Texts – Societies’ Protestatione Against the Scots Congregation 1684
Michael Shields, The Protestatione of the Antipopish, Antiprælatick, Antierastian, True Presbyterian But poor and Persecuted, church of Scotland Against The Scottish congregation at Rotterdam in Holland (Leeuwarden?, May 1684).
The full text can be found here:
‘The Protestatione of the Antipopish, Antiprælatick, Antierastian, True presbyterian (But poor and persecuted) church of Scotland (Against) The Scottish congregation at Rotterdam in Holland.
As all the Lords glorious attributes did most brightlie shine in his conquering to himselfe a purely Reformed Church in our Land, and bringing us Through the severall steps of Our Reformatione, from poperie, prelacy, and Erastiansupremacy, into strict and solemne Covenants and engadgments with himselfe, against the same, and every thing contrary to sound doctrine and the pouer of godlynesse, so that our Church was conspicoussly glorious indeid, and terrible to her enemies, as ane army with banners: yet we have it to cast our eyes back upon, with griefe of spirit and astonishment of Heart, that there hath bein, and now more is, a numerous company, pretending to be amongst us of byassed men, dissaffected to the cause and interest of Jesus Christ, who more sought and seeks, the advantage of his enemies, then the right advancement of his kingdome. But nou the holly and wise Lord, to whom all things are naked and Patent, hath wiselie, miraculouslie, and palpably discovered the thoughts of the hearts of many, and their base (yea no less then malignant) intentions, and the whole strain of there spirit, and course of their actions, and proceidings, to be nothing, but a tendancy, to the altogither betraying of his noble and precious cause: And a terring up of the avoued, wilfull, and wicked opposers of His Kingdome in the world. However (o exalted be the Lords glorious name) As he hath not wanted, and, that in our Lord, a companie of Liveing witnesses for himself, whom he honored and helped to manadg his oun casue, by keeping up a testimonie for him, by wrestleings, contendings, protestations, declarations, and sufferings; so also he wanted not some valiant Hero’s frely to testifie against, and faithfullie and commendably to withdrau themselves from you, when first ye began to discover what ye are, which now the Lord in his holy, deep and infinite wisdome hath made more palpable and evidently to appear, But that the Lords cause may be more mantained; our selves more exonered, the weak confirmed, (and if the Lord will) stepers aside reclaimed, And you rendred more inexcusable, persisting and continueing in your courses so destructive unto the cause and offensive unto the Church of god. Therfor we find our selves necessarily called, jointlie and unanimouslie, to enter our formall and explicite protestation against you, And all in any wise complieing Joining hand and issue with yow in strenthening your hands, in your pernicious courses, or conniving at yow in the same: upon these few (among many) weightie reasons, but sad and undesireable truiths: As folloueth.
1. Because of your ouning and acknouledgeing such a man for your Minister and pastor viz: Mr [Robert] Flemming, who baselie deserted his oun Land and flock, notwithstandig of the many calls, which he had from them, and setled in another Land: which was hyrling like indeid; For the hyreling fleeth, becaus he is ane hyreling, and careth not for the sheep Jo[hn]: 10: 13. And also whyle in Scot-Land, who refused to baptize the children of these parents, duelling within the indulged parishes, who came to him, with there children to the end that they might give testimonie against that sinfull, hatefull and divisive indulgence, and in some things did most Lieingly disemble, after his venting himselfe to the prejudice of Truth and hardening of some and offending of others. By denying the byassed informatione, which he was knoun assuredly to have got: And also who did most cruelly persecute, the poor distressed, tossed and afflicted, yet faithfullie contending and wrestling Remnant, by his misinformation and writeing against them, misrepresenting them and their proceidings yea and reproaching at the highest rate. In the sad rehearsall of which we may allude to Hos. 6:9. As troops of Robbers wait for a man, so the companie of priests murder in the way by consent, for they commit Lewdnesse. And moreover after all manner of tamperings and complyances with open enemies, contrare to the express word of the Lord Deut 23.6. [Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.] Isa. 8:12. [Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.] By there order and commission even whyle there hands uere reiking in the precious blood of the saints again Returned to the Scottish Congregation at Rotterdam. Falsifieing the Commission of Jesus Christ Mat. 28:19.20. [Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.] Ephes. 4:8.11.12. [Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; … In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.] Where now he Layes out himselfe, to persecute the contending and suffering Remnant, by preaching, printing pamphlets and misinforming aganst them.
2. Becaus of your calling all manner of ministers to preach unto yow, with these whom ye take to be your oun who came over into Holland from Scot-Land, meerlie for their oun peace and quietness, treacherouslie deserting the interest of the Lord and Leaveing their charges and the poor persecute desolate flocks: yea and that after all their Complyance with open enemies, and stateing themselves as a party against the wrestling Remnant both at home and abroad, by there false Libells, aspersions, reproaches Lyes and misinformation against them, giveing quite up any contendings against the commone adversarie, but useing all sinfull diligence to counteract the godly in there Laufull, Laudable, and zealous proceidings. Such as Mr. [Robert] Langlans Mr. [Thomas] Hoge younger, Mr. [Robert] Archie[bald], Mr. [George] Barcly, Mr. [David] Home, Mr. Gordoune &c. Whereas ye ought to obey the Lords comand Rom. 16:17.18. [Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.] And mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrarie to the doctrine which ye have Learned, and avoid them, for they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their oun belly, and by good words and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple. and 2Thess. 3.6. [Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.] Withdraw your selves, from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the traditione which ye received.
3. Becaus of your detaining and keeping such from your pulpits, who were offering (though very meanly) to speake against the god provokeing, and Land-desolating sins of the tyme, as ought to be according to the word of the Lord, jonah. 3.2. [Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.] Isa. 58. 1.2. [Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.] 2Tim: 4.2. [Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.] untill that either by their formall engadgeing to the contrary, there open retracting from the same, or silence, they testified their complyance with these dreadfull abominations and pernicious courses.
4. Becaus of your admiteing such to be elders, and deacons, who are openly knowen not only for ignorants, but to be voyd, both of principles and tendernesse, and to be disaffected persones to the lords cause, and the covenanted cause of Scotland whereas otherwayes ougth to be done according to the word of the Lord. 1Tim. 3. [1Tim.]
5. Becaus of your promisuous admission unto the Lords table, all ranks of persones, if ye but find them, concurring conniveing, and consenting with yow, in persecuting the oppressed, but wrestleing Remnant of the Lords people, As if that were the character of the true Communicant And particularlie men of blood, such as have appeared at pentland and Bothuel bridge against the Lord, and men who have given bondes to the enemies of Allegiance to them, and Rebellion against the Lord; And cess-payers who have put swords in the hands of the avoued and stubborn adversary to fight against heaven; yea Skippers and others who have openly suorn, and solemnly engadged to trade in nothing, that may any wayes be strenthening to the Lords people, either at home or abroad, or advantagous for there building of our fallen tabernacle, as to the importing or exporting of persones, Books, letters, or any thing of that nature; so that ye have polluted the ordinances of the Lord, and inverted the end thereof, As more appeareth by the follouing reasone.
6. Becaus of your debarring from the Lords table, such as were knoun to be singular for there Loyaltie unto, Zeall and faithfulnes for Jesus Christ, and have bein dignified and helped since to resist into blood, striveing against sin, and Loved not their Lives unto death, such as valiant worthy and noble Rathillet &c. so that Mal. 2.8.9. ye are departed out of the way ye have caused many to stumble at the Law ye have corrupted the Covenant of Levi saith the Lord of hosts, Therefor have I also made yow contemptible and base befor all the people, according as ye have not keept my wayes, but have bein partiall in the Law.
7. Becaus of your cruell and rigorous dealing, your redacting of poor suffers, both persons and families (chased over to the toun wherein ye reside) to the greatest of extremities, yow bribeing some of them, and threatning others out of there consciences, And these of them, whom the Lord keeped straight, ye not onely hold up your oun hands from assisting, encourageing or supplieing them, Notwithstanding of the Large allouance, both from the Magestrates of the toun, and the godly in the Land which is given unto yow for that effect, but also most sinfullie Lavishes away, what ye gett in maintaining of such as are knouen enimies, and dissaflected to the cause of god and open plotters, traders, conspirers and Combiners with that bloody Sectarian, Cromwelian, godless Monmuthenian, Malignant partie and factione, who of old, and of Late, have deeplie embrued their hands, in the blood of the best of the Lords saints: for that ye have not onely forborne, the helping of the distressed, who were distressed indeed, for follouing the Lord, for 1Tim. 5.16. [If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.] The Church as she should not be charged with others, so she ought to relieve them, who are widous indeed But also have therewith helped to ungodly, Loveing them that hate the Lord, which ought not to be done 2Chron: 19.2. [And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.] unless ye would expect wrath to be upon yow from before the Lord.
Now though at the time, we could say much more, yet we think it not altogther necessary, for frustra fit per plura quod æque commode fieri pot est per pauciora: Houever, from all this, and what else is weill knouen, it may be clearly obvious to any discerning, and noy wilfullie blinded eye; how that the Lords cause, is sadely betrayed by yow and turned upside doun, not onely, not all truith doctrinally taught, but also errors, Lies and Falshood, by your Crying peace to the wicked, and these who Follow crooked and perverse wayes and courses: The government of the Lords house casten, and the end of his discipline inverted, His Croun, yea no pendickle thereof maintained asserted, and contended for by yow: yow sideing your selves only against the assertors of his priviledges and highly honored witnesses; and contenders and valiant sufferers for him. So o! What may ye expect from the hand of zealous sin revenging God, when he comes to make inquisition for blood, and to take account of the hainous indignities and wrongs done unto him, who cals his people not to be partakers of others there sins unless they would be made partakers of their plagues[.] Therefor we the Anti-popish, Anti-prælatick, Anti-erastian, True Church of Scotland, As we Insinuate befor, doe heirby, jointlie and unanimouslie protest against yow and all Aiders of, complyers with, and connivers at your abominable sinfull and Apostatizeing courses, fullie, freelie, and with one consent: concrediting our Right honorable and faithfull delegate Robert Hamiltoun, who hath bein highlie honored of the lord, in his engadgments, Appearances, and sufferings at home for the cause, and in his contendings and wrestleings abroad particularlie in his being a standing witnesse against yow, and your detestable and backslideinge Courses (but against whom your hands have bein active and your tongues whett like swords, and bended like boues to shot at him your arrus even bitter words) To present or cause this to be presented unto yow And to manadge it, As the Lord shall Assist, And as his cause shall require.
Glasgou 28 Novemb, 1683
Subscribed, in our Name, and by our direction,
By the Clerk of our Generall Meeting.