AN USEFULL Case of CONSCIENCE, Learnedly and Accuratly Discussed and Resolved.

Concerning Associations and Confederacies with Idolaters, Infidels, Hereticks, Malignants, or any other knoun Enemies of Truth and Godlinesse.

BY Mr. HUGH BINNING, Sometime Professor of Philosophie in the Universitie of Glas­gow, &thereafter Minister of Gods Word at Goven.

Usefull for these times: And therefore published for the be­nefit of all those, who desire to know or retain the sworn to Principles of the sometimes famous Church of Christ in SCOTLAND.

Printed in the Year M.DCXCIII.

That the Present Publick RESOLUTIONS And Proceedings, do Import a Conjunction with the MALIGNANT PARTY In the Kingdome, and of the Sin, Danger and Scandal of that way.

Sect. 1. That there is a Malignant Party still in the Kingdom.

IN the Entry to this businesse, the Importunity of not a few makes it needfull to speak somwhat to a Question which unto this time hath been unquestioned, as beyond all exception, That is. Whether there be yet in Scotland a Malignant Partie? Or, Whether there be at this time any Partie who may and ought in Reason and Christian prudence be reputed and looked upon as Ma­lignants and disaffected to the Covenanted Cause of God? It seems the mo­re needfull to speak somwhat of this. First, Because some Ministers are become slack and silent in this point, as if now there were no need of Watchfullness and Warning against any such partie. 2. Because the expressions of many of the people of the Land run that way, that there are now no Malignants in Scotland, and that it is but a few Factious Ministers that will still keep up these names, that they may more easily with, others of their oun stamp weaken and divide the Kingdome for carrying on of their oun ends. 3. Be­cause the Inclinations and Resolutions of the Publick Judicatories in referen­ce to most of the Party who carryed that name, doth clearly import that they do think they are no more to be looked upon as Malignants, as appears from severall of their papers; especially the Letter written for satisfaction to the Presbytery of Sterling. And therfore this must be laid down as the Founda­tion of what follows. ‘That there is still in the Land, not only a few per­sons; but a Party considerable for Number, Power and Policy, who are Ma­lignant and dissaffected to the Covenant and Cause of God.’ We would joyn heartily in the desire of many, that these and other such like Odious names of different parties and factions were taken away; But we cannot [Page 4] joyn in the Reasons of this desire which are ordinarly given. We wish the name Malignant were Obsolete and antiquate, if so be the thing it self, which is such a root of bitternesse, were extirpated out of the Church; yea though the thing it self remained, if men would hate it for it self, and account it more odious and hatefull than the name imports, we would be glad it were no more heard of: Because we find this prejudice by all such Appropriated Names, that People generally Looks upon that which goes under that na­me as the only sin: and as if there were not that root of bitterness in all which it grows out of in any; and so conceive themselves good Christians if they fall not under that hatefull Appellation of Malignants. But seing this bitter fruit of Enmity against Godliness and the Godly, comes to more ripeness and maturity in many of this Generation than in others, who yet are unconver­ted: And seing it hath been the Custome of the Church of God in all Ge­nerations, to discriminate many more Ungodly and knoun haters of Godli­ness and his people from the common sort of naturall people, and to com­prehend them under these names, of Wicked, of Malignant, of Enemies, as may appear in the old Testament, especially in the Psalms. And more espe­cially in our days, that name hath been appropriated to such who have de­clared themselves in their words or Actions to be haters of Godlinesse and the power thereof, and his People. Or have arisen to the height of Actu­all Opposition against these; we cannot be blamed for using such a name still, for distinctions sake. We proceed to some Reasons.

(1.) The constant and Continued Proceedings of the Generall Assembly and their Commissioners for many years past unto this day.

There is not almost any of their Warnings, Declarations or Remonstran­ces, which doth not Assert this, and warn against it, and that not only be­fore the Kings home coming and taking of the Covenant; but also since that time, as is evident by the Declaration emitted by the Commission in Iuly Last, the Declaration of the Assembly it self a litle after, by the Declaration emit­ted at Sterling since the defeat at Dumbar, the Causes of the Fast upon that defeat, the Remonstrance to the King at Perth after his escape, together with the Remonstrance given in by them to the Parliament: All which doe clear­ly hold forth this Truth.

(2.) Take Christs Rule, By their fruits ye shall know them. There is a great Party in the Land that adhere to Malignant Principles, bring forth Malignant fruits, and tread Malignant Paths. As may appear in these instances. (1.) A great many of these who have been formerly engadged in such Courses, and un­der Church Censures, did lately Conjoyne together and rise in Arms, and drew a­way the King from the Publick Counsels of the Kingdom, and refused to Lay down Arms till they got Conditions agreeable to their mind, which Course of theirs was justly declared by the Commission to carry upon it the stamp of Ma­lignancie in an Eminent way. (2.) The seeking to promove and Establish an Ar­bitrarie Power in the Person of the King, as it hath been still the Endeavour of the Malignant Party, so it hath been alwayes taken by the Kirk of Scotland as one of their Characters, and that there is a Party now in Scotland, who still hold that Principle and drive this Designe of Arbitrary Power is evident. First, Because the­se [Page 5] same men who were Lately in Arms, did not only take up Arms upon the Kings simple Warrant, and without the Knowledge and contrare to the mind of the Committee of Estates; But also received the Act of Indemnity, and laid down Arms, in obedience to the Kings Majesty, without so much as mentio­ning or Acknowledging the Committee of Estates, as it is to be seen in a Paper Subscrived by them, and in the Remonstrance of the Commission of the Gene­rall Assembly dated at Perth Novr. 29. 1650. The words whereof are these. Your Lordships would Likewise Consider, Whether it doth not Encroach upon the present Constitution of Goverment of this Kingdom, and will not Involve your Lordships in the Guilt of these mens Sin, if You shall accept upon their Laying doun of Arms, Meerly upon the Profession of Obedience to the Kings Command, without any expression of their respect and obedience to the Committee of Estates, or any Acknowledgment of their sin and Offence: which we hope you will look upon as a most Unnaturall and unseasonable rending of the Kingdom, in the tyme of this heavy Oppression by a common Enemy, and exposing the Kingdom to all misery and ruine. 2. It may be remembred that in the first Modell of the Aggreement which was made at Bredah, that clause which doth concern the determining of Civil matters in the Intervall of Parliament, by such as are Au­thorized by Parliament for that effect, and the Kings Majesty hearkening to their Advice, was wholly left out. And any who are aquainted with expressions and Inclinations of sundry Great Ones in the Land, are not ignorant of their dislyke of a Committee of Estates, and their desire to have the Administration of Matters in the Intervall of Parliament wholly devolved upon the Kings Councell. And the same spirit that would draw businesse from the Committee to a Cabinet Councell, would at last draw them from the Parliament it self: Because that is also, if not more crossing to private Interests and designes than a Committee of Estates. 3 In­stance. There is a Party in the Land who as in their hearts they do envy, and in their tongues doe Traduce men that have been stedfast and faithfull in the Covenant and Cause of God; so do they Endeavour to the utmost of their power, to bring them into Disgrace and Contempt, and to get them removed from Power and Trust; And upon the other side study with no lesse diligence to get places of Power and Trust in the Army and elswhere filled with such as either have been o­pen enemies or secret underminers. 4 Instance. Be there not many who oppo­se the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and Work of Reformation? not only by holding up that old Calumny of Malignants, concerning the seditious and factious humor of Ministers, and their stretching of themselves beyond their lyne, and by moc­king all faithfull and free preaching of the Word, and by bearing down the power of Godlinesse, deriding and hating all the lovers and followers thereof, by being impatient of the discipline and Censures of the Church; But also looking upon the Government of the Church with ane evil eye: And strongly enclyning, so­me of them, that Church Government be put in the hands of a few Prelates; most of them that it may be wholly devolved upon the Civil Government. 5. Instan­ce. There is still a party in the Land that endeavour to have the state of the Question altered, and to have Religion left out of the same; That it being sta­ted upon Civil Interest, they may take to themselves a greater Latitude in their way of carrying on business. This was holden forth to be the designe of the Ma­lignant Party in the year 1648. as appears in the Declaration of the Commission [Page 6] that year in March: and there was a Necessary and Seasonable Warning given a­gainst it by the Commission in their Declaration of the date July 1650.

(3.) Reason. Besides these who are Excommunicated, there be yet in the Land a Considerable number of persons of Chief note, who do still ly under Cen­sures of the Church, some because of their Accession to the late Unlaufull En­gadgment, others because of their Accession to the late Course of Rebellion about the time of the Kings escape from Perth; beside many others of less Note.

(4.) We suppose that it is most certain and unquestionable, that there was la­tely a Malignant Party and faction in the Land very numerous and powerfull. How many men of blood, Murderers of their brethren, as unnaturall and barba­rous as the Irishes they once joyned with against their Countrey? How many ha­ve watched all opportunities for troubling the peace of the Kingdom, and rejoyced in the day of its Calamity? How many were the Oppressors of these who Called on the Lords Name in the time of the Engadgment? What multitudes of profa­ne and Ungodly mockers of all Godlinesse and Haters and Persecuters of the God­ly, suarming every where? If this be of truth, as it is indeed; We may say, who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such a thing? Shall a Nation be born at once? And have they so soon Learned to doe well, who have been so accusto­med to doe evil? When did this Catholick Conversion fall out? and by what means? Hath the act of Indemnity and Pardon such Influence, to Justify these men from all their Butcheries and Barbarous Cruelties? The adding of three Thou­sand to the Church in one day, was miraculous in the days of miracles. But Be­hold a greater miracle than that, in the days when miracles are ceased! many Thousands added to the Church of the friends of the Cause of God in one day, and that not by preaching, which is the power of God unto Savation; Not by spirituall weapons which are mighty through God: But by the Carnall weapon of ane Act of Indemnity, and the example of one Man, the Kings Conjunction in the Cause, which at the best hath not such evidence of reality as to convince any, and change their mind. Sad experience, and the Constant Testimony of the Church of Scotland proves, that Malignancy is a weed that hath deeper and stronger roots than to be plucked up so easily; and that though there be some, yet they be but few in the Land who have been once engadged in that way, that have really and indeed abandoned and come off the same.

The point shall more appear by taking off objections that are made to the Con­trary. It is objected. 1. That these who were formerly esteemed Malignants, did oppose the work of God because they could not be perswaded in Conscience, That the Covenant and Cause were Contrived and Carryed on in a Warrantable way, those who were most instrumentall in it, seeming to them not only to act wit­hout Authority, but against Authority. But so it is, that the King hath now joined in the Covenant and added his Authority to it, and therfore it needs not be feared that these men will any more oppose it; Nay it may be expected, they will no lesse Zealously promove the ends thereof than they did formerly oppo­se the same.

Answer. This Argument supposeth some things that are false, some things at best doubtfull, and some things dangerous. It supposeth Tuo falsities. 1. That it was a ground and principle of Conscience and respect to the Kings Authority [Page 7] that made these men to oppose the Covenant and [...] of Reformation. If it was the Conscience and Conviction of the Unwarrantablness of it for the want of Authority, that stirred them up to oppose the Covenant and Cause; Then why did they subscrive it and joyn in the defence of the same against the King? 2. It supposeth that the only ground, why they did oppose and undermine the same, was, because the King was of a Contrary mind and refused to joyn in the Cove­nant, and Ratify the same by his Authority, which also is false; for there were severall other Grounds and Causes of so doing besides this. We shall name a few, leaving the rest to a further scrutinie. 1. The Naturall enmity that is in the hearts of all men against the Lord and his Anointed, his work and his people, and the power of Godlinesse, which doth effectually work in the Children of di­sobedience. 2. An Enmity against the Power of Parliament and Laws. 3. An Enmity against the Union of the Kingdoms. 4. An Enmity against the Power of Presbyteries and the Discipline of the Church. To which are opposed, A sinfull desire of breaking the bonds, and casting away the Cords of the Lord and his Anoynte; A desire to establish an Arbitrary Power and unlimited Mo­narchy; A desire to Establish a Lordly Prelaticall power in the Persons of a few, or to have the Government of the Church wholly dependent on the Civil Power; A desire to dissolve the Union of the Kingdoms, that they may be thereby weakned and less able to resist Malignant Designs against Religion and Liberties; A desire to live loosly without bands in regard of personall Reformation.

2. It supposeth somthing that is at best doubtfull, to wit, That the King hath really joyned unto the Cause of God, there being small Evidences of it, and ma­ny presumptions to the Contrary. Especially. 1. His bringing home with him into the Kingdom a number of eminent, wicked and known Malignants. His countenancing of, and familiar conversing with such in this Nation since his co­ming, and Correspondence with others of them abroad. His deserting of the Publick Counsells of the Kingdome, to joyn to a Partie of bloody and wicked men raised in Arms with his Knowledge and by his warrand. 2. His not being con­vinced of any guilt in his Father, because of his opposition to the Cause and Co­venant, notwithstanding of all the blood of the Lords people shed by him in that opposition. For verifying wherof, we appeal to the Knowledge of some No­blemen and Ministers who have occasion to know his mind, and to be serious with him in this thing.

3. It supposeth somthing that is of very dangerous Consequence 1. That the­se mens Zeal to the Cause or against it, doth ebb and flow according to the Kings being against it or for it. Since they follow the Cause, not for it self but for the King, will they not desert it when the King forsakes it? Can they be accounted reall friends of the Cause who are knoun to favour it only ad nutum Principis? As the Comaedian ait, aio, negat, nego. Is it not all one to follow the Cause for the King and for a mans oun Interest and advantage? both are alike Extrinsick and Adventitious to the Cause, both are alike Changable. Eccebulus under Constantius was a precise Christian, under Iulian a persecuting Apostate, and then again under the next Christian Emperor became a Christian: And it is like if he had outlived that Emperour till a Heathen succeeded, he should have Paganized the second time. 2. That very principle that is pretended to unite [Page 8] them to the Cause is in the self most dangerous, both to the Priviledges of Parlia­ment and Liberties of people, and to our Religion beside. Their principle of op­position was, They conceived the way followed could not be warrantable without the Kings Consent and warrant. That people might not vindicate their oun just Rights and Liberties, and their Religion, without the Kings Concurrence, or against Him. Now then, the principle of their conjunction to the cause must be this, Because it is now cloathed with Authoritie which it had not before, and which now makes it warrant­able. This principle therefore includes in the bosome of it, the establishing of Illimited and Absolute Power in Kings, the Unlawfulness of defensive wars against Tyrannie and Oppression, the Kings Negative voyce, and the dependent Power of Parliaments upon his Pleasure: All which are principles destructive of the Cause and our Liberties, and the very characters of our Enemies from the beginning. Thus they have changed their way but not their principles, and are now the more dangerous that they may not be looked upon as Enemies, but as friends. Seing it is manifest, that it is not the love of the cause that constrains them, and they know, it was not that principle that persuaded the King, but meer Necessity, contrare to his oun in­clination. May we not certainly expect, that according to their principles they will labour to set at freedom the King whom they conceive Imprisoned and captivated by the power of necessity within the limits and bounds of a regu­lated Monarchie, and to loose from him all these chains of Involuntary Treaties and Agreements, and rigid Laws and Parliaments, that he may then act in freedom and Honour according to his oun inclination and theirs both. And then farewell Religion and Liberties.

Objection 2. The most part of these who were formerlie Malignant, have now repented of that sin, and make profession of their resolution to adhere to the Covenant and Cause of God, and to bestow their lives and Estates in defence thereof: Therefore they are not now to be esteemed Malignants.

Answer. We would wish from our hearts that we had no answer to this Argument, then should we yeeld the point in hand, and yeeld it cheerfully, that there is no Malignant party now in Scotland. But, alas! that we have so much evidence convincing our consciences and persuading them to deny what is objected. We acknowledge some have indeed repented, and such we desire to embrace and receive with all tenderness & love, as Godly Chri­stians, worthy to be entrusted: But yet the most part of them do still bring forth the same Malignant fruits. Their ungodly and wicked practi­ses testify to their face that they have nothing to do to take his Covenant in their mouth, seing they hate to be Reformed. The late rising in Arms, con­trare to their solemne and particular engadgments; Their bearing down and reproaching the Godly, and such as are of known Integrity; Their studying to fill places of Trust with men formerly Enemies or Underminers; Their continuing in their profane and loose walking. All these are more convincing evidences of their retaining their Old principles, than any extor­ted confessions or professions, for sinister respects and ends, can be probable signs of their repentance and change.

We desire these things to be remembred. That the Engadgment was Car­ryed [Page 9] on, not by Open and professed Enemies; but such as had made publick profession of their repentance, and were therupon admitted to trust. 2. That upon consideration of the hypocrisy and instability of these men appearing in that and other particulars, the Kirk and Kingdom of Scotland did take upon themselves strait Bonds and Engadgments to exclude such from Trust, untill such time as they had given reall evidences of the reality of their Re­pentance, and of abandoning their former Principles and wayes; of which this Kirk was to judge Impartialie as in Gods sight. 3. That it hath been confessed and preached by manie Godly Ministers, and was given in by sun­dry in the time of the search of the Lords Controversy against the Land, in Novr. last at Perth, and hath been bemoaned and regrated by many of the people who feared God; That there is a great deal of sin and Guilt Lying on the Kirk of Scotland, for the sudden receiving of Scandalous persons, especially Malignants, to the publick profession of Repentance before there was in them any reall evidence of their forsaking their former Principles and wayes.

Objection 3. None are now to be esteemed Malignants, in reference to Employment and Trust, but such as stand Judiciallie Debarred by Kirk and State to be so: for certainly, men are not to ly under the burden of so great a reproach, upon the privat whisperings and Common reports of others; otherways, honest men may be wronged, and there shall be no end of con­fusion, or terminating this Controversie, there being no certain Rule to walk by in it.

Answer. We Acknowledge that surmisings, whisperings and reports of others are not sufficient, but that a Rule is needfull. All the Question will be, what is that Rule? And though the Judiciall debarring of Judicatories be not all, but it must be Ruled by another Rule, yet are we willing to take it for so much: for even that will prove there is yet a Malignant Party in Scotland: Because many are standing under Church Censures. These invol­ved in the Late Rebellion, are standing under a sentance of the Commission, declaring them to be following their old Malignant designes, few of them are yet admitted to profession of Repentance. We desire it may be Con­sidered, that the Rule holden forth by the Kirk of Scotland, 1648. for admitting of Persons to Trust, is of larger extent than Judiciall sentence or Censure. To wit, that they be such against whom there is no just cause of exception nor jealousy. 2. Albeit a Judiciall tryall or Censure be indeed ne­cessary, for inflicting punishment or Censure upon men: Yet it is not necessary for avoyding Association with them, or debarring them from Trust. 3. If none were to be accounted Malignants, but they who are Judicially▪ declared to be such, what needed the Kirk of Scotland have frequently taken so much pains, to give Characters to know them by; there being so clear and Com­pendious a way besyde? Hath there not been alwayes in the Land secret un­derminers as well as open Enemies? And hath not faithfull men avoyded the one as well as the other? 4. The Generall Assembly 1648. Declared the taking in of these who followed Iame Grahame to be Association with Malignants, though most part of them were then Released from Church Censures.

Section 2. That the Present Publick Resolutions, expressed in The Commissions Answer to the Parliaments Quaere, and the Act of the Levie, doe not exclude that Party.

IN the next Place, Upon supposall and proof, that there is a Malignant Party & faction still in the Land; It is needfull to examine, whether the exceptions contained in the Answer of the Commission to the Parliaments Quaere, and insert into the Act of Levie, be so Comprehensive as to include all that Party. The exceptions be four. First, Such as are excommunicated. 2. Such as are For­faulted. 3. Such as are Notoriously profane or flagitious. And 4. Such as have been from the beginning, and continues still, Or at this tyme are, obstinate Enemies and opposers of the Covenant and Cause of God. That these are not Comprehensive of the whole Malignant Party in the Land, appears.

First, The Rules of the Generall Assembly framed for the exclusion of all such, as ought not to be employed in our Armies, are far more Comprehensi­ve. The Rule is for employing of such only as are of a Christian and blameless Conversation, which is turned over by their Commissioners into a Negative, All that are not notoriously profane or flagitious. Another is, For entrusting only these who have been of knoun Integrity and Constant Friends to the Cause of God, from the beginning. Which is also turned over into a Negative; All that have not been Constant Enemies. All such, by the answer, are Capable of some Trust and Employ­ment. The Rules agreed upon by the Assembly, and Ratifyed by Act of Par­liament Anno 1649. And renewed upon occasion of this Invasion, was, That no Officer nor Souldier that followed Iames Graham, should be permitted in the Army; Nor any Officer that was on the Engadgment, except such as upon Reall evidence of Repentance, were Particularly Recommended by the Church, Nor any Common souldier, but upon sufficient Testimony of his Repentance. Now since it is proved, that the most part of all such, continues still Malig­nants, and retains their old Principles▪ And that the bulk and bodie of the people are Called forth by the Publick Resolution, without such exceptions as were conceived before necessary, for the exclusion of that Party; It follows clearly, that the Malignant Partie is not excepted in the present Resolutions.

2. Few of these who were in the Late Rebellion, and declared, not ma­ny days since, to be following a most Malignant designe and Course, are Con­tained under these exceptions; Because very few of them are Excommunica­ted or Forfaulted: and though moe of them be indeed flagitious and Profane; Yet very few of them will fall under the Compasse of the Exception, Noto­riously flagitious. Many wicked things will be said to concurr to make up a Profane man; some acts will not serve; a habit must be demonstrated: and though that were shewed; Yet there must be also Notoriety of it, which im­ports a man to be famous for Loosnes and Profanity; and there be none al­most, if any, in the Land, who have been professed Enemies from the begin­ning, and Continue so to this day. Iames Graham was not such. It is the matter of our sad Complaint, that whilst many are Enemies, they make Profession and Semblance of friendship. 3. These exceptions doe not Comprehend a­ny [Page 11] who are under Censure for Malignancy or Profanity, except such as are under the sentance of Excommunication; And that even such may not be ex­cluded, Lest the Rule be transgressed, by admitting and employing Excom­municated Persons. 'Tis withall resolved, that these Persons shall be relaxed from that sentence, that so they may be immediately in the same Capacity of Employment with others, whatever formerly hath been their Opposition or Defection. Some exceptions must be made, for Honesty and Credits sa­ke: But the nearest and readiest way is taken to make them Ineffectuall. 4. These exceptions do not only not reach these who were upon the Unlawfull Engadgment, and have not as yet given sufficient proof of their Abando­ning their Malignant Principles and Courses; But come not the Length of Comprehending these men of blood who followed Iames Graham, and in the most barbarous and Cruell way, shed the blood of their oun Brethren and Gods people; because the most part of these are not Ex communicated nor For­faulted. Nor Notoriously flagitious and Profane, Nor such as have from the be­ginning been, and are still Enemies. If any will say, that such are Comprehen­ded under these exceptions. Why did the Commission expresse the exceptions in such terms, as to mens common Apprehension do not include many? es­pecially seing there are known Rules, particular and distinct, without Ambi­guity; and seing there is such a Propension in Rulers to employ all without Difference, which would undoubtedly take Advantage of any thing that seemed to look that way.

It is likewise manifest, that the second part of the Answer, relating to the Capacity of Acting, is loadned with the same Inconvenience. 1. There is no posi­tive determination of the Qualifications of Persons to be intrusted, as in for­mer times it was agreed on by the Assembly and their Commissioners: but that is now referred to the discretion of the Parliament; Together with such Diminutive termes, as gives them great Latitude to go upon. Before, No trust was given to such persons; Now, it is allowed they shal have some trust: and how much is not determined, nor what degree of it is prejudiciall to the Cause; Which it appears, the Parliaments proceedings in Nomination of Officers, unquestioned by the Commission, is a good Commentarie to ex­pone that they may have any trust, except to be Generall Officers▪ 2. Our former Estalished Rule was, that no persons should be Entrusted, but such as are of known Integritie, and have been constant friends of the Cause. But how far is this diminished? They who are such, only recommended to be espcial­ly taken notice of. Less could not be said by any, more ought to have been said by the Commission. And though no such notice be taken of such by the Par­liament; But on the Contrare, those who have been most faithfull, and suffered in the late defeat at Hamiltoun. They are used as Enemies, worse than Malignants in former times; yet there is no Testimony given against such things. Quantum mutatus ab illo Coetu qui quondam fuit!

Before we enter upon the Chief Question, We offer these manifest and known Truths to Consideration.

1. The Occasion of Contriving and subscribing first the Nationall Covenant, and then the Solemne League and Covenant, was, The designes and Practises [Page 12] of the Popish, Prelaticall and Malignant Partie, against Religion and the Work of Reformation in these Kingdoms. 2. Since the Contriving and subscriving of the same, it hath been the continual endeavour of that Party, somtimes by Undermining, and sometimes by open Opposition, to undo the same, and to bear down all those that clave honestly thereto, and faithfully prosecute all the ends thereof. 3. That there hath been these many years past, and still is, such a Party, in all the three Kingdoms, Considerable for Number, Power and Policy. 4. That that party, hath always prosecuted their designe, under a Colour of gzeal and respect to the Kings Authority and Interest. 5. That that party hath al­ways been the Authors and Abettors of much bloodshed, many Miseries and sad Calamities to these Nations. 6. That the People of God in these Kingdoms, have taken upon themselves a most Solemne and Sacred bond of ane Oath and Covenant to Discover them, and bring them to Condigne punishment. 7. That it hath been one of the predominant sins of Scotland under the bond of the Cove­nant, to Comply with them. 8. That Indignation and wrath from the Lord, hath been following that Party and their Designes these years past. 9. That Complyances with them hath alwayes been Cursed to us of God. 10. That few of that Party, doe really Abandon & forsake their corrupt Principles and way, and joyn Cordially in the Cause and Covenant. 11. That many of them doe, after the Profession of their Repentance for their opposition to the Cause and Covenant of God, relapse frequently into the same sin. 12. That sudden re­ceiving of many of them to Fellowship and Trust, and too great Credulity in beleiving their professions, hath often cost this Land very dear 13. That upon Consideration of the deep Treachery and Hypocrisie of these men, and the sad Consequents following upon sudden receiving of them, without Evidence of a Change, after long and renewed Experience, this Land renewed their obli­gations more strictly in the Solemne Engadgment. 14. That there hath been a Designe driven these two years past, to get that Partie again in Power and Trust. 15. That this designe hath been testified against, by the Publick Re­solutions of the Judicatories unto this time. 16. That as it hath been driven at very cunningly and Actively, by many Instruments and Arguments of se­verall sorts; so hath it gained ground peece and peece, untill at Length many of them are brought into the Court, and to the Armie and Judicatories in the Countrey: And now, by the Publick Resolutions, they are generally to be employed and Intrusted. Thus the Designe is Accomplished. But 17. These men do not satisfie themselves with some Degree of Power; But endeavour to Ingross the whole power of the Kingdome into their oun hands, and study to bring into Contempt, and Cull out these, who have been and do continue Constant in the Cause of God. 18. That having power into their hands, They must act according to their oun Principles, and for estalishing their oun Ends. And Lastly, That these Principles and Ends, are destructive to the Covenant and Work of Reformation.

That the Employing of, and Associating with the Malig­nant Party, according as is contained in the Publick Re­solutions, is Sinfull and Unlawfull.

IF there be in the Land a Malignant Party of Power and Policy, and the Exceptions Contained in the Act of Leviae doth Comprehend but few of that Party; Then there needs be no more difficulty to prove, that the Pre­sent Publick Resolutions and Proceedings, do import ane Association and Con­junction with a Malignant Party, than to gather a Conclusion from clear Premisses. But that such a Conjunction is in it self sinfull and unlawfull, and besides, A violation of our solemne Oaths and Engadgments; A backsly­ding from our Principles and Professions, And a walking Contrare to the whole tenure and current of our former Resolutions and practises, is now to be made manifest.

First, We reason from that Constant, standing and perpetuall Rule, which the Lord gives concerning the modelling and Carriage of the Armies of his peo­ple in all their Wars. Deut. 23. 9. When the Host goes forth against their ene­mies, then Keep thee from everie wicked thing. And after. If there be among yow, any man that is unclean, by reason of uncleanness that Chanceth him in the night, then shall he go abroad out of the Camp, he shall not come within the Camp. (If for Ceremoniall uncleanness he was to be excluded, much more for Morall, as our Divines Reason from the Old Testament in the point of Excommunication; and if for uncleanness not Voluntary, much more for Voluntary wickednesse.) The Reason of all is given verse 14. for the Lord thy God walks in the midst of the Camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine Enemies before thee: Therfore shall thy Camp be holy, that he see no unclean thing in thee and turn away from thee. Even as they would expect a blessing of the Lord, so ought they to keep their Camp holy, as he is holy; He gives not such a strict Rule for the Competen­cy of Number, as for the Qualifications of the Persons, as being the Prin­cipall thing. Therfore the present Conjunction with so many ungodly and wicked men, that have formerly declared themselves Enemies to God and his people, and to this day give no evidence to the contrary, is sinfull and unlawfull.

2. The Lord hath frequently in scripture declared his dislike and hatred of such Associations and Conjunctions. The Scriptures cited in the Generall Assemblies Declaration in the year 1648. against the Engadgment, are suf­ficient proof of this. We shall take the Argument as it is formed by the Com­missioners of that Assembly, In their Answer to the Observations of the Committee of Estates upon the Assemblies Declaration. Pag. 7. ‘Every En­gadgment in War, that is pretended to be for Religion, and hath in it a Confederacie & Association with wicked men, enemies of True Religion is sinfull and unlawfull. But the present Engadgment in War, as it is held forth in the Publick Resolutions, is pretended to be for Religion; and yet hath in it a Confederacy and Conjunction with wicked men, and Enemies of True Religion.’ Ergo. The second Proposition is evident from the two first Sections.

[Page 14] The first Proposition is proved from these Scriptures forementioned, God forbade Conjunctions and Confederacies with the Enemies of his Cause and people. Not only the Canaanites. Exod. 34. 12. 15. Deut. 7. 2. and other Heathens, Such was Asa his Covenant with Benhadad 2. Chron. 16. to verse 10. Ahaz his Confederacy with the King of Assyria 2 Kings 16. 7, 10. 2 Chron. 18. 16. But also with wicked men of the seed of Abraham, as Iehoshaphats with Ahab 2 Chron 18. 3. And Ahab King of Israel said unto Iehoshaphat King of Iudah, with thow go with me to Ramoth-Gilead? And he Answered him, I am as thow art, and my people as thy people, and we will be with thee in the war. Compared with Chap. 19. 2. And Iehu the son of Hanani the Seer, went out to meet him, and said to King Iehoshaphat, Shouldst thow help the ungodly, and Lo­ve them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. And with Ahaziah 2 Chron. 20. 35. And after this did Iehosbaphat King of Iudah joyn himself with Abaziah King of Israel, who did very wickedly. Which being reproved for, he would not again joyn with Ahaziah 1 Kings 22. 49. Then said Ahaziah the Son of Ahab unto Iehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships: But Iehoshaphat would not. And then Amaziah's Asso­ciation with 100000 of Israel 2 Chron. 25. 7, 8, 9, 10. But there came a man of God to him, saying, O King Let not the Armie of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with all the Children of Ephraim. ver 8. But if thow will go, do it, be strong for the battel: God shall make thee fall before the Enemy: for God hath power to help and to Cast down. ver 9. And Amaziah said to the man of God. But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have gi­ven to the Army of Israel? And the man of God answered. The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. ver 10. Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the Army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: Wherfore their an­ger was greatly Kindled against Iudah, and they returned home in great anger. The sin and danger of such Associations may further appear from Isay 8. 12, 13. Say ye not, A Confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A Con­federacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. ver 13. Sanctifie the Lord of Hosts himself, and let Him be your fear, and let him be your dread. Jer. 2. 18. And now what hast thow to do in the way of Assyria to drink the Waters of the River? Psal. 106. 35. But were mingled among the Heathen and learned their works. Ho­sea 5. 13. When Ephraim saw his sicknesse, and Iudah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to King Iareb: Yet could be not heal yow, nor cure yow of your wound. and Chap. 7. 8, 11. Ephraim, he hath mixed himself a­mong the people, Ephraim is a cake not turned. ver. 11. Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart, they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. 2 Cor. 6. 14, 15. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteou­ness with unrighteousness? and what Communion hath Light with darknesse? ver 15. And what Concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that belie­veth with an Infidel? And if we should esteem Gods enemies our enemies, and hate them with perfect hatred, how can we then joyn with them as friends? Psal. 139. 21.

The Committee of Estates at that time endeavoured to elude the strength of these Scriptures, and vindicate their Engadgment from the falling within [Page 15] the Compasse of them. But the Commission of the Assembly that year took the mask off their evasions. Would to God we had no other Party to deal with now. It was the evil and Complaint of that time, that Church and State was divided. But what ane evil time are we now fallen into, that the union of these in this point, is the complaint of many of the Godly? The Commission, in their Letter to Sterling Presbyterie, sets up the Committees answer in a new dresse, and holds it out for satisfaction to our Consciences. All that is answered may be reduced to three or four heads.

1. There is made a great difference between ane Invasive and Defensive War, as if in the one, Choise of Instruments ought to be sought: but in the case of Just and necessary defence, all subjects may be Imployed.

To which we answer. 1. That the Scriptures cited conclude most expresly against Conjunctions of that Kind in defensive Wars. Such was Asa's Co­venant, such was Ahaz his Confedracie. Was not the reproofs of the Prophets directed particularly against the peoples seeking of help from Egypt and Assy­ria in the Case of their oun Just and necessary defence? Ier. 2. 18. Hosea 5. 13. and 7. 8. 11. Isay, 8. 12, 13. 2 Chron. 16. to ver 10. 2. The Law and Rule given Deut. 23. is Generall, regulating all their Wars whether Defensive or Offensive; and it is strange that any should imagine such a difference whe­re the Law makes none; nay, when the ground of the Law is Morall and Generall, equally respecting all Wars. Is there any Ground of Conscience, why wicked persons may not be kept in the camp when we invade others, and yet these may be employed and entrusted when we defend our sel­ves? If there be any Reason to preferr the one to the other in this point, we conceive Defensive War should have the preference: Because when the Lord brings upon us injust invasion, he is ordinarly pursuing a Controversie against us: and therfore we ought to be most tender and circumspect, that there be no unclean thing in the Camp, and put away every wicked thing from us, even the appearance of evil; Lest we add oyl to the flame of his Indignation, and he seeing such ane unclean thing in us, turn yet further from us. Except we say, that we need not take a care to have God in the camp with us, when we are upon Just and necessary defence, seing our Cause is so good. 3. There is more hazard and danger to our Religion and Liberties, to have a wicked Malignant Army at home among us, than abroad in another Nation. Whi­le they are here, they have the power of the Sword, and can command all: But there might be some hope and endeavour, for vindicating our oun Liberties and Religion while they are abroad, as it fell out in the time of the Engadgment.

2. It is answered, that there is a difference between this Case and the En­gadgment: Because there was then no necessity of choosing such Instruments, a competency of power might be had: But now it is not so: And therfore the Scriptures mentioned do not militate against the present case. Answer 1. The Scriptures cited will obviate this. What made Israel and Iudah, run to Egypt and Assyria for help, but their weakness and necessitie? Their wound was incurable, and their bruise grievous, as Ieremiah often Laments, and par­ticularly Cap. 8. 20, 21, 22. and 10. 19. &c. and yet this did not excuse them for going to Egypt or Assyria to heal their wound Hos. 5. 13. and 7. 8, 11. [Page 16] The Scripture holds out Infidelity and Distrust in God, as the ground of such Associations. 2. Chron. 16. 7, 8, 9. Isay. 8. 12, 13. Which proceeds from the incompetency of Means as the occasion of it. 2. Suppose there were a necessitie for the calling forth the bodie of the Common people, yet certainly, there is no necessity of Employing any such persons of whom the Question is, and putting them in places of Trust: There is none can deny, but there are, besides all secluded persons, many, that might fill the places of Trust and Power: Therfore the plea of necessity is but a Pretence to cover some De­signe, that under its specious and Plausible Covering, the power of the Land may be Ingrossed into the hands of Malignants: And so by this means all Power and Trust may return as the rivers to the sea or fountain (as they Judge) the King; that so in his Person there may be established ane Unlimited and Arbitrary Power. 3. Necessity is a very plausible Argument and strong plea to Carnall reason for any thing; But it cannot be a good ground, in point of Con­science, for that which is sinfull in it self. Now that this is sinfull in it self appears from the Word of God, simply condemning such Associations upon mo­ral, and so Generall and perpetuall grounds. Now in such a case of necessity, we are called either to trust in God, in the use of competent means, seing in such Cases we have so many promises; or, if all help be gone, which God al­lows us to make use of, we must wait on him till He bring Salvation with his oun Arm.

But because the plea of necessity is the strongest that is made use of for the Present Publick Resolutions, we must consider it a litle more. It is aleadged, that the best part of the Land is under the feet of the Enemie, and so no help can be had from it; and for other parts of the Land which are yet free, there is not much Choise of Persons; and the testimony of faithfull men in the State, Declares, that when all that are called forth of these places, are gathered, it cannot amount to a power Competent enough: And therefore in such a Question of the Existence of second means, the knowledge whereof immediately depends on sense and experience, these who are not aquainted, should give Credit to the testimony of faithfull Witnesses. And that a Com­petency of power must be had, according to the ordinary way of Providence, in relation to which we must act, except we would tempt God by requiring of him wonders.

Answer. Suppose the Enemies Armie to Consist of 20000 or above, Are there not moe sensible persons in the Shyres on the North side of Forth? Be­lieve it who please, we cannot stop our oun Consciences, and put out our oun eyes. Let the rolls of severall shyres be Looked to, and it shall confute that Testimony. Nay, are there not moe persons not formerly secluded in all the­se Shyres? What meant the Levie appointed immediately after Dumbar? was not 10000 Foot and 1400 Horse put upon these Shyres which are not under the power of the Enemy? and yet the Rules of exclusion was not a­bandoned. Now all these, or most part of these, are yet in the Countrey not Levied. Money was taken in stead of men, the Levies obstructed; So that there was litle Addition to the strength of the Forces that remained; the For­ces diverted by the insurrection of the Malignants in the North, at the Kings [Page 17] command or warrand. All which hath such pregnant presumptions of a de­signe carryed on to Necessitate the Kingdom to Employ that Party, by the cunning Polititians of the time, by obstructing the Levies, raising the Ma­lignants, and then pacifying them by an act of Indemnity: and at last openly and avowedly Associating with them. Thus the designe is accomplished which was long since on foot.

2. If satisfying Courses had been studyed by the publick Judicatories to carry on all the Godly in the Land with their Resolutions, there had accrued strength from the parts of the Land be-south Forth, which would have com­pensed all that competency of Power that the Conjunction of the Mali­gnants makes up: and it may be would have been more blessed of God. 3. If there be no help required nor expected from these parts of the Kingdom be-south Forth, wherefore did the Commission write to the Presbyteries in these bounds that they might Concur actively in their stations for the furthe­rance of the Levies, and choose Ministers to go out with them?

3. It is Answered That the Confederacies reproved were Unlawful, because they were either with Heathens, or with Idolaters, strangers and Forrai­gners. This is answered to the Case of Amaziah &c. and so it seems not to make against the present Case, the employing all Subjects in the just and neces­sary defence of the Kingdom.

Answer. 1. This answer at one blow cuts off all the strength of the Ge­nerall Assemblies reason against the Association with Malignants in that year. There might be some few persons Idolaters, but there was no party and faction such; and yet they can deny Association with the English Malignants from these Scriptures; Yea not only with them, but with our oun Countrey­men that was in Rebellion with Iames Grahame, who were neither Idola­ters nor Forraigners. We need no other answer than the Commission at that time gave to the Committee of Estates using that same evasion. pag. 10. 11. 2. The ground and reason whereupon such Associations are condemned, is more generall and comprehensive. Iehoshaphat was reproved for joyning with Ahab, because he was ungodly and hated the Lord, which is properly in our terms, because he was a Malignant and profane man. It were a strange mocking of Scripture to Restrict Ungodliness, in that place to the sin of Idola­try. Confederacie with the Canaanites and other Nations was forbidden on this ground, that the people be not ensnared, and learn not their works. Now is not the Company of, and Communion with ungodly men of the same ge­nerall profession, but mockers and haters of the power thereof, as infecti­ous and ensnaring? Nay its more apt to ensnare because of the profession. Paul would have as much distance kept with a brother walking Unorderly, as a Pagan: for such a one as walks contrary to their profession of the true Religion, do evidence more ungodliness and wickednesse, than a ignorant and superstitious Papist that walks precisely according to his profession. The­re is some Principle of Conscience stirring in the one: but its seared in the other with an hot iron. God ranks such, who are Uncircumcised in heart, with the uncircumcised in flesh. Ought not his people to do so to? 3. The Rule of modelling Armies and purging the Camp is most Comprehensive Deut. 23. [Page 18] Not only of Idolaters and Forraigners, but every wicked thing and Unclean thing was to be removed out of the Camp. Now seing these Examples are transgressions of this Law, what reason is there to make the only ground of reproving and condemning of them to be, because Idolaters were Asso­ciated with, as if any other might be joyned with that is not an Idolater. 4. That Reason against Amaziah's Conjunction with Israel is wrested by some, expounding it thus. God is not with them, is not understood in regard of a state of grace, as appears, nor in regard of Gods prospering providence: because he was often with them in that Regard: but it must be understood in regard of an Idolatrous pro­fession. But we reply, that it is true it is not understood in regard of a state of grace; nor simply in regard of his prospering Providence: But Ut plurimum, the Lord for the most part crossing them till they were cutt off from being a Nation. But especially it is to be meant in regard of a Course opposite to God, according as the Lord speaks, 2 Chron. 15: 2. The Lord is with you while ye be with him; but if ye forsake him he will forsake you. If any will restrict this to Idolatry, he hath no ground from Scripture for such a Limitation; but being engadged in the business, he wrests the Scriptures to his oun destruction. Sure we are, there are many palpable forsakings of God, and Gods forsaking of men, beside Idolatry and false worship. 5. That which is said, That God did not Com­mand Amaziah to dismisse any of his oun Subjects. Either it makes nor much to the present business, or els it strikes against the Law of God it self, that Commanded such strict purging of the Camp. From whom I pray you? Cer­tainly from wicked Israelites, from wicked Countrey men: Therefore if there was any such among the men of Iudah, he ought to have put them out of the Army as well as the Israelites. Nay the Command of dismissing the Israe­lites, was, really and upon the Matter, a Command to Purge his Camp of all that was of the stamp of the Israelites. It is strange that the Civil difference of strangers and Citizens should make such Difference in the point of Con­science. Ought we not to hate the Lords enemies with a perfect hatred, not as English-men, not as strangers, but as Enemies. Levi knew not his bro­ther, this was his honour; but many now for respect to their brethren, know not God. It is the Moral Quality that the Law of God respects, without respect of Persons and Countreys. To be a Citizen, if not qualified, doth no more plead for employment in foro Conscientiae and before God, than to be a stranger and qualified doth impede trust and employment in foro Conscientiae and before God.

5. It may be Answered (and it is by some) That these Scriptures plead, that there should be no Conjunction with wicked men in a Quarrell of Religion: but seing our present business is the Defence of the Kingdome, all subjects, as subjects, stand in Capacity of employment for that end, though in reference to the defence of Religion there must be a choise.

Answer. 1. The Commission have vindicated themselves in a letter to Ster­ling Presbytery from that Imputation, that it is said, they state the Quarrell and Cause meerly upon Civil things in the Answer to the Parliaments Que­rie. But Certainly there is just ground given to these that are watching for [Page 19] any such thing, to state the Cause so: because they do contrare to all for­mer Custom and Practise, mention the Defence of the Kingdom only, as it had been of purpose, to make the employing of all members of the body or subjects of the Kingdom for its defence more Plausible. But we answer to the point, The Associations and Conjunctions that are Condemned in the cited Scriptures, are some of them for Civil Quarrells, so far as we know; some of them in the point of just and necessary Defence of the Kingdom, and yet that doth not Justifie them. 2. The Rule given them Deut. 23. was regulating all their wars, and clearly holds forth, that all subjects as subjects, and members of the Politick body, though as such there is an obligation lying on them to Defend the whole; yet they are not in actuall and nearest Capacity to the performance of the Duty, if they be wicked and unclean. And the reason is, because the Lord would have the Wars of his People his oun wars, and all that they do, to his Glory; Num. 21▪ 14. 2. Chron. 20: 15. Col. 3: 17. More especially such solemne undertakings, there ought to be a difference between his people, acting for Self-defence, and other Na­tions. 3. Although the Defence of the Kingdom and Defence of the Cause, be Different in themselves, yet are they Unseparable. Whoever is entrusted with the Defence of the Kingdome really and de facto; he is to ipso entrusted with the defence of the Cause: Therefore the People of God, who ought alwise to have Religion first in their eye, ought, especially in raising Forces for self-preservation, levell at Religion, and direct the Choise of Instru­ments in Relation to that Mark, that they destroy not Christians while they save Subjects, and preserve our bodies to destroy our souls.

3. Reason. That which is dissonant from and contrare unto all our for­mer Resolutions and Proceedings, Oaths and Engadgments, Confessions and Humiliations, must needs be most Unlawfull, or they themselves, as to that point, were Unlawfull. But the present Resolutions and proceedings are disso­nant from, and contrare to all these. Ergo. Either our Present or our for­mer Resolutions and Practises were Unlawfull; either we were wrong before, or we are not right now. The second Proposition may be made manifest from 1. The present Resolutions are contrare to the Solemne League and Covenant in the fourth Article and the sixth. To the fourth, Because we put power in the hands of a Malignant Party, power of the sword, which is inconsi­stent in the oun nature of it with either actuall punishing of them, or endea­voring to bring them to punishment. Unless it be intended to bring them all forth, and expose them to the slaughter for a Sacrifice for the Land, which may be the Lords mind indeed, howbeit they know not his thoughts. And to the sixth Article, Because its a declyning to the contrary Party, even that party against whom the Covenant was at the making expresly contri­ved. And as the Declaration of the Generall Assembly 1648. hath it, Its a joyning with one enemy to beat another, with a black Devil to beat a white.

It is most Ingenuously answered, that the present Resolutions are not con­trare to the Covenant. Because such as are descrived in the Covenant are [Page 20] not allowed to be employed, meaning, that these men are not now Malignants. What needs men make such a Compasse to Justifie the Publick Reso­lutions, seing there is so easy and ready a way straight at hand? This one answer might take off all the Arguments made against them, that there is no Malignant party now: which is the foundation that being removed, all the building must fall to the ground. But we have in the First article evin­ced that, which had been scandalous to have proved, if it had not been Que­stioned. If it were indeed true, that no Malignants are allowed to be em­ployed, what needed the Commission in their Letter to Sterling Presbytery take so much pains from Scripture and Reason to justify the present Resolu­tions, when the clearing of that one point had cleared all? As for the De­claration of the Assembly Anno 1648. It is answered, that none are to be employed, that continue natourly in the Courses of Malignancy, which was done that year. Wheras the Malignant Party that was then Associated with, would have en­gadged to be faithfull to all the ends of the Covenant, many of them were such as had been in Covenant, and made shew of their repentance for their defection from it: and so there is no difference in this particular.

2. The solemne Acknowledgment of Publick sins is so clear and peremptory in this, that it makes us tremble to think on it Pag. 6 ‘Should we again break his Commandments and Covenant, by joyning any more in Affinity with the people of these Abominations, and take in our bosome these ser­pents, which have formerly stung us almost to death? this, as it would argue much folly and madness, So no doubt, it would provoke the Lord to consume us till there be no remnant of escaping.’ Let the 6th. Article also be consi­dered. Joyn to this the Declaration of the Commission, upon report of this enemies invading Pag. 6. where it is Declared, that Malignants shall not be Associated with, nay not countenanced and permitted to be in our Armies. The Generall Assembly after this, upon the enemies entry into Scotland, gi­ves serious warning to the Rulers, to take heed of snares from that Partie: and that the rather, because men ordinarly are so taken with the sense of Danger, as not to Look back to that which is behind them &c. How often have we sentenced our selves unto Wrath▪ and Consumption if we shall fall into this sin again? All these and the like, are endeavoured to be taken off, by saying that our Engadgments in this point, was conceived in a way of Prose­cution of the Cause; But to be no impediment of just and necessary defence which we are bound to by Natures Law which no humane Law can Infringe.

But we reply. 1. It is strange, our prosecution of the Cause these years past, should be Contradistinguished from the defence of it and the Kingdo­me. It was conceived that our War in England was Defensive not Invasive, that it was necessitated for the defence even of our Kingdom, but it seems it is now questioned; But passing what was acted abroad, Certainly all our Wars at home were meerly Defensive, both against unjust Invasion and sedi­tious Insurrections. Now our solemne Engadgments were conceived, in re­lation▪ to our actings at Home especially, and modelling our Armies for the defence of our Liberties and Religion. We knew well enough that a just invasive war is a rare accident in the world, and that the flock of [Page 21] Jesus Christ are, for the most part, obnoxious to the violence of others, as sheep among wolves: but are not often called to prey upon others. 2. To call our Solemne Engadgments and Declarations, grounded upon our oaths and upon the Word of God, Humane Laws and Constitutions, that must cede to Natures Law, it is indeed ingenuous dealing: because to Justifie the present proceedings, there can be no more expedite way, than to condemne by past Resolutions for the peremptoriness of them, and to make them groun­ded on Politick Considerations, which are alterable: But it imports a great change of Principles. We conceive that all Humane Laws that are not for the Matter grounded on the Word of God, that oblidge not Conscience but in the Case of Scandal, and in regard of the generall end, are alterable, and chan­geable, whenever they come in opposition to the Law of Nature, Self-defence, Law of God written in the Word. And therefore that Act of Parliament mentioned by the Commission, Discharging all subjects to rise without the Kings Command, which was made use of against our first taking Arms, was no wayes binding on the subjects not to rise in the Defence of their Religion and Li­berties when in hazard. And we wonder that that Law should be compared to our Solemne Engadgments, which are grounded upon oaths and Gods Word, as touching the very matter and substance of them, as if our Engadgments did no more bind us now, in case of defence, than that Law did bind us then. Royalists might be excused for preferring the Kings will to Gods; but we cannot be pardoned for equalizing them. And especially while we consider that that forementioned Act undoubdely hath been intended, for the establishing of ane Arbitrary and Absolute Power in the Kings hand; that the Subjects may not have Liberty to save themselves, except the King will. Whe­re God hath given us Liberty by the Law of Nature, or his Word; No King can justly ty us, and when God binds us and oblidges us by any of these, No King or Parliament can loose us or unty us. 3. The Declaration of the Commission and Assembly upon this invasion, Renues the same bond of our former Engadgments; Yea and speaks expresly, in the Case of fewness and scarceness of Instruments, against the Unbelief of people that are ready in danger to choose any help. Therefore that which is said in answer, that at that time there was a Choise of Instruments which now is not, it may in­deed condemn and falsifie the Declarations at that time, in the suppo­sing of the Paucitie of Instruments, and in the application of that Do­ctrine and divine truth to that time; but it doth not speak any thing against the application of that truth therein contained to our time; it being more manifest, that we have greater necessity and less Choise of Instru­ments: and so in greater hazard of unbelief, and overlooking what is be­hind us.

3. It is of all Considerations the most Confounding, to reflect upon our for­mer Humiliations and Fasts. How often hath it been Confessed to God, as the predominant Publick sin of Scotland, Countenancing and Employing the Malignant Partie? But when we call particalarlie to mind the first Solemne Fast after the defeat at Dumbar, Astonishment takes hold on us, to think, that it is now defended as a Duty, which, but some moneths ago, was Solemnly con­fessed [Page 22] as a sin, the not purging of the Army, the obstructing of that work, and great inclinations to keep in and fetch in such Persons, and the repin­ing at, and crying out against all that was done in the contrarie, was then reckoned as the great Cause of Gods Wrath, and his sad stroak upon us. What distraction may this breed in the hearts of the people of the Land, to hear that same thing Complained of as great sin to day, and Commended as a necessary Duty to morrow? Is not all the Land presently called to mourn for the Kings sins, of which this is one, the designing a Conjunction with the Malignant Party, and giving them warrand to rise in Arms for the de­fence of the Kingdome? Now, how shall they be able to reconcile these in their oun minds, at the same time to mourn for that as a sin in the King, which they hear commended as the Duty of the Parliament? To fast a day for that as the Kings sin, which they must go about to morrow as their oun Duty? Tell it not in Gath, Publish it not in Ashkelon: lest the Daughters of the Phi­listines rejoyce. Heathens may rise in Judgment against this Generation. Semper­idem [...]elle atque idem nolle haec demum sapientiae est. If any wise man be ubique & semper sibi pay & idem, what ought a Godly man to be?

3. Reason. That which is an Uncertain mean of preservation of the King­dom, and a more Certain mean of destruction of Religion, is utterly unlawfull. But the employing and entrusting of all men promiscuously, according as is holden out in the publick Resolutions; is, at best an, uncertain mean of the preservation of the Kingdom, and is a more certain mean of the destruction of Religion. Ergo, It is utterly unlawfull. The First Proposition cannot be denyed. When any less good comes in opposition with a greater good, the Pesser good in that respect becomes evil. We may not endanger certainly a greater good, for the probable and incertain attainment of the lesser. The Second Proposition I know will be Denyed, as it was denyed in the time of the Engadgment by the Committee of Estates. They said, the Danger of Re­ligion was not infallibile, that it might eventually fall out so: but not by any Causality. And thus it is pleaded now. That the danger of Religion is not inevitable; That the danger of the Kingdom is certain: and so these being laid in the ballance together, we ought, to eschew a certain danger of the Kingdoms Destruction, rather hazard on a probable danger of Reli­gion.

But we shall clear this and confirm the reason. 1. The danger of the King­dom is indeed great; but it is not so certain and inevitable in case of not em­ploying the Malignant party: because there may be some competency of Po­wer beside. Now the Delivery and preservation of the Kingdom from this danger, by conjunction with that party, is either improbable; because we ha­ve sentenced our selves to Destruction, if ever we should do such a thing again. We are standing under a curse, whereto we have bound over our­selves; And beside, God is in a speciall manner parsuing that generation, and hath raised up this Enemy for their destruction; so that we may with greater probability expect, to partake of their plagues, and to fall under our oun Curse, than to be Delivered, or be instruments of Deliverance to the Kingdom. Or, at the best, it is uncertain: for what is more uncertain than the event of [Page 23] War? The battel in this sense may be said peculiarly to belong to the Lord. Now on the other hand, the danger of Religion is Certain and inevitable, though not simply in it self, and absolutely: because the Lord doth in Hea­ven and earth what he pleases; yet with a Morall Certainty and infallibility, which is often as great as Physicall certainty. Suppose these men; having the power of the Sword, prevail; will they not employ it according to their principles, and for attaining their oun ends, which both are destructive to Religion? What is more certain than that men act and speak from the Abundance of the heart, when there is no outward restraint? It should be a great wonder if they who are so accustomed to doe evil, should cease to doe evil, when they have power and Convenience to do it. Power and great­ness hath Corrupted many good men, shall it Convert them? Can men ex­pect other fruits from a tree than the nature of it yeelds? Will one seek figs on thorns, or grapes on thistles? 2. We do not see what Defence it can be, for the present, to the Kingdom, at least the godly and well affected in the Kingdom, who will be as much troubled in their persons and Estates by that Party, as by the Common Enemy. It is known what threatnings the Countrey is filled with, which vents that inveterate Malice and hatred of all the well affected in the Kingdom, which they have kept within their breast of a long time: and now they find opportunity of outing it. It is as clear as day light, that the most part of all the secluded persons looks upon these that opposed them in the Engadgment, and shut them out of places of Trust, and Capacity of Employment, as enemies, and as great Enemies as the Sectaries. And that we may know what to expect when they have full power in their hand; they have already so lift up their head, that no God­ly man can promise himself security in many places, And especially the faith­full Gentlmen and people of the West, who have given more proof of their Faithfullnesse to the Cause and Kingdom against the Common Enemie, than any others in the Land; Yet are daily suffering violence from these preser­vators of the Kingdom, while they are sufferers under the feet of the Enemy: When they have no common Enemy, whom I beseech yow, will they prey upon; seing they do it already while they have an Enemy.

But it is replyed. That none of the least Suspition, are allowed to be in such trust and power, as may be prejudiciall to Religion: And that ane oath is to be taken of all, which is to be conceived as particular, binding and strict as is possible.

Answer. 1. What a manifest receding is it from former principles, that it is now conceived, that all places of trust, excepting some few of eminent note, may be filled with secluded and debarred persons, without the prejudi­ce of Religion? It is certain that most part of Officers, nominated by the Parliament and Shyres, are not only such, of whom there is just ground of suspition; but such as have been Enemies by actuall opposition to the Cause of God, or known underminers thereof. Can it be said in good earnest, that none, of whom is any suspition, shall have such trust as may be preju­diciall? Sure we are, there are many just grounds of suspition and jealousie of Generall Persons, who have Chief trust in our Armies: and this the publick [Page 24] Judicatories are not Ignorant of. 2. Oaths and Covenants are but like green Cords about Samson to bind these men. Would we have them yet once a­gain perjured; Then may we tender ane oath to them. Put power in their hand, and then make them swear to employ it well. Its as ridiculous as to give a mad man a sword, and then perswade him to hurt none with it. There is no more capitulation with such persons, retaining their old principles, than with the floods or winds. These whom that SACRED BOND OF COVENANT hath not tyed, what oath can bind? Except yow can change their nature, do not swear them to good behaviour. Can a Leopard change his Spots?

5. Reason. That which gives great offence and scandal, and layes a stumbling block in the way, both of the people of the Land and our Enemies, especially in the way of the Godly: that is Unlawfull. But the present Association and Conjunction, with all persons in the Kingdom (excepting a few if any) is scan­dalous and offensive to the whole Land, to the Godly especially, and also to the Enemy. Therefore it is unlawfull. The Major is beyond all exception, if we consi­der how peremptory CHRIST and his Apostles are in the point of offence, which yet few Christians do consider. We ought not only to beware of the offence of the Godly, but even of wicked men, even of our blaspheming Enemies. Give no offence neither to the Iew nor Gentile, nor to the Church of God. CHRIST would not offend and scandalize his malitious Enemies. The Mi­nor is proved. 1. There is great offence given to the Godly in the Kingdom by the publick Resolutions, concerning that Conjunction with the Malignant Party, under the Name and Notion of Subjects. 1. Because its known that the most part of them are tender in that point, what fellowship they act with: And this hath been Remonstrate unto the Commission and Commit­tee of Estates, from severall Synods. Now the present Resolution layeth that stumbling block in their way, that they cannot act in the defence of the Kingdom: Because there is no way left them, for the performing of that duty, but that which they in their Consciences are not satisfyed with. Its a sad necessity and snare that is put upon them, that they cannot perform their bound duty, which they are most desirous of, without sin: Because of the way that is taken. 2. Is it not a matter of Offence and stumbling to them, to be necessitated by Law to that which was their affliction? The mixture that was in our Armies was their Grief: And their comfort was that the Judicatories were minting at their duty to purge them: But now there is no hope of attaining that: all Doors is shut up by the publick Re­solutions. 3. It undoubtedly will weaken their hands, and make their hearts faint; So that they cannot pray with Affection and in Faith, for a blessing upon such an Army, the predominant and leading part whereof have been esteemed, and is really Enemies to God and his people. 4. Is it not a great Offence that any thing should proceed from the publick Judicatories, that shall lay a necessity upon many Godly in the Land, to suffer, because they cannot in Conscience go along with it. Next it scandalizeth the whole Land. What may they think within themselves, to see such dissonancy and disagreement between present and former Resolutions and Practises? What [Page 25] may they judge of the inconstancy and levity of the Commission? And be induced to give no respect and reverence to them in their Resolutions. Is it not, at least, a very great appearance of evil to joyn with that Party, that we did Declare and repute, but some few weeks since, to be wicked Ene­mies of Religion and the Kingdom? and look hencforth on them as friends without so much as any ackowledgment of their sin had from them? Shall not they be induced, to put no difference between the pretious and the vile? not to discern between him that fears God and him that fears him not, when the publick Resolutions puts no difference? Then, how will it Confirm all the Malignant party in their wickednesse? May they not think our Solemne vowes and Engadgments, our rigid Resolutions and proceedings were but all contrived and acted out of Policy; and that Interest and Advantage, and not Conscience Principled them? Have they not ane occasion given them to persecute all the Godly, and vent their long harboured malice against these who have been most zealous for Reformation and purging of the Land? Nay, they are put in the Capacity that they have desired, for acting all their Resolutions, and accomplishing their Designes. And last of all, the present proceedings will not onely encourage, and animate the Common Enemy: but confirm them in all the Imputations and Calumnies they have loadned our Church with. May they not have ground fothink, that we are but dri­ving on a politick design and does not singly aim at Gods Glory? That it is not Grounds of Conscience acts us, but some wordly Interest, when they look upon the inconstancy and Changeableness of our way and Course, which is so accommodated to occasions and times? Can they think us men of Conscien­ce, that will join with all these men of blood, before we will so much as speak with them? It is Replyed, that the Scandal is taken, and not given; which must not be stood upon, in the Case of a necessary duty. But 1. we clea­red, that there is no necessity of that Conjunction: therefore the scandal is given; seing its known before hand, that it will be taken. 2. There are many grounds of offence given by the present Resolutions, as appears by what is said. If it were no more, its a great appearance of evil; Its very inducti­ve of many evils; A most fit occasion of all thats spoken; And besides, its in it self sinfull, contrare to Gods Word and to our oaths.

6. Reason. That which makes glad all the wicked and Enemies of God in the Land, and sad many, if not most part, of the Godly; hath much ap­pearance and evidence, if not Certainty, of evill, is unlawfull. But the publick Resolutions and proceedings are such. Ergo. Or thus. That which makes glad all the wicked, and heightens the hopes and expectations of the Ma­lignant Party, and makes sad none almost but the Godly, and discourages their spirits; That, proceeding from the publick Judicatories, cannot be right and Lawfull: But so it is, that that which proceeds from the publick Judi­catories, makes glad all the hearts of thewicked, and makes sad none, almost, but the Godly, heightens the hopes of the Malignants, and makes them say their Day is coming, Lo we have seen it: And discourages the Godly, and makes them almost say, Our hope is cut off, our Glory is departed. Ergo, it cannot be right, at least it hath a great and convincing Appearance of evil▪,

[Page 26] This Argument may be thought more Popular, than either Philosophicall or Scripturall: But such an argument the Generall Assembly 1648. made use of against the Engadgment. It is no wayes imaginable, how the wicked and un­godly in the Land, would so insult and rejoyce in this day; if they saw not some Legible Characters upon it, which were agreeable to their oun Princi­ples and Ends. The Children of God, are, for the most part, Led by the Spirit of God, and taught the way they should choose. Iohn. 16: 13. Psal. 25: 12. So that readily they do not skunner at Courses approven of God: But the Children of the world, being, at best, led by their oun carnal minds and senses, and, for the most part, acted by a Spirit of disobedience and enmity against God, they use not to rejoyce at things that do not suit with their Carnall hearts, and are not engraven with the Character of that which is imprinted in their Spirits. We see now that the wicked walk on every side, when the vi­lest men are exalted. And when the wicked rise, the Righteous is hidden, and when they bear rule, the people mourneth: but when Righteous men are in Authority, the people do rejoyce: and when the Righteous rejoyceth, there is great Glorie. Ps. 12. ult▪ Prov. 28: 12. and 29: 2.

7. Reason. That which is the accomplishment and perfecting of the Ma­lignant designe, that hath been driven on these years past, especially since the unlawfull Engadgment; it cannot be a Course approven of God: But the present Course is the Accomplishment of that designe. Ergo. That there hath been a designe, for a long time, driven and endeavoured, both at ho­me and abroad, with much Policy and Industry, by many turnings and wyn­dings, and by Arguments of severall kinds, as the exigence of the times did furnish: and that the designe was, to have all such Persons in Trust and Po­wer again, who had been secluded, that so they might compasse their oun Ends, hath not been denyed hitherto: and we are perswaded, no man that fears God, and observes the times, is ignorant of it. Let the publick Pa­pers of the treaty at Bredah, and the publick papers of this Kingdom and Church at home, be Consulted; they bear witness for us. Was not the foun­dation of it laid in Holland? Many of them in both Nations, brought home with the King contrare to publick Resolutions, and by the prevailing influen­ce of some in the State, kept in the Kingdome, Contrare to Publick Resolu­tions? Was not the work of purging Judicatories and Armies obstructed? The Godly discountenanced and discouraged? great endeavours used to raise the Malignants in the South and in England, and since the Defeat to raise all wit­hout exception in the North? But when that could not be obtained, by the withstanding of honest men in the State. The Levies appointed, which would have been a Considerable force for the defence of the Kingdom, was ren­dred wholly ineffectuall; Partly by taking moneys for men; partly by raising the Malignant Party; and then pretending to go against them, they were pacified by an act of Indemnity: the fruit and Result of all which, is this pre­sent Conjunction with them: and putting the power of judicatories and Armies in their hand. Thus the Designe is Compleated.

8. Reason. That which will increase the Lords Indignation and contro­versie against the Land, yet seven times more; that is very unlawfull and [Page 27] unseasonable; But so it is, that Confederacy and Association with the people of these Abominations, will increase the Lords indignation and Controversie seven times more. Ergo. The Assumption was as manifest and uncontro­verted as the Proposition, a few moneths agoe, but it is begun now to be questioned by some, qui quod sciunt nesciumn, quia sapiunt. But we shall evin­ce it. 1. We are standing under such a sentence, which we deliberately and sincerely past upon our selves, in the days of our vows to God, that if we did ever any more joyn with the people of these Abominations, the Lord would consume us till there were no remnant. And this was not done in rashnesse but in sobriety, and with a Scripture president Ezra. 9: 12, 13. 2. Our experien­ce hath made this clear to us. We never did mingle our selves among them, but the Lord did pursue us with Indignation, and stamped that sin, as in vive Characters, upon our Judgment. God hath set upon that Rock, that we have so oft split upon, a remarkable Beacon. Therefore we doe not only in our solemne Engadgments, bind our selves over to a Curse, in case of Relapsing, but passes the sentence of great madnesse and folly on our selves. Piscator ictu sapit. Experience makes fools wise, but it cannot cure madnesse. Did not that mixture provoke God at Dumbar? And is this the way to appease him, to revolt more and more. 3. Conjunction and Confederacy with that party, doth necessarly inferr a Communion in blessings and plagues, we must cast in our lot with them, and have all one purse. Now it hath been Con­fessed and Declared by this Church, that God hath a notable Controversie with that Party, that this enemy is in ane eminent way to bear them down and Crush them. Therefore if we joyn with them, we must Resolve to partake of their plagues and have that Controversie pleaded against us also.

It is answered, that Indignation needs not be feared simply on this accompt: because the means are Lawfull and necessary; else, if this have any force, it will conclude, that we should ly down and do nothing: because Gods Indigna­tion is upon the whole Land.

But we reply. 1. Though it be true, that this Enemy is the rod of Gods Indignation against the whole Land; Yet it is Certain to us, and hath been formerly unquestioned, that they are raised up, in a speciall way, to execute Gods wrath on Malignants, and God doth arm them with Power in a signall manner for that end. Besides, the Lords anger and indignation against his enemies is such, as will burn and none can quench it: its of another na­ture than his wrath against his oun people, which is a hyding of his face for a moment. He corrects us in measure and judgment, but leaves us not al­together unpunished: But he makes ane end of other Nations, Especially these that rise up to actuall enmitie and hatred of his people, and sheding of their blood. And therefore, if any man would not meet with Wrath and sore Displeasure, he would stand at a distance with such, as God hath ap­pointed for destruction; we mean, as long as they carry in their foreheads the mark of the beast. When God hath such a remarkable Controversie against a people then be that helpeth and he that is helped, shall both fall together. Isay. 31: 3, All that is in league with them, shall fall with them by the sword. Ezech. 30. 5. and 32: 21. 2. Since it is known, that the Malignant party have not [Page 28] changed their Principles, and so they cannot but in prosecuting this War esta­blish their old Quarrell and follow it, to wit, the Kings Arbitrary power, the Interest of man, above Gods or the Kingdoms Interest. We leave it to be judged impartially, whether or not, these that Associate with them, do espouse that Quarrell and Interest, at least expose themselves to all that Wrath and Indignation, which hath hitherto followed that Quarrell, seing they must have Common blessings and Curses? Will not that Quarrell holden up by most part of the Army, be a wicked thing, an Achan in the Camp, that will make God turn away from it and put Israel to shame?

Having thus established the truth. In the next place, we come to take off what objections are made to the Contrarie.

First, it is argued from Humane Authority. The uncontroverted and U­niversall practise of all Nations in all Generations, is, to employ all subjects in the Case of necessary Just defence. It was the practise of our Reformers, who took into the Congregation and received all, that upon acknowledge­ment of their error, was willing to joyn, though they had been on the Con­trary faction. Such an universall practise of Christian Nations, though it be not the Ground of our Faith; Yet it is apparent, that it cannot want Rea­son for it.

Answer. I. This will plead as much against the exceptions added in the answer to the Query and act of Levy; for seing other Nations except none, in the Case of necessary Defence, why should we except any? And if once we except any, upon good and Convincing Grounds; upon the same ground we ought to except farr more. 2. Mr. Gillespy in his Treatise of Miscella­ny Questions makes mention that the City of Strasburg 1626. made a De­fensive League with Zurick, Berne, and Basil: because they were not only Neighbours, but men of the same Religion. And the Elector of Saxonie re­fused to take into Confederacy, these who differed from him in the Point of the Lords supper; lest such sad things should befall him, as befell these in Scri­pture who used any means of their oun Defence. This Rule was good in Thesi though in that case misapplyed. Now then, if they made Conscience of Choo­sing means of their oun defence, A Confederacy with forraigners. May not the same Ground lead us to a Distance with our oun Countreymen as un­qualified, who have nothing to commend them but that they are of the sa­me nation, which is nothing in point of Conscience. 3. The Practise of other Nations, that are not tender in many greater points, cannot be very Convincing. Especially when we Consider, that the Lord hath made light to Arise in this Particular, more bright than in former times. God hath taken occasion of Illustrating and commending many truths unto us in this Genera­ration, from the darkness of error, and of making straight many Rules, from the Crookedness of mens Practise and Walking. Is not the Lord now performing the promise of purging out the Rebels from among us and them that transgresse, God hath winked at former times of Ignorance; but now the Lord having Cleared his mind so to us, how great madness were it to forsake our oun mercy, and despise the Counsel of God against our oun souls. As for that In­stance of our Reformers▪ There could not have been any thing brought more [Page 29] prejudiciall to that Cause, and more advantageous for us. After they were twice beaten by the French in Leith, and their Forces scattered, and the lea­ders and Chief men of the Congregation forced to retire to Sterling. JOHN KNOX preaching upon the eightieth Psalm, and searching the Causes of Gods wrath against them, he condescends upon this as the Chief Cause, that they had received into their Counsels and forces, such men as had formerly opposed the Congregation: and sayes, God never blest them since the DU­KE had come among them. See Knox Chron. 2. It cannot be shewed, that ever they took in a party and faction of such men, but only some few persons; which, though it was not altogether Justifiable, yet more excusable. But now, the publick Resolutions hold forth a Conjunction with all the bloody mur­derers in the Kingdom (excepting very few) and these without profession of Repentance in many, and without evidence of the reality of it almost in any. 3. These persons were not such, as had once joyned with the Congre­gation and relapsed, and became Enemies to it; but they turned to the Prote­stant Religion from Popery: But ours is a different Case.

2. Its Argued from Scripturec Three Scripture Instances are brought to Justify the present proceedings. First Instance is from the practise of Gods peo­ple in the book of Judges, who, when for Defection from Religion they were brought under oppression, yet when any Governour was raised by God for their Defence, they gathered and come all out promiscuously, notwithstan­ding a great part of them had been in the defection; and yet it is not found, that their Governors are reproved for this; but rather sad Curses on them that came not out to the work. Iudg. 5. 15, 16, 17, 23. The second instan­ce is from the story of the Kings, very like the first; when after Defection, gracious Reforming Kings arose, and had to do against forraigne Invasion, we find them not debarring any subjects, but calling them out promiscuously. Neither is this laid to their Charge that they called out such and such Subjects, though we may perceive by the story of the Prophets, that the greater part of the body of the people were wicked &c.

We answer to these two Instances joyntly. 1. We may by the like rea­son prove, that which is as yet uncontroverted (we know not how long.) That we ought at no time to make Choise of Instruments, neither in case of Pro­secution of the Cause and the Invasion of others, Nor yet in the time when choise is to be had; and so, that all our former Engadgments, Resolu­tions and proceedings, in the point of purging Judicatories and Armies, was superfluous and supererogatory: Because we read not, that the reforming Kings or Judges, when ever they had an Invasive war, and in the times that they had greatest plenty and multitudes of people, did ever debarr any of their Sub­jects from that service, but called them out promiscuosly. Neither is this laid to their Charge; though we may perceive, that the greater part of the peo­ple were wicked under the best Kings: Therefore we may lawfully employ any Subjects of the Kingdom in any of our wars. And we may look upon all indifferently, without any discerning of Persons that fear God and them that fear him not, as in good Capacity to be entrusted, Even when otherwise we have Choise of good Instruments. Certainly it follows by parity of Rea­son: [Page 30] for if yow conclude, that from the calling forth all promiscuously, and no reproof given for it in the Case of necessary defence; then we may conclu­de from the calling forth of all promiscuously, and in the Case of an Invasive War, and no reproof Recorded, that neither, in such a Case, is it sinfull to make no difference, and that with stronger Reason: Because, it being more easie in such a Case to Choose instruments and no necessity pleading for it: if it had been sinfull, the Prophets would have rather reproved it, than rebu­ked them for using such means in a Case of necessity. 2. We may argue after that manner, that in the Case of necessary Just Defence, there should be no exceptions made at all of any persons: because we read not that the Jud­ges or Kings Debarred any Subjects, neither that they were rebuked for so doing. Therefore the Instances militate as much against the exceptions ad­ded in the Answer to the Query, as against us; unless it be said, that the­re was no such persons among that people, which were as groundlesse rash­ness as to say that they gave all evidence of Repentance. 3. Seing the Jud­ges and the Reforming Kings of Judah, were so accurrate and exact in clea­ving to the Law of God, and walking according to it in all other things; it were more Charitable and Christian Judgment to say, that since they are not reproved for any fault in this particular, that they were also exact to walk according to the Rule Deut. 23. in so great a point as this. 4. Mens Practise is often lame and Crooked: and therefore must be examined accor­ding to the Rule; but it were not fair dealing to accommodate the Rule to mens practice. Seing then, we have so clear and perfect a Rule Deut. 23. which must Judge both their practice and ours: We see not how their Pra­ctice can be obtruded as a rule upon us, which it self must be examined ac­cording to a Common and Generall Rule. If it be not according to that Law, we hold it to be sinfull in it self, and so no president for us, albeit the PROPHETS did not reprove it in express and particular terms (as they did not reprove MAN-STEALING &c.) Yet they rebuked it by Consequence, in as farr as they rebuked the Kings for Association with wicked Israelites, which is condemned upon grounds Common to this very Case in hand. 5. We see not any ground for such promiscuous calling forth of the people by the Judges. Baraks business, as that of Iepthah and Gideon, were done by no great multitudes of People, but a few Choise men. 6. As the oppres­sion was heavy and Continued long; so the repentance of the people was Solemne, and their deliverance a fruit of this. 7. Their Case and ours is ve­ry different; None of Israel or Judah, did fight against the Profession of the true Religion, and shed the blood of their fellow-subjects who were for the Defence of the same. Israel in the dayes of the Iudges, and Iudah in the time of the Reforming Kings, was not Divided the one half against the other, upon opposition and Defence of the true Religion: And the better part, after many experiences of the treachery and enmity of the most of the worst part, Solemnly engadged to God, not to admitt them to Employment and trust, but upon real evidence of Repentance, of which they should Judge as in the sight of God. And last of all did ever Israel or Iudah in the days of their Judges and Reforming Kings, admitt into their Armies, a party and faction of such, as [Page 31] had given no reall evidence of their Abandoning their former Course; and such a party, as had been long studying to get the Power of Armies and Ju­dicatories in their oun hands for attaining their oun ends? But all these are in our Case.

The 3d Instance from scripture is from 1 Sam. 11. Which is aleadged to be a clear practise and stamped with divine approbation: In the Case of Iabesh-Gilead besieged by a forraigne Enemie, Saul Commands all to come forth for defence of their brethren, under pain of a severe Civil Censure. Now, what Saul did in this business, the spirit of God is said to act him to it, and what the people did, was from the fear of God, making them obey the King: And then Samuel in this acting concurrs joyntly, and makes no opposition; and last of all, the people came forth as one man, and yet Cap. 10. 27. many men of Belial were among them, who Malignantly opposed Sauls Go­vernment contrare to Gods revealed will.

To which we answer. 1. The stamp of divine approbation is not appa­rent to us, success doth not prove it; neither the spirit coming on Saul, not the fear of God falling on the people, will import a divine approbation of all was done in the manadging that War. That motion of the spirit is no sanctifying motion; But a Common, though extraordinary, impulse of Sauls spirit to the present work, which, doubtless was in the King of Babylon, whom God raised up, fitted and sent for the destruction of many nations. Albeit that work in his hand was iniquity. That fear of God that fell upon the people, was but a fear of the King Imprinted by God, and it is more peculiarly attributed to God, because the people did despise him and con­temn him, which makes their reverence and fear to be a more extraordina­ry thing upon a sudden. Then, Samuel not opposing the Course in hand, doth no more import his approbation of all was done in it, than his not re­proving the men of Bolial doth prove, that he approved of their opposition. 2. It doth not appear, that the men of Belial were a great faction and party, there is somthing in the 12. ver. speaks against it, It is not like, the people would put a faction and party to death. 3. Neither doth it appear, that they were in the Army; for that which is said, that all the people came out as one man, doth only import, that the body and generality of them came forth; and that it was a wonder so many came forth so suddenly, at the Command of the King who was but mean and abject in their eyes. It is certaine that all sensible Persons were not present, because the whole Army being num­bred ver 8. was but 330000. And who will say there was no moe men in Israel, when they had 600000 such, and above, before their coming into the Land? seing then, many have stayed at home; it is most probable that these men of Belial would not come, seing they despised Sauls mean and Low condition in their heart, and thought him unfitt to Lead their Armies, till he should prove what was in him. That which is said ver 12. doth not prove they were in the Camp; it might be conveniently spoken of absent persons. 4. It is not certain, that these men were wicked and scandalous in their Conversation, haters of Godlinesse and of their brethren; but that they stood at distance only with Saul in the point of his Election; which indeed [Page 32] was blame-worthy, seing God had revealed his mind in it: and therefore they are called men of Belial, as Peter was called Satan, for opposing Christs suffering.

Some other Scriptures are alleaged by some, as Davids employing of such men &c. all which are cleared in Mr. Gillespies treatise of Miscellanie Questions Quest 14.

3. It is argued from reason. And. 1. That which any is oblidged to do for anothers preservation by the Law of God and Nature, And which he can­not ommit without the Guilt of the others destruction; that may the other Lawfully require of him to do when hee needs it, and when it may be done without the undoing of a greater good; But so it is, that every subject is oblidged by the Law of Nature, Oath and Covenants, and the Law of God, to endeavour to their Power, the preservation of the Kingdom against unjust violence: And the safety of the Kingdome stands in need of many subjects Assistance who were secluded: And it may be done without undoing a greater good than is the preservation of Religion. Ergo.

This Argument hath an answer to it in the bosom of it. 1. We shortly deny the Assumption, in Relation to the two last branches, both that the Kingdoms preservation stands in necessity of these mens help. And that their help tends not to the undoing of a greater good; seing there is no rea­son given to confirm these two points, wherein the nerve of the business lyes, we referr to a Reason of our denyal of them given page, 22. Secondly, It is true that the obligation to such a duty lyes upon all; But that obligation is to be brought in act and exercise in an orderly and Qualifyed way, else what needed any exceptions be in the Act of Levie? Excommunicated persons are under the same obligation; Yet the Magistrate is not actually oblidged to call such, but rather to seclude them. Are not all bound to come to the Sacrament who are Church members? Yet many are not in a Capacity to come, and so ought neither to presume to come, nor be admitted: are not all subjects oblidged to de­fend the Cause of God, and to prosecute it? and yet many, because of their Enmity to the Cause of God, are actually incapable of employment in the defence or prosecution thereof. 3. The Law of Nature is above all humane Laws and Con­stitutions, they must Cede when ever they come in opposition to it, Salus populi is suprema Lex in relation to these: But in Relation to the Law of God it is not so; sometimes the Law of Nature must yeeld to Positive Commands of God. Abraham must Sacrifice his son at Gods Command. The Law of Nature obliges us to the preservation of our selves; But it does not oblidge to every mean that may be found expedient to that end, unless it be supposed Lawfull and approven of God. Therefore the Lord in his writ­ten word doth determine, what means we may use for that end, and what not. But 4. we conceive that the Law forbidding Association and Confede­racy with known wicked and Ungodly persons, is included in the Law of Na­ture, as well as the Law that obliges us to self-preservation; that is groun­ded on perpetuall reason, as well as this. Nature bids me preserve my self, and Nature binds me to have one friend and foe with God. The Heathens had a Notion of it; they observed, that Amphiaraus, a wise vertuous man [Page 33] was therefore swallowed up in the Earth with seven men and seven Horses, because he had joyned himself and associated with Tydeus, Capaneus and other wicked Commanders marching to the seige of Thebe, Mr. Gill, Miscell. Qyest. Chap. 14. pag. 171.

2. The Second Reason is framed thus in Hypothes [...]. Such as are excluded are a great part, if not the greater part, of the Remnant of the Land, if rules of exclusion be extended impartially. Now, they having their Lives and Liber­ties allowed them, must either in these things be ensured by the interposing of a competent Power for their Defence, or else they must have Liberty to act for themselves. But so it is, that we cannot interpose a Competent power for their protection. Ergo they must have liberty to act for themselves. Nam qui dat vitam, dat necessaria ad vitam.

We answer. 1. It is not certain that such as are excluded are the greater part of the Land; However, it is certain, that though the Rule had been kept and endeavours had been used to walk according to it, yet many whom it excludes would have been taken in. There is a great Difference between endeavour of Duty, and attaining its perfection. If the Rule had not been quite destroyed, so great offence could not have been taken, though it had not been strictly urged in all particulars. 2. We still affirm, upon evident grounds to us, that there is a power Competent in the Land, beside the Malignant party, which may protect the Land and ensure their lives and Li­berties. 3. We are perswaded, many of that party who have been so deeply involved in blood-guiltinesse and barbarous cruelties, should neither have lives nor liberties secured to them: because they ought not to be permitted to li­ve. But the not taking away so much Innocent blood from the Land by acts of Justice, is the Cause that so much Innocent and pretious blood is now shed. Our Rulers have pardoned that blood which God would not pardon: And therefore would not pardon it to the Land, because they pardoned it to the Murderers.

Sect. 4. That it is not Lawfull for the well affected Subjects to concurr in such an Engadgment in war, and Associate with the Malignant Party.

SOme convinced of the unlawfulness of the publick Resolutions and pro­ceedings, in reference to the employing of the Malignant Party; Yet do not find such clearness and satisfaction in their oun Consciences as to forbid the Subjects to concurr in this War, and Associate with the Army so Constituted. Therefore it is needfull to speak something to this point. That it is unlawfull for the Subjects to Associate and joyn in arms with that Party, as it is for the Parliament to employ them. For these Reasons.

1. The Scriptures before Cited against Associations and Confederacies with wicked and ungodly men do prove this. The Command prohibiting Con­junction with them and Conversing &c. is common both to Magistrates and [Page 34] people: for the ground of it is common to both. The peoples ensnaring, Helping of the ungodly &c. It were strange Doctrine to say, that it is not Law­full for the Parliament to Associate in War with the Malignants, lest the peo­ple be ensnared: And yet it is Lawfull for the people to Associate with them upon the Command of the Parliament, seing the ensnaring of the People, hath a more immediate connexion with the peoples Conjunction with them, nor with the Parliaments Resolution about it. Had it not been a transgres­sion in all the people to have joyned with these men before the Parliaments Resolution about it? How then can their Resolution interveening, loose the people from their obligation to Gods Command? Shall it be no sin to me, because they sin before me? Can their going before me in the transgression, exempt me from the transgression of that same Law which obliges both them and me? 2. The People were reproved for such Associations as well as Rulers, though they were originated from the Rulers. The Prophets speak to the whole body. What hast thow to doe in the way of Egypt &c.? Ier. 2: 18. And Isay. 31. Wo to them that go down to Egypt. Psal. 106. They mingled themselves &c. The Lord instructed Isaiah, and in him all his oun people, all the Children whom God had given him, saying, Say not ye, A Confederacie, to all them to whom this people shall say, A Confederacy; Isay. 8: 12. When all the people was going on in such a mean of Self-defence, the Lord instructed him and the Disciples among whom the testimony was sealed, that they should not walk in the way of this people. When Iehoshaphat was reproved for helping the ungodly, was not all his people reproved that went with him? They were the helpers of the ungodly as well as he. If Amaziah had refused to dismiss the Army of Israel whom God was not with, Doubtless it had been the Sub­jects duty to testifie against it, and refuse to concurr and act in such a fellow­ship.

3. If the Association and Conjunction with Malignants, be only the sin of the Parliament, and not the sin of the people, who doe upon their Com­mand Associate with them: Then we cannot see how people can be guilty of Association with Malignants at any time and in any Case. To Joyn with them in an ill Cause is not Lawfull indeed: But neither may we joyn with good men in an evil Cause. Suppose then the Cause be good and necessarie (as no war is Just if it be not necessary) in what case or Circumstances shall Association with them be unlawfull for the people? If it be said, in Case the Magistrate Command it not; we think that strange Divinitie, that the solo Command of the Magistrate should make that our duty, which in absence of his Command is our sin; And that not because of the absence of his Com­mand but from other perpetuall grounds. Certainly, whenever Association with them is a sin, it is not that which makes it a sin because the Mastistrate Commands it not, but because God forbids it. And it is as strange, that the unlawfull and sinfull Resolution of Parliament should make that lawfull to me which otherwise had been lawfull. It is known that Humane Laws oblidge not, but as they have Connexion with Gods Word. Now if that Law, en­joyning a Confluence of all Subjects for the defence of the Kingdom, be contrare to the Word, in as far as it holds out a Conjunction with Ma­lignant [Page 35] and bloodie men, how can it be lawfull to me, in obedience to that ordinance, to Associate with these men? If it be said to be lawfull in the Case of necessity, that same necessity is as strong a plea for the Magistrates em­ploying them, as for the peoples joyning with them: and if it doe not justifie that, it cannot excuse this. If the Lawfullness of the MEAN must be measured by the justice and necessity of the END: then certainly any mean shall be lawfull in the Case of just and necessary defence; then we may em­ploy Irish Cut-throats; then we may go to the Devil for help, if expediency to compass such a necessar and just End be the Rule of the Lawfullness of the Mean.

4. The whole Land is bound by the Covenant and Solemne Engadgment not to Associate with the Malignant party: Ergo it is sinfull for the people to joyn with them as for the Magistrate to employ them. Are we not all bound by Covenant, to endeavour to bring Malignants to Condigne punish­ment, and to look on them as enemies? And is not Conjunction and Con­federacy with them on the peoples part, as inconsistent in its oun Nature with that Duty, as the Magistrats employing them is inconsistent with his Convenanted duty? When all the people did Solemnly engadge themselves not to joyn any more with the People of these Abominations, was the mea­ning of it, we shall not joyn untill our Rulers joyn first; Or, we shall not joyn with them in an ill Cause? No indeed, but we shall not employ them in a good Cause, or joyn with any party of them in it. If that Engadgment be upon every one in their station, let us consider what every mans station in the work is. The Rulers station and Calling is to choose Instruments, and levie Forces for the Defence thereof. The Subjects station and Calling is, to concurr in that work, by rising in Defence of the Cause and Kingdome. Now what did the Subject then engadge unto? Certainly, unlesse we mock God, we must say, that as the Magistrate engadged not to employ that un­godly Generation in a good Cause, so the Subject engadged not to joyn with any such party even in a good Cause. If this be not the meaning of our ENGADGMENTS and VOWS, We see not how the Subjects is in Capacity to break them, as to that precise point of Association.

In Sum, All the Reasons that are brought to prove the unlawfullness of the publick Resolutions, may with a litle Variation be proportionably applyed to this present Question. Therefore we add no more but a Word to ane obje­ction or two.

Object. 1. A necessary Duty, such as Self-Preservation is, cannot be my sin. But it is the Subjects necessary Duty to rise in Defence of the King­dome. Ergo. Answer. A necessary Duty cannot be a sin in it self, but it may be a sin in regard of some Circumstances, in which it ceases to be a necessary Duty. It is a necessar duty to defend the Kingdome: But it is neither a Duty nor necessary to do it in such a Conjunction and fellowship, but rather a sin. If I cannot preserve my self, but by ane unlawfull mean, then Self-preservation in such Circumstances, is not my Dutie.

Object. 2d. JONATHAN did assist Saul in a war against the Philistines invading the Land, and no doubt many Godly joyned and died in battel. [Page 36] Now this is commended in Scripture, as may be seen in Davids funeral u­pon them; although it was known that Saul was ane hater of Gods people and a perfecuter, and that God had a Controversie with him, and that these 3000 that assisted him against David were also ungodly and wicked men. Answer. 1. These Scriptures speak nothing to commend that Particular act of Ionathans Conjunction in war with his Father. David in his Epitaph speaks much to the Commendation of both Saul, and Ionathan, as of excellent Warriours; and of Ionathan as a kind and Constant friend to him: but there is nothing touched of that point. If that place be pressed, it will follow with much more evidence, that Saul was as good a man as Ionathan, and that the People of God had great loss inhis death. But none of these must be pressed ri­gorously from a speech wherin he vents his affection and grief. 2. Suppose the naturall bond of Ionathan to Saul his Father, and the Civil bonds of the people to Saul their King, did oblidge them to joyn with him against the Common Enemy; Yet we think they ought not to have Associated with the­se persecuting Servants and the 3000. that pursued David; But they ought to have pleaded for a purging of the Army. 3. It is not Probable that there was many Godly persons imployed in that Army. David complains of that time Psal. 12. That the Godly man ceased, and the faithfull from among the Children of men: and that the wicked walked round about when the Vilest men were Exalted. 4. Many of the Laws of God have not been much taken notice of, even by Godly men, untill the Lord hath taken occasion to reprove them particularly and so to mind them of their Duty. It is like the Rule Deut. 23. hath not been Considered till the time of Iehoshaphat and Amaziah &c.

Scriptures shewing the sin and Danger of Joyning with wic­ked and ungodly men.

ISaiah 13: 25. When the Lord is punishing such a people against whom he hath a Controversie and a notable Controversie, every one that is found shall be thrust through: and every one joyned with them shall fall. They par­take in their Judgment, not only because in a Common Calamity all shares, as in Ezech▪ 21: 3. But Chiefly because joyned with and partakers with the­se whom God is pursuing. Even as the strangers that joyn to the house of Iacob partake of her blessings, Chap. 14: 1. To this purpose is Isay. 31: 2, 3. And Ezek. 30: 5, 6, 8. The mingled people and these that are in League with Egypt partakes in her plagues, and these that uphold that Throne that God so visibly Controverts with, their power shall come down and all its helpers shall be destroyed as it is Ier. 21: 12, 20, 24. And this is the great reason of these many warnings to go out of Babylon. Ier. 50: 8. And 51: 6. Remember that passage 2 Kings 1: 9, 10, 11, 12. The Captain and Messen­ger of the King speaks but a word in obedience to his wicked Masters Com­mand, and the fifty are but with him and speak not: But their Masters judg­ment comescon them all.

Consider how many Testimonies the wise King in his Proverbs gives against it. Chap. I. from vers 10. to 19. My Son if sinners entice thee, consent thow not. 11. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the Innocent without Cause. 12. Let us swallow them up alive as the Grave, and whole as those that go down into the pit. 13. We shall find all precious sub­stance, we shall fill our Houses with Spoil. 14. Cast in thy lot among us, let us all have one Purse. 15. My Son, walk not thow in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path. 16. For their feet run to evil, and make bast to shed blood &c. Here are the Practises and designs of wicked men expressed in their oun na­ture: but certainly they would colour them over with fair pretences; their purpose is to undo men, especially Godly men that Classed and purged them. Yea it is the profession of many, and they scarce ly privily, or have so much wisdome as to conceal their designes till their fit opportunity: but before the power be confirmed in their hand, they breath out Cruelty against all the Inno­cent in the Land, and promise themselves great gain by it, and are already dividing their Estates among them, saying, we shall find all precious substan­ce. ver 13. But my Son, if thow fear God, though they entice thee with spe­cious arguments of Nature and Necessity and Countrey Priviledges, yet Consent not. Venture not thy stock in one Vessel with them, Cast not in thy Lot among them. Walk not in the way with them, Refrain thy foot from their path: for they are not come to the height of iniquitie, they are running on to it: And if thow Joyn, thow wilt cast thy self in a miserable snare: for either thow must go on with them to their Designed and professed evils, or be expo­sed to their Cruelty.

[Page 38] Chap. 2. from vers 10. to the end. When Wisdom entereth into thine heart, and Knowledge is pleasant to thy soul. 11. Discretion shall preserve thee, Understanding shall keep thee. 12. To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that spea­keth froward things. 13. Who leave the Paths of uprightnesse to walk in the ways of darknesse. &c. If thow take the WORD of GOD for a lamp to thy feet, and it enter into thy Soul, and be received in love and affection: it will certainly keep thee from the Evil mans way, who have already left the Righteous paths to walk in the ways of darknesse, who rejoyce in nothing so much as in the sorrows and miseries of the Godly, and delight in one anothers wickedness. And it will keep thee Chast to thy husband CHRIST JESUS, and preserve thee from Committing fornications with Egypt as Aholah and A­holibah, and joyning so nearly with the degenerated seed of Abraham, who are but as strangers: for come near their house and Paths, and they will lead thee to Destruction with them, or make thee a more miserable life. But these that go to them return not again quickly; they are like fallen starrs, shall they ever be set in the Firmament again? Its safest to walk with good and righteous men: for Gods blessing and promise is on them. His Curse and threat­ning is on the wicked: therefore thow may fear wrath on that accompt, if thow joyn with them.

Chap. 4. ver 14. to 20. Enter not into the Path of the Wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16. For they sleep not except they have done mischief: and their sleep is taken away except they cause some to fall. 17. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shi­neth more and more unto the perfact day. 19. The way of the wicked is as darkness: and they know not at what they stumble. It was said Chap. 3: 23. that the man who keeps wisdom and the fear of God in his heart, should walk in the way and not stumble. That safty hath ease in it here, their steps are not strained, as when a man walks in steep and hazardous places, which cannot Choose but it will be, if a man enter into the path of wicked men, he must either go along in their way with them, and then its broad indeed; or, if he think to keep a good Conscience in it, he will be pinched and straitned: therefore its freest for the mind and Conscience for to avoid and pass by that way: for they sleep not &c. they will never be satisfied till they have done a mischief, they will live upon the ruines of the poor Countrey, And how will thow joyn in that? Or how can thow eschew it if thow walk with them? If it were no more, its a suspected by-path, that thow never travelled into. O pass by it; or, if thow be entered, turn out of it. If thow wilt enter upon the Apprehension of some light and duty in it, know that its but evening, Sun is setting, and thow wilt be benighted ere it be long: and thow shalt stum­ble then and not know whereupon, even on that thow sees now and thinks to eschew and pass by. Then from ver 25. to the end. Keep thy heart with all diligence: for out of it are the issues of life &c. Except thow keep thy heart and whole man, thow cannot escape falling in some temptation: O keep thy heart deligentlie on the knowledge and love of the Truth. Take heed to thy words. Look not a-squint but directly to that which is good. Give not [Page 39] a-squint look to any unlawfull Course, for the necessity or utility it may be seems to attend it. But look straight on, and ponder well thy way thow walks in, that thow run to no extremity either to one party or other. That thow walk in the middle way between Profanity and Error, thow held these ways hitherto for extreams, Ponder I beseech thee then, before thow walk in any of them; see whether they be really come to thee, or thow to them. Mark who is changed.

Chap. 5: 8. to the 15. Remove thy way far from her: and come not near the door of her house. 9. Lest thow give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the Cruel. 10. Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy Labours be in the house of a stranger. 11. And thow mourn at last, when thy flesh and thy bodie are Consumed. 12. And say how have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof? 13. And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers nor enclined mine ear to them that instructed me? &c. If thow would be safe from snares, Remove from the way and house of the strange Woman. Thow must fall in Aholah and Aholibahs whordoms, Ezek. 23. except thow come not near them. If thow keep not from that Assembly and Congregation, thow shall be almost in all evil. If thow joyn with them, thow cannot but partake of their sins and plagues; and so thow shalt say after, when thow cannot well mend it, It was near gone, my steps almost gone, and all the Assembly of his people shall witness to it.

Chap. 6: 16, 17, 18, 24, 25. These six things doth the Lord hate, yea seven are ane Abomination unto him. 17. A proud look, A lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood: 18. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief. 24▪ To keep thee from the strange Woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange Woman. 25. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eye-lids. Descrives both our Enemies, the Malignant Party and the Sectarian. Pride, Violence, Cruelty, Lying, is the very Character of the one. Flattery, beauty of pretended Religion, and false witnessing and Charging of the Lords people, and seeking to sow discord among these that were one in heart and work, is the Character of the other, Now keep thee from both these Abominations: and do not think, its in thy power not to be infected with the Contagion of their fellowship. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his Cloaths not be burnt? Can one go on hot Coals and not burn his feet? So whoever Associates and goes in friendly to either of them shall not be Innocent, ver 27, 28, 29.

Chap. 7: 14. &c. I have peace offerings with me, this day have I payed my Vows, They pretend Religion on both sides. And our Church sayes, The Ma­lignants have satisfied them, and repented, Even like the peace offerings and Vows of the whore. She began with her devotion, that she might with more liberty sin more, and have that pretence to cover it; and by means of her offerings, she got a feast of the flesh. Even as they by profession of Repen­tance are Admitted to Trust; and by offering for the like sin, a new sin is Covered, and Vows undertaken never to be kept. Therefore take heed of these snares: For she hath cast down many strong ver 26. Many tall Cedar hath fallen by that Fellowship. Its the way to hell. vers 27. See Chap. 8. 13.

[Page 40] Chap. 10. Shews us the very different estate of the Godly and wicked, both in regard of light and knowledge concerning Duty, and of blessings pro­mised. vers 6. Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence Covereth the mouth of the wicked. 9. He that walketh uprightly, walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways, shall be known. vers II. The mouth of a Righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. ver 20. The tongue of of the Iust is as Choise silver: the heart of the wicked is litle worth. ver 23. It is as a sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom &c. ver 24, 25, 28, 31, 32. Which shew us, That if the Lords mind be revealed to any concerning the present Courses, it must be to his poor people that wait on him, and not to all the wicked and ungodly in the Land, who almost only are satisfied and clear in the Course, who yet before were never satis­fied. And beside, though the Lord be Chastising his people, yet one may Ioyn with them without fear of wrath and Indignation on that accompt, and with hope of Partaking of their blessings, when he cannot and dare not joyn with a wicked party pursued with wrath and Indignation in the same dispen­tation. Which may be more clear from Cap. 11. ver 3, 5, 8. The Integrity of the Upright shall guide them: but the perversness of Transgressors shall destroy them. ver 5. The Righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickednesse. 8. The Righteous is delivered out of trouble and the wic­ked cometh in his stead. And ver 10, and 11. Shews the different Condition of People under wicked Rulers and Godly. All the wicked now rejoyce, None shouts but they, they think their day is come, the Godly generally hang their head and are discountenanced. Even as Psal. 12. The 21. and 31 ver. shews that when Godly men are Chastifed and punished in the Earth for their sins, much more wicked, especially when the Godly were Chastised for partaking with them, according to 1 Pet. 4: 17, 18. Isay. 10: 12. and 49: 12.

Chap. 12: ver 13. They are snared by the transgression of their lips, their ordi­nar Common speeches they drop out with, declare them and make their Cause more hatefull than other pretences its covered with would permitt. Yea they speak like the piercings of a sword against the Godly ver 11. If our State and Church had a LIP OF TRUTH, they would speak alwise the same thing, they would not carry in their talk and writings, as now every com­mon understanding perceives. We may find their writings made up of Con­tradictions: For a lying tongue is but for a moment ver 19. Its but for a mo­ment indeed before the Judicatory, and then out of doors it contradicts it self, as in the mock Repentances. But sorrow and anguish will come to the­se, who before they would speak of terms of peace with one Enemy, would Associate in war with another. But to the Counsellors of peace is joy. ver 20. The present Course Contradicts this 26. ver. The Righteous is more excellent than his Neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. They think these Malignants better than the West-Coutrey forces; they would condescend to any terms to get their help, though it were to ranverse the Act of Classes, to gi­ve them Indemnity; yea not so much as to Condemne their way: but they will not so much as clear the State of the Quarell, or choose a better Gene­ral for all their help. Their way seems good in their ouneyes ver 15. But it were wis­dome to hearken to the Counsel of the Godly.

[Page 41] Chap. 13. 10. Onely by pride cometh Contention: But with the well advised is wisdom. There is nothing keepeth up our Contention and Wars but Pride; No party will condescend to another. We will not say, we have done wrong in bringing in the King, they will not say they have done wrong in invading: But it were wisdom to fall lower and quite these Interests. ver 16. Everie Prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly. A wise man would count before the Warr, if he can accomplish it: and if he cannot, then he would send Messengers of peace, and Cede in all things he may without sin. If it be but more honour and wealth to our King, Should we destroy the Kingdom to purchase that? Our rash and abrupt proceedings shews our folly. ver 20. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: But a Companion of fools shall be destroyed. A man will be, must be assimilated to his company, and then partake of their Judgment or blessings.

Chap. 14. He that is accustomed to speak truth in private, will in his common speech be a faithfull witness in publick: But a man accustomed to Lying, Dissembling, Swearing in private, will not stick to forswear himself, to make professions and vowes contrare to his mind in publick, ver 5. (which is also Chap 12. 17. and 6. 19.) Such men seek wisdom and make a shew of Religion, but find it not; whereas its easy to Godly men to find it, to find Repentance and salvation, ver. 6. Go away from foolish men and break off socie­ty with ungodly men, be not privy to their Counsels; Use them not as speciall friends, when thow perceives that all means are used in vain to reclaime them from their Damnable way and principles, ver 7. The knowledge a Godly man hath, it serves to direct his way, and is given of God for it: But all the wit and skill of such wicked men is Deceit, they themselves are begui­led by it in opinion and practise and hope. And they also beguile others, ver 8. Sin makes fools aggree: But among the Righteous, that which is good makes aggreement (in the old translation) ver 9. Its only evil will unite all the wicked in the Land as one man: for its a sport to them to do mischief (Chap 10. 23.) Albeit our way seem right in our eyes; Yet because its a backslyding way, and departing from unquestionably right Rules, the end will be death, and we will be filled with our oun devices. O it shall be bit­ter in the belly of all Godly men when they have eaten it ver 12. 14. and Chap 1. 31. The simple believeth every word giveth credit to every vain word that is spoken. But a prudent man looketh well to mens goings, Ponders and examines whether their professions and practises agree; What weight is in their words, by the Inspection of their deeds, and of their ordinar speaking; and does not account a Coined word before a Judicatory sufficient to testify Repentance: and as he gives not present credit to their professions, who ha­ve so often proven treacherous; so he himself skarrs at every appearance of evil, and keeps himself from it; Whereas foolish souls rage and are confident, think any thing Lawfull if they can have any pretence for it, or use of it ver 15. 16. Then, what a great difference is between wicked men and Godly men, both in their Lot, when God is Correcting both? And in their disposition, wisdom that rests in the ones heart, is Manifested; Wickedness in the others heart appears also. In the midst of such men there is no other thing ver 32. 33.

[Page 42] Chap 15. 8. The Sacrifice of the wicked is an Abomination to the Lord: but the Prayer of the upright is his delight, Expresses how provocking a thing the outward professions and sacrifices of wicked men, continuing in their wicked­nesse, what ane Abomination that Commonly called PUBLICK REPEN­TANCE, or ECCLESIASTICALL HOLINESS is, when men are visibly unholy and ungodly in their Conversation: And therefore he plea­ded alwayes with that people, that his soul abhorred their externall Ceremo­nies, because of the Uncleanness of their hands. He pleaded that he never Com­manded them, though indeed he did command them; Yet those were aber­rations and departings from the expresse Rule and Command, to accept or be pleased with these sacrifices and Ceremonies, when there was no eviden­ce of Real Repentance. To this purpose are Chap 21. 4. 27. Isay 1. 11. and 66. 3. Ier. 6. 20. and 7. 22. Amos 5. 22. All which shew that its but a mocking of the Lord, and perverting of his Law, and profaning of his Or­dinances, to accept the profession of Repentance in those who walk contrary thereto, and to count them Ecclesiastically Holy enough, who say, they re­pent; though a thousand actions witness the Contrary. Of such the Lord says, what hast thow to do to take my Covenant in thy mouth; seing thow hates to be reformed? Psal. 50. 16, 17. They have no right to it, they should not be ad­mitted to it: for its a taking the Lords Name in vain. The 16 verse tells us That it had been better to possess our oun Land in quietness, than to venture what we have for the uncertain Conquest of England, and Restitution of the King, Parallel with Eccl 4. 8.

Chap. 16: 7. When a mans ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Can our STATES way then please the Lord, seing they cannot find the way of Peace? They will not walk in it; and seeing they make the Godly in the Land to fall out with them, and none to be at peace but the wicked, who may thereby get opportunitie to crush the Godly. ver 17. The High-way of the upright is to depart from evil. This is the high way only to depart from evil, not Carnal policies, nor advantages. He thinks the stepping aside to any of these is not the high way. Can then, men change their way, and go cross to it, and keep the right way in both? No, the Godly have this high way and keeps it. Chap. 17. ver 11. An evil man seeketh only Rebellion: therefore a Cruel messenger shall be sent against him. Evil men seek only Rebellion, and delights in no other thing: But the KING of KINGS shall send a Cruel messenger, he arms men with wrath and power against them. ver 13. Speaketh sadly to the English and to our State, that rewarded the West Countrey evil for good, ver 14. and 19. Tells us how we should advice before we begin a war, and leave no mean of composing Difference and strife unassayed; we did more in it than the English: but not all we might have done. ver 15. with Chap. 18: 5. Its a dreadfull sentence against the publick Judicatories, that in all their Resolutions, Papers and Practises, Iustifie the wicked and ungodly as honest faithfull men, and con­demne all approven Faithfull men, that cannot go along in such Courses, or were earnest to have them Repent, as both Malignants and Sectaries. Doe they not pronounce all Malignants friends, and absolve them from the sen­tences [Page 43] and Classes they stand under? And do they not put the Godly in their place? They relax the punishment of the one, and imputes transgression to the other; and so brings them under a Law. See Exod 23: 7. Prov. 24: 24. Isay. 5: 23. and the 26. verse of this Chapter. Its not good to punish Godly men, who have given constant proof of their Integrity, for abstaining from such a Course, at least having so much appearance of evil, that many distinctions will never make the multitude to believe, that we are walking according to former principles: because their sense observes the quite contrarie practi­ses, &c.

Chap. 18: ver 2. (A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may Discover it self.) Shews, that if the present Cause and Course were of God, and tended so much to his Glory, fools or wicked men would have no such delight in it: for they delight in nothing but what; is agreeable to their humour, to discover themselves &c. Vers 3, gives the true reason, why our publick judi­carories and Armies are so base and contemptible; why contempt and shame is powred on them; because, when the wicked comes, then also comes contempt, and with the vile man, Reproach. vers 13. He that answereth a Cause before he hear it, it is folly and shame unto him. Many pass peremptory sentence upon the honest party in the West, before they hear all parties, and be throughly informed, and this is a folly and shame to them. They hear the State and Church and what they can say for their way; and indeed they seem just, because they are first in with their Cause with them, and they will not hear another; but he that comes after will make Inquiry, and discover these fallacies. Vers 24. There is a friend that sticketh eloser than a brother. A godly neighbour, not so near in naturall bonds to us, that is a surer friend than many brethren in the flesh. These bonds of Countrey and Kinred, should all Cede to Gods Interest. See Chap. 17: 17.

Chap. 19: 22. A mans desire is his Kindness: and a poor man is better than a lyar. The Godly, that cannot Concurt in the publick Cause being disabled through an invincible impediment of sin lying in the way and means made use of, are better friends, and have more real good-will to the stablishment and peace of the Land, than any ungodly man, let him be never so forward in the present Course. Vers 10, Pleasure and its attendants, are not comely for a wicked man. i. e. Foolish man; much less for a servant. i. e. men enthral­led in their Lusts, to Rule over Princes i. e. Godly men, highly priviledged by God. All things that are good do ill become them; but worst of all to have Power and Superiority over Good men. Vers 25, joyned with Chap. 21: 11. Ring-leaders of wickednesse, Refractory and Incorrigible persons should have been made examples to others, and this would have prevented much mischief. The Scripture gives ground for putting difference between the scorner and simple, seducers and seduced.

Chap. 20: 6. and Chap. 21: 2. and Chap. 16: 2. Most men will proclaim every one his oun goodness: but a faithfull man who can find? Its no great won­der that Malignants say they Repent; and the State and Church say they keep the same principles: for who will say any evil of himself? vers 8. Ma­gistrates should scatter away evil men with their Countenance, by denying it [Page 44] to them, looking down on them, How then do our Rulers gather them. Vers 3. Shews, that war and strife should not be kept up but in extream necessity, fools will be meddling. Vers 11, Shews that the best way of Judging of men is by their Doings and fruits, not strained words and confessions. But these who upon a bare profession, pronounce a Notour Malignant a friend; ha­ving no proof of their integrity; and will not have any judged such, but such as judicially are debarred; yet they, contrary to all the testimony of works and fruits, Judge and condemn honest men as Traitors, though not Judicially convicted. Certainly Diverse measures are an Abomination to the Lord As in vers 10. Then vers 25, Sacriledge is described, and Covered perjury, which is a snare to the soul that commits it, to Devour that which is holy. i. e. Emplo­yeth to Common use these things God hath set apart, and commanded to be kept holy, as our profaning of REPENTANCE and ABSOLU­TION by casting such pearles to Swine, and for our own Advantage ma­king a cloak of them to bring in wicked men, contrare to the very nature and Institution of the ordinance. Also our prostituting of our Covenant and Cause, most holy things, to mentain Unholy or Common Interests. Our committing his Holy things to them that will Devour them. And after vows to make enquiry, To dispute now, that we did not bind our selves in the Case of necessity, not to employ wicked men; when as the ground is perpetuall and holds in all cases. It shews either temerity in swearing, or impiety in en­quiring afterward and changing, See Deut. 23: 21. Then vers 26. A wise King scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them. O that our Magi­strates were so wise! Is the Act of levie a scattering of the wicked? Is the act of Indemnity a bringing the wheel over them Psal. 101. 8. 1 will early destroy &c.

In Chap. 21: 10. (The soul of the wicked desireth evil, his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.) The wickeds principles can carry no where but to evil; and to do evil to Good men. vers 8. His way and life is full of horrible and tragicall chances: But a good mans work is easie and pleasant, directs to a good and peaceable end Isay. 26: 7. In vers 12. A Righteous man should have his witt about him, to consider ungodly houses and families, and persons. that God hath visible controversies with, that he may not communicate with them in their Judgments. vers 16. It is a sad wandring out of the way, when a man leaves the Congregation of the Living to abide among the dead. Dead in sins and appointed to Death. Its a great Judgment as well as sin. Vers 27. with the 4. and places before cited, shew how Abominable the externall professions and pretences of wicked men are, when contradicted by their practise; especially if they doe it but out of a wicked mind, when they Intend to effect some mischief, under the Colour of Repentance and being Re­conciled to the Church. As Absaloms Vow at Hebron; as Balaam and Balak and the Pharisees, who under pretence of long prayers devoured widows houses; as Iezebels fast; and as the people Isay. 58: 4. Who fasted for strife and debate, and to stri­ke with the fist of wickednesse. All men knows that the Church is the Ladder to step up upon to go to preferment, and Repentance the door to enter to places of Trust. Chap. 22: 3. (A prudent man forseeth the evil and hideth himself: but the simple pass on and are punished.) He is a wise man that knows the Judgment [Page 45] of the Lord, and as the stork and swallow the time of his coming, that in the Consideration of sins and threatnings, and comparing things spirituall with spirituall, apprehendeth Judgment coming on such a Course and such a party, and hydes himself, goes aside, retires to a Covert, by avoyding these evils, and the least fellowship with them that bring it on, and eschewing such a Society as hath the Cloud hanging directly above their head: but simple Idiots and blind worldings go on head-long, and dread nothing and are pu­nished vers 5. Most Grievous plagues and Punishments, and all manner of unhappiness encumbreth their wicked life: Therefore he that would keep himself pure and clean, 1 Iohn. 5: 18. and save his oun soul, shall be far from them; shall keep himself far from such people. He prays with JOB. Let their Counsell be far from me Iob 21: 16, 17. Because their good is not in their hand; their Candle is oft put out &c. And resolves with JACOB, My soul shall not enter into their secret, to have such Intimacy with them, as joyn Coun­sells with them Gen. 49: 6. And vers 10, 11. Cast out of thy Company, Family, Jurisdiction, the Scorner that contemns [...]odly men, and mocks In­struction: for such men are Infectious, and able to Corrupt all they Converse with: But Cast him out, and Contention shall go out with him. Its such only that marrs the union of the Godly, that stirs up strife, and foments di­visions. Thow shalt have more peace, and be more free from sin and sha­me. But sound hearted upright men, who deal faithfully, not to please but to profit; yow should choose these to entrust and rely upon; those should be the friends of Kings. Vers 14, As a Harlots allurements are like pits to catch men, so the Allurements of wicked ungodly men their Power, Policy &c. and their fair speeches and flatteries, is a deep ditch to catch men into this spiri­tuall whoredome and fornication spoken of Ezek. 23. And he whom God is pro­voked with, by former wickedness, falls into it Eccl. 7: 26. vers 24, 25. (Make not friendship with an angry man: and with a furious man thow shall not go &c.) And is not Association in Arms with such, as friends against one Enemie, a making friendship with them we are sworn to hold as Enemies? If we may not converse with a furious passionate man, how then with men of blood, en­raged, whose inveterate malice hath now occasion to vent against all the Godly? For thow wilt learn his wayes, as we have always seen it by expe­rience; and thow wilt get a snare to thy soul: If thow go not in his ways yow cannot aggree, yow will fall out and quarrell; and that is a snare to thee. Vers 28, Remove not the ancient land-mark which thy Fathers have set. If it be so dreadfull and accursed to remove our Neighbours marks and bounds. O how much more to change and alter Gods land mark, his Privileges, Oaths and Cove­nants &c. and Chap. 23: 10. 11. Deut. 19: 14: and 27: 17,

Chap. 23: 1, 7. (When thow sittest to eat with a Ruler, Consider diligently what it before thee. vers 7. For as he thinketh in his heart so is he &c.) Consider diligently what men ARE, not what they PRETEND and seem to be. for as they think so are they, not as they pretend with their tongue and Counte­nance, but as they think in their heart, which is better evidenced by their Common 'and habituall speaking and walking, than any deliberate and resol­ved profession contrived of purpose. But if thow consider not this, the mor­sel [Page 46] thow hast eaten thow shalt vomit up, thow shalt Dearly pay for thy Credu­lity and loss all thy sweet words. Vers 23: Buy the truth and sell it not. &c. Do not we sell the truth and Cause and all into the hands of the Enemies of all? Whereas we ought to Ransom the Kingdoms libertie and Religions Interest, with the loss of all extrinsick Interest that does but concern the accession of ones honour; yet we sell, endanger and venture all for that.

Chap. 24: 1. (Be not thow envyous against evil men neither desire thow to be with them. Godly mens hearts are often tickled to be acquainted with, in league and friendship with wicked men, when they have power: that they may not be hurt by them; but seing there is no Society between light and darknesse, let not the Godly desire to be with them, as in Chap. 23: 17. But rather to be in Gods fear alwayes, that is good Company. The Reason is Vers 2. Their heart studies the destruction of the Godly, why then should thow walk with thine Enemy? And you shall hear nothing but mischief in their Lips. vers 12. Its not according to mens words but works they should be judged, and why do not we follow that Rule in our Judging? Do we mock God as one mocks another? Iob 34: 11. Psal. 62: 12, Ier, 32: 19. Rom. 2: 6. Vers 21. &c. Men given to Change, false deceitfull men, meddle not with such if thow either fear God or respect man; for such will be sure to no Interest but their oun. Their calamity shall come suddenly: therefore have nothing to doe with them: for who knows the Ruine of them both, of them and all other wicked men, or of both them and the King if wicked. Also to the wise and Godly this belongs, Its not good to have Respect of Persons in Judgment, whither he be King or Noblman. A Righteous State respects not the Person of the Prince and mighty saith Iob. But he that says to the Righteous, you are wicked Sectaries, and also Malignants, because ye will not approve all their Resolutions; and to the wicked, thow art Righteous, to the Malignants, yow are the honest men; the blessed of the Lord, who did ever to this day fall under Meroz Curse, Should the people approve him? No Certainly, him shall they Curse, and the Nations abhor him or them: But a blessing on them that would reprove our sins and search them out. Vers 29. The Malignant party are even speaking so, As the Classers and purgers did to us, even so will we doe to them. But God will render them according to their work.

Chap. 25. 2. (It is the honour of Kings to search out a matter.) Its a Kings glory and Judges glory to search our a matter, to try dissemblers before they trust them; Gods glory is to Pardon, Mans glory is to Administer Justice Impartially. ver 4, 5. shews, what need there is of purging places of trust, especially about the King. Dross cannot be melted, take what pains yow will, it will not convert into a vessel and become usefull. This mixed in, ob­structs all Equity, Justice and Piety where it is. The Ruler should be the Refiner to purge away this drosse, and the Army or Judicatory or Kingdome is a vessell. You shall never get a fined vessel for use and service, till yow purge away the drosse Psal. 101. 4. Then Vers 8. we should follow peace with all men as much as is possible, never to begin strife or draw the Sluse of conten­tion: But if we be wronged, we should not for all that goe out hastily to [Page 47] strife, till 1. the Justice and Equity of the Cause appear. 2. that the mat­ter wherabout we contend be of great moment, a ground to found a Warr upon. 3. that we first use all means of peace and aggreement possible. 4. that we overmatch not our selves with these who are too strong for us, See Chap. 17. 14. Lest thow be brought to that extremity that thow know not what to doe. Thus Christ adviseth Luke 14. 31. I am perswaded this would plead much in Reason to yeeld security to England, so be it our wrong were repaired and no more done, Verse 19 shews, what the employment of unfaithfull men, who mean nothing less than they pretend, is, they fail when most is expected, and hurts beside, as Jobs friends Chap. 6. 15. And Verse 26, A Righteous and upright man, consenting with a wicked man in sin; or, through fear of him, not daring to do his duty, turning to him and his way, or dallying and flat­tering him in his Iniquity, is like a troubled fountain, is not good and profita­ble for Edification nor Correction, having troubled the purity of his soul through the mudd of Carnall respects and Interests: Corruption within is the mire, the wickeds seducements are like the beasts trampling it with his foot; And he is like a corrupt, infected and poisoned fountain, more ready to infect and draw others by his example. Verse 27, A man should not seek Honour and preferrment, thats base and shamefull. None of the trees lon­ged for soveraigntie but the Bramble.

Chap 26. 1. (As snow in summer and as rain in harvest; so honour is not seem­ly for a fool.) Its as unseemly, prodigious and destructive a thing, to give Ho­nours, Promotions and Trust to wicked men, as snow and much rain in Har­vest; a Reproach and punishment more becomes him, than honour the reward of Goodness (as ver 3) a whip, rod and bridle for him, to restrain him from wrong and provoke him to goodnesse ver 6. He that commits an errand or business and entrusts a wicked man with it, is as unwise in so doing as if he did cut off the Messengers feet he sent; he deprives himself of the means to compass it; He sends a lame man to run ane errand; He is punished by himself as if he had cut off his oun feet, and procureth sorrow and dis­content to himself, as if he were compelled to drink nothing but what is contrare to his stomack. ver 7. All good speeches halt and limp in evil mens mouths; For there is no constancy in their mouths: Within they are very rottennesse. Out of the same mouth comes blessing and Cursing. I am 3. 10. their very words aggree not; The publick and extraordinary Crosses the priva­te & ordinary, and their actions have less harmony with their words. Pro­fessing they know God, in works they deny him &c. Ver 8, To give a mad man a weapon, what els is it but to murder? To bring shot to an ordinance which may do much mischief to himself and others, is to be accessory to that mis­chief; So to give honour to a fool, he hath given power to them, and put them in a Capacity to do evil, and set them on work again to perfect their designes against good men. Verse 9, As a drunken man, put a thorn in his hand, he can make no use of it, but to hurt himself and others; so wicked mens good speeches and fair professions, commonly tend to some mischief, these but cover their evil designes: and yet the Covering is shorter than that it can hide them. Verse 10, wicked Rulers (look the margent) grieve [Page 48] and molest the subjects; and the means to effect this is, to employ the fool and transgressor, to give Offices and Countenance to evil men, which may be Instruments of their Lust, so Abimelech Iudg 9. 4. so Iezebel, 1 Kings 21. 10. so in Neh. 8. 15. Vers 11, The dog feeling his stomack surcharged, goes to the Grass, as our Malignants to profess Repentance, and casts up that which troubles him by a fained Confession: But because there is noe change in his Nature, He is inwardly stirred by his old principles to lick up that vomi­te, to Committ and practise what he professed Repentance for, yea and to profess the same he pretended sorrow for: When Power is confirmed in their hand they will return to their folly. Vers 17, What els is our Inter­posing our selves in the Kings Quarrell concerning England, though we have Interest in it to endeavour it in a peacable way, if he were fit for it; Yet in comparison of our Kingdom and Religions fafety, which may be ruined by Warr, Its no such matter as belongeth to us: And so it falls out, we are like a man taking a Dog by the ears to hold him; We have raised up ma­ny Enemies, and provocked them to byte us: We cannot hold them long from destroying him: And we provoke them more by holding them, in espousing his Quarrell, As Iehoshaphat joyning with Ahab, We had done well to interpose our selves between the King and them to make peace, but to side to one party was not well done. Ver 18, 19. furious and bloody men take all opportunities to hurt others, especially good men: and so de­ceiveth these imployed: But they do it under a pretence, as a scorner re­proacheth under a pretence of sport; so they, under other pretences, of wrongs done, of the Countreys defence &c. Ver 20, 24, Shews the way to prevent trouble and keep peace. As a contentious turbulent person, would enflame a whole Countrey and put them by the ears; so a person, though not contentious in his oun Nature, yet having many contentious Interests following him, which he will not quite or committ to Gods providence, as our King was, O it is the destruction of a Nation to have such a person among them: He hath broken the peace of two Kingdoms. Verse. 23, 24, 25, 26. Burning Lips, Hot and great words of Love and friendship, and a wicked heart, Revenging its enmitie, and minding nothing less than what is spoken, is Like a potsneard, a drossie piece covered over with the fairding of Hypo­crisy; Or like a sepulchre garnished and painted, he dissembles and speaks vanity and flatters Psal. 12. 3. But he laves up his wicked purposes close within him till a time of venting them: Therefore when he speaks so fair and Courteously, be not confident of him, trust him not too farr till thow have proof of his Reality. Put not thy self and thy dearest Interests into his mercy. This is wisdom and not want of charity Ier. 12. 6. Micah. 7. 5. Cain, Ioab, Iudas, are proof of this. It may be covered a time, but not long. Naturam expellas furcâ licet usque recurrat. All the World shall be witnesse of it. Psal. 125. So then vers 21. The Calumniator and false ac­cuser who openly professes his hatred and malice, and the flatterer that seems to be moved with love, both of them produce one effect, viz Ruine and Calamitie.

Chap 27. 3, 4. (A stone is heavy and the sand weighty: But a fools wrath [Page 49] is heavyer than them both &c. We see what we may expect of the enraged, exasperated Malignant Party, their wrath against all the Godly, for their faithfull secluding and purging them out of places of trust, is weighty and un­supportable like the sand of the sea; It will crush them under it if God sup­port not. Its like a swelling River or a High spring-tyde, it goes over all banks, since the State and Church have drawn the sluce and letten it out. But when it is joyned with Envy and Malice against Godliness and Piety it self, who can stand before that? No means can quench that heat. Verse 6, faithfull mens Reproofs, Remonstrances and Warnings, applyed in Love and Compassion, are better than an Enemies Kisses and flatteries, than his oyls and oyntments is: Therefore we would Pray against the one, and for the other; that God would smite us with the mouth of the Righteous, but keep Us from the dainties of the wicked Ioabs, Iudases, and Achitophels. Verse 8. Speaks sadly against Ministers that withdraw from their Charges so unne­cessarly, as a bird that wandreth too long from her nest, the young sterve for Cold or famine, or are made a prey; so these, who having no necessa­ry Call to be els-where, especially not being members of the Commission, yet stay not with their flocks, are guilty of their souls Ruine. verse 10, O how doth this speak against the present Course of Judicatories, they have forsa­ken their old faithfull friends, when they proved ever Constant, and have gone in to their wicked Countrey-mens house in the day of their Calamity. But a neighbour in affection and piety, is nearer than a brother in flesh and near in habitation.

Chap 28. 1. (The wicked slee when no man pursueth: But the Righteous is bold as a Lyon) wicked men are now chosen for Stoutness and Cou­rage, but they have no sure foundation for it. Its buts like the Rage: and temerity of a mad man or drunkard: But Godly men, once satis­fyed in grounds of Conscience about their duty, would have been bold as Lyons. A good Conscience would have made them bold Psal. 112. 7, 8. Levit. 26. 36. Now verse 2, Behold the punishment of our sins, our Governours are changed, There is almost a total alteration, and we are Faces about; which cannot but bring Ruine to the Land, especially when men of under­standing and piety are shut out. verse 4. with Chap 29. 27. Its a great point and Argument of declyning and forsaking the Law of God when men Praise the wic­ked, Change their Names though they themselves be not Changed, and Leave off contending with them or declaring against them, and doe rather plead for them. But Godly men that keep the Law Contend with, discountenance them, and oppose them; As DAVID, I hate them that hate thee, and earnestly contend with them: Thus they are kept from partaking with other mens sins. Ver 5, Its not very likely, that all the ungodly should now understand the duty of the times and dis­cern the right way, and that so many that fear God, understand it not, seing the Lords secret is revealed to them Psal. 25. 14. Verse 6, 7. A poor man, and weak means if they be of upright men, are better and stronger than manie rich and strong perverters. A companion of evil men and a keeper of the Law aggree not in one person, the one is a honour, the other a shame to all that have interest in them. Vers 9. Their prayers and professions are Abomina­tion, [Page 50] no acceptation of those who turno away their ears from obedience to the Law, who walks contrare to it. Vers 10. These Cunning and crafty men that have enticed some Godly men, and led them on in the present Course, shall them­selves smart for it, when the Godly seduced shall see good things after all this. Verse 12, When wicked men have Power and Trust, Good men hide and Retire themselves from such a Congregation or Assembly of the wicked. See Chap. 10: 10, 11. Should we thus choose our oun Plague, Tyranny, Op­pression, Calamity and Misery: and cast away our oun glorie? Then vers 13. Repentance requires true and Ingenuous Confession, and real forsaking; If both these joyn not, its but a Covering and hyding of sin. If a man confess and yet walk and Continue in them, he is but using his Confession as a Co­vering to retain his sins: and such shall not find mercy of God, or prosper before men, Vers 14, Its not so despisable a thing to fear alway, and to be very jealous of sin as it is now made, Its counted a reproach to have any scruples at the prelent Course: But happie is he that abstaineth from all appearance of evil: But he that emboldneth himself, and will not Question any thing ma­kes for advantage, falls into mischief. Vers 15, 17, Shews the Lamentable Condition of a people under wicked Rulers, they are beasts and not men to­wards the people, especially towards the best. Dam. 7: 4, 5. Zep. 3: 3. vers 17. How doth that aggree with our sparing of bloody men, of our solliciting for their Impunity, of our pardoning them? Are they not, by the appointment of Gods Law, ordained for destruction and hast to it? Should any then stay them? should they not then far less employ them? And (vers 24.) If it be so heinous to take our Fathers goods upon this pretence, because they are our oun; how much more sacriledge is it to rob God of his Interests? and give over his money to bankrupts, and say its no transgression to rob the Land of its Defence, and make them naked, as Ahaz his confederacy did: Certainly it is murther. vers 28. and Chap. 29: 2. and 11: 12. and 28: 28 are to one pur­pose: We have forsaken our oun mercy and wronged our oun souls: and de­stroyed our selves in choosing our oun Judgment, and making our oun Red to beat us withall. Chap. 29: 1. We being so often reproved by his word and providence for the sin of Association with the wicked, and being so la­tely punished for it; and having so lately reproved our selves for it in our Declarations and Fasts, yet to harden our necks. What can we expect but utter destruction and that without Remedie, as we sentenced our selves? Ezra 9: 13. and 14: 13. Isay. 30: 13, 14. Shall not this Iniquity be to us abreach ready to fall, even this Iniquity of going down to Egypt for help &c. Then vers 6. The­re is a snare to entrap thy feet in the sins of the wicked; if thow be joyned with them thow cannot well escape. Vers 8. Wicked Prophane contemners of God and his people bring ruine on a City or Commonalitie, they set it on fire and blows it up: But Godly men pacify wrath, turn away Judgments, and purge all from provocations, which is the only means to turn it away. Vers 16 Shews, when wicked men gather together and grow in State and power, they grow worse, and sin with greater boldness: And transgression then overflows the Land tanquam ruptis repagulis. There is no obstacle, see Psal. 12. And vers 24 shews, He that is partner and fellow-receiver▪ with a thief, [Page 51] or conceals such offenders, endangers his oun destruction: and he that stays with and Associates with wicked men, must hear cursing aed cannot bewray it; he will see many Abominations, that though he would he cannot reme­die. Vers 25. Fear of man and of the Lands danger, hath brought many into a snare, to run from the Lord to an Arm of flesh: but he that trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Vers 27. Here is the deadly enmitie between the two feeds, they cannot reconcile well, see vers 10. and Chap. 21: 3. Its no wonder the Godly Abominate such men who are Gods enemies and the Lands plague.

Chap. 30: 11, 14. Descrives the Malignant party, who make nothing of the Godly Magistrates or their mother Church and Land, but Curse, Ma­ligne, Oppose as much as they could, and are Oppressours, monstrous Ty­rants, Mankind-beasts, or beastly men; the Subject of their Crueltie is the Godly afflicted man, they eat up all and will not leave the bones: As the Propher complains, I ly among men whose teeth are as spears and arrows, and their tongue as a sharp sword. And then vers 12, 13, 20. Descrives our Enemies, the Invaders, They think themselves Godly and Righteous, yet are not pur­ged from their filthinesse. They are given up to strong delusions to believe lies; and there is no lie greater than this, that they are a Godly Party in a Godly Cause and way. They wipe their mouth after all their bloodshed, and sayes, I have done no evil: They wash their hands as Pilate, as if they were free of the blood of these Just men, whose fouls cry under the Altar. Vers 21, 22, 23. It is a burthen to the world and a plague to man­kind, when servants, unworthy men, and persons unfit for high places are set in Authority, and when wicked men have their desire of plenty and ho­nour (Chap. 19: 10.) And when an odious woman, or men of hatefull Vi­tious dispositions comes to preferment and are espoused by a State. Nought they were while alone, but worse now when they have crept into the bed and bosome of the State. Her Roots was nought before: but now she is planted in rank mould, and will shoot forth her unsavoury branches and blos­soms. And when Handmaids, kept in a servile estate because of their dispo­sition and quality, get their Masters ushered out, and they become Heirs, at least possessors of the Inheritance or Trust. Vers 33 Shews, how necessarly war and Contention follow upon unnecessary provocations by word or deed, such as we have given many to England, though indeed they have given moe. And lastly, Chap. 31: 20, 26, 31. Shews how word and work should go together: and men should be esteemed and praised according to their works and fruit of their hands.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.