RETURNE FROM THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND, To the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly of the Church of SCOTLAND.


EDINBURGH, Printed by EVAN TYLER, Printer to the Kings most excellent Majestie. Anno Dom. 1642.

Returne from the Parliament of ENGLAND, To the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly of the Church of SCOTLAND.

WEe the Lords and Commons in Parlia­ment assembled, ha­ving with much con­tentment perused the Brotherly and Chri­stian Answer which the Generall Assem­bly of the Church of Scotland have made unto the Declaration formerly sent unto them from us, and finding therein great expressions of love to this Church and Kingdome, and of prudence and faithfulnesse in propounding those things which may conduce to a more close and firme Union of the two Churches and Na­tions [Page 2] of England and Scotland, in preserving and main­taining the Truth and Purity of the Reformed Religi­on, not onely against Poperie, but against all other su­perstitious Sects and Innovations whatsoever, Have thereupon resumed into our considerations and care, the matters concerning the Reformation of Church-go­vernment and Discipline, which we have often had in consultation and debate, since the beginning of this Par­liament, and ever made it our chiefest aime, though wee have been frequently interrupted, and powerfully oppo­sed in the prosequution and accomplishment of it.

And however wee continue still in the storme and conflict, finding small abatement of difficultie, and much increase of malignitie and perversnesse, in the op­position wherewith this great and necessary Worke of Reformation is encountred; yet wee heartily thanke God, and rejoyce with our Brethren of Scotland, for the Peace, Libertie, and Preservation which God hath affoorded them, taking it as a Pledge and Earnest of the like mercy intended to us, in his good time; and hoping that he will not onely free us from the most grievous and d [...]structive miseries and calamities of a Civill Warre, but graciously perfect our desires and endea­vours of a full Reformation in all matters appertaining to Religion: Which, as it is the greatest honour and ser­vice which God receives from his People; so wee ac­knowledge, with our Brethren, that it is the surest Foundation of Glory, Strength, and Happinesse, which he bestowes upon any Nation.

The manifold obstructions and impediments which we have met with in seeking this great Blessing, doe give to us and all Gods People, great cause of griefe, and workes in us an earnest longing for the removall of [Page 3] them. Yet knowing that all the wonderfull works of God in this kinde, have been brought to perfection through many oppositions, and seeming impossibilities, that so the Conclusion might be more glorious to his Divine Majestie, and comfortable to his Children, we cannot but in humilitie and submission expect the like issue of our wrastling and striving with that fierce and peremptory opposition which hath beene framed and acted against us by the most subtle and busie Engins of Sathan, the most pestilent Incendiaries among us, the Jesuits from abroad, a virulent and discontented partie at home, consisting of the Prelaticall Clergie, Atheisti­call Projectors against Religion, profane and sensuall self-lovers, heightned and inflamed against us with a spirit of malignitie, beyond the example of former times, wherein we have had manifold occasions to dis­cerne both our own weaknesse and imperfections, and the divine mercy and goodnesse, and to hope that God having upheld us so long beyond our own strength and merit, will bring us through at last, to the full accom­plishment of his owne praise, and of the joy of this and other Churches.

We acknowledge it an Act of Love to us, and of wisedome for the good of both Churches, for which wee are thankfull both to God and them, That our Brethren of Scotland have bestowed their se­rious thoughts and earnest desires for Unity of Reli­gion, that in all His Majesties Dominions there might be one Confession of Faith, one Directorie of Wor­ship, one publick Catechisme, and one forme of Church-government. And although it will hardly be obtained punctually and exactly, unlesse some way might be found of a mutuall Communication and [Page 4] Conjunction of Councell, and debate in framing that one forme; yet both intending the same end, pro­ceeding by the same Rule of Gods Word, and guided by the same Spirit, we hope by Gods Assistance to be so directed, that we may cast out whatsoever is offensive to God, or justly displeasing to any neigh­bouring Church, and so far agree with our Brethren of Scotland, and other reformed Churches in all substan­tiall parts of Doctrine, Worship, and Discipline, that both wee and they may enjoy those Advanta­ges and Conveniences which are mentioned by them in this their Answer, in the more strict. Union of both Kingdomes, more safe, easie, and comfortable Go­vernment of His Majestie, and both to Himself and people a more free Communion in all holy Exerci­ses and Duties of Worship, more constant security of Religion, against the bloudy practices of Papists and deceitfull Errors of other Sectaries, and more profitable use of the Ministerie: For the compassing and attaining whereof we intend to use the labour and advice of an Assembly of godly and learned Divines; for the con­veening of whom, a Bill hath already past both Hou­ses, which had taken effect long since, if we could have obtained His Majesties Royall Assent thereto. All which considered, we acknowledge the faithfull and affectionate expressions of our Brethren in wishing and desiring this great Advantage for us, doe fully de­serve those thanks which we have formerly expressed, and no whit stand in need of that Apologie which they are pleased to make.

The maine cause which hitherto hath deprived us of these and other great Advantages, which wee might have by a more close Union, with the Church of [Page 5] Scotland, and other reformed Churches, is the Govern­ment by Bishops, which to strengthen it self, hath produced many other differences in Discipline and Ce­remonies betwixt them and us, and is apt to worke in the Minds of those who are the Approvers and Defen­ders of it, such a dis-esteeme of, and opposition to those Churches, as makes us desperate of that most beneficiall and desirable conjunction with them, untill this great impediment be removed: Whereupon we have en­tred into a serious consideration what good we have re­ceived from Government by Bishops, which may countervaile such a losse and inconvenience; and we are so far from apprehending any satisfaction herein, that we plainely perceive it a cause of many other Calami­ties, Dangers, and intolerable Burthens, being a dishonour to God by arrogating to themselves a Prehe­minencie and Power which he hath not given; by pro­phaning the puritie of his Ordinances with the mixture of their owne injunctions; by withstanding the frequent and powerfull preaching of the Gospel, that so their usurped Authority might receive more easie admittance into the ignorant and mis-guided Consciences of men; by corrupting the Ministery with Pride, Ambition, Coveteousnesse, Idlenesse, and Luxurie; by sup­pressing the spirituall power and efficacy of Religion, and turning it into Formality and Pomp; by inclining to Poperie, the principles thereof being sutable to this Government, and contrary to those principles which were the first Grounds of Reformation. We likewise finde it most pernicious to the Civill State and Com­mon-wealth, In that the Bishops have ever been for­ward to infuse into our Kings such Tenents and Positi­ons as are contrary to the fundamentall Lawes of the [Page 6] Kingdome, and to introduce Tyranny and an Arbi­trary Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Proper­ties of the Subject, and that they have been forward to incite the King against His People, and by force of Armes to constraine them to submit to such an Arbi­trary Government, and by unlawfull contribution of Money to assist His Majestie in making Warre upon His Subjects: whereof there are many Evidences both in those preparations, which not long since were made to invade Scotland, And in the Warre now raised against the Parliament and Kingdome of England: And yet they have shewed themselves so ambitious of So­veraignty, that they forbeare not to maintaine in Ser­mons and printed Books, that the Kings Scepter ought to submit to Aarons Rod, and the Mitre to be above the Sword, which argueth in them an Antichristian Spirit, to exalt themselves above all that is called God: And a designe (when they have brought the King­dome to be disposed at his pleasure) to subject His Majestie to their owne Arbitrary censures, that so themselves may triumph in the bondage and slavery both of King and people.

Upon all which and many other Reasons wee doe declare, that this Government by Arch-Bishops, Bi­shops, their Chancellors, and Commissaries, Deanes, Deanes and Chapters, Arch-Deacons and other Ecclesiasticall Officers, depending upon the Hierarchie, is evill, and justly offensive and burdensome to the Kingdome; a great impediment to the Re­formation and growth of Religion; very prejudiciall to the Civill State and Government of this Kingdome; And that we are resolved that the same shall be taken away. And according to our former Declaration of [Page 7] the seventh of February, Our purpose is to consult with godly and learned Divines, that so wee may not one­ly remove this, but likewise settle such a Government as may be most agreeable to Gods holy Word, most apt to procure and conserve the Peace of the Church at home, and a happy Union with the Church of Scotland, and other reformed Churches abroade, and to establish the same by a Law which we intend to frame for that purpose, to be presented to His Majesty for His Royall Assent: And in the mean time humbly to be­seech His Majestie, that a Bill for the Assembly may be passed in time convenient for the fifth of November next, the miserable estate of the Church and King­dome not being able to endure any longer delay.

This being the resolution of both Houses of Parlia­ment, we doe desire our Brethren of Scotland to con­curre with us in petitioning His Majesty that His Roy­all Authority may be applied to the better Conservation of a firme Unity between the two Kingdomes. And that they likewise will think good to send to the same Assembly some godly and learned Divines of that Church, whereby an Uniformity in forme of Church-government may be obtained, And thereby a more easie passage made to the settling of one Confes­sion of Faith, one Lyturgie, or Directory of Publick Worship, and one Catechisme in all the three King­domes; which we hope through Gods blessing will have such an effect in all His Majesties Dominions, as will much advance the Honour and Service of God, enlarge the Greatnesse, Power and Glory of the King, confirme the peace, security and prosperity of all his good Subjects, make way to the relief and de­liverance of the poore afflicted Churches abroad, [Page 8] and to the totall abolishing of the Usurpation and Tyranny of Rome, being the prime Cause and Fountaine of all the Miseries and Calamities, the bloudy Massacres, out-ragious Cruelties, and bitter Persecutions of Gods People in all the Christian World for many Ages.

Iohn Browne Cler. Parliament.

RETURNE FROM THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND, To the Lords of Privie Councell of the Kingdome of SCOTLAND.


EDINBURGH, Printed by EVAN TYLER, Printer to the Kings most excellent Majestie. Anne Dom. 1642.

Returne from the Parliament of ENGLAND, To the Lords of Privie Councell of the Kingdome of SCOTLAND.

THe Lords and Commons in Parlia­ment, have with approbation and thanks received from the Commis­sioners of the Kingdome of Scotland, a cleare manifestation of the respect which the Lords of His Majesties Se­cret Councell for that Realme, doe beare to the Welfare and Peace of this Kingdome, in the expression of their Affections, wherewith they were pleased to second the desires of the Generall Assem­bly of that Church, for Unitie in Religion, and Uni­formitie in Church-government in His Majesties three Kingdomes. And having often had that matter in de­bate, and our most serious consideration, the Chri­stian Advice of that reverend Assembly, and the [Page 12] grave Counsell of that Honourable Table, concur­ring with our owne Judgement, and Experience of the manifold mischiefs and distractions, which the Go­vernment of the Prelacie of this Kingdome hath in all Times and Ages produced in this Church and State, Have moved us to bring our Resolution to a more speedy maturity and conclusion: wherein, as wee have satisfied our owne Reason, so wee hope wee shall satisfie the loving and Christian desires of our Brethren of Scotland, Although wee know, that hereby wee shall exceedingly irritate that opposite and malignant Party, who will bend all their In­vention and Force to interrupt this Worke, and to ruine and destroy us in the under-taking of it. And wee desire their Lordships to consider, That the Party which hath now incensed and armed His Ma­jesty against us, and his other faithfull Subjects in this Kingdome, is the same, which not long since upon the very same designe of rooting out the Re­formed Religion, did endeavour to begin that Tra­gedie in Scotland: which, whensoever it shall be per­fected in either Nation, will easily be accomplished in the other; Religion being the Band and Founda­tion of the Safety and Happinesse of both.

And as wee resolve according to the Nationall Covenant betwixt the two Kingdomes, to be care­full of the Peace of Scotland, as of our owne; So wee doubt not but their Lordships, and the Nation of Scotland will be carefull to expresse their brother­ly kindnesse to us, and prudent care of themselves, by restraining the evill affected amongst them, that they may not foment our Troubles; and by all o­ther wayes, according to the Articles ratified in the [Page 13] Parliaments of both Kingdomes, to maintaine the Peace and Amity betwixt the two Nations, and to restraine the mischievous Attempts and Practices of those who are Enemies to both. That so through Gods blessing wee may mutually rejoyce in one ano­thers Happinesse, and yeeld His Majesty such a faith­full subjection, as may be honourable to Himself, comfortable to His People, advantageous to the Professors of the Reformed Reli­gion in other parts beyond the Seas.

Iohn Browne Cler. Parliament.

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