Covenanters Against the Union: The Smoaking Flax Unquenchable (1706) #History #Scotland
Betwixt the two KINGDOMS is Dissecated, Anatomied, Confuted and Annuled.
That good Form and Fabrick of Civil GOVERNMENT,
Intended and Espoused by the true Subjects of the Land, is
illustrated and held out.
Hag. 2. 6. For thus saith the LORD of Hosts, yet once it is a
little while, and I will make the Heavens, and the Earth, and
the Sea and dry land: and I will shake all Nations, and the
desire of all Nations shall come, and I will fill the house with
Glory, saith the LORD of Hosts.
* * *
Printed in the Year 1706.
Man by Creation was an admirable Creature, the Psalmist cannot but wonder at him, considering the fabrick and form of his Body, as in Psal, 139 where he saith, For I am wonderfully made, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the Earth. This curious Work by the wisdom and power of the Maker consists much in the Unitie, and harmonious Participation of the Members, with one another; as that they contribute to the subsisting, and preserving of the Body in Life and Beeing: Now as it is with the Body natural, even so is it with a politick Body, such as a Kingdom or Commonwealth. I say, what Power and Wisdom is required in in it’s constituting and ordering? God being a God of Order; and therefore will have Union, and harmonious Participation of the Members, one with another; so as this union may tend to the preserving of the Kingdom of Life and Beeing: But where Union leads not to the preservation of Life and Beeing in a Kingdom or Common-wealth; then it may be said, that it has not been well perpended or considered, in it’s constitutive Parts, which makes the consequtive Parts to be so Hetrogenious and Disagreeable, as that it destroys the Life and Beeing of the whole. Now in compleating of an Action, (so as to make it, not only splendid and beautiful, but also good) there are three things required, (1.) A good Judgment to deliberat well (2.) Fervent Zeal to prosecute (3.) Constancie in preserving. Now where these are to be found, either in a Person, or yet in a Body of people Colectively taken; then it makes for the perfecting of compleating [>p4.] thereof, to a happy and prosperous end. But where it is wanting, then there is Schism, Division and Destruction of the whole.
Now as to the first, I mean the constitutive part, which is good Deliberation of the Action, which consists in these three. First one principal moving, the will to elect, & chose. 2. The end elected and chosen. 3. The mean that leads to the end. 1. Now as to the principal moving there must be singularity in Love; not only sinistrious motion, flowing from self Interest or the like. 2. The end elected and chosen, must terminate in a right object, which ultimat object or end is the glory of God: Subordinate, the safety and well Beeing of the Kingdom. 3. The means that leadeth to this end must be agreeable to Scripture and Reason. Now where all these are to be found, then the Action is good in it’s constitutive part, having all the essential Atributes and Properties, that makes for the perfection thereof. But if wanting, then of necessity the consequtive Parts, must fall, such as fervent Zealous porsecution, and constant perseverance; for where the Anticedent is not good, the consequence is nought.
Now for application, even so is the case betwixt the Kingdoms, in matter of this Union; for its deliberation be rightly drawn forth, so as to terminat in a right object and end, such as the glory of God; the saftie and weell being of the King[d]om Then it may and ought to be imbraced, seing that Union is so desirable, by reason and strength of the Kingdom lies therein: And therefore to be wished by all, who desires to live in Peace and Truth. Therefore I shall dissecat and anatomie the Heads and Articles contained therein. As first, it is Decreed, in this Union, That there shall be an assenting to the Succession, in that the Prince of Hannover shall succeed to the Throne of Britain, as lawful Heir to the Crown. Nothing minded in all this, the Coronation Oath and fundamental Laws; nor yet the Qualifications of the Person intended. (1.) Whether or no he be of sound [>p5.] Principles in matters of Religion. 2. Or of an unholy Life, in so far as Man can discern. 3. Or not lying under any publick scandal, as to matters of God and godliness. Now all these are to be required in a Prince; otherways a People (who intends to set up Kingly Government in a Land) can never act rationally if they do not observe these. Now altho the true and faithful Subjects of Scotland inclines not to Monarchy Government (this being so hurtful to the Subjects formerly, or rather the abuse of it as our Ancestors has testified) Yet I speak of these who contends for it; and has England pitched on Hannover, as Successor to the Throne, without the lawful and free exercise of Election, as afterward I shall make it appear: But however in the first place, I shall premise a little, concerning the lineal and hereditarie Succession and Election consists together.
Now all sound Politicians acknowledgeth, that lineal Succession, is a Physical Law or Statue, (for preventing Ambition and aspireing Pride among the Nobles and Peers of the Land, in coveting the Authority in time of the Crowns Vaccance) that they choise a Familie or Person in that Familie to the Throne to Rule according to Gods Word and the Fundamental Laws of the Land, so that this Statute is the fruits and effects of Election; Election being the cause of giving it Beeing, so that this doth noways avert or overturn Election: seing this Statute depends upon the Qualifications of the Governour, as in Exod 18. 21. and Numb. 11. 16. And the Lord said unto Moses, gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the People, And v. 17. And I will take of the Sprit, which is upon thee and will put it upon them. Now thir Qualifications in their Exercise are ascribed to Kings, and is to be found in Deut. 17, 18, 19. And it shall be when he sitteth upon the throne of his Kingdom, that he shall Writ him a copy of this [>p6.] Law in a book, &c. and it shall be with him and he shall read therein all the days of his life that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of the law, and these Statutes to do them. Now where these Qualifications are wanting, then the person may be rejected, ever and while they get a qualified Person within the Line: And if they cannot have a qualified Person, then they may change, either the Familie or the Government. Now I think if this were well considered, it would be found that Qualifications are only requisit in this matter of which more anon. Now in this Union it is agreed that Hannover shall succeed to the Throne, without any mention of conditions, or qualifications for the Government, such as the Coronation Oath, and Covenants: But on the other hand is to continue a Toleration of Sectaries of all sorts, in permitting that the present state of the Kingdoms shall continue as they are, that Popery, Prelacy and all errors may rein in without Extirpation. Now how can this consist with Scotland’s Engagements, is not this perjurie and breach of Covenant to comply with this Union: Yea certainly it is, and therefore to be oppossed, and noways to be consented to, seing that the Person designed, invests himself with Prelacie, by his joining with English Prelats. I say Prelacie is Antichristian; & therefore not a thing indifferent, being an Hierrarchical species and form of Government, contair to the Doctrine of our Saviour, as in Matth. 20. 25. and Luke 22 25, 26 and the Institutions of the holy Apostles; also the Judgment of all sound Divines, where they prove that it has no Foundation, or Footing in Scripture (being objectively and essentiallie different from Presbyterian Government which is agreeable to the Word) and therefore not in Faith, so that it [is?] an adding to the Scriptures, Principals and Practises not contained therein. Now in this, let the Transgressor read his Judgment, Rev. 22. 18. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plaugs that are written in this book. I will not use [>p7.] many Arguments, seing I intend to be brief in this Tractat, only I commend the Reader to peruse the Writings of Mr Foster and Mr Jameson, in this contraversie, who has Learnedly and Elabouratly confuted the same, only this Argument, I take from the Fruits and Effects of Prelacy; in that it is owned by none, but these who are grosly and wilfully ignorant, or else avowedly Prophane; the best of them can have no more, but moral Piety. But on the other hand it is dayly by experience to be seen, that no sooner a Man turns to be Godly, but he hateth Prelacie: that is as natural to him, as it is to the Sun to give light at Noon-day: Now seing the Godly neither can nor yet dare comply with Prelacie, not yet with any Ruler that invests himself there with, this being Perjurie and Breach of Covenant. Shall then the Blood of the Godly be shed for Disobedience to sin and sinners? Shall the Kingly Government of Christ Jesus be wronged, and his People not cry out? Certainly as he is a King, as certain he shall have a Party, crying Hosanna, in their testifieing against the Usurpation: for no other thing can it be called seing that our Ancestors did not admit Charles the IId to the Government, until he did Swear (in the Year 51.) to maintain Presbyterian Government in Scotland, and to endeavour to the outmost of his Power, the Reformation of England and Ireland, from Poperie, Prelacie, and all errors whatsomever: For certainly who doth not so engage, is an Usurper; And therefore from the consideration of what is above, it appears to any that are not byassed and prejudged, that this Union is altogether unlawful, and therefore to be rejected and resisted: For certainly it is intolerable that Union can be where Religion is not the Object and End; So that altho there were no other ground of refussing yet this is sufficient. But hower, I shall speak to the other Articles and Heads contained in ths Union. I will not mention all the Heads and Articles, for it were tedious so to do, seing the point may be gained by some few that are most Substantial for Confutation [>p8.], the rest being comprehended under them.
Secondly, It is agreed, that England shall raise and advance three Hundred, ninety eight Thousand, eighty five Pound; and that out of the same Sum of Money, they shall make up to Scotland the loss of the Affrican Trade: Also out of that Sum there is so much to return back again to England for causes known to themselves. Likeways the Over plus is ordained for setting up of an Fisherie and other Manufactures. Now this Article is rediculous and unlawful, seeing that it is the Price of the Land, By which our Liberties and Nation are sold, and we made the footstool of England. and their reproach to all posterity, if this shall be, the reason is becaus it declares, that we have no substance of our own to set about or accomplished our trade that is fallen, or els we want rationality to act for our selves: so that we must be ordered by England as they in prudence shall think meet to advance themselves, and keep us low for certainly nature bears an equality (I mean corrupt nature) to see their neighbours partaking of the same benifits with themselves so that by this they intend to hinder this so usefull a benifit to the Land, in setting up a Forraign trade, which the land cannot want, & therefor not to be beholden to others as Beggars and Misers: for certainly England depends als much on Scotland, as Scotland does on them: & therfor in this we are to act rationaly, in providing substance of our own, which may be done very well without any prejudice to the Subjects, as I shall afterward make it appear[.] Now as to the Fisherie and Manufactors thats intended, I say ther is as litle good to be expected from them, seing that Religion is not set in the first place, this land being so ingaged to God by such manifestations of his Power made knowen to them and therfor will marke their sins more seveirlly and narowly then others as is Amos 3. 2 Yow only have I known of all the families of the earth; therfor will I punish yow for all yowr iniquities. [>p9.]
Therefore considering the present state and circumstances of this Sinfull generation, ther is no promise of Blessing upon their undertakings: likewayes no care (at this day) is had of getting honest faithfull men for Publick bussines, so that by the neglect of this, it hath been found by late experience, that men have destroyed the Publick interest to advance their own; & therefore from the consideration of this article, it is intolerable. & will be imbraced by few except by Merchants, who are gaping for this Benefit (as they call it) whose Chists and Coffers are empty by the sad Judgment thats on the Land for want of Money, so that their Trade almost is in trust both as to Selling and Buying, which makes them greedily snatch at this Bait.
Moreover, altho Scotland had all this performed that is promised: Yet in this the should be no Gainers, considering that England hath the Seat of the Throne, and therefore in a few Years, the Nobility and Parliamentars, will spend alse much Money at Court, as all the above mentioned benefit. For alace our Miseries and Mistrivings! may be dated from the day that our Kings medled first with England, and that has appeared both in Religion and Vertue[.] 2 The Customs, Excises that the absolute Parliament of Britain may lay upon these Commodities thats brought from their Indian Plantations, will cast down all their imaginary Benefit.
Thirdly it is agreed, That Scotland shall have libertie to Trade in the English Plantations; And therefore it is said, it shall be Beneficial to the Land. I Answer, this Salve will not answer our Sore: And that for these two Reasons, 1. That we have a proper right and possession of our own for Trade, seing that Religion and Vertue can well thrive in one Land, so that the people may be delivered from Bondage, Povertie and the Miserie that they are in by want thereof; for as Riches may be a mean (when unsanctified) to draw Men away from God, and Godlyness, so [>p10] likeways Poverty, as in Prov. 31. Alace many throw Poverty, are driven to sad Miseries, so as to want Education, not getting so much time for worldly bussiness, as to allow them the exercise thereof: being under such cruel Task masters and grievous Burdens, as that their time is little enough to be imployed for getting Food and Raiment, and cannot well get that: Likeways as little time for seeking of God, and Godliness: So that by this Povertie their Lives are bitter unto them. Now considering that we are a Island compassed about with Sea, that might have free Navigation throw the world for Trade; Then how comes it that our state does not answer our circumstances. Certainly our defect and want herein is an astonishment and reproach cast upon us by all Europe: Then from the Consideration of this, we ought unweariedly and uncessantly to contend for this Benefit, that the Land may be in a better case for serving God, and educating one another: And this cannot be well, without a proper right and possession of our own. 2. The next reason is because this Land is so populous, as that the inhabitants cannot well live therein, but many of them must go to other Nations and imploy themselves in these things, where neither the glory of God, nor safetie of the Kingdom is to be seen, and thereby debauches both Soul and Conscience, Whereas on the other hand, if we had Possessions in Forreign places of the World, they would be better exercised, in defending of our own Rights and Liberties, so that the might be in a fair way for the glory of God, and the safetie and well beeing of the Kingdom, and their own Consciences. Now there is no certainty of obtaining these ends without a proper Possession of our own: for any other, will be both unstable, and uncertain; and therefore from the consideration of this, we cannot imbrae this offer given to us by our Neighbour Kingdom.
Fourthly, It is agreed by the Union, That by Corporating, we assist and join with England in War offensive and defensive in [>p11.] bearing Cess and Press, for maintaining and defending thereof, whatever the cause be; no mention if it be agreeable to Gods Word, and the Consciences of the Godly, so that this Article is most absurd and therefore to be exploded, seing we are not to Espouse any Battels but the Lords, and therefore not to join with Papists, who are the enemies of God, and subjects of Antichrist: And seeing associating and joining in War with Idolaters is expresly forbidden in Scripture, as in 2 Chro. 19. 3. And also condemned by our faithful Ancestors, then how can we unite with these who are walking contrair to the command of God. Certainly none in Conscience dare do this, and therefore from the consideration of this with all the unlawful Articles above mentioned, it appears that this Union is altogether intolerable.
Therefore we the true Subjects of the Covenanted Kingdom of Scotland, do by vertue of the same Representative Power, that our worthy Ancestors exercised, in calling off Tyrrannie, and in abolishing and annulling all Acts made against Religion and Liberty (in the Years 80 and 81.) [i.e., in the Sanquhar Declaration of 1680 and the Lanark Declaration in late 1681] do by the same power annul the present unlawful Union betwixt the Kingdoms. And we hope that this act with is agreeable to Scripture and reason, shall be approven of God, and ratified in Heaven,
Quest. Now the Question is, seeing we refuse that King, and denys the Union with England upon the above mentioned Heads: then, What course shall be taken in order to set up Government & Governours in the Land; now when Monarchie is like to expire. Certainly a Kingdom cannot subsist without Magistrats and Subjects, Authority and Obedience, for this is the essential conception of a Kingdom, or Corporation of People so to be. I Answer, There is no Government without inconveniences, Monarchie, & Aristocracie, are lyable to Tyrrany and Oppression, Democracie to confusion:
Therefore seeing our worthy Ancestors hath casten off Monarchie Government, (and hath chosen a Common wealth)[,] upon [>p12.] the account of its Tyrannie and oppression, which has been excersiced in a most absolute and cruel manner, upon the Subjects: Then in these Circumstances in which we have been, and now are, who are the true Subjects of the Land; it becomes us to begin where they left, and to choise that manner and form of Government that’s most Convenient, for the propogating of Religion, and vertue in the Land, and least Lyable to oppression and Confusion. Therefore we say there may be a Government found and Fabricated, that may very little pertake of these inconveniences; formerly mentioned. Now therefore we think in a Common-wealth, there cannot be better; and more easy Government, than a Government consisting of few members. We have seen and heard of many kinds of Governments; but none so fit in a Common wealth, as a Lord Protector, [who?] Judges: Such a Form of Government we had in the time of Cromwels Usurpation, which Form and Fabrick was good; tho we cannot approve of the Usurper and Usurpation, in its Exercise: Yet at the time, altho in the hands of such Usurpers: Yet the Government was so full of Morality, Equity and Justice betwixt Man and Man; as that the Praise and Commendation thereof Remains unto this day. Now seeing that such a Government is so to be Praised, when not Right in its Circumstances: then what shall such be; when in the hands of good Men, and Rightly Circumstantiated: Certainly pleasant to all these who have been; and now are under such Government, and Governours, as has been made their Lives bitter unto them, by Oppression, and Spoil, grinding the Faces of the poor Inhabitants, by Cesses and Impositions unnecessar, for no other end almost; but to maintain and uphold Oppressors, to keep up oppression, of which more afterwards: Now seeing that such a Form of Government as is mentioned above appears to be so little Lyable to inconveniences, as other Governments are: Then in reason this Government must be chosen, and Elected as the best. Therefore I shall speak to the [>p13.] manner of Election, that is, what are the qualifications of the Rulers? And how they are to be Elected.
First, As to the qualifications, I say, (1) they must be Men of sound principles, such as are Friends and professors of the true Reformed Religion. (2) They must not be lying under any known Scandal of Life and Conversation. (3) They must be of a Godly Life, such as are Corporat in Christian Society, having the impressions of the Dutys of the day upon their Spirits, such as Men that fears God and hateth Covetousness, as in Exod. 18. 21. Now having set a part these Persons, for the Magistracie ths qualified: Then in the next place, the manner of Election is to be gone about in choising a Protector for the Kingdom, who is to be chosen by Lots, as the manner was in the year 80, and 81, & to be gone about by Fasting and Prayer, for he only is to be Elected after this manner,; and that partly (tho not principalie) for preventing, and Removing of Envy, Ambition and Contention among a People, for certainly without this method Contention would never cease.
Secondly, In the next place, we declare our selves against all Hereditarie Offices, either Civil or Militarie, as that they shall pass from Father to Son, without the qualifications above mentioned, and the free Election of the People.
Thirdly, We Declare, that we incline and intend to abolish all Rents and Revenews given to any in publick Office, (either Civil or Military) more than will maintaine a honest Christian Life, as that Family and Children may be provided in a Christian way: So that henceforth no Man out of Ambition, or Pride, may covet these Places to uphold Pride or Prodigality: But rather out of Conscience; the desire of this may flow from the Love of God, and the safety and well being of the Kingdom, that they imbrace these places. And if it be objected, that by mean Rents and Revenues their Children may be in want. I Answer, if it shall fall out that they be in want, then they may and ought [>p14.] to have a competent and sufficient portion given to them from the Publick; according to the qualities of parents or Children deserves or calls for, as in Psal 37. 25. I have not seen the Righteous forsaken, nor his Seed Begging Bread.
Fourthly, We incline and intend, (considering the Tedious and Expensive manner of Law, that now is in the Land, by such a numerous Multitude of Members, how that the Poor are so oppressed, and wronged by such a Tedious, weary manner of Justice; so that they are not in a capacity and State, for contending against the Rich and Powerful,) that the Colledge of Justice may be Contracted into fewer Members, viz four Judges, as was in the year 52. and 53. and downward: And that these Judges may Determine Causes and Contraversies as the manner was at that present time; that thereby partiality and oppression may be removed, that thereby Justice may be Exercised towards all Ranks without Respect or Persons.
Fiftly we incline and intend that all cesses, and all taxes upon ale, Kings customes, may be abolished, seing that the Land can well want all these, without any Prejudice to the Kingdom, we confess that the Land cannot want a Partie of armed Souldiers for Ruling, Awing, and Defending of the Kingdom from insurection, Rebelion, and Disobedience of People to the Laws: so that ther must be money Provided to maintaine them. I confess it must be so, but however this can be had aboundantly another way, than by these Cesses, Taxes, and Customs above mentioned: for certainly the Crown Rents, Castle Rents and Bishops rents might be sufficient, but I add the Signet, Clerk Register, the bill Chamber, and other such like places, ought to be farmed out for the maintaining these Forces, and upholding the Publick, which now are sinfully and vainly Spent maintaining and upholding idle Prodigal Wasters, such as Corrupt Pensioners. And as for owr Castles, I see no use they are for, except it be for to keep on of them as a Magazin hous, for Keeping of Armour, for [>p15.] certainly we being an Island compassed about with sea, which is great strenth and Bulwark against Forraign enemies; but Likewayes a grater strenth than this, may & ought to be sought after, which is Unitie in Religon: this would be beyound all the Castals in the world for saftie and Refuge, as in Pro. 18. 10. The Name of the Lord is a strong Tower and the righteous runs to it, and are safe then from this it doth appear, our strenth and saftie consists Principaly in Religion, and in the faithfull and free zealous exercise of the Fundamental Lawes, and not in those Castles and forts, which are so burdensome and expensive to the Land.
It is objected, that by the abolishing of Kings Customs, the Land shall be filled with Forraign Commodities, and Liquors, which will be hurtful to the Kingdom. Ans. Then let such a mean lo price be put upon these Commodities (by the civil Power) as that the Buyer shall never be able to bring them home at the Rate. This way and mean (I say) will be beyond all the Prohibitions in the World.
Now having held out this comely Form and Fabrick of Civil Government thats intended by all the true Subject of the Land, how that among all Governments, it is the least lyable to inconveniences, such as Tyrrannie, Confusion, Contention, Pride and Ambition, this flowing naturally from it’s form, and likeways from its manner of Election, furder, none more for the propogating of Religion and Vertue in the Land. And therefore in reason to be imbraced by all who desires saftie and well beeing of the Kingdom.
Now it is to be expected, that there shall be various sentiments given, concerning this Tractat by several Persons, As 1. Some will say, the Actor or Actors means well, in that their Propositions are both good and reasonable. 2. Others will say, the Actors are well light Headed. 3. Again others will say it is impossible to get such Government and Governours, how shall [>p16.] the Nobility and Gentrie either imbrace it, or consent to it? Will not their Corruption and Pride, make them despise and hate this design and contrivyance? Will they be led by other Mens Judgments? Will not this be a Blot upon them (as they think, and therefore it may be expected that the Nobility will stand in Opposition to it as mountains in the way: And therefore it is impossible to get this design accomplished. I Ans[wer]. I doubt not, but they shall have full Liberty (in the first place) to play their Game, in order to set up their Kings, that they are contending for; so that they may drink of the Cup that the Kingdoms of Europe are Drinking of, who are wasting and destroying one another, which Lot I fear will be Scotland’s ere it be long: and then it shall be found that those great Mountains shall be removed: And then there shall be no impossibility for accomplishing such a duty as this, seeing it is the best and most reasonable mean for obtaining Religion and Vertue in the Land, whereby the Subjects may be most freed from Tyrannie over their Consciences; and likeways from injustice and oppression in their Goods. So that from this it will appear, that its pleasing in the sight of GOD, and therefore will be owned and countenanced of him, altho the Actors be few and mean; For certainly the Lord will not despise good and honest ends, where his glory is sought as the ultimat end, and the safetie of the Kingdom as the subordinat: And therefore as in Isa. 42. 3. A bruised reed will he not break, and the smoaking flax will he not quench. Now seeing the Lord the Lord will so carefully and tenderly carry on that work thats pleasing in his sight: then this may be called The smoaking flax Unquenchable: For certainly the Lord will have a Church in Scotland that will be famous and glorious. Which Church hitherto has come throw much Blood and Affliction, which Blood will at length prove Victorious over all it’s enemies, according to that promise, Luke the 18. 7. And shall not God avenge the elect; Yea certainly he will, seeing [>p17.] that his Providence always terminats in Mercie and Justice. I say in Mercy towards his People and Judgment towards his Enemies, and therefore it is to be expected (if Repentance prevent not) that the day of the Lords Judgments shall be on this Land, and therefore all those great Mountains and tall Cedars (that stand in opposition) shall be removed, as in Isa: 2. 12. For the day of the Lord shall be upon every one that is proud and loftie, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low: and upon all the Cedars of Lebanon and upon all that Oaks of Bashan. &c. And tho Loftiness of Men shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of Men shall be made low, and the Lord alone shall be Exalted in that day. So that from this it doth appear, that the Lord will come in Mercy towards His People, and in Judgement to his Enemies. At which time His People will not find any difficulty (throw his Strength) to set up that Comely Form and Fabrick of State and Church in the Land, that is now intended.
Obj: But it is objected, how shall Judgements come upon this Land; seeing there are three invincible arguments to prove the contrare, as 1st, there is a Faithful Ministrie and People who are acting as Faithfully and Strictly as prudence will permit, or the present Circumstances or Exigences doth Require. 2dly, There is a Lawful Magistracie, such as is Conscience, they have Sworn the Oath of Alledgance to, by taking God to be an Everlasting Judge and Witness, to what they have done, in that it is both good and Right. 3dly, Both Ministers and People Prayes, for the Continuance of their present Rulers, together with the State of their present Church: And surely the Lord will never shut out the Prayers of the Godly, when Lawful and honest, (as they say,) so that from what is said, there ariseth three invincible arguments to prove, that Judgements cannot come to this Land, such as are Expected, seeing that the Lord will not destroy a Church thats bearing and bringing forth: I Answer indeed, the [>p18.] Judgements shall decide the Controversie: For if they be such as they affirm; then there will not come Judgements: But if they be not such, then Judgements will come, so that the Controversie shall be brought to a point, in the Lords good time; but however, let the State of the present Church be considered │what they have been, and now are, and then it will appear that the Marks, Properties, and Attributes of the Church of Christ, are not to be ascribed to the present indulged Church, which is Erastian; so that from this it shall appear, that the Judgements that are coming, are not Fatherly Chastising Stroaks: But on the other hand, is the Sword of a Sin Revenging Judge, bringing Desolation and utter Ruine on them, if Repentance prevent not: and that for these Reasons and Causes following, As,
First, In the changing of their head, CHRIST JESUS, as doth appear by their bowing to the Supremacie, in their Indulgences and Tolerations, where the Laws of Men are obeyed in place of the Laws of God and Christ, so that their present State and Libertie (as they call it,) is founded on a Sacraficeing and giving up of the Doctrine, Discipline and Kingly Government of Christ Jesus, (together with the Lands Engagements and Fundamental Laws) unto the hands of Men, which is to be seen in their Complyance, Silence, and Connivance at and with the present corrupt Magistratical Power, which is a Power no-wise Subject or Subordinate to the Doctrine, Discipline and Kingly Authority of Christ Jesus; and therefore by Consequence is a Supremacie; to which Idol they yeild obedience, as is to be seen in their present practise of which more afterward.
Secondly. The unfaithfulness and Defection of the present Church appears in Perjurie & Blood, in that they lay aside the Covenants, in their setting up and assisting of ungodly, Malignant, Corrupt, Wicked Rulers, without Covenant Qualifications and Engagements. Likewise they have Strengthned the hands of [>p19.] these Rulers in oppression, and Blood; by their Condemning the Actings and Proceedings of the suffering party in their Testimonies, for the Setting up of Lawful good Government, and Governours in the Land. 2dly. In their Silence and Connivance at the present Rulers; which is an assisting of them, and a Condemning of the Godly: For certainly in time of War, (according to the Judgement of all sound Politicians,) there are no Neuteral Persons: Yea according to our Savours words, Mat 12 30. He that is not with me; is against me, and he that gathereth not with me Satereth abroad So that from this it appears that Vengance is approaching to this Church, Seeing that God will avenge the Elect as in Luke. 18. 7.
Thirdly. The unfaithfulness of this present Church in their Doctrine appears, that altho it be good and sound in tanto: Yet Yet not in quanto, it being considered in the abstract, in so far as it may distinguish from them: But in practise and Application it is Hypocritical, by reason that it is no longer, absolute, (as to the purity and Power of Practise,) than the Preacher is inclosed within the Pulpit, as is to be seen how that they cry up the Cross of Christ Jesus, in affirming that the Cross and Crown are Linked together; whereas they wagg with all Winds, that’s to say with all Powers, so that in this their Cow allwise gives Milk: Also they affirme that their hearers ought to be singular, and not to say a Confederacie, with all these with whom this People shall say a Confederacie as ] as in Isa. 8. 12. Moreover they press self Denyal and Holyness of Life, to be practised by all their hearers: And yet no longer absolute, then it is in delivering: For the hearers must follow the Faith and practise of the Erastian indulged Corporation in which the are, as their Rule; and not the word of God: So that in this their Preaching is Hypocritical, by Reason that they declare themselves to be these, whom indeed they are not; like to a Stage player, who acts the part of the Fool on the Stage; but afterwards acts as one wise: [>p20,] So is it with these Ministers, they Preach Sincerity, but alace no longer to be practised, than they are [in the Pulpit: For if their hearers should put in practise what they say, they would be longer Members of their Corporation. But furder in quanto thate to say, in so far as they ought to hold out the Defections, and Cases of the Lords Wrath, such as Perjurie and Blood, which they are guilty of, and that both as to their present and past practise, Alace then ! how shall such who are going on in Sin? Convert or turn Men from Sin, who instead of diswading them from Evil, encourageth them therein, and can such be called any other but Soul Murders, to whom that Threatning belong to, as in Jer. 23 1. Wo to the Pastors that Destroy and Scatter the Sheep of my Pasture saith the Lord. So that from this it appears, that Desolation and Destruction is approaching to this Land.
Fourthly. The Defection of this present Church appears in Discipline, in that their Power Extends no furder, than the poor simple ignorant Commonality; and to none thats obstinate of these: as for the great ones they are not under Christs bands, like to these spoken of in Psal. 2. They will not Subject themselves to Church Discipline: neither can the present Church reach them, which holds out that they either want Power or else they are partial, which impotencie and partiality, militats Strongly against the Repentance, and Submission of the Vulgar to the present Discipline, in declaring that they are both blind and ignorant of the State of the present Erastian Church, which is both impotent and partial: and therefore their obedience to them, is a sin no less odious to God, than their sin which they are censured for[.] So that from this you see, that the present Discipline is not any other thing, but a sham and shadow of Discipline, whereby they both deceive themselves, and others like themselves, but not God and Godly Men: and therefore from this it doth appear, that the marks of the Church of Christ [>p21.] are not to be found among these: All which evidences and holds out that Destruction and Desolation is approaching to them.
Secondly, in the next place, it is affirmed, That there is a lawful Magistracie in the Land, such as in Conscience they have Sworn the Oath of Alledgancie to, by taking God to be an everlasting Judge and Witness to what they have done, which according to their Faith, is an invincible argument, that Judgment will not come, seing they have such a hedge of Governours, who are a wall and Bulwark against all Enemies. I Ans[wer]. Let the Event speak in its own due time; for sure I am, such Magistrats and Rulers, has not the Qualifications required of in Gods Word; and better they cannot have, seing they are satisfied with the present, and are all ready full; and therefore no room left for others: Neither any promise, as in Luke 1. 53. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away. Now if they had done right and well in this, in setting up such Brethren in Iniquity; then let them rejoyce in one another, as in Judges 9 For certainly in the day of the Lords Judgment the will prove to them like the broken reed of Egypt, as in 2. Kings 18. 21. And if they prove such, will they then Samson like shake themselves (as it may be said in another caise) when once their head is razed, as at other times, I firmlie believe (in that day) their state and liberty shall come to nought, then where shall their strength and power be? when the Lord shall have his fire in Zion and his furnace in Jerusalem[.]
Thirdly, It is affirmed, That there is a Godly Party, who are praying for the preservation, and continuance of the present state of Magistracie and Ministrie: and certainly the Lord never shuts out the prayers of the Godly, as in John. 9. 31. But if any man be a worshipper of God, him he heareth, thats to say, him he answereth, or shews favour or love to, as in Psal 25 14. The secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him, and he will shew them his Covenant, which is to be understood of his Providential Pro[>p22.] tection. Now according to the Faith of the present Generation, they hold fast all these three Arguments: then how shall Judgments come. Indeed if the come, then of necessity, it must be acknowledged, that there is no ground to ascribe to themselves such Arguments and Assertions, as formerly mentioned; so that from this it shall appear, that the Lords Judgments, shall decide this contraversie, viz, who are the Lords Church, or who are not, for certainly the Lord never yet destroyed his own Church and People, when Faithful.
Quest. Now it may be interrogat, What shall Scotland do, at this present time, when Monarchie Government is now to expire: And the Union with England upon the Terms above mentioned is both unlawful and intolerable.
Res. Ans. Let them humbly confess their sins before the Lord, and turn unto him by Repentance, and then they shall be in case for receiving Counsel and Direction from GODS Word, in order to set up Government and Governours in the Land. But alace! It’s to be feared, that this Generation in the day of their distress (shall with the Prodigal Luke 15) Try all means imaginable, before that they will repent and reform, and betake themselves to the Lord. Yea they will rather joyn with the Citizens of darkness (that is with the Frenches, in receiving King James the eight (as they call him) or else Hannover, or with the Prince of Prussia (as some has already proposed) before that they will Espouse that Government and these Governours, thats most for the propogating of Religion and Vertue in the Land; But let them do as they will in all this; yet surely the Lord by the good Hand of his Providence, will make all things work together for the Building of his Church and People, and for setting up a hedge of lawful Government about his House; Therefore I shall lay out some motives to be considered, As
First, That all things in this Government are objectively good, and both absolute & indispensible for the propogating of Religion [>p23.] & Vertue in the Land & from delivering of the oppressed from Oppression, whose Cry soundeth loud in the ears of the Lord of Hosts; Therefore seeing all this is good and consonant to scripture and reason: then take warning, least in Reproaching or Opposing, ye be found to fight against God, to that in this ye shall be no Gainers, but rather Lossers, as in Acts 9. 5. It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Secondly, Consider that this form and fabrick of state, doth noways incroach or wrong the Interest of any Subject in the Land, either of the Nobility or Commonality, unless that the Nobility may be deprived of Parliament Meetings, an therefore no such occasions as formerly, for Rumbling and Railing in Coaches, Spending and Debauching their time, Health, Strength and Estates, in Pride and Prodigality, Drinking and Swearing, and the like. Now if a stop to these occasions of Prodigal living and spending, be a just offence to the Nobility; then let Men of understanding Judge.
Thirdly, Consider the great Blessings that would accompanie this Duty when set about; this being the best and most effectual mean for advancing the glory of God, the safetie and well being of the Kingdom. Then certainly from this it appears that the Blessings and Promises contained in Gods word, shall be fulfilled on the Doers of this Duty, as in Lev 26. And Deut 28. 13. And the Lord shall make thee the Head and not the Tail, That is the chief of all People; in power and priviledges as to good Government, so that the Nations about shall be content (as our Faithful Martyrs has left in Testimonie) to take a Copy of the Church of Scotland, according to that Promise, Isa 49. 7. Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful. Also Rev, 21. 24. Kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour unto it, (which principally is to be approved to the Church Triumphant, but not amiss to apply it to the Church militant, according to the Judgment of all sound Divines. [>p24.]
Fourthly, Consider the sad Judgments, that will certainly come not only upon the Omission and neglect of this Duty; but also the contempt and obstinat Perseverance therein, together with all the Sins of the Land, which are to be seen in Church and state, and in all ranks of People, both of the Clergie, Nobility together with Commons of all Ranks. I say of the Clergy, consider the Prelatick Malignant, what they are guilty of, is well known to the World. Also the present Erastian Church thats lying in guilt of perjurie and Blood, with many other Sins formerly mentioned, which the Lord cannot pass by in his righteous just judgment, also the practise of the Nobility and Gentrie, how odious is it? Alace! the most and greatest part of them, are so naked of Morality, and such as are scarce to be found in Turkie Land among Pagans. I do not say; that they are all such, for some are more reasonable and conversable: But I fear the rest are unfit to act for the good and safetie of the Land at this present time. But I shall proceed no furder on this head: The Event shall speak in its own time, when the Lord shall meet with sinners in Judgment.
Now seeing that the Lord will come in Judgment to his Enemies, and Mercies to his People, in building up his Church, and in setting up a hedge about his House[,] then let none of his People be discouraged or casten down to see Providence frown against his work, in bringing his Church throw dark Channels, seing the Lord intends to make her Victorious, for certainly the Lord will come in a mean loe and humble way to this Land; therefore hold on and hold out. For behold he comes with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him even so. Amen. Rev. 1. 7.
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