TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE COMMITTEE OF ESTATES: The humble Remonstrance of the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly, met at Edinburgh the 13 of October, 1647.

EDINBURGH: Printed by Evan Tyler, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majesty. 1647.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE COMMITTEE OF ESTATES, The humble Remonstrance of the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly, met at Edinburgh the 13. of October, 1647.

AS there hath been very lately a publike an [...] solemn Thanks-giving, for the great mer­cies and deliverances which God hath wrought for this Nation, after hee had brought it very low; So the dangers which are interwoven with our delive­rances are very great, and still growing greater and greater. This also cometh forth from the Lord of Hostes, who is wonderfull in Counsell and excellent in Wor­king, that we may not be secure, or think that all our stormes are overpast, but may serve the Lord in fear, and rejoyce in trembling, and be the more stirred up to watchfulnesse, circum­spection, and zeal, in all the duties which the condition of this time calls for.

We therefore in the discharge of that great trust which is committed to us, and according to the dutie of Watch-men set upon this Watch-tower, cannot be silent in a time of so [Page 4] great danger, but hold it incumbent to us humbly and faith­fully to report and Remonstrate to your Lordships, That the dangers of the true Reformed Religion and Cause of God in this whole Island, wereby the late Generall Assembly their Declaration communicated to your Lordships, discovered to be in many respects so great and so imminent, as m [...]ght justly minister occasion to your Lordships in your wisdome to think of some more effectuall meanes and remedies for preventing or removing such dangers, although they could not now be aggravated by any new emergents. Neverthelesse, we have too great cause to conceive that the dangers of Religion are now growen greater then they were at the time of the Gene­rall Assembly.

And even since the time of publishing your Lordships Act concerning the disbanding of the Armie in this Kingdome; The wise and marvellous providence of God is making an­swer and proclaiming aloud in both our eares, That the danger is become greater and more imminent, for the waters of the present deluge are growen many cubites higher since that time; for evidence whereof, the Kings Majesties late answer to the Propositions of both Kingdomes may bee in stead of many demonstrations. It is our great grief that we have cause to say so, but we must speak to the matter as it is, and unlesse we would shut our eyes, we cannot but be­hold in that answer, a threefold growing danger to Religion. For first, His Majesty professeth, that as when the Propositi­ons were offered to him at Newcastle, he could not agree to some of them without violation of his Conscience and Ho­nour, so neither can he agree to others of them now, con­ceiving them more disproportionable to the present condition of affaires then when they were formerly presented to him, as being destructive to the principall interests of the Army: So that his Majesties disagreeing being now more inlarged and of a greater latitude then before, if his Majesties former answer to the Propositions was justly conceived to bee unsa­tisfactory in point of Religion, this last doth much lesse sa­tisfie; for although his Majestie did not in his former answer [Page 5] agree to the Covenant, and other materiall Propositions con­cerning Relegion, yet there was in that answer some part of satisfaction even to the Propositions concerning Religion: whereas in the late answer, even that part of satisfaction is by the foresaid expression unsettled in stead of being adhered un­to: We shall passe that clause in the answer which owneth the interests of the Army so far as to prejudice the more pub­like interests of both Kingdomes in those Propositions agreed upon after mature deliberation by both Parliaments.

Secondly, His Majesties waving the Propositions of both Kingdomes, and pressing the Proposals of the Army to be the subject of a Treaty, doth yet further encrease the danger of Religion, seeing those Proposals as they omit and abandon the former desires of both Kingdomes in point of Religion, so they cannot avoid (as the words stand) the continuing of Prelacy, the toleration of Heresies and Sects, and the taking away of the Ordinance injoyning the taking of the Cove­nant, as is more fully expressed in the Declaration of the late Generall Assembly.

Thirdly, His Majesties answer doth also divide that joynt and common interest of both Kingdomes in the Propositions, which was formerly the ground of a joynt Treaty of both with his Majesty: Hereby (whatever may be the prejudice otherwise) surely Religion will suffer not a little, forasmuch as the Propositions concerning the Covenant of the three King­domes, and the Uniformity between them in Religion, are by this meanes in effect excluded from the Treaty, the joynt desires and common concernments of the Kingdomes in point of Uniformity in Religion being no part of the subject of a Treaty with either Kingdome severally, but of a Treaty with both joyntly.

Yet his Majesties answer to the Propositions is not the only danger to be now looked upon in this businesse, for even since that answer was given, this common Cause and Covenant hath been yet further weakened and dangerously wounded, by the late strong endavoures in England, to move the Parliament to establish by their Authority a toleration of Sectaries, and to [Page 6] slight and lay aside such of the Propositions of Peace as con­cerne the Covenant, and the joynt interest of the Kingdomes in Religion. It addeth grief to our sorrow, that wee have cause tormention the new persecutions raised there by meanes of the Sectaries, against divers who have been zealous and active for the good of Religion, King and Kingdomes. Yea, they who plead so much for liberty of conscience to them­selves, allow so little of it to others who differ from them, that they can now make up a charge, either of constructive Treason, or of high crimes and misdemeanors against them, for such particulars as do upon the matter amount to no more but zealous endeavours in opposing the way of the Sectaries. Neither common sense, nor Christian sympathie can suffer us to conceive that the cause of Religion is in no greater danger then before, when persecution is growing daily more and more hote against such as have most appeared against or en­deavoured to hinder the late unsufferable exorbitancies of the Sectaries.

While the danger of Religion is thus increased abroad, we cannot say that 'tis growen any whit lesse at home, but ra­ther greater: for beside the dangerous influence which the growing power of the enemies of the Covenant in England is like to have upon this Kingdome, the Malignant faction at home hath not so much decreased in profession, as increased in designe and practise against this Cause and Covenant; Sure­ly they who are disaffected in this Nation, being many, are as malicious as before, when very shortly after the expedition into England, perceiving no force within the Kingdome to resist them, they took Arms and disturbed the publike Peace: And if they were so ready to stir when that Army was but out of the Kingdome, how much more if it shall be disbanded? Some enemies are still in the fields, and in actuall Rebellion within this Kingdome; and there is too great cause to feare that many others who retain their former principles and con­tinue in their former designes against this Cause shall not bee flow to take up Arms, if your Lordships lay them down.

And so much the more may this be expected, because as [Page 7] their pride and insolency is of late growen more intollerable upon the hopes of disbanding the Army, so there are many of them enraged, as Beeres robbed of their whelps, or as Wolves of the evening, being also desperate of mending their broken estates, except it be in publike combustions; Others of them are animated and emboldened by the great favour and indul­gence which hath been shewed towards them in their Delin­quencies, in so much that they are thereby hardened from re­penting of their Rebellion, or complyance with Rebels, and even blesse themselves for a better lot, easier yoke, and lighter burden then those who have been most reall and active for the Covenant.

These dangers of Religion we have insisted upon, as being most proper for us to speak to, and not as we were insensible of the great danger of the Kings Person, and of Monarchicall Go­vernment, for preserving of which, according to our Cove­venant our prayers and best endeavoures shall not be wanting. And now the danger of Religion in all these being so great, and the grounds of our fears and apprehensions being so preg­nant, we earnestly beseech and humbly obtest your Lordships, in the bowels of Jesus Christ, and by the vowes of God which are upon you, that as your Lordships desire God, and your own consciences, and the posterity may not afterwards charge upon you the ruine of Religion, King and Kingdomes, so your Lordships may be very tender and conscionable that no such designe be entertained or get place among you, as tendeth to the disabling of this Church and Kingdome, from an effectua [...]l prosecuting and promoting of the ends of the Covenant, or to the strengthning and inabling the enemies thereof, by afford­ing them the opportunity which they wait for, to disturbe again the Peace, and to destroy the present Reformation. These and no better effects can be looked for if the Army in this Kingdom which hath been so blessed of God, and so faithfull to you, shall be disbanded before this Cause which so much concer­neth the glory of God, the Reformation and defence of Reli­gion, the Peace and safety of the Kingdomes, the Honour and happinesse of the King, be settled upon a firme foundation.

In this our humble desire we are not byassed with any respect to any particular party or interest: Our witnesse is in heaven and within our own brests, that we speak for the interest of Religion and of the Cause of God; neither doth that which we desire tend to a new War, but to the preventing of a new War; nor to the encreasing of burthens on the Kingdome, but to the preventing of greater burthens: Nor is it our desire a­lone, but many others are equally sensible with us of the great danger which may accrue to this Cause from the disbanding of that Army. It is not unobserved that most of those who are active for the laying down of Arms are such as were against the taking up of Arms in this Cause; However since there can be no assurance in humane reason that the Kingdome shall need no Army, we humbly offer it to your Lordships most se­rious thoughts, how far, a new state of the Question, setting aside the Covenant, (which some late debates both heer and in England give us cause to fear) and the raising or imploy­ing of another Army (which we also apprehend and expect if this Army were once disbanded) may be prejudiciall and even destructive to this Cause and Covenant, for which this Nation hath done and suffered so much.

Having thus discharged our Consciences, we humbly leave all this to be well weighed by your Lordships, and wee pray the Lord himself to guide your Lordships Counsels, that you may be like the wise men of Issachar, having understanding of the times what Israel ought to do, and what they ought not to do.

A. Ker.

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