not sinful; and gives this for one, If we separate in
that, which a national church hath commanded us as her members to
disown, by her standing acts and authority, while those from whom we
separate own that corruption. Which holds true of the curates, and
indulged and addressers, and all that we withdraw from. However it be,
certainly those are to be withdrawn from, with whom we cannot
communicate without submitting to the laws establishing them, and taking
on that test and badge of our incorporation with them, and partaking of
their sin, and in hazard of their judgment.

IV. Though in some cases, as we are warranted, so are necessitated to
withdraw: yet neither do we allow it upon slight or slender grounds, nor
can any tender soul be forced to discountenance the ministers of Christ,
(I do not here speak of the prelatical curates), without great
reluctancy and grief of heart, even when the grounds of it are solid and
valid, and the necessity unavoidable; therefore we reject these as
insufficient grounds. Besides what are given already, 1. We cannot
withdraw from a minister, for his infirmities or weakness, natural,
spiritual, or moral. 2. Neither for personal faults and escapes: we
expect a faithful, but not a sinless ministry. 3. Nor for every defect
in faithfulness, through ignorance, want of courage, misinformation, or
being biassed with affection for particular persons. We do not hold,
that faults in members or defects in ministers, do pollute the
ordinances, and so necessitate a separation; but agree with what Mr.
Durham says on Revelations, chap. 2. lect. 6. p. 147. in quarto.
Sincerity discovered will cover many faults. 4. Nor for every discovery
of hypocrisy; though we may have ground to suspect a man's principle and
motive be not right, yet if he be following duty unblameably, and have a
lawful call, what then! "notwithstanding every way, whether in pretence
or in truth, Christ is preached, therein we may rejoice," Phil. i. 18.
5. Nor yet for real scandals, not attended with obstinacy, if ministers
will take reproof and admonition, and at least by doctrinal confessing,
and practical forsaking them, satisfy the offended. 6. Yea, though his
scandals be so gross, that we must discountenance him, when he persists
in them: yet that is not a disowning of his ministry, or a rejecting
his commission, but a discountenancing for his disorders, until they be
removed. But the Apologet. Relat. sect. 14. p. 290, 291. says, (1.)
'There may be ministerial corruptions, that cut the very throat of the
office, and make one no officer,----and it is past questioning, such may
be shunned, without all hazard of separation. (2.) When personal faults
are very gross and palpable, open and avowed, such may be shunned
without any hazard of separation; because the man's being an officer,
before God, is much to be questioned; and there is great probability,
that by the very deed itself, he had forefaulted the same, though such
should be the corruption in a church, that notwithstanding of all this
he may be maintained. (3.) Separation is one thing, and not hearing such
or such a man is a far other thing: there may be many just grounds of
exception against a particular person, why people may refuse to
countenance him, without any hazard of separation, or joining with
separatists in their principles: separation is one thing, and refusing
to attend the ministry of such a man is another thing; for a man may
join with ordinances in another congregation, and so testify that he
hath no prejudice at the ministry, but only against such a man in
particular.' Whence it is an ignorant as well as malicious calumny, to
say, that our withdrawing from the curates, and also from some
ministers, whom otherwise we respect and reverence as godly ministers,
for their offensive defections, is a disowning all the ministry of
Scotland. Whereas, we do profess indeed a disowning of the curate's
ministry, but for our reverend presbyterian ministers, though we do
discountenance many of them with sad hearts, for not keeping the word of
the Lord's patience in this hour of tentation, nor adhering to the
principles and constitutions of the church of Scotland: yet this is not
a disowning of their ministry, but a refusing to countenance them in
their present administrations, in this disturbed state, till these
offences be removed.

V. As to disown the ministry were hateful sectarianism; so to dissolve
or break off communion with a true church, whereof we are members, were
an unnatural schism, which is horrid sin. But because among all the
various sufferings, wherewith the poor tossed and racked remnant now
persecuted, have been exercised, this hath not been the lightest; that
they have been on all hands stigmatized as schismatics and separatists,
not only because they have maintained a resolved withdrawing from the
curates, but also have discountenanced many presbyterian ministers, with
whom they have been offended for their declining courses, and
compliances with the times corruptions, and forsaking in a great measure
the duty of this day: I shall distinguish some cases of separation, out
of the writings of our approven authors, which will justify all their
withdrawings. 1. Mr. Durham distinguishes these three, schism separating
from the unity and communion of a true church, consisting not always in
diversity of doctrine, but in divided practices, according to that of
Augustine, it is not a different faith makes schismatics, but a broken
society of communion: then separation, either in whole from a church as
no church, or in part in some things wherein they cannot communicate
with that corrupt church, which is lawful if it exceed not its ground;
then, lastly, secession, a local removing to a better church. The first
of these cannot be imputed to the persecuted wanderers: for they
separate from no true church, whereof they were members, but these from
whom they separate, will be found to be the schismatics. 2. The second
of these, to wit separation, is either positive and active, or negative
and passive. The first is, when a party not only leaves communion with a
church whereunto they were formerly joined, but also gathers up new
distinct churches, different from the former, under another government
and ministry, and ordinances, disowning those they left. The latter is,
when the faithful remnant of a declining church, standing still and
refusing to concur with the backsliding part of the same church, after
they have become obstinate in their defections, hold closely by, and
adheres unto the reformation attained. This famous Mr. Rutherford, in
his due right of presbyteries, p. 253, 254. sheweth to be lawful, and
calleth it a non-union, as that in Augustine's time, when the faithful
did separate from the Donatists; which is lawful and laudable. 3. 'Mr.
Rutherford there proceeds to distinguish between a separation from the
church in her worst and most part, and a separation from the best and
least part: and these who separate from the worst and greatest part, do
notwithstanding retain a part of, and a part in the visible church,
because they do not separate from the church, according to the least and
best part thereof; as the godly in England, who refused the popish
ceremonies and antichristian bishops. Hence it will follow, that though
people should now withdraw from communion with the greatest part of the
church, which is now corrupted, they cannot be counted separatists,
because they hold full communion with the better, though lesser part.
Moreover he saith, p. 254, 255. That there may be causes of non-union
with a church which are not sufficient causes of separation. Lastly, he
tells us in the same place, p. 258. when the greatest part of a church
makes defection from the truth, the lesser part remaining sound, the
greatest part is the church of separatists; though the manyest and
greatest part in the actual exercise of discipline be the church, yet in
the case of right discipline the best, though fewest, is the church. For
truth is like life, that retireth from the manyest members unto the
heart, and there remaineth in its fountain in case of dangers. So that
it is the major part which hath made defection, that are to be accounted
separatists, and not such who stand to their principles, though they
cannot comply or join with the corrupt majority.'

Thus the Apol. Relat. rehearsed his words, sect. 14. pag. 292. 293. 4.
There may be a lawful withdrawing, where the ordinances and ministry are
not cast at, as the Apol. Rel. saith ibid. 291. 'So then, so long as
people do not cast at the ordinances, but are willing to run many miles
to enjoy them: nor cast at the church as no church (thought they sadly
fear, that God shall be provoked by this dreadful defection, which is
carried on by these men and their favourers, to give her a bill of
divorce) nor at the ministry, for they love those that stand to their
principles dearly, and are most willing to hear them either in public or
private. 5. It is granted by all that write against separatists, that
separation from a church is lawful, when the case so falleth out, that
union cannot be kept up with her without sin,' Voet. Polit. Eccles. p.
68. quest. 17. 6. The grave author of Rectius Instruendum Confut. 3
dial. chap. pag. 7. &c. 'Allows, every separation is not schism, even
from the church which hath essentials; yea, and more than essentials: if
it be from those (though never so many) who are drawing back from
whatever piece of duty and integrity is attained; for this is still to
be held fast, according to many scripture commands. So Elias, when God's
covenant was forsaken, was as another Athanasius (I and I only am left)
in point of tenacious integrity. 7. Next he says, If we separate in that
which a national church hath commanded us as her members to disown, by
her standing acts and authority, while those from whom we separate own
that corruption. 8. Likewise he there asserts, there is a lawful
forbearance of union and compliance with notorious backsliders, in that
which is of itself sinful, or inductive to it: which is far from
separation strictly taken. The commands of abstaining from all
appearance of evil, and hating the garment spotted with the flesh, do
clearly include this. 9. He adds, many things will warrant separation
from such a particular minister or congregation; which will not warrant
separation from the church national; nor infer it, by Mr. Durham's
acknowledgment (on Scandal, pag. 129.) for if scandals become excessive,
he allows to depart to another congregation. 10. Lastly, He says, There
is a commanded withdrawing from persons and societies even in worship,
the precepts, Rom. xvi. 17. 2 Cor. vi. 17. Prov. xix. 27. Acts ii. 40.
will clearly import this by consequence.--Surely the ministers and
professors, adhering to the reformation, must be the true church of
Scotland, though the lesser number: these soldiers who keep the generals
orders, are the true army, not the deserters of the same.'

But, Secondly, it being in part cleared by these assertions, what is our
mind in this controversy, I shall lay down from scripture oracles, all
the causes and cases justifying and warranting withdrawing from any
ministers; with application of all of them to the curates, and
accommodation of some of them to all that the wanderers withdraw from:
with arguments endeavouring to evince the validity of them, and
evidencing they are not new notions, but the same grounds which approven
authors have improved in this controversy. I shall omit the ordinary
criticisms in stating the question, in distinguishing betwixt hearing
and joining in worship, and owning them as our ministers, and submitting
to them, &c. And only essay to prove this thesis: we cannot, without
sin, own church communion in gospel ordinances with the prelates or
their curates, as our ministers, but must withdraw from them, and any
other guilty of the like corruptions, which we can make out against
them. I shall not resume what confirmations this thesis is strengthned
with, from the testimonies, or church constitutions of former periods,
which are permitted in the foregoing discourse; nor make any repetition
of the circumstances of our present condition, represented above, which
contributes to clear it: but shortly come to the arguments.

I. It is necessary that we must acknowledge them ministers of Christ,
and his ambassadors clothed with his commission, from whom we receive
the ordinances of the gospel. For otherwise they must be looked upon as
thieves, robbers, usurpers, and strangers, whom Christ's sheep will not,
nay must not hear, John x. 1, 5. And "how shall they preach," or be
heard, "except they be sent," Rom. x. 15. For such whom we know may not
lawfully preach, we cannot lawfully hear. These from whom we may receive
the mysteries of God, we must account ministers of Christ, 1 Cor. iv. 1.
and ambassadors for Christ, standing in his stead, beseeching us to be
reconciled to God, 2 Cor. v. 20. Hence such as we doubt to acknowledge
ministers of Christ, clothed with his commission, them we cannot hear
without sin; but the prelatical curates are such as we doubt to
acknowledge ministers of Christ, clothed with his commission: therefore
we cannot hear them. The minor only needs probation. These who neither
have nor can have the qualifications of a minister of Christ, cannot be
acknowledged with confidence to be ministers of Christ clothed with his
commission: but the prelatical curates are such: Ergo----First, they
neither have, nor can have the qualifications of Christ's ministers;
since few of them have the personal, as christians, far less the
ministerial as officers, mentioned 1 Tim. iii. 2, 3. Tit. i. 6, 9.
except it be to be "husbands of one wife," and if that do not make them
ministers, they having nothing else, especially four are wanting in all
of them. (1.) Blamelessness, and freedom from scandal, even such as
affects the office (besides other gross disorders in their life and
conversation, obvious to the view of onlookers, being men who have
denied the faith; and therefore unfit to have the privilege of church
members in any well governed church) being, in the experience of all
that know them signalized under the characters of those that run unsent,
and from whom we are commanded to withdraw: causing the people to err by
their lies, and by their lightness, not sent of God, Jer. xxiii. making
the heart of the righteous sad, and strengthening the hands of the
wicked, Ezek. xiii. 22. See also Ezek. xxxiv. 2, 3. Such as we are
commanded to beware of, Matth. vii. 15, 16. Such as we must mark and
avoid, Rom. xvi. 17, 18. Phil. iii. 2. Disorderly walkers from whom we
must withdraw, 2 Thess. iii. 6. Covenant breakers, from whom we are
commanded to turn away, 2 Tim. iii. 3, 5. They are not then blameless:
and in shewing how fitly these agree unto the persons now spoken of,
time needs not be spent, such as know them can best judge. Hence, such
as either are not fit to be church members, or have all the characters
of such officers from whom we are to withdraw, cannot be acknowledged
capable of the qualifications of the ministers of Christ; but such are
the curates: Ergo----(2.) The qualification of vigilancy cannot be found
with them for all that know them will acknowledge that they neither do,
nor can in preaching the word be "instant in season and out of season,"
so as to make "full proof of their ministry," 2 Tim. vi. 1,--5. Nay,
they can give no proof of their ministry at all, further than may be
competent to dumb dogs that cannot bark, Isa. lvi. 10, 11. For they nor
no man can say, That the diseased they have strengthened, or healed that
which was sick, &c. Ezek. xxxiv. 4. And it is known to all that know
them, that if ever there were any that assumed to themselves the name of
Levites, who departed out of the way, and caused many to stumble at the
law, and corrupted the covenant of Levi, and therefore were deservedly
contemptible and base before all the people, (Mat. ii. 8, 9.) they are
the men. Let any man judge then, whether they have the qualifications of
the messengers of the Lord of hosts. Hence, they that can give no proof
of their ministry, but that which proves them to be such whom the Lord
condemns, and such who deserve to be contemned of all, cannot be
acknowledged to be qualified as the Lord's ministers; but the prelatic
curates can give no proof of their ministry, &c. Ergo----(3.) The
qualification of aptness to teach is wanting; yea, incompatible with
them, not only such of them as are noted for ignorance, of whom clearly
that is verified, they are blind watchmen, they are all ignorant (Isa.
lvi. 10.) but even their greatest clerks and rabbies may fitly be called
after the name of their forefathers, whom Christ calls blind leaders of
the blind, concerning whom he gives a command to let them alone, Mat.
xv. 14. Either generally they are discovered to be such masters of
Israel, as know not these things, John iii. 10. being men not exercised
in religion, and have not learned the truth as it is in Jesus; or they
are such, as if they have had gifts or grace, yet now they are palpably
blasted of God, and so cannot profit the people at all, being such as do
not stand in God's counsel, for then they should have turned the people
from their evil way, and so they are not apt to teach others when they
are not taught of God, but steal his words every one from their
neighbour, clearly discovering they are not sent of him, Jer. xxiii. 21,
22, 30, 32. And because they do not stand in God's counsel, they cannot
declare all the counsel of God, Acts xx. 27. For they can neither be apt
to teach repentance towards God, since they cannot be supposed to be
sensible of these sins to be repented of, for which the land perisheth,
and is burnt up like a wilderness, Jer. ix. 12. For then they would
first repent themselves of their own conformity with prelacy, of their
breach of covenant, &c. All that they can do in such a subject is, to
see vain and foolish things, and not to discover the land's iniquity,
but to see false burdens, and causes of banishment, Lam. ii. 14. Nor can
they be apt to teach faith, seeing in many things they teach otherwise
than Christ hath taught us in his word, and consent not to wholesome
words, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, from such
the command is to withdraw, 1 Tim. vi. 3,--5. whose mouths must be
stopped when they teach things which they ought not, Tit. i. 9,--11.
which is undeniable to all that know what sort of stuff they preach,
contrary to the word of God, and the principles of our covenanted
reformation. Hence if none of them be apt to teach, then none of them is
fit to be heard; but none of them is apt to teach: Ergo----'It is true
private christians may not judge of the endowments and qualifications of
ministers; yet every private christian hath the judgment of discretion,
and that way may judge such an one if he appear qualified according to
the rule of the word; and may doubt if he be a qualified minister before
God, wanting these qualifications which the word requireth,' Apol.
Relat. sect. 15. p. 285. Secondly, They have not the lawful call of a
minister of Christ, so much as an external call of his institution:
which I prove thus. They that have presentations from patrons, and
collations from prelates, and no more for a call, have no lawful call at
all; but the curates have presentations from patrons, and collations
from prelates, and no more for a call: Ergo they have no lawful call at
all. The minor cannot be doubted: 'For, in this government, the
minister's mission, call, ordination, and relation to such a people over
whom he is to officiate, flows all from the prelate; the congregational
eldership hath not the least interest in it: hence the presbyterian way
of calling pastors was ranversed by the parliament, when prelacy was set
up, and the old custom of patronages was restored,' Rectius Instru.
Confut. of 1 Dial. chap. 4. p. 3. The major proposition may be proven by
parts. First, Presentations from patrons cannot give a lawful call; for
besides what other reasons might be given against this old relict of
popish bondage of patronages, it destroys that privilege and liberty of
the church in calling their own pastors, and makes all intruders,
without the church's choice; whereas the flock are allowed a judgment of
discretion, knowledge of, and consent to the admission of their pastors,
to whom they intrust their soul's directions, before they be subject to,
and obey him in the Lord, for otherwise he is a stranger that hath not
come in at the door, and they must not, nor will not be imposed upon,
John x. 1-5. They had an interest in choosing and nominating even the
apostles, though there were other apostles of infallible knowledge, as
to qualifications, present to ordain them; and they appointed two to be
chosen by lot, Acts vi. 23. and even the deacons were looked out and
chosen by the people, and appointed over the business, Acts vi. 3. 'Much
less ought ministers to be thrust upon such a weighty employment, to
pleasure great men who are patrons, since in their faithfulness the
people are infinitely more concerned,' Rectius Instruen. ubi Supra.
Hence, if the curates have no call but what destroys the people's
privilege, they have no lawful call at all, neither ought they to be
owned, or countenanced as called ministers; but by the presentation of
patrons they have no call, but what destroys the people's privilege:
Ergo--Next, collations from prelates cannot give a lawful call: for (1.)
they cannot give that to others which they have not themselves; but they
have not a lawful call themselves, because they are not lawful officers,
as is clear, and may be proven afterwards. (2.) the only way of
conveyance of an ordinary call to this office, is by the act of a
presbytery, Tim. iv. 4. And, by ministers, their ordaining elders in
every church, with the consent of that church; but a prelate's collation
is not this act of a presbytery. (3.) That which only makes a man a
prelate's depute, cannot give him a call to the ministry of Christ; but
this collation only makes a man a prelate's depute. Or thus, a prelate's
depute is no minister; but a curate is a prelate's depute: Ergo----That
a prelate's depute is no minister, I prove; not only from that, that a
prelate, as such, is not a servant of Christ, but an enemy; and
therefore cannot confer upon another, that dignity to be Christ's
servant; but from this, that the scripture allows no derivation of
deputed officers. If no officers of Christ can have deputes of Christ's
institution; then the deputes that they make cannot be Christ's officers
of his institution; but no officers of Christ can have deputes by
Christ's institution: every man that hath any piece of stewardship in
God's family must ever see and execute it immediately by himself, and
wait upon it, Rom. xii. 7, 8. That curates are prelates deputes is
clear: for they are subject to them in order and jurisdiction, and
derive all their power from them, and are accountable to them: therefore
they cannot be acknowledged with confidence of conscience to be Christ's
ministers. 'Because they have not such a visible evidence of the call of
Christ, as, in reason and charity, doth oblige all men to receive the
person so called, as truly sent: which things are so evident in
themselves, that whoever denieth them, is obliged by the same
consequence to affirm, that if Simon Magus had in his horrid wickedness,
purchased the apostleship by money, the Christian world had been bound
to receive him as an apostle,' Naphtali, p. 105, 106, first edition.
That their ministry is the Lord's ordinance is plainly denied, Naphtali,
p. 109. 'They have nothing like a solemn ordination, having no
imposition of hands of the presbytry with fasting and prayer, according
to the order of the gospel, but the sole warrant and mission of the
prelate, and therefore it cannot be lawful to countenance such, and to
look upon them as lawful ministers,' Apol. Relat. sect. 15. pag. 183. It
will be objected here, 1. 'That then their baptism is no baptism, if
they be no ministers.' Ans. '(1.) what sad consequences may follow upon
the nulling of their office, let them see to it who either send such
forth, or employ them.' Apol. Relat. ib. p. 294. the best way to avoid
these inconveniences is not to countenance them. But (2.) the same
answers may serve which are adduced for popish baptisms and ordinations:
and the deed sometimes signifies, That it ought not to be done. Next it
will be, Object. 2. That many of the curates were in the ministry
before, therefore the argument is not stringent against them. Ans. The
one half of it about the qualifications does still urge them, through
the want of which, and their base treachery and betraying their trust,
and perjuries in breaking covenant, they have really forefaulted their
ministry, and loosed all from an obligation to hear them, or any other
to whom these scripture-characters may be applied, and brings all under
the guilt of partaking with them that hear them.

II. It is necessary also, that all whom we may lawfully hear as
ministers and ambassadors of Christ, should not only have had a
commission from Christ, sometimes conveyed to them in his orderly
appointed way, by and from approven church officers; but they must have
it then when we hear them, at this time when we own communion with them.
For if they have sometimes had it, and forefaulted or changed it, by
taking a new right another way, it is all one in point of owning them,
as if they had none at all: and we must not meddle with such
changelings, in things that they and we must not come and go upon, Prov.
xxiv. 21. Now plain it is, that some curates sometimes had a commission
from Christ, when they were presbyters; but now they have changed their
holding, and taken a new right from them who are no officers of Christ,
invested with power to confirm or convey a ministerial mission; and so
they have forefaulted what they had. Mr. Durham, in a digression on this
subject of hearing, shews, that ministers may forefeit, on Revel. chap.
i. p. 55. in 4to. 'In matter of hearing (says he) it is not so hard to
discern, who are to be counted to speak without God's commission;
because ordinarily such have no warrantable call at all (no not in the
outward form, and so cannot be counted but to run unsent) or by palpable
defection from the truth, and commission given them in that call, they
have forefeited their commission: and so no more are to be counted
ambassadors of Christ, or watchmen of his flock, than a watchman of the
city is to be accounted an observer thereof, when he hath publicly made
defection to the enemy, and taken on with him.' Let the indulged and
addressing ministers advert to this: and consider, whether or not the
truly tender have reason to discountenance them, while they continue in
their palpable defection. But undeniably this resells that objection of
the curates ordination before they were curates; for they that change
their holding of a right, and take a new right which is null, they
forego and forefeit their old right, and all right; but the prelatic
curates have changed their holding of their right, and taken a new one,
which is null: therefore they have foregone and forefeited their old
one. The minor I prove thus. They who had a right from Christ by
conveyance of his officers, and take a new grant for the exercise of it,
not from Christ, but by conveyance of such as are none of his officers,
they change their holding, and take a new one, which is null. But the
prelatic curates, who had a right by conveyance of his officers, have
taken a new grant for the exercise of it, not from Christ, but by
conveyance of the prelate, which is none of his officers;
Therefore----The stress of all will ly in the probation of this, that
the prelate is none of Christ's officers, and therefore the conveyance
of a power from him is not from Christ. Which I prove, 1. Because his
office is cross to the very nature of gospel church government, and
therefore he cannot be a gospel church ruler. Christ discharged his
officers to exercise dominion (or lordship, Luke xxii. 25.) or
authority, as the Gentiles did, but that the chiefest should be only a
minister, Matth. xxii. 25, 26. The apostle Paul disclaims dominion over
the church, 2 Cor. i. ult. Peter exhorts the elders not to be lords over
God's heritage, 1 Pet. v. 3. The authority of church-officers then is
not a despotic power, but a ministerial stewardship. But the diocesan
bishop is both a lordly title and power, having all authority in the
diocese derived from him, as being as it were the universal pastor, and
so taking upon him a power, which is neither commanded, nor can be
discharged. Hence, he that subjects his ministry to the domination of a
strange lord, inverting the nature of gospel church-government, cannot
be owned in his ministry; but all curates subject their ministry, &c.
Therefore----2. Because he is an officer distinct from, and superior to
a presbyter or pastor; whereas the scripture makes a bishop and
presbyter all one. The elders of the church of Ephesus are called
episcopi or overseers, Acts xx. 17, 28. An ordained elder must be a
blameless bishop, as the steward of God, Tit. i. 5, 7. Again, it cannot
be shown, where the scripture mentions either name, qualification, work,
duty, or ordination of an ordinary church-officer superior to
presbyters, and which are not likewise appropriate to them who are
called rulers, governors, bishops. In all the holy Ghost's purposed
recitals of ordinary church-officers, there is not the least hint of a
diocesan bishop; and yet a deacon is described the meanest officer in
his work and qualifications. Hence then, if this diocesan prelate be
such an uncouth beast, that neither in name nor nature is found in the
word of God, all the power derived from him is null; but the first is
true: therefore----3. Because every officer in the scripture relates to
the flock (except the extraordinary officers, who were further extended,
now ceased) bishops of Ephesus, were overseers over the flock, Acts xx.
the elders that Peter writes to were over the flock. But this diocesan
antiscriptural monster pretends to be over the shepherds, and invents
new degrees and orders of superiority and inferiority of officers of the
same kind, beside and against the scripture, which makes all apostles
alike, and all evangelists, so all teachers; though there be a
distinction and superiority in diverse kinds, yet not in same. God hath
set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly
teachers, 1 Cor. xii. 28. but not among teachers, some above others, in
a power of order and jurisdiction. Hence, an officer over officers of
the same kind, is not an officer of Christ's institution, and
consequently any power conveyed from him is null; but a prelate pretends
to be an officer, over officers of the same kind: therefore, 4. Because
every officer in the church hath equally, and in perfect parity, equal
power and authority allowed them of God in the exercise of both order
and jurisdiction; all ruling elders may rule alike, and deserve equal
honour; and all preaching elders have the like authority, and the like
honour conferred upon them, 1 Tim. vi. 17. The scripture attributes both
power of order and jurisdiction; to all preaching presbyters equally.
They must oversee the flock (or as the word is, do the part of a bishop
over them) Acts xx. 28. and they must also feed the flock, 1 Pet. v. 2.
Subjection and obedience is due to them all alike: all that are over us
and admonish us, we must esteem highly for their work's sake, 1 Thes. v.
12. and obey and submit ourselves to them that watch for our souls, Heb.
xiii. 17. We find also excommunication belongs to all alike, 2 Cor. ii.
6. and ordination, 1 Tim. iv. 14. But the diocesan prelate takes from
presbyters to himself power of ordination, assuming only his curates for
fashion's sake, and the sole decisive power in church judicatories,
wherein he hath a negative voice; like a Diotrephes, the first prelate
who loved to have the pre-eminence, 3 John 9. the only precedent for
prelacy in the scripture. Hence, he that would take all power to
himself, which is undivided and equal to all officers by Christ's
appointment, hath none by Christ's allowance, but is to be reckoned an
usurping Diotrephes; but the Diocesan prelate would take all the power
to himself, which is undivided and equal to all. By all which it
appears, the prelate being no authorized church-officer of Christ's, no
authority can be derived from him; and so that such as betake themselves
to this pretended power, for warranting them in the function, can
warrantably claim no deference thereupon, nor can be owned as ministers,
whatever they were before. 'For this were an acknowledging of the power
and authority of prelates (especially when the law commands our hearing
as a submitting to them.) The reason is, because these men came forth
from the prelate, having no other call or warrant but what the prelate
giveth: and so a receiving of them will be a receiving of the prelate,
as a refusing of them will be accounted a slighting of the prelate and
his power,' Apol. Relat. 15. p. 272.

III. It is necessary also, that all with whom we own communion as
ministers, should be Christ's ambassadors, having then, when we hear
them, and holding still their commission from Christ as king, and only
head of his church: conveyed not only from church-officers, in a way
that he hath revealed as the prophet of his church, but in a way of
dependence upon, and subordination to Christ as king, who ascending far
above principalities and powers, appointed and gave the gifts of the
ministry, Eph. iv. 8, 11. and set them in the church, 1 Cor. xii. 28.
and gave them commission to go and teach the nations, by virtue of that
all power that was given to him in heaven and earth, Matth. xxviii. 18,
19. If then they take a new holding, and close with a new conveyance of
the ministry, and of the power to exercise the same, from a new
architectonic usurped power in the church, encroaching on Christ's royal
prerogative, we dare not homologate such an affront to Christ, as to
give them the respect of his ambassadors, when they became the servants
of men, and subject even in ministerial functions to another head than
Christ, for then they are the ministers of men, and by men, and not by
Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead, because
they do not hold the head, Col. ii. 19. Hence those that receive and
derive their church power from, and are subordinate in its exercise to,
another head than Christ Jesus, should not be received and subjected to
as the ministers of Christ in his church; but the prelates and their
curates do receive and derive their church power from, and are
subordinate in its exercise to, another head than Christ: therefore they
should not be received, &c. The first proportion cannot be denied, the
second is proved thus: Those officers in the church, professing
themselves such, that derive their church power from, and are
subordinate in its exercise to, a power truly architectonic and supreme
in the church (to wit the magistrate) beside Christ, do derive their
power from, and are subordinate in its exercise to another head than
Christ Jesus; but so it is that prelates and their curates do derive,
&c. Therefore----The major is evident; for whosoever hath a supreme
architectonic power in and over the church, must be a head to the same,
and the fountain of all church-power. The minor is also clear, from the
foregoing historical deduction, manifesting the present prelacy to be
gross erastianism; for the disposal of the government of the church is
declared by law to be the crown-right, and and an inherent perpetual
prerogative, and thereupon the bishops are restored to the episcopal
function; it is expressly declared, that there is no church power in the
church office-bearers, but what depends upon, and is subordinate unto
the supremacy, and authorized by the bishops, who are declared
accountable to the king for the administration; by virtue of which
ecclesiastic supremacy, he put excommunication, and spiritual censures,
and consequently the power of the keys, into the hands of persons merely
civil, in the act for the high commission. Hence it is clear, that as
the fountain of all church government, he imparts his authority to such
as he pleases, and the bishops are nothing else but his commissioners in
the exercise of that ecclesiastic power, which is originally in himself,
and that the curates are only his under clerks. All the stress will ly
in proving, that this monster of a supremacy, from which the prelates
and their curates have all their authority, is a great encroachment on
the glory of Christ as king; which will appear, if we will briefly
consider these particulars. 1. It usurps upon Christ's prerogative, who
only hath all undoubted right to this architectonic and magisterial
dominion over the church, his own mediatory kingdom; not only an
essential right by his eternal Godhead, being the everlasting Father,
whose goings forth hath been of old, from everlasting, Isa. ix. 6. Mic.
v. 2. in recognizance of which, we own but one God the Father, and one
Lord, by whom are all things, and we by him, 1 Cor. viii. 6. but also a
covenant-right, by compact with the Father, to bear the glory and rule
upon his throne, by virtue of the counsel of peace between them both,
Zech. vi. 13. A donative right by the Father's delegation, by which he
hath all power given in heaven and in earth, Mat. xxviii. 18. and all
things given into his hand, John iii. 35. and all judgment and authority
to execute it, even because he is the Son of man, John v. 22, 27. and to
be head over all things to the church, Eph. 1. 22. An institute right,
by the Father's inauguration, who hath set him as King in Sion, Psal.
ii. 6. and appointed him governor, that shall rule over his people
Israel, Matth. ii. 6. An acquisite right, by his own purchase, by which
he hath merited and obtained, not only subjects to govern, but the glory
of the sole sovereignty over them in that relation. A name above every
name, Phil. ii. 9. which is, that he is the head of the church, which
is as much his peculiar prerogative, as to be Saviour of the body, Eph.
v. 23. A bellical right by conquest, making the people fall under him,
Psal. xlv. 4. and be willing in the day of his power, Psal. cx. 3. and
overcoming those that make war with him, Rev. xvii. 14. An hereditary
right by proximity of blood and promogeniture, being the first born,
higher than the kings of the earth, Psal. lxxxix. 27. and the first born
from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence, Col.
i. 18. An elective right, by his people's choice and surrender, having a
crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals,
Cant. iii. last verse. By all which undoubted titles, it is his sole
incommunicable prerogative, without a co-partner or competitor,
co-ordinate or subordinate, to be judge, and only lawgiver, and king in
spirituals, Isa. xxxiii. 22. to be that one lawgiver, Jam. iv. 12. who
only can give the power of the keys to his officers, (which comprehends
all the power they have) Matth. xvi. 9. to be that one Master over all
church officers, who are but brethren, Matth. xxiii. 8, 10. in whose
name only they must perform all church acts, and all parts of their
ministry, and not in the name of any mortal, Matth. xxviii. 18, 19.
Matth. xviii. 20. from whom only they receive whatever they have to
deliver to the church, 1 Cor. xi. 23. to be the only instituter of his
officers, who hath set them in the church, 1 Cor. xii. 28. and gave them
to the church, Eph. iv. 11. whose ambassadors only they are, 2 Cor. v.
20. from whom they have authority for edification of the church, 2 Cor.
x. 8. 2 Cor. xiii. 10. in whose name only they are to assemble, and keep
and fence their courts, both the least, Matth. xviii. 20. and the
greatest, Acts xv. But now also this is usurped by one who is not so
much as a church-member, let be a church-officer, as such: for the
magistrate is neither, as he is a magistrate, otherwise all magistrates
would be church-members. Hence they that have all their power from a
mere usurper on Christ's prerogative, who is neither member nor officer
of the church, have none at all to be owned or received as his lawful
ambassadors; but the prelates and their curates have all their power
from a mere usurper on Christ's prerogative, who is neither member nor
officer of the church: Ergo----2. It confounds the mediatory kingdom of
Christ with, and subjects it to, the kingly government of the world,
removes the scripture land-marks and limits between civil and
ecclesiastic powers in making the governors of the state to be governors
of the church, and denying all church-government in the hands of
church-officers, distinct from and independent upon the civil
magistrate: which clearly derogates from the glory of Christ's mediatory
kingdom, which is altogether distinct from, and not subordinate to the
government of the world, both in the old testament and in the new. For,
they have distinct fountains whence they flow; civil government flows
from God Creator, church government from Christ the Lord Redeemer, Head
and King of his church, whose kingdom is not of this world, John xviii.
36. though for this end he came into the world, that he should have a
kingdom there, verse 37. They have distinct objects: civil government
hath a civil object, the outward man; church government a spiritual
object, men considered as Christians; in the old testament, the matters
of the Lord are clearly distinguished from the matters of the king, 2
Chron. xix. last verse. In the new testament, there are matters of
church cognizance which do not at all belong to the civil magistrate;
as, in the case of offence, they must tell the church, not the civil
magistrate, Matth. xviii. 15, 20. In the case of excommunication, the
church is to act by virtue of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor.
v. 4, 5. not by the magistrate's power; in the case of absolution, the
church is to judge what punishment is sufficient, and what evidence of
repentance is sufficient to remove it, 2 Cor. ii. 6, 7. So in the case
of trial and ordination of ministers, &c. None of those belong to the
magistrate. They have distinct natures: the civil is a magisterial, the
ecclesiastic is a ministerial government; the one is the power of the
sword, the other of the keys; the one put forth in political
punishments, the other in ecclesiastic censures: In the old testament,
the magistrate's power was coactive, by death, banishment, confiscation,
&c. Ezra vii. 26. the church, but putting out of the synagogue,
interdiction from sacred things, &c. In the new testament, the
magistrate's power is described, Rom. xiii. to be that of the sword by
punishment; the power of the church only in binding and loosing, Matth.
xvi, 19. They have distinct ends, the end of the one being the good of
the commonwealth, the other the church's edification: In the old
testament, the end of the civil government was one thing, and of the
church another, to wit, to warn not to trespass against the Lord, in
that forecited, 2 Chron. xix. 10. In the new testament, the end of
magistratical power is to be a terror to evil works, and a praise to the
good, Rom. xiii. 3. but the end of church power is edification, 1 Cor.
v. 5. 2 Cor. x. 8. 2 Cor. xiii. 10. They have distinct courts of
officers: in the old testament, the distinction of the civil and
ecclesiastic Sanhedrim is known, where there were distinct causes, and
persons set over them to judge them respectively, 2 Chron. xix. last
verse. In the new testament, we find officers given unto the church, 1
Cor. xii. 28. with no mention of the civil magistrate at all, and church
assemblies distinct from parliaments or senates (yea, when the
magistrate was an enemy) determining questions that did not belong to
the magistrate at all, Acts xv. we have rulers distinct from the rulers
of the commonwealth, 1 Thess. v. 12. whom we are to obey and submit
ourselves to as those who are accountable to Christ only, for to whom
else can they give account of souls? Heb. xiii. 17. we have rulers
inferior to labourers in word and doctrine, not to be honoured so much
as they: sure these cannot be civil rulers, 1 Tim. v. 17. we have rulers
commended for trying impostors, which were not magistrates, Rev. ii. 2.
And others who are rebuked for suffering hereticks, ibid. ver. 14, 15,
20. which supposes they had authority to do it; yet distinct from and
not depending on the magistrate. Besides it is from the confusion of the
two governments together, and making the supreme magistrate to be
supreme governor of the church, would follow many absurdities; as that
they who are not church-members should be church-officers, even heathen
magistrates; yea women should be church-officers; and none should be
chosen for magistrates, but such as have the qualifications of
church-officers. See Apol. Relat. Sect. 12. pag. 190. Rectius Instruen.
Confut. 1. Dial. chap. 6. pag. 50. Hence, they that in deriving their
authority do confound the two governments, civil and ecclesiastic, and
take it all from a mere civil power, cannot be owned as having any
authority of Christ's institution: but the prelates and their curates,
in deriving their authority, do confound the two governments civil and
ecclesiastic, and take it all from a mere civil power. This same
argument equally militates against hearing the indulged ministers, who
have taken a licence and warrant from the usurper of this supremacy:
because it is highly injurious to Christ's headship; very contrary to
presbyterian principles; clearly homologatory of the supremacy; plainly
prejudicial to the power of the people; very much establishing
erastianism; sadly obstructive and destructive to the good of the
church; wronging our cause and ground of suffering; strengthening the
prelates hands; contradictory to our covenants; prejudging the meetings
of God's people; and heinously scandalous and offensive: as is clear by,
and unanswerably proven in the history of the indulgence.

IV. There is a necessity that any man whom we may join with as a
minister, must not only be a minister, and a minister clothed with
Christ's commission then, when we join with him, but he must also have a
right to administer there where we join with him. Else we can look upon
him no otherwise than a thief and a robber, whom Christ's sheep should
not hear, John x. 1-5. Now the prelates and curates, though they should
be accounted and acknowledged ministers, yet they have not a right to
officiate where they have intruded themselves. Hence we have several
arguments, as 1. They who have no just authority, nor right to officiate
fixedly in this church as the proper pastors of it, ought not to be
received but withdrawn from: but the prelates and their curates have no
just authority, or right to officiate in this church as her proper
pastors: therefore they ought not to be received, but withdrawn from.
All the debate is about the minor, which may thus be made good. They who
have entered into and do officiate fixedly in this church, without her
authority and consent, have no right so to do: but the prelates and
their curates have entered into and officiate fixedly in this church,
without her authority and consent: Ergo--The major is manifest: for if
this church have a just right and power of electing and calling of
ministers, then they who enter into and officiate fixedly in this
church, without her authority and consent, have no just authority or
right so to do: But this church hath a just right and power of electing
and calling of ministers, as all true churches have. And, if it were not
evident from what is said above, might be easily demonstrated from
scripture. The minor, to wit, that the prelates and their curates have
entered into and officiate fixedly in this church, without her authority
and consent, is evident, from matter of fact: for there was no
church-judicatory called or convocated, for bringing of prelates into
this church; but on the contrary her judicatories were all cashiered and
discharged, and all her officers turned out to let them in; and all was
done immediately by the king and acts of parliament without the church;
a practice wanting a precedent in this, and (for any thing we know) in
all other churches: All that the curates can say is, that they came in
by the bishop and patron, who are not the church, nor have any power
from her for what they do; all their right and power is founded upon and
derived from the supremacy, whereby the diocesan erastian prelate is
made the king's delegate and substitute, only impowered thereto by his
law. This is Mr. Smith's, 1st and 6th argum. If 'we suppose a particular
congregation acknowledging their own lawful pastor, and a few violent
persons arise and bring in a minister by plain force, and cast out their
lawful pastor; are not the faithful in that church obliged to relinquish
the intruder, and not only discountenance him, but endeavour his
ejection?' This is our case, Naphtali, pag. 106. Sect. 5. first edition.
2. If we cannot submit to these curates, without consenting to the great
encroachments made upon the privileges of this church, then we cannot
submit to them without sin; but we cannot submit to them without
consenting to the great encroachments made upon the privileges of this
church: therefore we cannot submit to them without sin. The minor is all
the question: but instances will make it out. As first, The robbing of
the privilege of election of her pastors, and substituting the bondage
of patrons presentations, is a great encroachment upon the privilege of
this church: but accepting of curates as ministers lawfully called,
notwithstanding that they want the election of the people, and have
nothing for their warrant but a presentation from the patron, were a
consenting to that robbery and wicked substitution. It will be of no
force to say, Our forefathers did submit to this, and to a ministry who
had no other call. This is answered above in the narrative; 'tis a poor
consequence to say, The posterity may return backward, because their
forefathers could not advance further forward. Secondly, The thrusting
out of lawful ministers without any cause but their adhering to the
covenanted work of reformation, and thrusting in others in their rooms
who denied the same, is a great encroachment on the churches privileges;
but embracing and encouraging curates by countenancing their pretended
ministry, were a consenting to this violent extrusion and intrusion. The
minor is proven thus. They who leave the extruded, and countenance the
intruded, they consent to the extrusion and intrusion, and declare they
confess the intruded's right is better than his who is extruded: but
they who embrace and encourage curates by countenancing their pretended
ministry, do leave the extruded, to wit, their old ministers, and
countenance the intruded: Ergo----To say, that people, in this case,
should protest against these encroachments is frivolous; for withdrawing
is the best protestation: and if after their protestation they still
countenance the encroachment, they should undo their own protestation.
The same argument will militate against countenancing the indulged, or
any that obtained authority to preach in any place by a power
encroaching on the churches liberties. There is an objection to be
removed here, from Matth. xxiii. 2, 3. The Scribes and Pharisees sit in
Moses chair; therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and
do; therefore they who, without a title, usurp the office, may be heard.
Ans. 1. The case is no-ways alike; for then the Lord had no other church
in the world but that, which was confined in its solemnities of worship
to that place, where they intruded themselves: he had not yet instituted
the New Testament form of administration in its ordinances and officers.
Therefore the head of the church being present might give a toleration,
during pleasure: but it is not so now. But, 2. Our Lord's words bear no
command for the people to hear them at all, but only not to reject sound
doctrine, because it came from them: surely he would not bid them hear
such, as he calls plants that his Father had never planted, whom he
bids let alone, Matth. xv. 13, 14. and who were thieves and robbers whom
his sheep should not hear.

V. They must not only be ministers, and acknowledged as such then and
there, when and where we join with them; but they must be such as we can
own church communion with in the ordinances administrated by them, as to
the matter of them. Otherwise if they pervert and corrupt their
ministry, by preaching and maintaining errors, either in doctrine,
worship, discipline, or government, contrary to the scriptures, our
confessions, and principles of our covenanted reformation, and
contradictory to our testimony founded thereupon, and agreeable
thereunto, maintaining errors condemned thereby, or condemning truths
maintained thereby, we must withdraw from them. For if any seek to turn
us away from the Lord our God, we must put away that evil, and not
consent nor hearken to them, Deut. xiii. 5, 8. We must cease to hear the
instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge, Prov. xix.
27. We must have a care of these leaders that will cause us to err lest
we be destroyed with them, Isa. ix. 16. we must mark these who
contradict the doctrine that we have learned, and avoid them, Rom. xvi.
17. If any man teach otherwise we must withdraw ourselves from such, 1
Tim. vi. 3, 5. If there come any, and bring not this doctrine, we must
not receive him, nor bid him God speed, in that work of his preaching or
practising against any of the truths, we have received from the word, 1
John x. 11. Hence we must not hear false teachers, who, in preaching and
prayer, bring forth false doctrine contrary to the principles of our
reformation; but the curates are false teachers, who, in preaching and
prayer, bring forth false doctrine, &c. Therefore we must not hear them.
The minor is certain, in that not only many of them are tainted with
points of Popery and Arminianism; but all of them do teach false
doctrine tending to seduce the hearers: when in their preaching they
cry up the lawfulness of prelacy, and vent bitter invectives against
presbyterian government, condemn the work of reformation, and inveigh
against the covenant, and so teach and encourage people to follow them
in open perjury, and condemning all our testimony, as nothing but
treason and sedition; which we are persuaded is truth, and that
therefore they are blasphemers: and in their prayers, stuffed with
error, and larded with blasphemy, they reproach the work of reformation,
and the power of godliness, and pray for a blessing on the prelates, and
on their courses which are cursed; besides their parasitick prayers for
the king, to be blessed in his government when stated in opposition to
Christ, and several other things that tender consciences cannot go along
with them therein. And yet if they hear them, they must go along and
actively concur with them, as their mouth to God. If it be objected
here, that this doth not strike against all, nor against any at all
times, because some preach always sound doctrine, and all preach
sometime sound doctrine, and the like may be said of their prayers:
therefore sometimes at least they may be heard. I answer 1. This may be
alledged for all hereticks, who do all at sometimes preach sound
doctrine, and yet these scriptures are stringent against them at all
times, which I have adduced; for by these fruits which they bring forth
at sometimes, they shew themselves to be such as we must beware of at
all times. 2. We cannot know when they will preach sound doctrine,
seeing by their subjection to that government, they are obliged to
maintain prelacy, and impugn our covenanted constitution.

VI. They must not only be such as we can join with in the ordinances as
to the matter of them, but in the manner also they must be such
administrators, as we are obliged in charity to think the Lord will
approve of them, and their administrations, and of us in our communion
with them; or at least, that, in their manner of dispensing ordinances,
they be not such as we find are under a recorded sentence of dreadful
punishment, both against them and their partakers: for if it be so, it
is as sufficient a ground to withdraw from them, as for men to withdraw
from a company staying in a house, that they see will fall and smother
them in its ruin; yea it is as warrantable to separate from them, as for
Israel to separate themselves from the congregation of the rebels who
were to be consumed in a moment, Numb. xvi. 21. or for the Lord's people
to come out of Babylon, that they receive not of her plagues, Rev.
xviii. 4. Now we find that not only the prophets of Baal, and enticers
to idolatry, and leaders to error upon the matter are threatened, and
the people for adhering to them, but we find also (as is observed by
Rectius Instruendum confut. dial chap. 1. pag. 21.) many terrible
charges and adjurations laid upon ministers, in reference to a faithful
diligence in their ministerial function, and a suitable testimony
concerning the sin and duty of the time, that they are commanded to cry
aloud and shew the people their sin, Isa. lviii. 1. and as they would
not have the blood of souls upon them, to give faithful warning touching
the peoples case and hazard, sin and duty, especially in times of great
sin and judgment, when God is terribly pleading his controversy with
them, Ezek. iii. 17. therefore they must be instant in season and out of
season, 2 Tim. iv. 2. And for their negligence and unfaithfulness
herein, we find many scripture woes and threatenings thundered against
them. When in the deceit of their own heart they promise assured peace,
when the Lord is pleading against a generation, they are threatened to
be consumed with sword and famine, and the people to whom they prophesy
shall be cast out in the streets, Jer. xiv. 13, 15, 16. therefore we
dare not admit them to prophesy to us. When they strengthen the hands,
and harden the hearts of evil doers, that none doth return from his
wickedness, the Lord threatens to feed them with wormwood, and commands
not to hearken to them, Jer. xxiii. 14.-16. their blood shall be
required at their hands, Ezek. iii. 18. one builds a wall, and another
daubs it with untempered morter, then ye, O great hailstones shall fall,
and they shall be consumed in the midst thereof, Ezek. xiii. 10, 11, 14,
18, 22. we dare not join with either builders or daubers of such a work,
as is carried on to the dishonour of Christ and ruining of reformation,
nor by our countenance and concurrence strengthen either builders or
daubers; lest we also be consumed in the midst thereof. When there is a
conspiracy of the prophets, and the priests violate the law, and profane
holy things, and shew no difference between the unclean and the clean,
then the Lord will pour out his indignation upon all, Ezek. xxii.
25,--to the end. We would endeavour to keep ourselves free of having any
hand in that conspiracy. These scriptures do give the perfect
pourtracture of our curates, in the conviction of all that know them.
Hence we draw a complex argument: such ministers as can do no good by
their ministry, but a great deal of hurt to their hearers, and expose
themselves and them both to the indignation of a jealous God, are not to
be heard; but the curates are such as can do no good by their ministry,
but a great deal of hurt to their hearers, and expose themselves and
them both to the indignation of the jealous Lord: therefore they are not
to be heard. The connexion of the major is clear from what is said
above. The minor is also evident from the application of these
scriptures, thus: they that in the deceit of their own heart promise
peace to, and strengthen the hands of evil doers, and give them not
warning, but seduce them by daubing their wickedness, and shew no
difference between the unclean and the clean, &c. are such as can do no
good by their ministry, but a great deal of hurt to hearers, and expose
themselves and them both to the indignation of God; but the curates are
such, and all others, who are so unfaithful as to give no warning
against, but justify the sins of the times. To be short, the minor of
both these foregoing arguments is evident from the experience of all
that go to the curates, who wrong thereby their own souls, mar their
edification; and run to cisterns without water. What blessing can be
expected upon the labours of such, who having perjured themselves in
taking on with the prelates, are prosecuting that course of defection,
and making themselves captains to lead the people back to Egypt,
encouraging profanity and wickedness, being themselves patterns and
patrons of the times corruptions? And seeing a blessing cannot be
expected upon their labours, but rather a curse, as daily experience
maketh good, when instead of any work of conversion or conviction among
people, there is nothing seen but a fearful hardening in profanity,
ignorance and atheism: so that many that seemed to have somewhat like
religion before, through hearing of them, are turned loose and lax in
all duties: yea never can it be instanced these twenty-seven years, that
they have brought one soul to Christ, from darkness to light, and from
the power of Satan unto God: but many instances might be given of their
murdering souls, as indeed they cannot be free of it, who cannot warn
nor declare the whole counsel of God. Hence these who cannot but be
soul-murderers, may not be heard nor entertained as soul-physicians; but
the curates cannot but be soul-murderers. Again, we can expect no good
from them, but a great deal of hurt; seeing their ministry is not the
Lord's ordinance, which he will approve, and no performances can be
acceptable unto the Lord which are not, in manner as well as in matter,
agreeable to his will: hence the wickedness even of the Lord's lawful
priests, not only caused the people to abhor the offerings of the Lord,
but even the Lord himself to abhor his sanctuary, and to account their
incense an abomination, so that he could not away with the calling of
their assemblies, which yet upon the matter were duties. Should not we
then hate that which the Lord hates, and withdraw from that which he
hath forsaken? But the meetings of the curates for administration of
ordinances in their way, the Lord hates, and hath signally forsaken:
therefore we should hate and forsake them. This is confirmed by what Mr.
Durham says in that digression about hearing, Rev. 1. page 55. in
quarto, 'Seeing edification is God's gift, can it be expected but in his
way, or can that be accounted his way which he hath not warranted.'

VII. As we would not partake of their judgment in countenancing of their
administration of ordinances, so we would keep ourselves free from all
participation of their sin; for we must not be partakers with any in
sin, nor have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, that we
must reprove, and that we find the Lord reproves and condemns, Eph. v.
7, 11. and not only ministers in ordaining, but people in hearing, may
be in hazard of partaking of some mens sins, who enter into the
ministry, 1 Tim. v. 22. we must keep at the greatest distance from sin:
hence if we hear the curates without partaking of their sin, then we
must not hear them; but we cannot hear the curates without partaking of
their sin: therefore we must not hear them. The minor I prove. If
hearing of them be a tessera of our incorporation with them, a test of
our submission to them, a badge of our compliance with them, and sign of
our approbation of them, then we cannot hear them without partaking of
their sin; but hearing of them is such: the major cannot be denied, if
prelacy and conformity therewith be sin, as is in part proven above: for
if these be sins, then we must not incorporate with, nor submit to them,
nor comply with them, nor approve them. The minor I prove by parts. 1.
Hearing of curates is a tessera of our incorporation with them; for
communion in sacred things doth infer an incorporation of the
communicants or joiners in all cases, both in lawful and unlawful
communions, 1 Cor. x. 17.-20. All partakers of the bread are one body,
and they which eat of the sacrifices are partakers of the altar; and
also they that partake of the sacrifice offered to devils, though they
do not offer it so themselves, yet they are incorporate, and have
fellowship with devils. And 2 Cor. vi. 14.-17. where they that do not
come out, and are separate from unlawful communions, are expostulated
with, as making an unequally yoked fellowship between righteousness and
unrighteousness, light and darkness, Christ and Belial, the temple of
God and idols: hence then, if we cannot partake of their sacred things,
without partaking of their altar, and becoming one body with them, and
making such an unequally yoked mixture with them, then we must be
separate; but the first is true from these places. This argument
concludes with equal force, against joining with any deeply engaged in
the gross defections of the time. 2. Hearing of curates is a test of our
submission to them, and compliance with them: for so it is required by
law, as the acts themselves say, 'That a chearful concurrence,
countenance, and assistance given to such ministers, and attending all
the ordinary meetings for divine worship, is an evidence of a due
acknowledgment of, and hearty compliance with his majesty's government
ecclesiastical and civil, as now established by law within this
kingdom,' Act of Parl. July 10, 1663. And themselves look on all such as
obey this act as their friends. Hence, if this be sinful to submit to
them, and comply with their establishment, in obedience to a sinful act
of parliament, then it is sinful to hear them; but the former is true,
as hath been shown: Therefore----3. Hence it follows, by native
consequence, that hearing of curates is a sign of our approbation of
them: for he that gives that which is required, and accepted, and
interpreted as an evidence of a due acknowledgment, and of compliance
with the government ecclesiastical, gives the sign of his approbation
of it; but the hearer of curates does that in obedience to the act
requiring accepting, and expresly interpreting it so: therefore, &c.

VIII. As we would be free of their sin, in approving of, and complying
with their course; so we must endeavour to stand at the greatest
distance from all appearance of sin in ourselves, either by commission
or omission, in which our joining with them in these circumstances would
involve us. For we must abstain from all appearance of evil, 1 Thess. v.
22. and from every thing that circumstances may make sinful: for
otherwise, suppose a thing might be materially lawful and not sinfully
sinful, yet circumstances may make it sinful, and a countenancing it so
circumstantiated, doth infer a communion in these circumstances that
makes it sinful. They that eat of the sacrifice are partakers of the
altar, and if the altar be not of God's approbation, the thing offered,
though otherwise lawful to be eaten, cannot justify the eaters, so
circumstantiated. An idol is nothing, and that which is offered in
sacrifice to idols is nothing, yet they who eat of it, when they know it
is so circumstantiated, have fellowship with devils, 1 Cor. x. 18, 19,
20, 21. And it is called idolatry, comp. verse 14. which provokes the
Lord to jealousy, verse 22. Especially when an action is so
circumstantiated, that it would infer an omission of our duty, and a
declining from or denying of our testimony, then it is clearly sinful.
For whosoever shall deny the Lord before men, him will he deny before
his Father, Matth. x. 33. And we must 'hold fast the profession of our
faith without wavering,' Heb. x. 23. and 'keep the word of his
patience,' if we would be kept in the hour of temptation, and hold it
fast that no man take our crown, Rev. iii. 10, 11. 'All truth must be
avowed, and practically avowed, on the greatest hazard: and as this
testimony must be full so must it be also constant. It was Demas's
shame, that the afflictions of the gospel made him forsake the apostle,
after great appearances for Christ: and therefore whatever truth or duty
is opposed, that becomes the special object of this testimony.' Rectius
instruend. confut. 3. Dial. Chap. 1. Pag. 18, 19. Hence, if hearing of
the curates would infer and involve us under the guilt both of
commission of sin, and omission of duty, then we cannot hear them
without sin; but the former is true; therefore also the latter. I prove
the minor by parts. First, That it would infer and involve us under the
guilt of commission of sin, all that is said above doth evince it; and
besides, palpable breach of covenant, hereafter to be charged and
cleared: and idolatry is a great sin of that nature; but the hearing of
the curates doth infer this. Which may be made out thus; the breach of
the second commandment is idolatry, (for to make the sins against that
command odious, they are all comprehended under that odious name of
worshipping images, as the sins against the seventh are called adultery,
comprehending all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions); hearing of
curates is a breach of the second command: Ergo----The minor I prove
thus: Every worship, not according to Christ's appointment, is a breach
of the second commandment; but hearing of curates is a worship not
according to Christ's appointment. Which I prove thus: a worship
enjoined by, and performed in obedience to a law, establishing a human
ordinance in the church, besides and against the institution of Christ,
is a worship not according to Christ's appointment; but the hearing of
curates is a worship enjoined by, and performed in obedience to a law
establishing a human ordinance, to wit Diocesan Erastian prelacy, with
the curates their substitutes. Hence also the second doth follow by
necessary consequence, that it would infer and involve us under the
guilt of omission of duty. For, first, If reductively it may involve us
under the guilt of idolatry and breach of the second commandment, then
it will infer the guilt of omission of these necessary duties incumbent
to the Lord's people with a reference to idolatry; to make no covenant
with them nor with their gods, nor let them dwell in the land, lest they
make us sin, Exod. xxiii. 32. 33. Exod. xxxiv. 14, 15. to overthrow
their altars, and break their pillars, and destroy the names of them out
of the place, Deut. xii. 3. Judg. ii. 2. I do not adduce these precepts,
to stretch them to the full measure of the demerit of the grossest of
idolaters: for as there are degrees of breaches of the commandment, some
grosser, some smaller, so there are also degrees of punishment, and as
to the manner of destroying and extirpating all pieces of idolatry; but
that the commands being founded upon a moral ground, lest they be sins
and snares unto us, do oblige us to some endeavour of expelling,
extirpating and overthrowing all pieces of idolatry, according to the
word and our covenants; 'and that the true and right zeal of God should
and would not only inspire all with an unanimous aversion against the
profane intruding curates, but animate us as one man to drive away these
wolves and thieves, and to eradicate these plants which our heavenly
Father never planted,' Naph. Prior edit. pag. 108. The least duty that
can be inferred is that of the apostles, flee from idolatry, 1 Cor. x.
14. which idolatry, there mentioned to be avoided, is to eat of the
sacrifices offered to idols: whence we infer, that if to eat of things
consecrated to idols be idolatry, then also to partake of sacred things
consecrated by idols must be idolatry; as the curates dispensing of
ordinances is consecrated by, and hath all its sanction from an idol of
Diocesan Erastian prelacy; but we see the apostle expresses the former:
therefore we may infer the latter. Further, It will also infer a
declining from, and denying a necessary testimony, in the case
circumstantiated. Even the smallest matter is great, when a testimony
is concerned in it, were it but the circumstance of an open window;
Daniel durst not omit it upon the greatest hazard. And now this is
clearly come to a case of confession, when there is no other way to
exoner our 'consciences before God and the world, and declare our
non-conformity to this course of backsliding, no getting of wrongs
redressed, or corruptions in the ministry removed, but by this practice;
and certainly some way we must give public testimony against these
courses, and there is no other way so harmless and innocent as this,
though suffering follow upon it,' Apol. Relat. Sect. 14. 272, 273. And
now there is no other way apparent, whereby the difference shall be kept
up betwixt such as honestly mind the covenanted work of reformation, and
the corrupt prelatical and malignant enemies; but this argument also
will infer the expediency of withdrawing from all ministers, with whom
our circumstantiate joining would involve us in a participation with
their defections.

IX. As we would endeavour to avoid sin in ourselves; so we must have a
care to give no occasion of others sinning, by our taking liberty in a
promiscuous joining in church communion, whereby we may offend and
stumble the conscience of others: for to that, in this as well as in
other things, we must have a special respect, and forbear things, not
only for our own unclearness, but for the sake of others also. If
therefore the hearing of curates be a scandal, we must refuse it, be the
hazard what will: for 'whoso shall offend one of Christ's little ones,
it were better for him that a milstone were hanged about his neck,'
Matth. xviii. 6. 'No man must put a stumbling block, or an occasion to
fall in his brother's way,' Rom. xiv. 13. They that 'sin so against the
brethren, and wound their weak conscience, they sin against Christ,' 1
Cor. viii. 12. we must forbear some things for conscience sake.
Conscience, I say, not our own, but of others, giving none offence,
neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God,' 1
Cor. x. 28, 29, 32. and so 'cut off all occasion from them that desire
occasion,' 2 Cor. xi. 12. 'These commands discharge whatever practice
gives occasion of our brother's sinning, of calling truth in question,
of acting with a doubting conscience, or which weakens his plerophory or
assurance; and neither the lawfulness nor indifferency of the thing
itself, nor mens authority commanding it, nor the weakness, yea, or
wickedness of those in hazard to be stumbled, will warrant the doing of
that out of which offence arises,' Rectius Instruend. Confut. 3. Dial.
chap. 1. p. 19. Mr. Durham in that forecited place saith, 'It carries
offence along with it; in reference to the party who runs unsent, it
proves a strengthening and confirming of him, and so a partaking of his
sin; in reference to others, either strengthens them by that example, to
cast themselves in that snare, which possibly may be their ruin; or it
grieves them, and makes them sad, who are tender of such things, or
gives occasion to make all difference of that kind to be thought light
of.' Hence, if hearing of the curates be an offence or scandal, both in
reference to malignants, and in reference to the godly, and in reference
to the posterity, then it must be avoided; but the former is true: which
is evidenced by parts. First, in reference to malignants, it hardens and
encourages them in their opposition to the work of God, and all
backsliders and compliers with them in their apostacy; this strengthens
their hands in their wicked courses, when they see how they are
countenanced by all, and that there is no disrespect put upon them, nor
dissatisfaction evinced against their courses, then they conclude that
they are approven of all: and this hardeneth them, so that they never
once think of the evil of their ways. Next, in reference to the godly,
stumbles the truly tender, by encouraging them to do contrary to their
light and conscience, even when they are not clear to hear them, then
they are emboldened thereunto when they see others doing so; and so it
tends to the wounding of their peace, and makes them halt in the ways of
the Lord. Lastly, With reference to posterity, it would prejudge them
very much: though now the honest party be not in a capacity to transmit
the work of reformation unto their posterity, in such a manner as were
to be wished: yet they should do something for keeping fresh the memory
of the good old cause, by keeping up some footsteps of a standing
controversy for Zion's interest against the common enemy: but now let
all join with, and own the curates, what appearance of this shall the
posterity see? shall not they conclude that the day is lost, and the
cause is gone, when they see that this generation hath fled the fields,
or rather sold and betrayed the cause, by owning, countenancing, and
complying with the enemy, and no standing testimony against these
corruptions? whereas if there were but this much of a standing
difference, betwixt the people of God and the common enemies of God, to
be seen, posterity shall in some measure be kept from being deceived,
and shall see the interest of Christ not killed nor buried quick, but
living, though in a bleeding condition, and this will occasion their
engaging for Christ, and interesting themselves in the quarrel; and it
is far better to see the cause of Christ owned, though by suffering and
blood, than sold and betrayed by base flenching and complying with
persecutors. This argument may also sound and infer a withdrawing from
the addressing ministers, who, to the great scandal of presbyterians,
give forth their addresses in the name of all of that persuasion.

X. Our duty to themselves, yea our greatest office of love we owe to
them, in order to their conviction, does oblige us to withdraw from
them. This may seem a paradox, yet it will be apparent, if we search
the scriptures, to see what we owe to scandalous brethren. There we find
it is a duty, to endeavour by all lawful means to shame them out of
their sin; and it is an argument of hatred, when we do not rebuke our
neighbour, or when we suffer sin upon him, Lev. xix. 17. If we consider
them then as neighbours and friends, we must use endeavours to take away
their sin from them; if we consider them not as such, but as enemies,
then we must avoid them, and not be mingled with them, as I could adduce
many scriptures for that. But I suppose all that will oppose my thesis,
would have them considered as friends. Well then, if they be scandalous
brethren, this is the way prescribed by the apostle to deal with them,
in order not to suffer sin upon them, that we should withdraw from them
our company; and if we must withdraw our company, then also a fortiori,
we must deny them our religious communion: for that must either be
included there, or necessarily inferred. He writes, not to keep company:
If any man that is called a brother (mark that especially) be a
fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or an extortioner,
with such an one no not to eat, 1 Cor. v. 11. And I presume they that
know them best will grant, that it would not be hard to prove, that all
the curates in Scotland were chargeable with some of these, or at least
partakers with them; and that if they were all impartially impannelled,
they would be rare ones, whom an honest jury would not bring in guilty
of this libel. Then we are expresly commanded 'in the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, to withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh
disorderly, and not after the received tradition. And if any man obey
not the word, to note him, and have no company with him, that he may be
ashamed,' 2 Thess. iii. 6, 14. Sure neither their office nor their
innocency can exempt them from these rules. For either they must be
considered as our brethren; or not; if not, then we own no church
communion with them; for that is only among brethren that are so in
sympathy and affection, and affinity, having one father and one mother,
if they be brethren, then all scandalous brethren are to be withdrawn
from; but they are scandalous brethren: therefore they are to be
withdrawn from. The minor will not be doubted by any, but such as are
strangers to them, who both in their ministerial and personal capacity
are so scandalous to the conviction of all, that profaneness hath gone
forth from them into all the land, and they as much as ever the profane
sons of Eli, have made men to abhor the offering of the Lord, 1 Sam. ii.
17. But even strangers, that are unacquaint with their personal
profligateness and ignorance, &c. cannot be altogether ignorant of the
scandal of prelacy and erastianism, in which they are involved, of the
scandal of apostasy, perjury, and breach of covenant, which is their
brand, and the nation's bane, that hath countenanced them. And none can
doubt, but if our church were duly constitute, and invested with the
orderly power of Christ, and in capacity to exercise and improve it,
they would soon be censured every soul of them as scandalous, as they
have been also previously sentenced as such, by the acts of our general
assemblies. This argument levels also against all complying, indulged,
addressing ministers, who by these courses have incurred the character
of disorderly brethren.

XI. Our faithfulness to God, and to one another, engaged in our
covenants, doth oblige us to turn away from them who have broken it, and
so classed themselves among these truce breaking traitors, who make our
times perilous, from whom we must turn away, 2 Tim. iii. 1,--5. It
appears from the foregoing deduction, how solemnly these nations were
engaged, both to keep out and put out this generation of prelatists, now
prevailing; the obligation of which yet lies upon all the inhabitants of
the land, with a binding force, both in regard of their form, and
object and end. Hence, if the curates be covenant-breakers, and we also
in owning them, then we cannot own them without sin; but the curates are
covenant-breakers, and we also in owning them: Ergo----The minor may be
manifest by an induction of all the articles of the solemn league and
covenant, broken by them, and all that own them. 1. That doctrine,
worship, discipline and government in the 1st article, sworn to be
preserved and propagated, was the presbyterian then established, which
our church was in possession of, which they have opposed, and their
owners refiled from, and have not maintained. 2. We are engaged in the
2d article, to endeavour the extirpation of prelacy, and its dependents;
which is diametrically opposite to owning of curates: can we own them
whom we are bound to abhor? and submit to them whom we are bound to
extirpate? Surely this were to rebuild what we have destroyed, see
Napht. p. 104. and since in relation to popery, heresy and schism, this
article obliges us to disown, and not to hear papists and schismatics,
why not also in relation to prelatists, who are greatest schismatics? 3.
They have established and homologated an erastian supremacy, to the
prejudice of true religion, and the liberties of the church and kingdom;
and their owners have abetted and countenanced the same, and not
preserved either the liberties of church or kingdom, contrary to the 3d
article. 4. They have not only concealed and countenanced malignant
enemies to this church and kingdom, but have themselves been real
incendiaries, hindering the reformation of religion, making factions and
parties among them contrary to this league and covenant: and their
hearers are so far from bringing them to condign punishment, that they
have strengthened their hands in their avowed opposition to the
covenants, contrary to the 4th article. 5. They have broken our
conjunction in firm peace and union, and yet their hearers have not
marked and avoided these causers of divisions, contrary to scripture,
and the 5th article. 6. Instead of assisting and defending all these
that entered into this league and covenant, &c. they have been the
greatest persecutors of all them that adhered to it; and their owners
have suffered themselves, by combination, or persuasion, or terror, to
be divided and withdrawn from their suffering brethren, and have made
defection to the contrary part, and given themselves to a detestable
indifferency in this cause, contrary to the 6th article. 7. Instead of
humbling themselves for their sins, and going before others in the
example of a real reformation, they have obstinately defended their
breach of covenant, and have been patrons and patterns of all
deformations; and their owners and hearers have not repented of that
neither, when they countenance such covenant-breakers and profane
persons, nor of their not labouring for the purity and power of the
gospel when they seek it from such impure hands: neither do they go
before others in reformation, when they are such bad examples of
defection, contrary to the conclusion of the covenant. This argument
will also strike against hearing of such ministers, that have made
themselves guilty of the same, or equivalent breaches of covenant.

XII. Finally, for union's sake, and to avoid schism in the body, we must
withdraw from them. This may seem another paradox; but it is apparent,
if we consider, 'That there should be no schism in the body, but that
the members should have the same care one for another,' 1 Cor. xii. 25.
And that for to prevent and remeid this, the apostle 'beseeches us to
mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine
which we have learned, and avoid them,' Rom. xvi. 17. Now then, if the
prelates and their curates be schismatics and separatists, and dividers,
then we must avoid and withdraw from them, but so it is, that the
prelates and their curates are schismatics and separatists, and
dividers: therefore we must avoid and withdraw from them. The minor I
prove from all the constituents of a formed schism, separation and
sinful division. 1. They that start out from under due relations to a
church, and from her ministry, are schismatics, separatists and
dividers; but the prelates and their curates have started out from under
due relations to the covenanted church of Scotland, and from her
ministry, in being so unnatural rebellious children, as have broken
their mother's beauty and bands, order and union, and razed her
covenanted reformation in doctrine, worship, discipline and government.
2. These who withdraw from the communion of a true church, and therefore
are censurable by all her standing acts, are schismatical separatists;
but the prelates and their curates have withdrawn from the communion of
the true church of Scotland, and therefore are censureable by all her
standing acts, in that they have made a faction and combination
repugnant to the communion of this church, and all her established
order. 3. Those who separate from a church, whose principles and
practices are subservient to that church's true union and communion, and
right establishment, are properly schismatics; but the prelates and
their curates have separated from this church, whose principles and
practices are subservient to its true union and communion, and right
establishment: for they could never yet impeach or challenge any
principle or practice, contrary to the word of God, or not subservient
to true union and order, but their principles and practices are stated
in opposition to her purity and reformation. Those who innovate the
worship and government, owned and established in a true church, are
schismatics; but the prelates and their curates have innovated the
worship and government of the true church of Scotland, in bringing a
doctrine new and odd, and not the voice of this church; and their
worship, over and above the corruption adhering to it, is the
worshipping of an innovating party, contrary to our church's established
order. 5. They that make a rent in the bowels of the true and genuine
church, are the schismatics; but the prelates and their curates have
made a rent in the bowels of this church, and have caused all the
divisions in this church. 6. Those that divide themselves from the
fellowship of a pure church, either in her ministry, lawful courts and
ordinances, are the schismatics; but the prelates and their curates have
divided themselves from the fellowship of this pure church, in her
ministry, lawful courts and ordinances, in that they have caused the
ejection of her ministry, dissipation of her assemblies, and subversion
of her pure ordinances. 7. Those that break union with such, to whom
they were under obligations to adhere, are schismatical dividers; but
the prelates and their curates have broken union with such to whom they
were under obligations to adhere, both from the antecedent morally
obliging duty, and from the superadded obligation of the covenants,
neither could they ever pretend any thing that might loose the
obligation. 8. That party in a reformed church, which having overturned
her reformation, hath shut out, laid aside, and persecute away sound
adherers thereunto, both ministers and professors, and will not admit
ministers to officiate, but upon the sinful terms of compliance with
their way, are schismatics; but the prelates and their curates are that
party in this reformed church, which having overturned her reformation,
hath shut out, laid aside, and persecute away sound adherers thereunto,
&c. therefore they are the schismatics to be withdrawn from, and their
way is the schism, which we are bound to extirpate in the covenant.


_The sufferings of many for refusing to own the tyrant's authority

The other grand ordinance of God, magistracy, which he hath in his
sovereign wisdom, justice, and goodness, appointed, ordained, and
consecrated, for the demonstration, illustration, and vindication of his
own glory, and the communication, conservation, and reparation of the
peace, safety, order, liberty, and universal good of mankind, is next to
that of the ministry of great concern: wherein not only the prudence,
policy, property, and liberty of men, but also the conscience, duty, and
religion of Christians, have a special interest. And therefore it is no
less important, pertinent, profitable, and necessary for every one that
hath any of these to care and contend for, keep and recover, to inquire
into and understand something of the institution, constitution, nature,
and boundaries of the sacred ordinances of magistracy, than into the
holy ordinance of the ministry; so far at least as may consist with the
sphere of every one's capacity and station, and may conduce to the
satisfaction of every one's conscience, in the discharge of the duties
of their relations. Every private man indeed hath neither capacity,
concern, nor necessity, to study the politics, or search into the
secrets, or intrigues of government, no more than he is to be versed in
all the administrations of ecclesiastical policy, and interests of the
ministry; yet every man's conscience is no less concerned, in
distinguishing the character of God's ministers of justice, the
magistrates, to whom he owes and owns allegiance, that they be not
usurping tyrants, everting the ordinances of the magistracy, than in
acknowledging the character of Christ's ministers of the gospel, to
whom he owes and owns obedience, that they be not usurping prelates or
impostors, perverting the ordinance of the ministry. The glory of God is
much concerned, in our owning and keeping pure and entire, according to
his will and word, both these ordinances. And our conscience as well as
interest is concerned in the advantage or hurt, profit or prejudice, of
the right or wrong, observation or prevarication, of both these
ordinances; being interested in the advantage of magistracy, and hurt of
tyranny in the state, as well as in the advantage of the ministry, and
hurt of diocesan, or erastian supremacy in the church; in the advantage
of liberty, and hurt of slavery in the state, as well as in the
advantage of religion, and hurt of profaneness in the church; in the
profit of laws, and prejudice of prerogative in the state, as well as in
the profit of truth, and prejudice of error in the church; in the profit
of peace and true loyalty, and prejudice of oppression and rebellion in
the state, as well as in the profit of purity and unity, and prejudice
of defection, and division or schism in the church. So that in
confidence, we are no more free to prostitute our loyalty and liberty
absolutely, in owning every possessor of the magistracy; than we are
free to prostitute our religion and faith implicitly, in owning every
pretender to the ministry. This may seem very paradoxical to some,
because so dissonant and dissentient from the vulgar, yea almost
universal and inveterate opinion and practice of the world, that
hitherto hath not been so precise in the matter of magistracy. And it
may seem yet more strange, that not only some should be found to assert
this; but that any should be found so strict and strait laced, as to
adventure upon suffering, and even to death, for that which hath
hitherto been seldom scrupled, by any that were forced to subjection
under a yoke, which they had no force to shake off, and wherein religion
seems little or nothing concerned; for not owning the authority of the
present possessors of the place of government: which seems to be a
question not only excentric and extrinsic to religion, but such a
state-question, as for its thorny intricacies and difficulties, is more
proper for politicians and lawyers to dispute about, (as indeed their
debates about this head of authority, have been as manifold and
multiplied as about any one thing) than for private christians to search
into, and suffer for, as a part of their testimony. But if we will cast
off prejudices, and the tyranny of custom, and the bondage of being
bound to the world's mind in our inquiries about tyranny, and suffer
ourselves to ponder impartially the importance of this matter; and then
to state the question right; we shall find religion and conscience hath
no small interest in this business. They must have no small interest in
it, if we consider the importance of this matter, either extensively,
objectively, or subjectively. Extensively considered, it is the interest
of all mankind to know and be resolved in conscience, whether the
government they are under be of God's ordination, or of the devil's
administration? Whether it be magistracy or tyranny? Whether it gives
security for religion and liberty, to themselves and their posterity? Or
whether it induces upon themselves, and entails upon the posterity,
slavery as to both these invaluable interests? Whether they have matter
of praise to God for the blessings and mercies of magistracy, or matter
of mourning for the plagues and miseries of tyranny, to the end they may
know both the sins and snares, duties and dangers, cases and crisis, of
the times they live in? All men, that ever enjoyed the mercy of a right
constitute magistracy, have experienced, and were bound to bless God for
the blessed fruits of it: and, on the other hand, the world is full of
the tragical monuments of tyranny, for which men were bound both to
search into the causes, and see the effects of such plagues from the
Lord, to the end they might mourn over both. And from the beginning it
hath been observed, that as people's sins have always procured the
scourge of tyranny; so all their miseries might be refounded upon
tyrants encroachments, usurping upon or betraying their trust, and
overturning religion, laws and liberties. Certainly mankind is concerned
in point of interest and conscience, to inquire into the cause and cure
of this epidemic distemper, that hath so long held the world in misery,
and so habitually, that now it is become, as it were, natural to ly
stupidly under it; that is, that old ingrained gangrene of the king's
evil, or compliance with tyranny, that hath long afflicted the kingdoms
of the world, and affected not only their backs in bearing the burden
thereof; but their hearts into a lethargic stupor of insensibleness; and
their heads in infatuating and intoxicating them with notions of the
sacredness and uncontroulableness of tyranny; and their hands in
infeebling and fettering them from all attempts to work a cure: or else
it hath had another effect on many that have been sensible of a touch of
it; even equivalent to that, which an ingenious author, Mr. Gee, in his
preface to the divine right and original of the civil magistrate, (to
which Mr. Durham is not absonant) expounds to be the effect of the
fourth vial, Rev. xvi. 8, 9. when in these dog days of the world, power
is given to the sun of imperial, especially popish, tyranny, by their
exorbitant stretches of absolute prerogative, to scorch men with fire of
furious oppressions, they then blaspheme the name of God which hath
power over these plagues, in their male-content complaints, grumblings,
grudgings, and murmurings under the misery, but they do not repent, nor
give him glory, in mourning over the causes promeriting such a plague,
and their own accession in exposing themselves to such a scorching sun,
nakedly without a sconce. Certainly this would be the remedy that
conscience would suggest, and interest would incite to, an endeavour
either of allaying the heat or of subtracting from it under a shelter,
by declining the oblique malignity of its scorching rays. But will the
world never be awakened out of this dream and dotage, of dull and stupid
subjection to every monster that can mount a throne? Sure at length it
may be expected, either conscience from within as God's deputy,
challenging for the palpable perversion of this his excellent ordinance,
or judgments from without, making sensible of the effects of it, will
convince and confute these old inveterate prejudices. And then these
martyrs for that universal interest of mankind, who got the fore-start
and the first sight of this, will not be so flouted as fools, as now
they are. And who knoweth, what prelude or preparative, foreboding and
presaging the downfal of tyranny, may be in its aspirings to this height
of arbitrary absoluteness, and in the many questions raised about it,
and by them imposed upon consciences to be resolved. If we consider the
object of this question; as conscience can only clear it, so in nothing
can it be more concerned. It is that great ordinance of God, most
signally impressed by a very sacred and illustrious character of the
glorious majesty of the Most High, who hath appointed magistracy; in
which, considering either its fountain, or dignity, ends, or effects,
conscience must have a very great concern. The fountain, or efficient
cause of magistracy, is high and sublime. The powers that are, be of
God, not only by the all-disposing hand of God in his providence, as
tyranny is, nor only by way of naked approbation, but by divine
in-institution; and that not only in the general, by at least a
secondary law of nature, but also the special investiture of it, in
institution and constitution, is from God; and therefore they are said
to be ordained of God, to which ordinance we must be subject, not only
for wrath, but also for conscience sake: which is the great duty
required in the fifth commandment, the first commandment with promise;
that hath the priority of place before all the second table, because the
other commandments respect each some one interest, this hath a
supereminent influence upon all. But tyrannical powers are not of God in
this sense. And it were blasphemy to assert they were of the Lord's
authorization, conscience cannot bind to a subjection to this. Again,
the dignity of magistracy, ordained for the maintenance of truth and
righteousness, the only foundations of people's felicity, whether
temporal or eternal, including the bonds and boundaries of all obedience
and subjection, for which they are intended, and to which they refer, is
supereminent; as that epithet of higher, added to the powers that are of
God, may be rendered; making them high and sublime in glory, whose
highest prerogative is, That, being God's ministers, they sit in the
throne of God, anointed of the Lord; judging not for man, but for the
Lord, as the scripture speaks. To this conscience is concerned in duty
to render honour as due, by the prescript of the fifth commandment; but
for tyranny, conscience is bound to deny it, because not due, no more
than obedience, which conscience dare not pay to a throne of iniquity,
and a throne of the devil, as tyranny may be called, as really as
magistracy is called the throne of God. Next, conscience is much
concerned in the ends of magistracy, which are the greatest, the glory
of God, and the good of mankind. And, in the effects of it, the
maintenance of truth, righteousness, religion, liberty, peace, and
safety, and all choicest external blessings; but the ends and effects of
tyranny are quite contrary, domineering for pleasure, and destroying for
profit. Can we think that conscience is nothing concerned here, that
these great ends shall be subverted, and the effects precluded; and to
that effect, that tyranny not only be shrouded under a privilege of
impunity, but by our subjection and acknowledgement of it, as a lawful
power, encouraged into all enormities, and licensed to usurp, not only
our liberties, but God's throne by an uncontroulable sovereignty? But if
we consider the subjective concern of conscience, it must be very graat,
when it is the only thing that prompts to subjection, that regulates
subjection, and is a bottom for subjection to lawful powers. If it were
not out of conscience, men that are free born are naturally such lovers
of liberty, and under corruption such lusters after licentiousness,
that they would never come under the order of this ordinance, except
constrained for wrath's sake: but now, understanding that they that
resist the power, resist the ordinance of God, and they that resist
shall receive to themselves damnation, they must needs be subject, not
only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. If conscience were not
exercised in regulating our duty to magistrates, we would either obey
none, or else would observe all their commands promiscuously, lawful or
unlawful, and would make no difference either of the matter commanded,
or the power commanding: but now, understanding that we must obey God
rather than man, and that we must render to all their dues, fear to whom
fear, honour to whom honour, conscience regulates us what and whom to
obey. And without conscience there is little hope for government to
prove either beneficial or permanent; little likelihood of either a
real, regular, or durable subjection to it. The discernible standing of
government upon conscientious grounds, is the only thing that can bring
in conscience, and a conscientious submission to it; it being the
highest and most kindly principle of, and the strongest and most lasting
obligation to any relative duty. It will not be liberty of conscience,
(as saith the late declaration for it) but reality of conscience, and
government founded upon a bottom of conscience, that will unite the
governed to the governors, by inclination as well as duty. And if that
be, then there is needful a rule of God's revealed preceptive will, (the
only cynosure and empress of conscience), touching the founding and
erecting of government, that it have the stamp of God's authority. It
must needs then follow, that conscience hath a very great concernment in
this question in the general, and that before it be forced to an
abandoning of its light in a matter of such moment, it will rather
oblige people that are conscientious to suffer the worst that tyrants
can do; especially when it is imposed and obtruded upon conscience, to
give its sufferage and express acknowledgment that the present tyranny
is the authority of God, which is so visible in the view of all that
have their eyes open, that the meanest capacity that was never
conversant in laws and politics can give this verdict that the
constitution and administration of the government of the two royal
brothers, under whose burden the earth and we have been groaning these
twenty-seven years past, hath been a complete and habitual tyranny, and
can no more be owned to be magistracy, than robbery can be acknowledged
to be a rightful possession. It is so plain, that I need not the help of
lawyers and politicians to demonstrate it, nor launch into the ocean of
their endless debates in handling the head of magistracy and tyranny:
yet I shall improve what help I find in our most approved authors who
have enlarged upon this question, (though not as I must state it) to
dilucidate the matter in Thesi, and refer to the foregoing deduction of
the succession of testimonies against tyranny, to clear it in Hypothesi.
Whence we may see the occasion, and clearly gather the solution of the
question, which is this:

Whether a people, long oppressed with the encroachments of tyrants and
usurpers, may disown their pretended authority; and, when imposed upon,
to acknowledge it, may rather choose to suffer than to own it?

To clear this question: I shall premit some concessions, and then come
more formally to resolve it.

1. It must be granted the question is extraordinary, and never so stated
by any writer on this head; which makes it the more difficult and
odious, because odd and singular, in the esteem of those who take up
opinions rather from the number of votes than from the weight of the
reasons of the asserters of them. It will also be yielded, that this was
never a case of confession for Christians to suffer upon. And the reason
of both is, because, before these seven years past, this was never
imposed upon private and common subjects to give an account of their
thoughts and conscience about the lawfulness of the government they
lived under. Conquerors and usurpers sometimes have demanded an
acknowledgment of their authority, from men of greatest note and stroke
in the countries they have seized; but they never since the creation
urged it upon common people, as a test of loyalty; but thought always
their laws and power to execute them on offenders, did secure their
subjection. Or otherwise to what purpose are laws made, and the
execution of them committed to men in power, if they be not thought a
sufficient fence for the authority that makes them; except it also have
the actual acknowledgment of the subjects to ratify it? Men that are
really invested with authority, would think it both a disparagement to
their authority, and would disdain such a suspicion of the
questionableness of it, as to put it as a question to the subjects,
whether they owned it or not. But the gentlemen that rules us, have
fallen upon a piece of unprecedented policy; wherein they think both to
involve the nation in the guilt of their unparalelled rebellion against
the Lord, by owning that authority that promotes it; and so secure their
usurpations, either by the suffrage of all that own them, or by the
extirpation of the conscientious that dare not, with the odium and
obloquy of being enemies to authority; by which trick they think to bury
the honour of their testimony. Yet in sobriety without prophesying it
may be presumed, at the long run, this project will prove very
prejudicial to their interest: and herein they may verify that Scots
proverb, 'o'er fast o'er loose,' and accomplish these divine sayings,
'He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, he taketh the wise in their
own craftiness, and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.' For
as they have put people upon this question, who would not otherwise have
made such inquiries into it, and now finding they must be resolved in
conscience to answer it, whenever they shall be brought before them;
upon a very overly search, they see terrible tyranny written in legible
bloody characters almost on all administrations of the government, and
so come to be fixed in the verdict that their conscience and the word of
God gives of it; so it may be thought, this question now started, for as
despicable beginnings it hath, yet ere it come to a full and final
decision, will be more enquired into through the world, and at length
prove as fatal to tyranny, as ever any thing could be, and then they may
know whom to thank. But however, though the question be extraordinary,
and the sufferings thereupon be unprecedented, and therefore, among
other contradictions that may be objected, that neither in history nor
scripture we can find instances of private people's refusing to own the
authority they were under, nor of their suffering for that refusal; yet
nevertheless it may be duty without example. Many things may be done,
though not against the law of God, yet without a precedent of the
practice of the people of God. Though we could not adduce an example for
it, yet we can gather it from the law of God, that tyranny must not be
owned, this will be equivalent to a thousand examples. Every age in some
things must be a precedent to the following, and I think never did any
age produce a more honourable precedent, than this beginning to decline
a yoke under which all ages have groaned.

2. It will be also granted, it is not always indispensibly necessary, at
all times, for a people to declare their disclaim of the tyranny they
are under, when they cannot shake it off; nor, when they are staged for
their duty before wicked and tyrannical judges, is it always necessary
to disown their pretended authority positively; when either they are not
urged with questions about it, then they may be silent in reference to
that; or when they are imposed upon to give their judgment of it, they
are not always obligated, as in a case of confession, to declare all
their mind, especially when such questions are put to them with a
manifest design to entrap their lives, or intangle their conscience. All
truth is not to be told at all times; neither are all questions to be
answered when impertinently interrogate, but may be both cautiously and
conscientiously waved. We have Christ's own practice, and his faithful
servant Paul's example, for a pattern of such prudence and Christian
caution. But yet it were cruel and unchristian rigour, to censure such
as, out of a pious principle of zeal to God and conscience of duty, do
freely and positively declare their judgment, in an absolute disowning
of their pretended authority, when posed with such questions, though to
the manifest detriment of their lives, they conscientiously looking upon
it as a case of confession. For where the Lord hath not peremptorily
astricted his confessors to such rules of prudence, but hath both
promised, and usually gives his Spirit's conduct, encouraging and
animating them to boldness, so as before hand they should not take
thought how or what they shall speak, and in that same hour they find it
given them, it were presumption for us to stint them to our rules of
prudence. We may indeed find rules to know, what is a case of
confession; but hardly can it be determined, what truth or duty we are
questioned about is not, or may not be, a case of confession. And who
can deny, but this may be in some circumstance, a case of confession,
even positively to disown the pretended authority of a bloody court or
council? when either they go out of their sphere, taking upon them
Christ's supremacy, and the cognizance of the concerns of his crown,
whereof they are judges noways competent; then they must freely and
faithfully be declined. Or when, to the dishonour of Christ, they
blaspheme his authority, and the sacred boundaries he hath prescribed to
all human authority, and will assert an illimited absolute authority,
refusing and discharging all offered legal and scriptural restrictions
to be put thereupon, (as hath been the case of the most part of these
worthy though poor martyrs, who have died upon this head) then they must
think themselves bound to disown it. Or when they have done some cruel
indignity and despite to the Spirit of God, and to Christ's prerogative
and glory, and work of reformation, and people, in murdering them
without mercy, and imposing this owning of their king, by whose
authority all is acted, as a condemnation of these witnesses of Christ
their testimony, and a justification of their bloody cruelties against
them, which hath frequently been the case of these poor people that hath
been staged upon this account: in this case, and several others of this
sort that might be mentioned, then they may be free and positive in
disowning this test of wicked loyalty, as the mark of the dragon of the
secular beast of tyranny. And in many such cases, when the Lord gives
the spirit, I see no reason but that Christ's witnesses must follow his
pattern of zeal in the case of confession, which he witnessed before
Pontius Pilate in asserting his own kingship, as they may in other cases
follow his pattern of prudence. And why may we not imitate the zeal of
Stephen who called the council before whom he was staged stiff-necked
resisters of the Holy Ghost, persecutors of the prophets, and betrayers
and murderers of Christ the just one, as well as the prudence of Paul?
But, however it be, the present testimony against this pretended
authority lies in the negative, which obliges always, for ever and for
ever; that is to say, we plead, that it must never be owned. There is a
great difference between a positive disowning and a not owning; though
the first be not always necessary, the latter is the testimony of the
day, and a negative case of confession, which is always clearer than the
positive. Though we must not always confess every truth, yet we must
never deny any.

3. It is confessed, we are under this sad disadvantage besides others,
that not only all our brethren, groaning under the same yoke with us,
will not take the same way of declining this pretended authority, nor
adventure, when called, to declare their judgment about it, (which we do
not condemn, as is said, and would expect from the rules of equity and
charity, they will not condemn us when we find ourselves in conscience
bound to use greater freedom) but also some when they do declare their
judgment, give it in terms condemnatory of, and contradictory unto our
testimony, in that they have freedom positively to own this tyranny as
authority, and the tyrant as their lawful sovereign: and many of our
ministers also are of the same mind. And further, as we have few
expressly asserting our part of the debate, as it is now stated; so we
have many famous divines expresly against us in this point, as
especially we find in their comments upon, Rom. xiii. among whom I
cannot dissemble my sorrow to find the great Calvin, saying, Sæpe solent
inquirere, &c. 'Men often enquire, by what right they have obtained
their power who have the rule! it should be enough to us that they do
govern; for they have not ascended to this eminency by their own power,
but are imposed by the hand of the Lord.' As also Pareus saying too much
against us. For answer to this, I refer to Mr. Knox's reply to
Lethington, producing several testimonies of divines against him upon
this very head; wherein he shews, that the occasions of their discourses
and circumstances wherein they were stated, were very far different from
those that have to do with tyrants and usurpers, as indeed they are the
most concerned, and smart most under their scourge, are in best case to
speak to the purpose. I shall only say, mens averment, in a case of
conscience, is not an oracle, when we look upon it with an impartial
eye, in the case wherein we are not prepossessed: it will bear no other
value, than what is allayed with the imperfections of fallibility, and
moreover is contradicted by some others, whose testimony will help us
as much to confirm our persuasion, as others will hurt us to infirm it.

4. But now when tyrants go for magistrates, lest my plea against owning
tyranny, should be mistaken, as if it were a pleading for anarchy, I
must assert, that I and all those I am vindicating, are for magistracy,
as being of divine original, institute for the common good of human and
Christian societies, whereunto every soul must be subject, of whatsoever
quality or character, and not only for wrath but also for conscience
sake (though as to our soul and conscience, we are not subject) which
whosoever resisteth, resisteth the ordinance of God, and against which
rebellion is a damnable sin, whereunto (according to the fifth
commandment, and the many reiterated exhortations of the apostles) we
must be subject, and obey magistrates, and submit ourselves to every
ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake, whether it be unto the king as
supreme, &c. And we account it a hateful brand of them that walk after
the flesh, to despise government, to be presumptuous, self-willed, and
not afraid to speak evil of dignities: and that they are filthy
dreamers, who despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities: and of
those things which they know not. We allow the magistrate, in whatsoever
form of government, all the power the scripture, laws of nature and
nations, or municipal do allow him; asserting, that he is the keeper and
avenger of both the tables of the law, having a power over the church,
as well as the state, suited to his capacity, that is, not formally
ecclesiastical, but objectively, for the church's good; an external
power, of providing for the church, and protecting her from outward
violence, or inward disorder, an imperate power, of commanding all to do
their respective duties; a civil power of punishing all, even
church-officers, for crimes; a secondary power of judicial approbation
or condemnation; or discretive, in order to give his sanction to
synodical results; a cumulative power, assisting and strengthening the
church in all her privileges, subservient, though not servile,
co-ordinate with church-power, not subordinate (though as a christian he
is subject) in his own affairs, viz. civil; not to be declined as judge,
but to be obeyed in all things lawful, and honoured and strengthened
with all his dues. We would give unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's,
and to God the things that are God's; but to tyrants, that usurp and
pervert both the things of God and of Cæsar, and of the peoples
liberties, we can render none of them, neither God's, nor Cæsar's, nor
our own: nor can we from conscience give him any other deference, but as
an enemy to all, even to God, to Cæsar, and the people. And in this,
though it doth not sound now with court-parasites, nor with others, that
are infected with royal indulgencies and indemnities, we bring forth but
the transumpt of old principles, according to which our fathers walked
when they still contended for religion and liberty, against the
attemptings and aggressions of tyranny, against both.

5. It must be conceded, it is not an easy thing to make a man in the
place of magistracy a tyrant: for as every escape, error, or act of
unfaithfulness, even known and continued in, whether in a minister's
entry to the ministry, or in his doctrine, doth not unminister him, nor
give sufficient ground to withdraw from him, or reject him as a minister
of Christ: so neither does every enormity, misdemeanor, or act of
tyranny, injustice, perfidy, or profanity in the civil magistrate,
whether as to his way of entry to that office, or in the execution of
it, or in his private or personal behaviour, denominate him a tyrant or
an usurper, or give sufficient ground to divest him of magistratical
power, and reject him as the lawful magistrate. It is not any one or two
acts contrary to the royal covenant or office, that doth denude a man of
the royal dignity, that God and the people gave him. David committed
two acts of tyranny, murder and adultery; yet the people were to
acknowledge him as their king (and so it may be said of some others,
owned still as kings in scripture) the reason is, because though he
sinned against a man or some particular persons, yet he did not sin
against the state, and the catholic good of the kingdom, subverting law;
for then he would have turned tyrant, and ceased to have been lawful
king. There is a great difference between a tyrant in act, and a tyrant
in habit; the first does not cease to be a king. But on the other hand,
as every thing will not make a magistrate to be a tyrant; so nothing
will make a tyrant by habit a magistrate. And as every fault will not
unminister a minister; so some will oblige the people to reject his
ministry, as if he turn heretical, and preach atheism, Mahometanism, or
the like, the people, though they could not formally depose him, or
through the corruption of the times could not get him deposed; yet they
might reject and disown his ministry: so it will be granted, that a
people have more power in creating a magistrate, than in making a
minister; and consequently they have more right, and may have more light
in disowning a king, as being unkinged; than in disowning a minister, as
being unministred. It will be necessary therefore, for clearing our way,
to fix upon some ordinary characters of a tyrant, which may discrimate
him from a magistrate, and be ground of disowning him as such. I shall
rehearse some, from very much approved authors; the application of which
will be as apposite to the two brothers, that we have been burdened
with, as if they had intended a particular and exact description of
them. Buchanan de jure regni apud Scotos, shews, 'That the word tyrant
was at first honourable, being attributed to them that had the full
power in their hands, which power was not astricted by any bonds of
laws, nor obnoxious to the cognition of judges; and that it was the
usual denomination of heroes, and thought at first so honourable, that
it was attributed to the gods: but as Nero and Judas were sometimes
among the Romans and Jews names of greatest account, but afterwards by
the faults of two men of these names, it came to pass, that the most
flagitious would not have these names given to their children, so in
process of time, rulers made this name so infamous by their wicked
deeds, that all men abhorred it, as contagious and pestilentious, and
thought it a more light reproach to be called hangman than a tyrant.'
Thereafter he condescends upon several characters of a tyrant. 1. 'He
that doth not receive a government by the will of the people, but by
force invadeth it, or intercepteth it by fraud, is a tyrant; and who
domineers even over the unwilling (for a king rules by consent, but a
tyrant by constraint) and procures the supreme rule without the peoples
consent, even tho' for several years they may so govern, that the people
shall not think it irksome.' Which very well agrees with the present
gentleman that rules over us, who, after he was by public vote in
parliament secluded from the government, of which the standing laws of
both kingdoms made him incapable for his murders, adulteries and
idolatries, by force and fraud did intercept first an act for his
succession in Scotland, and then the actual succession in England, by
blood and treachery, usurping and intruding himself into the government,
without any compact with, or consent of the people; though now he
studies to make himself another Syracusan Hiero, or the Florentine Cosmo
de medices, in a mild moderation of his usurped power; but the west of
England, and the west of Scotland both, have felt the force of it. 2. He
does not govern for the subjects welfare, or public utility, but for
himself, having no regard to that, but to his own lust, 'acting in this
like robbers, who cunningly disposing of what wickedly they have
acquired, do seek the praise of justice by injury, and of liberality by
robbery; so he can make some shew of a civil mind; but so much the less
assurance gives he of it, that it is manifest, he intends not hereby the
subjects good, but the greater security of his own lusts, and stability
of empire over posterity, having somewhat mitigated the peoples hatred,
which when he had done, he will turn back again to his old manners; for
the fruit which is to follow, may easily be known, both by the seed and
by the sower thereof.' An exact copy of this we have seen within these
two years, oft before in the rule of the other brother.

After God hath been robbed of his prerogatives, the church of her
privileges, the state of its laws, the subjects of their liberty and
property, he is now affecting the praise, and captating the applause of
tenderness to conscience, and love of peace, by offering now liberty
after all his cruelties; wherein all the thinking part of men do discern
he is prosecuting that hellish project, introducing popery and slavery,
and overturning religion, law, and liberty. 3. The kingly government is
according to nature, the tyrannical against it; principality is the
kingly government of a freeman amongst freemen; the tyrannical a
government of a master over slaves. Tyranny is against nature, and a
masterly principality over slaves. Can he be called a father, who
accounts his subjects slaves; or a shepherd, who does not feed, but
devours his flock? or a pilot, who doth always study to make shipwreck
of the goods, and strikes a leak in the very ship where he fails? 'What
is he then that bears command, not for the people's advantage, but
studies only himself, who leadeth his subjects into manifest snares? He
shall not verily be accounted by me either commander, emperor, or
governor.' King James VI. also, in a speech to the parliament in the
year 1609, makes this one character of a tyrant, when he begins to
invade his subjects rights and liberties. And if this be true, then we
have not had a king these many years: the foregoing deduction will
demonstrate, what a slavery we have been under. 4. What is he then, who
doth not contend for virtue with the good but to exceed the most
flagitious in vices? 'If you see then any usurping the royal name, and
not excelling in any virtue, but striving to exceed all in baseness, not
tendering his subjects good with native affection, but pressing them
with proud domination, esteeming the people committed to his trust, not
for their safeguard, but for his own gain, will you imagine this man is
truly a king, albeit he vapours with a numerous levee guard, and makes
an ostentation of gorgeous pomp?' The learned Althusius likewise in his
politics, chap. 38. Num. 15. (as he is cited by Jus Populi, chap. 16. p.
347.) makes this one character of a tyrant, that 'living in luxury,
whoredom, greed and idleness, he neglecteth, or is unfit for his
office.' How these suit our times we need not express; what effrontery
of impudence is it, for such monsters to pretend to rule by virtue of
any authority derived from God, who pollute the world with their
adulteries and incests, and live in open defiance of all the laws of the
universal king; with whom to exceed in all villanies is the way to
purchase the countenance of the court, and to aspire to preferment? No
Heligobaldus, &c. could ever come up the length in wickedness, that our
rulers have professed. 5. He can transfer unto himself the strength of
all laws, and abrogate them when he pleases. King James VI. in that
forecited speech saith, a king degenerateth into a tyrant, when he
leaveth to rule by law. Althusius also, in the forecited place, saith,
'There is one kind of tyranny, which consisteth in violating, changing,
or removing of fundamental laws, specially such as concern religion;
such, saith he, Philip the king of Spain, who, contrary to the
fundamental Belgic laws, did erect an administration of justice by force
of arms; and such was Charles IX. of France, that thought to overturn
the Salic law.' All that knoweth what hath been done in Britain these
twenty-seven years, can attest our laws have been subverted, the
reformation of religion overturned, and all our best laws rescinded; and
now the penal statutes against papists disabled and stopped, without and
against law. 6. He can revoke all things to his nod, at his pleasure.
This is also one part of King James VI.'s character of a tyrant, when he
sets up an arbitrary power; and of Althusius, in the forecited place,
'when he makes use of an absolute power, and so breaks all bonds for the
good of human society.' We allow a king an absolute power taken in a
good sense, that is, he is not subaltern, nor subordinate to any other
prince, but supreme in his own dominions: or if by absolute he meant
perfect he is most absolute that governs best, according to the word of
God; but if it be to be loosed from all laws, we think it blasphemy to
ascribe it to any creature. Where was there ever such an arbitrary and
absolute power arrogated by any mortal, as hath been claimed by our
rulers these years past? especially by the present usurper, who, in this
liberty of conscience now granted to Scotland, assumes to himself an
absolute power, which all are to obey without reserve, which carries the
subjects slavery many stages beyond whatever the grand Signior did
attempt. 7. For by a tyrant strangers are employed to oppress the
subjects: 'they place the establishment of their authority in the
people's weakness, and think that a kingdom is not a procuration
concredited to them by God, but rather a prey fallen into their hands;
such are not joined to us by any civil bond, or any bond of humanity,
but should be accounted the most capital enemies of God, and of all
men.' King James, as above says, he is a tyrant that imposes unlawful
taxes, raises forces, makes war upon his subjects, to pillage, plunder,
waste, and spoil his kingdoms. Althusius as above, makes a tyrant, who
by immoderate exactions, and the like, exhausts the subjects, and cites
scripture, Jer. xxii. 13, 14. Ezek. xxxiv. 1. Kings xii. 19. Psal. xiv.
4.' It is a famous saying of Bracton, he is no longer king, than while
he rules well, but a tyrant whensoever he oppresseth the people that are
trusted to his care and government. And Cicero says, he loseth all legal
power in and over an army or empire, who by that government and army
does obstruct the welfare of that republic. What oppressions and
exactions by armed force our nation hath been wasted with, in part is
discovered above. 8. Althusius in the place above quoted, makes this
another mark, 'When he keepeth not his faith and promise, but despiseth
his very oath made unto the people.' What shall we say of him then, who
not only brake, but burnt, and made it criminal to assert the obligation
of the most solemnly transacted covenant with God and with the people,
that ever was entered into, who yet upon these terms of keeping that
covenant only was admitted to the government? And what shall we say of
his brother succeeding, who disdains all bonds, whose professed
principle is, as a papist, to keep no faith to heretics? 9. In the same
place he makes this one character: 'A tyrant is he, who takes away from
one or more members of the commonwealth the free exercise of the
orthodox religion.' And the grave author of the impartial enquiry into
the administration of affairs in England, doth assert, p. 3. 4.
'Whensoever a prince becomes depraved to that degree of wickedness, as
to apply and employ his power and interest, to debauch and withdraw his
subjects from their fealty and obedience to God, or sets himself to
extirpate that religion which the Lord hath revealed and appointed to be
the rule of our living, and the means of our happiness, he doth by that
very deed depose himself; and instead of being owned any longer for a
king, ought to be treated as a rebel and traitor against the supreme and
universal sovereign.' This is the perfect portracture of our princes;
the former of which declared an open war against religion, and all that
professed it: and the latter did begin to prosecute it with the same
cruelty of persecution, and yet continues without relenting against us;
though to others he tolerates it under the notion of a crime, to be for
the present dispensed with, until he accomplish his design. 10. Ibid. he
tells us, 'That whoso for corrupting of youth erecteth stage plays,
whore-houses, and other play-houses, and suffers the colleges and other
seminaries of learning to be corrupted.' There were never more of this
in any age, than in the conduct of our court, which, like another Sodom,
profess it to be their design to debauch mankind into all villanies, and
to poison the fountains of all learning and virtue, by intruding the
basest of men into the place of teachers, both in church and university,
and precluding all access to honest men. 11. Further he says. 'He is a
tyrant who doth not defend his subjects from injuries when he may, but
suffereth them to be oppressed, (and what if he oppress them himself?)'
It was one of the laws of Edward the confessor, if the king fail in the
discharge of his trust and office, he no longer deserves nor ought to
enjoy that name. What name do they deserve then, who not only fail in
the duty of defending their subjects, but send out their lictors and
bloody executioners to oppress them, neither will suffer them to defend
themselves! But Althusius makes a distinct character of this. 12. Then,
in fine he must certainly be a tyrant, who will not suffer the people,
by themselves nor by their representatives, to maintain their own
rights, neither by law nor force; for, saith my author forecited, 'He is
a tyrant who hindereth the free suffrages of members of parliament, so
that they dare not speak what they would; and chiefly he who takes away
from the people all power to resist his tyranny, as arms, strengths, and
chief men, whom therefore, though innocent, he hateth, afflicteth, and
persecuteth, exhausts their goods and livelihoods, without right or
reason.' All know that our blades have been all along enemies to
parliaments; and when their interest forced to call them, what means
were used always to paque and prelimit them, and overawe them, and how
men, who have faithfully discharged their trust in them, have been
prosecuted with the height of envy and fury, and many murdered
thereupon; and how all the armed force of the kingdoms have been
inhanced into their hand, and the people kept so under foot, that they
have been rendered incapable either to defend their own from inrestine
usurpers, or foreign invaders. All that is said amounts to this, that
when ever men in power to evert and subvert all the ends of government,
and intrude themselves upon it, and abuse it, to the hurt of the
commonwealth, and the destruction of that for which government was
appointed; they are then tyrants, and cease to be magistrates. To this
purpose I shall here append the words of that forecited ingenious author
of the Impartial Inquiry, pag. 13, 14. 'There can be nothing more
evident from the light of reason as well as scripture, than that all
magistracy is appointed for the benefit of mankind, and the common good
of societies; God never gave any one power to reign over others for
their destruction, (unless by his providence when he had devoted a
people for their sins to ruin,) but on whomsoever he confers authority
over cities or nations, it is with this conditional proviso and
limitation, that they are to promote their prosperity and good, and to
study their defence and protection; all princes are thus far
pactional----And whosoever refuseth to perform this fundamental
condition, he degrades and deposes himself; nor is it rebellion in any
to resist him; whensoever princes cease to be for the common good, they
answer not the end they were instituted unto, and cease to be what they
were chosen for.'

6. It will not be denied, but when the case is so circumstantiate, that
it would require the arbitration of judgment to determine, whether the
king be a tyrant or not, that then people are not to disown him: for if
it be a question, whether the people be really robbed of their rights
and liberties, and that the king might pretend as much reason to
complain of the people's doing indignity to his sovereignty, as they
might of his tyranny; then it were hard for them to assume so far the
umpirage of their own cause, as to make themselves absolute judges of
it, and forthwith to reject his authority upon these debatable grounds.
But the case is not so with us; no place being left for doubt or debate,
but that our fundamental rights and liberties civil and religious, are
overturned, and an absolute tyranny, exactly characterized as above, is
established on the ruins thereof. Hence we have not disowned the
pretended authority, because we judged it was tyrannical, but because it
was really so. Our discretive judgment in the case was not our rule, but
it was our understanding of the rule, by which only we could be
regulated, and not by the understanding of another, which cannot be
better, nor so good, of our grievances, which certainly we may be
supposed to understand best ourselves, and yet they are such as are
understood every where. To the question then, who shall be judge between
these usurping and tyrannizing rulers and us? We answer briefly and
plainly. We do not usurp a judgment in the case pretending no more
authority over them in our private capacity, than we allow them to have
over us, that is none at all? Nor can we admit that they should be both
judges and party; for then they might challenge that prerogative in
every case, and strengthen themselves in an uncontrollable immunity and
impunity to do what they pleased. But we appeal to the fundamental laws
of the kingdom, agreeable to the word of God, to judge, and to the whole
world of impartial spectators to read and pronounce the judgment. Lex
Rex, Quest. 24. pag. 213. saith in answer to this, 'There is a court of
necessity no less than a court of justice; and the fundamental laws must
then speak, and it is with the people in this extremity as if they had
no ruler. And as to the doubtsomeness of these laws, he saith, (1.) As
the scriptures in all fundamentals are clear, and expound themselves,
and _in the first instance_ condemn heresies; so all laws of men in
their fundamentals, which are the law of nature and nations, are clear.
(2.) Tyranny is more visible and intelligible than heresy, and it is
soon discerned----The people have a natural throne of policy in their
conscience, to give warning, and materially sentence against the king as
a tyrant;--where tyranny is more obscure, and the thread small, that it
escape the eye of man, the king keepeth possession, but I deny that
tyranny can be obscure long.'

7. I shall grant that many things are yieldable even to a grassonant
dominator, and tyrannical occupant of the place of magistracy; as 1.
There may be some cases, wherein it is lawful for a people to yield
_subjection_ to a lawless tyrant, when groaning under his overpowering
yoke, under which they must patiently _bear the indignation of the Lord,
because_ they _have sinned against him, until he_ arise and _plead_ his
own _cause, and execute judgment_ in the earth, (Mic. vii. 9.) until
which time they must kiss the rod as in the hand of God, and own and
adore the holiness and sovereignty of that providence that hath
subjected them under such a slavery; and are not to attempt a violent
ejection or excussion, when either the thing attempted is altogether
impracticable, or the means and manner of effectuating it dubious and
unwarrantable, or the necessary concomitants and consequents of the cure
more hurtful or dangerous than the disease, or the like. As in many
cases also a man may be subject to a robber prevailing against him; so
we find the people of Israel in Egypt and Babylon, &c. yielded
subjection to tyrants. But in this case we deny two things to them, (1.)
Allegiance or active and voluntary subjection, so as to own them for
magistrates. (2.) Stupid _passive obedience_, or suffering without
resistance. For the first, we owe it only to magistrates, by virtue of
the law, either ordinative of God, or constitutive of man. And it is no
argument to infer; as a man's subjecting himself to a robber assaulting
him, is no solid proof of his approving or acknowledging the injury and
violence committed by the robbery, therefore a person's yielding
subjection to a tyrant a public robber does not argue his acknowledging
or approving his tyranny and oppression. For, the subjection that a
tyrant requires, and which a robber requires, is not of the same nature;
the one is legal of subjects, which we cannot own to a tyrant; the other
is forced of the subdued, which we must acknowledge to a robber. But to
make the parallel; if the robber should demand, in our subjecting
ourselves to him, an owning of him to be no robber but an honest man, as
the tyrant demands in our subjecting ourselves to him in owning him to
be no tyrant, but a magistrate, then we ought not to yield it to the one
no more than to the other. For the second, to allow them passive
obedience is unintelligible nonsense and a mere contradiction; for
nothing that is merely passive can be obedience as relative to a law;
nor can any obedience be merely passive; for obedience is always active.
But not only is the inaccuracy of the phrase excepted against, but also
that position maintained by many, that, in reference to a yoke of
tyranny, there is a time which may be called the proper season of
suffering, that is, when suffering (in opposition to acting or
resisting) is a necessary and indispensible duty, and resisting is a
sin: for if the one be an indispensible duty, the other must be a sin at
the same time, but this cannot be admitted. For, though certainly there
is such a season of suffering, wherein suffering is lawful, laudable and
necessary, and all must lay their account with suffering, and little
else can be attempted, but which will increase sufferings; yet even then
we may resist as well as we can: and these two, resistance and
suffering, at the same time, are not incompatible: David did bear most
patiently the injury of his son's usurpation, when he said, 'Let the
Lord do to me as seemeth him good,' 2 Sam. xv. 26. chap. x. 12. and
betaketh himself to fervent prayers, Psal. iii. and yet these were not
all the weapons he used against him; neither did he ever own him as a
magistrate. We are to suffer all things patiently as the servants of the
Lord, and look to him for mercy and relief, (Psal. cxxiii. 2.); but we
are not obliged to suffer even in that season, as the slaves of men.
Again, suffering in opposition to resistance, does never fall under any
moral law of God, except in the absolutely extraordinary case of
Christ's passive obedience, which cannot fall under our deliberation or
imitation; or in the case of a positive law, as was given to the Jews to
submit to Nebuchadnezzar, which was express and peculiar to them, as
shall be cleared. That can never be commanded as indispensible duty,
which does not fall under our free will or deliberation, but the enemies
will, as the Lord permits them, as the case of suffering is. That can
never be indispensible duty, which we may decline without sin, as we may
do suffering, if we have not a call to it; yea, in that case, it were
sin to suffer; therefore, in no case it can be formally and
indispensibly commanded, so as we may not shift it, if we can without
sin. Suffering simply the evil of punishment, just or unjust, can never
be a conformity to God's preceptive will, but only to his providential
disposal; it hath not the will of the sign for its rule, but only the
will of well-pleasing. All the commands that we have for suffering, are
either to direct the manner of it, that it be patiently and cheerfully,
when forced to it wrongfully, 1 Pet. ii. 19, 20, or comparatively, to
determine our choice in an unavoidable alternative, either to suffer or
sin; and so we are commanded, rather to suffer, than to deny Christ,
Matth. xiii. 33. and we are commanded upon these terms to follow Christ,
to take up his cross, when he lays it on his providence, Matth. xvi. 24.
See at length this cleared, Lex Rex, Q. 30. page 317-320 otherwise in
no case subjection, even passive, can be a duty; for it is always to be
considered under the notion of a plague, judgment and curse, to be
complained of as a burden, never to be owned as a duty to magistrates.

As we find the Lord's people resenting it as a servitude, under which
they were servants even in their own land, which did yield increase unto
the kings whom the Lord had set over them, because of their sins, Neh.
ix. 36, 37. 2. In divers cases there may be some compliance with a mere
occupant, that hath no right to reign; as upon this account the noble
marquis of Argyle and lord Warriston suffered for their compliance with
the usurper Cromwell. Such may be the warrantableness, or goodness, or
necessity, or profitableness of a compliance, when people are by
providence brought under a yoke which they cannot shake off, that they
may part with some of their privileges, for the avoidance of the loss of
the rest, and for the conveniency and profit, peace and safety of
themselves and their country, which would be in hazard, if they did not
comply; they may do whatsoever is due from them to the public weal,
whatsoever is an office of their station or place, or which they have
any other way a call unto, whatsoever may make for their own honest
interest, without wronging others, or the country's liberties in their
transactions with these powers, even though such a compliance may be
occasionally to the advantage of the usurpers, seeing good and necessary
actions are not to be declined for the ill effects that are accidental
to them, and arise from the use which others make of them. But though
this may be yielded in some cases to such usurpers, especially
conquerors, that have no right of occupying the empire, but are capable
of it by derivation from the people's consent: yet it must not be
extended to such usurpers as are also tyrants, that have no right of
their own, nor are capable of any, and that overturn all rights of
subjects. To such we can yield no compliance, as may infer either
transacting with them, or owning them as magistrates. We find indeed the
saints enjoyed places under these, who were not their magistrates; as
Nehemiah and Mordecai and Esther was queen to Ahasuerus. But here was no
compliance with tyrants (for these heathens were not such) only some of
them were extraordinary persons, raised up by an extraordinary spirit,
for extraordinary ends in extraordinary times, that cannot be brought to
an ordinary rule, as Esther's marriage; and all of them in their places
kept the law of their God, served the work of their generation, defiled
not themselves with their customs, acted against no good, and engaged to
no evil, but by their compliance promoted the welfare of their country,
as Argyle and Warrriston did under Cromwel. Again, we find they paid
custom to them, as Neh. ix. 36, 37. and we read of Augustus' taxation
universally complied with, Luke ii. 1-5. and Christ paid it. This shall
be more fully answered afterwards. Here I shall only say (1.) It can
never be proven that these were tyrants. (2.) Christ paid it with such a
caution, as leaves the title inflated; not for conscience (as tribute
must be paid to magistrates, Rom. xiii. 5, 6.) but only that he might
not offend them. (3.) Any other instances of the saints taxations are to
be judged forced acts, badges of their bondage, which, if they had been
exacted as tests of their allegiance, they would not have yielded.
Strangers also, that are not subjects, use to pay custom in their
trafficking, but not as tests of their allegiance. 3. There may be also,
in some cases, obedience allowed to their lawful commands because of the
lawfulness of the thing commanded, or the coincidency of another just
and obligging authority commanding the same. We may do many things which
a tyrant commands, and which he enforces; and many things also whether
he will or not; but we must do nothing upon the consideration of his
command, in the acknowledgement of obedience, due by virtue of
allegiance, which we own of conscience to a lawful magistrate. We must
do nothing, which may seem to have an accessoriness to the tyrant's
unlawful occupancy, or which depends only on the warrant of his
authority to do it, or may entrench on the divine institution of
magistracy, or bring us into a participation of the usurper's sin. In
these cases we can neither yield obedience in lawful things, nor in
unlawful: 'nor can we own absolute subjection, no more than we can
absolute obedience; for all subjection is enjoined, in order to
obedience: and to plead for a privilege in point of obedience, and to
disclaim it in point of subjection, is only the flattery of such, as
having renounced with conscience all distinction of obedience, would
divest others of all privileges, that they may exercise their tyranny
without controul, Naphtali, p. 28. prior edit.'] 4. There may be
addresses made to such as are not rightful possessors of the government,
for justice, or mercy, or redress of some intolerable grievances,
without scruple of accepting that which is materially justice or mercy,
or seeking them at the hand of any who may reach them out to us, though
he that conveys them to us be not interested in the umpirage of them.
Thus we find Jeremiah supplicated Zedekiah for mercy, not to return to
prison; and Paul appealed to Cæsar for justice. But in these addresses
we may not acknowledge the wicked laws that brought on these grievances,
nor conceal the wickedness, no more than the misery of them which we
have endured; nor may we own the legal power of them that we address, to
take them off, nor signify any thing, in the matter and manner of our
representations, that may either import a declining our testimony, for
which we have suffered these grievances, or a contradiction to our
declinature of their pretended authority: only we may remonstrate, what
cruelties we have endured, and how terrible it will be to them to be
guilty of, or accessory to our blood, in not pitying us; which was all
that Jeremiah did. And as for Paul's appeal, we find he was threatened
to be murdered by his countrymen, Acts xxiii. 14. from whose hands he
was rescued, and brought before the judicatory of Festus the Roman
deputy, not voluntarily; thence also they sought to remand him to
Jerusalem, that they might kill him, Acts xxv. 3. whereupon he demands
in justice that he might not be delivered to his accusers and murderers,
but claims the benefit of the heathens own law, by that appeal to Cæsar,
which was the only constrained expedient of saving his own life, Acts
xxviii. 19, by which also he got an opportunity to witness for Christ at
Rome. But, as shall be cleared further afterwards, Cæsar was not an
usurper over Judea; which not obscurely is insinuated by Paul himself,
who asserts, that both his person, and his cause criminal, of which he
was accused (it was not an ecclesiastical cause, and so no advantage
hence for the supremacy) appertained to Cæsar's tribunal, and that not
only in fact, but of right, Acts xxv. 10. 'I stand at Cæsar's
judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged.' We cannot say this of any
tribunal; fenced in the name of them that tyrannize over us. 5. I will
not stand neither upon the names and titles of kings, &c. to be given to
tyrants and usurpers, in speaking to them or of them, by way of
appellation or compellation: for we find even tyrants are called by
these names in scripture, being kings in fact, though not by right and
indeed not impertinently, kings and tyrants for the most part are
reciprocal terms. But in no case can we give them any names or titles,
which may signify our love to them whom the Lord hates, or who hate the
Lord, 2 Chron. xix. 2. or which may flatter them, whom Elihu durst not
give, for fear his Maker should take him away, Job xxxii. 22. or which
may be taken for honouring of them, for that is not due to the vilest of
men, when exalted never so high, Psal. xii. ult. a vile person must be
contemned in our eyes, Psal. xv. 4. nor which may any way import or
infer an owning of a magistratical relation between them and us, or any
covenant-transaction or confederacy with them, which is no terms with
them, as such, we will say or own. Isa. viii. 12. Hence many sufferers
upon this head forbear to give them their titles.

8. It will be yielded very readily by us, that a magistrate is not to be
disowned, merely for his differing in religion from us: yea, though he
were a heathen. We do not disown our pretended rulers merely upon that
account, but cheerfully do grant and subscribe to that truth in our
Confession of Faith, chap. xxiii. sect. 4. That infidelity, or
difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrate's just and
legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to him: on
which our adversaries have insulted, as if our principle and practice
were thereby disproved. But it is easy to answer, 1. Let the words be
considered, and we are confident, 'That no sober man will think, the
acknowledgement of just and legal authority, and due obedience a
rational ground to infer, that tyranny is thereby either allowed or
privileged,' Napht. p. 60 prior edition. 2. Though infidelity or
difference of religion, does not make void authority, where it is
lawfully invested; yet it may incapacitate a person, and lawfully
seclude him from authority, both by the word of God, which expressly
forbids to set a stranger over, who is not our brother, Deut. xvii. 15.
which includes as well a stranger of a strange religion, as one of a
strange country, and by the laws of the land, which do incapacitate a
papist of all authority, supreme or subordinate. And so, if this James
VII. II. had been king before he was a Roman Catholic, if we had no more
to object, we should not have quarrelled his succession. 3. We both give
and grant all that is the confession, to wit, that dominion is not
founded in grace: yet this remains evident, that a prince, who not only
is of another religion, but an avowed enemy to, and overturner of the
religion established by law, and intending and endeavouring to introduce
a false, heretical, blasphemous and idolatrous religion, can claim no
just and legal authority, but in this case the people may very lawfully
decline his pretended authority; nay, they are betrayers of their
country and posterity, if they give not a timeous and effectual check to
his usurpings, and make him sensible that he hath no such authority. Can
we imagine, that men in the whole of that blessed work so remarkably led
of God, being convocate by a parliament of the wisest and worthiest men
that ever were in England, whom they did encourage, by writing and
preaching, and every way to stand fast in their opposition to the then
king displaying a banner for his prerogative (a court dream) against
religion and liberty, should be so far left, as to drop that as a
principle and part of our religion, which would sacrifice religion
itself to the lust of a raging tyrant? Must we believe, that a religion
destroying tyrant is a righteous ruler? And must we own him to be a
nursing father to the church? Shall we conclude, that the common bounds
and limits, whereby the Almighty hath bounded and limited mankind, are
removed by an article of our Confession of Faith, which hereby is turned
into a court creed: Then welcome Hobs de cive, with all the rest of
Pluto's train, who would babble us into a belief, that the world is to
be governed according to the pleasure of wicked tyrants. I would fain
hope at length the world would be awakened out of such ridiculous
dreams, and be ashamed any more to own such fooleries. And it may be,
our two royal brothers have contributed more to cure men of this moral
madness than any who went before them. And this is the only advantage, I
know, that the nations have reaped by their reign.

9. Though we deny that conquest can give a just title to a crown; yet we
grant, in some cases, that by the peoples after-consent it may be turned
into a just title. It is undeniable, when there is just ground of the
war, if a prince subdue a whole land, who have justly forfeited their
liberties, when by his grace he preserves them, he may make use of their
right now forfeited, and they may resign their liberty to the conqueror,
and consent that he be their king, upon fair and legal, and not
tyrannical conditions. And even when the war is not just, but successful
on the invading conquerors side, this may be an inducement to the
conquered, if they be indeed free and unengaged to any other, to a
submission, dedition, and delivery up of themselves to be the subjects
of the victor, and to take him for their sovereign: as it is like the
case was with the Jews in Cæsar's time, whose government was translated
by dedition to the Roman power; in the translation, when a-doing, there
was a fault, but after it was done, it ceased; though the beginning was
wrong, there was a post-fact, which made it right, and could not be
dissolved, without an unjust disturbance of public order. Whence,
besides what is said above, in answer to that much insisted instance of
Christ's paying tribute, and commanding it to be paid to Cæsar, the
difficulty of that instance may be clearly solved. That tribute which he
paid, Matth. xvii. 14. &c. and that about the payment whereof he was
questioned, Matth. xxii. 21. seem to be two different tributes. Many
think, very probably, they were not one and the same tribute. It is a
question, for whom, and by whom that of Matth. xvii. was gathered; it is
most likely, it was gathered by the officers of the temple for its
service: however, the payment was made, with such caution (tacitely
declining the strict right to exact it from him, but to avoid offence,
in an act in itself unobliging) that their claim is left as much in the
dark, as if the question had never been moved. The other, Matth. xxii.
was exacted for Cæsar: but to that captious question our Lord returns
such an answer, as might both solve it, and evade the snare of the
propounder, giving a general rule of giving to God and to Cæsar each
their own, without defining which of them had the right to the payment
in question; whether Cæsar should have it, or whether it should be paid
only for the temple's use: upon which they marvelled, which they needed
not do, if they had understood in his words an express and positive
declaration of an obligation to make that payment to Cæsar; for then
they would have obtained one of their ends, in making him odious to the
people, who were not satisfied with the payment of it. But however, the
knot is loosed, by considering that they were now lawfully subject to
the Roman Emperors, as their governors, to whom they were obliged (I do
not say Christ was) to pay tribute. For they had yielded themselves
unto, and owned the Roman dominion in Pompey, Cæsar Augustus and
Tiberius, ere this question about tribute paying was proposed to our
Saviour; and therefore they who stuck at the payment of it, were a
seditious party, dissenting from the body of the nation; else it is not
supposeable readily, that their dominion in Judea could have been
exercised long without some consent, sufficient to legitimate it to the
present rulers; and this is the more likely, if we consider the
confession of the Jews themselves, disavowing the power of capital
punishment. It is not lawful for us to put any man to death, and owning
Cæsar as their king, with an exclusive abrenunciation of all other, we
have no king but Cæsar; as Paul also acknowledges, he ought to be judged
at Cæsar's bar, in his appeal to Cæsar. It is also acknowledged by very
good authors, that this was the tribute which Judas the Galilean stood
up to free the people from; and that the sedition of those Jews that
followed him, mentioned Acts v. 37. who mutinied upon this occasion,
was, according to Gamaliel's speech, disallowed by that Sanhedrim, or
council of the Jews. And it may be gathered out of Josephus, that the
Jews of Hircanus' party came under the Roman power by consent and
dedition, while they of Aristobulus' party looked upon the Romans as
usurpers. Which difference continued till our Saviour's time, when some
part of them acknowledged the Cæsarean authority, some part looked upon
it as an usurpation; and of this generally were the Pharisees. To
confirm this, Calvin's testimony may be adduced, upon Matth. xxii. who
saith, 'The authority of the Roman emperors was by common use approved
and received among the Jews, whence it was manifest, that the Jews had
now of their own accord imposed on themselves a law of paying the
tribute, because they had passed over to the Romans the power of the
sword.' And Chamiers panstrat. tom. 2 lib. 15. cap. 16. p. 635. 'What
then? if Cæsar's authority was from bad beginnings, did therefore Christ
untruly say it was from above? Can no power, at first unjust, afterward
become just? if that were so, then either none, or very few kingdoms
would be just.'

10. As tyranny is a destructive plague to all the interests of men and
Christians; to anarchy, the usual product of it, is no less pernicious,
bringing a community into a paroxysm as deadly and dangerous. We must
own government to be absolutely necessary, for the constitution and
conservation of all societies. I shall not enter into a disquisition,
let be determination of the species or kind of magistracy, whether
monarchy aristocracy or democracy, be preferable. My dispute, at
present, is not levelled against monarchy, but the present monarch: not
against the institution of the species (though I believe, except we
betake ourselves to the divine allowance and permission; we shall be as
puzzled to find out the divine original of it, as cosmographers are in
their search of the spring of Nilus, or theologues of the Father of
Melchizedeck) but the constitution of this individual monarchy
established among us, which, in its root and branch, spring and streams,
in its original, nature, ends and effects, is diametrically opposite to
religion and liberty; and because its contagion, universally converting
and corrupting all the ends and orders of magistracy, doth affect and
infect all the subordinate officers, deriving their power from such a
filthy fountain; we must also subtract and deny their demanded
acknowledgments as any way due, so long as they serve the pride and
projects of such a wicked power: and do not reckon ourselves obliged by
covenant, or any otherwise (though, in the third article of the solemn
league, we are bound to preserve the rights and privileges of our
parliaments, and consequently the honour and deference that's due to our
peers, or other parliament-men, acting according to the trust committed
to them, but not when they turn traitors engaged in a conspiracy with
the tyrant) to own or defend a soulless shadow of a court cabal, made up
of persons who have sold themselves to work wickedness, in conspiring
with this throne of iniquity against the Lord, which is all we have for
a parliament, whom we can in no ways own as our representatives, but
must look upon them as perjured and perfidious traitors to God and their
country, which they have betrayed into the hands of a tyrant; and
therefore divested of that power and authority, which they had of the
people as their representatives, which now is returned to the fountain.
And therefore we must act as we can against them, and also what is
necessary for securing of ourselves, religion and liberty, without them.
We would think nobles, ennobled with virtue, a great mercy and
encouragement; and if they would concur in the testimony for religion
and liberty, we would be glad that they should lead the van, and prove
themselves to be powers appointed by God, in acting for him in his
interest. But for the want of their conduct, we must not surcease from
that duty that they abandon, nor think that the concurrence of peers is
so necessary to legitimate our actions, as that without that formality
our resolutions to maintain the truth of God on all hazards, in a
private capacity, were unlawful in the court of God and nature: but, on
the contrary, must judge that their relinquishing or opposing their
duty, which before God they are obliged to maintain, preserve, and
promove, is so far from loosing our obligation, or exeeming us from our
duty that it should rather press us to prosecute it with the more
vigour, without suspending it upon their precedency. For now they can
pretend to no precedency, when they do not answer the end of their own
private advantage, they cease to be the ministers of God and of the
people, and become private persons. And reason will conclude, 'That when
the Ephori or trustees betray their trust, and sell, or basely give away
the liberties and privileges of the people, which they were entrusted
with, the people cannot be brought into a remediless condition; if a
tutor waste and destroy the pupils estate, the law provides a remedy for
the pupil, Jus popu. vind. cap. 15. page 335, 336.' 'The remedy, in this
case, can only be, as every one must move in his own sphere, while all
concur in the same duty; so if any, in higher place, become not only
remiss, but according to the influence of their power would seduce
others into their apostasy, it is their duty to resist and endeavour
their reformation or removal: and if these more eminently entrusted
shall turn directly apostates, and obstructive and destructive to common
interests, the people of an inferior degree may step forward to occupy
the places, and assert the interests, which they forefault and desert.
Neither is this a breach of good order; for order is only a mean
subordinate to, and intended for the glory of God, and the peoples good,
and the regulation thereof must only be admitted as it is conducible,
and not repugnant to these ends. A general's command to his soldiers in
battle, does not impede the necessity of succession, in case of vacancy
of any charge, either through death or desertion, even of such as in
quality may be far inferior to those whose places they step into,
Naphtali, page 151. first edition.' I do not assert this for private
peoples aspiring into the capacity of primores of peers; but that they
may do that which the peers desert, and dare not, or will not do, if the
Lord put them in a capacity to do it. And more plainly I assert, that if
the peers of the land whose duty it is principally to restrain and
repress tyranny, either connive at it, or concur with it, and so abandon
or betray their trust, then the common people may do it; at least are
obliged to renounce, reject, and disown allegiance to the tyrant,
without the peers. For which I offer these reasons. 1. Because all men
have as much freedom and liberty by nature as peers have, being no more
slaves than they; because slavery is a penal evil contrary to nature,
and a misery consequent of sin, and every man created according to God's
image, is a sacred thing; and also no more subjects to kings, &c. than
they; freedom being natural to all (except freedom from subjection to
parents, which is a moral duty, and most kindly and natural, and
subjection of the wife to the husband, &c.) but otherwise as to civil
and politic subjection, man, by nature, is born as free as beasts; no
lion is born king of lions, nor no man born king of men; nor lord of
men, nor representative of men, nor rulers of men, either supreme or
subordinate; because none, by nature, can have those things that
essentially constitute rulers, the calling of God, nor gifts and
qualifications for it, nor the election of the people. 2. The original
of all that power, that the primores or representatives can claim, is
from the people, not from themselves; from whence derived they their
being representatives, but from the people's commission or compact? when
at the first constitution of parliaments, or public conventions for
affairs of state, necessity put the people, who could not so
conveniently meet all, to confer that honour and burden upon the best
qualified, and who had chief interest by delegation. Hence, if the
people give such a power, they may wave it when perverted, and act
without their own impowered servants. 3. The people's power is greater
than the power of any delegated or constituted by them; the cause is
more than the effect; parliament-men do represent the people, the people
do not represent the parliament: they are as tutors and curators unto
the people, and in effect their servants deputed to oversee their public
affairs, therefore if their power be less the people can act without
them. 4. It were irrational to imagine, the people committing the
administration of their weighty affairs unto them, did denude themselves
of all their radical power; or that they can devolve upon them, or they
obtain any other power but what is for the good and advantage of the
people; therefore they have power to act without them, in things which
they never resigned to them; for they cannot be deprived of that natural
aptitude, and nature's birth-right, given to them by God and nature, to
provide the most efficacious and prevalent means for the preservation of
their rights and liberties. 5. As the people have had power before they
made peers, and have done much without them; so these primores could
never do without them, therefore in acts of common interest, the peers
depend more upon the people than the people do upon them. 6. All these
primeve rights, that gave rise to societies, are equal to both people
and peers, whereof the liberty to repress and reject tyranny is a chief
one. The people as well as peers have a hand in making the king, and
other judges also, as is clear from Deut. xvii. 14. Judg. ix. 6. 1 Sam.
xi. 15. 2 Kings xiv. 21. therefore they may unmake them as well as they.
To seek to preserve the ends of government, when they are overturned, is
essentially requisite to all societies, and therefore common and
competent to all constituents of these societies, superiors or
inferiors. The glory of God and security of religion, the end of all
Christian government, doth concern all equally. As every one equally is
bound to obey God rather than man, so violence in this case destroys
both the commonwealth, and maketh the end and means of government, and
the injured persons obligation thereto to cease; and this equally to
every man of private or public capacity. In the concern of religion at
least, we must not think because we are not nobles, or in authority,
that the care of it, or reformation thereof does nothing pertain to us;
nay in that, and carrying on the work thereof, there is an equality: as
in the erection of the Old Testament tabernacle, all the people were to
contribute alike half a shekel, Exod. xxx. that it might be for a
remembrance before the Lord. Hence it follows, if we disown the supreme
ruler, and the inferior confederate with him, and cannot have the
concurrence of others: 'now through the manifest and notorious
perversion of the great ends of society and government, the bond thereof
being dissolved, we liberated therefrom, do relapse into our primeve
liberty and privilege: and accordingly, as the similitude of our case,
and exigence of our cause doth require, may, upon the very same
principles, again join and associate, for our better defence and
preservation, as we did at first enter into societies,' Nap. p. 150.
yet, whatever we may do in this case, we are not for presumptuous
assumptions of authority which maleversers have forefaulted: neither are
we for new erections of government, but are for keeping the society, of
which we are members, entire, in an endeavour to have all our fellow
members united unto God, and to one another, in religion and liberty,
according to the bond of the solemn league and covenant. Certain it is,
that greater societies, under one government, may in some cases make a
secession, and divide into lesser, without sedition: or else, how would
there be so many distinct commonwealths in the world? seeing at first
all was under one head: and how comes it to pass, that there are so
many kingdoms in Europe, when it can be instanced, when all, or the most
part, were under one Roman emperor? But this, in our circumstance, is
noway expedient, neither was it ever in projection. But our aim is to
abstract ourselves inoffensively, and maintain our rights that remain
unrobbed, and to adhere closely to the fundamental constitutions, laws,
and laudable practices of our native kingdom.

II. We own the obligation of our sacred covenants, unrepealably and
indispensibly binding to all the duties of christian subjection to
magistrates. But we deny, that hereby we are bound either to maintain
monarchy, especially thus perverted; nor to own the authority of either
of the two monarchs that have monarchized or tyrannized over us these
twenty-seven years past. For as to the first, we assert, That that which
is in its own nature mutable, cannot be simply sworn unto to be
maintained and preserved, but hypothetically at most, else it were
simply sinful; since it were to make things in their own nature, and in
the providence of God changeable, unchangeable; yea it were a downright
swearing not to comply with, but to spurn against, the various
vicissitudes of divine providence, the great rector of the universe. And
it is unquestionable, that when things alterable and unalterable are put
in the same oath, to make the engagement lawful the things must be
understood, as they are in their own nature, and no otherwise: else both
the imposer and the taker grievously transgress; the former, in taking
upon him what is in the power of no mortal, and a contradiction to the
prerogative of the immortal God; and the other, in owning that power as
just. Hence when these two fall to be in the same oath, they must be so
understood as it may not be made a snare to the conscience of the
swearer. For it may fall so out in the providence of God, that the
preservation of both is in all respects made impossible: and an adhesion
to the one, may so far interfere with the preservation of the other, as
if the mutable and that which hath no objective obligation to be stuck
to the other, which with the loss of all interests we are to maintain,
must be abandoned; yea, that which was sworn to be maintained as a mean
only, and a mutable one too, may not only cease to be a mean, but may
actually destroy the main end, and then it is to be laid aside, because
then it inverts the order of things. Hence also it may be questioned, if
it were not more convenient, to leave out those things that are
alterable in themselves, out of the same oath with things unalterable,
and put them in a distinct oath or covenant by themselves; as we see
Jehojadah did 2 Kings xi. 17. 'He made a covenant between the Lord, and
the king, and the people, that they should be the Lord's people; between
the king also and the people.' Here are two distinct covenants; the one
made with God, about things eternally obligatory, wherein the king and
people engage themselves upon level ground to serve the Lord, and Joash
the king, his treacherous dealing with God in that matter, brought the
curse of that covenant upon him: the other covenant was civil, about
things alterable relating to points of government and subjection. And as
he, by virtue of that prior covenant, had obliged himself, under the
pain of the curse thereof, to carry as one covenanted to God with the
people, and so not to tyrannize over his brethren: so, the people, by
virtue of that same covenant, were to yield obedience, but in nothing to
acknowledge him, as having power or authority to countermand God's
command; neither had it been an act of disloyalty, to have broken down
his groves, which he had, with the addition of the guilt of perjury, set
up, and to have bound his ungrateful hands from the blood of the
gracious Zechariah: a perfect parallel to our case under the former
dominator, save that it was outdone as to all dimensions of wickedness
by him. To speak more plainly, the religious part of our covenant is of
an eternal obligation; but as to the civil part, it is impossible it
can ever be so, unless it be well and cautiously understood; that is,
unless instead of any species of government, as monarchy, &c. we put in
magistracy itself. For this is that power which is of God; but monarchy,
&c. is only a human creature, about the creation whereof men take a
liberty, according to what suits them best in their present
circumstances. And as to this species of monarchy; men are never left at
liberty to clothe therewith any inept or impious person. And they are
perfectly loosed from it. 1. When that species of government becomes
opposite to the ends of government, and is turned tyranny, especially
when a legal establishment is pretended, then it affects with its
contagion the very species itself: the house is to be pulled down, when
the leprosy is got into the walls and foundation. 2. When it is
exercised, it is turned inept for answering the ends of its erection,
and prejudicial to the main thing for which government is given, to wit,
the gospel and the coming of Christ's kingdom: hence it is promised to
the church, Isa. xlix. 23. 'Kings shall be nursing fathers to the
church:'----And Isa. lii. 15. It is promised to the Mediator that 'Kings
shall shut their mouths,'----_i.e._ never a word in their head, but out
of reverence and respect to his absolute sovereignty, they shall take
the law from him, without daring to contract, far less to take upon them
to prescribe in the house of God, as they in their wisdom think fit. 3.
When providence, without any sinful hand, makes that species impossible
to be kept up, without the ruin of that for which it was erected: when
things comes to this push, whosoever are clothed with the power, are
then under an obligation to comply with that alteration of providence,
for the safety of the people; else they declare themselves unworthy of
rule, and such who would sacrifice the interest of their people to their
particular interest; in which case the people may make their public
servant sensible, he is at his highest elevation but a servant. Hence
now, when this species named in the covenant, viz. monarchy, is by law
so vitiate, as it becomes the mean and instrument of the destruction of
all the ends of that covenant, and now by law transmitted to all
successors as a hereditary, pure, perfect and perpetual opposition to
the coming of Christ's kingdom, so that as long as there is one to wear
that crown, (but Jehovah will in righteousness execute Coniah's doom
upon the race, Jer. xxii. _ult._ 'Write this man childless'----) and
enter heir to the government as now establishment, he must be an enemy
to Christ; there is no other way left, but to think on a new model
moulded according to the true pattern. As to the second, we are far less
obliged to own and acknowledge the interest of any of the two monarchs,
that we have been mourning under these many years, from these sacred
covenants. For, as to the first of them, Charles II. Those
considerations did cassate his interest, as to any covenant obligation
to own him. 1. In these covenants we are not sworn absolutely to
maintain the king's person and authority, but only conditionally, in the
preservation and defence of religion and liberties. Now, when this
condition was not performed, but, on the contrary, professedly resolved
never to be fulfilled; and when he laid out himself to the full of his
power and authority, for the destruction of that reformed religion and
liberties of the kingdom, which he solemnly swore to defend when he
received the crown, only in the terms that he should be a loyal subject
to Christ, and a true and faithful servant to the people, in order to
which a magistrate is chosen, and all his worth, excellency, and
valuableness, consists in his answering that purpose; for the excellency
of a mean, as such, is to be measured from the end, and its
answerableness thereunto: we were not then obliged, to maintain such an
enemy to these precious interests. 2. Because, as the people were bound
to him, so he was bound to them by the same covenant, being only on
these terms entrusted with the government, all which conditions he
perfidiously broke, whereupon only his authority and our allegiance were
founded; and thereby we were loosed from all reciprocal obligation to
him by virtue of that covenant. 3. Though he and we stood equally
engaged to the duties of that covenant, only with this difference, that
the king's capacity being greater, he was the more obliged to have laid
out that power, in causing all to stand to their covenant engagements,
as Josiah did, 2 Chron. xxxiv. 31, 32, 33. (but alas! there was never a
Josiah in the race,) yet he rose up to the height of rebellion against
God and the people, in heaven daring insolency, and not only brake, but
burnt that covenant, and made laws to cass and rescind it, and made a
not-concurring in this conspiracy, a note of incapacity for any trust in
church or state.

Therefore to plead for an owning of him in this case, were only
concludent of this, that the generation had dreamed themselves into such
a distraction, as may be feared will be pursued with destruction, and
make such dreamers the detestation of posterity, and cause all men
proclaim the righteousness of God, in bringing ruin upon them by that
very power and authority they owned in such circumstances. 4. It is a
known maxim, 'He that does not fulfil the conditions, falls from the
benefit of it, and whoso remits the obligation of the party obliged upon
condition, cannot exact it afterwards.' So then it is evident, that the
subjects of Scotland were by king Charles II. his consent, yea express
command, disengaged from so much of that covenant as could be alledged
in favours of himself: so that all that he did, by burning and
rescinding these covenants, and pursuing all who endeavoured to adhere
to them, was a most explicit liberating his subjects from, and remission
of their allegiance to him, (and in this we had been fools if we had not
taken him at his word;) yea he rescinded his very coronation, by an act
of his first parliament after his return, which did declare null and
void all acts, constitutions and establishments, from the year 1633 to
that present session, not excepting those for his own coronation, after
which he was never recrowned, and therefore we could not own that right,
which himself did annul. But as for his royal brother, James the VII.
and II. we cannot indeed make use of the same reasons and arguments to
disown him, as we have now adduced; yet, as we shall prove afterwards,
this covenant does oblige to renounce him. So it is so clear, that it
needs no illustration, that there lies no obligation from this covenant
to own him. 1. Because, as he is an enemy to the whole of our covenant,
and especially to these terms upon which authority it is to be owned
therein: so he will not come under the bond of this covenant, nor any
other compact with the people, but intrude himself upon the throne, in
such a way as overturns the basis of our government, and destroys all
the liberties of a free people, which by covenant we are bound to
preserve, and consequently, as inconsistent therewith, to renounce his
usurpation. For, a prince that will set himself up without any
transactions with the people, or conditions giving security for religion
and liberty, is an usurping tyrant, not bounded by any law but his own
lusts. And to say to such an one, reign thou over us, is all one as to
say, come thou and play the tyrant over us, and let thy lust and will be
a law to us: which is both against scripture and natural sense. If he be
not a king upon covenant terms, either expresly or tacitely, or general
stipulations according to the word of God, and laws of the land, he
cannot be owned as a father, protector, or tutor, having any fiduciary
power entrusted to him over the common wealth, but as a lawless and
absolute dominator, assuming to himself a power to rule or rage as he
lists: whom to own were against our covenants: for there we are sworn to
maintain his majesty's just and lawful authority, and by consequence
not to own usurpation and tyranny, stated in opposition to religion and
liberty, which there also we are engaged to maintain. Sure, this cannot
be lawful authority which is of God, for God giveth no power against
himself; nor can it be of the people, who had never power granted them
of God to create one over them, with a liberty to destroy them, their
religion and liberty, at his pleasure. 2. As he is not, nor will not be
our covenanted and sworn king (and therefore we cannot be his covenanted
and sworn subjects;) so he is not nor cannot be our crowned king, and
therefore we must not be his liege subjects, owning fealty and obedience
to him. For, 'according to the national covenant, as all lieges are to
maintain the king's authority, consistent with the subjects liberties;
which, if they be innovated or prejudged, such confusion would ensue, as
this realm could be no more a free monarchy;--so for the preservation of
true religion, laws and liberties of this kingdom, it is statute by the
8th act, parl. 1. repeated in the 99th act, parl. 7th, ratified in the
23d act, parl. 11th, and 14th act, parl. 12th of king James VI, and 4th
act. of king Charles I. that all kings and princes, at their coronation
and reception of their princely authortity, shall make their faithful
promise by their solemn oath, in the presence of the eternal God, that
enduring the whole time of their lives, they shall serve the same
eternal God, to the uttermost of their power, according as he hath
required in his most holy word, contained in the Old and New Testaments;
and according to the same word, shall maintain the true religion of
Christ Jesus, the preaching of his holy word, the due and right
ministration of the sacraments, now received and preached within this
realm (according to the confession of faith immediately preceding) and
shall abolish and gainst and all false religion, contrary to the same;
and shall rule the people committed to their charge, according to the
will and command of God, revealed in his foresaid word, and according to
the laudable law and constitutions received in this realm, no ways
repugnant to the said will of the eternal God; and shall procure, to the
uttermost of their power, to the kirk of God, and whole Christian
people, true and perfect peace in all time coming, and that they shall
be careful to root out of their empire all hereticks, and enemies to the
true worship of God, who shall be convicted by the true kirk of God of
the foresaid crimes.' Now, this coronation oath he hath not taken, he
will not, he cannot take; and therefore cannot be our crowned king
according to law. As there be also many other laws, incapacitating his
admission to the crown, being a professed papist, and no law for it at
all, but one of his own making, by a packed cabal of his own complices,
a parliament, wherein himself presided as commissioner, enacting
materially his succession, and rescinding all these ancient laws: which
act of succession (which is all the legal right he can pretend to in
Scotland) because it cannot be justified, therefore his right cannot be
owned, which is founded upon the subversion of our ancient laws. But as
he cannot be our legally crowned king, so he is not so much as formally
crowned. And therefore before his inauguration, whatever right to be
king (whom the representatives may admit to the government) he may
pretend to, by hereditary succession, yet he cannot formally be made
king, till the people make a compact with him, upon terms for the safety
of their dearest and nearest liberties, even though he were not disabled
by law. He might, as they say, pretend to some right to the thing, but
he could have no right in the thing. The kings of Scotland, while
uncrowned, can exercise no royal government; for the coronation in
concrete, according to the substance of the act, is no ceremony (as
they, who make conscience itself but a ceremony, call it) nor an
accidental ingredient in the constitution of a king, but as it is
distinctive, so it is constitutive: it distinguished Saul from all
Israel, and made him from no king to be a king; it is dative, and not
only declarative; it puts some honour upon him that he had not before.
3. Though the laws should not strike against his coronation, and though
the representatives legally should take the same measures with him that
they took with his brother, and admit him upon the terms of the
covenant; yet after such doleful experiences of such transactions with
these sons of Belial, who must not be taken with hands, nor by the hand,
it were hard to trust, or entrust them with the government, even though
they should make the fairest professions; since they, whose principles
is to keep no faith to heretics (as they call us) and who will be as
absolute in their promises as they are in their power, have deservedly
forfeited all credit and trust with honest men; so that none could
rationally refer the determination of a half crown reckoning to any of
them, far less own them and their government in the management of the
weightiest affairs of state, since their malversations are written in
such bloody characters, as he that runs may read them. At least it were
wisdom, and is our duty, to take our measures from the general
assembly's procedure with the other brother, before his admission to the
government, to suspend our allegiance to him, until authority be legally
devolved upon him, and founded upon, and bounded by terms, giving all
security for religion and liberty.

12. As I said, before wary prudence, in waving such an impertinent and
ticklish question, cannot be condemned; since whatever he may be in
conscience, no man in law can be obliged, so far to surrender the common
privilege of all mankind, to give an account of all his inward thoughts,
which are always said to be free. And as in nothing they are more
various, so in nothing they can be more violented, than to have our
opinion and sentiments of the current government extorted from us, a
declining of which declaration of thoughts, where no ouvert act in
project or practice can be proven against it, cannot be treason in any
law in the world: so a cautelous answer, in such a ticklish, and
intrapping imposition, cannot be censured in point of lawfulness or
expediency, even though much be conceded, to stop the mouths of these
bloody butchers, gaping greedily after the blood of the answerer; if he
do not really own, but give them to understand, he cannot approve of
this tyranny. But as these poor faithful witnesses, who were helped to
be most free, have always been honoured with the most signal countenance
of the Lord in a happy issue of their testimony: so those that used
their prudentials most, in seeking shifts to shun severity, and studying
to satisfy these inquisitors with their stretched concessions, were
ordinarily more exposed to snares, and found less satisfaction in their
sufferings even though they could say much to justify, or at least
extenuate their shiftings. I knew one, who had proof of this, who
afterwards was ashamed of this kind of prudence. A short account of
whose managing of answers to this question, because it may conduce
somewhat to the explication of it, may here be hinted. The question
moved after the usual form, was, do ye own the authority of king James
VII. In answer to which, he pleaded first, for the immunity of his
thoughts, which he said were not subject to theirs or any tribunal. When
this could not be an evasion from their extortions, he objected the
ambiguity of the terms in which the question was conceived, being
capable of divers senses: and enquired, what they meant by authority?
What, by owning authority? By authority, whether did they mean the
administration of it as now improved? If so, then he was not satisfied
with it: or the right, as now established? If so, then he was not clear
to give his opinion of it, as being neither significant nor necessary;
and that it was fitter for lawyers and those that were better acquaint
with the secrets of government, than for him to dispute it.

Again he asked, what they meant by owning? Either it is passive
subjection, that he did not decline; or active acknowledgment of it and
that he said he looked upon as all the suffrage he could give to its
establishment in his station, which he must demur upon some scruple. The
replies he received were very various, and some of them very rare,
either for ignorance or imposture. Sometimes, it was answered: to own
the king's authority, is to take the oath of allegiance; this he
refused. Some answered, it is to engage never to rise in arms against
the king, upon any pretence whatsoever; this he refused likewise. Others
explained it to be, to acknowledge his right to be king: to his he
answered, when the authority is legally devolved upon him by the
representatives of both kingdoms, it was time enough for him to give
account of his sentiments. Others defined it, to own him to be a lawful
king by succession. To this he answered, he did not understand
succession could make a man formally king, if there were not some other
way of conveyance of it; it might put him in the nearest capacity to be
king, but could not make him king.

Some did thus paraphrase upon it, that he must own him to be his
sovereign Lord under God, and God's vicegerent, to be obeyed in all
things lawful. To this he answered, whom God appoints, and the people
choose according to law, he would own. When those shifts would not do,
but from time to time being urged to a categorical answer; he told them,
he was content to live in subjection to any government providence set
up; but for owning the present constitution as of God, and according to
law, he durst not acknowledge it, nor own any mortal as his lawful
sovereign, but in terms consistent with the covenant securing religion
and liberty. This not satisfying, when he came to a more pinching trial;
he declared, he owned all lawful authority according to the word of God,
and all authority that was the ordinance of God by his preceptive will,
and he could be subject to any; but further to acknowledge it, he
behoved to have more clearness; for sometimes a nation might be charged
with that, 'Ye have set up kings, and not by me,' &c. Further he
conceded, he owned his providential advancement to the throne; he owned
as much as he thought did oblige him to subject himself with patience;
he owned him to be as lawful, as providence possessing him of the throne
of his ancestors, and lineal succession, as presumed next in blood and
line, could make him: but still he declined to own him as lawful king,
and alledged that was all one, whether he was lawful or not, he refused
not subjection, distinguishing it always from allegiance.

But all these concessions did not satisfy them, and alledged he might
say all this of a tyrant; and therefore commanded him to give it under
hand, to own not only the lineal, but the legal succession of king James
VII. to the crown of Scotland; which he did, upon a fancy, that legal
did not import lawful, but only the formality of their law; withal
protesting, he might not be interpreted to approve of his succession.
But this was a vain protestation against fact. However, by this we see,
what is owning this authority, in the sense of the inquisitors.

The result of all is, to acknowledge allegiance to the present
possessor, and to approve his pretended authority as lawful, rightful
and righteous; which indeed is the true sense of the words, and any
other, that men can forge or find out, is strained. For, to speak
properly, if we own his authority in any respect, we own it to be
lawful: for every authority, that is owned to be authority indeed, is
lawful; authority always importing authorization, and consisting in a
right or call to rule, and is formally and essentially contradistinct to
usurpation: where ever the place of power is merely usurped, there is no
authority but according to his word; a stile without truth, a barely
pretended nominal equivocal authority, no real denomination: if we then
own this man's authority, we own it to be lawful authority: and if we
cannot own it so, we cannot own it all. For it is most suitable, either
to manly ingenuity, or Christian simplicity, to speak properly, and to
take words always in the sense, that they to whom they are speaking will
understand them, without equivocating.

These preliminaries being thus put by, which do contribute to clear
somewhat in this controversy, and both furnish us with some arguments
for, and solutions in most of the objections against my thesis, in
answer to the questions above stated. I set it down thus: A people long
oppressed with the encroachments of tyrants and usurpers, may disown all
allegiance to their pretended authority, and when imposed upon to
acknowledge it, may and must rather chuse to suffer, than to own it. And
consequently we cannot, as matters now stand, own, acknowledge, or
approve the pretended authority of king James VII. as lawful king of
Scotland; as we could not, as matters then stood, own the authority of
Charles II. This consequence is abundantly clear from the foregoing
deduction, demonstrating their tyranny and usurpation. In prosecuting of
this general thesis, which will evince the particular hypothesis, I
shall, 1. Adduce some historical instances, whence it may be gathered,
that this is not altogether without a precedent, but that people have
disowned allegiance to tyrants and usurpers before now. 2. Deduce it
from the dictates of reason. 3. Confirm it by scripture arguments.

I. Albeit, as was shewed before, this question, as now stated, is in
many respects unprecedented; yet the practice, which in our day hath
been the result of it, to disown, or not to own prevailing dominators
usurping the government, or abusing it, is not so alien from the
examples of history, but that by equivalency or consequence it may be
collected from and confirmed by instances.

1. To begin at home, besides many passages related already for
confirmation, we may add, (1.) That for about 1025 years, the people had
in their choice whom to own, or admit to succeed in the government,
'Even though the kingdom was hereditary; and used to elect, not such who
were nearest in blood and line, but these that were judged most fit in
government, being of the same progeny of Fergus,' Buchanan's History of
Scotland, book vi. pag. 195. in the life of Kenneth III. This continued
until the days of Kenneth III. who to cover his villainous murder of his
brother's son Malcolm, and prevent his, and secure his own son's
succession, procured this charter for tyranny, the settlement of the
succession of the next in line from the parliament: which, as it
pretended the prevention of many inconveniencies, arising from
contentions and competitions about the succession; so it was limited by
laws, precluding the succession of fools or monsters, and preserving the
people's liberty to shake off the yoke when tyranny should thereby be
introduced: otherwise it would have been not only an irrational
surrender of all their own rights, and enslaving the posterity, but an
irreligious contempt of providence, refuting and anticipating its
determination in such a case. However it is clear, before this time,
that as none but the fittest were admitted to the government; so if any
did usurp upon it, or afterwards did degenerate into tyranny, they took
such order with him, as if he had not been admitted at all; as is clear
in the instances of the first period, and would never own every
pretender to hereditary succession. (2.) As before Kenneth's days, it is
hard to reckon the numerous instances of kings that were dethroned, or
imprisoned, or slain, upon no other account than that of their
oppression and tyranny; so afterwards they maintained the same power and
privilege of repressing them, when ever they began to encroach. And
although no nation hath been more patient towards bad kings, as well as
loyal towards good ones; yet, in all former times, they understood so
well the right they had, and the duty they owed to their own
preservation, as that they seldom failed of calling the exorbitantly
flagitious to an account. And albeit, instead of condoling or avenging
the death of the tyrannous, they have often both excused and justified
it, yet no kingdom hath inflicted severer punishments upon the murders
of just and righteous princes: and therefore, though they did neither
enquire after, nor animadvert upon those that slew James III. a
flagitious tyrant, yet they did, by most exquisite torments, put them to
death who slew James the I. a virtuous monarch. Hence, because these and
other instances I mind to adduce of deposing tyrants, may be excepted
against, as not pertinent to my purpose, who am not pleading for
exauctoration and deposition of tyrants, being impracticable in our
case: I shall once for all remove that, and desire it may be considered,
(1.) That though we cannot formally exauctorate a tyrant; yet he may, by
law itself, fall from his right, and may exauctorate himself, by his
laws by whom kings reign; and this is all we plead for as a foundation
of not owning him. (2.) Though we have not the same power, yet we have
the same grounds, and as great and good, if not greater and better
reasons to reject and disown our tyrant, as they, whose example is here
adduced, had to depose of their tyrannizing princes. (3.) If they had
power and ground to depose them, then a fortiori, they had power and
ground to disown them; for that is less, and included in the other, and
this we have. (4.) Though it should be granted, that they did not disown
them before they were deposed; yet it cannot be said that they did
disown them only because they were deposed: for it is not deposition
that makes a tyrant; it only declares him to be justly punished for what
he was before. As the sentence of a judge does not make a man a murderer
or thief, only declares him convict of these crimes, and punishable for
them; it is their own committing them that makes him criminal: and, as
before the sentence, having certain knowledge of the fact, we might
disown the man's innocency or honesty; so a ruler's acts of tyranny and
usurpation make him a tyrant and usurper, and give ground to disown his
just and legal authority; which he can have no more than a murderer or
thief can have innocency or honesty. (3.) We find also examples of their
disowning kings undeposed; as king Baliol was disowned with his whole
race, for attempting to enslave the kingdom's liberties to foreign
power. And if this may be done for such an attempt, as the greatest
court parasites, and sycophants consent; what then shall be done for
such as attempt to subject the people to domestic or intestine slavery?
shall we refuse to be slaves to one without, and be, and own ourselves
contented slaves to one within the kingdom? It is known also that king
James the I. his authority was refused by his subjects in France, so
long as he was a prisoner to the English there, though he charged them
upon their allegiance, not to fight against the party who had his person
prisoner: they answered, They owned no prisoner for their king, nor
owned no allegiance to a prisoner. Hence princes may learn, though
people submit to their government; yet their resignation of themselves
to their obedience is not so full, as that they are obliged to own
allegiance to them, when either morally or physically they are
incapacitate to exercise authority over them. They that cannot rule
themselves cannot be owned as rulers over a people.

2. Neither hath there been any nation, but what at one time or other
hath furnished examples of this nature. The English history gives
account, how some of their kings have been dealt with by their subjects,
for impieties against the law and light of nature, and encroachments
upon the laws of the land. Vortigern was dethroned for incestuously
marrying his own sister. Neither did ever blasphemies, adulteries,
murders, plotting against the lives of innocents, and taking them away
by poison or razor, use to escape the animadversion of men, before they
were priest-ridden unto a belief that princes persons were sacred. And
if men had that generosity now this man that now reigns might expect
some such animadversion. And we find also king Edward, and Richard the
II. were deposed, for usurpation upon laws and liberties, in doing
whereof the people avowed, They would not suffer the laws of England to
be changed.

Surely the people of England must now be far degenerate, who having such
laws transmitted to them from their worthy ancestors, and they
themselves being born to the possession of them without a change, do now
suffer them to be so encroached upon, and mancipate themselves, and
leave their children vassals to popery, and slaves to tyranny.

3. The Dutch also, who have the best way of guiding of kings of any that
ever had to do with them (witness their having so many of them in
chains, now in Batavia in the East Indies) are not wanting for their
part to furnish us with examples. When the king of Spain would not
condescend to govern them according to their ancient laws, and rule for
the good of the people, they declared him to be fallen from the
seigniory of the Netherlands, and so erected themselves into a
flourishing common-wealth. It will not be amiss to transcribe some of
the words of the edict of the states general to this purpose. It is well
known, (say they) 'That a prince and lord of a country is ordained, by
God, to be sovereign and head over his subjects, to preserve and defend
them from all injuries, force, and violence; and that if the prince
therefore faileth therein, and instead of preserving his subjects, doth
outrage and oppress them, depriveth them of their privileges and ancient
customs, commandeth them, and will be served of them as slaves; they are
no longer bound to respect him as their sovereign lord, but to esteem of
him as a tyrant, neither are they bound to acknowledge him as their
prince, but may abandon him, &c.' And with this agrees the answer
William, prince of Orange, to the edict of proscription, published
against him by Philip the II. There is, says he, 'A reciprocal bond
betwixt the lord and his vassal; so that if the lord break the oath,
which he hath made unto his vassal, the vassal is discharged of the oath
made unto his lord.' This was the very argument of the poor suffering
people of Scotland, whereupon they disowned the authority of Charles the

4. The monarchy of France is very absolute; yet there also the state
hath taken order with their tyrants; not only have we many instances of
resistances made against them, but also of disowning, disabling, and
invalidating their pretended authority, and repressing their tyranny. So
was the two Childerici served: so also Sigebertus, Dagabertus, and
Lodowick the II. kings of France.

5. The great body of Germany moves very slowly, and is inured to bear
great burdens: yet there also we find Joanna of Austria, mother of
Charles V. was put to perpetual imprisonment: which example is adduced
by the earl of Morton, in his discourse to the queen of England (whereof
I rehearsed a part before) vindicating the deposing and disowning queen
Mary of Scotland. 'If, saith he, we compare her with Joanna of
Austria--what did that poor wretch commit, but that she could not want a
little lustful pleasure as a remedy necessary for her age? and yet, poor
creature, she suffered that punishment, of which our dame, convicted of
most grievous crimes, now complains.'--Buchanan's History of Scotland,
book xx. p. 748. The duke of Saxon, the landgrave of Hesse, and the
magistrates of Magdeburgh, joined in a war against her son Charles V.
and drew up a conclusion by resolution of lawyers, wherein are these
words----'Neither are we bound to him by any other reason, than if he
keep the conditions on which he was created emperor. By the laws
themselves it is provided, That the superior magistrate shall not
infringe the right of the inferior, and if the superior magistrate
exceed the limits of his power, and command that which is wicked, not
only we need not obey him, but if he offer force we may resist him.'
Which opinion is confirmed by some of the greatest lawyers, and even
some who are patrons of tyranny, Grotius none of the greatest enemies of
tyrants, de jure belli. lib. 1. chap. 4. p. 11. saith out of Barclaius,
and with him, That the king doth lose his power when he seeketh the
destruction of his subjects. It was upon the account of the tyranny of
that bloody house of Austria over the Helvetians, that they shook off
the rule and government of that family, and established themselves into
a republic. And at this present time, upon the same accounts, the
tyranny and treachery of this imperial majesty, the Hungarians have
essayed to maintain and justify a revolt in disowning the emperor, now
for several years.

6. Poland is an elective kingdom, and so cannot but be fertile of many
instances of casting off tyrants. Henricus Valesius, disowned for
fleeing, and Sigismundus for violating his faith to the states, may
suffice. Lex Rex, q. 24. p. 217.

7. In Denmark, we find Christiernus their king, was, for his intolerable
cruelty, put from the kingdom, he and all his posterity, and after
twenty years did end his life in prison.

8. In Swedland, within the compass of one century, the people deposed
and banished the two Christierns, and dethroned and imprisoned Ericus,
for their oppressions and tyranny, and for pursuing the destruction of
their subjects.

9. The Portuguese, not many years ago, laid aside and confined Alphonsus
their king, for his rapines and murders.

10. Some dukes of Venice have been so disowned by these commonwealths
men, that laying aside their royal honours as private men, they have
spent their days in monasteries. Buchan. de jure regni apud Scotos.

11. If we will resolve the old Roman histories, we shall find no small
store of such examples, both in the time of their kings, consuls, and
emperors. Their seventh king Tarquinius Superbus was removed by the
people, for his evident usurpation: saith Livius, 'That is, for he had
nothing for a right to the government, but mere force, and got the rule
neither by the people's consent and choice, nor by the authority of the
senators.' So afterwards the empire was taken from Vitellius,
Heliogabulus, Maximinus, Didius, Julianus, Lex Rex, ubi supra.

12. But it will be said, Can there be any instances of the primitive
christians adduced? Did ever they, while groaning under the most
insupportable tyranny of their persecuting emperors, disown their
authority, or suffer for not owning it? To this I answer, 1. What they
did, or did not of this kind, is not of moment to enquire.: seeing their
practice and example, under such disadvantages, can neither be known
exactly, nor what is known of it be accommodated to our case: for (1.)
They were never forced to give their judgment, neither was the question
ever put to them, whether they owned their authority or not? If they
transgressed the laws, they were liable to the punishment, they craved
no more of them. (2.) They confess themselves to be strangers, that had
no establishments by law; and therefore they behoved to be passively
subject, when in no capacity to resist; there was no more required of
them. Yet Lex Rex Quest. 35. page 371. cites Theodoret affirming, 'Then
evil men reigned through the unmanliness of the subjects.' (3.) Their
examples are not imitable in all things; they were against resistance,
which we doubt not to prove is lawful against tyrannical violence: many
of them refused to flee from the fury of persecutors: they ran to
martyrdom, when neither cited nor accused; and to obtain the crown
thereof they willingly yielded up their lives and liberties also to the
rage of tyrants. We cannot be obliged to all these. 2. Yet we find some
examples not altogether unapplicable to this purpose. When Barochbach,
the pretended king of the Jews, after the destruction of Jerusalem, set
himself as king in Bitter, a city in Arabia; the Christians that were in
his precincts, refused to own him as king; which was one great cause of
his persecuting them. It is true he persecuted them also for other
things, as for their not denying Christ; so are we persecuted for many
other things, than for our simple disowning of the king: yet this is
reckoned as a distinct cause of their suffering, by Mr. Mede, on the
Revel. Part. 1. Page 43. Gees Magist. Origin. Chap. 10. Sect. 7. Page
361. The same last cited author shews, that when Albinus, Niger, and
Cassius, successively usurped the empire, having none of them any legal
investiture, the Christians declined the recognition of their claim, and
would not own them; and that upon this Tertullian says, That is, the
Christians could never be found to be Albinians, or Nigrians, or
Cassians, meaning they were never owners of these men for magistrates.
And so may we say, We may be ashamed to be found amongst the Charlites
and Jacobites of these times. Not unlike is the passage of Ambrose, who,
in favours of Valentinian the rightful governor, contested against
Maximus the tyrant, and not only disowned him, but excommunicated him,
for which he was threatened with death. And yet it is observable, that
when Maximus offered to interpose his power in defence of Ambrose, that
he might not be banished by Justina the empress, he would not accept of
the help of Maximus, whose power he disallowed and disowned. Whence I
observe, that it is not without a precedent for a minister to disown a
tyrant, to refuse favour from him: yea, and to excommunicate him, yea,
even without the concurrence of his fainting brethren; for all which
some of our faithful ministers have been much condemned in our day,
especially Mr. Donald Cargil for excommunicating Charles the II, and
James, Duke of York, as if such a thing had never been done before:
whereas, we see what Ambrose did to Maximus. And this same faithful
minister, Ambrosius minister at Milan, in Italy, did also hold out of
the assembly of the Christians Theodosius the emperor, though a most
virtuous prince, for that grievous scandal committed by him, against the
innocent people at Thessalonica in killing so many of them in a
passionate transport. But, 3. since this objection of primitive
Christians is much insisted on, both against this and the head of
defensive arms: I shall further take notice of several distinctions,
that do make the difference between their case and ours very vast. (1.)
There is a great difference betwixt a prince of the common religion of
his subjects, but distinct from some of them, whom yet he does not seek
to entice to his religion, but gives them liberty, and the benefit of
the law as other subjects: which was the case of many in these primitive
times sometimes. And a prince, by all means, both foul and fair,
pressing to a revolt from the true, and to embrace a false religion. In
this case (which is ours with a witness) it must be granted we should be
wary, that we neither engage with him, nor own allegiance to him, when
he would withdraw us from our allegiance to God. (2.) There is a great
difference betwixt a prince persecuting the true religion, which only a
few of his subjects here and there did profess, who in regard of their
paucity were never in capacity to be looked upon as the body of the
people, impowering him as their public servant; (which was their case)
and a prince persecuting that religion, which was professed by the body
of the nation, when they set him up. In this latter case, men of great
sense have denied he should be owned for a prince, because then he is
stated against the common good. This was our case under the former king,
and yet under this, though all professors be not now persecuted, the
public religion and ancient reformation is persecuted in a few, whom he
intends to destroy, and in their destruction to bury it. (3.) There is
a difference betwixt a prince persecuting religion, publicly owned and
received of his subjects, yet never approved nor confirmed by law (as it
was not in the primitive times) and a prince persecuting religion
ratified and established by the laws of the land, which is our case. It
will seem clear to every soul, not benighted with court darkness, that
he then of course, and by law, falleth from his right in this case,
because now he is not only stated against the common good, but against
the very laws by which the subjects must be ruled. Then he ruleth not as
a prince, to whom the law giveth his measures and bounds, but rageth as
a tiger and tyrant, and ought to be carried towards as such. (4.) There
is a difference betwixt a prince suppressing that religion established
by law, which he never professed, nor never gave his consent to these
laws (as might be the case of some of the Arian emperors) though it be
unlawful for any people to set up any mortal over them, who is not in
this case bound to the good behaviour; and a prince, opposing and
oppressing that religion, which himself hath professed, and is ratified
by laws with his own consent: which was our case under the former king,
who did give the most solemn ratification of them that ever was given,
but afterwards most perfidiously retracted it.

As also this apostate papist, did sometime profess himself protestant,
and consented to the laws establishing it, and the penal statutes
against papists, though now he is going about to raze all, and ruin that
alone valuable treasure of our nation, religion. (5.) There is a
difference betwixt a prince consenting to laws establishing religion
which he now persecuteth (which might have been the case of Julian the
apostate) and a prince, who not only consented to these laws, but who
did upon these very terms, and no other, get and receive his crown and
sceptre, that he should preserve the religion as reformed, and protect
as a father the professors thereof, and maintain the laws establishing
it, which yet he, perfidiously, being once settled in the government,
breaks, casts, cassates and overturns (which was done by Charles) or,
and a prince who will be bounded by the laws consented to, nor be bound
to the observation of any laws whatsoever; but challenges it as his
prerogative royal, to be absolute above all laws, and denying all
security upon terms, is free to destroy religion and liberty, and all
the valuable interests of the nation, when he pleases. This is James's
character. (6.) There is a difference betwixt a prince breaking the main
and only article of his covenant, in a fit of fury and rage being
transported upon some mistakes (which was the case of Theodosius the
emperor) and a prince not only violating this upon deliberation, but
plainly declaring, that neither oath nor declaration can or will bind
him; but these being made void, he will destroy without restraint all
these covenanted privileges (this was the case of Charles) or, and a
prince who, as he never will come under the bond of a covenant with his
people: so tho' he makes never so many fair promises with the greatest
solemnities, maintains a principle, that he will keep no promises, but
when, and with whom he pleases, and can get a dispensation to break all
when he likes. (This is James's ingenuity.) Sure in this case, such as
are characterized, declare themselves so far from being princes, that
they profess before the world, they are no more men to be conversed
with: for if neither their words, writs, vows, promises, oaths,
declarations, nor protections can bind them, what society can be had
with them? Are they not to be looked upon, and carried towards as common
enemies of morality, religion, righteousness, liberty, humanity, yea
even of mankind itself? Now then, let the world be judge, if the people
of Scotland can be judged in conscience, reason, prudence, policy, or
any imaginable way, bound to own their authority, being so stated, and
by the act rescissory all human ground rescinded, that ever it shall be
otherwise; let them go seek other slaves where they can find them, for
we will not sell ourselves and posterity to tyrants as slaves, nor give
up our religion and the exercise of it to the mouldings of the court.

II. In the second place, it being clear from these forementioned
instances, that tyrants and usurpers have been disowned; and it being
also as clear as light can make any thing, from the foregoing account of
their government, and all the characters of truculency, treachery and
tyranny, conspicuously relucent therein, that these two gentlemen, whose
authority we are pressed to own, were tyrants and usurpers: it remains
therefore to prove from all dictates of reason about government, that
their pretended authority could not nor cannot be owned.

For the argument runs thus; the authority of tyrants and usurpers cannot
be owned; but the authority of Charles and James was and is the
authority of tyrants and usurpers, therefore their authority cannot be
owned. Now it is the major of this syllogism that I undertake to prove,
the minor being so clear from their history, that to prove it by
witnesses were to do what is already done.

1. All authority to be owned of men must be of God, and ordained of God:
for so the apostle teacheth expresly, Rom. xiii. 1. &c. which is the
alone formal reason of our subjection to them, and that which makes it a
damnable sin to resist them; because it is a resisting the ordinance of
God. The Lord owns himself to be the author of magistrates, Prov. viii.
15. By me kings reign and princes decree justice.

As he is the author of man, and hath made him a sociable creature, so he
is the author of the order of human society, which is necessary for the
preservation of mankind, he being the God of order and not of confusion.

And this must hold not only of the supreme authority, but of
subordinate magistrates also; for they must be included in the higher
powers, to whom we must be subject, Rom. xiii. and they that resist
them, resist God's ordinance too. Their judgment is God's, as well as
the judgment of the supreme magistrate, Deut. i. 17. 2 Chron. xix. 6, 8.
They are called gods among whom the Lord judgeth, Psal. lxxxii. 1. He
speaketh not there of a congregation of kings.

We are to be subject to them for the Lord's sake, as well as to the
supreme magistrate, 1 Pet. ii. 13. therefore all magistrates, superior
and inferior, are ordained of God in the respective places. It is true,
Peter calls every degree of magistracy an ordinance of man, not that he
denies it to be an ordinance of God for so he would contradict Paul,
Rom. xiii. but terms it so emphatically, to commend the worth of
obedience to magistrates, though but men, when we do it for the Lord's
sake: not effectively, as an invention of men, but subjectively, because
exercised by men, and created and invested by human suffrages,
considered as men in society, and objectively, for the good of man, and
for the external peace and safety of man, thereby differenced from the
ministry, an ordinance of Christ, for the Spiritual good of mens souls.
Hence, those rulers that are not of God, nor ordained of God, cannot be
owned without sin; but tyrants and usurpers are the rulers, that are not
of God, nor ordained of God, but are set up, and not by him, &c. Hos.
viii. 1.-4. therefore they cannot be owned without sin.

I refer it to any man of conscience and reason to judge, if these
scriptures, proving magistracy to be the ordinance of God, for which
alone is to be owned, can be applied to tyrants and usurpers. How will
that, Rom. xiii. read of tyrants? Let every soul be subject to tyrants,
for they are ordained of God as his ministers of justice, &c. and are a
terror to good works, and a praise to the evil. Would not every man
nauseate that as not the doctrine of God? Again, how would that sound,
Prov. viii. By me tyrants reign, and usurpers decree injustice? Harsh to
Christian ears. Can they be said to be gods among whom the Lord judgeth?
If they be, they must be such as the witch of Endor saw, gods coming out
of the earth, when she raised the devil; in a very catechrestical
meaning, as the devil is called the god of this world. And indeed they
have no more power, nor otherwise to be owned, than he hath: for this is
a truth, tyranny is a work of satan, and not from God; because sin,
either habitual or actual, is not from God; tyranny is sin in habit and
act: therefore----The magistrate, as magistrate, is good in nature and
end, being the minister of God for good, a tyrant as a tyrant, is quite
contrary. Lex Rex saith well, 'A power ethical, politic or moral, to
oppress, is not from God, and is not a power, but a licentious deviation
of a power, and no more from God, but from sinful nature, and the old
serpent, than a licence to sin,' quest. 9. p. 59. Hence sin, a licence
to sin, a licentious sinning, cannot be from God; but tyranny,
usurpation, absolute power enaroaching upon all liberties, laws, divine
and human, is sin, a licence to sin, a licentious sinning:
therefore----But, to make this clear, and to obviate what may be said
against this, let it be considered, how the powers that be are of God,
and ordained of God. Things are said to be of God and ordained of God,
two ways; by his purpose and providence, and by his word and warrant.

Things may be of God, either of his hand working, or bringing them
about, ordaining and ordering them to be to his glory, either by a holy
over-ruling providence, as Samson's desire of a wife was of God, Judg.
xiv. 4. and Amaziah's insolent and foolish rejection of Joash's
peaceable overture, 2 Chron. xxv. 20. or by a powerful effective
providence; so Rom. xi. 36. Of him and through him are all things, 1
Cor. viii. 6. One God, of whom are all things. Or things be of God, of
his word warranting and authorizing. So we are commanded to try the
spirits; whether they be of God (1 John iv. i.) So in this sense, sin,
tentation, lust, corruptions of the world are not of God, Jam. i. 13, 1
John ii. 16.

Again, things are ordained of God, ether by the order of his counsel or
providential will; either effectively, by way of production, or
direction; or permissively, by way of non-impedition: or they are
ordained by the order of his word and preceptive will. The former is
God's rule, the latter is ours: the former is always accomplished, the
latter is often contradicted: the former orders all actions, even
sinful; the latter only that which is good and acceptable in the sight
of God: by the former Israel rejected Samuel, by the latter they should
have continued Samuel's government, and not sought a king: by the former
Athaliah usurped the government, by the latter she should have yielded
obedience, and resigned the government to the posterity of Ahaziah: by
the former, all have a physical subordination to God at creatures,
subject to his all disposing will; by the latter, those whom he approves
have a moral subordination to God, as obedient subjects to his
commanding will. Now magistrates are of God, and ordained by him both
these ways, tyrants but one of them. I say, magistrates, the higher
powers, to whom we owe and must own subjection, are of God both these
ways; both by his purpose and providence; and that not merely eventual,
but effective and executive of his word, disposing both of the title and
right, and possession of the power, to them whom he approves, and
bringing the people under a conscientious subjection, and by his word
and warrant. So Adonijah the usurper (though he had the pretence of
hereditary right, and also possession by providence) was forced to own
king Solomon in these terms, upon which only a magistrate may be owned:
'the kingdom' says he, 'was mine, and all Israel set their faces on me
that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and become my
brother's, for it was his from the Lord,' 1 Kings ii. 15. He had both
providence turning about the kingdom to him, and also the warrant of the
Lord's approbative and preceptive will. But tyrants and usurpers are
only of God, and ordained of God, by his over-ruling purpose and
permissive providence, either for performing his holy purpose towards
themselves, as Rehoboam's professing he would be a tyrant, and refusing
the lawful desires of the people was of God, 2 Chron. x. 15. or for a
judgement and vengeance upon them that are subject to them, Zech. xi. 6.
whereby they get a power in their hand, which is the rod of the Lord's
indignation, and a charge and commission against a hypocritical nation,
Isa. x. 5, 6. This is all the power they have from God, who 'gives Jacob
to the spoil, and Israel to the robbers, when they sin against him,'
Isa. xlii. 24. This doth not give these robbers any right, no more than
they whose 'tabernacle prosper, into whose hand God bringeth
abundantly,' Job xii. 6. Thus all robbers, and the great legal robbers,
tyrants and their authorized murderers, may be of God, viz. by his
providence. Hence those that are not ordained of God's preceptive will,
but merely by his providential will; their authority is not to be owned;
but tyrants and usurpers are not ordained of God's preceptive, but
merely by his providential will. The minor needs no proof, yet will be
cleared by many following arguments, the major will be afterwards more
demonstrated. Here I shall only say, they that have no other ordination
of God impowering them to be rulers, than the devil hath, must not be
owned; but they that have no other than the ordination of providence,
have no other ordination of God impowering them to be rulers, than the
devil hath: therefore they that have no other than the ordination of
providence, must not be owned.

2. But let us next consider what is comprehended in the ordination of
that authority which is to be owned as of God: and it may be
demonstrated, there are two things in it, without which no authority can
be owned as of God, viz. institution and constitution so as to give him,
whom we must own as God's minister, authority both in the abstract and
concrete, that is, that he should have magistracy by God's ordination,
and be a magistrate by and according to the will of God. All acknowledge
that magistracy hath God's institution, for the powers that be are
ordained of God: which contains not only the appointment of it, but the
qualification and form of it. That government is appointed by divine
precept all agree, but whether the precept be moral natural, or moral
positive, whether it was appointed in the state of innocency, or since
disorder came into the world, whether it be primario or secundario, from
the law of nature, is not agreed upon. It may possibly be all these
ways; government in the general may be from the law and light of nature
appointed in innocency, because all its relative duties are enjoined in
the fifth command, and all nations naturally have an esteem of it,
without which there could be no order, distinction, or communion in
human societies but the specification or individuation may be by a
postnate, positive and secondary law, yet natural too, for though there
be no reason in nature why any man should be king and lord over another,
being in some sense all naturally free, but as they yield themselves
under jurisdiction the exalting of David over Israel is not ascribed to
nature, but to an act of divine bounty, which took him from following
the ewes, and made him feeder of the people of Israel, Psal. lxxviii.
70, 71. yet nature teacheth, that Israel and other people should have a
government, and that this should be subjected to. Next, not only is it
appointed to be, but qualified by institution, and the office is
defined, the end prescribed, and the measures and boundaries thereof are
limited, as we shall hear. 'Again, the forms of it though politically,
they are not stinted, that people should have such a form and not
another; yet morally, at least negatively, whatever be the form it is
limited to the rules of equity and justice, and must be none other than
what hath the Lord's mould and sanction. But there is no institution any
of these ways for tyranny. Hence, that power hath no institution from
God, cannot be owned as his ordinance; but the power of tyrants is that
power, being contrary in every respect to God's institution, and a mere
deviation from it, and eversion of it: Ergo--To the minor it may be
replied; though the power which tyrants may exercise, and usurpers
assume, may be in concrete contrary to God's institution, and so not to
be owned; yet, in the abstract, it may be acknowledged of God. It is but
the abuse of the power, and that does not take away the use. We may own
the power, though we do not own the abuse of it. I answer, 1. I
acknowledge the distinction as to magistrates is very pertinent; for it
is well said by the congregation in a letter to the nobility, Knox's
History of Scotland, Book 2. 'That there is a great difference betwixt
the authority, which is God's ordinance, and the persons of these who
are placed in authority; the authority and ordinance of God can never do
wrong, for it commandeth that vice be punished, and virtue maintained;
but the corrupted person placed in this authority may offend.'

It is certain, higher powers are not to be resisted; but some persons in
power may be resisted. The powers are ordained of God; but kings
commanding unjust things are not ordained of God to do such things; but
to apply this to tyrants, I do not understand. Magistrates in some acts
may be guilty of tyranny, and yet retain the power of magistracy; but
tyrants cannot be capable of magistracy, nor any one of the
scripture-characters of righteous rulers. They cannot retain that which
they have forfeited, and which they have overturned; and usurpers cannot
retain that which they never had. They may act and enact some things
materially just, but they are not formally such as can make them
magistrates, no more than some unjust actions can make a magistrate a
tyrant. A murderer, saving the life of one and killing another, does not
make him no murderer: once a murderer ay a murderer, once a robber ay a
robber, till he restore what he hath robbed: so once a tyrant ay a
tyrant, till he makes amends for his tyranny, and that will be hard to
do. 2. The concrete does specificate the abstract in actuating it, as a
magistrate in his exercising government, makes his power to be magistry;
a robber, in his robbing, makes his power to be robbery; an usurper in
his usurping makes his power to be usurpation; so a tyrant in his
tyrannizing, can have no power but tyranny. As the abstract of a
magistrate is nothing but magistracy, so the abstract of a tyrant is
nothing but tyranny. It is frivolous then to distinguish between a
tyrannical power in the concrete, and tyranny in the abstract; the power
and the abuse of the power: for he hath no power as a tyrant, but what
is abused. 3. They that object thus, must either mean, that power in it
general notion is ordained of God, but this particular power abused by
tyrants, and assumed by usurpers, is not ordained: or they must mean,
that the very power of tyrants and usurpers is ordained of God, but the
way of holding it and using it, is not of God. If the first be said,
they grant all I plead for; for though the power in general be ordained,
yet what is this to tyrants and usurpers? would not this claim be
ridiculous for any man to soy, God hath ordained governments to be,
therefore I will challenge it? God hath ordained marriage, therefore any
may cohabit together as man and wife, without formal matrimony. If the
second be alledged, that the power of these prevailing dominators is
ordained, but not their holding and using of it: this is nonsense, for
how can a power be ordained, and the use of it be unlawful? For the
abuse and use of tyrannical power is all one and reciprocal: an usurper
cannot use his power but by usurpation.

Again, is it not plain, that the abstract and the concrete, the act or
habit, and the subject wherein it is, cannot have a contrary
denomination? if drunkenness and theft, lying or murder, be of the
devil; then the drunkard, the thief, the liar, and the murderer, are of
the devil too: so if tyranny and usurpation, or the use or abuse of
tyrants and usurpers be of the devil, then most the tyrants and usurpers
also be of him: none can say, the one is of the devil, and the other of
God. Wherefore it is altogether impertinent to use such a distinction,
with application to tyrants or usurpers, as many do in their pleading
for the owning of our oppressors; for they have no power, but what is
the abuse of power.

3. As that authority which is God's ordinance must have his institution;
so it must have his divine constitution from himself and by the people.
Wherever then there is authority to be owned of men, there must be these
two, constitution from God and constitution from the people. For the
first, God hath a special interest in the constitution of authority,
both immediately and mediately. Immediately, he declares such and such
forms of government to be lawful and eligible, and does order whom, and
who, and how people shall direct governors. And so, he confers royal
graces, and endowments, and gifts for government on them, as on Joshua
and Saul: so they become the Lord's anointed, placed and set on the
throne of the Lord, 1 Chron. xxix. 23. and honoured with majesty, as his
deputes and vicegerants, having their crown let on by God, Psal. xxi. 3.
But in regard now he doth not by any special revelation determine, who
shall be the governors in this or that place; therefore he makes this
constitution by meditation of men, giving them rules how they shall
proceed in setting them up. And seeing, by the law of nature, he hath
enjoined government to be, but hath ordered no particular in it with
application to singulars he hath committed it to the positive
transaction of men, to be disposed according to certain general rules of
justice. And it must needs be so; for first, without this constitution,
either all or none would be magistrates: if he hath ordained civil power
to be, and taken no order in whom it shall be, or how it shall be
conveyed, any might pretend to it; and yet none would have it, more than
another. If then he hath affixed it to a peculiar having and holding, by
virtue whereof this man is enstated and entitled to the office, and not
that man, there must be a law for constituting him in authority, which
will discover in whom it is. 2. If it were not so, then resisting of a
particular magistrate would not be a resisting of the ordinance of God,
if a particular magistrate were not constitute of God, as well as
magistracy is institute of God: for still it would be undetermined, who
were the owner; and so it would be left as free and lawful for the
resister to take the place, as for the resisted to hold it; the
institution would be satisfied if any possessed it: therefore there must
be constitution to determine it. 3. No common law of nature can put in
practice, without particular constitution regulating it. That wives and
children own their superior relations, is the law of nature; but there
must be such a relation first fixed by human transaction, before they
can own them; there must be marriage authorized of God, there must be
children begotten, and then the divine ordination of these relative
duties take place. So the judges of Israel for four hundred and fifty
years were given of God, Acts xiii. 20. not all by an immediate express
designation, but a mediate call from God by men, as Jephthah; Judg. xi.
6, 11. Inferior judges also are magistrates appointed by God, yet they
have their deputation from men. Our Saviour speaks of all magistrates,
when he applies that of the 82 psalm to them, I said ye are gods; and
shews how they were gods, because unto them the word of God came, John
x. 35. that is, by his word and warrant he authorized them, not by
immediate designation in reference to the most of them, but the word of
God comes to them, or his constitution is past upon them, who are
advanced by men according to his word. When men therefore do act
according to the divine rule, in the moulding and erecting of government
and governors, there the constitution is of God, though it be not
immediate. And where this is not observed, whatever power (so named or
pretended) there may be, or whatsoever persons there be that take upon
them to be the power, and are not thereto appointed or therein instated,
and do exercise such a power as God hath not legitimated, they are not a
power ordained of God. Hence, whatsoever power hath no constitution from
God, either immediate or mediate, cannot be owned: but the authority of
tyrants and usurpers, is a power that hath no constitution from God,
either immediate or mediate; therefore it cannot be owned. The major is
cleared above. The minor is also undeniable: for, either they must
pretend to an immediate constitution by revelation, that James duke of
York a vassal of antichrist, had, by all his plots and pranks, merited
the crown of Britain, and therefore must be constitute king; and this I
hope they will not pretend to, except the Pope hath gotten such a
revelation from Pluto's oracle; or they must have recourse to the
mediate constitution by men: and if so, then either this mediate
constitution of God is left undetermined, indefinitely and absolutely
giving way to any that will assume what power they please and can: and
then, I confess tyrants may have a constitution; but this constitution
cannot be of God; or else it is fixed by a rule, regulating the
succession or constitution of the governors, and obliging the people to
own the government so constituted, with exclusion and disallowance of
any other. And so, if in that constitution there be a substantial
deviation from the rule, as when incompetent or unallowed persons be
the advancers of themselves, or others, into that place by illegal and
sinistrous means, in as much as in that case there is the divine
disapprobation, it may be said there is no ordinance of God, but a
contradiction and contra-ordination to God's order. Gee's magist.
origin. chap. 5. sect. 4. subject 3 page 135. This will shake off this
of ours, and all other tyrants and usurpers, that come into the
government, and hold it not according to God's rule.

4. It is clear also in the second place, that the authority which we can
own out of conscience, must have constitution by the people. The special
way by which men should be called into the place of sovereign power, may
perhaps not be found so expresly defined in scripture, as mens call to
the other ordinance of the ministry is; yet in this two things are
essentially necessary to the constitution of a magistrate, the peoples
consent and compact either formal and virtual. And without these we can
own conscientious subjection and allegiance to no man living. That the
first is necessary will be evident, from the law of nature and nations,
and from scripture. First, The light and law of nature dictates, that
the right and interest of constituting magistrates is in the elective
vote or suffrage of the people. This will appear, 1. If we consider the
original of government among men, especially after they were so
multiplied, that there was a necessity of a reduction into diverse
communities; which, whatever was before the flood, yet after it, behoved
to be by a coalition with consent under an elective government. The
scripture makes it more than probable, that the partition of
commonwealths was in Peleg's days, in whole time the earth was divided,
Gen. x. 2. occasioned by the confusion of "languages at Babel, which did
dissolve their union, and scatter them abroad upon the face of all the
earth," Gen. xi. 9.

Then was it that we may conceive, as Buchanan says, de jure regni apud
Scot. 'The time was when men dwelt in cottages and caves, and as
strangers did wander to and fro without laws, and such as could converse
together of the same language, assembled together as their humours did
lead them or as some common utility did allure them, a certain instinct
of nature did oblige them to desire converse and society.' But this
confusion of languages, and communion of language, in several divided
parcels, could not incorporate these several parties into communities;
that behoved to be the effect of some other cause: and what should that
be, but the joint will, consent and agreement of the severally
languaged? It could not be by consanguinity; for there is no direction
from nature for a confinement of that into such and such degrees, to
make out the bonds of a common-wealth, or possibility of knowing all
within such degrees; besides all within these degrees might not be of
the same language. Now, the scripture says, they "were divided every one
after his tongue, after their families, in their nations," Gen. x. 5.
Next, it could not be by cohabitation: for how that must go to be the
boundaries of a common-wealth, inclusively, or exclusively, is not
defined by nature, nor can it be otherwise determined, than by human
choice. Then, it could not be by mens belonging to such a sovereign:
for, after that division and confusion, they could not all be under one
sovereign, nor under the same that they were subject to before; and a
sovereign cannot be before the aggregation of the subjects whereof he is
head, they must first be a commonwealth before they can belong to it.
Again, it cannot be founded upon the right of fatherhood: for, in that
scattering, such a right could not be uninterruptedly preserved: and
then Noah should also have been the universal magistrate, which he could
not be in these multiplied secessions. And further, if it be refounded
on the right of fatherhood, either every company had one common father
over all, or every father made a commonwealth of his own children: the
latter cannot be said, for that would multiply commonwealths in
infinitum: neither can the first be said; for, if they had one common
father, either this behoved to be the natural father of all the company,
which none can think was so happily ordered by Babel's confusion: or
else the eldest in age, and so he might be incapable for government, and
the law of nature does not direct that the government should alway be
astricted to the eldest of the community: or else, finally, he behoved
to be their political father, by consent. For, before this consent, they
were unengaged as to common order of government; none of the community
having any legal claim to sovereignty more than the rest. When therefore
they were forced to conclude upon association, for their mutual
preservation, they must be thought to act rationally, and not to make
their condition worse, but rather better by that conclusion; and if they
found it worse, to resume their radical right which they had conferred
upon men subject to law, not to tyrannize over them: and in this case,
certainly they had the power of choosing what kind of government suited
most to their advantage, and would best preserve their liberties, and
how far this should be extended, and who should be affirmed into this
combination; still with a reservation of the privilege to their own
safety, if their associates should not do their duty: and so they might
also reserve to themselves a liberty to alter the form, when they found
it productive of more prejudice than advantage, and never to leave their
condition remediless; and to pitch upon this way of succession, and not
another, the way of free election of every successor, or of definite
election limited to one line, or to the nearest in line; and _e contra_,
with a reserve still of their primeve privileges, to secure themselves
from the inconveniences of that determination, or to change it; and to
make choices of such a family and line, and not another, and whether
the eldest always of that family, or the fittest is to be chosen; and
however it be, yet still by the peoples consent: and in all this to have
respect to some good, great and necessary ends, which, if they should be
disappointed of, and find these means useless or destructive to, they
were to be loosed from their obligation to use or to own them. See Jus
populi vindicat. chap. 5. p. 80, &c. 2. If we consider how nature
determines the peoples interest in the constitution of governors: whence
comes it that this man, and not that man, this race and family, and not
that, is invested with that title? It will be found there is no title on
earth now to the crowns, to families, to persons, but the peoples
suffrage: for the institution of magistracy in general does not make
James Stewart a king, no more than John Chamberlain: neither do
qualifications make one, otherwise there might be many better than is
this day extant; for there are many men better qualified: and there is
no prophetical or immediate callings to kingdoms now: and as for
conquest without consent, and having no more for a title, it is no
better than royal Latrociny.

It is certain, God would not command us to obey kings, and leave us in
the dark, that we should not know him that hath a real call to it. And
if he have not the peoples call, where shall we find another? It remains
therefore they must have it from the people, who have it to give
radically and virtually, having a power to preserve themselves, and to
put it in the hands of one or more rulers, that they may preserve
themselves by them. All men are born alike as to civil power (no man
being born with a crown on his head) and yet men united in society may
give it to this man, and not to that man; therefore they must have it
virtually, for they cannot give what they have not. And as cities have
power to choose their magistrates, so many cities have power to create
an universal ruler over them all. The people also have power to limit
the magistrates power with conditions; so that the present ruler shall
not have so much prerogative as his predecessor, as royalists cannot
deny, therefore they must have given that power which they can limit.
See Lex Rex, quest. 4. p. 10. &c. 2dly, The scripture also gives light
in this particular. 1. In giving directions and rules about their
orderly calling their governors, impowering them to "take wise men, and
understanding, and known among their tribes, to be made rulers," Deut.
i. 13. "To make judges and officers in all their gates," Deut. xvi. 18.
"To set one among their brethren king over them, and not a stranger,"
Deut. xvii. 15. To what purpose are these rules given them, if they had
no interest to choose their magistrates? Would God command them to set a
king over them, if they had not power to do it? And to set such a man
over them, and not such an one, if they had no influence in making one
at all? And accordingly that wise statist says very well, 2 Sam. xvi.
18. Hushai to Absalom, nay, but whom the Lord and this people, and all
the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide.
Which will also hold in the negative, whom the Lord and the people, and
all the men of the kingdom do not choose, his we will not be, nor with
him will we abide. 2. The scripture expressly attributeth the making of
kings to the people. All the people of Judah took Azariah, and made him
king, instead of his father Amaziah, whom they had executed, 2 Kings
xiv. 21. They came with a perfect heart to make David king in Hebron, 1
Chron. xii. 38. So they made Joash king, 2 Chron. xxiii. 11. 3. Even
these that were particularly designed of God, and chosen to be rulers,
yet were not formally invested with power, before the people conferred
it upon them. Gideon was called of God to it, but was not judge, till
the people said, Rule thou over us, both thou and thy son, giving him an
hereditary right for his children, Judg. viii. 12. Saul was appointed
to be king, and therefore Samuel honoured him, because he was marked out
of God to be king, 1 Sam. ix. 24. and anointed him with oil, 1 Sam. x.
1. after which he was gifted and qualified for government. God gave him
another heart, vers. 9. yet all this did not make him king, till the
people met for his inauguration, vers. 17. &c. and crowned him, and made
him king in Gilgal, 1 Sam. xi. last verse. David was anointed by Samuel,
and yet was a persecuted fugitive for several years, and never
acknowledged formally king, till the men of Judah came and anointed him,
2 Sam. ii. 4. for if he had been king before, then there were two kings
in Israel at one time, and David failed of his royal duty, in not
punishing the murderer Saul; whereas himself says, he would not touch
the Lord's anointed. Therefore the people made all kings, and that by
choice and consent, without which they were no kings. Hence I argue, if
the consent and choice of the people be so essentially necessary to the
making of kings, then they who set up themselves against the consent of
the body of the land, and without the choice of any, must be usurpers,
not to be acknowledged for lawful kings; but the former is true, as is
proven above: therefore.----Now plain it is, that this duke set up
himself against the consent of the body, being excluded from the
government by the representatives of England, and generally hated of
all; who disdaining to wait upon the formal choice of any, but after he
had paved his passage to the throne upon his brother's blood, did usurp
the title without all law.

5. The second thing necessary for the legal constitution of a king by
the people, is their compact with him: which must either be express or
tacit, explicit or implicit. Two things are here to be proven, that will
furnish an argument for disowning both the brothers. First, that there
must be a conditional reciprocally obliging covenant between the
sovereign and the subjects, without which there is no relation to be
owned. Secondly, that when this compact is broken in all or its chiefest
conditions by the sovereign, the peoples obligation ceases. The first I
shall set down, in the words of a famous author, our renowned countryman
Buchanan, in his dialogue 'de jure regni apud scotos. There is then (or
there ought to be) a mutual compact between the king and his subjects',
&c. That this is indispensibly necessary and essential to make up the
relation of sovereign and subjects, may be proved both from the light of
nature and revelation.

First, It may appear from the light of natural reason. 1. From the rise
of government, and the interest people have in erecting it by consent
and choice (as is shewed above) if a king cannot be without the peoples
making, then, all the power he hath must either be by compact or gift:
if by compact, then we have what we proposed: and if by gift: then if
abused, they may recal it; or if they cannot recover it, yet they may
and ought to hold their hand, and give him no more that they may retain,
that is, no more honour or respect, which is in the honourer before the
honoured get it. Can it be imagined, that a people acting rationally,
would give a power absolutely, without restrictions, to destroy all
their own rights? Could they suppose this boundless and lawless
creature, left at liberty to tyrannize, would be a fit mean to procure
the ends of government? for this were to set up a rampant tyrant to rule
as he listeth, which would make their condition a great deal worse than
if they had no ruler at all, for then they might have more liberty to
see to their safety. See jus populi, chap. 9. pag. 96, 97. 2. This will
be clear from the nature of that authority, which only a sovereign can
have over his subjects; which, whatever be the nature of it, it cannot
be absolute, that is against scripture, nature, and common sense, as
shall be proven at more length.

That is to set up a tyrant, one who is free from all conditions, a
roaring lion and a ranging bear to destroy all if he pleases. It must be
granted by all, that the sovereign authority is only fiduciary,
entrusted by God and the people with a great charge: a great pledge is
impawned and committed to the care and custody of the magistrate, which
he must take special care of, and not abuse, or waste, or alienate, or
sell: (for in that case, royalists themselves grant he may be deposed.)
He is by office a patron of the subjects liberties, and keeper of the
law both of God and man, the keeper of both tables. Sure, he hath no
power over the laws of God, but a ministerial power, he may not stop and
disable them as he pleases; of the same nature is it, over all other
parts of his charge. He is rather a tutor, than an inheritor and
proprietor of the commonwealth, and may not do what his pupil's
interest, what he pleases. In a word, the nature and whole significancy
of his power lies in this, that he is the nation's public servant, both
objectively in that he is only for the good of the people, and
representatively in that the people hath impawned in his hand all their
power to do royal service. The scripture teaches this, in giving him the
titles of service, as watchmen, &c. allowing him royal wages for his
royal work, Rom. xiii. he is God's minister attending continually on
this thing.

There is his work, for this cause pay you tribute also. There is his
wages and maintainance. He is called so in that transaction with
Rehoboam; the old men advised him to be a servant unto the people, then
they should be his servants, 1 Kings xii. 7. There was a conditional
bargain proposed: as to be a servant, or tutor, or guardian upon trust,
always implies conditions and accountableness to them that entrust them.
3. It must needs be so, otherwise great absurdities would follow. Here
would be a voluntary contracted relation, obliging us to relative
duties, to a man that owed none correlative to us, and yet one whom we
set over us. It were strange, if there were no condition here; and no
other voluntarily suscepted relations can be without this, as between
man and wife, master and servant, &c. This would give him the disposal
of us and ours, as if both we and what we have were his own, as a man's
goods are, against which he does not sin whatever he doth with them. So
this would make a king that could not sin against us; being no ways
obliged to us, for he can no otherwise be obliged to us, but upon
covenant conditions; he may be obliged and bound in duty to God
otherwise, but he cannot be bound to us otherwise: and if he be not
bound, then he may do what he will, he can do no wrong to us to whom he
is noways bound. This also is point blank against the law of God, which
is the second way to prove it, by the light of revelation or scripture.
1. In the very directions about making and setting up of kings, the Lord
shews what conditions shall be required of them, Deut. xvii. 15. &c. and
in all directions for obeying them, the qualifications they should have
are rehearsed, as Rom. xii. 3, 4. Therefore none are to be set up but on
these conditions, and none are to be obeyed but such as have these
qualifications. 2. In his promises of the succession of kings, he
secures their continuation only conditionally, to establish the kingdom,
if they be constant to do his commandments and judgments, 1 Chron.
xxviii. 7. There shall not fail a man to sit upon the throne, yet so
that they take heed to their way to walk in God's law, as David did, 2
Chron. vi. 16.

Now he was not otherwise to perform these promises, but by the action
and suffrage of the people setting him up, (which he had appointed to be
the way of calling kings to thrones,) if therefore the Lord's promise be
conditional, the people's actions also behoved to be suspended upon the
same conditions. 3. We have many express covenants between rulers and
subjects in scripture. Jephthah was fetched from the land of Tob, and
made the head of the Gileadites by an explicit mutual stipulation,
wherein the Lord was invocated as a witness, Judg. xi. 6, 8, 9, 10, 11.
So all the elders of Israel came to make David king; and king David made
a league with them in Hebron before the Lord, and then they anointed him
over Israel, 2 Sam. v. 3. he made there a covenant with them before the
Lord, 1 Chron. xi. 3.

He was no king before this covenant, and so it was a pactional oath
between him and the kingdom, upon terms according to the law, Deut.
xvii. He was only a king in fieri; one who was to be king, but now
actually inaugurate a covenanted king upon terms that sanctified them.
It is true, they came to recognosce Rehoboam's rights, and came to
Shechem to make him king, 1 Kings xii. 1. and yet when he would not
enter in covenant-terms with them, to satisfy their just demands, the
people answered the king, saying, what portion have we in David, neither
have we inheritance in the son of Jesse, to your tents, O Israel, vers.
16. They refused to acknowledge such an usurper, and we find no prophets
ever condemning them for it. So when Jehoash or Joash was crowned,
Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people,
between the king also and the people, 2 Kings xi. 17. 2 Chron. xxiii.
11, 16. From all these reasons and scriptures, it is clear, there must
be a mutual compact between the subjects and every sovereign they own
subjection to, which if he refuse, and usurp the sword, they are under
an anterior obligation to subtract their allegiance, and to make use of
their sword, if they be in capacity to pull it out of his hands, and use
it against him. And of this we are put in mind by the motto of our old
coronation pieces, which have these words about the sword, 'for me, but,
if I deserve, against me:' and surely to him that hath it now in his
hands, it may be said, thou hast deserved, and as yet deserves. We see
then, the allegiance that this usurper alledges is his due, wants a
bottom, to wit, a compact with the people. Whence I argue, if there must
of necessity be a compact between the king and the people, when he is
advanced to the government: then he that advances himself, without and
against this compact, is an usurper not to be owned; but the former is
true: therefore he that advances himself without and against this
compact, is an usurper not to be owned. And who more notoriously
deserving such a signature, than James VII. and II. who hath made horns
of his own strength, or the Pope's bulls, to push his brother out and
himself into the throne, upon no terms at all, or any security for
religion and liberty. One objection is to be removed here: can the
customs of the Jews be binding to all nations? The kings of Judah made
such covenants, shall therefore all kings do so? _Answ._ Why not this
custom, as well as crowning, which they used likewise? These rules are
not typical or ceremonial, nor only so judicial as to be peculiarly
judicial, but are matters of moral equity, bearing a standing reason
founded upon that law, Deut. xvii. 15. &c. limiting the prince to stand
to conditions. If we cast at divine laws for rules of government where
will we find better laws? It is recorded of the first of the British
kings who was Christian, that writing to Eleutherius bishop of Rome,
(before Antichrist took that seat) for the Roman laws, he received this
answer: 'By divine clemency ye have received the law and faith of
Christ, you have the Old and New Testaments, out of them in God's name
by counsel of your states take laws, and govern your kingdom.' And of
another, that he began his laws thus. God spake all these words, &c. And
so repeated the laws of God. The second thing I undertook to prove, is
that assertion of Buchanan ubi supra, de Jure Regni. 'There being a
paction between the king and subjects, he who first recedes from what
is covenanted, and doth counteract what he hath covenanted, he looses
the contract; and the bond being loosed which did hold fast the king
with the people, whatever right did belong to him by virtue of that
compact, he looses it, and the people are as free as before the
stipulation.' Which is also asserted by the author of Jus populi, chap.
6. pag. 112. 'It is no less clear, that when the sovereign doth not
perform the principal, main, and most necessary conditions, condescended
and agreed upon, by right he falleth from his sovereignty: and pag. 117.
when the prince doth violate his compact, as to all its conditions, or
as to its chief, main, and most necessary condition, the subjects are by
right free from subjection to him, and at liberty to make choice of
another.' This is so clear that it needs no labour to prove it, that,
upon this head, we were loosed from all allegiance to the former tyrant,
who was admitted upon terms of an explicit covenant, the conditions
whereof he did as explicitly break.

There are two cases wherein subjects are loosed from covenanted
allegiance to their princes. 1. When the prince remits the obligation of
the subjects, and refuses allegiance upon that basis; then he can no
more demand it by virtue of that compact. He that remits, and will not
have that allegiance, that the subjects covenanted upon such and such
conditions to him, these subjects should not give it that they so
covenanted, for they should not prostitute it to a refuser and remitter:
but Charles the II. remitted and would not have that allegiance, which
we covenanted upon such and such conditions, viz. upon the terms of the
covenant, which he cassed and annulled and made criminal to own:
therefore to him we should not have given it, which we so covenanted. 2.
When the prince doth enter into a mutual covenant with the people upon
mutual conditions, and does not only cease to perform the conditions,
but simply denies all obligation to do it, and makes it a quarrel to
insinuate so much, yea persecutes all who dare assert the obligation of
that covenant; and yet demands allegiance, not upon the obligation of
that covenant which he hath remitted, but absolutely upon the grounds of
his prerogative: in this case it will be evident also, the subjects are
not bound either to own their formerly covenanted allegiance to him, or
that which he demands on other grounds. Grotius de Jure belli, is clear
as to this, lib. 1. cap. 4. num. 12. 'If there be such a clause or
condition in the very devolution of the government upon a prince, as if
he do so and so, the subjects shall be loosed from all bonds of
obedience, then, when he does so, he becomes a mere private person.'
Grotius there supposes the power is transferred upon a resolutive
condition; that is, if he transgress the condition, the power shall be
resolved into its first fountain: much more if it be transferred
expresly also upon a suspensive condition, that he shall continue to
maintain the ends of the covenant, defend religion and the liberties of
the subjects, in the defence whereof we shall own allegiance to him,
otherwise not. In that case, if he do not maintain these ends, plain it
is, our obligation ceases; for how can it stand upon a conditional
obligation, when his performance of the condition sists? But whatever be
the conditions mutual, it flows natively from the nature of a mutual
compact, 'That he who doth not perform the conditions agreed upon, hath
no right to the benefit granted upon condition of performance of these
conditions; especially if he perform not, or violate these conditions
upon supposition whereof he would not have gotten the benefit: it were
very absurd to say in a mutual conditional compact, one party shall
still be found to perform his conditions, though the other perform none,
but break all. Were it the act of rational creatures to set up a
sovereign, upon conditions he shall not play the tyrant, and yet be
bound to him though he tyrannize never so much? We have the name of
mutual compacts in the spies covenant with Rahab, Josh. ii. 20. "If thou
utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath, which thou
hast made us to swear:" if she should break, condition, then the
obligation on their part should cease. But next, all the stress will ly
in proving that the covenant, on such and such conditions between a
prince and subjects, doth equally and mutually oblige both to each
other: for if it equally oblige both, then both are equally disengaged
from other by the breach on either side, and either of them may have a
just claim in law against the other for breach of the conditions. But
royalists and court slaves alledge, that such a covenant obliges the
king to God, but not to the people at all: so that he is no more
accountable to them, than if he had none at all. But the contrary is
evident: for, (1.) If the compact be mutual, and if it be infringed on
one side, it must be so in the other also; for in contracts, the parties
are considered as equals, whatever inequality there may be betwixt them
otherwise: I speak of contracts among men. (2.) If it be not so, there
is no covenant made with the people at all: and so David did no more
covenant with Israel, than with the Chaldeans: for to all with whom the
covenant is made it obliges them to it. Otherwise it must be said, he
only made the covenant with God, contrary to the text: for he made it
only before the Lord as a witness, not with him as a party. Joash's
covenant with the Lord is expresly distinguished from that with the
people. (3.) If it be not so, it were altogether nonsense to say, there
were any covenant made with the king on the other hand: for he is
supposed to be made king on such and such terms: and yet, by this, after
he is made king he is no more obliged unto them, than if there had been
no compact with him at all. (4.) If he be bound as king, and not only as
a man or Christian, then he is bound with respect to the people; for
with respect to them he is only king: but he is bound as king, and not
only as a man or Christian, because it is only with him as king that the
people covenant, and he must transact with them under the same
consideration. Next, that which he is obliged to, is the specifical act
of a king, to defend religion and liberty, and rule in righteousness;
and therefore his covenant binds him as a king. Again, if he be not
bound as king, then as a king he is under no obligation of law or oath,
which is to make him a lawless tyrant; yea, none of God's subjects. It
would also suppose that the king as king could not sin against the
people at all, but only against God: for as king he could be under no
obligation of duty to the people, and where there is no obligation,
there is no sin; by this he would be set above all obligations to love
his neighbour as himself, for he is above all his neighbours, and all
mankind, and only less than God; and so by this doctrine, he is loosed
from all duties of the second table, or at least he is not so much
obliged to them as others. But against this it is objected: both prince
and people are obliged to perform their part to each other, and both are
obliged to God, but both are not accountable to each other; there is not
mutual power in the parties to compel one another to perform the
promised duty; the king hath it indeed over the people, but not the
people over the king, and there is no indifferent judge superior to
both, to compel both, but God. Ans. 1. What if all this should be
granted? Yet it doth not infringe the proposition: what if the people
have not power to compel him? Yet, if by law, he may fall from his
sovereignty, though, indeed, he is not deposed: he loses his right to
our part, when he breaks his part. 2. There is no need of a superior
arbiter: for as in contracting they are considered as equal, so the
party keeping the contract is superior to the other breaking it. 3.
There may be mutual co-active power, where there is no mutual relation
of superiority and inferiority: yea, in some cases, inferiors may have
a co-active power by law, to compel their superiors failing in their
duty to them; as a son wronged by his father, may compel him to
reparation by law; and independent kingdoms, nothing inferior to each
other, being in covenant together, the wronged may have a co-active
power to force the other to duty, without any superior arbiter. 4. The
bond of suretiship brings a man under the obligation to be accountable
to the creditor, though the surety were never so high, and the creditor
never so low: Solomon says, in general, without exception of kings; yea,
including them because he was a king that spake it, Prov. vi. 1, 2. "My
son, if thou be surety for thy friend,----thou art snared with the words
of thy mouth." Now a king's power is but fiduciary; and therefore he
cannot be unaccountable for the power concredited to him. And if this
generation had minded this, our stewards should have been called to an
account for their stewardship ere now. Hence I argue, if a covenanted
prince, breaking all the conditions of his compact, doth forfeit his
right to the subjects allegiance, then they are no more to own him as
their sovereign; but the former is proved, that a covenanted prince,
breaking all the conditions of his compact, doth forfeit his right to
the subjects allegiance: Therefore----And consequently when Charles II.
expresly bound by covenant to defend and promote the covenanted
reformation and liberties of the kingdom, to whom only we were bound in
the terms of his defending and promoting the same, did violently and
villainously violate and vilify these conditions, we were no more bound
to them. Somewhat possibly may be objected here, 1. If this be the sense
of the covenant, then it would seem that we were not bound to own the
king, but only when and while he were actually promoting and carrying on
the ends of the covenant. _Ans._ It does not follow, but that we are
obliged to preserve his person and authority in these necessary
intervals, when he is called to see to himself as a man; for we must
preserve him as a mean, because of his aptitude and designation for such
an end, albeit not always formally prosecuting it: we do not say, that
we are never to own him, but when actually exercised in prosecuting
these ends: but we say, we are never to own him, when he is tyrannically
and treacherously abusing his authority for destroying and overturning
these ends, and violating all the conditions of his compact. It may be.
Object. 2. Saul was a tyrant, and a breaker of his royal covenant, and
persecutor of the godly, and murderer of the priests of the Lord,
usurper upon the priest's office, and many other ways guilty of breaking
all conditions: and yet David and all Israel owned him as the anointed
of the Lord. _Ans._ 1. Saul was indeed a tyrant, rejected of God, and to
be ejected out of his kingdom in his own time and way, which David, a
prophet knowing, would not anticipate. But he was far short, and a mere
bungler in acts of tyranny in comparison of our grassators: he broke his
royal covenant in very gross particular acts, but did not cass and
rescind the whole of it, did not burn it, did not make it criminal to
own its obligation, nor did he so much as profess a breach of it, nor
arrogate an absolute prerogative, nor attempt arbitrary government, nor
to evert the fundamental laws, and overturn the religion of Israel, and
bring in idolatry as ours have done: he was a persecutor of David upon
some private quarrels, not of all the godly upon the account of their
covenanted religion: he murdered 85 priests of the Lord, in a transport
of fury, because of their kindness to David; but he did not make laws
adjudging all the ministers of the Lord to death, who should be found
most faithful in their duty to God and his church, as ours have done
against all field preachers: he usurped upon the priest's office, in one
elicit act of sacrificing: but he did not usurp a supremacy over them,
and annex it as an inherent right of his crown. 2. He was indeed such a
tyrant, as deserved to have been dethroned and brought to condign
punishment, upon the same accounts that Amaziah and Uzziah were deposed
for afterwards: and in this the people failed in their duty, and for it
they were plagued remarkably. Shall their omission be an argument to us?
3. As the question was never put to the people, whether they owned his
authority as lawful, or not? So we do not read, either of their
universal owning him, or their positive disowning him: however, that is
no good argument, which is drawn from a not doing to a doing; because
they did it not, therefore it must not be done. 4. They owned him; but
how? As the minister of God, not to be resisted or revolted from under
pain of damnation? (as all lawful magistrates ought to be owned, Rom.
xiii. 2, 4.) This I deny: for David and his six hundred men resisted him
resolutely; and though the body of the nation did long lazily ly and
couch as asses under his burden, yet, at length, weary of his tyranny,
many revolted from under him, and adjoined themselves to David at
Ziklag, "while he kept himself close, because of Saul the son of Kish,"
1 Chron. xii. 1. who are commended by the Spirit of God for their
valour, verse. 2. &c. "and many out of Manasseh fell to him, when he
came with the Philistines against Saul, to battle," verse 19. This was a
practical disowning of the tyrant, before the Lord deposed him. 5. David
did indeed pay him and his character some deference, as having been the
anointed of the Lord; yet perhaps his honouring him with that title, the
Lord's anointed, 1 Sam. xxiv. 1 Sam. xxvi. and calling him so often his
Lord the King, cannot be altogether justified, no more than his using
that same language to Achish king of Gath, 1 Sam. xxix. 8. I shewed
before how titles might be allowed; but this so circumstantiate, does
not seem so consistent with his imprecatory prayer, for the Lord's
avenging him on him, 1 Sam. xxiv 12. and many other imprecations
against him in his Psalms. In some of which he calls the same man, whom
here he called, Psal. lix. 63, 14. and the evil, violent and wicked man,
Psal. cxl. 1, 4. and the vilest of men, Psal. xii. ult. However it be,
there can be no argument from hence, to own the authority of tyrants and

6. Though this necessary conditional compact, which must always be in
the constitution of lawful rulers, be not always express and explicit,
so that a written authentic copy of it cannot be always produced; yet it
is always to be understood, implicitly at least, transacted in the
ruler's admission to the government, wherein the law of God must
regulate both parties; and when he is made ruler, it must be understood
that it is upon terms to be a father, feeder, and protector, and not a
tyrant, murderer and destroyer. All princes are so far pactional, that
they are obliged by the high and absolute Sovereign from whom they
derive their authority, to reign for the peace and profit of the people.
This is fixed unalterably by the laws of the supreme legislator, and
solemnly engaged unto at the coronation: and whosoever declines or
destroys this fundamental condition, he degrades and deposes himself. It
is also not only the universal practice, but necessary for the
constitution and conservation of all commonwealths, to have fundamental
laws and provisions about government, both for the upholding, and
transmitting and transferring it, as occasion calls, and preventing and
punishing violations thereof, that there be no invasion or intrusion
upon the government; and if there be any entrance upon it not according
to the constitution, that it be illegitimated, and the nation's
liberties always secured. This doth infer and regulate a conditional
compact with all that are advanced to the government, albeit it should
not be expressed. For it is undeniable that in the erection of all
governors, the grand interests of the community must be seen to, by
legal securities for religion and liberty, which is the end and use of
fundamental laws. Now, how these have been unhinged and infringed, by
the introduction and present establishment by law of that monster of the
prerogative, enacted in Parliament _anno_ 1661, the apologetic relation
doth abundantly demonstrate, lect. 10. Concerning the King's civil
supremacy, enhancing all the absoluteness that ever the Great Turk could
arrogate, and yet far short of what hath been usurped since, and
impudently proclaimed to the world; especially by him who now domineers,
in his challenges of sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and
absolute power, which all are to obey without reserve; whereby the whole
basis of our constitution, and bulwark of our religion, laws and
liberty, is enervated, and we have security of no law but the king's
lust. Hence I argue, those princes that, contrary to their virtual
compact (at least) at their coming to the crown, overturned all
fundamental laws: Ergo they cannot be owned. The major is plain; for
they that overturn fundamental laws are no magistrates; thereby all the
ends of government being subverted, and the subverter cannot be owned as
a father or friend, but an open enemy to the commonwealth, nor looked
upon as magistrates doing their duty, but as tyrants, seeking themselves
with the destruction of the commonwealth. And in this case, the compact,
the ground of the constitution, being violated, they fall from their
right, and the people are liberated from their obligation; and they
being no magistrates, the people are no subjects; for the relation is
mutual, and so is the obligation, Jus populi, chap. 9. page 183. The
minor is manifest, both from the matter of fact, and the mischiefs
framed into laws, by the sovereign authority, prerogative royal, and
absolute power foresaid: whereby what remains of our fundamental
constitutions, either in religious or civil settlements, unsubverted as
yet, may be subverted when this absolute monarch pleases. Which
absolute authority we cannot in conscience own, for these reasons, taken
both from reason and scripture. First, It is against reason, 1. A power
contrary in nature cannot be owned; absolute power is such: for that
which takes away, and makes the people to give away their natural power
of preserving their lives and liberties, and sets a man above all rule
and law, is contrary to nature: such is absolute power, making people
resign that which is not in their power to resign, an absolute power to
destroy and tyrannize. 2. A power contrary to the first rise of its
constitution cannot be owned; absolute power is such: for the first rise
of the constitution is a people's setting a sovereign over them, giving
him authority to administer justice over them: but it were against this,
to set one over them with a power to rage at random, and rule as he
lists. It is proven before, a king hath no power but what the people
gave him; but they never gave, never could give an absolute power to
destroy themselves. 3. That power which is against the ends of
government cannot be owned; absolute power is such: for that which will
make a people's condition worse than before the constitution, and that
mean which they intended for a blessing to turn a plague and scourge to
them, and all the subjects to be formal slaves at the prince's devotion,
must needs be contrary to the ends of government; but absolute power is
such: for against the exorbitance thereof, no means would be left to
prevent it obstructing all the fountains of justice, and commanding laws
and lawyers to speak; not justice, righteousness, and reason; but the
lust and pleasure of one man, turning all into anarchy and confusion:
certainly it could never be the intention either of the work or workers,
at the constitution of government, to set up a power to enslave the
people, to be a curse to them, but their ends were to get comfort,
safety and liberty, under the shadow of government. 4. That power which
invalidates, and is inconsistent with the king's compact with the
people, cannot be owned; absolute power is such: for the tenor of that
is always to secure laws and liberties, to rule according to law; but to
be absolute invalidates, and is inconsistent with that: that which were
an engagement into contradictories cannot consist with that compact; but
to engage to be absolute, and yet to rule by law, is an engagement into
contradictories, which no people could admit for a security. It is
inconsistent with this compact, to give the king absolute power to
overturn religion and liberty; and to assume that which was never given,
were to invalidate this compact, and to make himself no king; but to
restore unto the people the power they conferred upon him for the
defence of religion and liberty. 5. That power which is not from God,
nor of God, cannot be owned; but absolute power is not of God; because
it is a power to tyrannize and sin, which, if it were of God, he should
be the author of sin; for if the moral power be of God, so must the acts
be; but the acts of absolute power being lawless, cannot be from God:
Ergo, neither the moral power to commit these acts. 6. That ruler who
cannot be God's minister for the people's good, cannot be owned; (for
that is the formal reason of our conscientious subjection to rulers,
Rom. xiii. 4, 5.) But absolute sovereigns are such as cannot be God's
ministers for the people's good; for if they be God's ministers for
good, they must administer justice, preserve peace, rule by law, take
directions from their master; and if so, they cannot be absolute. 7. A
tyrant in the signal act and exercise cannot be owned; but an absolute
prince is such; being a power that may play the tyrant if he pleases,
and by law as king; and so if kings be by action tyrants, then people
are by action slaves; and so royal power cannot be a blessing to them;
yea, a lawless breaker of all bonds, promises, and oaths, cannot be
owned as lawful power; but absolute power is such: for, it cannot be
limited by these obligations, at least people cannot have any security
by them. 8. A lawless power is not to be owned; an absolute power is a
lawless power: ergo, not to be owned. The major is plain. Cicero says,
lib. 2. 'The reason of making laws was the same, as of the creation of
kings.' And Buchanan, de Jure Regni, very excellently, when 'the lust of
kings was instead of laws, and being vested with an infinite and
immoderate power, they did not contain themselves within bounds.----The
insolency of kings made laws to be desired; for this cause laws were
made by the people, and kings constrained to make use, not of their
licentious wills in judgment, but of that right and privilege which the
people had conferred upon them, being taught by many experiences, that
it was better that their liberty should be concredited to laws, than to
kings; better to have the law, which is a dumb king, than a king, who is
not a speaking law.' If then laws be necessary for the making of kings,
and more necessary than kings, and the same cause requires both, then a
king without laws is not to be owned. A king must be a speaking and
living law, reducing the law to practice. So much then as a king hath of
law, so much he hath of a king; and he who hath nothing of the law, hath
nothing of a king. Magna charta of England saith, 'The king can do
nothing but by law, and no obedience is due to him but by law.' Buchanan
rehearses the words of the most famous emperors, Theodosius and
Valentinianus, to this effect, 'It is,' say they, 'a word worthy of the
majesty of a king, to confess he is a tied prince to the laws; and
indeed it is more to submit a principality to the laws, than to enjoy an
empire.' But now that an absolute power must be a lawless power, is also
evident; for that is a lawless power that makes all laws void, needless
and useless; but such is absolute power: for it cannot be confined to
the observance of laws. 9. That power which is destructive to the
people's liberties cannot be owned; absolute power is such: for such a
licentious freedom as is absolute cannot consist with the people's
liberties; for these may infringe when he pleases. Now these, in their
own nature, and in all respects, being preferable to the king's
prerogative, and it being no prerogative which is not consistent with,
yea in its own nature adapted to, the precious interests of religion and
liberty: when the king's absolute authority is stated in contradictory
terms to these, we cannot own that authority; for now he hath another
authority than could be given him for the preservation of these
interests; in the preservation whereof he can only have an authority to
be owned, seeing he claims a power to destroy them, if he please. 10. If
we should own absolute authority, then we should own a royal prerogative
in the king to make and dispense with laws: now that cannot be owned;
for, it would infer that the king had a masterly dominion over his
subjects, to make laws, and inflict penalties without their consent.

And plain it is, they that make kings must have a co-ordinate power to
make laws also; but the people, in their representatives, make kings, as
is proven. Next, a prerogative to dispense with laws, except such laws
as are in their own nature dispensable, without prejudice to any law of
God or liberties of men, cannot be owned: for any power to dispense with
reason and law, not grounded on any other reason but mere will and
absolute pleasure, is a brutish power. It cannot be a right annexed to
the crown, to do so; for a king, as a king, can do nothing but what he
may do by law. Nay, this is not only a brutish power, but a blasphemous
power, making him a kind of god on earth, illimited, that can do what he
pleases: and to dispute it further, were to dispute whether God hath
made all under him slaves by their own consent? or, whether he may
encroach on the prerogative of God or not? By this prerogative, he
arrogates a power to dispense with the laws of God also, in pardoning
murderers, &c. which no man hath power to do; the law of God being so
peremptorily indispensible. Gen. ix. 6. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by
man shall his blood be shed." Numb. xxxv. 30, 31. "Whoso killeth any
person, the murderer shall be put to death----Moreover, ye shall take no
satisfaction for the life of a murderer, but he shall be surely put to
death." These pardons are acts of blood to the community. If the
judgment be God's, as it is, Deut. i. 17. and not for man, but for the
Lord, 2 Chron. xix. 6. then no king can arrogate a power to dispense
with it, no more than an inferior judge can dispense with the king's
laws; for the king is but a minister, bearing the sword, not in vain,
but as a revenger, to execute wrath upon them that do evil, Rom. xiii.
4. They are but bastard kings who give out sentences out of their own
mouth, contrary to God's mind.

And if he may do acts of grace by prerogative above law, then may he
also do acts of justice (so pretended) by the same prerogative; and so
may murder innocents, as well as pardon murderers; he may condemn the
just, as well as justify the wicked; both which are alike abomination to
the Lord, Prov. xvii. 15. This power cannot be owned in any man. 11. To
own absolute power, were to recognosce the king as the proper and sole
interpreter of the law. This Buchanan shews to be very absurd, 'When you
grant the interpretation of laws to a king, you give him such a license,
that the law should not speak what the lawgiver meaneth, but what is for
the interpreter's interest; so that he may turn it to all actions, as a
Lesbian rule, for his own advantage; and so what he pleases the law
shall speak, and what he will not, it shall not speak.' Now the king's
absolute pleasure can no more be the sense of the law, than it can be
the law itself: he is king by law, but he is not king of law; no mortal
can make a sense to a law, contrary to the law; for it involves a
contradiction: the true meaning is only the law. This also would take
away the use of all laws; for they could not declare what were just and
unjust, but as the king pleased: their genuine sense could not be the
rule. 12. If we own the law to be above the king, then we cannot own the
king to be absolute; but the former is true; for he must be under it
several ways: (1.) Under its directive power; that will not be denied.
(2.) Under its constitutive power; he is not a king by nature, but by
constitution and law: therefore the law is above the king; because it is
only from the law that there is a king, and that such a man and not
another is king, and that the king must be so and so qualified, and they
that made him a king, may also unmake him by the same law. (3.) Under
its limiting and restrictive power, as a man he cannot be absolute, nor
as a king by law. (4.) Under its co-active power. A lawmaker, said king
James the VI. should not be a law-breaker: but if he turn an overturner
of the fundamental laws, that law or covenant that made him king, doth
oblige to unmake him. Whatever power he hath, it is only borrowed
fiduciary power, as the nation's public servant: and that which was lent
him in pledge or pawn may be reclaimed, when abused by him.

Especially if he turn parricide, kill his brother, murder his nobles,
burn cities, then he may and ought to be punished by law. Otherwise God
should have provided better for the safety of the part than of the
whole, though that part be but a mean for the safety of the whole: for
if he turn a tyrant in his absoluteness, the people must be destroyed,
if they may not repress him: thus he is secured, and the whole exposed
to ruin. Yea, if he be a man, as well as a king, he must be under rule
of law; and when he transgresses, either his transgressions are
punishable by men, or they are not transgessions with men. See many
arguments to this purpose in Lex Rex, quest. 14, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26,
27. But secondly, I prove it by scripture, 1. Even as a king he is
regulated by law, not to multiply horses, nor wives, nor money, but to
keep the words of the law, and not lift up himself above his brethren,
Deut. xvii. 16, 17, 19, 20. he must observe to do according to the law,
and not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, Josh. i. 7.
therefore he must not be absolute. 2. He is certainly under that law,
Matth. vii. 12. Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you
even so to them: which is the universal fundamental law. If then he
would have us keeping in our line of subordination to him, he must keep
his line, and so cannot be absolute. 3. What is God's due and peculiar
prerogative, can be owned in no mortal; but absolute power is God's due
and peculiar prerogative. He alone does whatsoever pleases him, Psal.
cxv. 3. He alone worketh all, things after the counsel of his own will,
Eph. i. 11. Acts or commands founded upon the sole pleasure of the
agent, are proper to God. It is God's will and not the creature's that
can make things good or just. It is blasphemy therefore to ascribe
absolute power to any creature. 4. That which the Spirit of God
condemned as a point of tyranny in Nebuchadnezzar, that is no
prerogative to be owned; but the Spirit of God condemned this in him,
proceeding from absolute power, that whom he would he slew, and whom he
would he kept alive, whom he would he set up, and whom he would he put
down. And his heart was lifted up, Dan. v. 19, 20. 5. That which God
condemns and threatens in tyrants in the word in general, cannot be
owned; but absolute power God condemns and threatens in the word in
general; that they "turned judgment into gall," and said, "Have we not
taken to us horns by our own strength?" Amos vi. 12, 13. 6. The word of
God speaks nothing of the king's absolute prerogative, to make laws as
he will. It is plain the king of Judah had it not: but the Sanhedrim
had a great part of the legislative power, and of the punitive power in
a special manner: the princes and people had it by Jeremiah's
acknowledgement, Jer. xxvi. 14. And Zedekiah confesses to them, The king
is not he that can do any thing against you, Jer. xxxviii. 5. 7. We find
the king in scripture had not an absolute power, to expone or execute
the law as he would; Saul made a law, 1 Sam. xiv. 24. Cursed be the man
that eats any food until the evening. But exponing it, and thinking to
execute it after a tyrannical manner, he was justly resisted by the
people, who would not let him kill innocent Jonathan. 8. Nor had he the
sole power of interpreting it; for inferior judges were interpreters,
who are no less essential judges than the king who are set to judge for
the Lord, and not for the king, 2 Chron xix. 6. and therefore they were
to expone it according to their own conscience, and not the king's. They
were to speak righteousness and judge uprightly, Psal. lviii. 1. hence
called gods as well as kings, Psal. lxxxii. 1.

There was no essential difference between a king of God's approving, and
a judge; there being but one law to both, Deut. xvii. 9. He was subject
to judgment as well as others: for being but a brother, even while on
the throne, who was not to lift up his heart above his brethren, Deut.
xvii. ult. When this cause was to be judged, his person, though never so
great, was not to be respected: nor were they to be afraid of the face
of man, for the judgment was God's, Deut. i. 17. therefore the judges
were to give out sentence in judgment, as if the Lord were to give it
out: there was no exception of kings there. Yea we find, according to
common law, they judged and punished offending kings, as shall be made
appear: 10. If they were under church censures, then they were not
absolute; but we find kings were under church censures; not only rebuked
sharply to their face, of which we have many instances; but also
subjected to church discipline, as Uzziah shut up for his leprosy.

And certainly at all times this must be extended to all: for the king is
either a brother, or not: if not, then he should not be king, according
to the scripture, Deut. xvii. 15. then also he is not a Christian, nor
can he say the Lord's prayer: if he be, then if a brother offend, he is
subject to the church, Matth. xviii. there is no exceptions of kings
there. The objection from Eccles. viii. 3, 4.--he doth whatsoever
pleaseth him, where the word of a king is, there is power, and who may
say unto him, What dost thou? is of no significancy here. For, 1. This
argument will enforce absolute obedience, if the power be to be taken
absolutely; for it is obedience that is there commanded: and so we must
not only own the absolute authority, but obey it without reserve, which
never any yet had the impudence to plead for, until James the unjust
claimed it in a Scots proclamation: but we answer, It is better to obey
God than man. 2. If he may do whatsoever pleases him, then he may turn
priest, then he may kill whom he pleases, and take possession; and yet
for Saul's usurpation Samuel could say more than what dost thou? even to
tell him, he had done foolishly, and his kingdom should not continue, 1
Sam. xiii. 13, 14. And for Ahab's tyranny, Elijah could tell him, the
dogs shall lick thy blood, even thine, 1 Kings xxi. 19, And Ezekiel,
thou profane wicked prince of Israel, Ezek. xxi. 25. 3. The meaning is
then only this; that a righteous king's just power may not only be
controlled: he is armed with power that may not be resisted, for he
beareth not the sword in vain, and therefore we must not stand in an
evil matter against them. I conclude then this argument, with the word
of an ingenious author, upon this same subject, both in thesi and
hypothesi: 'Whosoever shall offer to rule arbitrarily, does immediately
cease to be king by right, seeing by the fundamental, common and
statute laws of the realm, we know none for supreme magistrate and
governor but a limited prince, and one who stands circumscribed and
bounded in his power and prerogative. Ill effects of animosities,' page

7. From what is said, this is the result, that it is essentially
necessary to a moral power and authority, to have a right and title,
without which we can own none, but as a tyrant without a title. For what
is authority, but a right to rule? if then it have not a right, it is
not authority. This will be undeniable, if we consider, that as private
dominion, or property, consists in a right to enjoy; so public dominion,
in a right to rule. Some things indeed are exposed to the common and
arbitrary use of every man, and also at the beginning, by reason of the
fewness of mankind, dominion was not reduced to distinct property; yet
now, upon the multiplication of occupants, of necessity it must be
stated by peculiar appropriation, from the law of nature, and by the
grant of the supreme king, who hath given the earth to the children of
men, Psal. cxv. 16. not to be catched up as the food of beasts, which
the stronger seize, and the weaker get only what the other leave them,
but divided by right as an inheritance, by him who separated the sons of
Adam, and set the bounds of the people, Deut. xxxii. 8. Especially
public dominion cannot be without a foundation, for its relation to the
subjected, and must be so tied up, that it may be said, this man is to
command, and these are to obey. I shew, that authority is from God, both
by institution and constitution; so that the subjects are given to
understand, such an one is singled out by God to sustain this authority,
by prescribing a rule for men's entry into the authoritative relation,
whereby he communicates that power to them which is not in others, and
which otherwise would not be in them. Hence it is, that orderly
admittance that must give the right, and upon men's having or not having
such an entrance to it, depends the reality or nullity of the power
they challenge.

Where therefore there is no lawful investiture, there is no moral power
to be owned; otherwise John of Leyden's authority might have been owned:
the unlawfulness of such a power consists in the very tenor itself; and
if we take away the use or holding of it, we take away the very being of
it: it is not then the abuse of a power lawfully to be used, but the
very use of it is unlawful. But in the usurpation of this man, or
monster rather, that is now mounted the throne, there is no lawful
investiture in the way God hath appointed as is shewed above; therefore
there is no moral power to be owned. To clear this a little further, it
will be necessary to remove the ordinary pretences, pleaded for a title
to warrant the owning of such as are in power, which are three chiefly,
to wit, possession, conquest, and hereditary succession. The first must
be touched more particularly, because it hath been the originate error,
and spring of all the stupid mistakes about government, and is the
pitiful plea of many, even mal contents, why this man's authority is to
be owned, asserting, that a person attaining and occupying the place of
power (by whatsoever means) is to be owned as the magistrate. But this
can give no right: for, 1. If providence cannot signify God's
approbative ordination, it can give no right; for without that there can
be no right; but providence cannot signify his approbative ordination,
because that, without the warrant of his word, cannot signify either
allowance or disallowance, it is so various, being often the same to
courses directly contrary, and oftentimes contrary to the same course;
sometimes savouring it, sometimes crossing it, whether it be good or
bad, and the same common providence may proceed from far different
purposes, to one in mercy, to another in judgment; and most frequently
very disproportionable to men's ways. Providence places sometimes
"wickedness in the place of judgment, and iniquity in the place of
righteousness," Eccl. iii. 16. that is, not by allowance. By providence
it happens to the just according to the work of the wicked, and to the
wicked according to the work of the righteous, Eccl. viii. 14. No man
knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them. All things
come alike to all, there is one event to the righteous and to the
wicked, Eccl. ix. 1, 2. It were a great debasing of the Lord's anointed,
to give him no other warrant than sin hath in the world, or the falling
of a sparrow. 2. Either every providential possession, in every case,
gives a title; or, God hath declared it as a law, that it shall be so in
this particular matter of authority only.

The first cannot be said: for that would justify all robbery: nor the
second, for where is that law found? Nay, it were impious to alledge it;
for it would say, there is no unjust possessor or disorderly occupant,
but if he were once in the possession, he were right enough, and then
usurpation would be no sin. 3. If none of the causes of magistracy be
required to the producing of this possessory power, then it cannot give
or have any right; for without the true causes it cannot be the true
effect, and so can have no true right to be owned: but none of the
causes of magistracy are required to the production of this; neither the
institution of God, for this might have been, if magistracy had never
been instituted; nor the constitution of men, for this may usurp without
that. 4. That which must follow upon the right, and be legitimated by
it, cannot be owned as the right, nor can it give the title: but the
possession of the power, or the exercise thereof, must follow upon its
right, and be legitimated by it: therefore.----A man must first be in
the relation of a ruler, before he can rule; and men must first be in
the relation of subjects, before they obey.

The commands of public justice, to whom are they given but to
magistrates? They must then be magistrates, before they can be owned as
the ministers of justice: he must be a magistrate, before he can have
the power of the sword: he cannot, by the power of the sword, make
himself magistrate. 5. That which would make every one in the possession
of the magistracy a tyrant, cannot be owned: but a possessory occupation
giving right, would make every one in possession a tyrant; for, that
which enervates, and takes away that necessary distinction between the
king's personal capacity and his legal capacity, his natural and his
moral power, will make every king a tyrant (seeing it makes every thing
that he can do as a man, to be legally done as a king) but a possessory
occupation giving right, would enervate and take away that distinction:
for how can these be distinguished in a mere possessory power? The man's
possession is all his legal power; and if possession give a right, his
power will give legality. 6. What sort or size of possession can be
owned to give a right? Either it must be partial or plenary possession:
not partial, for then others may be equally entitled to the government,
in competition with that partial possessor, having also a part of it:
not plenary, for then every interruption or usurpation on a part, would
make a dissolution of the government. 7. Hence would follow infinite
absurdities; this would give equal warrant, in case of vacancy, to all
men to step to, and stickle for the throne, and expose the commonwealth
as a booty to all aspiring spirits: for they needed no more to make them
sovereigns, and lay a tie of subjection upon the consciences of people,
but to get into possession: and in case of competition, it would leave
people still in suspense and uncertainties whom to own; for they behoved
to be subject only to the uppermost, which could not be known until the
controversy be decided: it would cassate and make void all
pre-obligations, cautions, and restrictions from God about the
government: it would cancel and make vain all other titles of any, or
constitutions, or provisions, or oaths of allegiance: yea, to what
purpose were laws or pactions made about ordering the government, if
possession gave right, and laid an obligation on all to own it? Yea,
then it were sinful to make any such provisions, to fence in and limit
the determination of providence, if providential possession may
authorize every intrusive acquisition to be owned: then also in case of
competition of two equal pretenders to the government, there would be no
place left for arbitrations.

If this were true, that he has the power that is in possession, the
difference were at an end; no man could plead for his own right then; in
this also it is inconsistent with itself, condemning all resistance
against the present occupant, yet justifying every resistance that is
but successful to give possession. 8. That which would oblige us to own
the devil and the pope, cannot be a ground to own any man; but if this
were true, that possession gave right, it would oblige us to own the
devil and the pope. Satan we find claiming to himself the possession of
the world's kingdoms, Luke iv. 6. which as to many of them is in some
respect true, for he is called the god of this world, and the prince of
this world, John xiv. 30. 2 Cor. iv. 4. Are men therefore obliged to own
his authority? or shall they deny his, and acknowledge his lieutenant,
who bears his name, and by whom all his orders are execute, I mean the
man that tyrannizes over the people of God? For he is the devil that
casts some into prison, Rev. ii. 10. Again, the pope, his
captain-general, lays claim to a temporal power and ecclesiastic both,
over all the nations, and possesses it over many; and again, under the
conduct of his vassal the duke of York, is attempting to recover the
possession of Britain: shall he therefore be owned. This cursed
principle disposes men for popery, and contributes to strengthen popery
and tyranny both on the stage, to the vacating of all the promises of
their dispossession. 9. That which would justify a damnable sin, and
make it a ground of a duty, cannot be owned; but this fancy of owning a
very power in possession would justify a damnable sin and make it the
ground of a duty; for, resistance to the powers ordained of God is a
damnable sin, Rom. xiii. 2. But the resisters having success in
providence, may come to the possession of the power, by expelling the
just occupant; and, by this opinion, that possession would be ground for
the duty of subjection for conscience sake. 10. If a self-created
dignity be null and not to be owned, than a mere possessory is not to be
owned; but the former is true: as Christ saith, John viii. 54. If I
honour myself my honour is nothing. 11. That which God hath disallowed
possession without right, Ezek. xxi. 27. I will overturn, overturn,
overturn it, until he come whose right it is, Hos. viii. 4. They have
set up kings and not by me, Matth. xxvi. 52. All they that take the
sword shall perish with the sword; by this the usurper of the sword is
differenced from the true owner. 12. Many scripture examples confute
this; shewing that the possession may be in one, and the power with
right in another.

David was the magistrate, and yet Absalom possessed the place, 2 Sam.
xv. xvi. xvii. xviii. xix. chap. Sheba also made a revolt and usurped
the possession in a great part, and yet David was king, 2 Sam. xx. 2.
Adonijah got the start in respect of possession, exalting himself
saying, I will be king: yet the kingdom was Solomon's from the Lord, 1
Kings 1. The house of Ahaziah had not power to keep still the kingdom, 2
Chron. xxii. 9. and Athaliah took the possession of it, yet the people
set up Joash, xxiii. 3. Next we have many examples of such who have
invaded the possessor, witness Jehoram and Jehoshaphat's expedition
against Mesha, king of Moab, Elisha being in the expedition, 2 Kings,
iii. 4, 5. Hence we see the first pretence removed.

The second is no better; which Augustine calls Magnum Latrocinium, a
great robbery; I mean conquest, or a power of the sword gotten by the
sword; which, that it can give no right to be owned, I prove That which
can give no signification of God's approving will, cannot give a title
to be owned: but mere conquest can give no signification of God's
approving will, as is just now proven about possession: for then the
Lord should have approven all the unjust conquests that have been in the
world. 2. Either conquest as conquest must be owned, as a just title to
the crown, and so the Ammonites, Moabites, Philistines, &c. prevailing
over God's people for a time, must have reigned by right, or as a just
conquest. In this case, conquest is only a mean to the conquerors
seizing and holding that power, which the state of the war entitled him
unto; and this ingress into authority over the conquered, is not
grounded on conquest but on justice, and not at all privative, but
inclusive of the consent of the people; and then it may be owned; but
without a compact, upon conditions of securing religion and liberty, and
posterity, cannot be subjected without their content; for whatever just
quarrel the conqueror had with the present generation, he could have
none with the posterity, the father can have no power to resign the
liberty of the children. 3. A king as king, and by virtue of his royal
office, must be owned to be a father, tutor, protector, shepherd, and
patron of the people; but a mere conqueror, without consent cannot be
owned as such.

Can he be a father and a patron to us against our will, by the sole
power of the sword? A father to these that are unwilling to be sons? An
head over such as will not be members? And a defender thro' violence? 4.
A king, as such, is a special gift of God, and blessing, not a judgment:
but a conqueror, as such, is not a blessing, but a judgment, his native
end being not peace, but fire and sword. 5. That which hath nothing of
a king in it, cannot be owned to make a king; but conquest hath nothing
of a king in it: for it hath nothing but violence and force, nothing but
what the bloodiest villain that was never a king may have, nothing of
God's approving and regulating will, nothing of institution or
constition; and a plain repugnancy to the ordination of God, for God
hath said, Thou shalt not kill; conquest says, I will kill, and prosper,
and reign. 6. A lawful call to a lawful office may not be resisted; but
a call to conquest, which is nothing but ambition or revenge, ought to
be resisted; because not of God's preceptive will, otherwise he should
be the author of sin. 7. That power which we must own to be the
ordinance of God, must not be resisted, Rom. xiii. 2.

But conquest may be resisted in defence of our king and country:
therefore it must not be owned to be the ordinance of God. 8. That which
God condemns in his word, cannot be owned; but dominion by the sword God
condemns in his word, Ezek. xxxii. 26. "Ye stand upon the sword,----and
shall possess the land," Amos vi. 13. "Ye rejoice in a thing of naught,
which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?" Habbak.
ii. 5, 6.----"Wo to him that encreaseth that which is not his, how
long," &c. 9. We have many examples of invading conquerors; as Abraham,
for the rescue of Lot, pursued the conquering kings unto Dan, Gen. iv.
4. "Jonathan smote a garrison of the conquering Philistines," 1 Sam.
xiii. 3. The Lord owning and authorising them so to do. The people did
often shake off the yoke of their conquerors in the history of the
judges: but this they might not do to their lawful rulers. What is
objected from the Lord's people conquering Canaan, &c. is no argument
for conquest: for he, to whom belongs the earth and its fulness,
disponed to Israel the land of Canaan for their inheritance, and
ordained that they should get the possession thereof by conquest; it
followeth not therefore, that kings now, wanting any word of promise, or
divine grant to any lands, may ascend to the thrones of other kingdoms
than their own, by no better title than the bloody sword. See Lex Rex,
quest. 12. The third pretence of hereditary succession remains to be
removed; which may be thus disproven, 1. This classes with the former,
though commonly asserted by royalists.

For either conquest gives a right, or it does not; if it does, then it
looses all allegiance to the heirs of the crown dispossessed thereby: if
it does not give a right, then no hereditary succession founded upon
conquest can have any right, being founded upon that which hath no
right: and this will shake the most part of hereditary successions that
are now in the world. 2. If hereditary succession have no right but the
people's consent; then of itself it can give none to a man that hath not
that consent; but the former is true. For, it is demanded, how doth the
son or brother succeed? By what right? It must either be by divine
promise; or by the father's will, or it must come by propagation from
the first ruler, by a right of the primogeniture; but none of these can
be. For the first, we have no immediate divine constitution tying the
crown to such a race, as in David's covenant: it will easily be granted,
they fetched not their charter from heaven immediately, as David had it,
a man of many peculiar prerogatives, to whose line the promise was
astricted of the coming of the Messias, and Jacob's prophecy that the
sceptre should not depart from Judah until his coming, Gen. xlix. 10.
was restricted to his family afterwards: wherefore he could say, The
Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father, to be
king over Israel for ever; for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and
of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my
father, he liked me to make me king over Israel; and of all my sons he
hath chosen Solomon, 1 Chron. xxviii. 4, 5. All kings cannot say this;
neither could Saul say it, tho' immediately called of God as well as
David: yet this same promise to David was conditional, if his children
should keep the Lord's ways, 2 Chron. vi. 16. Next, it cannot be said
this comes from the will of the father; for according to the scripture,
no king can make a king, though a king may appoint and design his son
for his successor, as David did Solomon, but the people make him. The
father is some way a cause why his son succeedeth, but he is not the
cause of the royalty conferred upon him by line: for the question will
recur, who made him a king, and his father, and grandfather, till we
come up to the first father? Then, who made him a king? Not himself;
therefore it must be resounded upon the people's choice and
constitution: and who appointed the lineal succession, and tied the
crown to the line, but they? It is then, at the best, the patrimony of
the people, by the fundamental law of the kingdom, conferred upon the
successor by consent.

And generally it is granted, even where the succession is lineal, he
that comes to inherit, he does not succeed by heritage, but by the force
of law; the son then hath not his kingdom from his father, but by law,
which the people made and stand to, as long as it may consist with the
reasons of public advantage, upon which they condescended to establish
such a family over them. Neither can it be said, it is by a right of
primogeniture, propagated from the first ruler; for this must either be
Adam the first of the world or Fergus for example, the first of this
kingdom. It could not come from Adam as a monarch and father of all: for
that behoved to be, either by order of nature, or his voluntary
assignment: it could not be transferred by order of nature; for besides
the difficulty to find out Adam's successor in the universal monarchy,
and the absurdity of fixing it on Cain, (who was a cursed vagabond,
afraid of every man and could not be an universal monarch, yet Adam's
first born.) It will be asked, how this passed from him unto others?
Whether it went by fatherhood to all the sons, fathers to their
posterity? Which would multiply as many commonwealths, as there have
been fathers since: or if it went, by primogeniture, only to the
first-born, that he alone could claim the power which would infer the
necessity of an universal monarchy, without multiplication of

If it was by his voluntary assignment, to whom, and in what proportion,
he pleased; then the universal monarchy died with himself, and so could
not be conveyed at all: for, either he behoved to give each son a share,
to be conveyed downwards to their children in that proportion; or whole
and solid to one: so also the former dilemma recurs, for if the first be
said, it will make as many little kingdoms as there have been sons of
Adam; if the second, the world should be but still one kingdom. But
however it be, this could never be the way that God appointed, either
for raising a magistratical power where it is wanting, or deriving a
right to any in being; considering the multiplication, division,
confusion, and extinction of families that have been. If it be from
Fergus the first of his line; then either it comes from him as a king,
or as a father: not the first, for the reason above hinted: nor as a
father; for a father may defraud his son of the heritage, a king cannot
divide the kingdom among his sons; it must then be length refounded on
the peoples consent. 3. If even where lineal succession is constituted
by law, for eviting the inconveniencies of frequent elections, people
are not tied to admit every first born of that line; then that
birth-right, where there is no more, cannot make a king; but the former
is true; for they are tied only conditionally, so he be qualified, and
have a head to sit at the helm, and not a fool or monster; neither are
they free to admit murderers or idolaters by the laws of God, and of
the land: it is not birth then, but their admission being so qualified,
that makes kings. Hence, 4. That which takes away the peoples
birth-right, given them of God to provide for their liberties in the
fittest government, and that is not to be owned; but to make birth alone
a title to the crown, takes away the peoples birth-right given them of
God of providing for their liberties in the fittest government, fetters
their choice to one destructive to these. Certainly where God hath not
bound the conscience, men may not bind themselves nor their posterity;
but God hath never fettered men to a choice of a government or governing
line; which, contrary to the intention of the oath, may prove
destructive to the ends thereof. Nor can the fathers leave in legacy, by
oath, any chains to fetter the after wits of posterity to a choice
destructive to religion and liberty. Israel was bound, by covenant, not
to destroy the Gibeonites; but if they had risen to cut off Israel, Who
can doubt but they were loosed from that obligation? For to preserve
cut-throats was contrary to the intention of the oath: so when either
monarchy, or the succeeding monarch, proves destructive to the ends of
government, the choice, law, or oath of our fathers, cannot bind us. 5.
If we are tied to the hereditary succession, not for the right the
successor hath by birth, but for our covenanted allegiance to them whose
successor he is; then cannot his birth-right be the ground of our
allegiance, and consequently hereditary succession cannot make a king;
but the former is true; for in hereditary crowns, the first family being
chosen by the suffrages of the people, for that cause the hereditary
successor hath no privilege or prerogative, but from him who was chosen
king: therefore the obligation to the son, being no greater than the
obligation to the father, which is the ground of that, if the father
then was owned only because he was chosen, and qualified for government,
the son cannot be owned for any other cause, but as chosen in him, and
also qualified and admitted with consent. We cannot choose the father as
qualified, and tie ourselves to the successors, be what they will. 6. If
a king be not born heir of a kingdom, then is he not king by birth; but
he is not born heir of a kingdom; for, a mean cannot be born to inherit
the end, the king is but a mean for the kingdom's preservation. If the
kingdom be his, by birth, as an inheritance, why may he not upon
necessary occasions sell his inheritance? But if he sell it, then all
confess he is no more king. 7. If that which makes a king cannot be
transmitted from father to son; then succession, by birth, cannot make a
king; but the former is true. The royal faculty of governing cannot be
transmitted: Solomon asked it from God, he had it not from his father:
nor can he be born to the honour of a king, because not born with either
the gift or honour to be a judge. God maketh high and low, not birth.
Nor can the call and constitution of a king, according to the will of
God, be transferred from father to son, for that cannot be in God's way
without the intervening consent of the people, that cannot make him a
born king. 8. If no dominion can come by nature, as is proven before,
then can no man be a born king: nature and birth cannot give them a
sceptre in their hand, nor kingly majesty, they must have that alone
from God and the people, and may only expect honour from their own good
government: kings (as Plutarch says) must be like dogs that are best
hunters, not these who are born of best dogs. 9. The peculiar
prerogative of Jesus Christ must not be ascribed to any other; but this
is his peculiar prerogative, to be born a king, of whom it might be
truly said, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? And for this end
was he born, who came out of the womb with a crown on his head, which no
creature can bear. 10. In scripture we find that a king was to be so and
so qualified, not a stranger, but a reader of God's word, &c. Deut.
xvii. 15, &c. he was not qualified by naked birth. Hence, if all the
qualifications requisite in an heir cannot make a king qualified
according to the institution of God, then his being heir cannot make him
king: but the first is true, an heir may be an heir without these
qualifications. 11. We find in the scripture, the people were to make
the kings by that law, Deut. xvii. 15. Thou shalt choose him whom the
Lord chooseth: yea, neither Saul nor David were kings, till the people
met to make them: therefore birth never made them kings, even though the
kingdom was tied to David's line. That was only a typical designment by
special promise, because Christ was to come of that line; it was
therefore established in David's family for typical reasons, that cannot
be now alledged. 12. We find in the disposal of government among
brethren, this birth order was not seldom inverted; as when Jacob was
preferred before Esau, Judah before all the elder sons of Jacob, Ephraim
before Manasseh, Solomon before Adonijah. Hence if this gentleman, now
regnant, have no better pretences than these now confuted, we cannot
recognize his right to reign; yea, though this last were valid, yet he
cannot plead it, it being expresly provided in our laws against the
succession of a papist. But there is one grand objection against all
this. The Jews and other nations are commanded to bring their necks
under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and to serve him, and yet he had
no other right to these kingdoms; than the Lord's providential disposal,
because the Lord had "given all these lands into his hand," Jer. xxvii.
6, 7, 12. Ans. 1. He was indeed an unjust usurper, and had no right but
the Lord's providential gift; which sometimes makes "the tabernacles of
robbers prosper, into whose hand God bringeth abundantly, Job xii. 6.
And gives Jacob sometimes for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers, Isa.
xlii. 24. And giveth power to the beast to continue forty and two
months, and to have power over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations,"
Rev. xiii. 5, 7. His tyranny also was very great extensively, in respect
of his oppressions and usurpations by conquest; but it was not so great
intensively, as our robbers and spoilers may be charged with; he was
never such a perverter of all the ends of government, nor a treacherous
overturner of all conditions, he was never a persecutor of the Jewish
religion, he never oppressed them upon that account, nor endeavoured its
extirpation, he never enacted such mischiefs by law. The Lord only made
use of him to bring about the holy ends of the glory of his justice and
wisdom, in which respect alone he is called his servant, as elsewhere
his rod and hammer, having given him a charge against an hypocritical
nation, to trample them down in his holy providence; and accordingly
there was no resistance could prevail, they must be trampled upon, no
help for it; but no subjection was required, acknowledging his
magistratical right by divine ordinance, but only a submissive stooping
to the holy disposal of divine providence; no owning was exacted either
of the equity of that power, or of fealty to the administrator. 2. This
behoved to be a particular command, by positive revelation given at that
time, not binding to others in the like condition; which I refer to the
judgment of the objectors: put the case, and make it run parallel, if
the king of England were in league with the king of France, and breaking
that league, should provoke that aspiring prince, growing potent by many
conquests to discover his designs, make preparations and give out
threatnings for the conquest of England and all Britain; were the people
of England bound to surrender themselves as servants and tributaries to
him for 70 years, or for ever, under pain of destruction, if they should
not? This were one of the most ridiculous inferences that ever was
pleaded; nay, it would make all refusal of subjection to invaders
unlawful. 3. I will draw an argument from this to confirm my plea: for
these commands of subjection to Babylon, were not delivered, until after
the king of Judah had surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar, and entred into
covenant with him to be subject to him, 2 Kings xxiv. chap. in keeping
which covenant the kingdom might have stood, and after he had rebelled
against him, and broken that covenant, "when lo, he had given his hand,"
after which he could "not prosper, or escape, or be delivered," Ezek.
xviii. 14, 15, 18, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 13. Then the commandment came, that
they should disown their own king Zedekiah, now forfeiting his right by
breach of covenant, and be subject to Nebuchadnezzar, whence I argue, if
people are commanded to disown their covenant-breaking rulers, and
subject themselves to conquerors, then I have all I plead for; but the
former is true, by the truth of this objection: therefore also the
latter. There is a 2d Objection from Rom xiii. 1. "Let every soul be
subject to the higher powers, the powers that be are ordained of God;"
yet the Roman emperor, to which they were to be subject, was an usurper.
Ans. It cannot be proven, that the apostle intendeth here the Roman
emperor as the higher power: there were at this time several
competitions for the empire, about which Christians might have their own
scruples whom to own; the apostle does not determine their litigations,
nor interest himself in parties but gives the general standard of God's
ordinance they had to go by. And the best expositors of the place do
alledge, the question and doubt of Christians then was not so much in
whom the supremacy was, as whether Christians were at all bound to obey
civil power, especially Pagan? Which the apostle resolves, in giving
general directions, to obey the ordinance of magistracy, conform to its
original, and as it respects the end for which he had and would set it
up: but no respect is there had to tyrants. 2. It cannot be proven, that
the supreme power then in being was usurped, there being then a supreme
Senate, which was a lawful power; nor that Nero was then an usurper, who
came in by choice and consent, and with the good liking of the people.
3. The text means of lawful powers, not unlawful force, that are
ordained of God by his preceptive will, not merely by his providential
disposal, and of conscientious subjection to magistracy, not to tyranny,
describing and characterizing the powers there, by such qualifications
as tyrants and usurpers are not capable of. But I mind to improve this
text more fully hereafter, to prove the quite contrary to what is here

8. From the right of magistracy, flows the magistratical relation, which
is necessary to have a bottom, before we can build the relative duties
thereon. This brings it under the fifth commandment, which is the rule
of all relative duties between inferiors and superiors, requiring honour
to be given to fathers, masters, husbands, &c. and to rightful
magistrates, who are under such political relations, as do infer the
same duties; and prohibiting not only the omission of these duties, but
also the committing of contrary sins; which may be done, not only by
contrary acts, as dishonouring and rebelling against fathers,
magistrates, &c. but also by performing them to contrary objects, as by
giving the father's due to the father's opposite, and the magistrates
due to tyrants who are their opposites. Certainly this command,
prescribing honour, does regulate to whom it should be given; and must
be understood in a consistency with that duty and character of one that
hath a mind to be an inhabitant of the Lord's "holy hill," Psal. xv. 4.
"In whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but he honoureth them that
fear the Lord." So that we sin against the fifth command, when we honour
them that we are obliged to contemn by another command. Hence I argue,
if owning or honouring of tyrants be a breach of the fifth command, then
we cannot own their authority: but the former is true: therefore the
latter. I prove the assumption: a honouring the vile, to whom no honour
is due, and who stand under no relation of fathers as fathers, is a
breach of the fifth command; but the owning of tyrants authority is a
honouring the vile, to whom no honour is due, and who stand under no
relation of fathers, and is yet a honouring them as fathers: therefore
the owning of tyrants authority is a breach of the fifth command. The
major is clear: for if the honouring of these to whom no honour is due,
were not a breach of the fifth command, that precept could neither be
kept at all or broken at all. It could not be kept at all; for, either
it must oblige us to honour all indefinitely, as fathers, and other
relations, which cannot be; or else it must leave us still in suspense
and ignorance, who shall be the object of our honour; and then it can
never be kept: or finally, it must astrict our honouring to such
definite relations, to whom it is due; and then our transgression of
that restriction shall be a breach of it. Next, if it were not so, it
could not be broken at all: for if prostituting and abusing honour be
not a sin, we cannot sin in the matter of honour at all; for if the
abuse of honour be not a sin, then dishonour also is not a sin: for that
is but an abuse of the duty, which is a sin as well as the omission of
it. And what should make the taking away of honour from the proper
object to be sin, and the giving it to a wrong object to be no sin?
Moreover, if this command do not restrict honour to the proper object,
we shall never know who is the object. How shall we know who is our
father, or what we owe to him, if we may give another his due? The minor
also is manifest: for if tyrants be vile, then no honour is due to them,
according to that, Psal. xv. 4. and yet it is a honouring them as
fathers; if they be owned as magistrates; for magistrates are in a
politic sense fathers; but certain it is, that tyrants are vile, as the
epithets and characters they get in scripture prove. But because, in
contradiction to this, it may be said, though fathers be never so
wicked, yet they are to be honoured, because they are still fathers; and
though matters be never so vile and froward, yet they are to be
subjected unto, 1 Pet. ii. 18-20. and so of other relations, to whom
honour is due by this command; therefore though tyrants be never so
vile, they are to be owned under these relations, because they are the
higher powers in place of eminency, to whom the apostle Paul commands to
yield subjection, Rom. xiii. and Peter to give submission and honour, 1
Pet. ii. 13, 17. Therefore it must be considered, that as the relative
duty of honouring the relations to whom it is due, must not interfere
with the moral duty of contemning the vile, who are not under these
relations; so this general moral of contemning the vile, must not
cassate the obligation of relative duties, but must be understood with a
consistency therewith, without any prejudice to the duty itself. We must
contemn all the vile, that are not under a relation to be honoured, and
these also that are in that relation, in so far as they are vile. But
now tyrants do not come under these relations at all, that are to be
honoured by this command. As for the higher powers that Paul speaks of,
Rom. xiii. they are not those which are higher in force, but higher in
power, not in authority, but in power, not in a celsitude of prevalency,
but in a pre-excellency of dignity; not in the pomp and pride of their
posterity, and possession of the place, but by the virtue and value of
their office, being ordained of God not to be resisted, the ministers of
God for good, terrors to evil doers, to whom honour is due; those are
not tyrants but magistrates. Hence it is a word of the same root which
is rendered authority, or an authorized power, 1 Tim. ii. 2. and from
the same word also comes that supreme, to whom Peter commands subjection
and honour, 1 Pet. ii. 13. Now these he speaks of have the legal
constitution of the people, being the ordinance of man, to be subjected
to for the Lord's sake, and who sends other inferior magistrates for
the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well,
who are to be honoured as kings or lawful magistrates; this cannot be
said of tyrants. But more particularly, to evince that tyrants and
usurpers are not to be honoured according to this command, and that it
is a breach of it so to do; let us go through all these relations of
superiority, that come under the obligation of this command, and we
shall find tyrants and usurpers excluded out of all. First, They cannot
come under the parental relation: we are indeed to esteem kings as
fathers, though not properly, but by way of some analogy, because it is
their office to care for the people, and to be their counsellors, and to
defend them, as fathers do for children: but roaring lions and ranging
bears, as wicked rulers are, Prov. xxviii. 15. cannot be fathers. But
kings cannot properly be owned under this relation, far less tyrants
(with whom the analogy of fathers cannot consist) there being so many
notable disparities betwixt kings and fathers. 1. A father may be a
father to one child; but a king cannot be a king or politic father to
one only, but his correlate must be a community; a tyrant can be a
father to none at all in a politic sense. 2. A father is a father by
generation to all coming out of his loins; a king not so, he doth not
beget them, nor doth their relation flow from that; a tyrant is a
destroyer, not a pro-creator of people. 3. A father is the cause of the
natural being of his children, a king only of the politic well being of
his subjects; but tyrants are the cause of the ill being of both. 4. A
father, once a father, as long as his children live, retains still the
relation, though he turn mad and never so wicked; a king turning mad may
be served as Nebuchadnezzar was, at least all will grant in some cases
the subjects may shake off the king; and if in any case, it is when he
turns tyrant. 5. A father's relation never ceases, whithersoever his
children go; but subjects may change their relation to a king, by coming
under another king in another kingdom; a tyrant will force all lovers
of freedom to leave the kingdom where he domineers. 6. A father's
relation never changes, he can neither change his children, nor they
change their father; but a king may naturalize new subjects, and
subjects may also change their sovereign. Royalists will grant a state
or commonwealth may make a king, and there is great reason sometimes
that a monarchy be turned into a commonwealth; but a tyrant changes
those that are under him, expels the natives, brings in foreigners, and
all good patriots do pant for a change of him every day. 7. A father
hath no power of life and death over his children; a king hath it over
his subjects according to law; a tyrant usurps it over the innocent
against law. 8. A father is not a father by consent of his children; as
a king is by consent of his subjects; a tyrant is neither a father with
it nor without it. 9. A father is not made by the children, as a king is
by his subjects, as was shewed: a tyrant is neither a natural, nor by
compact, but a self created power. 10. A father is not chosen
conditionally upon compact, as a king is by the free suffrages of the
community; a tyrant in this differs from a king that he is not chosen,
and in tyranny from a father. 11. Children wanting a father cannot
choose whom they will to be their father; as subjects wanting a king may
choose whom they will, and what form they please; but though they can,
yet if they be rational, they will never choose a tyrant, nor a
tyrannical form of government. 12. Children cannot restrict their
father's power to what degrees they please; as subjects may limit their
kings, at their first erection; but a tyrant, though he ought, yet he
will not be limited, and if he might, he should be restrained. 13.
Children cannot set bounds how long they will have their fathers to
continue; subjects may condescend upon the time, in making laws how long
such an one shall be their sovereign, during life, or while faultless,
according as the fundamental law is made at first; tyrants ought every
day to be repressed that they should not continue at all. Yet giving and
not granting, that a king were to be owned under the relation of a
father; though every man be bound to own and maintain his father's
parental authority, yet let the case be put, that the father turns a
robber, murderer, an avowed enemy to God and the country, is his person
and authority in that case to be owned, to the dishonour of God, and
hurt and hazard of the country? or ought he not rather to be delivered
up even by the son to justice? Much more then will it follow, that a
king who turns the more dangerous, because the more powerful robber, and
legal murderer, and enemy to God and the country, cannot be owned seeing
the relation between father and son is stronger and stricter as having
another original, than can be betwixt king and subjects, and stands
unremoved as long as he is father, though turning such, they ought to
contribute, (in moral duty, to which their relative duty must cede) that
he should no more be a father, nor no more a living man, when dead by
law. Secondly, They cannot come under the herile or masterly relation,
though analogically also sometimes they are stiled so, and subjects are
called servants, by reason of their subjection, and because it is the
office of kings to command, and subjects to obey, in this there is some
analogy. But kings cannot properly be owned under this relation, as
masters over either persons or goods of subjects, far less tyrants, yea
kings assuming a masterly power turn tyrants. Now that the magistratical
relation is not that of a master, is clear from many disparities and
absurdities, whether we consider the state of hired servants or slaves.
For hired servants, the difference is vast betwixt them and subjects. 1.
The hired servant gets reward for his service, by compact; the subjects
none, but rather gives the royal reward of tribute to the king for his
service; the tyrant exacts it to maintain his tyranny. 2. The hired
servant is maintained by his master; the subjects maintain the king;
the tyrant robs it from them by force. 3. The hired servant bargains
only for a time, and then may leave him; the subject cannot give up his
covenanted allegiance, at that rate and for these reasons as the servant
may his service; a tyrant will make nor keep no such bargain. 4. The
hired servant must have his master's profit mainly before his eyes, and
his own secondarily; but the magistrates power is primarily ordinated to
the public good of the community and only consequentially to the good of
himself. 5. The master hath a greater power over the hired servant, to
make and give out laws to him, which if they be lawful he must obey;
than the king hath over the nation, to which he is the sole lawgiver, as
is shewed. 6. The hired servant's subjection is mercenary and servile;
but the subject's subjection is civil, free, voluntary, liberal, and
loving to a lawful king. Again for slaves, the difference between them
and subjects is great. 1. Slavery, being against nature, rational people
would never choose that life, if they could help it; but they gladly
choose government and governors. 2. Slavery would make their condition
worse than when they had no government, for liberty is always
preferable; neither could people have acted rationally in setting up
government, if to be free of oppression of others they had given
themselves up to slavery, under a master who may do what he pleases with
them. 3. All slaves are either taken in war, or bought with money, or
born in the house where their parents were slaves, as Abraham and
Solomon had of that sort; but subjects are neither captives, nor bought,
nor born slaves.--4. Slavery is not natural, but a penal fruit of sin,
and would never have been if sin had not been; but government is not so,
but natural and necessary. 5. Slaves are not their master's brethren,
subjects are the king's brethren, "over whom he must not lift up
himself," Deut. xvii. 20. 6. Masters might purchase and sell their
slaves, Abimelech took sheep and men servants and gave them unto
Abraham, Gen. xx. 14. Jacob had maid-servants, and men-servants, and
asses, Gen. xxx. 43. no otherwise than other goods, Solomon got to
himself servants and maidens, and servants born in his house, Eccles.
ii. 7. a king cannot do so with his subjects. 7. Princes have not this
power to make the people slaves, neither from God, nor from the people:
from God they have none, but to feed and to lead them, 2 Sam. v. 2. to
rule them so as to feed them, 1 Chron. xi. 2. Psal. lxxviii, 71, 72.
From the people they have no power to make slaves, they can give none
such. 8. Slavery is a curse: it was Canaan's curse to be a servant of
servants, Gen. ix. 25. but to have magistrates is a promised blessing,
Jer. xvii. 25. 9. To be free of slavery is a blessing, as the redemption
from Egypt's bondage is every where called, and the year of redemption
was a jubilee of joy, so the freedom of release every seven years a
great privilege, Jer. xxxiv. 9. but to be free of government is a
judgment, Isa. iii. 4, 5. 'tis threatened, "Israel shall abide without a
king and without a prince;" Hos. iii. 4. In the next place, they cannot
be owned as masters or proprietors over the goods of the subjects;
though in the case of necessity, the king may make use of all goods in
common, for the good of the kingdom; for, 1. The introduction of kings
cannot overturn nature's foundation; by the law of nature property was
given to man, kings cannot rescind that. 2. A man had goods ere ever
there was a king; a king was made only to preserve property, therefore
he cannot take it away. 3. It cannot be supposed that rational people
would choose a king at all, if he had power to turn a great robber to
preserve them from lesser robberies and oppressions; would rational men
give up themselves for a prey to one, that they might be safe from
becoming a prey to others? 4. Then their case should be worse, by
erecting of government, if the prince were proprietor of their goods,
for they had the property themselves before. 5. Then government should
not be a blessing, but a curse, and the magistrate could not be a
minister for good. 6. Kingdoms then should be among the goods of
fortune, which the king might sell and dispone as he pleased. 7. His
place then should not be a function, but a possession. 8. People could
not then, by their removes, or otherwise, change their sovereigns. 9.
Then no man might dispose of his own goods without the king's consent,
by buying or selling, or giving alms; nay, nor pay tribute, for they
cannot do these things except they have of their own. 10. This is the
very character of a tyrant, as described, 1 Sam. viii. 11. "He will take
your sons," Zeph. iii. 3. "Her princes are roaring lions, her judges are
evening wolves." 11. All the threatnings and rebukes of oppression
condemn this, Isa. iii. 14, 15, Ezek. xlv. 9. Mic. iii. 2, 3. Ahab
condemned for taking Naboth's vineyard. 12. Pharaoh had not all the land
of Egypt, till he bought it, Gen. xlii. 20. So the land became Pharaoh's
not otherwise. Yet giving, and not granting that he were really a master
in all these respects; notwithstanding if he turn to pursue me for my
life, because of my fidelity to my master and his both, and will
withdraw me from the service of the supreme universal master, I may
lawfully withdraw myself from his, and disown him for one, when I cannot
serve two masters. Sure he cannot be master of the conscience. Thirdly,
they cannot come under the conjugal relation, though there may be some
proportion between that and subjection to a lawful ruler, because of the
mutual covenant transacted betwixt them; but the tyrant and usurper
cannot pretend to this, who refuse all covenants.

Yet hence it cannot be inferred, that because the wife may not put away
her husband, or renounce him, as he may do her in the case of adultery;
therefore the people cannot disown the king in the case of the
violation of the royal covenant. For the king's power is not at all
properly a husband's power, 1. The wife, by nature, is the weaker
vessel, but the kingdom is not weaker than the king. 2. The wife is
given as an help to the man; but here the man is given as an help to the
common-wealth. 3. The wife cannot limit the husband's power; as subjects
may limit their sovereigns. 4. The wife cannot prescribe the time of her
continuing under him; as subjects may do with their sovereigns. 5. The
wife cannot change her husband; as a kingdom can do their government. 6.
The husband hath not power of life and death; but the sovereign hath it
over malefactors. Yet giving, and not granting, his power were properly
marital: if the case be put, that the man do habitually break the
marriage-covenant, or take another wife, and turn also cruel and
intolerable in compelling his own wife to wickedness; and put the case
also, that she should not get a legal divorce procured, who can doubt
but she can disown him, and leave him? For this case is excepted out of
that command, 1 Cor. vii. 10. Let not the wife depart from her husband,
meaning for mere difference in religion, or other lesser causes; but
adultery doth annul the marriage relation. See Pool's Synopsis critic,
in locum. So when a prince breaks the royal covenant and turns tyrant,
or without any covenant commits a rape upon the common-wealth, that
pretended relation may and must be disowned. Hence, we see, there is no
relation can bring a king or ruler under the object of the duty of the
fifth command, except it be that of a fiduciary patron, or trustee, and
public servant: for we cannot own him properly either to be a father, or
a master, or a husband. Therefore what can remain, but that he must be a
fiduciary servant? Wherefore if he shall either treacherously break his
trust, or presumptuously refuse to be entrusted, upon terms and
conditions to secure and be accountable for, (before God and man)
religion and liberty, we cannot own his usurped authority. That
metaphor which the learned Buchanan uses, de jure regni, of a public and
politic physician, is not a relation different from this of a fiduciary
servant; when he elegantly represents him as entrusted with the
preservation and restoration of the health of the politic body, and
endowed with skill and experience of the laws of his craft. If then he
be orderly called unto this charge, and qualified for it, and discharges
his duty faithfully, he deserves, and we are obliged to give him the
deference of an honoured physician; but if he abuse his calling, and not
observe the rules thereof, and instead of curing, go about wilfully to
kill the body he is entrusted with, he is no more to be owned for a
physician: but for a murderer.

9. If we enquire further into the nature of this relation between a
king, (whose authority is to be owned) and his subjects; we can own it
only as it is reciprocal in respect of superiority and inferiority; that
is, whereby in some respects the king is superior to the people, and in
some respects the people is inferior to him. The king is superior and
supreme as he is called, 1 Pet. ii. 13. In respect of formal
sovereignty, and executive authority, and majestic royal dignity,
resulting from the peoples devolving upon him that power, and
constituting him in that relation over themselves, whereby he is higher
in place and power than they, and in respect of his charge and conduct
is worth ten thousands of the people, 2 Sam. xviii. 3. and there is no
formally regal tribunal higher than his; and though he be lesser than
the whole community, yet he is greater than any one, or all the people
distributively taken; and though he be a royal vassal of the kingdom,
and princely servant of the people; yet he is not their deputy, because
he is really their sovereign, to whom they have made over their power of
governing and protecting themselves irrevocably, except in the case of
tyranny; and in acts of justice, he is not accountable to any, and does
not depend on the people as a deputy.

But, on the other hand, the people is superior to the king, in respect
of their fountain power of sovereignty, that remains radically and
virtually in them, in that they make him their royal servant, and him
rather than another, and limit him to the laws for their own good and
advantage, and though they give to him a politic power for their own
safety; yet they keep a natural power which they cannot retract, the
power of justice to govern righteously, yet it is not so irrevocably
given away to him, but that when he abuseth his power to the destruction
of his subjects, they may wrest a sword out of a mad man's hand, though
it be his own sword, and he hath a just power to use it for good, but
all fiduciary power abused may be repealed. They have not indeed
sovereignty, or power of life and death formally; yet, in respect, they
may constitute a magistrate with laws, which if they violate they must
be in hazard of their lives, they have this power eminently and
virtually. Hence, in respect, that the king's power is, and can be only
fiducial, by way of trust reposed upon him, he is not so superior to the
people, but he may and ought to be accountable to them in case of
tyranny; which is evident from what is said, and now I intend to make it
further appear. But, first, I form the argument thus; we can own no king
that is not accountable to the people: ergo, we cannot own this king. To
clear the connexion of the antecedent and consequent, I add; either he
is accountable to the people, or he is not: if he be accountable to all,
then he is renouncible by a part, when the community is defective as to
their part, it is the interest of a part, that would, but cannot, do
their duty, to give no account to such as they can get no account from
for his maleversations. This is all we crave: if he be not accountable,
then we cannot own him, because all kings are accountable: for these
reasons, 1. The inferior is accountable to the superior; the king is
inferior, the people superior: ergo, the king is accountable to the
people. The proposition is plain; if the king's superiority make the
people accountable to him in case of transgressing the laws; then, why
should not the peoples superiority make the king accountable to them, in
case of transgressing the laws? Especially, seeing the king is inferior
to the laws: because the law restrains him, and from the law he hath
that whereby he is king; the law is inferior to the people, because they
are as it were its parent, and may make or unmake it upon occasion: and
seeing the law is more powerful than the king, and the people more
powerful than the law, we may see before which we may call the king to
answer in judgment, Buchan. jure regni apud Scot. That the king is
inferior to the people is clear on many accounts: for these things which
are institute for others sake, are inferior to those for whose sake they
are required or sought; a horse is inferior to them that use him for
victory; a king is only a mean for the peoples good; a captain is less
than the army, a king is put a captain over the Lord's inheritance, 1
Sam. x. 1. He is but the minister of God for their good, Rom. xiii. 4.
Those who are before the king, and may be a people without him: let the
king be considered either materially as a mortal man, he is then but a
part inferior to the whole; or formally under the reduplication as a
king, he is no more but a royal servant, obliged to spend his life for
the people, to save them out of the hand of their enemies, 2 Sam. xix.
9: A part is inferior to the whole, the king is but a part of the
kingdom: a gift is inferior to them to whom it is given, a king is but a
gift given of God for the peoples good: that which is mortal, and but
accidental, is inferior to that which is eternal, and cannot perish
politically; a king is but mortal, and it is accidental to government
that there be a succession of kings; but the people is eternal, one
generation passeth away, and another generation cometh, Eccl. i. 4.
especially the people of God, the portion of the Lord's inheritance, is
superior to any king, and their ruin of greater moment than all the
kings of the world; for, if the Lord for their sake smite great kings,
and slay famous kings, as Sihon and Og, Psal. cxxxvi. 17,--20. if he
give kings and famous kingdoms for their ransom, Isa. xliii. 3, 4. then
his people must be so much superior than kings, by how much his justice
is active to destroy the one, and his mercy to save the other. All this
proves the people to be superior in dignity; and therefore, even in that
respect, it is frivolous to say, the king cannot be accountable to them,
because so much superior in glory and pomp; for they are superior every
way in excellency; and though it were not so, yet judges may be inferior
in rank considered as men, but they are superior in law over the
greatest as they are judges, to whom far greater than they are

The low and mean condition of them to whom belongs the power of
judgment, does not diminish its dignity; when the king then is judged by
the people, the judgment is of as great dignity as if it were done by a
superior king; for the judgment is the sentence of the law. 2. They are
superior in power: because every constituent cause is superior to the
effect, the people is the constituent cause, the king is the effect, and
hath all its royalty from them, by the conveyance God hath appointed; so
that they need not fetch it from heaven, God gives it by the people, by
whom also his power is limited, and, if need be, diminished from what
they gave his ancestors: hence, if the people constitute and limit the
power they give the king, then they may call him to an account, and
judge him for the abuse of it; but the first is true, as is proven
above: ergo.----The major is undeniable, for sure they may judge their
own creature, and call him to an account for the power they gave him,
when he abuses it, though there be no tribunal formally regal above
him, yet, in the case of tyranny, and violating his trust, there is a
tribunal virtual eminently above him, in them that made him, and reposed
that trust upon him, as is said. 3. The fountain power is superior to
the power derived: the people, though they constitute a king above them,
yet retain the fountain power, he only hath the derived power: certainly
the people must retain more power eminently, than they could give to the
king, for they gave it, and he receives it with limitations; if he turn
mad or incapable, they may put curators or tutors over him; if he be
taken captive, they may appoint another to exercise the power; if he
die, then they may constitute another, with more or less power; so then
if they give away all their power, as a slave selleth his liberty, and
retain no fountain power or radical right, they could not make use of it
to produce any of these acts: they set a king above them only with an
executive power for their good, but the radical power remains in the
people, as in an immortal spring, which they communicate by succession
to this or that mortal man, in the manner and measure they think
expedient; for otherwise, if they gave all their power away, what shall
they reserve to make a new king, if this man die? What if the royal line
surcease, there be no prophets now sent to make kings; and if they have
power in these cases, why not in the case of tyranny? 4. If the king be
accountable by law, for any act of tyranny done against one man, then
much more is he accountable for many against the whole state: but the
former is true; a private man may go to law before the ordinary judges,
for wronging his inheritance, and the king is made accountable for the
wrong done by him. Now, shall the laws be like spiders webs, which hold
flies, but let bigger beasts pass through? Shall sentence be past for
petty wrongs against a man, and none for tyrannizing over religion,
laws, and liberties of the kingdom? Shall none be past against
parricide or fratricide, for killing his brother, murdering the nobles,
and burning cities? Shall petty thieves be hanged for stealing a sheep;
and does the laws of God or man give impunity for robbing a whole
country of the nearest and dearest interests they have, to crowned
heads, for the fancied character of royalty, which thereby is forfeited?
5. If there be judges appointed of God independently, to give out and
execute the judgment of the Lord on all offenders, without exception of
the highest; then the king also must be subject to that judgment; but
there are judges appointed of God independently, to give out and execute
the judgment of the Lord on all offenders, without exception of the
highest. Two things must be here proved; first, that in giving judgment
they do not depend on the king, but are the immediate vicars of God.
Secondly, that the king is not excepted from, but subject to their
judgment, in case he be criminal.

First, They cannot depend upon the king, because they are more necessary
than the king; and it is not left to the king's pleasure whether there
be judges or not. There may be judges without a king, but there can be
no king without judges, nor no justice, but confusion; no man can bear
the people's burden alone, Numb. xi. 14, 17. If they depended on the
king, their power would die with the king; the streams must dry up the
fountain; but that cannot be, for they are not the ministers of the
king, but of the kingdom, whose honour and promotion, though by the
king's external call, yet comes from God, as all honour and promotion
does, Psal. lxxv. 7. The king cannot make judges whom he will, by his
absolute power, he must be tied to that law, Deut. i. 13. To take wise
men and understanding, and known: neither can he make them during
pleasure; for if these qualifications remain, there is no allowance
given for their removal. They are gods, and the children of the most
high, appointed to defend the poor and fatherless, as well as he, Psal.
lxxxii. 3, 6. They are ordained of God for the punishment of evil doers,
in which they must not be resisted, as well as he, Rom. xiii. 1, 2. By
me (saith the Lord) rule--all the judges of the earth, Prov. viii. 16.
To them we must be subject for conscience sake, as being the ministers
of God for good; they must be obeyed for the Lord's sake, as well as the
king; though they are sent of him, yet they judge not for man, but for
the Lord, 2 Chron. xix. 6. hence they sit in his room, and are to act as
if he were on the bench; the king cannot say, the judgment is mine,
because it is the Lord's; neither can he limit their sentence (as he
might, if they were nothing but his deputies) because the judgment is
not his: nor are their consciences subordinate to him, but to the Lord
immediately; otherwise if they were his deputies, depending on him, then
they could neither be admonished, nor condemned for unjust judgment,
because their sentence should neither be righteous nor unrighteous, but
as the king makes it; and all directions to them were capable of this
exception, do not so or so, except the king command you; crush not the
poor, oppress not the fatherless, except the king command you; yea, then
they could not execute any judgment, but with the king's licence, and so
could not be rebuked for their not executing judgment.

Now all this is contrary to scripture, which makes the sentence of the
judges undeclinable, when just, Deut. xvii. 11. The Lord's indignation
is kindled, when he "looks for judgment, and behold oppression, for
righteousness, and behold a cry," Isa. v. 7. Neither will it excuse the
judges to say, the king would have it so; for even they that are
subservient to "write grievousness, to turn aside the needy from
judgment," &c. are under the wo, as well as they that prescribe it, Isa.
x. 1, 2. The Lord is displeased when "judgment is turned away backward,
and judgment stands afar off,"----and when there is no judgment,
whatever be the cause of it, Isa. lix. 14, 15. The Lord threatens he
will be "avenged on the nation," when a man is "not found to execute
judgment," Jer. v. 1, 9. And promises, if they "will execute judgment and
righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the
oppressor," he will give them righteous magistrates, Jer. xxii. 3, 4.
but if they do not, he will send desolation, ibid. He rebukes those that
"turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,"
Amos v. 7. He resents it, when "the law is slacked, and judgment doth
not go forth" freely, without overawing or over-ruling restraint, Hab.
i. 4.

Can these scriptures consist with the judges dependence on the king's
pleasure, in the exercise and execution of their power? therefore, if
they would avoid the Lord's displeasure, they are to give judgment,
though the king should countermand it. Secondly, That the king is not
excepted from their judgment, is also evident from the general commands,
Gen. ix. 6. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be
shed:" there is no exception of kings or dukes here: and we must not
distinguish where the law distinguisheth not, Numb. xxxv. 30, 31. Whoso
killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of
witnesses,--ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer
which is guilty of death, but he shall be surely put to death. What
should hinder then justice to be awarded upon a murdering king? Shall it
be for want of witnesses? It will be easy to adduce thousands. Or, shall
this be satisfaction for his life, that he is a crowned king? The law
saith, there shall be no satisfaction taken. The Lord speaketh to under
judges, Levit. xix. 5. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, thou
shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the
mighty. If kings be not among the mighty, how shall they be classed?
Deut. i. 17. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment, but you shall
hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid of the face
of man, for the judgment is God's. If then no man's face can outdare the
law and judgment of God, then the king's majestic face must not do it;
but as to the demerit of blood, he must be subject as well as another.
It is no argument to say, the Sanhedrim did not punish David for his
murder and adultery; therefore it is not lawful to punish a king for the
same; a reason from not doing is not relevant. David did not punish Joab
for his murder, but authorized it, as also he did Bathsheba's adultery;
will that prove, that murders connived at, or commanded by the king,
shall not be punished? Or that whores of state are not to be called to
an account? Neither will it prove, that a murdering king should not be
punished; that David was not punished, because he got both the sin
pardoned, and his life granted from the Lord, saying to him by the mouth
of the prophet Nathan, Thou shalt not die. But as for the demerit of
that fact, he himself pronounced the sentence out of his own mouth, 2
Sam. xii. 15. "As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing
shall surely die." 'So every king condemned by the law, is condemned by
his own mouth: for the law is the voice of the king. Why then do we so
much weary ourselves concerning a judge, seeing we have the king's own
confession, that is, the law?' Buchanan de jure regni.

And there needs be no other difficulty to find a tribunal for a
murdering king, than to find one for a murderer; for a judgment must
acknowledge but one name, viz. of the crime. If a king then be guilty of
murder, he hath no more the name of a king, but of a murderer, when
brought to judgment; for he is not judged for kingship, but for his
murder; as when a gentleman is judged for robbery, he is not hanged,
neither is he spared, because he is a gentleman, but because he is a
robber. See Buchanan above. 6. If the people's representatives be
superior to the king in judgment, and may execute judgment without him,
and against his will, then they may also seek account of him; for if he
hath no power but from them, and no power without them to act as king,
(no more than the eye or hand hath power to act without the body) then
his power must be inferior, fiduciary, and accountable to them; but the
former is true, the peoples representatives are superior to the king in
judgment, and may execute judgment without him, and against his will. In
scripture we find the power of the elders and heads of the people was
very great, and in many cases superior to the king; which the learned
Dr. Owen demonstrates in his preliminary exercitations on the epistle to
the Hebrews, and proves out of the Rabbins, that the kings of the Jews
might have been called to an account, and punished for transgressing of
the law. But in the scripture we find, (1.) They had a power of judgment
with the supreme magistrate in matters of religion, justice and
government. Hamor and Shechem would not make a covenant with Jacob's
sons, without the consent of the men of the city, Gen. xxxiv. 20. David
behoved to consult with the captains of thousands, and every leader, if
it seemeth good to bring again the ark of God, 1 Chron. xiii. 1, 2, 3.
So also Solomon could not do it without them, 1 Kings viii. 1. Ahab
could not make peace with Benhadad against the consent of the people, 1
Kings xx. 8. The men of Ephraim complain that Jephthah, the supreme
magistrate, had gone to war against the children of Ammon without them,
and threatned to burn his house with fire, which he only excuses by the
law of necessity, Judges xii. 1, 2, 3. The seventy elders are appointed
of God, not to be the advisers only and helpers of Moses, but to bear a
part of the burden of ruling and governing the people, that Moses might
be eased, Numb. xi. 14, 17. Moses upon his sole pleasure, had not power
to restrain them in the exercise of judgment given of God.

They were not the magistrate's depending deputies, but in the act of
judging, they were independent, and their consciences as immediately
subjected to God as the superior magistrate, who was to add his
approbative suffrage to their actings, but not his directive nor
imperative suffrage of absolute pleasure, but only according to the law;
he might command them to do their duty, but he could do nothing without
them. (2.) They had power, not derived from the prince at all, even a
power of life and death. The rebellious son was to be brought to the
elders of the city, who had power to stone him, Deut. xxi. 18, 24. They
had power to punish adultery with death, Deut. xxii. 21. They had power
to cognosce whom to admit into, and whom to seclude from the cities of
refuge: so that if the king had commanded to take the life of an
innocent man, they were not to deliver him, Josh. xx. throughout. But
besides the elders of cities, there were the elders and heads of the
people, who had judicial power to cognosce on all criminal matters, even
when Joshua was judge in Israel we find they assumed this power, to
judge of that matter of the two tribes and the half, Josh. xxii. 30. And
they had power to make kings, as Saul and David, as was shewed: and it
must needs follow, they had power to unmake them in case of tyranny.
(3.) They had power to conveen, even without the indiction of the ruler,
as in that, Josh. xxii. They conveen without him; and without advice or
knowledge of Samuel, the ruler, they conveen to ask a king, 1 Sam. viii.
And without any head or superior, they conveen and make David king,
notwithstanding of Ishbosheth's hereditary right. Without and against
tyrannous Athaliah's consent, they conveen and make Joash king, and
cared not for her Treason, treason, 2 Kings xi. But now the king alone
challenges the prerogative power of calling and dissolving parliaments
as he pleases, and condemns all meetings of estates without his warrant,
which is purely tyrannical; for, in cases of necessity, by the very law
of nature, they may and must conveen. The power is given to the king
only by a positive law, for order's sake; but otherwise, they have an
intrinsical power to assemble themselves. All the forecited commands,
admonitions, and certifications, to execute judgment, must necessarily
involve and imply a power to conveen, without which they could not be in
a capacity for it: not only unjust judgment, but no judgment, in a time
when truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter, is charged
as the sin of the state; therefore they must conveen to prevent this
sin, and the wrath of God for it: God hath committed the keeping of the
commonwealth, not to the king's only, but also to the people's
representatives and heads. And if the king have power to break up all
conventions of this nature, then he hath power to hinder judgement to
proceed, which the Lord commands: and this would be an excuse, when God
threatens vengeance for it. We would not execute judgment, because the
king forbade us. Yet many of these forementioned reproofs, threatnings,
and certifications were given, in the time of tyrannous and idolatrous
kings, who, no doubt, would inhibit and discharge the doing of their
duty; yet we see that was no excuse, but the Lord denounces wrath for
the omission. (4.) They had power to execute judgment against the will
of the prince. Samuel killed Agag against Saul's will, but according to
the command of God, 1 Sam. xv. 32. Against Ahab's will and mind Elijah
caused kill the priests of Baal, according to God's express law, 1 Kings
xviii. 40. It is true it was extraordinary, but no otherwise than it is
this day; when there is no magistrate that will execute the judgment of
the Lord, then they who have power to make the magistrate, may and ought
to execute it, when wicked men make the law of God of none effect. So
the princes of Judah had power, against the king's will, to put Jeremiah
to death, which the king supposes, when he directs him what to say to
them, Jer. xxxviii. 25. They had really such a power, though in
Jeremiah's case it would have been wickedly perverted. See Lex Rex, q.
19, 20. (5.) They had a power to execute judgment upon the king himself,
as in the case of Amaziah and Uzziah, as shall be cleared afterwards. I
conclude with repeating the argument: if the king be accountable,
whensover this account shall be taken, we are confident our disowning
him for the present will be justified, and all will be obliged to
imitate it: if he be not, then we cannot own his authority, that so
presumptuously exalts himself above the people.

10. If we will further consider the nature of magistracy, it will appear
what authority can conscientiously be owned, to wit, that which is
power, not authorised power, not might or force; moral power, not merely
natural. There is a great difference betwixt these two: natural power is
common to brutes, moral power is peculiar to men; natural power is more
in the subjects, because they have more strength and force; moral power
is in the magistrate, they can never meet adequately in the same
subject; natural power can, moral only may warrantably exercise rule;
natural power is opposed to impotency and weakness, moral to illicitness
or unlawfulness; natural power consists in strength, moral in
righteousness; natural power may be in a rout of rogues making an
uproar, moral only in the rulers; they cannot be distinguished by their
acts, but by the principle from which the acts proceed; in the one from
mere force, in the other from authority. The principle of natural power
is its own might and will, and the end only self; moral hath its rise
from positive constitution, and its end is public safety. The strength
of natural power lies in the sword, whereby its might gives law; the
strength of moral power is in its word, whereby reason gives law, unto
which the sword is added for punishment of contraveeners: natural power
takes the sword, Matth. xxvi. 52. Moral bears the sword, Rom. xiii. 4.
In natural power the sword is the cause; in moral it is only the
consequent of authority; in natural power the sword legitimates the
sceptre; in moral the sceptre legitimates the sword: the sword of the
natural is only backed with metal, the sword of the moral power is
backed with God's warrant: natural power involves men in passive
subjection, as a traveller is made to yield to a robber; moral power
reduces to conscientious subordination. Hence the power that is only
natural, not moral authority, not power, cannot be owned; but the power
of a tyrant's and usurper's is only natural, not moral, authority, not
power: Ergo it cannot be owned. The major cannot be denied; for it is
only the moral power that is ordained of God, unto which we must be
subject for conscience sake. The minor also; for the power of tyrants is
not moral, because not authorized, nor warranted, or ordained of God by
his preceptive ordinance, and therefore no lawful magistratical power.
For the clearer understanding of this, let it be observed, there are
four things required to the making of a moral or lawful power; the
matter of it must be lawful, the person lawful, the title lawful, and
the use lawful. 1. The matter of it, about which it is exerted, or the
work to be done by it, must be lawful and warranted by God: and if it be
unlawful it destroys its moral being. As the pope's power, in dispensing
with divine laws, is null and no moral power; and so also the king's
power, in dispensing with both divine and human laws is null. Hence that
power, which is, in regard of matter unlawful, and never warranted by
God, cannot be owned; but absolute power, which is the power of tyrants
and usurpers, (and particularly of this of ours) is in regard of matter
unlawful, and never warranted by God: Ergo--2. The person holding the
power must be such as not only is capable of, but competent to the
tenure of it, and to whom the holding of it is allowed; and if it be
prohibited, it evacuates the morality of the power. Korah and his
company arrogated to themselves the office of the priesthood, this power
was prohibited to them, their power then was a nullity. As therefore a
person that should not be a minister, when he usurps that office is no
minister; so a person that should not be a magistrate, when he usurps
that office, is no magistrate. Hence, a person that is incapable and
incompetent for government cannot be owned for a governor; but the duke
of York is such a person, not only not qualified as the word of God
requires a magistrate to be, but by the laws of the land declared
incapable of rule, because he is a papist, a murderer, an adulterer, &c.
5. There must be a moral power, a lawful title and investiture, as is
shewed above; which, if it be wanting, the power is null, and the person
but a scenical king, like John of Leyden. This is essentially necessary
to the being of a magistrate; which only properly distinguishes him from
a private man; for when a person becomes a magistrate, what is the
change that is wrought in him? what new habit or endowment is produced
in him? he hath no more natural power than he had before, only now he
hath the moral power, right and authority to rule, legally impowering
him to govern. Let it be considered, what makes a subordinate
magistrate, whom we own as such; it must be only his commission from a
superior power, otherwise we reject him; if one come to us of his own
head, taking upon him the stile and office of a bailiff, sheriff or
judge, and command our persons, demand our purses, or exact our oaths;
we think we may deny him, not taking ourselves to owe him any
subjection, not owning any bond of conscience to him; why? because he
hath no lawful commission. Now, if we require this qualification in the
subordinate, why not in the supreme? Hence, that magistrate, that cannot
produce his legal investiture, cannot be owned; but the duke of York
cannot produce his legal investiture, his admission to the crown upon
oath and compact, and with the consent of the subjects, according to the
laws of the land, as is shewed above: therefore----4. There must also be
the lawful use of the power; which must be not only legal for its
composure, but right for its practice; its course and process in
government must be just, governing according to law, otherwise it is
mere tyranny: for what is government, but the subjecting of the
community to the rule of governors, for peace and order's sake, and the
security of all their precious interests? and for what end was it
ordained, and continued among men, but that the stronger may not
domineer over the weaker? and what is anarchy, but the playing the rex
of the natural power over the moral? Hence, that power which is contrary
to law, evil and tyrannical, can tie none to subjection; but the power
of the king, abused to the destruction of laws, religion and liberties,
giving his power and strength unto the beast, and making war with the
Lamb, Rev. xvii. 13, 14. is a power contrary to law, evil and
tyrannical: therefore it can tie none to subjection: wickedness by no
imaginable reason can oblige any man. It is objected by some, from Rom.
xiii. 1. There is no power but of God; the usurping power is a power:
therefore it is of God, and consequently we owe subjection to it. Ans.
1. The original reading is not universal, but this: for there is no
power if not from God: which confirms what I plead for, that we are not
to own any authority, if it be not authorized by God.

The words are only relative to higher powers, in a restricted sense and
at most are but indefinite, to be determined according to the matter;
not all power simply, but all lawful power. 2. It is a fallacy from what
is said according to a certain thing, there is no power but of God, that
is no moral power, as universal negatives use to be understood, Heb. v.
4. No man taketh his honour unto himself, but he that is called of God;
which is clear, must not be understood for the negation of the fact, as
if no man at all doth or ever did take unto himself that honour, for
Korah did it, &c. but, no man taketh it warrantably, with a moral right
and God's allowance without God's call: so also the universal
imperative, in that same text, must not be taken absolutely without
restriction; for if every soul without exception were to be subject,
there could be none left to be the higher powers; but it is understood
with restriction to the relation of a subject. So here, no power but of
God, to be understood with restriction to the relation of a lawful
magistrate. It is also to be understood indiscriminately, in reference
to the divers species, sorts and degrees of lawful power, supreme and
subordinate, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, &c. as
Peter expresses it: or whether they be Christian or pagan; it cannot be
meant of all universally, that may pretend to power, and may attain to
prevailing potency; for then by this text, we must subject ourselves to
the papacy now intended to be introduced; and indeed if we subject
ourselves to this papist, the next thing he will require will be that.
3. To the minor proposition, I answer, the usurping power is a power; it
is power, I grant, that it is power, or authority, I deny.

Therefore it is of God by his providence, I concede; by his ordinance, I
deny. Consequently we owe subjection to it, I deny. We may be subject
passively, I grant. Actively, out of conscience, I deny. But some will
object, 2. Though the power be usurped, and so not morally lawful in all
these respects; yet it may do good, its laws and administrations may be
good. Answ. I grant all is good that ends well, and hath a good
beginning. This cannot be good which hath a bad principle, good from the
entire cause. Some government for constitution good, may, in some acts,
be bad; but a government for constitution bad cannot, for the acts it
puts forth, be good. These good acts may be good for matters but
formally they are not good, as done by the usurper: they may be
comparatively good, that is better so than worse; but they cannot be
absolutely, and in a moral sense good: for to make a politic action
good, not only the matter must be warrantable, but the call also. It may
indeed induce subjects to bear and improve to the best, what cannot be
remedied; but cannot oblige to own a magistratical relation.

II. The nature of the power thus discovered, let us see the nature of
that relative duty, which we owe and must own as due to magistrates, and
what sort of owning we must give them; which, to inquire a little into,
will give light to the question. All the duty and deference the Lord
requires of us, towards them whom we must own as magistrates, is
comprehended in these two expressions, honour required in the fifth
command, and subjection required in Rom. xiii. 1. &c. 1 Pet. ii. 13. &c.
Whomsoever then we own as magistrates, we must own honour and subjection
as due to them: and if so be, we cannot, upon a conscientious ground,
give them honour and subjection, we cannot own them as magistrates. The
least deference we can pay to magistrates is subjection, as it is
required in these words; Let every soul be subject to the higher powers,
and, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake.
But this cannot be given to tyrants and usurpers; therefore no deference
can be paid to them at all: and consequently they cannot be owned. That
this subjection, which is required to the higher powers, cannot be owned
to tyrants, will be apparent, if we consider, 1. The subjection required
is orderly subjection to an orderly power, that we be regularly under
him that is regularly above; but usurpation and tyranny is not an
orderly power, orderly placed above us; therefore we cannot be orderly
under it. This is gathered from the original language, where the powers
to be subjected to, are ordained of God and the ordinance of God, and
he that resisteth the power is counter-ordered, or contrary to his
orderly duty; so the duty is to be subject. They are all words coming
from one root, which signifies to order; so that subjection is to be
placed in order under another relative to an orderly superiority; but,
to occupy the seat of dignity unauthorized, is an ataxy, a breaking of
order, and bringing the commonwealth quite out of order. Whereby it may
appear, that, in relation to an arbitrary government, there can be
properly no orderly subjection. 2. The thing itself must import that
relative duty which the fifth command requires; not only a passive
stooping endurance, or a feigned counterfeit submission, but a real
active duty including obedience to lawful commands; and not only so, but
support and maintenance; and that both to the acts of his
administration, and to his standing and keeping his station, assisting
him with all our abilities, both human and Christian; and not only as to
the external acts of duties, but the inward motions of the heart, as
consent, love, reverence, and honour, and all sincere fealty and

But can a subjection of this extent be paid to a tyrant or usurper? Can
we support those we are bound to suppress? Shall we love the ungodly,
and help those that hate the Lord? Can we consent, that we and our
posterity should be slaves? Can we honour them who are vile, and the
vilest of men; how high soever they be exalted? 3. The ground of this
subjection is for conscience sake, not for wrath, that is, so far and so
long as one is constrained by fear, and, to avoid a greater evil, to
stoop to him, but out of conscience of duty, both that of piety to God
who ordained magistracy, and that of equity to him who is his minister
for good, and under pain of damnation if we break this orderly
subjection, Rom. xiii. 2, 5. But can it be imagined, that all this is
due to a tyrant and usurper? Can it be out of conscience, because he is
the Lord's minister for good? The contrary is clear, that he is the
devil's drudge serving his interest: Is resistance to tyrants a damnable
sin? I hope to prove it to be a duty. 4. If subjection to tyrants and
usurpers will inveigle us in their snares, and involve us in their sin
and judgment, then it is not to be owned to them; but the former is
true; therefore the latter. In the foregoing head I drew an argument,
for withdrawing from and disowning the prelatic ministers, from the
hazard of partaking in their sin, and of being obnoxious to their
judgment, because people are often punished for their pastor's sins;
Aaron and his sons polluting themselves, would have brought wrath upon
all the people, Lev. x. 6. because the teachers had transgressed against
the Lord, therefore was Jacob given to the curse, and Israel to
reproaches, Isa. xliii. 27, 28. and all these miseries lamented by the
church, were inflicted for the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities
of her priests, Lam. iv. 13. the reason was, because they owned then,
followed them, countenanced them, complied with them, or connived at
them, or did not hinder, or else disown them. The same argument will
evince the necessity of withdrawing our subjection from, and disowning,
usurping, and tyrannical rulers, when we cannot hinder their wickedness,
nor give any other testimony against them, to avert the wrath of the
Lord. If the defections of ministers will bring on the whole nation
desolacing judgments; then much more have we reason to fear it, when
both magistrates and ministers are involved in, and jointly carrying on,
and caressing and encouraging each other in promoting a woful apostasy
from God: when the heads of the house of Jacob and princes of the house
of Israel, abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. The heads judge for
reward, and the priests teach for hire, and the prophets divine for
money, and yet lean upon the Lord, and say, is not the Lord among us:
none evil can come upon us. Then we can expect nothing, but that Zion
for their sake shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem become heaps,
and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest, Mic.
iii. 9, 11, 12. Certain it is, that subjects have smarted sore for the
sins of their rulers: for Saul's sin, in breaking covenant with the
Gibeonites, the land suffered three years famine, 2 Sam. xxi. 1. and the
wrath of the Lord could not be appeased, till seven of his sons were
hanged up unto the Lord. What then shall appease the wrath of God, for
the unparalleled breach of covenant with God in our days? For David's
sin of numbering the people, 70,000 men died by the pestilence, 2 Sam.
xxiv. 5. For Jeroboam's sin of idolatry, who made Israel to sin, the
Lord threatens to give Israel up, because of the sins of Jeroboam, I
Kings xiv. 16. only they escaped this judgment, who withdrew themselves
and fell into Judah. For Ahab's sin of letting go a man whom the Lord
had appointed to utter destruction, the Lord threatens him, thy life
shall go for his life, and thy people for his people, 1 Kings xx. 42.
Because Manasseh, king of Judah, did many abominations, therefore the
Lord threatened to bring such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that
whosoever heard it, his ears should tingle, &c. 2 Kings xxi. 11, 12. and
notwithstanding of his repentance and the reformation in the days of
Josiah, notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his
great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of
all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal, 2 Kings
xxiii. 26. which was accomplished by the hands of the Chaldeans, in
Jehoiakim's time. Surely, at the commandment of the Lord, came this upon
Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh
according to all that he did, and also for the innocent blood which he
shed,----which the Lord would not pardon, 2 Kings xxiv. 3, 4. And
Jeremiah further threatens, that they should be removed into all
kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh for that which he did in
Jerusalem, Jer. xv. 4. Certainly passages were recorded for our
learning, Rom. xv. 4. and for our examples, to the intent we should not
do as they did, 1 Cor. x. 6. and for our admonition, ver. 11. Whence we
may be admonished, that it is not enough to keep ourselves free of
public sins of rulers; many of those then punished, were free of all
actual accession to them; but they became accessory to, and involved in
the guilt of them, when they did not endeavour to hinder them, and bring
them to condign punishment for them, according to the law of God, which
respecteth not persons; or, at least, because they did not revolt from
them, as Libnah did: there might be other provocations on the peoples
part, no doubt, which the Lord did also punish by these judgments; but
when the Lord specifies the sin of rulers as the particular procuring
cause of the judgment; it were presumption to make it the occasion only
of the Lord's punishing them: for plain it is, if these sins of rulers
had not been committed, which was the ground of the threatening and
execution, the judgment would have been prevented; and if the people had
bestirred themselves as became them, in repressing and restraining such
wickedness, they had not so smarted; and when that sin, so threatened
and punished, was removed, then the judgment itself was removed or
deterred. It is just and necessary, that the subjects, being jointly
included with their rulers in the same bond of fidelity to God, be
liable to be punished for their rebellion and apostacy, when they
continue under the bond of subjection to them. But how deplorable were
our condition, if we should stand obnoxious to divine judgments, for the
atheism, idolatry, murders, and adulteries of our rulers, and yet be
neither authorized nor capacitated to hinder it, nor permitted to
withdraw ourselves from subjection to them? But it is not so; for, the
Lord's making us responsible for their debt, is an impowering us either
to repress their wickedness when he gives us capacity, or at least to
save ourselves harmless from their crimes, by disowning them; that being
the only way of standing no longer accountable for their souls.

12. It remains to consider the ends for which government was institute
by God, and constitute by men; from whence I argue, that government,
that destroys the ends of government, is not to be owned; but tyranny,
and especially this under which we howl, destroys all the ends of
government; therefore it is not to be owned. The minor I prove thus,
That government, that destroys all religion and safety, destroys all the
ends of government; but this popish and arbitrary absolute power,
destroys religion and safety; therefore--it is evident, both from the
laws of nature and revelation, that the ends of government are the glory
of God, and the good of mankind. The first is the glory of God, the
ultimate end of all ordinances; to which whatever is opposite, is not to
be owned by them that fear him: whatever power then is destructive to
religion, and is applied and employed against the glory of the universal
King, and for withdrawing us from our fealty and obedience to him, is
nothing but rebellion against the supreme Lord and Lawgiver, and a
traiterous conspiracy against the Almighty, and therefore not to be
owned: and they are enemies to religion, or strangers to it, who are not
sensible this hath been the design of the present government, at least
these twenty-seven years, to overturn the reformed covenanted religion,
and to introduce popery. Hence, seeing a king at his best and highest
elevation, is only a mean for preserving religion, and for this end only
chosen of the people to be keeper of both tables of the law, he is not
to be regarded, but wholly laid aside, when he not only moves without
his sphere, but his motion infers the ruin of the ends of his erection,
and when he employs all his power for the destruction of the cause of
Christ, and advancement of antichrist, giving his power to the beast; he
is so far from deserving the deference of the power ordained of God,
that he is to be looked upon, and treated as a traitor to God, and
stated enemy to religion and all righteousness. The second end of
government is the good of the people, which is the supreme and cardinal
law; the safety of the people is the supreme law. Which cannot be
denied, if it be considered, 1. For this only the magistrate is
appointed of God to be his minister for the people's good, Rom. xiii. 4.
and they have no goodness but as they conduce to this end: for all the
power they have of God is with this proviso, to promote his people's
prosperity. (It were blasphemy to say, they are his authorised ministers
for their destruction) to which if their conduct degenerate, they
degrade themselves, and so must be disowned. He is therefore, in his
institution, no more than a mean for this end; and himself cannot be
either the whole or half of the end; for then he should be both the end
and the mean of government; and it is contrary to God's mould to have
this for his end, to multiply to himself silver and gold, or lift up
himself above his brethren, Deut. xvii. 17, 20. If therefore he hath any
other end than the good of the people, he cannot be owned as one of
God's moulding, 2. This only is the highest pitch of good princes
ambition, to postpone their own safety to the peoples safety. Moses
desired, rather than the people should be destroyed, that his name
should be razed out of the book of life. And David would rather the
Lord's hand be on him and his father's house, than on the people, that
they should be plagued, 1 Chron. xxi. 17. But he that would seek his own
ambitious ends, with the destruction of the people, hath the spirit of
the devil, and is to be carried towards as one possessed with that
malignant spirit. 3. Originally their power is from the people, from
whom all their dignity is derived, with reserve of their safety, which
is not the donative of kings, nor held by concession from them, nor can
it be resigned or surrendered to the disposal of kings; since God hath
provided, in his universal laws, that no authority make any disposal,
but for the good of the people. This cannot be forfeited by the
usurpation of monarchs, but being always fixed in the essential laws of
government, they may reclaim and recover it when they please. Since then
we cannot alienate our safety, we cannot own that authority which is
inconsistent with it. 4. The attaining this end was the main ground and
motive of peoples deliberating to constitute a government, and to choose
such a form, because they thought it most conducible for their good; and
to admit such persons as fittest instuments for compassing this end; and
to establish such a conveyance, as they thought most contributive for
this end. When therefore princes cease to be what they could be
constitute for, they cease to have an authority to be owned; but ceasing
to answer these ends of government, they cease to be what they could be
constitute for. 5. For no other end were magistrates limited with
conditions, but to bound them, that they might do nothing against the
peoples good and safety.

Whosoever then breaking through all legal limitations, shall become
injurious to the community, lists himself in the number of enemies, and
is only to be looked upon as such. 6. For this end all laws are ratified
or rescinded, as they conduce to this end, which is the soul and reason
of the law: then it is but reason, that the law establishing such a
king, which proves an enemy to this, should be rescinded also. 7.
Contrary to this end no law can be of force; if then, either law or king
be prejudicial to the realm, they are to be abolished. 8. For this end,
in cases of necessity, kings are allowed sometimes to neglect the letter
of the laws, or private interests, for the safety of the community: but
if they neglect the public safety, and make laws for their own
interests, they are no more trustees but traitors. 9. If it were not
for this end, it were more eligible to live in desarts, than to enter
into societies. When therefore a ruler, in direct opposition to the ends
of government, seeks the ruin, not only of religion, but also of the
peoples safety, he must certainly forfeit his right to reign. And what a
vast, as well as innocent number, have, for religion, and their
adherence to their fundamental rights, been ruined, rooted out of their
families possessions, oppressed, persecuted, murdered, and destroyed by
this and the deceased tyrant, all Scotland can tell, and all Europe hath
heard. If ever the ends of government were perverted and subverted in
any place. Britain is the stage where this tragedy has been acted.

13. I may argue from the covenant, that to own this authority is
contrary to all the articles thereof. 1. That authority which overturns
the reformation of religion in doctrine, worship, discipline and
government, which we are sworn to preserve against the common enemies
thereof, in the first article, cannot be owned; but the present
pretended authority overturned (and continues more to overturn) the
reformation of religion, &c. therefore it cannot be owned. For against
what common enemy must we preserve it, if not against him that is the
chief enemy thereof? And how can we own that authority, that is wholly
employed and applied for the destruction of religion? 2. If we are
obliged to extirpate popery, without respect of persons, lest we partake
in other mens sins; then we are obliged to extirpate papists without
respect of persons; and consequently the head of them. (For how
otherwise can popery be extirpated? Or how otherwise can we cleanse the
land of their sins?) But in the 2d article we are obliged to extirpate
popery without respect of persons, lest we partake in others mens sins:
therefore we are obliged to extirpate papists without respect of
persons, and consequently the crowned Jesuit, and therefore cannot own
him: for how can we own him, whom we are bound to exstirpate? 3. If we
be engaged to preserve the rights and liberties of parliaments, and the
liberties of the kingdoms, and the king's authority only in the
preservation and defence of the true religion and liberties of the
kingdoms, then we cannot own his authority, when it is inconsistent
with, opposite to, and destructive of all these precious interests, as
now it is with a witness. But in the 3d article we are engaged to
preserve the rights and privileges of parliaments, and the liberties of
the kingdoms, and the king's authority only in the preservation and
defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdoms: therefore
all allegiance that we can own to any man, must stand perpetually thus
qualified, in defence of religion and liberty; that is, so far as it is
not contrary to religion and liberty, and no further; for if it be
destructive of these, it is null. If we should then own this man, with
this restricted allegiance, and apply into his own authority (as we must
apply it to all authority that we can own) it were to mock God and the
world, and own contradictions: for can we maintain the destroyer of
religion, in defence of religion, and the destroyer of all our rights
and liberties, and all our legal securities for them, in the
preservation of these rights and liberties? That were pure nonsense. 4.
If we be obliged to endeavour, that all incendiaries and malignants, &c.
be brought to condign punishment, then we cannot own the authority of
the head of these incendiaries and malignant enemies; but in the fourth
article, we are obliged to endeavour, that all incendiaries and
malignants, &c. be brought to condign punishment: therefore----The
connexion of the major cannot well be doubted, for is it imaginable,
that the head of that unhallowed party, the great malignant enemy, who
is the spring, and gives life unto all these abominations shall be
exempted from punishment, or owned for a sacred majesty? shall we be
obliged to discover, and bring to justice the little petty malignants,
and this implacably stated enemy to Christ escape with a crown on his
head? Nay, we are by this obliged, if ever we be in case, to bring these
stated enemies to God and the country to condign punishment, from the
highest to the lowest: and this we are to do, as we would have the anger
of the Lord turned away from us, which cannot be, without hanging up
their heads before the Lord against the sun, as was done in the matter
of Peor, Numb. xxv. 4. For hath not he and his accomplices made the
kingdom a curse? and we, with our own consent, have made ourselves
obnoxious to it, if we do not procure, each in our capacities, and
pursue these traitors and rebels, that the judgment of the Lord be
executed upon the accursed. 5. No wilful opposer of peace and union
between the kingdoms is to be owned; but, according to the 5th article,
we are obliged to endeavour, that justice be done upon him: but this man
and his brother have been wilful opposers of peace and union between the
kingdoms, all true peace and union, except an union in confederacy
against the Lord; for they have taken peace from both the kingdoms, and
destroyed and annulled that which was the bond of their union, to wit,
the solemn league and covenant. 6. If we are obliged to assist and
defend all those that enter into this league and covenant, in the
maintaining and pursuing thereof, and never to suffer ourselves to be
divided, to make defection to the contrary part, &c. According to the
6th article then, we must not owt the butcher of our covenanted
brethren, who hath imbrued his hands in their blood, in maintaining and
pursuing thereof, and would have us withdrawn into so detestable a
defection; for we cannot both own him as he requires to be owned, and as
God requires every magistrate to be owned (so as not to resist him under
pain of damnation, Rom. xiii. 2.) and assist our brethren too in
refilling his murders: and our owning of him were a dividing of
ourselves from our brethren that oppose him, into a defection to the
contrary part, whereof he is head and patron. Lastly, In the conclusion,
we are obliged to be humbled for the sins of these kingdoms, and to
amend in a real reformation; whereof this is one to be mourned for, that
after the Lord had delivered us from the yoke of this tyrannical family,
we again joined in amity with the people of these abominations, and took
these serpents into our bosom again, which hath bit us so sore, and
wherewith the Lord hath scourged us severely. And if it was our sin to
engage with them at first, then it is our sin to continue under their
subjection; and is not consistent with that repentance, that the Lord's
contendings call for, to continue owning that power which was our sin to
own at first.

III. In the third place, I promised to confirm my thesis from more
express scripture arguments. Therefore I shall endeavour to gather them
as briefly as may be. 1. From scripture inferences, nearly and natively
consequential. 2. From scripture assertions. 3. From scripture precepts.
4. From scripture practices. 5. From scripture promises. 6. From
scripture threatnings. 7. From scripture prayers.

First, I shall offer some arguments deduced by way of immediate
inference, from the grounds laid before us in scripture about
government: wherein I shall confine my self to these particulars.

1. Let us consider the characters of a magistrate, laid down in
scripture; and we may infer, if tyrants and usurpers are not capable of
these characters, then they cannot be owned for magistrates. For if they
be not magistrates, they cannot be owned as magistrates; but if they be
not capable of the characters of magistrates, they are not magistrates:
Ergo, if they be not capable of the characters of magistrates, they
cannot be owned as magistrates. To find out the characters of
magistrates, we need seek no further than that full place, Rom. xiii.
Which usually is made a magazine of objections against this truth; but I
trust to find store of arguments for it from thence, not repeating many
that have been already deduced therefrom. We find, in this place, many
characters of a magistrate, that are all incompatible with a tyrant or
usurper. 1. He is the higher power, verse 1. Authorities supereminent,
signifying such a pre-excellency as draweth towards it a recognition of
honour; but this is not competent to tyrants and usurpers; for they are
the vilest of men, let them be never so high exalted, Psal. xii. last
verse, and if they be vile then they are to be contemned, Psal. xv. 4.
and no more to be regarded than Herod was by Christ, when he called him
a fox, Luke xiii. 32. But more particularly, let us consider what is the
highness, or dignity of magistrates, set forth in scripture. They are
stiled gods, not to be reviled, Exod. xxii. 28. among whom God judgeth,
Psal. lxxxii. 1. so called, because the word of God came unto them, John
x. 35. But tyrants are rather devils, as one of them is called Lucifer,
Isa. xiv. 12. and they that persecute and imprison the people of God,
because actuated by the devil, and acting for him, do bear his name,
Rev. ii. 10. They are devils that cast the Lord's witnesses into prison.
The magistrate's judgment is God's judgment, Deut. i. 17. because it is
not for man, but for the Lord, 2 Chron. xix. 6. and therefore Solomon is
said to have sat on the throne of the Lord, 1 Chron. xxix. 23. But it
were blasphemy to say, That tyrants judgment, usurping the place without
his warrant, and giving forth judgment against his laws, and cause, and
people, is the Lord's judgment, or for him, or that they sit on the
throne of the Lord. A throne of iniquity is not the throne of the Lord,
for he hath no fellowship with it; the tyrant's throne is a throne of
iniquity, Psal. xciv. 20. Magistrates are truly to be subjected to and
obeyed, as principalities and powers, Tit. iii. 1. it is a sin to speak
evil of them, verse 2. for it is presumption to despise dominion, and
speak evil of dignities, 2 Pet. ii. 10. Jude 8. But tyrants are very
catechrestically and abusively principalities and powers, no otherwise
then the devils are so termed, Eph. vi. 12. and there is no argument to
own or obey the one more than the other: for if all principalities and
powers are to be subjected to and owned, then also the devil must, who
gets the same title. To speak truth of tyrants indignities, cannot be a
speaking evil of dignities; for truth is no evil, nor is tyranny a
dignity. Hence they that are not capable of the dignity of rulers, as
these places prove: Ergo----Against this it is objected. That Paul did
apply this character to the tyrannical high priest Ananias, whom, after
he had objurated for manifest injustice, he honours with that apology,
that he wist not that he was the high priest, for it is written, thou
shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people, Acts xxiii. 5. Ans.
Though all should be granted that is in this objection, yet our argument
would not be enervated: for grant we should not speak evil of tyrants,
that does not evince that we should hold them us rulers; for we should
bless our persecutors, Rom. x. 14. and speak evil of no man, Tit. iii.
2. that does not say, We should hold every man, or our persecutors, to
be rulers. The meaning must be, he knew not that he was the high-priest;
that is, he did not acknowledge him to be either high priest or ruler,
he could acknowledge or observe nothing like one of that character in
him: for as the high-priest's office was now null and ceased, so this
Ananias was only an usurper of the office, in place of Ismael and
Joseph, who had purchased it by money: and Paul had learned from his
master Gamaliel, Tit. Talmud. of the Sanhedrim. That a judge who hath
given money for purchasing this honour, is neither a judge, nor to be
honoured as such, but to be held in place of an ass. And it was common
among the Jews to say, If such be gods, they are silver gods, not to be
honoured, as is quoted by Pool's synopsis criticorum, &c. on the same
place. And that this must be the sense of it is plain; for he could not
be ignorant that he was there in place of a judge, being called before
him, and smitten by him authoritatively, whom therefore he did threaten
with the judgment of God; it were wicked to think, that he would retract
that threatning which he pronounced by the Spirit of God. And therefore
this place confirms my thesis: if a tyrannical judge, acting contrary to
law, is not to be known or acknowledged to be a ruler, but upbraided as
a whited wall; then a tyrant is not to be known or acknowledged as such;
but the former is true, from this place: therefore also the latter. Paul
knew well enough he was a judge, and knew well enough what was his duty
to a judge, that he should not be reviled; but he would not acknowledge
this priest to be a judge, or retract his threatning against him.

2. He is of God, and ordained of God; I proved before, tyrants are not
capable of this; yea, it were blasphemy to say, They are authorized, or
ordained of God, by his preceptive will. Hence, take only this argument.
All rulers that we must own are ordained of God, do reign, and are set
up by God, Prov. viii, 15. (for that and this place are parallel) but
tyrants do not reign, nor are set up by God, Hos. viii. 4. They are set
up (saith the Lord) but not by me: Ergo, we cannot own them to be
ordained of God. 3. Whosoever resisteth this power ordained of God,
resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, shall receive to
themselves damnation, verse 2. This cannot be owned of a tyrant, that it
is a damnable sin to resist him, for it is duty to resist, and also
repress him, as is proven already, and shall be afterwards. Hence,
whatsoever authority we own subjection to, we must not resist it; but we
cannot own that we must not resist this authority: therefore we cannot
own it at all. Again, That cannot be the power not to be resisted,
which is acquired and improved by resisting the ordinance or God; but
the power of usurpers and tyrants is acquired and improved by resisting
the ordinance of God: Ergo, their power cannot be the power not to be
resisted. The major is manifest; for when the apostle says, The
resisting of the power brings damnation to the resister, certainly that
resistance cannot purchase dominion instead of damnation: and if he that
resists in a lesser degree, be under the doom of damnation; then
certainly he that does it in a greater degree, so as to complete it, in
putting himself in place of that power which he resisted, cannot be
free. The minor is also undeniable; for, if usurpers acquire their power
without resistance forcible and sensible, it is because they that defend
the power invaded, are wanting in their duty; but however morally the
tyrant or usurper is always, or in contrary order to a lawful power. 4.
Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil, and they that do
that which is good, shall have praise of the same, verse 3. This is the
character and duty of righteous magistrates, though it be not always
their administration; but an usurper and tyrant is not capable or
susceptible of this character; but, on the contrary, is, and must be a
terror to good works, and a praise to the evil: for he must be a terror
to them that would secure their rights and liberties in opposition to
his encroachments, which is a good work; and he must be a tutor, patron,
and protector of such, as encourage and maintain him in his usurpation
and tyranny, which is an evil work: and if he were a terror to the evil,
then he would be a terror to himself and all his accomplices, which he
cannot be. Therefore, that power which is not capable of the duties of
magistrates, cannot be owned; but the power of tyrants and usurpers is
such: Ergo--We find in scripture the best commentary on this character,
where the duties of a magistrate are described; they must justify the
righteous, and condemn the wicked, Deut. xxvii. 1. They must, as Job
did, deliver the poor that cry, and put on righteousness as a
clothing,----and be eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, and a
father to the poor----and break the jaws of the wicked, Job xxix. 12,
17. Their throne must be established by righteousness, Prov. xvi. 12. A
king sitting on the throne of judgment must scatter away all evil with
his eyes----then mercy and truth will preserve him, and his throne is
upholden by mercy, Prov. xx. 8, 28. But tyrants have a quite contrary
character; the throne of iniquity frames mischief by a law, and condemns
the innocent blood, Psal. xciv. 20, 21. They judge not the fatherless,
neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them, Isa. i. 23. They
build their house by unrighteousness, and their chambers by wrong, and
use their neighbours service without wages, Jer. xxii. 13. They oppress
the poor, and crush the needy, Amos iv. 1. They turn judgment to gall,
and the fruit of righteousness to hemlock, and say, have we not taken
horns to us by our own strength, Amos vi. 12, 13. These contrary
characters cannot consist together. 5. He is the minister of God for
good, verse 4. not by providential commission, as Nebuchadnezzar was,
and tyrants may be eventually, by the Lord making all things turn about
for the good of the church; but he hath a moral commission from God, and
is entrusted by the people, to procure their public and political good
at least.

Now, then tyranny and usurpation, are together inconsistible; for if
tyrants and usurpers were ministers for good, then they would restore
the public and personal rights, and rectify all wrongs done by them; but
then they must surrender their authority, and resign it, or else all
rights cannot be restored, nor wrongs rectified. Hence, these that
cannot be owned as magistrates of God for good, cannot be owned as
magistrates; but tyrants and usurpers, (and in particular this man) are
such as cannot be owned as ministers of God for good: Ergo----Again, if
magistracy be always a blessing, and tyranny and usurpation always a
curse, then they cannot be owned to be the same thing, and the one
cannot be owned to be the other; but magistracy, or the rightful
magistrate, is always a blessing; tyranny and usurpation, or the tyrant
and usurper, always a curse: Ergo----That the former is true, these
scriptures prove it. God provides him for the benefit of his people, 1
Sam. xvi. 1. A just ruler is compared to the light of the morning, when
the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds, 2 Sam. xxiii. 4. So the
Lord exalted David's kingdom, for his people Israel's sake, 2 Sam. v.
12. Because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he Solomon
king, to do judgment and justice, 1 Kings x. 9. When the righteous are
in authority the people rejoice----The king by judgment stablished the
land,----Prov. xxix. 2, 4. The Lord promises magistrates as a special
blessing, Isa. i. 26. Jer. xvii. 25. And therefore their continuance is
to be prayed for, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all
godliness and honesty, 1 Tim. ii. 2. And they must needs be a blessing,
because to have no ruler is a misery: for when Israel had no king, every
man did that which was right in his own eyes, Judges xvii. 6. And the
Lord threatens it as a curse to take away the stay and the staff----the
mighty man, and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, &c. Isa. iii.
1, 2. &c. And that the children of Israel shall abide many days without
a king, and without a prince, Hos. ii. 4. But on the other hand, tyrants
and usurpers are always a curse, and given as such: it is threatened
among the curses of the covenant, that the stranger shall get up above
Israel very high----and that they shall serve their enemies, which the
Lord shall send against them----and he shall put a yoke of iron upon
their neck, until he hath destroyed them, Deut. xxviii. 43, 48. As a
roaring lion and a ranging bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor
people, Prov. xxviii. 15. and therefore, when the wicked beareth rule
the people mourn, Prov. xxix. 2. The Lord threatens it as a curse, that
he will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over
them, Isa. iii. 4. And if unqualified rulers be a curse, much more
tyrants. They are the rod of his anger, and the staff in their hand is
his indignation, his axe, and sawe, and rod, Isa. x. 5, 15. It is one
thing to call a man God's instrument, his rod, axe, sword, or hammer;
another thing to call him God's minister; there is a wide difference
betwixt the instruments of God's providence, and the ministers of his
ordinance; those fulfil his promises only, these do his precepts. Such
kings are given in the Lord's anger, Hos. xiii. 11. therefore they
cannot be owned to be ministers of God for good. 6. He beareth not the
sword in vain, for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute
wrath upon him that doth evil, verse 4. The apostle doth not say, He
that beareth the sword is the ruler, but he is the ruler that beareth
the sword. This is not every sword, for there is the sword of an enemy,
the sword of a robber, the sword of a common traveller; but this as a
faculty of political rule, and authoritative judgment. It is not said,
He takes the sword (as the Lord expresses the usurpation of that power,
Matth. xxvi. 52.) but he beareth the sword, hath it delivered him into
his hand by God, by God's warrant and allowance, not in vain; to no end
or without reason, or without a commission, as Paræus upon the place
expounds it. He is a revenger to execute wrath, not by private revenge,
for that is condemned by Paul before, Rom. xi. 19. not by providential
recompense, for when a private person so revengeth, it is the
providential repayment of God; but as God's minister, by him authorized,
commissionated, and warranted to this work. Now this cannot agree with a
tyrant or usurper, whose sword only legitimates his sceptre, and not his
sceptre his sword, who takes the sword rather than bears, and uses it
without reason or warrant from God, in the execution of his lustful rage
upon him that doth well, and hath no right to it from God. Hence, he
that beareth the sword no other way but as it may be said of a murderer,
cannot be a magistrate bearing the sword; but a tyrant and usurper
beareth the sword no other way but as it may be said of a murderer:
Ergo.----So much for the characters of a magistrate, which are every way
inapplicable to tyrants and usurpers, and as inapplicable to this of
ours as to any in the world.

2. If we consider the scripture resemblances, importing the duty of
magistrates, and the contrary comparisons, holding forth the sin,
vileness, and villainy of tyrants and usurpers; we may infer, that we
cannot own the last to be the first. First, From the benefit they bring
to the commonwealth, magistrates are stiled, 1. Saviours, as Othniel the
son of Kenaz is called, Judges iii. 9. and Jehoahaz in his younger
years, 2 Kings xiii. 5. and all good judges and magistrates, Neh. ix.
27. But tyrants and usurpers cannot be such, for they are destroyers,
whom the Lord promises to make go forth from his people, Isa. xlix. 17.
The Chaldean tyrant is called the destroyer of the Gentiles, Jer. iv. 7.
and the destroyer of the Lord's heritage, Jer. l. 11. where they can no
more be owned to be magistrates, than Abaddon or Apollyon can be owned
to be a saviour. 2. From their paternal love to the people, they are
stiled fathers, and therefore to be honoured according to the fifth
command. So Deborah was raised up a mother in Israel, Judges v. 7. Kings
are nursing fathers by office, Isa. xlix. 23. But that tyrants cannot be
such, I have proved already; for they can no more be accounted fathers,
than he that abuseth or forceth our mother. 3. From the protection and
shelter that people find under their conduct, they are called shields,
Psal. xlvii. ult. The princes of the people, the shields of the earth,
belong unto God. But tyrants cannot be such, because they are the
subverters of the earth. 4. From the comfort that attends them, they are
resembled to the morning light, and fruitful showers of rain, 2 Sam.
xxiii. 4. They waited for me, as for the rain, saith Job xxix. 23. But
tyrants cannot be resembled to these, but rather to darkness, and to the
blast of the terrible ones, Isa. xxv. 4. as a storm against the wall. If
darkness cannot be owned to be light, then cannot tyrants be owned to be
magistrates. 5. From their pastoral care and conduct and duty, they are
feeders. The judges of Israel are commanded to feed the Lord's people, 1
Chron. xvii. 6. David was brought to feed Jacob his people, and Israel
his inheritance, Psal. lxxvii. 71. But tyrants are wolves, not
shepherds. 6. By office they are physicians, or healers, Isa. iii. 7.
That tyrants cannot be such, is proven above. Secondly, On the other
hand, the vileness, villainy, and violence of tyrants and usurpers, are
held forth by fit resemblances, being compared to these unclean
creatures. 1. Tyrants are wicked dogs, as they who compass about Christ,
Psal. xxii. 16, 20. Saul is called Dog there, and in that golden psalm,
Psal. lix. 6. Saul and his accomplices watching the house to kill David,
make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 2. They are
pushing bulls, Psal. xxii. 12. and crushing kine of Bashan, that oppress
the poor, Amos iv. 1. They have need then to have their horns cut short.
3. They are roaring lions, that are wicked rulers over the poor people,
Prov. xxviii. 15. Zeph. iii. 3. So Paul calls Nero the lion, out of
whose mouth he was delivered, 2 Tim. iv. 17. 4. They are ranging bears,
Prov. xxvii. 15. So the Persian monarch is emblemized Dan. vii. 5. 5.
They are leviathan, the piercing serpent and dragon, Isa. xxvii. 1. and
have great affinity in name and nature with the apocalyptick dragon. So
also, Isaiah li. 9. the Egyptian tyrant is called dragon and
Nebuchadnezzar swallowed up the church like a dragon, Jer. li. 34. See
also Ezek. xxix. 3. 6. They are wolves, ravening for the prey, Ezek.
xxii. 27. Evening wolves, that gnaw not the bones till the morrow, Zeph.
iii. 3. 7. They are leopards; so the Grecian tyrants are called, Dan.
vii. 6. and antichrist, Rev. xiii. 2. 8. They are foxes; so Christ calls
Herod, Luke xiii. 32. 9. They are devils, who cast the Lord's people
into prison, Rev. ii. 10, 13. Now, can we own all these abominable
creatures to be magistrates? Can these be the fathers we are bound to
honour in the fifth commandment? They must be esteemed sons of dogs and
devils that believe so, and own themselves sons of such fathers.

If we further take notice, how the Spirit of God describes tyranny, as
altogether contradistinct and opposite unto the magistracy he will have
owned; we may infer hence, tyrants and usurpers are not to be owned.
What the government instituted by God among his people was, the
scripture doth both relate in matter of fact, and describes what it
ought to be by right, viz. That according to the institution of God,
magistrates should be established by the constitution of the people, who
were to make them judges and officers in all their gates, that they
might judge the people with just judgment, Deut. xvi. 18. But foreseeing
that people would affect a change of that first form of government, and,
in imitation of their neighbouring nations, would desire a king, and
say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are about me,
Deut. xvii. 14. The Lord, intending high and holy ends by it, chiefly
the procreation of the Messias from a kingly race, did permit the
change, and gave directions how he should be moulded and bounded, that
was to be owned as the magistrate under a monarchical form; to wit, that
he should be chosen of God, and set up by their suffrages, that he
should be a brother, and not a stranger; that he should not multiply
horses, nor wives, nor money, (which are cautions all calculated for
the people's good, and the security of their religion and liberty, and
for precluding and preventing his degeneration into tyranny) and that he
should write a copy of the law in a book, according to that which he
should govern, verse 15. to the end of the chapter, yet the Lord did not
approve the change of the form, which that luxuriant people was long
affecting, and at length obtained: for, long before Saul was made king,
they proffered an hereditary monarchy to Gideon, without the boundaries
God's law required: which that brave captain knowing how derogatory it
was to the authority of God's institution, not to be altered in form or
frame without his order, generally refused, saying, I will not rule over
you, neither shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you,
Judges viii. 23. But his bastard, the first monarch and tyrant in
Israel, Abimelech, by sinistrous means being advanced to be king by the
traiterous Sechemites, Jotham, and other of the godly, disowned him;
which, by the Spirit of God, Jotham describes parabolically
significantly holding out the nature of that tyrannical usurpation,
under the apologue of the trees itching after a king, and the offer
being repudiate by the more generous sort, embraced by the bramble:
signifying, that men of worth and virtue would never have taken upon
them such an arrogant domination, and that such a tyrannical government,
in its nature and tendency, was nothing but an useless, worthless,
sapless, aspiring, scratching, and vexing shadow of a government, under
subjection to which there could be no peace nor safety. But this was
rather a tumultuary interruption than a change of the government; not
being universally either desired or owned; therefore, after that the
Lord restored the pristine form, which continued until, being much
perverted by Samuel's sons, the people unanimously and peremptorily
desired the change thereof, and, whether it were reason or not, would
have a king; as we were fondly set upon one, after we had been delivered
from his father's yoke: and the Lord gave them a king with a curse, and
took him away with a vengeance, Hos. xiii. 11. as he did our Charles II.
Yet he permitted it, but with a protestation against and conviction of
the sin, that thereby they had "rejected the Lord," 1 Sam. viii. 7. and
with a demonstration from heaven, which extorted their own confession,
that they "had added unto all their sins this evil to ask a king," 1
Sam. xii. 17, 18, 19. And to deter and dissuade from such a conclusion,
he appoints the prophet to shew them the "manner of the king" that
should reign over them, 1 Sam. viii. 9. to declare before hand, what
sort of a ruler he would prove, when they got him; to wit, a mere
tyrant, who would take their sons and appoint them for himself, for his
chariots, and for horsemen, and to run before his chariots, and make
them his soldiers, and labourers of the ground, and instrument makers,
and household servants, and he would take their fields and
vineyards--the best of them, and give unto his servants. In a word, to
make all slaves; and that in the end, when this should come to pass,
they should cry out because of their king, but the Lord would not hear
them, ver. 11-18. All which, as it is palpable in itself, so we have
sensibly felt in our experience to be the natural description of
tyranny, but more tolerable than any account of ours would amount to. It
is both foolishly and falsely alledged by royalists or tyrannists, that
here is a grant of uncontroulable absoluteness to kings to tyrannize
over the people without resistance, and that this manner of the king is
in the original Mishphat, which signifies right or law; so that here was
a permissive law given to kings to tyrannize, and to oblige people to
passive obedience, without any remedy but tears; and therefore it was
registered, and laid up before the Lord in a book, 1 Sam. x. 25. But I
answer, 1. If any thing be here granted to kings, it is either by God's
approbation, directing and instructing how they should govern; or it is
only by permission and providential commission to them, to be a plague
to the people for their sin of choosing them, to make them drink as they
have brewed, as sometimes he gave a charge to the Assyrian rod to
trample them down as the mire of the streets: if the first be said, then
a king that does not govern after that manner, and so does not make
people cry out for their oppression, would come short of his duty, and
also behoved to tyrannize and make the people cry out; then a king may
take what he will from his subjects, and be approved of God: this were
blasphemy absurd, for God cannot approve of the sin of oppression. If
the second be said, then it cannot be an universal grant, or otherwise
all kings must be ordained for plagues; and if so, it were better we
wanted such nursing fathers. 2. Though Mishphat signifies right or law,
yet it signifies also, and perhaps no less frequently, manner, course,
or custom: and here it cannot signify the law of God, for all these acts
of tyranny are contrary to the law of God; for to make servants of
subjects is contrary to the law of God, Deut. xvii. 20. Forbidding to
lift up himself so far above his brethren; but this was to deal with
them as a proud Pharaoh; to take so many for chariots and horsemen, is
also contrary to the law, Deut. xvii. 15. "He shall not multiply
horses;" to take their fields and vineyards is mere robbery, contrary to
the moral and judicial law, whereof he was to have always a copy, ver.
18. And contrary to Ezek. xlvi. 18. "The prince shall not take of the
peoples inheritance," &c. This would justify Ahab's taking Naboth's
vineyard, which yet the Lord accounted robbery, and for which tyrants
are called "companions of thieves," Isa. i. 23. and "robbers," Isa.
xlii. 24. into whose hands the Lord sometimes may give his people for a
spoil in judicial providence; but never with his approbation and grant
of right: to make them cry out, is oppression, which the Lord abhors,
Isa. v. 7, 8. And if this be all the remedy, it is none; for it is such
a cry, as the Lord threatens he will not hear. 3. It is false, that this
manner of the Lord was registred in that book mentioned, 1 Sam. x. 25.
for that was the law of the kingdom, accordingly the copy of which the
king was to have for his instruction containing the fundamental laws,
point blank contrary to this which was the manner of the king; there is
a great difference between the manner of the kingdom, which ought to be
observed as law, and the manner of the king, what he would have as lust.
Would Samuel write in a book the rules of tyranny, to teach to oppress,
contrary to the law of God? He says himself, he would only teach both
king and people "the good and the right way," 1 Sam. xii. 23, 25. 4.
Nothing can be more plain, than that this was a mere dissuasive against
seeking; for he protests against this course, and then lays before them
what sort of a king he should be, in a description of many acts of
tyranny; and yet in the end it is said, 1 Sam. vii. 19. "Nevertheless
the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel, and said, Nay, but we
will have a king."

Now, what else was the voice of Samuel, than a dissuasion? I am not here
levelling this argument against monarchy in the abstract, that does not
ly in my road; but I infer from thence, 1. If God was displeased with
this people for asking and owning a king, who was only to become a
tyrant and dissuades from the choice, by a description of his future
tyranny; then certainly he was displeased with them, when they continued
owning, when he was a tyrant indeed, according to that description; but
the former is true, therefore also the latter. The consequence is clear:
for continuing in sin is sin; but continuing in owning that tyrant,
which was their sin at first, was a continuing in sin; therefore----The
minor is confirmed thus: continuing is counteracting the motives of
God's dissuasion, especially when they are sensibly visible, is a
continuing in sin; but their continuing in owning Saul after he became a
tyrant, was a continuing in counteracting the motives of God's
dissuasion, when they were sensibly visible. I do not say, because it
was their sin to ask Saul, therefore it was not lawful to own him, while
he ruled as a magistrate: and so if Charles II. had ruled righteously,
it would not have been sin to own him; but after the Lord uses
dissuasives from a choice of such an one, and these are signally
verified, if it was to make the choice, then it must be sin to keep it.
2. If it was their sin to seek and set up such an one before he was
tyrant, who yet was admitted upon covenant terms, and the manner of it
registred; then much more is it a sin to seek and set up one, after he
declared himself a tyrant, and to admit him without any terms at all, or
for any to consent or give their suffrage to such a deed; but the former
is true, therefore the latter: and consequently, to give our consent to
the erection of the duke of York, by owning his authority, was our sin.
3. If it be a sin to own the manner of the king there described, then it
is a sin to own the pretended authority, which is the exact transumpt of
it; but it is a sin to own the manner of the king there described, or
else it would never have been used as a dissuasive from seeking such a
king. 4. To bring ourselves under such a burden, which the Lord will not
remove, and involve ourselves under such a misery, wherein the Lord will
not hear us, is certainly a sin, ver. 18. But to own or choose such a
king, whose manner is there described, would bring ourselves under such
a burden and misery, wherein the Lord would not hear us: therefore it
were our sin.

4. We may add the necessary qualifications of magistrates, which the
Lord requires to be in all, both superior and inferior: and thence it
may be inferred, that such pretended rulers, who neither have nor can
have these qualifications, and are not to be owned as ministers, who
have no qualifications for such a function. We find their essentially
necessary qualifications particularly described. Jethro's counsel was
God's counsel and command; that rulers must be able men such as fear
God, men of truth, hating covetousness, Exod. xviii. 21. Tyrants and
usurpers have none, nor can have any of these qualifications, except
that they may have ability of force, which is not here meant: but that
they be morally able for the discharge of their duty: surely they cannot
fear God, nor be men of truth; for then they would not be tyrants. It is
God's direction, that the man to be advanced and assumed to rule, must
be a man in whom is the spirit, Numb. xxvii. 18. as is said of Joshua;
what spirit this was, Deut. xxxiv. 9. explains, he was full of the
spirit of wisdom, that is, the spirit of government; not the spirit of
infernal Jesuitical policy, which tyrants may have, but they cannot have
the true regal spirit, but such a spirit as Saul had when he turned
tyrant, an evil spirit from the Lord. Moses saith, They must be wise
men, and understanding, and known among the tribes, Deut. i. 13. for if
they be children or fools, they are plagues and punishments, Isa. iii.
2, 3, 4. &c. not magistrates, who are always blessings. And they must be
known men of integrity, not known to be knaves or fools, as all tyrants
are always. The law of the king is, Deut. xvii. 15. he must be one of
the Lord's chusing. Can tyrants and usurpers be such? No, they are set
up, but not by him, Hos. viii. 4. He must be a brother, and not a
stranger, that is, of the same nation, and of the same religion: for
though infidelity does not make void a magistrate's authority; yet both
by the law of God and man, he ought not to be chosen, who is an enemy to
religion and liberty. Now it were almost treason, to call the tyrant a
brother; and I am sure it is no reason, for he disdains it, being
absolute above all. That good king's testament confirms this, the God of
Israel said, the rock of Israel spake, he that ruleth over men must be
just, ruling in the fear of God, 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. But tyrants and
usurpers cannot be just: for if they should render every one their
right, they would keep none to themselves, but behoved to resign their
robberies in the first place, and then also they must give the law its
course, and that against themselves. These scriptures indeed do not
prove, that all magistrates are in all their administrations so
qualified, nor that none ought to be owned, but such as are so qualified
in all respects. But as they demonstrate what they ought to be, so they
prove, that they cannot be magistrates of God's ordaining, who have none
of these qualifications: but tyrants and usurpers have none of these
qualifications. Much more do they prove, that they cannot be owned to be
magistrates who are not capable of any of these qualifications: but
usurpers are not capable of any or these qualifications. At least they
conclude, in so far as they are not so qualified, they ought not to be
owned, but disowned; but tyrants and usurpers are not so qualified in
any thing: therefore in any thing they are not be owned, but disowned.
For in nothing are they so qualified as the Lord prescribes.

Secondly, I shall offer some reasons from scripture assertions.

1. It is strongly asserted in Elihu's speech to Job, that he that hateth
right should not govern, where he is charging Job with blasphemy, in
accusing God of injustice; of which he vindicates the almighty, in
asserting his sovereignty and absolute dominion, which is inconsistent
with injustice, and shews both that if he be sovereign, he cannot be
unjust: and if he be unjust, he could not be sovereign: which were
horrid blasphemy to deny. And in the demonstration of this, he gives one
maxim in a question, which is equivalent to an universal negative, Job
xxxiv. 17, 18. Shall even he that hateth right govern? And wilt thou
condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, thou art
wicked; and to princes ye are ungodly? In which words, the scope makes
it clear, that if Job made God a hater of right, he should then deny his
government; and if he took upon him to condemn him of injustice, he
should blasphemously deny him to be king of the world. For it is not fit
to say to any king, that he is wicked, or so ungodly, as to be a hater
of right; for that were treason, lese majesty, and in effect a denying
him to be king; much less is it fit to say to him that is King of kings.
Here then it is affirmed, and supposed to hold good of all governors,
that he that hateth right should not govern, or bind, as it is in the
margin; for Habash signifies both to bind and to govern, but all to one
sense; for governors only can bind subjects authoratively, with the
bonds of laws and punishments. I know the following words are alledged
to favour the uncontroulableness and absoluteness of princes, that it is
not fit to say to them, they are wicked. But plain it is, the words do
import treason against lawful kings, whom to call haters of right were
to call their kingship in question; as the scope shews, in that these
words are adduced to justify the sovereignty of God by his justice, and
to confute any indirect charging him with injustice, because that would
derogate from his kingly glory, it being impossible he could be king,
and unjust too. So in some analogy, though every and of injustice do not
unking a prince; yet to call him wicked, that is habitually unjust, and
a hater of justice, were as much as to say, he is no king, which were
intolerable treason against lawful kings. But this is no treason against
tyrants; for truth and law can be no treason: now this is the language
of truth and law, that wicked kings are wicked; and they that are wicked
and ungodly ought to be called so, as Samuel called Saul, and Elijah,
Ahab, &c. However it will hold to be a true maxim, whether we express it
by way of negation or interrogation.

Shall even he that hateth right govern? But are not tyrants and usurpers
haters of right? Shall therefore they govern? I think it must be
answered, they should not govern. If then they should not govern, I
infer, they should not be owned as governors. For if it be their sin to
govern (right or wrong, it is all one case, for they should not govern
at all) then it is our sin to own them in their government: for it is
always a sin to own a man in his sinning.

The royal prophet, or whoever was the penman of that appeal for justice
against tyranny, Psal. xciv. 20. does tacitly assert the same truth, in
that expostulation, shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with
thee, that frameth mischief by a law? Which is as much as if he had
said, the throne of iniquity shall not, no, cannot have fellowship with
God; that is, it cannot be the throne of God that he hath any interest
in, or concern with, by way of approbation: he hath nothing to do with
it, except it be to suffer it a while, till he take vengeance on it in
the end. And shall we have fellowship with that throne, that God hath no
fellowship with, and that is not his throne, but the devil's, as it must
be, if God doth not own it? Much may be argued from hence; but in a
word, a throne which is not of God, nor ordained of God, but rather of
the devil, cannot be owned (for that is the reason of our subjection to
any power, because it is of God, and ordained of God, Rom. xiii. 1. And
that is the great dignity of magistracy, that its throne, is the throne
of God, 1 Chron. xxix. 23.) But a throne of tyranny and usurpation, is a
throne which is not of God, nor ordained of God, but rather of the
devil: Ergo----. The minor is proved: a throne of iniquity, &c. is a
throne which is not of God, nor ordained of God, but rather of the
devil; but a throne of tyranny and usurpation is a throne of iniquity:
Ergo, it is not of God, and so not to be owned.

3. The Lord charges it upon Israel as a transgression of his covenant,
and trespass against his law, that they had set up kings, and not by
him, and had made princes and he knew it not, Hos. viii. 4. and then
taxes them with idolatry, which ordinarily is the consequent of it, as
we have reason to fear will be in our case. He shews there the apostasy
of that people, in changing both the ordinances of the magistracy and of
the ministry, both of the kingdom and of the priesthood, in which two
the safety of that people was founded: so they overturned all the order
of God, and openly declared they would not be governed by the hand of
God, as Calvin upon the place expounds it. Whereas, the Lord had
commanded, if they would set up kings, they should set none up but whom
he choosed, Deut. xvii. 15. yet they had no regard to this, nor
consulted him in their admission of kings, but set them up, and never
let him to wit of it, without his knowledge; that is, without consulting
him, and without his approbation, for it can have no other sense. I
know, it is alledged by several interpreters, that here is meant the
tribes secession from the house of David, and their setting up Jeroboam.
I shall confess that the ten tribes did sin in that erection of
Jeroboam, without respect to the counsel or command of God, without
waiting on the vocation of God, as to the times and manner, and without
covenanting with him for security for their religion and liberty; but
that their secession from David's line, which by no precept or promise
of God they were astricted to, but only conditionally, if his children
should walk in the ways of God, or that their erecting of Jeroboam was
materially their sin, I must deny; and assert, that if Jeroboam had not
turned tyrant and apostate from God (for which they should have rejected
him afterwards, and returned to the good kings of David's line) he would
have been as lawful a king as any in Judah, for he got the kingdom from
the Lord the same way, and upon the same terms that David did, as may be
seen expressly in 1 Kings xi. 38. It must be therefore meant, either
generally of all tyrants whom they would set up without the Lord's mind,
as at first they would have kings on any terms though they should prove
tyrants, as we have seen in Saul's case. Or particularly Omri whom they
set up, but not by the Lord; 1 Kings xvi. 16. And Ahab his son, and
Shallum, Menaham, Pekah, &c. who were all set up by blood and treachery,
the same way that our popish duke is now set up, but not by the Lord,
that is by his approbation. Hence I argue, those kings that are not
owned of God, nor set up by him, must not be owned by us (for we can own
none for kings but those that reign by him, Prov. viii. 15. and are
ordained of him, Rom. xiii. 1.) But tyrants and usurpers are not owned
of God as kings, nor are set up by him: Ergo----Again, if it be a sin to
set up kings, and not by God, then it is a sin to own them when set up:
for, that is a partaking of, and continuing in the sin of that erection,
and hath as much affinity with it, as resetting hath with theft; for if
they be the thieves, they are the resetters who receive them and own

4. The prophet Habakkuk, in his complaint to God of the Chaldean
tyranny, asserts that God hath made righteous, as the fishes of the sea,
as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them, Habak. i. 14. Now
how were they said to be without a ruler, when the Chaldean actually
commanded, and absolutely ruled over them? yea, how can the fishes and
reptiles have no ruler over them? If domineering be ruling, they want
not that; when the weaker are over-mastered by the stronger, and by them
made either to be subject, or to become their prey. But the meaning is,
these creatures have no ruler over them by order of nature: and the Jews
had then no ruler over them by order of law, or ordination from God, or
any that was properly their magistrate by divine institution, or human
orderly constitution.

We see then it is one thing for a people to have an arbitrary or
enthralling tyranny; another to have true magistracy or authority to be
owned over them; without which kingdoms are but as mountains of prey,
and seas of confusion. Hence I argue, if the Jews having the Chaldean
monarch tyrannizing over them, had really no ruler over them, then is a
tyrant and usurper not to be owned for a ruler: but the former is true:
therefore also the latter.

5. Our Saviour Christ delivers this as a commonly received, and a true
maxim, John viii. 54. "He that honoureth himself, his honour is
nothing." The Jews had objected that he had only made himself Messias,
ver. 53. To whom he answers, by way of concession, if it were so indeed,
then his claims were void, if I honour my self, my honour is nothing:
and then claims an undubitable title to his dignity, It is my father
that honoureth me. Here is a twofold honour distinguished, the one real,
the other suppositious and null, the one renounced, the other owned by
Christ, self-honour, and honour which is from God. Hence I argue, a
selfcreated dignity is not to be owned; the authority of tyrants and
usurpers is a self created dignity: Ergo----. This was confirmed above.

Thirdly, I shall offer some other considerations confirming this truth,
from those scriptures which I class among precepts. And these I find of
divers sorts touching this subject.

1. I shew before that the greatest of men, even kings, are not exempted
from punishment, if guilty of capital crimes; for where the law
distinguisheth not, we ought not to distinguish. There is one special
and very peremptory law, given before the law for regulating kings,
which, by that posterior law, was neither abrogated nor limited even as
to kings, Deut. xiii. 6-9. If thy brother (and a king must be a brother,
Deut. xvii. 15.)--entice thee secretly, saying, let us go and serve
other gods--Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him,
neither shall thine eye pity him. How famous Mr. Knox improved this
argument, is shewed in the third period. That which I take notice of
here is only, that kings are not excepted from this law; but if they be
open enticers to idolatry, by force or fraud, persecution or toleration,
as this idolater now reigning is palpably doing, they are obnoxious to a
legal animadversion. As it cannot be supposed, that secret enticers
should be liable to punishment, and not open avouchers of a desire and
design to pervert all the nation to idolatry: that a private perverter
of one man, though never so nearly and dearly related, should be pursued
and brought to condign punishment, and a public subverter of whole
nations, and introducer of a false and blasphemous idolatrous religion,
should escape scot free. Let the punishment inflicted be in a judicial
way, and of what measures it pleases the judge to determine, I shall not
controvert here; only I plead, that idolatrous tyrants are not excepted
from this law: and infer, that if they ought to be punished, they ought
to be deposed; and if they ought to be deposed, they cannot be owned,
when undeniably guilty of this capital crime, as was urged above.

To this I may add that part of that prophetical king's testament; who,
being about to leave the world, under some challenges of
maladministration in his own government, (for which he took himself to
the well ordered everlasting covenant, for pardon and encouragement,)
after he had shewn what rulers should be, he threatens, by antithesis,
tyrannical pretenders, in these severe words, which do also imply a
precept, and a direction how to deal with them, 2 Sam. xxiii. 6, 7. "But
they of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they
cannot be taken with hands, but the man that shall touch them must be
fenced with iron, and the staff of a spear, and they shall be utterly
burnt with fire in the same place." Let these words be understood as a
threatning against all the wicked in general, who are to be quenched as
the fire of thorns; or particularly of the promoters of antichrist's
kingdom, in opposition to Christ's, as some interpreters judge; it will
not weaken, but confirm my argument, if kings who are ringleaders of
that gang be not excepted.

I know some do understand this of rebels against righteous rulers: which
though indeed it be a truth, that they that are such should be so
served, and roughly handled with iron, and the staff of a spear; yet it
is not so consonant to the scope and connexion of this place, shewing
the characters of righteous rulers, and of usurping tyrants, making an
opposition between rulers that are just, ruling in the fear of God, and
those that are rulers of Belial, promising blessing upon the government
of the one, and contempt and rejection to the other, and shewing how
both should be carried towards: neither does it agree with the words
themselves, where the supplement in our translation is redundant; for it
is not in the Hebrew. The sons of Belial, only they of Belial, clearly
relative to the rulers of whom he was speaking before. And indeed the
word Belial, in its etymology is not more applicable to any than to
tyrants; for it comes from beli not, and Hhall above, because they will
have none above them, or from beli not, and Hhol a yoke, because they
cannot suffer a yoke, but cast away the yoke of laws and the yoke of
Christ, saying, Let us burst his bands, &c. Nor is it always agreeable
to truth, to understand it only of rebels against righteous rulers, that
they can never be taken with hands: For as very rarely righteous rulers
have any rebels to be the objects of their rigour and rage; so when
there are any, discreet and wise rulers will find many ways to take and
touch them, and quath or quiet them. But it is always true of tyrants,
for they can never be taken with hands, neither in a friendly manner,
taken by the hand and transacted within any bargain as other men, for
they that would do so, will find them like pricking and jagging briers,
which a man cannot handle without hurt to himself: nor can they be any
other way repressed or restrained, or touched, but by hands fenced with
iron, that is, with the sword of necessity, or axe of justice. And this
is insinuated as duty, so to endeavour to extirpate and eradicate such
thorns, as pester the commonwealth; but if it cannot be done, it must be
duty and wisdom both not to meddle with them, nor own them, no more than
Jotham, who would not subject himself, nor come under the shadow of the
bastard bramble. I confess it is commonly taken as a threatning of the
Lord's judgment against these sons of Belial: And so it is. But it
teacheth also what men are called to, when they have to do with such, to
wit, to take the same course with them as they would to clear the ground
of thorns and briers. And that it is restricted to the Lord's immediate
way of taking them off, is not credible: for, it can have no tolerable
sense to say, they shall be thrust away, because they cannot be taken
with the Lord's hands: neither is there need, that he should be fenced
with iron, &c. And let iron, &c. be taken tropically for the Lord's
sword of vengeance; yet how can it be understood, that he must be fenced
therewith? or that he will thrust them away, as a man must be fenced
against thorns? What defence needs the Lord against tyrants! It is only
then intelligible, that the Lord, in his righteous judgment, will make
use of men and legal means, and of those who cannot take them with
hands, in his judicial procedure against them. Hence I argue, if tyrants
are to be dealt with as thorns, that cannot be taken with hands, but to
be thrust away by violence, then, when we are not in case to thrust them
away, we must let them alone, and not meddle nor make with them, and so
must not own them, for we cannot own them without meddling, and without
being pricked to our hurt; but the former is true: therefore,--Of this
same nature, another threatning confuting the pretence of the prince's
impunity, may be subjoined out of Psal. lxxxii. 6, 7. "I have said, ye
are gods, and all of you are children of the most high, but ye shall die
like men, and fall as one of the princes." From which words the learned
author of the history of the Douglasses, Mr. David Hume of Godscraft, in
his discourse upon Mr. Craig's sermon, upon the words, doth strongly
prove, that the scope is to beat off all kings, princes and rulers, from
the conceit of impunity for their tyrannical dominations; that they must
not think to domineer and do what they list, and overturn the
foundations or fundamental laws of kingdoms, because they are gods; as
if they were thereby uncontroulable, and above all law and punishment:
no, they must know, that if they be guilty of the same transgressions of
the law, as other capital offenders, they shall die like other men, and
fall as princes, who have been formerly punished. It is not to be
restricted to a threatning of mortality; for that is unavoidable,
whether they judge justly or unjustly, and the fear thereof usually hath
little efficacy to deter men from crimes punishable by law: neither can
it be understood only of the Lord's immediate hand taking them away,
exclusive of men's legal punishment; for expressly they are threatned to
die like common men, and to be liable to the like punishment with them:
now, common men are not only liable to the Lord's immediate judgment,
but also to men's punishment. Hence, if tyrants and overturners of the
foundations of the earth must be punished as other men, then when they
are such, they cannot be looked upon as righteous rulers, for
righteous rulers must not be punished; but the former is true:
therefore,--According to these scriptures, which either express or imply
a precept to have no respect to princes in judgment, when turning
criminals, we find examples of the people's punishing Amaziah, &c.
which is recorded without a challenge, and likewise Athaliah.

2. There is a precept given to a humbled people, that have groaned long
under the yoke of tyranny and oppression, enjoining them, as a proof of
their sincerity in humiliation, to bestir themselves in shaking off
those evils they had procured by their sin, Isa. lviii. 6. "Is not this
the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo
the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break
every yoke?" which are all good works of justice and mercy, and more
acceptable to God, than high flown pretences of humiliation, under a
stupid submission, and hanging down the head as a bulrush. We see it
then a duty to relieve the oppressed, and to repress tyranny, and break
its yoke. If it be objected, (1.) That these are spiritual bonds and
yokes, that are here commanded to be loosed and broken; or if any
external be meant, they are only the yokes, of their exactions and
usuries. For Answ. I grant, that it is the great duty of a people
humbling themselves before the Lord, "to break off their sins by
righteousness, and their iniquity, by shewing mercy to the poor," Dan.
iv. 27. but that this is the genuine and only sense of this place,
cannot be proved, or approved by the scope; which is, to press them to
those duties they omitted, whereby the poor oppressed people of God
might be freed from the yokes of them that made them to howl, and to
bring them to the conviction of those sins for which the Lord was
contending with them, whereof this was one, that they exacted all their
labours, or things wherewith others were grieved (as the margin reads)
or suffered the poor to be oppressed. (2.) If it be alledged, that this
is the duty proper to rulers to relieve the oppressed, &c. I answer, it
is so; but not peculiar to them: yet most commonly they are the
oppressors themselves, and cast out the poor, which others must take
into their houses. But the duty here is pressed upon all the people,
whose sins are here cried out against (ver. 1.) upon all who professed
the service of God, and asked the ordinances of justice (ver. 2.) upon
all who were fasting and humbling themselves, and complained they had no
success (ver 3.) the reasons whereof the Lord discovers (ver. 4, 5.)
whereof this was one, that they did not loose those bands, nor break
these yokes, nor relieved the oppressed; and those works of justice
(ver. 6) are pressed upon the same grounds, that the works of mercy are
pressed upon (ver. 7.) sure these are not all, nor only rulers. Hence I
argue, if it be a duty to break every yoke of oppression and tyranny,
then it is a duty to come out from under their subjection; but the
former is true: therefore also the latter.

3. In answer to that grand objection of the Jews subjection to
Nebuchadnezzar, I shewed what little weight or force there is in it. And
here I shall take an argument from that same passage. The Lord commands
his people there, to desert and disown Zedekiah, who was the possessor
of the government at present, and says, it was the way of life to fall
to the Chaldeans, Jer. xxi. 8, 9. which was a falling away from the
present king. Either this commanded subjection to the Chaldeans is an
universal precept; or it is only particular at that time. If it be
universal, obliging people to subject themselves to every conqueror,
then it is also universal, obliging people to renounce and disown every
covenant-breaking tyrant, as here they were to fall away from Zedekiah:
if it be only particular, then the owners of tyranny have no advantage
from this passage. And I have advantage, so far as the ground of the
precept is as moral, as the reason of that punishment of Zedekiah, which
was his perfidy and perjury. Hence, if the Lord hath commanded to disown
a king breaking covenant, then at least it is not insolent or
unprecedented to do so; but here the Lord hath commanded to disown a
king: therefore,--

Fourthly, We may have many confirmations of this truth from scripture
practices approven.

1. I was but hinting before, how that after the death of that brave
captain and judge Gideon, when Abimelech, the son of his whore, did
first aspire into a monarchy, which he persuaded the silly Shechemites
to consent to, by the same argument, which royalists make so much of,
for asserting the necessity of an hereditary monarchy, (whether it is
better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal----reign over you,
or that one reign over you?) and by bloody cruelty did usurp a
monarchical or rather tyrannical throne of domination, founded upon the
blood of his seventy brethren, (as we know, whose throne is founded upon
the blood of all the brethren he had,) Jotham, who escaped, scorned to
put his trust under the shadow of such a bramble, and they that did
submit, found his parable verified, a mutual fire reciprocally consuming
both the usurping king and his traiterous subjects; neither did all the
godly in Israel submit to him. See Pool's Synopsis Critic. on the place,
Jud. ix. Here is one express example of disowning a tyrant and usurper.

2. I shewed before, how, after the period of that theocracy, which the
Lord had maintained and managed for some time in great mercy and majesty
in and over his people, they itching after novelties, and affecting to
be neighbour-like, rejected the Lord in desiring a king; and the Lord
permitting it, gave them a king in wrath, (the true original and only
sanction of tyrannical monarchy,) when the characters of his tyranny,
presaged by Samuel, were verified in his aspiring into a great deal of
absoluteness especially in his cruel persecuting of David, not only the
600 men that were David's followers stood out in opposition to him, but,
in the end, being weary of his government, many brave and valiant men,
whom the Spirit of God commends and describes very honourably, fell off
from Saul, even when he was actually tyrannizing, before he was dead, 1
Chron. xii. 1. &c. They came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept
himself close, because of Saul the son of Kish, (N.B. now he is not
honoured with the name of king,) they were armed with bows, and could
use both the right hand and the left. And of the Gadites, there
separated themselves unto David men of might, fit for the battle, that
could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were as the faces of lions,
ver. 8. And the Spirit came upon Amasai chief of the captains, saying,
thine are we David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse. Here was a
formed revolt from Saul unto David before he was king; for after this he
was made king in Hebron, and there could not be two kings at once. Hence
I argue, if people may separate themselves from, and take part with the
resister, against a tyrant; then they may disown him, (for if they own
him still to be the minister of God, they must not resist him, Rom.
xiii. 2.) But here is an example that many people did separate
themselves from Saul, and took part with the resister David:
therefore----Here two of the first monarchs of Israel were disowned,
Abimelech and Saul.

3. The first hereditary successor was likewise disowned, as was hinted
above likewise. The ten tribes offer to covenant with Rehoboam, in terms
securing their rights and liberties. They desired nothing on the matter,
but that he would engage to rule over them according to the law of God;
to which, when he answered most tyrannically, and avowed he would
tyrannize over them, and oppress them more than any of his predecessors,
they fell away from, and erected themselves into a new commonwealth, 1.
Kings xii. 16. So when Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them,
they answered, what portion have we in David? Neither have we
inheritance in the son of Jesse; to your tents, O Israel; now see to
thine own house David, 2 Chron. x. 16. Now, however the event of this
declared revolt proved sorrowful, when they and their new king made
defection unto idolatry, yet if they had stated and managed it right,
the cause was good, justifiable, and commendable. For, (1.) We find
nothing in all the text condemning this. (2.) On the contrary, it is
expressly said, the cause was from the Lord, that he might perform his
saying, which he spake by Ahijah, 1 Kings xii. 15. 2 Chron. x. 15. And
(3.) When Rehoboam was preparing to pursue his pretended right, he was
reproved and discharged by Shemaiah, ye shall not go up, nor fight
against your brethren, for this thing is from me, 1 Kings xii. 24. 2
Chron. xi. 4. (4.) Whereas it is alledged by some, that this was of God
only by his providence, and not by his ordinance; the contrary will
appear, if we consider how formally and covenant-wise the Lord gave ten
tribes to Jeroboam, 1. Kings xi. 35, 37, 38. "I will take the kingdom
out of his son's hand, and I will give it unto thee, even ten tribes;
and I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy
soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel; and it shall be, if thou
wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and
do that which is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and
commandments, as David my servant did, that I will be with thee, and
build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto

Where we see the kingdom was given unto him on the same terms and
conditions, that it was given to David. He may indeed give kingdoms to
whom he will, by providential grant, as unto Nebuchadnezzar, and others;
but he never gave them a kingdom upon these conditions, and, by way of
covenant, that does always imply and import his word, warrant, and
ordinance. (5.) If we consider the cause of the revolt, we will find it
very just: for after the decease of the former king, they enter upon
terms of a compact with the successor, upon a suspensive condition, to
engage into fealty and allegiance to him as subjects, if he would give
them security for their liberties and privileges. A very lawful,
laudable and necessary transaction, founded upon moral equity, and upon
the fundamental constitutions of that government, and suitable to the
constant practice of their predecessors, in their covenanting with Saul
and David. As for that word, 1 Kings xii. 19. So Israel rebelled against
the house of David: it is no more than in the margin, they fell away or
revolted; and no more to be condemned than Hezekiah's rebellion, 2 Kings
xviii. 7. The Lord was with him, and he rebelled against the king of
Assyria. That was a good rebellion. Hence if it be lawful for a part of
the people to shake off the king, refuse subjection to him, and set up a
new king of their own, when he resolveth to play the tyrant, and rule
them after his own absolute power; then it is a duty, when he actually
plays the tyrant, and by his absolute power overturns laws and religion,
and claims by law such a prerogative; but the former is true:
Ergo----See Jus populi vindic. chap. 3. page 52.

4. This same Jeroboam, when he turned tyrant and idolater, was revolted
from and deserted by the priests and the levites, and after them out of
all the tribes of Israel, by all such as set their heart to seek the
Lord God of Israel; because that king, degenerating into tyranny and
idolatry, had put them from the exercise of their office and religion
(as our Charles did,) and ordained him priests for the devils, and for
the calves: so they returned to Rehoboam, being induced by his
administration of the government, which for a time was better than he
promised, for three years he walked in the ways of David and Solomon, 2
Chron. xi. 13,--17. Hence I argue, if idolatrous tyrants may be
deserted, then they may be disowned abroad, it is the same duty at home,
though may be not the same policy or prudence.

5. Another example of the like nature we have in the reign of Baasha,
who succeeded to Nadab, Jeroboam's son, whom he slew, and reigned in his
stead, (the same way that the duke came to the throne) for he could not
keep his subjects within his kingdom, but behoved to build Ramah, that
he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa, king of Judah, a
good prince, 1 Kings xv. 17. yet that could not hinder them, but many
strangers out of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and Simeon, fell to him in
abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him, 2 Chron.
xv. 9. Hence, if people may choose another king, when they see the Lord
is with him, then they may disown their country king, when they see the
devil is with him.

9. When Jeroboam, the son of Ahab, reigned over Israel, we have an
express example of Elisha's disowning him, 2 Kings iii. 14, 15. And
Elisha said unto the king of Israel, what have I to do with thee?----As
the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I
regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look
towards thee, nor see thee. Here he declares so much contempt of him,
and so little regard, that he disdains him a look.

And if he would not regard him, nor give him honour, then he did not own
him as king; for all kings are to be honoured, that are owned to be
kings really. It may be alledged by some, that Elisha was an
extraordinary man, and this was an extraordinary action, and therefore
not imitable. I shall grant it so far extraordinary, that it is not
usual to carry so to persons of that figure, and that indeed there are
few Elishas now, not only for his prophetic spirit which now is ceased,
but even in respect of his gracious spirit of zeal, which in a great
measure is now extinguished: he was indeed an extraordinary man, and
this action did demonstrate much of the spirit of Elias to have been
abiding with him. But that this was was inimitable, these reasons
induce me to deny, (1.) Prophets were subjects to kings, as well as
others, as Nathan was to David (1 Kings i 32, 33.) every soul must be
subject to the higher powers that are of God. (2.) All the actions of
prophets were not extraordinary, nor did they every thing by
extraordinary inspiration; that was peculiar to Christ, that he could
prophesy, and do extraordinary acts when he pleased, because he received
the spirit not by measure, and it rested upon him. (3.) This particular
action and carriage was before he called for the minstrel, and before
the hand of the Lord came upon him, ver. 15. Ergo, this was not by
inspiration. (4.) The ground of this was moral and ordinary, for hereby
he only shewed himself to be a person fit to abide in the Lord's
tabernacle, and an upright walker, in whose eyes a vile person is
contemned, Psal. xv. 4. And a just man, to whom the unjust is an
abomination, Prov. xxix. 29. What further can be alledged against this
instance, I see not. And I need draw no argument by consequence, it is
so plain.

7. This same Jehoram, after many signal demonstrations of the power of
God exerted in the ministry of his servant Elisha, which sometimes did
extort his acknowledgement, and made him call the prophet his father, 2
Kings vi. 21. yet, when in the strait siege of Samaria, he was plagued
with famine for his idolatry, insomuch that the pitiful mothers were
made to eat their own tender children; became so insolent a tyrant, that
being incensed into a madness of outragious malice against the prophet
Elisha, that he sware, God do so to him, and more also, if the head of
Elisha, the son of Shaphat, should stand on him that day, accordingly he
sent a messenger to execute it. But the prophet, from a principle of
nature, and reason, and law, as well as grace, and by the spirit of a
man as well as of a prophet, stood upon his defence and encouraged those
that were with him to keep out the house against him, saying, see ye how
this son of a murderer (a proper stile for such a monster of a king)
hath sent to take away mine head--2 Kings vi. 32. This is a strong
argument for self defence; but I improve it thus; if tyrants may be
opposed as sons of murderers, and murderers themselves, and no otherwise
to be accounted than under such a vile character, then can they not be
owned as kings; but here is an example for the first: Ergo.--

8. This man's brother in law, of the same name, Jehoram the son of
Jehoshaphat, who had the daughter of Ahab to wife, and therefore walked
in the way of the house of Ahab, gives us another instance. He turned
apostate and tyrant, and Abimelech-like (or if you will, York-like) slew
his brethren, and divers also of the princes of Israel; moreover he made
high places in the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of
Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto: for which
cause of his intolerable insolency in wickedness, Libnah one of the
cities of priests in Judah, revolted from him, 2 Kings viii. 22. because
he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers, 2 Chron. xxi. 10. which was
the motive and impulsive cause of their disowning him, and is not to be
detorted to that restricted cavil of royalists, understanding it only as
the meritorious or procuring cause of his punishment, and loss sustained
thereby; for it is not said of the Edomites, who revolted at the same
time, as it is mentioned in another paragraph; neither of the
Philistines and Arabians, and Ethiopians, whose spirit the Lord stirred
up against him; these were also a punishment to him: nor would it sound
very suitably to be said, that they opposed him, because he had forsaken
the Lord God of his fathers: for that would insinuate some influence
that his apostasy had on them, as certainly it could not but have on the
Lord's priests that dwelt in Libnah, who understood by the law of God,
what was their duty to do with enticers, or drawers or drivers to
idolatry: and when they were not in capacity to execute the judgment of
the Lord, this was the least they could, to revolt. Here then is an
example of a peoples revolt from a prince, and disowning allegiance to
him, because of apostasy and tyranny.

9. In this kingdom of Judah, after long experience of a succession of
hereditary tyranny in many wicked kings, the people, after they had long
smarted for their lazy loyalty, in their stupid abandoning, forgetting
and foregoing this privilege of disowning tyrants, and keeping them in
order, began at length to bestir themselves in their endeavours to
recover their lost liberties, and repress tyrants insolencies on several
occasions; wherein, though sometimes were extravagancies, when
circumstances did mar the justice of the action, and some did go beyond
their sphere in tumultuary precipitations; yet, upon the matter, it was
justice, and in conformity to a moral command. One impregnable witness
of this we have, in the pious plot of Jehoiada the priest, who being but
a subject, as all priests were (as the deposition of Abiathar by king
Solomon, 1 Kings ii. 27. proveth) entered into an association with the
inferior rulers, to choose and make a new king: and notwithstanding that
the idolatress and the tyrant Athaliah, who had the possession of the
government, cried treason, treason at the fact, they had her forth
without the ranges, and slew her, 2 Kings xi. 14, 16. This was according
to the law, Deut. xiii. and approven by all interpreters, even Mr. Pool
in his Synopsis Critic. though otherwise superlatively loyal, yet
approves of this, and says, she was an incurable idolatress, and
therefore deserved to be deposed by the nobles of the kingdom, and
quotes Grotius in loc. saying (she reigned by mere force; for the
Hebrews were to have brethren for their kings, but not sisters, Deut.
xvii. 15.) Hence if tyrants may be forcibly repressed, then may they
peaceably be disowned; but this example confirms that: therefore----

10. The sacred history proceeds in the relation, how this same Joash the
son of Ahaziah, after he degenerated into murdering tyranny, was slain
by Jozachar and Jehozabad, 2 Kings xii. 20, 21. but that was by his own
servants in private assassination: therefore they are called murderers
by Amaziah his son, 2 Kings xiv. 5, 6. but upon the matter it was the
justice of God, which he deserved (if it had been duly execute) for the
blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, 2 Chron. xxiv. 25. So Amon the
son of Manesseh, for his walking in the way of his father in idolatry
and tyranny, and forsaking the Lord God of his fathers, was slain in his
own house by his servants, who conspired against him; but though this
was justice also upon the matter and consonant to the command for
punishing idolaters and murderers, yet because defective in the manner,
and done by them that took too much upon them in a perfidious way of
private assassination and conspiracy, therefore the people of the land
punished them for it, 2 Kings xxi. 23, 24. But the repressing and
punishing of Amaziah is a more unexceptionable instance.

The people made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to
Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there, 2 Kings
xiv. 19. after the time that he turned away from following the Lord, 2
Chron. xxv. 27. which was according to the command, Deut. xiii. which
hath no exception of kings in it. This action was not questioned either
by the people or his successor, as the forementioned conspiracies were.
His son Uzziah succeeding, who did right, and consulted the Lord (2.
Chron. xxvi. 4, 5.) did not resent nor revenge his father's death; which
certainly he would have done, by advice of Zechariah, who had
understanding in the visions of God, if it had been a transgression. The
famous and faithful Mr. Knox doth clear this passage beyond
contradiction in his conference with Lethington. Hence I take an
argument a fortiori, if people may conspire and concur in executing
judgment upon their king turning idolater and tyrant, then much more may
they revolt from him; but this example clears the antecedent: therefore.

11. The fame power and privilege of people's punishing their princes,
was exemplified in the successor of him last mentioned, to wit, in
Uzziah the son of Amaziah, called Azariah, 2 Kings xv. when he
degenerated into the ambition of arrogating a supremacy in causes
ecclesiastic and sacred, as well as civil, his heart was lifted up to
his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went
into the temple of the Lord to burn incense. In which usurpation he was
resisted by Azariah the priest, and with him fourscore priests of the
Lord, that were valiant men, who withstood him, and told him, it did not
appertain to him to take upon him so much, and bade him go out of the
sanctuary, or else it should not be for his honour. Which indeed he
stomached at as an affront, to be controuled and resisted; but in
thinking to resent it, he was plagued of the Lord with leprosy; which
the priests looking upon, they thrust him out from thence: and
thereafter sequestred him from all supremacy, both that which he had
before in things civil, and that which he was affecting in matters
sacred; for he was made to dwell in a several house, being a leper, (the
law including, and here execute upon, the king as well as the beggar)
and to resign the government into his son Jotham's hands, 2 Chron. xxvi.
16,--21. where it appears, he was not only excommunicated by a
ceremonial punishment, but also deposed judicially. Whether he
voluntarily demitted or not, it is to no purpose to contend; 'tis
evident, that by the law of God, the actual exercise of his power was
removed, whether with his will or against it, it is all one; and that he
was punished both by God and by men is undeniable. Yea, in this, his
punishment was very gentle, and far short of the severity of the law:
for by the law he should have been put to death, for intermeddling with
these holy things, interdicted to all but to the priests, under pain of
death, Numb. iii. 10. Numb. xviii. 7. The stranger that cometh nigh
shall be put to death. All were strangers that were not priests. Whence
I argue, if a prince, for his usurpation beyond his line in things
sacred, may by the priests be excommunicated, and by the people deposed;
then may a prince, not only usurping a supremacy (as Charles did) but an
absolute power of overturning all things, sacred and civil (as James
doth) and oppressing his subjects in all their liberties, be disowned, a
fortiori, for that is less than deposing or dethroning; but this example
clears the antecedent; therefore----. See Knox's discourse to
Lethington. Lex Rex, quest. 44. sect. 15, p. 461. Jus popul. chap. 3. p.

12. What if I should adduce the example of a king's rebellion against,
and revolt from a superior king, to whom he and his fathers both
acknowledged themselves subject? Surely our royalists and loyalists
would not condemn this; and yet in justifying it, they should condemn
their beloved principle of uncontrouled subjection to uncontroulable
sovereigns possessing the government. Ahaz became servant to the
Assyrian monarch, 2 Kings xvi. 7. yet Hezekiah his son, when the Lord
was with him, and he prospered--rebelled against the king of Assyria,
and he served him not, 2 Kings xviii. 7. Hezekiah was indeed a king; but
he was not Sennacherib's king; he acknowledges himself his vassal, and
that he offended in disowning him, ver. 14. which certainly was his sin
against the Lord, to make such an acknowledgment: for if his father's
transaction with the Assyrian was sin, then it was duty to break the
yoke; if the Lord was with him in that rebellion, then it was sin to
acknowledge it to be his offence: and to make good this acknowledgment,
it was certainly his sin to commit sacrilege, in robbing the house of
God, to satisfy that tyrant. By way supplement, I shall add that
instance of repressing a mad and furious tyrant, which all will
acknowledge to be lawful. Nebuchadnezzar was both stricken of God with
madness, and for that was depelled from the kingdom, according to the
heavenly oracle, The kingdom is departed from thee, and they shall drive
thee from men, Dan. iv. 31, 33. Calvin says upon the place, he was
ejected, as usually is done to tyrants, by the combination of the nobles
and people, Pool's synopsis critic. in locum. Thus he was unkinged for a
time, both by the just judgment of God, and by the intermediation of the
just judgment of men; and could not be owned to be king at that time,
when his nails were as birds claws, and he could not tell his own
fingers: they could not own him to be the governor then of so many
kingdoms, when he could not govern himself. Hence, though this is an
instance of heathens, yet, because they acted upon a rational ground, it
may be argued, If kings, because natural madness, when they cannot
govern themselves, may not be owned; then also, because of moral
madness, when they will not govern but to the destruction of kingdoms,
may not be owned, but the former is true: therefore also the latter. The
same reason against the government of asses, will also militate against
the government of tygers, the first is more eligible than the last.

Fifthly, This may be confirmed from several promises in scripture.

1. There are many gracious and precious promises of reformation of the
magistracy, and restitution of good rulers, as a great blessing from God
to mankind, and to the church, Isa. i. 26. 'I will restore thy judges as
at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning, afterward thou
shalt be called the city of righteousness.' If judges must first be
restored before the city can be a city of righteousness, then they must
be restored before we can own the government thereof: for that
government, under which it cannot be a city of righteousness, cannot be
owned, since it is no government, but a rebellion and combination of
thieves, see ver. 33. I do not here restrict the promise, as it is a
prophecy, to its exact fulfilment, as if no government were to be owned
but what answers this promise, of the restitution of the primitive order
of magistrates; but I plead, that when the princes are rebellious, and
companions of thieves, the government is not to be owned, till judges be
so far restored, as to reduce righteousness in some measure, which
cannot be under tyranny.

And in the general I may plead, that none is to be owned as a
magistrate, but who some way is found in a promise; for there is no
ordinance of God, no duty, no blessing, no good thing, either to be done
or enjoyed, but what is in a promise; but tyranny, or owning of tyrants,
or subjection to usurpers, is not, nor cannot be in a promise. We have
many other promises about magistrates, as, that the Lord will be for a
spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, Isa. xxviii. 6. A
tyrant cannot be capable of this happiness, nor we under tyranny, nor
any while they own them. Kings shall be the church's nursing fathers,
and their queens her nursing mothers, Isa. xlix. 23. Kings are not
always so, but all kings to be owned are such as can be so, at least
they are never to be owned when they turn destroyers of what they should
nourish; but tyrants can never be nourishers. It is promised to the
Lord's people, if they will hearken diligently unto the Lord, and keep
the sabbath, then shall there enter into their gates kings and princes,
Jer. xxiii. 3, 4. But it is never promised, neither doth it come to pass
in providence, that these duties procured tyrants.

There are many other promises to the same purpose: from whence may be
concluded, the Lord will not always leave his people to howl under
uneluctable tyranny, but will accomplish their deliverance in his own
time and way, though we are not to look to miracles. Whence I argue, 1.
Since all the ordinances of God, and rulers in a special manner, are
appointed and promised as blessings, these cannot be owned for his
ordinance, which are not blessings, but curses. 2. That which would
vacate and evacuate all the promises of magistracy, cannot be a doctrine
of God; but this that obliges to own tyrants and usurpers, as long as
they are up, would vacate and evacuate all the promises of magistracy:
for except the Lord work miracles, (which are not in the promise) and do
all without means, they cannot be accomplished. For if any means be
used, they must be such as will infer disowning of tyrants; for
magistrates cannot be restored, except tyrants be removed; and whatever
way they be removed without miracles, by others or their own subjects,
they must still be disowned, and that before they be removed: for if
they be to be owned before their removal, if they exist, cannot make
them to be disowned: dispossession cannot take away their right, if they
have it before.

2. There are many promises of breaking the yoke of tyrants, Isa. x. 27.
"His burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from
off thy neck." And in that promise of the church's deliverance and
enlargement, wherein they are prophetically urged and stirred up to some
activity in co-operating with the providence, Isa. lii. 1, 2. "They are
called to awake, and put on strength and their beautiful garments--and
to shake themselves from the dust--and to rise and to loose themselves
from the bands of their neck," that were captives. Here is not only a
promise of deliverance or a ground of encouragement what the church may
expect, but a promise of, and direction for their being active in
delivering themselves, as men, from the encroachments that were made on
their human liberties, that they should loose themselves from these
bands. Whose bands? from their bands that ruled over them, and made them
to howl, and the Lord's name to be blasphemed, (ver. 5) Here is a
promise of breaking the bands of rulers, by them who howled under their
subjection. And it also includes a precept, that people should not stay
any longer under these yokes, than they can shake them off, or slip from
under them. Hence we see we are not to ly stupidly sleeping, or sinking
in the ditch, expecting the accomplishment of the promise of
deliverance; but are to endeavour actively, in dependence upon the
Lord's assistance, to deliver ourselves. Hence we may argue, 1. A
promise by way of command, that a people under bands of oppressing
rulers shall rouse themselves up to loose themselves from them, implies
and infers a promise and a duty of disowning those rulers (for otherwise
they cannot be loosed from their subjection.) But here is a promise by
way of command, that a people under bands of oppressing rulers shall
rouse themselves up to loose themselves from them: Ergo----2. If the
removal of tyranny and usurpation be promised as a blessing, then those
can never be owned to be the ordinance of God; for the removal of that
can never be a blessing; but in these promises we see the removal of
those is promised as a blessing: therefore they can never be owned.

Sixthly, To the same purpose we may cite some threatnings, that will
confirm the same truth.

1. There are many threatnings against tyrants themselves. There are two
mentioned, Jer. xxii. that seem partly to quadrate, and near of a piece
with our misrulers; both because of the demerit of the threatning, and
the likeness of the judgment threatned. The ground of it was "building
their house by unrighteousness, and their chambers by wrong," ver. 13.
And severally threatned: "Jehoiakim with the burial of an ass
unlamented," ver. 18, 19. Coniah with a life without prosperity, and a
death without issue to succeed, ver. 30. The first of these is verified
in the elder of our royal brothers, the last is like to be of both. But
that which I take notice of is, first, the demerit, building their
house by unrighteousness, on which Whitehall is built with a witness:
and particularly it is noted of Jehoiakim, as his crimson sin (to which
his son Jehoiachin or Coniah served himself heir) that he burnt
Jeremiah's roll, or causes of wrath; so did our dominators burn the
causes of wrath (a book written by the commission of the general
assembly) and the covenants. Then I note these words, ver. 15. "Shalt
thou reign because thou closest thyself in cedar, &c." It is certainly
not fit for us to say, He shall reign, of whom the Lord says, He shall
not reign; but when we own the authority of those whom the Lord
threatens they shall not reign, we say, they shall reign; for we say,
they have a right to reign, and own ourselves obliged to do all that is
required in our capacity to perpetuate their reign. There is a terrible
threatning against Zedekiah, Ezek xx. 25,--27. "Thou profane," or as
some translate it, "thou worthy to be killed," (Pool. synops. crit. in
locum.) "wicked prince of Israel--Thus saith the Lord God, remove the
diadem, take off the crown, this shall not be the same, exalt him that
is low, and abase him that is high; I will overturn, overturn, overturn
it, and it shall be no more until he come whose right it is, and I will
give it him." Than which nothing can be more applicable to our princes,
who are profane, and the patterns and patrons of it, whose diadem the
Lord will remove; and if he threaten it, wo to them that contribute to
hold it on. We see here a profane and wicked prince threatned to be
overturned must not be owned, because he hath no right; but our
excommunicate tyrant is a profane and wicked prince, threatned to be
overturned: Ergo--There is another dreadful threatning against tyrants,
Amos iv. 1, 2. "Hear this word ye kine of Bashan, which oppress the
poor, which crush the needy--The Lord God hath sworn by his holiness,
that lo the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with
hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks." Shall we own these, against
whom the Lord hath engaged his holiness by oath so solemnly, that he
will fish them with hooks? we may fear if there be such a tie as
allegiance between them and us, that that same hook which fishes them
may also catch us; as it is said of Pharaoh and his subjects, when he is
hooked, then his fish stick unto his scales, and he and they are left in
the wilderness, Ezek. xxix. 4, 5. that is, as Grotius expounds it,
whoever are of his community shall be co