THE KINGS MAIESTIES ANSWER, To a late Petition presented unto him by the hands of Mr. ALEXANDER HENDERSON, from the COMMISSIONERS of the Generall ASSEMBLIE of the Kirk of SCOTLAND.

WITH Their humble REMONSTRANCE and renewed PETITION to the Kings most Excellent MAjESTIE, from their meeting at EDINBURGH, June 2. 1643.


His Majesties Ansvver to a late Petition presented unto him by the hands of Mr. ALEXANDER HENDERSON, from the Com­missioners of the generall Assemblie of the Church of SCOTLAND.

WE received lately a Petition from you, by the hands of Mr. Alexander Henderson, To the which we intended to have given an an­swer, as soon as we had transacted the busi­nesse with the other Commissioners addres­sed to us from the Conservators of the Treatie of that our Kingdome. But finding the same to be published in Print, and to bee dispersed throughout Our Kingdome, to the great danger of Scandalling of Our well-affected Sub­jects, who may interpret the bitternesse and sharpnesse of some expressions not to be so agreeable to that regard and reverence which is due to our Person, and the matter it self to be reproachfull to the honour and constitution of this Kingdome, we have been compelled the more strictly to examine as well the Authority of the Petitioners, as the matter of the petition it self, and to publish our opi­nion of both, that our Subjects of both Kingdomes may see how equally, just, and sensible we are of the Laws and honour of both Our Kingdomes.

And first, upon perusall of the Petition, We required to [Page 2]see the Commission by which the messenger who brought this Petition, or the persons who sent him, are qualified to intermedle in Affairs so forraigne to their jurisdiction, and of so great concernement to this our Kingdome of England. Upon examination whereof, and in defence of the Laws and Government of this our Kingdome, which we are trusted and sworne to defend, Wee must professe that the Petitioners, or the generall Assembly of Our Church of Scotland have not the least Authority or power to intermeddle or interpose in the affaires of this King­dome or Church, which are setled and established by the proper laws of this Land, and till they bee altered by the same competent power, cannot be enveighed against with­out a due sense of Us and this Nation, much lesse can they present any advice or declaration to Our Houses of Par­liament against the same, or to that purpose to send any letters, as they have now done, to any Minister of Our Church here, who by the Lawes of this land cannot cor­respond against the same. Therefore wee do believe that the Petitioners, when they shall consider how unwarrant­ed it is by the Laws of that Kingdome, and how con­trary it is to the Laws of this, to the professions they have made to each other, and how unbecomming in it self for them to require the ancient, happie and established government of the Church of England to bee altered, and conformed to the lawes and constitutions of another Church, will find themselves misled by the information of some factious persons here, who would willingly in­gage the Petitioners to foment a difference and division between the two Kingdomes, which wee have with so much care and industry endeavoured to prevent, not ha­ving labour'd more to quench the combustion in this [Page 3]Kingdom, then we have to hinder the like from either de­vouring Ireland, or entring into Scotland, which if all o­thers will equally labour, will undoubtedly bee avoided. But we cannot so easily passe over the mention of Ireland, being mov'd to it by scandalous aspersions, that have bin often cast upon us upon that subject, and the use that hath been made of the wofull distractions of that Kingdome, as of a Seminary of feares and jealousies to beget the like distraction in this, and (which lest they may have farther influence) Wee are the more willing to make Our inno­cence appeare in that particular.

When first that horrid Rebellion began, Wee were in Our Kingdome of Scotland, and the sense we had then of it, the expressions we made concerning it, the Commissions (together with some other assistance) we sent immediatly into that Kingdome, and the instant Recommendation we made of it to both Our Houses of Parliament in England, are knowne to all persons of quality there and then about Us. After Our returne into England, Our ready concur­ring to all the desires of both Houses that might most speedily represse that horrible Rebellion, by passing the Bill of pressing, & in it a clause which quitted a right chal­lenged by all, and enjoyed by many of Our Predecessors, by parting with Our Rights in the lands escheated to Us by that rebellion, for the encouragement of adventures, by emptying of Our Magazines of Armes and Ammunition for that service (which we have since needed for our ne­cessary defence and preservation) by consenting to all Bills for the raising of money for the same, though con­taining unusuall clauses, which trusted both Houses with­out Us with the matter of disposing it, Our often pressing both Houses, not to neglect that Kingdome, by being [Page 4]diverted by considerations and disputes lesse concerning both Kingdomes, Our offer of raising 10000. Voluntiers to be sent thither, and Our severall Offers to engage Our owne Royall person in the suppression of that horrid re­bellion are no lesse known to all this Nation, then Our perpetuall earnestnesse by our Forraigne Ministers to keep all manner of supplies from being transported for the relief of the Rebels, is knowne to severall neigh­bouring Princes. VVhich if all Our Subjects will consider, and withall how many of the men, and how much of the money raised for that end, and how much time, care, and industrie have been diverted from that employment, and employed in this unnaturall warre against Us, (the true cause of the present miserie and want which Our Brittish armies there do now endure) they will soone free us from all those imputations so scandalously and groundlesly laid upon us, and impute the continuance of the Combu­stion of that miserable Kingdome, the danger it may bring upon our Kingdomes of England and Scotland, and the beginning of this dolefull desolation, to those who are truely guilty of it.

For unitie in Religion: which is desired, We cannot but answer, That wee much apprehend lest the Papists may make some advantage of that expression, by conti­nuing that scandall with more authoritie, which they have ever heretofore used to cast upon the Reformation, by interpreting all the differences in Ceremonie, Govern­ment, or indifferent opinions between severall Protestant Churches, to bee differences in Religion; And lest our good subjects of England, who have ever esteemed them­selves of the same Religion with you, should suspect themselves to bee esteemed by you to be of a contrary. [Page 5]And that religion which they and their ancestors have held ever since the blessed reformation, and in and for which they are resolved to dye, is taxed and branded of falsehood or insufficiency, by such a desire.

For uniformity in Church Government, We conceived the answer formerly given by us to the former petition in this argument, would have satisfied the petitioners, and is so full, that we can adde little to it. viZ. That the go­vernment here established by the lawes, hath so neare a rela­tion and intermixture with the Civill State (which may be unknown to the petitioners) that til a composed disgested form be presented to us, upon a free debate of both Houses in a Par­liamentary way, whereby the consert and approbation of this whole Kingdom may be had, and We and all our subjects may discerne, what is to be left in, or brought in, as well as what is to be taken away, We know not how to consent to any alte­ration, other wise then to such an act for the ease of tender con­sciences in the matter of Ceremonies, as We have often offered and that this, and any thing else that may concerne the peace of the Church, and the advancement of Gods true Religion may be soberly discussed, and happily effected, We have for­merly offered, and are still willing that debates of that na­ture may be entered into by a Syned of godly and learned Divines, to be regularly chosen according to the Laws and Customes of this Kingdome. To which we shall bee willing that some learned Divines of our Church of Scotland be like­wise sent, to be present and offer and debate their Reasons. With this answer the petitioners had great reason to ac­quiesce without enlarging the matter of their former pe­tition only with bitter expressions against the established government and laws of their neighbour Nation, (as if it were contrary to the word of God) with whom they [Page 6]have so lately entred into a strict amity and friendship.

But we cannot enough wonder, that the petitioners should interpose themselves, not only as fit directors and judges betwen Us and Our two Houses of Parliament, in businesse so wholly concerning the peace and govern­ment of this our kingdome, and in a matter so absolutely entrusted to us, as what new laws to consent or not to consent to, But should assume and publish, That the de­sire of reformation in this kingdome is in a peaceable and Parliamentary way, When all the world may know, That the proceedings here, have bene and are not only contrary to all the rules and precedents of former Parli­aments, but destructive to the freedome, priviledge, and dignity of Parliaments themselves: that wee were first driven by tumults, for the safety of our life, from our cities of London and Westminster, and have bene since pur­sued, fought withall, and are now kept from thence by an army raysed, as is pretended, by the two Houses, which consist not of the fourth part of the number they ought to do, the rest being either driven from thence by the same violence, or expell'd or imprisoned for not consent­ing to the treasons and unheard of Insolencies practised against us, And if the petitioners could beleeve these pro­ceedings to be in a peaceable Parliamentary way, they were very unacquainted with the order and constitution of this Kingdome, and not so fit instruments to promote that reformation and peace: they seeme to desire.

We cannot beleeve the intermixture of the present Ec­clesiasticall government with the Civill State, to be other then a very good reason, and that the governement of the Church should be by the rules of humane policy, to be other then a very good rule, unlesse some other govern­ment [Page 7]were as well proved as pretended to be better war­ranted by God.

Of any bills offerd us for reformation, we shall not now speak, they being a part of those articles upon which we have offered and expect to treats but cannot but won­der by what authority you prejudge our judgement here­in, by denouncing Gods anger upon us, and our hazard of the losse of the hearts of all our good Subjects, if we consent not unto them. The influence of so many blessings from heaven upon the reignes of Queen Elizabeth, and our father of blessed memory, and the acknowledgement of them by all Protestant Churches to have been carefull nurses to the Church of Christ and to have excellentlie discharged their duties in the custody and vindication of religion, and the affection of their Subjects to them, do sufficiently assure Us, that we should neither stop the in­fluence of such blessings, nor grieve the hearts of all the godly, nor hazard the losse of the hearts of our good Subjects, although we still maintaine in this Kingdome the same establisht Ecclesiasticall government, which flou­risht in their times, and under their speciall protection.

We doubt not but our Subjects of Scotland will rest a­boundantly satisfied with such alterations in their owne Church as we have assented unto, and not bee perswaded by a meer assertion, that there is no hope of the continu­ance of what is there setled by law, unlesse that bee like­wise altered which is setled here, And our Subjects of England will never depart from their dutifull affection to Us, for not consenting to new laws, which by the law of the land, they know, We may as justly reject if we ap­prove not of them, as either house hath power to prepare for, or both to propound to us. Nor are you a little mi­staken [Page 8]if either you beleeve the generality of this Nation to desire a change of Church-government, or that most of those who desire it, desire by it to introduce that which you onely esteeme a reformation, but are as unwilling to what you call the yoke of Christ and obedience to the Gospell, as those whom you call prophane and worldly men, and so equally averse both to Episcopacy and Pres­byterie, that if they should prevaile in this particular, the abolition of the one would be no inlet to the other, nor would your hearts bee lesse grieved, your expectations lesse frustrated, your hopes lesse ashamed, or your re­formation more secured. And the petitioners, upon due consideration, will not finde themselves lesse mistaken in the government of all the reformed Churches, which they say is by Assemblies, then they are in the best way of a reformation, which sure is best to be in a common and ordinary way, where the passion or interest of parti­cular men may not impose upon the publique, but altera­tion be then onely made, when, upon calmed debates, and evident and cleare Reason and convenience, the same shall be generally consented to for the peace and security of the people, and those who are trusted by the Law with such debates, are not divested of that trust upon a generall charge of corruptions pretended to have entred by that way, and of being the persons to be reformed, and so unfit to bee Reformers And certainly the like Lo­gick with the like charges and pretences might be used to make the Parliament it self an incapable Judge of any Re­formation either in Church or State.

For the generall expressions in the Petition against Pa­pists, in which the petitioners may bee understood to charge Us with complyance and favour even to their o­pinions, Wee have taken all occasion to publish to the [Page 9]world Our practice and resolution in the true protestant Reformed Religion, and wee are verily perswaded there is no one Subject in either of our Dominions, who at all knowes Us, and hath observed our Life; but is in his soul satisfied of our Zeal and unremoveable Affection to that Religion, and of our true dislike of, and hearty oposition to popery, And as wee willingly consented, at our being in Scotland, to all acts proposed to Us, for the discoun­tenancing and Reforming the Papists in that our King­dome, so by our Proclamations for the putting of all Lawes severally in execution against Recusants, and by not refusing any one Bill presented to Us to that purpose in this Kingdome, and by our perpetuall and publique professions of Readinesse with the advice of Our two Houses of Parliament prepared for Us in a deliberate and orderly way, to finde some expedition to perfect so good a worke, or conceived wee had not left it possible for any man to believe Us guilty of tolerating any part of the Romish Tyrannie or Superstition, or to suspect that the Conversion of our dearest Consort, was not so much our desire, that the Accession of as many Crownes, as God hath already bestowed upon us, would be more welcome to us then that day: A blessing which it is Our daily pray­er to the almighty to bestow upon Us.

But we might well have expected from the Petitioners, who have in their solemne Nationall Covenant literally sworne so much Care and safety of Our Person, and can­not but know in how much danger that hath bin and still is by the power and threats of Rebellious Armes, that they would as well have remembred the 23 of October, as the 5 of November, and as well have taken notice of the Army raised and led against Us by the Earle of Essex, [Page 10]which hath actually assaulted and endeavoured to mur­ther Us, which wee know to abound in Brownists, Ana­baptists, and other sectaries, and in which we have reason (by the prisoners we have taken, and the evidence they have given) to believe there are many more Papists (and many of those forraigners) then in all our army, as have advised Us to disband out of the army of the Earle of New castle, which is raised for Our defence, the Pa­pists in that Armie, who are knowne to be no such num­ber as to endanger their obtaining any power of building their Babell, and setting up their Idolatrie, and whose loy­altie he hath reason to commend (though he was never suspected for favouring their Religion) not before that of Protestants, but of such as rebell under that Title; And whose assistance is as due to us by the law of God, & man, to rescue Us from domestick Rebellion, as to defend us from forraigne invasion, which we think no man denyes to be lawfull for them to do. But we do solemnly declare and protest, That God shall no sooner free us from the desperate and rebellious armes taken up against Us, but we shall endeavour to free our selves and King dome from any fear of danger from the other, by disarming them ac­cording to the laws of this Land, as we shall not faile to send our Commissioner to the Assembly at the time ap­pointed for it by the laws of Scotland.

To conclude, We desire and require the Petitioners (as becomes good and pious Preachers of the Gospel) to use their utmost endeavours to compose any distraction in o­pinions, or misunderstandings, which may by the faction of some turbulent persons, bee raised in the minds of Our good Subjects of that Our Kingdome, and to infuse into them a true sence of Charitie, Obedience, and Humilitie, [Page 11]the great principles of Christian Religion; That they may not suffer themselves to bee transported with things they do not understand, or thinke themselves concerned in the Government of another Kingdome, because it is not ac­cording to the customes of that in which they live; But that they dispose themselves with modesty and devotion to the service of Almighty God, with duty and affection to the obedience of us and our laws (remembring the sin­gular Grace, Favour and Benignitie We have alwaies ex­pressed to that Our Native Kingdome) and with brother-therly and christian charitie one towards another; And Wee doubt not but God in his mercy to Us and them will make us instruments of his blessings upon each others, and both of us a great measure of happinesse and prosperitie to the whole nation.


To the Kings most excellent Majesty. The bumble Remonstrance and renewed Petition of the Commissioners of the Generall Assemblie of the Kirke of SCOTLAND, from their meeting at Edinburgh the 2. day of June. 1643.

AS the manifold and pressing necessitie of the due­tie of our place and trust did constrain us, in these distempered and dangerous times, in most humble manner, To direct our earnest supplica­tion to your Majestie, for such remedies as wee conceive to be most fit for us to propone, And being applyed by your Majesties owne hand, might both for cure and pre­vention prove most effectuall: So are we enforced by the same necessitie growing daily to the greatest extremitie; In all humilitie and earnestnesse, To renew not only our prayers to God, but our Petitions to your Majestie. For Sions sake can we not hold our peace, and for Jerusalems sake we will not rest, untill the righteousnesse thereof go forth as brightnesse, and the salvation thereof as alamp that burneth. But because in your Majesties answere to our former Petition wee meet with a multitude of prejudices [Page 14]and exceptions against us and our humble desires, wee will crave leave, first to remove these out of the way: Acknowledging the full expression of them by your Ma­jestie to be no small favour, and being confident, after we have expressed our selves in the truth and integritie of our hearts, both to give unto and to receive from your Maje­sties Justice and goodnesse the greater satisfaction.

And first, although there bee good reason for printing of Answers and Replyes, the Petition being before prin­ted, yet wee acknowledge that your Majestie hath just cause to finde fault with that publishing of our Petition in print (which is mentioned in the introduction to your Majesties answer) And if it had been done by our Com­mandement, counsell or knowledge, we had not only given your Majestie just provocation, and fallen in an errour contrary to the nature of a Petition, and to the right disposition of Petitioners, but also had used means contrary to our own ends, in publishing a programme of our diffidence of obtaining our desires, or in giving a pub­lick testimony that we were aiming at some other thing then what we professed to seek, And therefore wee are so far from excusing that forme of doing, that we judge our selves to be wronged thereby.

Another fault much more intollerable is objected a­gainst us: The bitternesse and sharpnesse of some expressions which may bee interpreted by your Majesties well affected Subjects not to be so agreeable to that regard and reverence which is due to your Majesties person, and the matter it selfe to be reprochfull to the honour and constitution of that your Majesties Kingdome. Whether the matter of the Petition be reproachfull shall aferwards in the particulars appear: But for the expressions we have examined the whole Peti­tion [Page 15]and can finde no word of that kinde. Wee rather did feare the censure of fauning and flattering words, which your Majestie may remember were sometime put upon our supplications. Our desire was to keepe within the bounds of that liberty which beseemeth the Ministers of Christ, and if any word have escaped us which we cannot see, it was contrary to our intention: for wee know that we should neither speak evill of dignities nor unreverent­ly unto them. The like report hath beene made to your Mejestie of our preaching and prayers, but when the de. lators are tryed, they will be found either malicious a­gainst us for reproving their faults; Or having no other way of insinuation, too officious to your Majestie, or to others whom they desire to please, or so blinded with self-love, that they thinke Preachers should speak like Para­sites; or so undiscerning, that when we professe our desire to the reformation of Religion in England and Ireland, we are fansied by them to preach or pray against the King and his royall authoritie. Wee fear God, and honour the King, And have learned not onely to put a difference be­twixt God and the King, but also (against the old sophi­stication now revived) betwixt the pictures of the Em­perour and the images of the false gods, craftily insert in­to them, and know the way how to honour the King with­out such a mixture and confusion. Slownesse to beleeve an evill report and the constructing of things doubtfull is one of your Majesties royall praises, of which the faith­full Ministers of this Kirk desire, against slanders and suspitions to have the experience: which will prove pro­fitable for your Majesties honour and obedience, and our peace and quietnesse. As the north winde driveth away rain: So doth an angrie countenance a back biting tongue. [Page 16]Righteous lips are the delight of Kings: and they love him that speaketh right.

Concerning the interposing of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, and our intermedling by commis­sion from them in the affairs of the Kirk of England, We humbly intreat your Majestie, to consider of the reasons of this our doing. 1. Although the Kirks of one Nation be distant in place from the Kirks of another Nation, yet are they united in heart and spirit, and are generally but one body and Kirke and must as Sisters of one Mother keepe the unitie of the spirit in the bond of peace: whence ariseth the communion of all Gods graces and blessings amongst the Kirks, that they may not only help, comfort and refresh: but advise, admonish, exhort, warne and re­prove one another, so farre as need requireth and their Christian love and abilitie reacheth. Yet avoiding both ambition and confusion: there being a coordination be­tween Kirkes of diverse Nations, but no subordination: We have not presumed to passe the limits of this Christian communion: having proceeded by way of charity, and in a ministeriall or rather brotherly manner, not by au­thority or Magisterially: by way of humble supplication to your Majestie, Declaration to the house of Parlia­ment, and advice and exhortation to such of our brethren of the Ministerie as were best known unto us: very farre from usurpation or jurisdiction. 2. Our humble petition to your Majestie and our Declaration to the Parliament, were nothing els, but a prosecution of the demand made by the Commissioners of this Kingdome, and a pressing of the answer given by your Majestie and the Parliament, in the last treatie; which filled us with hope of what was then demanded, since followed by diverse Declarations [Page 17]and now again desired. 3. The experience of the suffer­ings of this Kirk from the doctrine, for me of worship and government of the Kirk of England, Doth beget feares of the like hereafter, which maketh our petition to be un­to us a necessare meane of self preservation. 4. Our en­couragements from your Majesties Letter to the Generall Assembly and the Declaration of the house of Parliament desiring them to concur in petitioning your Majestie for setling one confession of Faith, one directorie of the pub­like worship and one Catechisme in all the three King­domes as a meane to advance the honour and service of God, enlarge the greatnesse power and glorie of the King, confirme the peace, securitie and prosperitie of all his good Subjects, make way to the relief and deliverance of the poore afflicted Kirks abroad and to the totall abolishing of the usurpation and tyrannie of Rome. 5 The paterne wee have of this Christian duty both by word and wryting in the Kirk at Jerusalem and the Kirk at Antioch, which was first crown­ed with the name of Christians, The one of which were Jewes, and the other Gentiles; And in diverse other Kirks recorded in Scripture. many Precedents also in antiquity before the Kirks did contend for primacy, or knew any preheminence one over another Many examples of o­ther reformed Kirks; And the practise of the Kirk of Scot­land diverse times after the Reformation wryting into England against the ceremonies and for union against the Papists and their confederats banded together by the bloudie league of Trent. These and the like reasons wee conceive did sufficiently authorize us in all that we have done, not as Directors or Judges but as supplicants and humble advisers. In that day shall there be a high way one of Egypt into Assyria (from one Kirk and Nation of the [Page 18] Gentiles to another) And the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians, whom the Lord of Hostes shall blesse.

Upon this and the like grounds, have letters been sent professedly, between some godly loyall and peaceable Ministers of the Kirk of England and the Generall As­sembly here, and their Commissioners: One of the means intended for the good of Religion in both Kingdomes a­gainst Sects and Shismes, admitted and approven by your Majesties Commissioners, in the Generall Assembly, and which for the forme of doing is innocent and may bee profitable, unlesse the matter bee nocent and hurtfull and thereby deserves censure. Wee wish we were able by our Letters, Declarations, or Petitions; To reduce all the reformed Kirks to a perfect conformitie, to suppresse all the Heresie, Superstition and Tyrannie of Papists, and the Paganisme of Turkes and Insidels, and would not doubt of your Majesties Roy all approbation not with­standing all the Lawes standing to the contrarie, and plea's, could be made for their antiquitie, happinesse and stabilitie, Common arguments and collours pretended for every Religion, and of late answered to the full in the point of Episcopall government, from the verity of Scri­pture which is true antiquity and the onely solide ground of the happinesse and stabilitie of Religion and govern­ment of the Kirk.

The Petitioners were far from laying upon your Ma­jestie any Imputation of the Irish-rebellion beseeching God to manisest your Sacred Majesties innocencie to all the world. They made mention of the miseries of Ireland for no other end, but to represent the danger of your Ma­jesties Kingdomes through the prevailing power of the Popish faction, The British Papists at this time being ani­mated [Page 19]by the same spirit, working upon the same prin­ciples, enraged with the same furies, breathing out the same threatnings and slaughter, aiming at the same ends, and emboldened with the same presumptions, with the Papists of Ireland, their confederates. And withall to pre­sent our earnest desires for a pacification, that both the armies may bee sent against that horride rebellion, and peace restored to all your Majesties Dominions.

The expression in our Petition of Unitie in Religion, we have borrowed from the Article in the Treatie accorded unto by your Majestie; from the Declarations of the Parliament; and from the Generall Assemblie: By which is meaned no other thing but one Confession of Faith, one common directorie for worship, and one Gate chisme. The Papists may know that the true Kirk in all ages hath been troubled with differences and contentions as great as any now against the reformed Kirks, which many of the godly have lamented and studied to com­pose, and (as it was written of some hereticks of old) They themselves sacrifice in schisme and dissention, and greet the world with the name of peace, whom they drive from the peace of their salvation. They therefore cannot hence au­thorize their scandall against the reformation: yet the smallest differences of practise and diversitie of the ex­pressions, are matter of strife to the contentious, of hin­derance of edification to the ignorant, of stumbling to the weake, and of grief to the godly, when thereby they see against religious Unitie and Christian love, the bowels of the Kirk rent assunder, and people scandalously divided in some parts of the worship of God: All which evil, might be perfectly cured in all your Majesties dominions the mouthes of Papists scopped, schisme and separation [Page 20]hereafter prevented, and the face of the Kirke filled with true beautie and splendor to your Majesties greater glory and the greater terrour of all your enemies, by this bles­sed and never enough desired Unitie in Religion: Without which tender consciences being freed from constraine may bee in some degree eased by your Majestie, but shall never have rest and be satisfied; nor shall the rent of the Kirk arising from different or contrary practises be cured, but shall from time to time increase.

Concerning uniformity in Kirk government, our hopes thereof and of the unitie of Religion grounded upon the Article of the Treatie, made this Kirk and Kingdome to enter into the more strict amitie and friendship with Eng­land. And that the amitie and friendship builded upon such a foundation might be the more firme and durable, they have since pressed the same by their Petitions and Declarations, in all humilitie and love without any bitter­nesse of expression: Onely they have declared the go­vernment of the Kirk by Assemblies in their strong and beautifull order and subordination to bee by divine right, and that as Prelacie is confessed in this your Majesties an­swer to be by the rule of humane policie, so to bee almost universally acknowledged by the Prelates themselves and their adherents to be but a humane institution, introduced by humane reason, and setled by humane law and custom, for supposed conveniencie; which therefore by humane authoritie, without wronging any mans conscience, may be altered and abolished upon so great a necessity, as is, a heartie conjunction of all the reformed Kirks, a firme and well grounded peace between the two Kingdomes, for­merly divided in themselves and betwixt themselves by this partition wall, and a perfect Union of the two Kirks [Page 21]in the two Nations; which although by the providence of God in one Island, and under one Monarch, yet ever since the Reformation have been at greater difference in the point of Kirk government (which in all places hath a powerfull influence upon all the parts of Religion) then any other reformed Kirks, although in nations at greatest distance and under diverse Princes. Papacie is the great­est cause of schisme in the Christian Kirk, and Episcopa­cie devised by man to bee a cure, the greatest cause of schisme in the reformed Kirks.

As the mutuall relation and conjunction of true Eccle­stasticall and Civill government is a corroboration of both, so do we conceive that both are much weakened in their proper functions by that intermixture of the Eccle­siasticall government with the Civill State. And as wee know the principles of Prelacie to be Popish, and con­trarie to the principles of Reformation: So have we rea­son to beleeve, That such an intermixture is not for your Majesties honour, while they maintain and professe that Monarchie cannot subsist without Prelacie: And that Prelacie had not been cast out of the Parliament if it had been profitable there; And thought fit to bee altogether abolished, if it had not been an unprofitable burthen to the Kingdome, and pernicious to the civill State and com­mon wealth, As is contained more fully in the Declara­tion of both Houses of Parliament to the Generall As­semblie.

The following of humane inventions, without and a­gainst Scripture and the ambition and covetousnesse of Kirkmen were observed of old to bee the corruptions which made many to call upon the Pope and the chiefe guides of the Kirke at that time for a reformation: but [Page 22]all in vaine, for that had been their own ruine, to which in humane reason, they would never willingly have con­sented. That upon the same causes and corruptions there is a necessitie of the reformation of the Kirk of England, Is as unanimously confessed, as it is universally acknow­ledged, that it is unlikely if not impossible; to be obtained in the regulate and ordinarie way: Upon the reason ex­prest afterward in your Majesties answer. Because in the common and ordinary way the passion or interest of particu­lar men will impose upon the publict: For what greater pri­vat interest then benefits and dignities? Who more inter­essed in these then Bishops, Deans, Arch. deacons and such ordinary members of the convocation? And ho can be more sueyed and by assed with passion then such as have this interest? Whether this bee applyable to the Parlia­ment whose places and dignities are uncontroverted and unquestionable, it is not for us to judge: but this we know when the corruptions of the Kirk are grown to such an height, that she can neither beare her diseases, nor endure the remedies, it is the dutie of the magistrat and civill au­thoritie, by the advice of the more sound and sincere part of the Kirke and Ministrie, to endeavoure a reformation, since no reformation, worthie of that name, can be expe­cted from the corrupt Clergie, nor hath at any time Reli­gion been that way in any tolerable measure reformed: When the evils are extraordinary, the remedies must bee other then ordinary. Scripture, reason and experience of the Kirk teach in such an exigence of reformation and ex­treamitie of debates and contentions, to call a Synod of the best Divines, best acquainted with the will of God in Scripture freest of humane inventions and innovations, and farrest from pride and avarice; which are the evils to [Page 23]be purged out, and for afterward prevented; And who a­gainst all Sects and Shismes unfainedly seek the peace and unitie of the Kirke which by all good meanes both for it selfe and for the truthes sake is to bee procured and pre­served. When by this remedie faithfully applyed and ac­companied with prayers and teares of repentance; the worship of God and the government of the Kirk are set­led, not after the rules of humane policie but according to Scripture, there is hope that God will end his contra­versie with England and blisse the treaties of peace be­twixt your Majestie and your Parliament; which is now our humble desire and when it commeth to passe shall be the universall rejoycing of all your good people.

We should bee not only unchristian but disloyall and unnaturall, if we were not affected and afflicted with your Majesties many sufferings and the troubles of your King­domes, and did not heartily wish that your Majestie were present in your parliam. assembled in the most peaceable and Parliamentary way, to your Ma. greater glorie and their greater strengthening for the good of the Kingdom. For the present the houses of Parliament have professed in their Declaration to the Generall Assembly, their de­sires and willingnesse to settle such a reformation of the Kirk; as shall be most agreeable to the word of God, and most apt to procure and conserve an happy union with the Kirke of Scotland in a peaceable and Parliamentary way; And have passed their bills in both houses without contradiction against Episcopall government, and offered them to your Majestie for obtaining your Royall consent This is the peaceable and Parliamentary way meant by us and mentioned in our Petition, which we trust can give your Majestie no just offence.

Although the Ministers of the Gospel have authority in some cases to preach and write not only exhortations and blessings but also threats and sentences of judgement against Kings and Kingdomes, which howsoever they be bitter and unpleasant for the present (and therefore sel­dome ministred to Princes) may prove very profitable and cordiall afterward: Many had perished in their sinnes if it had not been told them that they were to perish; faith­full are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitfull: and hee that rebuketh, afterwards shall finde more favour then he that flattereth with the tongue Yet upon good reason have we abstained from this strain of denuncing of judgement against your Majestie, having onely from the conscience of our duty in anguish of our soules, faithfully represented the duty and danger with our earnest deprecation of the wrath not onely now incumbent, but yet seven times more imminent to your Kingdomes, which wee daily more and more apprehend; shall ensue, unles by a through reformation of Religion and manners it be timeously prevented. By this our liber­ty we have delivered our own soules and endeavoured to deliver your Majestie and your Dominions from the pre­sent and future judgements, which both love and feare constraine us now againe; To entreat your Majestie to hearken unto.

As wee cannot deny, but do reverently acknowledge the influence of many and great blessings from heaven upon the reigne of Queen Elizabeth and your Majesties father of blessed memorie: So do we not doubt but your Majestie in your Christian and Royall wisedome will consider: that the supreame providence which hath set your Majestie after them upon the throne, hath appointed [Page 25]a time for every action. A wise mans heart discerneth both time and judgement, and where it is not discerned, the mi­serie of man, wrestling with invincible providence, is great upon him. The many blessings upon the Kings of Egypt, Babylon and other Princes, were interrupted in the time of their successours, which opposed the deliverance of the people of God from the Egyptian bondage, the Babylonian captivitie, the foolishnesse of Paganisme and the tyrannie of Poperie, when the time of their delive­rance was come. Many of the godly before your Maje­sties reigne have desired and supplicated the Parliament for a reformation but the desires were never so universall as now; Prelacie never so insolent nor the evils thereof so well known and so deeply felt; nor was it ever voted out of the Parliament, nor agreed in Parliament to be abolish­ed in the Kirk; nor stood meerly upon the Royall consent of the King, till this time. Arminianisme hath entered, Papistrie hath encreased, Sectaries have multiplied, suffer­ings have abounded, Tender consciences disquieted with old and new ceremonies, much more of late then before that all eyes may see how many things concurre now to make a necessitie of reformation. It is the never dying ho­nour of your Majesties late Progenitors above others that were before them that they did begin, continue and pre­serve reformation, and shall bee your Majesties greatest and immortall glorie to perfite it, with Josiah leaving no­thing to imped or obscure the glorie of God: An happi­nesse which the people of God in this Iland have long waited for, which God calleth for at your hands and we trust hath reserved for our times, as a speciall and incom­parable honour to your Majestie above the best princes, and matter of joy to your people above all other in for­mer ages.

As the continuall comfort and daily sense of the ine­stimable benefit of the reformation of this Kirk in wor­ship and government should stir up our hearts, to the love of God, whose hand principally did bring it about, in a way full of marvels and full of mercies, And thankfull­nesse to your Majestie whom wee look upon not as a na­ked assenter unto alterations, but as a prime instrument of setling a blessed reformation in this Kirke; So doeth the same comfort and sense excite in us a fear to losse that which we so much love in a way wherein it hath rune ha­zard before. Our feares are not counterfeit to bring any designe of our own, nor politick or created in us by the authoritie of any assertion of others to bring any designe of theirs to passe, nor panick or maginarie to torment our selves without cause; But are true and reall, grounded up­on reason which teacheth to beware of contagion in so neer a vicinitie and where there is so frequent commerce and conversing, upon by past experience of evils from En­glish Prelacie ever since the beginning of reformation and upon present and daily tasting of the fruits which partly of its own corrupt nature, and partly through the cor­ruptions of men, It hath brought forth and fomented. And though the Petitioners cannot judge nor should in­termedle with questions about your Majesties and the Parliaments power, yet may they well professe from that which every one may understand that the denying of the people their earnest desires may quench that fervour of affection which is due from a people to their Prince.

Whether the generality of the Nation desireth a change of Kirk government, cannot bee better knowne then by the desires and Propositions of the representative hodie of the Kingdome, nor can it bee better defyned what go­government [Page 27]shall be established than in a Synod of learned and godly Divines. Our part is to wish the patterne is Scripture and the example of the best Reformed Kirks to be followed, and to pray that God by his Spirit may lead them into all truth: being confident that reforma­tion having begun by your Majesties authoritie at the head and chiefest parts, all sectaries, and all the inferiour mem­bers may be quickly by a Synod brought to such order as may consist with truth and with the peace of the Kirk.

It was far from our intentions by the generall expressi­ons of our Petition against Papists, To charge your Ma. with complyance and favour to their opinions. We do from our hearts blesse God for all that your Majestie hath done both here and in England against them, and for so free and ample a testimonie of your Majesties desires of the Queenes conversion. Jealousies of that kinde, and hopes in the hearts of such as are popishly affected, of their prevailing power, proceed from the power of Pa­pists in Ireland, the present posture of Papists armed about your Majestie in this dangerous time of combustion in England, and that for so long a time through the conni­vence or complyance of the Ministers of estate, lawes, have not been execute against them, nor any means at all used for the Queenes conversion. A necessary and essenti­all duty, from which no oath to the contrary can more give dispensation, then any oath of old or late, publick or private, can binde your Majestie to maintaine Episco­pacie or any corruption in the worshippe of God, or go­vernment of the Kirk, when God by his word giveth light and by his providence calleth for a Reformation. All which had need to be seriously and tymously considered. And if the Papists be not speedily disarmed, the danger is [Page 28]that both in their owne project, and upon the hearing of your Majesties Declaration to disarme them, when there shall bee no more use of their service, they band together and bend all their wits against a Pacification, till by their gathering and growing to greater strength, they be able to plead in equall termes for themselves, for their share in the places and honours of the Kingdome, at lest for peace and tolleration, as a reward of all their paines, charges and hazards, pretended to bee for your Majesties honour and safety, but really intended for themselves and their superstition. We cannot conceive that loyaltie can be without allegeance, or that Papists refusing to take the oath of allegeance, do fight in loyaltie and allegeance to your Majestie, but for their own ends, nor can it bee safe for Protestants to trust them upon the principles of their profession, in any whether intestine or forraigne warre. In the time of the greatest forraigne invasion year 88. It was not thought safe to arme the Papists in defence of the Kingdome. We did not take notice of Papists in the other armie, in our Petition to your Majestie, but did in our Declaration to the Parliament, that although they had professed in their Declarations that they had no knowne Papists in their Armie, yet if any were found to be, we de­sired they might in like manner be disbanded. Brownists, Anabaptists, and other sectaries which are the fruits of Prelacie one way as Papists are another, are neither so ea­sily knowne as Papists nor so much to be feared: and al­though they be enemies to Religion and to the peace of the Kirk, we know not whether they have been so consi­derable that the law hath taken so far notice of them as to disarme them.

We have so sincerely and from the inward of our spi­rits, [Page 29]with our hearts and hands lifted up to the most high God the searcher of hearts, sworne the care of the safty of your Majesties person, and of your greatnesse and au­thoritie, which we have also witnessed in our Declarati­ons to the Houses of Parliament, that our hearts within us were wounded when we did heare of the danger your Ma­jesties person was in the 23 of October. And as wee doe with the Houses of Parliament (as is expressed in their De­claration) rejoyce and heartily praise God for your safe­ty, So do we not cease to pray for your Majesties preser­vation in the midst of so many dangers, and for a speedy deliverance by a happie peace, which we trust shall burie that black and unnaturall day so unhappie and dangerous both to you: Majestie and your people in eternall oblivi­on, And therefore not to be paralelled by us with the un­paralelled plot of the 5 of Novem. never to be forgoten.

We have detained your Majestie longer then your great affairs of governing Kingdomes in the time of war could well permit, but not so long as the charge committed to us by the Generall Assemblie, and the importance of our Petition, which is of religious and publick concern­ment doth require. The cry me of bitternesse and want of reverence to your Majestie, the challenge of usurpation, the aspersion of so much and manifold mistaking, wee would bear the more patiently if we were to be conside­red as privat and particular persons, and not as Commis­sioners of publick trust: And yet do bear the more pati­ently, because we take them (and in this no man shall per­swade us that we are mistaken) to proceed from the pen of the writer, and not from your Majesties justice and goodnesse, unto which wee are bold to appeall from his unjust censure, and from such slanderous tongues and pens [Page 30]as by traducing the preaching and praiers of the ministery here of disloyaltie or sedition, do much wrong us, your Majestie much more, and truth and peace most of all. Your Majestie in your wisedome will consider what such Sycophants are seeking, and in your justice will rather be­leeve our publick testimonie, in things best known to our selves and to our ordinarie hearers, then any private infor­mation flowing from the malice of some, or the weakenes of others. And now in your royall goodnesse will bee graciously pleased to suffer us your Maiesties most hum­ble and faithfull Subjects to fall downe at your feet, and with all earnestnesse to renew our Petition, especially that of Unitie in Religion, and uniformitie of Kirk Govern­ment in all your Majesties Dominions, which wee con­ceive to be principally intended by divine Providence in these unhappie distractions and troubles of your Maje­sties Kingdomes; And to this effect for such an Ecclesia­sticall Assemblie, as hath been formerly described and de­sired: A mean so pious, so just and so ordinarie in such cases as malice itselfe can have no colour to object against your Majestie for using it. And which shall speedily bring on a firme and well grounded peace, and with peace all other blessings spirituall and temporall upon your Maje­stie and your Kingdomes.

A. Ker. Cl: Commiss. Gen. Ass.

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