LONDON: Printed for Henry Brome, at the Gun at the West End of St. Paul's Church-Yard. 1678.


TYRANNY AND POPERY Lording it over the Conscien­ces, Liberties, and Estates both of King and People.

To all those that Love either their Re­ligion, their Prince, their Country, or Themselves.

THis, and no less than All This, is the Import of the Matter in Question. The Government is charg'd by a Faction to be Ty­rannically, and Popishly Affected; and This Pam­phlet is to Prove, that the very Faction which charges This upon the Government, [Page 4] is in all Matters Ecclesiastical, and Ci­vil, Publique and Particular, the great Imposer, and Usurper it self.

But before I enter upon the Subject, I do here previously Swear by the Hopes of a Christian, that I am not mov'd to this Discourse by any Biass, either of Partiality, or Faction; That I have no Aversion to the Party, any further than as I find them the Mortal Enemies of our Government, Laws and Freedoms, and that in the Pro­secution of this Argument, I will not Press one Syllable, (according to the best of my Skill, and Knowledge) beyond the strict Li­mits of Truth, and Reason; My Purpose being only to Vncover the Pit, that the Vnwary may not a second time run Head­long into the same Precipice. I shall be­gin with the Platform of the Scottish Pres­bytery, and shew you the Sovereign, and Unaccomptable Power which that Judi­catory claims to it self. My next work will be, to observe the Harmony betwixt Si­meon and Levi; Their Consistorians, and Ours, in the Frame, and Scope of their Discipline. In the next place, we'll Compare their Positions, and then con­clude, [Page 5] with a View of their Usurpations, Arbitrary Practises, and Proceedings: and all This, extracted from the Vndeni­able Memorials, and Records of the Times, and Actions, whereof we are about to Treat; and in as few words as may be, to speak Home to it, and Clear.

The Platform of the Scottish Presbytery.

THe Presbyterial Government has Four Iudicatories. A Parochial Session; A Presbyterial Consistory; A Provincial Sy­node; And A General Assembly.

The Parochial Session is constituted of One Minister, or More, with a Compe­tent Number of Lay-Elders (their Pres­byteri non Docentes) and Deacons. It meets once a Week, or oftner, if there be Oc­casion, and takes Cognizance of all Pa­rochial Cases concerning External Order, and Censure. If there be but One Mini­ster in the Parish, he is Constant Modera­tour: If More, they take their Turns as [Page 6] they can agree upon't; and they are all of them Equal in Honour, and Jurisdi­ction. There passes no Act without the Joynt Consent of the Minister, Lay-El­ders, and Deacons; or Plurality of Votes; and Note, that the Minister has no Cast­ing Voice. The Power of Binding, or Loosing; of Censures Ecclesiastical; and of External Order, and Worship, is Radically, and Equally in All: So that the Lay-El­ders, and Deacons have as much the Power of the Keys, as the Ministers.

To support this Jurisdiction, they have their Four Sacred Orders, which they chal­lenge to be of Divine Right. First. Their Preaching Elders. (whom they call Mini­sters.) Secondly. Doctors (or University Professors.) Thirdly. Lay, or Ruling-El­ders, who have as much Authority in the Debate, and Decision of Matters of Faith, Worship, Polity, Ecclesiastical Cen­sures; as the Preaching-Elders. Fourthly. Deacons. Take notice that their Lay-Elders, and Deacons are Annual, and Consequently one Year Sacred, and Another Profane.

This Session meddles only with things Parochial, as the Ordering of the Parish-Church, [Page 7] and Peculiar Service; the Censure of Lesser Scandals; as Fornication, Drun­kenness, Scolding, Sabboth-breaking, &c. And in Difficult Cases, they apply themselves to the Presbytery.

In their Censures, they impose Civil Punishments, and Fines; they Emprison Offenders at pleasure; Cart them through the Town; set them in Pillories; Shave one Half of their Heads; Cut off their Beards: Nay, they take upon them by their own Authority to Banish whom they please out of the Bounds of the Pa­rish; which is a Direct Usurpation of So­vereign Power: In Case of a Pecuniary Mulct inflicted, or of a Child born in Fornication, they will not allow the In­fant to be Baptiz'd, if either of the Parents have not paid the Fine, or secur'd it, or satisfi'd the Church.

The Presbytery is next; and it is made up in some places, of More, in others, of Fewer Parishes, and the King himself is not Exempt from the Power, and Ju­risdiction of this Consistory; nor in Effect from the Authority of the very Parochial [Page 8] Session, living within the Precinct, either of the One, or of the Other. This Iu­dicatory is Compos'd of all the Parochial Ministers within its Compass, and a Lay-Elder for Each Parish: so that the Lay-Elders are Equal to the Preaching Elders both in Number, and Power; and a Botchers Vote goes as far under that Ca­pacity, in Divine Matters, as the Voice of the most Reverend, and Learned of the Clergy; only a Lay-Elder cannot properly be a Moderatour; tho' in seve­ral Cases they have dispens'd with that Scruple.

This Court takes Cognizance First, Of what is Referr'd, or Presented to them from every Individual Parish. 2. Of all Capital Crimes, and Scandals of the High­est Degree. 3. Of such Offences as fall under the Censure of Excommunication. 4. Of all Appeals from Sessions. 5. Of all Differences that cannot be Compos'd, or Determin'd in the Parochial Conclave. 6. Of the Visitation, and Censure of what's amiss in Every Parish, either in Preacher, or Other. 7. Of the appointing of Readers, and School-masters.

[Page 9] They meet commonly once a Week, or a Fortnight; at which Meetings, all the Ministers, in their Turns, Exercise (as they call it) in the expounding, and applying of Texts of Scripture: In these Exercises they have a sort of People which they call Expectants of such or such a Presbytery, who are Licensed to Preach in any Parish-Church within its Bounds. These Expectants have usually some smat­tering in Divinity; as Country-School-Masters, or the like: and they are Au­thoriz'd to do all Ministerial Acts, except Baptizing, or Administring the Lord's Supper; without Holy Orders, Imposition of Hands, or any Qualification for the Sacred Function. There are more or fewer Presbyteries in a County, accord­ing to the Number of Parishes; but all of them Independent One from Ano­ther: If the King himself be Cited, he must Appear, or be Excommunicate for Contempt; and submit his Earthly Scep­ter to their Scepter of Christ, as they term it, and from thence, receive Christ's Laws, and Ordinances. As no Person is Exempt, so neither is any Crime whatsoever that [Page 10] is either Committed, or suspected to be Committed within the Limits of their Jurisdiction; but they hook it in, as scan­dalous to a Christian Profession.

A Provincial Synode is an Associate Body of the Commissioners chosen out of all the Individual Presbyteries, within the Pre­cinct of the Province: they meet twice or thrice a year, and Exercise an Over-ruling Power over all the Presbyteries within that Province, in such manner as the Presby­tery superintends the Parochial Session. In this Iudicatory the Leading men of the Faction lay their Heads together; form their Projects; and when the Commission­ers return from hence to their several Presbyteries, they intimate to the Particu­lar Ministers what Points they are to Preach upon, for the Advancement of those Designs.

The General Assembly is Sovereign, and Independent: Hither lies the Last Appeal, and the Jurisdiction of it is Universal in what concerns Ecclesiastical Matters, and Persons, or Temporals in Order to Spiri­tuals. [Page 11] They look upon themselves as im­mediately Entrusted by Christ, and to Him only do they hold themselves Ac­comptable. Whosoever does not obey this Sovereignty, (tho' the King himself) he is to be Excommunicate, and the No­bility, Gentry, Collective Body; nay, every Individual Person is to assist to the Compelling, Censuring, and Punish­ing of him to the Utmost of his Power. So that the King himself is at their Command, and to order the Execution of their Censures, in Estate, Body, Life, and Death.

To This Iudicatory Two Preaching El­ders, and a Lay-Elder are sent as Commis­sioners from every Presbytery in the King­dome; so that the Clergy have thus far, Two to One: but then reckoning that every Borough, and Corporation sends One Commissioner, and the Vniversities, and Colledges their Commissioners too, which are most of them Lay-men, this Assembly of the Kirk is turn'd into a Council of State.

The King himself is also a Member of this Assembly, either Personally by Himself, [Page 12] or Virtually by his Commissioner; but with­out a Negative Voice, or any Power there, beyond that of a Lay-Elder: The Major Part carries it, and whatsoever They Vote, (tho' against the Kings Opi­nion, and Conscience) he is bound to see it put in Execution, upon pain of be­ing Excommunicate, and Depos'd from his Government. And if any thing be pro­pos'd in this Assembly, as Spiritual, (tho' never so hazzardous to the Crown) if they tell you that it is for Christ's Glory, there's no opposing of it in favour of the Publick Peace, or State. The Proper President is a Preaching Elder, and this Iudicatory they accempt as Christ's highest Tribunal upon Earth, from whence there lies no Appeal. They are oblig'd to meet once a year, and they Indict, and Ad­journ themselves by their own Power, without allowing the King to appoint ei­ther the Time, or the Place, only if there be any Occasion of meeting before the time set, their Commissioners give an Accompt of it to the King.

The steps by which they mounted to this Arbitrary Jurisdiction were, A Dislike, [Page 13] First, Of the Church-Government. Second­ly, Of the Church-Governours. Thirdly, They propos'd a Reformation after the Geneva-Copy; which not being ad­mitted, Fourthly, They fram'd a Model of their Own. And lastly; by Fraud, Violence, and Rebellion they Impos'd it upon the Nation.

The English Presbytery.

THis was the Method also, and the De­sign of the English Disciplinarians, under Queen Elizabeth, as appears by the Records of those times, tho' many par­ticulars of the Conspiracy were never brought to Light. The Examples of Ge­neva, and Scotland, were at every turn press'd upon the English; and a Confede­racy was carry'd on in Both Nations, for the Erecting of the same Platform of Pres­byterial Discipline; which one Davison, a Scotch-man, affirms to have no less Warrant to be continu'd perpetually within the Church, under this Precept, Feed my Sheep, than hath the Preaching of the Word, or the Admini­stration [Page 14] of the Sacraments. From 1560, to 1572, they vented their Spleen only in Libels, and Conventicles. In Novemb. 72. they Erected a Presbytery at Wandesworth in Surry; and from that time, to 1583, their Design was agitated in secret Meet­ings, which they call'd Conferences, where­in, (at a London-Meeting) they came to This Conclusion, That the Present Govern­ment of the Church by Arch-Bishops, and Bishops is Anti-Christian, and that the only Discipline, and Government of Christ, that is, by Pastors, Doctors, Elders, and Deacons, shall be Establish'd in Place of the Other. In 1583, Their Book of Dis­cipline is Drawn up; (which they call'd the Synodical Discipline, and an Assem­bly being held upon it, among other De­crees, it was order'd, That the Comitial Assemblies are to be monished, to make Col­lections for Relief of the Poor, and of Scho­lars: but especially for Relief of such Mi­nisters here, as are put out for not Sub­scribing to the Articles tender'd by the Bi­shops: also for Relief of Scottish Ministers, &c. These Scottish Ministers were they that Justify'd the Rebellious Act of [Page 15] making King Iames a Prisoner in 1583. and took Sanctuary in England, upon the Parliaments Declaring it Treason: And who so proper Instruments as They, for the Promoting of another Rebellion in England? Their Book of Discipline was review'd, and put in Practice, in 1587. In 1589 it was Perfected, and in the Year following, the Conspiracy was detected; when, upon Examinations of Littleton, Edmunds, Iohnson, Barbon, Holms, Brown, &c. it appear'd, that the Discipline was Fram'd, Subscrib'd, and Carry'd on, in all Respects after the Scottish Project, and Model.

By Publique Justice upon some of the Principal Incendiaries, and King Iames his Vigilance, and Care afterwards, the Consistorians were for a long time kept within some tolerable Compass. Their Mouths were stopt, upon the Conference at Hampton-Court, Anno 1603, with a strict Proclamation for the Observing of an Vniformity in the Church: Episcopacy was restor'd in Scotland in 1610, and an Act pass'd in a General Assembly at Aber­deen in 1616, Authorizing the Compi­ling, [Page 16] and Framing a Publique Form of Liturgy, or Book of Common Prayer to be first presented to the King, and af­ter his Approbation, to be Universally receiv'd throughout the Kingdome: Which Book, pursuant to the Act, was by the Arch-Bishop of St. Andrews sent up to his Majesty, and by himself, and his Order, Examin'd, Corrected, and Return'd: But his Majesty dy'd before it could be put in Practice. And this was the Book, which with very little Altera­tion, and That too, in favour of their pretended Scruples, was by the late King's Proclamation in 1637, commanded to be publickly Us'd in all Counties of that Kingdome. There were also diverse of the English Rites and Ceremonies settled in 1618, by Five Articles that pass'd the Assembly at Perth; Which Ar­ticles cost King Iames an Expensive Jour­ney into Scotland the Year before; where he was forc'd to tell them plainly, in a Speech at St. Andrews, That it was a Power belonging to all Christian Princes to order Matters in the Church; and that he would never regard what they Approv'd, or Disap­prov'd, [Page 17] except they brought him a Reason which he could not Answer. To which, upon Consideration they made his Ma­jesty this Return, That if he would grant them a Free Assembly, they would therein sa­tisfie his Majesty in all the Points he had pro­pounded. The King depending upon it, return'd into England, and the day of the Assembly being come, and nothing done according to their Promise; his Majesty went a short way to Work with them, and took away their Augmentations, that he had formerly allow'd them out of the Exchequer, which brought down their Stomacks, and made Way for the passing of the aforesaid Articles.

It is not my Intent to write any thing more of the History of the Times, than what I find pertinent to my present pur­purpose: so that passing over the Grum­blings, and Mutinous Dispositions that appear'd in the Remainder of King Iames; and the First Seaven or Eight Years of King Charles his Reign; I shall only tell you, by way of Introduction to what follows, that the late King (having be­fore-hand order'd a Convention of the [Page 18] Estates) upon the 13th of May, 1633. began his Journey towards Scotland, in order to his Personal Coronation, where he was receiv'd with a Pomp, and Acclamation, befitting the Dignity, and the Solemnity of the Occasion. His first Work was to ratifie the Laws, and Sta­tutes of his Predecessour, in Relation to Church-Government; which pass'd not without some Opposition: but the Com­mission of Surrenders went yet nearer them, tho' both the Owners of Lands, and the Ministers were so abundantly sa­tisfi'd, that the Former (as the King him­self says in his large Declaration, pag. 9.) acknowledg'd it as a Deliverance from an In­tolerable Bondage, under which They and their Ancestours, ever since the Reformation of Religion, had grievously Groan'd; and the Other, with Infinite Gratitude Celebra­ted his Majesty, as the Father, and Founder of their Churches. The Case was this, (as Heylin renders it in his Cyprianus Anglicus, pag. 224.) In the Minority of King James, the Lands of all Cathedral Churches, and Religious Houses, which had been settl'd on the Crown by Act of Par­liament, [Page 19] were shar'd among the Lords, and Great Men of that Kingdom, (by the Con­nivance of the Earl of Murray and some other of the Regents,) to make them sure unto that side: and They, being thus pos­sess'd of the Lands, with the Regalities, and Tithes belonging to these Ecclesiastical Corporations, held the Clergy to small Sti­pends, and the Peasantry in Vassallage. His Majesty was advis'd by Council, to take them into his own hand, the present Occupants having no other Title to them, than the Vnjust Vsurpation of their Prede­cessors. And this was carri'd in such a Manner too, that the very Nobility, and Lay-Patrons could not open their Mouths against it; for they were satisfi'd for their Tithes, to the Uttermost Farthing, only they lost the Dependency of the Clergy and Laity upon them, by Virtue of these Tithes, and Consequently the Power of making a Party to Embroil the Government. They contented them­selves within the Bounds of Libels, and Clamours, till that Rebellious Outrage in the great Church of Edinburgh, on the 23 of Iuly, 1637. Which was no more [Page 20] than the Emprovement of an Occasion to put the Principles of the Consistory in Execution. I'le make some amends for the length of this Digression, by Contract­ing my self upon the Discipline which was afterward Erected in England, after the Scotch Pattern.

It will be a hard matter to pass from 1637, to 1648 without taking some No­tice of the Horrid Distempers in that In­terval: I shall only tell you that after three or four Years spent in Dissolving the Le­gal Government, and Debating what we should have in the Place of it; Out comes the Directory, Ian. 3. 1644. with an Ordinance of the Lords and Commons, for the Authorizing of it. And after­ward, Aug. 23. 1645. another Ordinance, for the more effectual Execution of it; which was follow'd, Iun. 5. with an Or­dinance for the present Settling of it with­out further Delay, and Aug. 19. 1646. with Directions for the Chusing of Ruling-Elders in all the Congregations, and in the Classical Assemblies for the Cities of London, and Westminster, and the seve­ral [Page 21] Counties of that Kingdom, in order to the speedy settling of the Presbyterial Go­vernment. There pass'd also an Ordi­nance for the manner of Ordination of Mi­sters, with Rules for Examination, and Suspension from the Holy Supper, &c. And Another of Ianuary 29. 1647. for the speedy dividing, and settling the se­veral Counties of this Kingdom into Di­stinct Classical Presbyteries, and Congre­gational Elderships: and they came at last, Aug. 29. 1648. to The Form of Church Government, to be us'd in the Church of England, and Ireland, agreed upon by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parlia­ment, after Advice had with the Assembly of Divines. And all This, toward the Promoting of an Union with the Kirk of Scotland. I should have told you of the Ordinance of Iun. 12. 1643. for the calling an Assembly of Learned, and Godly Divines, to be consulted with by the Par­liament, for the settling of the Govern­ment of the Church: The Knights of every Shire to make Choice of Two, that should serve as Members for That Coun­ty: and These, in Conjunction with so [Page 22] many of the Members of Both Houses, as might serve to inspect their Actions, took upon them the Powers, and Autho­thority of a Convocation.

The Form of their Government was the same with That of Scotland: They had their Congregational, Classical, Pro­vincial, and National Assemblies; with the same degrees of Subordination, and Vested, in Proportion, with the same Powers. They had their Expectants too, and the Constitution of their several Iu­dicatories was the very same; only the Lords, and Commons (under the No­tion of a Committee for judging of Scan­dal) were so wise as to reserve the Last Appeal to Themselves, which was former­ly lodg'd in the General Assembly; by which Device, the Schism was made sub­servient to the Rebellion; whereas in Scot­land it was the clear contrary. And they had also another Hank upon them, in appointing that the National Assembly should meet upon a Summons by Parlia­ment, and then sit, and continue, as the Parliament should order, and not Other­wise: for they were not able to consent [Page 23] (they said) in a Declaration of the House of Commons, Apr. 17. 1646.) to their Granting of an Arbitrary, and Unlimited Power, and Jurisdiction, to near ten thou­sand Judicatories, to be Erected in the King­dom, which could not be consistent with the Fundamental Laws, and Government of it; and which, by necessary Consequence, did Exclude the Parliament from having any thing to do in That Iurisdiction. But the Nation is never the better yet for This Caution, so long as the Tyranny, and the Slavery is still the same.

From this View of their Brotherly A­greement in Government we shall now pro­ceed to their Harmony in Positions; and our Brethren of Scotland shall lead the Way.

The Positions of the Kirk, un­der the Queen Regent, and James VI.

THe Punishment of such Crimes (says Knox) as touch the Majesty of God, doth not appertain to Kings, and Chief Ru­lers only, but to the whole Body of the People, [Page 24] and to every Member of it, as Occasion, Calling, and Ability shall serve: Nay, they are bound by Othe to God, to Revenge the Injury done to his Majesty. If Princes be Tyrants against God, and his Truth, their Subjects are discharg'd from their Othes of Obedience. The Nobility, and Commonal­ty ought indeed to Reform Religion; and in that Case, may remove from Honour, and Punish such as God has Condemn'd; of what Estate, Condition, or Degree soever. It is not Birth-Right only, nor Nearness of Bloud, that maketh a King Lawfully to Reign over a People professing Christ Jesus; but Princes, for Iust Causes, may be De­pos'd. Kings, Princes, and Governours, have their Authority of the People; and, upon Occasion, the People may take it away again. Thus far Knox; Now for Bu­chanan.

The People (says he) have the same Power over the King, which He has over any One Man; They are Better than the King, and of Greater Authority, and may bestow the Crown at Pleasure. The making of Laws belongs to Them: They may Arraign their Prince; The Ministers may Excom­municate [Page 25] him; and He that by Excommu­nication is cast into Hell, is not worthy to Enjoy any Life upon Earth. It were Good (says he) that Rewards were appointed by the People, for such as should Kill Tyrants; as there are for those that Kill Wolves, or Bears, or take their Whelps.

The Seizing, and Emprisoning of King Iames, in Aug. 1582. being Adjudg'd Treason by the Three Estates, in Decemb. 18. 1583. and some of the Criminals Ex­ecuted; an Assembly of Ministers, and Elders at Edinburgh, in 1585. did not on­ly Authorize, and Avow the Action, but also ordain'd all people to be Excommu­nicated, that would not Subscribe to their Judgment. And Andrew Melvil, being Cited to Answer for Treason de­liver'd in a Sermon, declin'd the King's Authority, Affirming, that what was spo­ken in the Pulpit ought first to be try'd by the Presbytery; and that neither King, nor Council, might in the first Instance meddle therewith, although the Speech were Trea­sonable.

Upon King Iames his Coming to the Crown of England, he order'd the Pro­roguing [Page 26] of the Assembly at Aberdeen, which was to have met in 1604. to a longer day: But thirteen or fourteen of them, for all this, met formally at the day appointed: The Lords of Council discharg'd their Meeting; Whereupon they Protested, That in Conscience, and in Duty to Almighty God they were bound to preserve the Churches Right, and neither Could, nor Would give way to that Power the King had Sacrilegiously Vsurp'd over it. Hereupon, they were Convented, and Appeal'd from the King's Council, to the next General Assembly. I had almost forgotten the Determination of Wilcock, and Knox; who Positively gave their Judgments, That it was Lawful to Depose the Queen Regent. Whereupon, she was solemnly Process'd, Sentenc'd, and De­priv'd.

The Positions of the Presbyte­rians, under Queen Elizabeth.

THe Church (sayes Cartwright) where­in any Magistrate, King, or Empe­rour is a Member, is Divided into some [Page 27] that are to Govern, as Pastors, Doctors, and Elders, and into such as are to Obey, as Magistrates of all sorts, and the People. The Admonitour holds it fit, That he, and his Companions may be deliver'd by Act of Parliament, from the Authority of the Civil Magistrates; As Iustices, and Others, from their Indictings, and Finings. Every Fault (says Cartwright) that tendeth either to the Hurt of a Man's Neighbour, or to the Hin­drance of the Glory of God, is to be Examin'd, and Dealt in by the Order of the Holy Church. Nay, the very Suspicion of Ava­rice, Pride, Superfluities in Meat, or Clothing, falls under their Lash.

All men (says Goodman) are bound to see the Laws of God kept, and to Suppress, and Resist Idolatry by Force. Nor is it sufficient for Subjects not to Obey the Wicked Com­mands of Princes, but they must Resist them; and Deliver the Children of God out of the hands of their Enemies, as we would deli­ver a Sheep that is in danger to be devour'd by a Wolf. If the Magistrate shall refuse to put Mass-Mongers, and false Preachers to Death, the People (in seeing it perform'd) shew that Zeal of God which was commend­ed [Page 28] in Phineas. Subjects do promise Obedi­dience, that the Magistrate might Help them; which if he does not, they are dis­charg'd of their Obedience. If Magistrates without Fear transgress God's Laws them­selves, and Command others to do the like, they are no more to be taken for Migistrates, but to be Examin'd, Accus'd, Condemn'd, and Punish'd, as Private Transgressors. Evil Princes ought by the Law of God to be De­pos'd, and Inferiour Magistrates ought chiefly to do it. And now hear Gilby to the same Tune.

Kings, Princes, and Governours have their Authority of the People, and upon Oc­casion, the People may take it away again, as men may revoke their Proxyes, and Let­ters of Atturney. It is Lawful (sayes he) to kill wicked Kings, and Tyrants; the Sub­jects did kill the Queen's Highness Athalia: Jehu kill'd the Queens Majesty Jesabel: Elias, being no Magistrate, kill'd the Queen's Majesty's Chaplains, Baal's Priests: These Examples are left for our Instruction, where Iustice is not Executed, the State is most Corrupt. If neither the Inferiour Magi­strates, (says he) nor the greatest part of [Page 29] the People will do their Offices; (in Punish­ing, Deposing, or Killing of Princes) then the Ministers must Excommunicate such a King. It would be Endless to follow these Instances as far as they would carry me; so that I'le back now again into Scotland; and you will find them much of the same Opinion under Charles I. as they had been under his Royal Father.

The Positions of the Kirk under the Late King.

IN their Protestation of September 22. 1638. against the King's Declaration, they say, First, That what Subjects do of their own heads, is much better than what they do in Obedience to Authority, the One Savouring of Constraint, but the Other being Voluntary, and Chearful Obedience.

Secondly; That the Parliaments Power does no more reach to the Placing of Offi­cers Originally in the Church, than the Church has Power to make States-men in the Com­mon-wealth.

Thirdly; The Parliament can make no [Page 30] Law at all concerning the Church, but only Ratifie what the Church Decrees: And after it has Ratify'd it, yet if the Assembly of the Church shall Prohibit it, and Repeal that De­cree of the Church, all the Subjects are dis­charg'd from yielding Obedience to the Act of Parliament.

Fourthly; The Assembly has Power to dis­charge all Subscriptions to the Confession of Faith commanded to be Subscrib'd by his Ma­jesty; and as it is Interpreted by Him, or his Commissioner.

Fifthly; The Assembly, without the King, is the Church, and the only Iudge Compe­tent, fit to Interpret, and Explain all Doubts arising upon the Confession of Faith Commanded by his Majesty.

Sixthly; Tho' the Law be Interpreted, yet if the Intepretation be dislik'd by Most of the Kingdom; the Body of the Kingdom (for whose Good the Law was made) may crave the lawful Redress of Grievances sustained by that Law. Take Notice here, that they had already Actually trangress'd the Law (without staying for Leave) and Justifi'd the Doing of it.

Seaventhly; The Assembly is Indepen­dent [Page 31] either from King, or Parliament, in Matters Ecclesiastical.

Eighthly; That the King is to Receive all the Determinations of an Assembly, as a Son of the Church, tho' they be not matters of Faith, but only of Government; and con­cluded by Acts of Parliament.

Ninthly; It is Lawful for Subjects to make a Covenant, and Combination Without the King; and to enter into a Bond of Mu­tual Defence Against the King; and all Per­sons whatsoever (tho' against several Acts of Parliament.)

Tenthly; It is Lawful for themselves, (sitting in an Assembly) to Indict a New As­sembly, without the King's Consent.

Eleventhly; If Subjects be convented be­fore the King, and Council for any Misde­meanour; they may Appeal from the King, and Council to the next General Assembly, and Parliament, if they think either the Glo­ry of God, or the Good of the Church concern'd in the Matter in Question.

Twelfthly; They do not desire the King to Indict a General Assembly, as needing his Authority, but rather for his Honour, and for the Countenance of their Proceedings: [Page 32] Alledging, that if the Prince shall omit to do his Duty, the People, from whom he had his Power Originally, may Resume it.

Thirteenthly; If the King's Voice shall be deny'd to any thing, tho' never so Vnjust, and Illegal, that shall be carry'd by the Major part of the Assembly, his Majesty is bound Jure Divino to enforce Obedience to to those Acts, and the Counsellors, or Iudges refusing to Execute, shall be Excommu­nicate, and depriv'd of their Places, and Estates.

Fourteenthly; An Assembly may Abro­gate Acts of Parliament, and discharge the Subject from Obeying them, if they any way reflect upon the Business of the Church.

Fifteenthly; The Protestation of the Sub­jects against Laws Establish'd, either before the Iudges of the People, or the People themselves who are born to be Iudg'd, doth void all Obedience to those Laws, without ever bringing of them to be discuss'd before a Competent Iudge.

Sixteenthly; The Major part of the People may do any thing (they say) which they Themselves conceive Conducing to the [Page 33] Glory of God, and the Good of the Church, any Laws to the Contrary notwithstand­ing.

These Positions you will find in his Majesties Large Declaration concerning the Tumults in Scotland, pag. 407. et Dein­ceps. We shall now see how the Counterpart of this Confederacy behav'd it self in Eng­land: And shew you the Doctrine, and Principles of the Faction, in the very In­fancy of the Rebellion: as appears out of their own Acts. See Husband's Exact Col­lections, Printed in London, 1643.

The Positions of the English-Co­venanters: and First, In Case of the King's Authority.

AFter that the Faction had Extorted from his Late Majesty such Con­cessions as never any Prince granted be­fore Himself; And when they had De­fam'd his Government, and his Person; and Poyson'd his People, with Contemp­tuous, and Scandalous Libels; Upon March 2. 1641. They began to Vnmask, [Page 34] and to discover to the World, that their Design was not to Reform, but to Go­vern; and upon Pretence of Fearing an Invasion from Abroad, took the Power of the Militia into their Own Hands at Home; Resolving upon the Question, p. 96. That the Kingdom be forthwith put into a Posture of Defence, by the Authority of Both Houses. This Vote was seconded by Another, of March 15. pag. 112. That in Case of Extreme Danger, and of his Ma­jesties Refusal (to give them the Power of the Militia) the Ordinance agreed on by Both Houses for the Militia, doth Oblige the People, and ought to be Obey'd by the Fundamental Laws of this Kingdom. His Majesty insisting upon the Illegality of This Proceeding, Both Houses pass'd this following Vote, March 16. That when the Lords, and Commons in Parliament, (which is the Supreme Court of Iudicature in the Kingdom) shall Declare what the Law of the Land is; to have This, not only Que­stion'd, and Controverted, but Contradict­ed; and a Command that it should not be Obey'd, is a High Breach of the Privilege of Parliament, pag. 114. Finding them­selves [Page 35] Pinch'd upon this Point, they fly to a Distinction betwixt the Letter, and the Equity, of all Laws, pag. 150. There is (say they) in Laws, an Equitable, and a Literal Sense: His Majesty is Entrusted by Law, with the Militia, but 'tis for the Good, and Preservation of the Republique against Foreign Invasions, or Domestique Rebelli­ons; not that the Parliament would by Law Entrust the King with the Malitia, against Themselves, or the Common-wealth; that Entrusts Them to provide for their Weal, not for their Woe. So that upon Certain Appèarance, or Grounded Suspicion, that the Letter of the Law shall be emprov'd a­gainst the Equity of it, the Commander going against its Equity, discharges the Commanded from Obedience to the Let­ter.

The Pretence of Defending the Govern­ment is now Advanc'd to the Reforming of it. Apr. 9. 1642. The Lords and Com­mons do Declare, That they intend a Due, and Necessary Reformation of the Govern­ment, and Liturgy of the Church, pag. 135.

Having already by Violence En­croach'd [Page 36] upon the Militia, as against a Foreign Power, the First Considerable Use that they make of it, is to Employ it a­gainst his Majesties Authority, and Person Before Hull; and Pass'd Two Votes, Apr. 28. in Justification of the Action. Resolved, &c. That his Majesties declaring of Sir John Hotham Traytour, being a Member of the House of Commons, is a High Breach of the Privilege of Parliament. And That, without Process of Law, it is against the Liberty of the Subject, and against the Law of the Land. Nay they Vote it May 17. To be against the Law of the Land, and the Liberty of the Subject, his Majesties Com­manding of Skippon to attend him at York; and The very Removing of the Term to York from Westminster (sitting the Par­liament) they Vote to be Illegal, and Order the Lord Keeper (notwithstanding his Ma­jesties Command) not to Issue out any Writs, or Seal any Proclamation for that Adjourn­ment. May 20. They Order also the Put­ting of all the Magazines in England, and Wales, into the Hands of Persons well Af­fected to the Parliament. pag. 194.

They find themselves now in Condi­tion [Page 37] to Threaten the King, and the Kingdom with Open War: And pass upon the Question, these Three follow­ing Votes. First; That it appears, That the King (Seduc'd by Wicked Counsel) in­tends to make War against the Parliament, who, (in all their Consultations, and Acti­ons) have propos'd no other End unto them­selves, but the Care of his Kingdoms, and the Performance of all Duty, and Loyalty to his Person. Secondly; That whensoever the King maketh War upon the Parliament, it is a Breach of the Trust reposed in Him by his People, Contrary to his Oath, and tending to the Dissolution of his Govern­ment. Thirdly; That whosoever shall Serve, or Assist him in such Wars, are Traytors, by the Fundamental Laws of this Kingdom, &c. And Persuant to these Votes, Iuly 12. they Resolve, That an Army shall be forth­with Rais'd for the Safety of the King's Per­son; Defence of Both Houses of Parlia­ment, and of Those who have Obey'd their Orders, and Commands; and preserving of the True Religion, the Laws, Liberty, and Peace of the Kingdom. pag. 457. All these Votes, and Declarations, they cause, with [Page 38] all Solemnity to be Printed, and Publish'd: but at the same time, his Majesties Pro­clamations, and Declarations are said to be Contrary to Law. pag. 449. And all Offi­cers are forbidden any way to Publish, or to Proclaim the same. The King's Commissi­ons of Array are Declar'd, July 20. to be against Law, the Liberty, and Property of the Subject. And the Actors in it to be E­steem'd Disturbers of the Peace of the King­dom. pag. 478. And again, pag. 576. All such Persons as shall, upon any Pretence whatsoever, Assist his Majesty in this War, with Horse, Arms, Plate, or Monies, are declar'd Traytors to his Majesty, the Parlia­liament, and the Kingdom; and to be brought to condign Punishment.

The Poyson of their Artificial Delu­sions you will find Maliciously enough Defus'd in their Remonstrance of May the 26. 1642. pag. 263. And the Do­ctrine of That Declaration summ'd up with great Exactness, in his Majesties Answer to it, contracting the Venome of it into These Six Positions.

First; That they have an Absolute Power of Declaring the Law; And that whatso­ever [Page 39] ever they declare to be so, ought not to be question'd, either by King, or People: so that all the Right, and Safety of the Prince, and Subject, depends upon their Pleasure.

Secondly; That no Presidents can be Li­mits to Bound their Proceedings; which, If so, The Government of the Turk Himself is not so Arbitrary.

Thirdly; That a Parliament may dispose of any thing, wherein the King, or Subject hath a Right, for the Publique Good; (speaking all this While of the Remnant of the Two Houses) That they, without the King, are This Parliament, and Iudge of This Publique Good; and that the King's Consent is not Necessary. So that the Life, and Liberty of the Subject, and all the Good Laws made for their Security, may be dispos'd of, and Repeal'd by the Major Part of Both Houses, at any time present, and by any Wayes, and Means Procured so to be, and his Majesty has no Power to Protect them.

Fourthly; That a Member of either House ought not to be troubled, or med­dled with, for Treason, Felony, or any Other [Page 40] Crime, without the Cause first brought be­fore Them, that they may judge of the Fact, and their Leave obtained to Proceed.

Fifthly; That the Sovereign Power re­sides in Both Houses of Parliament. The King has no Negative Voice; and becomes Subject to their Commands.

Lastly; That the Levying of Forces a­gainst the Personal Commands of the King, (tho' accompany'd with his Presence) is not Levying War against the King: But to Levy War against his Laws, and Authority, (which they have Power to Declare, and Signifie) is Levying War against the King; And that Treason cannot be Committed a­gainst his Person, otherwise than as he is Entrusted with the Kingdom, and Dischar­ging that Trust; and that they have a Power to judge, whether he discharges it or no. And to justifie their Usurpations, they do maintain, pag. 270. That the Kings of This Realm are Oblig'd to pass all such Bills as are Offer'd unto them by Both Houses of Par­liament.

It would be superfluous to tell you of their Proclaiming Fasts, and Assuming to themselves other Rights of Sovereignty, [Page 41] under the specious Pretence of a Parlia­ment. But to shew you that it was All an Imposture: If the King will not Agree, the Two Houses (they say) may Act with­out him: If the Two Houses Differ, the Sovereignty rests in the House of Com­mons. As in the Case of a Bill they sent up to the Lords for Directing a Protesta­tion which they had Fram'd, to be gene­rally taken throughout England. This Bill the Lords Rejected; Whereupon, the Commons pass'd this Vote, That That House did conceive that the Protestation made by them is fit to be taken by every Per­son that is well Affected in Religion, and to the Good of the Common-Wealth; and there­fore doth declare, That what Person soever shall not take the Protestation, is Vnfit to bear Office in the Church, or Common-Wealth. And so they order'd the Knights, Citi­zens, and Burgesses to send down to the several Places for which they serv'd, Copies of that Vote of the House con­cerning the Protestation, and that the Vote should be Printed. They began with a Contempt of the Lords; they Lay'd them quite Aside at last; and in the Conclu­sion, [Page 42] they Themselves were, upon their Own Arguments, Confounded by the Rabble. You see the Dominion these People Challenge over their Master; and it cannot be expected that they should give any better Quarter to their Fellow Subjects; But it is Their Way of making Kings Glorious, and Patronizing the Liber­ty of the People.

The Positions of the English-Co­venanters, as to the Liberty, and Propriety of the Subject.

IN May, 1641. they enter'd upon their Design with the Protestation above-mention'd, in these Words: I A. B. do in the Presence of Almighty God, Promise, Vow, and Protest to Maintain, and Defend, as far as Lawfully I may, with my Life, Power, and Estate the true Reformed Protestant Reli­gion, express'd in the Doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery, and Popish Innovations within this Realm, contrary to the same Doctrine, and according to the Du­ty of my Allegiance to his Majesties Royal [Page 43] Person, Honour, and Estate; as also the Power and Privileges of Parliament, the Lawful Rights, and Liberties of the Subjects, &c. Here was First, an Vsurpation in the Imposing of it; and Secondly, an A­bominable Fraud in the Construction of it. The Matter of it was so Plausible, that it went down without much Enqui­ring into the Authority of it; but upon the Commons declaring, that the Do­ctrine of the Church of England had no Regard to the Maintaining of the Desci­pline and Government of it: And After­ward, that the Sovereignty was Virtually in the Two Houses, and that by This Pro­testation, they were Oblig'd to serve That Interest, Mens Eyes came then to be Open'd, and they saw their Errour: For they were call'd upon according to their Solemn Vow, and Protestation, to Subscribe for Money, and Plate, pag. 340. and to Maintain Horse, Horse-men, and Arms, for the Defence of the King, and Both Houses of Parliament. In York-shire there was a Neutrality Propounded by some Persons of Eminent Condition in the County; but the Lords, and Com­mons [Page 44] Declar'd against it, pag. 629. as a Contradiction to the Tye of their Gene­ral Protestation. And it went so high, that they past a Vote, Oct. 15. 42. That such Persons as shall not Contribute to the Charge of the Common-wealth in This Time of Im­minent Necessity, shall be held fit to be Dis­arm'd. And the same day, they Voted the Sequestring of Church-Lands, Delin­quents Estates, and Revenues of the Crown. They Order'd Victuals, and other Necessa­ries for the Army to be taken up upon Pub­lique Faith, Nov. 29. 42. pag. 763. and where any thing was Refused, to Force it: And likewise they appointed a Committee of Six Citizens of London, or any Four of them for the Assessing all such (to the twen­ti'th Part of their Estates) as had not con­tributed upon the Propositions of raising Money, Plate, Horse, &c. in Proportion to their Abilities. The said Assessment to be Levy'd by Distress, and Sale; and in Case of Refusal, the Parties to be Emprison'd. pag. 767. With further Authority, Feb. 3. 42. p. 777. to Break open any Chests, Trunks, Boxes, Dores, with Power to Seize such Chests, with Money, or Goods, for [Page 45] the Satisfaction of the Sums Assess'd. And the same Power, Amplifi'd, they grant­ed to Commissioners for Levying of Mo­ney by a Weekly Assessment, upon London, and Westminster; and every County, and City in England and Wales; the City of London being Rated the Weekly Sum of 10000 l. and Others in Proportion.

You have here from their own Pub­lique Acts, (for I cite none of their Pam­phlets) a Breviate of the Powers they as­sumed to themselves over King, and People: And this so Early in the War too, that the Faction was not as yet sure in the Saddle. (For This was all before 1643.) You shall now see the Execution of these Arbitrary Principles by the Cove­nanters of Both Kingdoms in their Turns, and you shall Confess that tho' the Ri­gours of the Kirk may serve as a Foil to any Other Tyranny, the English have yet had the Honour to out-strip their Ma­sters.

According to the Common Method of Innovatours, their First Work was, by Press and Pulpit, to Defame the Govern­ment; their Next, was, by Popular Arti­fice, [Page 46] to stir up the Multitude by Tumults to Reform it; and Lastly; (if they found their Party strong enough to Depend up­on) to Enter into a Confederacy, and Set up for themselves. This was the Course that Knox, Willock, and their Followers took in Scotland under the Queen Regent in 1555. and afterward, under King Iames VI. And Cartwright with his Complices went the same way to Work also under Queen Elizabeth; only the Conspiracy of Arthington, Hacket, Coppinger, Wiggin­ton, &c. was Discover'd, and the Plot Disappointed. But the Libels, and Tu­mults in Scotland, 1637. which led to that Impious Bond, and Covenant in 1638. had better success. (See his Late Majesties Large Declaration upon That Subject.) And after their Pattern, so had the Pra­ctices in England in 1641. when the Par­liament was so Over-aw'd by Tumults that the Vote of the Two Houses was no other in Effect than the Sense of the Rabble in the Lobby. It was but their Bawling for Justice upon the Noble Earl of Strafford; their Crying down of Bishops, and Popish Lords, and the thing is Done. The Riots [Page 47] were so Great, that the Lords press'd the Commons at a Conference, to Joyn with them in a Declaration for the Sup­pressing of them. But it was Answer'd, saying, We must not Discourage our Friends, This being a time we must make use of All our Friends. God forbid (says Mr. Pim) that the House of Commons should proceed in any way to Dishearten People to obtain their just Desires in such a way; Exact Collections, pag. 532. The Kirk would have said, that they did not know with what Spirit they were Over-Rul'd, as they told King Iames in the Case of Gibson, and Black, for de­livering Treason in the Pulpit. The next thing that follow'd in Course, was a Com­bination; and That shall be the first Point we'l handle in the Common Practices of the Party; which in One Word amounts to no less than the Dissolution of a Legal, and the Setting up of a Tyrannical Go­vernment.

The Practices, and Usurpations of the Presbyterians upon the Civil Government.

TO be as Clear now in their Practices, as I have been in their Positions, you shall have as good Evidence for their Proceedings, as you have had already for their Principles. And I'le begin with the Foundation of their Empire; their Audacious, and Mysterious Covenant: Not with the Matter, or the Design of it, but only to shew you that Covenanting is the Method of the Party.

The First Covenant of Scotland bears Date Decemb. 3. 1557. at Edinburgh:Covenant­ing is the Method of the Party. The Second at Perth, May 31. 1559. The Third at Sterling, Aug. 1. And a Fourth, at Leith, Apr. 27. 1560. They Enter'd also into Another Covenant at Ayr, Sept. 4. 1562. which Knox calls a New Covenant.

In England 1583. they Subscrib'd their Discipline, and Enter'd into a League both by Promise, and Writing, to do [Page 49] their Parts toward the Establishing of it.

In Scotland 1638. so soon as ever they had settled their Tables of Advice, the First Act of those Tables was their Solemn Cove­nant.

And so likewise in England, the Com­mons Impos'd a Protestation, and then went on to Covenants, and Othes without End.

Here's an Vsurpation upon Sovereignty, Al Leagues without Authority are Sedi­tious. the very first step they set; in the Exacting of an Oth without due Authority; beside, that all Leagues of Subjects among them­selves are (in the Eye of the Law) no bet­ter than Seditious Conspiracies. Wee'l come now to the Pretence of these Covenants, which is only an Artifice of Inveigling the Silly People into a Confederacy against the Government, under the Notion of Pro­moting the Common Good.

The End of the First Scottish Covenant above-mention'd (at Edinburgh) is said to be the Defence of Christs Gospel,The Pre­tended Ends of the Covenant. and his Congregation, and of every Member of it against all Opposers, to the Death. The Second at Perth goes further, and Extends [Page 50] to all Persons that shall trouble them upon what Pretence soever. In the Third, at Sterling they bind themselves from any Correspondence with the Queen, either by Word, or Writing. In their Fourth at Leith they Covenant a Direct Revolt, and the reducing of all men by Force, that are not of their Opinion. In their Last Bond, at Ayr, they declare against all men as Ene­mies that shall not submit to their Govern­ment. And upon the Whole Matter, they Found all their subsequent Pro­ceedings upon the Obligation of the First Covenant for the Defence of Christ's Go­spel.

The Pretext of the Scottish Covenant in 1638. was the Defence of the King's Majesty, his Person, and Authority in the Defence, and Preservation of the True Re­ligion, Liberties, and Laws of the King­dom: As also the Mutual Defence, one of another, against all sorts of Persons what­soever.

And the English Protestation of 1641. looks the very same way, viz. for the Maintenance of the Doctrine of the Church of England; the Power, and Privileges [Page 51] of the Parliament, and Liberty of the Sub­ject. And what's the very Title of their Solemn League, and Covenant, in 1643. but Reformation, and Defence of Religion; the Honour, and Happiness of the King; the Peace, and Safety of the Three King­doms?

So soon as ever they had by these spe­cious Appearances decoy'd an Inconside­rate Part of the Nation into the Net, they Emprov'd the Fraud by Expounding upon all their Bonds and Covenants, quite Contrary to the Common Intent, and Acceptation of the same. And made way thereby to the Destruction of all those Interests which the People thought they had Sworn to Preserve. But the Subject was so hamper'd betwixt the Dread of the Othe, among those that did not understand the Nullity of the Obliga­tion; and the Forfeiture of Life, Fortune, and Estate, if they should not persue it according to the Oraculous sence of them that Impos'd it, that betwixt their Con­sciences, their Safeties, and Estates, they were in a great streight. He that Con­siders the Solemn, and the Awful Cir­cumstances [Page 52] that accompani'd the taking of these Engagements; the lifting up of the Eyes, and Hands; the Attesting of Almighty God; the Invocations of the Great Name of the Lord, and their Ap­peals to the Searcher of all Hearts; and Compares their Actings with their Pro­testations, will find them perhaps the most Impious, and Extravagant Contradicti­on in Nature. And That's the thing next to be Observ'd in a View of the Fabrique they Rais'd upon this Goodly Foundation.

After this Hypocrisie in the very Frame of their Project, there was but little of Good Faith to be expected in the Me­nage of it: And all their Covenants, un­der Colour of Reforming the Govern­ment, were both in Construction, and in Effect, but so many Othes for the Adjuring of it; and the setting up of a more Blasphemous Oracle in the Name of Christ Iesus, than ever was silenc'd at his taking Flesh upon him by his Holy Power. I call their Covenants, Oracles; as well in respect of the Inspiration, as of the Im­posture. [Page 53] But we shall better understand them, by Tracing their Motions from One Usurpation to Another.

By Letters from Sterling of March 10. 1556.The steps by which the Holy Discipline Advanc'd into a Di­rect Rebel­lion. Knox was invited from Geneva, with This Assurance, That the Faithful in Scotland were ready to jeopard their Lives, and Goods for the setting forward of the Glory of God, as he would permit. These Letters came to his Hand in May. And in September following (with the Privity, and Encouragement of Calvin) he left Geneva, and Octob. 24. arriv'd at Diepe, (with Intent to Embarque for Scot­land) where he met with other Letters, disswading his Return. (See his History of Scotland, Fol. 107.) The Faction was now ready to give up the Cause; and had undoubtedly so done, but for Knox his Letter to some of the Nobility upon That Occasion; which re-Confirm'd them in their Resolutions. Your Brethren (says he) are Oppress'd (Fol. 109.) and you ought to Hazzard your own Lives, (be it against Kings, or Emperours) for their De­liverance. (So that here was Violence In­tended, [Page 54] you see, in the very first Proposi­tion.) By the Instigation of this Letter, they enter'd into their first Covenant at Edinburgh in Decemb. 1557. (Fol. 110.) and Immediately after the Subscribing of it, they Order'd the Common Prayer (of England) to be read weekly on Sunday, and other Festival Days, in all the Parish-Churches of That Kingdom, with the Les­sons of the Old and New Testament, Con­formed to the Book of Common Prayers. (Fol. 111.) Soon after This, they Peti­tion'd the Queen and Council for the Use of the Common Prayer in the Vul­gar Tongue, which was granted them, with an Exception only to Edinbourgh, and Leith, for fear of Tumults: And upon the Neck of this Petition, follows a Protestation, deliver'd in Parliament, 1558. against all Acts of Parliament for the Punishing of Heretiques; the Removal of all Prelates, and their Officers from any Place of Iudgment: (Fol. 133.) Foretel­ling, by way of Menace, that if Abuses should chance to be Violently Reform'd, the Government may thank it self. From Pro­testing they Gather'd themselves Together, [Page 55] at St. Iohnston, the Town Declaring for them. Hereupon, the Preachers were Summon'd to appear at Sterling, May 10. 1559. And on the Other side, The Bre­thren Concluded that the Gentlemen of Eve­ry Country should Accompany their Prea­chers, to the Day, and Place appointed: that is; to St. Iohnston; where they had their First Assembly. Upon this Contempt, the Ministers were Proclaim'd Traytours, and the Multitude fell to the Demolish­ing, and Rifling of Religious Houses; where they found great Booty; and so they Proceeded to the fortifying of them­selves, and calling in of their Friends to their Assistance; Maintaining their Ground by Force, notwithstanding A Proclama­tion for all of them to avoid the Town, under the Pain of Treason: (Which Place soon after was Deliver'd up upon Composi­tion) From the Pretence of Defending themselves in St. Iohnston, they Advanc'd, shortly after, to the Assaulting of it; and so the Burning of Scone; the Seizing of the Minting-Irons for the Coyning of their Plate. And then from Monasteries, and Abbies, they went forward to the De­facing, [Page 56] and Pillaging of Cathedrals; Pa­rochial Churches; and there were few Chancels that scap'd them. In their An­swer to the Queens Proclamation of Aug. 28. 1559. they Rise from matter of Re­ligion, to matter of State. (Knox Hist. of Scotland, Fol. 174. And in Direct Terms, Fol. 179. They Affirm, that it ap­pertaineth to the Nobility, and also to the Barons, and People, to bridle the Rage, and Fury of misled Princes; which was only a Prologue to the Formal, and So­lemn Deposal of the Queen Regent at Edin­burgh, Octob. 24. 1559. that ensu'd. After This; they emplor'd Aid from England, under Colour of Maintaining their An­cient Liberties. And the Treaty was sign'd at Berwick by the Commissioners of Both Nations, Feb. 27. 1559.

By these Persecutions they brought the Queen Regent to her Grave;They perse­cuted the Queen Re­gent into her Grave. And upon her Death, a Peace was Concluded; the Armies to Disband, and the French, and English Succours to return Home. In Decemb. 1560. Francis the Second of France departed this Life; leaving the Queen of Scots an Unfortunate Widdow; Poor, [Page 57] and Helpless. They were now out of Fear of France, and there was no Danger from England, in regard of the Queen of Scots Pretensions to That Crown; so that they resolv'd now to play their Own Game; And their First Act was the Abo­lishing of the Common-Prayer (in a Con­vention at Edinburgh) which they had formerly Embrac'd, and Confirm'd by a Solemn Decree, and Subscription: And the Presenting of a Church-Government of Knox's own Contrivance, and not much differing from the Geneva-Model, to a Convention of the Estates; under the Title of The Confession of the Faith, and Doctrine, believed, and Professed by the Protestants of Scotland. The States took Time to consider of the Form of Polity; but pass'd an Act however for the De­molishing of Cloysters, and Abby-Churches. Whereupon (says Spotswood in his Church-History, Fol. 175.) there ensu'd a Pitiful Vastation of Churches, and Church-Build­ings. No Difference was made, but all the Churches either Defaced, or Pull'd to the Ground. The Holy Vessels, and whatsoever else Men could make Gaine of, (as Timber, [Page 58] Lead, and Bells) were put to Sale. The very Sepulchers of the Dead were not spar'd. The Registers of the Church, and Libraries cast into the Fire: And All This, colour'd with the Warrant of Publique Authority. Take Notice here, that after the Conven­tion was Dissolv'd, their Book of Polity was Subscrib'd, notwithstanding the Postponing of the Question. And we shall see now, that they treated the Queen her Self no better than they had done the Queen Regent.

Upon this Nice Juncture of Affairs,The Daugh­ter had no better Quarter than the Mother. the Queen was Invited Home. And Aug. 20. 1561. She arrived at Leith; de­claring upon her Entrance, That there should no Alteration be made in the Present State of Religion, only for her Self, and Family she would have a Mass in Private. But the Preachers decrying that Tolerati­on in their Pulpits, produced a Dangerous Tumult against the Freedom of her own Chappel.

After several Riots, and Open Rebel­lions, which were still promoted, and seconded by the Presbytery; In Iuly 1564. [Page 59] the Queen was Marri'd to the Lord Darn­ly; And Iune 19. 1566. brought to bed of a Son (afterward Iames VI.) in the Castle of Edinburgh. In 1567. they sent the Queen Prisoner to Lochlevin, and pass'd an Act of Assembly for the Secu­ring, and Disposing of the Person of the Infant-Prince; with Direction to move the Queen to a Resignation of her Govern­ment, and the Appointing of a Regent, during his Minority; which by Force, and Menaces, her Majesty was compell'd to do; and her Renunciation, and Commission Publish'd at the Market-Cross at Edinburgh, the Prince being Crown'd, and Anointed King, in the Church of Striveling the Third day after the Publication, being Iuly 29. On the 20th of August, the Earl of Murray was Elected Regent: King Iames being as yet but Thirteen Months old. At the Beginning of the Spring, in 1568. the Queen made her Escape, and was convey'd to Hamilton, where several Lords meeting in Council, her Resigna­tion was declar'd Void, (as Extorted by Fear) and Proclamation issu'd against the Rebels that had Usurped her Authority. [Page 60] The Dispute, in short, was brought to a Battle, May 13. the Queens Army De­feated, and She her self fled into Eng­land for Protection; where the Faction never left the Persute of her, till they brought her to the Scaffold. But here you'l say there was a Foreign Interest, and Popery in the Case. If That were All, how came it that they handled the Young King at as Course a rate every jot as they had treated his Mother? tho' their Natu­ral Prince, and afterward, the Celebrated Champion of the Protestant Cause.

The Government of Scotland had been Administer'd by Four Regents,They treat­ted King James as ill as they had done his Mother. when, upon the Earl of Morton's desire to be Discharg'd of his Regency, the King (not twelve years old as yet) accepted of it; and his Acceptation thereof was Pro­claim'd at Edinburgh, March 12. 1577. where the Regent himself was Assisting. As an Earnest of the Respect they bare to his Majesties Authority, Andrew Melvil presented a Form of Church Government to the Parliament at Striveling, in 1578. which they referr'd to certain Com­missioners, [Page 61] who agreed to such General Heads as did not touch the Authority of the King, nor prejudg the Liberty of the State. But this did not content Them; so that they resolv'd to put their Conclusions in Practice the next Assembly, without staying for a Ra­tification (Spotswood's Hist. Fol. 302.) In Glasgow, the next Spring, the Ministers put the Magistrates of the City upon Demolishing the Cathedral, but the Trades­men Interpos'd, and Defended it. In 1582. Montgomery was Process'd for Preaching at Glasgow: The King by his Warrant commanded the Assembly to desist, which the Moderatour perempto­rily refus'd, and thereupon, the Officer pull'd him from his Seat, and Clap'd him up in the Tolbuyth; for which, they De­creed him to be Excommunicate, tho' the King himself earnestly perswaded them to the Contrary.

After this Contempt of the Kings Au­thority, they made a Violent Seizure of his Person, and carri'd him Prisoner to the Castle of Ruthen, where they kept him Close Nine Months; forcing him by a Writing under his hand, to command [Page 62] the Duke of Lenox to Depart the King­dom, and Imposing upon him what Ser­vants they pleas'd, under pretence of Zeal to Religion, and Care of his Person. They did also Petition the next General Assem­bly at Edinburgh, to give their sence of the Action: Who made themselves Judges; and did so highly approve of it, that they appointed all Ministers to re­commend the Actors of it, as good Christians, and Patriots, pretending, that there was no other way to preserve their Religion, and Freedoms. And yet this Duke dy'd soon after, in France, of the Reformed Communion. For the Countenance of this Proceeding, they force the King (be­ing but Seventeen years of Age) to emit a Proclamation, commanding all those that had Levy'd any Forces upon Pretence of his Restraint, to Disband within Six hours, upon Pain of Death; and Declaring that he was at Liberty, and had only his Friends about him. In the Summer following, under Colour of Viewing the Castle of St. An­drews, It was contriv'd, that the Gates should be shut upon his Followers, and so he deliver'd himself from his Guard. [Page 63] It would be but the same thing over again, to Enumerate the Repeated Usur­pations of their Government, and the Contumacy of their Ministers: their Re­bellious Practises at Striveling, Glasgow, &c. and that Horrid Outrage against the Octa­vians in Edinburgh, Decemb. 17. 1596. When the King appoints a Feast, they Indict a Fast; the Council Orders the Ministers of Edinburgh to give Thanks for his Majesties Deliverance from Gowry's Conspiracy: Their Answer was, That they were not acquainted with the Busi­ness. And when it was urg'd, that they were only to affect the People with the Sence of his Majesties having scap'd a great Danger, they Reply'd, That nothing should be Vtter'd in the Pulpit, but That whereof the Truth was known. Nay, they would not so much as pray for the Kings Mother, when her Death was Resolv'd upon, tho' the very Form was prescrib'd in the most Innocent Terms Imaginable. viz. That it might please God to Illuminate her with the Light of his Truth, and save her from the apparent Danger wherein she was cast.

[Page 64] And This would have been the Issue too of the English Project under Queen Elizabeth; The Con­spiracy un­der Queen Elizabeth was nipp'd in the Bud. as appears by the Insolence of their Demands, and the Virulence of their Writings, if the Conspiracy had not been nipp'd in the Bud.

The Scottish Insurrection in 1637. was only their Old Method Reviv'd.The Scotch Rebellion of 1637. Of which, in a few Words, Out of the Kings Decla­ration upon That Subject.

Upon occasion of a Seditious Uproar at Edinburgh, The Rise, Method, and Pro­gress of it. Octob. 18. 1637. his Late Majesty order'd the Discharge of all such Meetings, upon Pain of Death. And his Proclamation, being Publish'd at Ster­ling, Lithgow, and Edinburgh, was en­counter'd with a Protestation against it, at the same Times, and Places; and with the same Solemnity, as if they had been Both by the same Authority. Immedi­ately upon this Affront, the Protestors erect Publique Tables of Council for Order­ing the Affairs of the Kingdom without the Consent of the King, and in Con­tempt of his Majesty and Council. At [Page 65] These Tables, having First agreed upon their Covenant, they conclude upon Cer­tain Propositions of Instruction to the Party. No Answer must be made to State-Questions without Advice. All Proclama­tions to be Protected against; and to take nothing for Satisfaction, Less than their Whole Demand. This way of Anti-Pro­testing they made use of from first to last. Upon his Majesties Proclamation for Dis­solving the Assembly at Glasgow 1638. they did not only Protest, and Refuse to Depart, but Cited the Kings Council that Sign'd the Proclamation, to appear before the King, and Parliament. In This their Protestation, his Majesty observes Eleaven Nullities; and that In One Hour they made Void Six General Assemblies; tho' Two of them Wholly, and the Other Four, in Part, were Ratifi'd by Acts of Parliament. In Another Hour, they Damn'd all the Ar­minian Tenets, without Defining what they were. In Another Hour they Depriv'd One Arch-Bishop, and Two Bishops. And in One hour more, they Abolish'd Episcopacy; Deposing Four Bishops, barely upon a Libel read in the Pulpit, without Examining any [Page 66] One Witness against them; and only for the Crime of Obeying Parliaments, and Ge­neral Assemblies.

All This they do,They Levy Arms a­gainst the King for the Glory of God. as having the Cog­nition of Ecclesiastical Matters. They Arm the Subject; Block up, and Force the Kings Forts, and Castles; Intercept Victuals, and Ammunition for their Relief; Tax the People; Levy Soldiers against the King; Issue out Warrants to Sheriffs for Commissioners of Parliament; and when they are Ask'd why they do these things; 'Tis for the Good of the Church, (they say) the Glory of God; and the Preservation of Religion. (Kings Declaration, pag. 415.) These are the men that bind their Kings in Chains, and their Nobles in Links of Iron, according to the very Letter. And you shall now see that the English Covenanters are as good Text-Proof as their Brethren. Take Notice here, That my Observa­tions are restrain'd simply to the Actings of the Presbyterians, without Imputing any thing to Them that was done by the Influence of the Independents.

It appears from what is already said,The Pra­ctises of the Scotch, and English compar'd. [Page 67] that The Name of God was the Prologue to Both Rebellions: The Form, and Do­ctrine of the English League, the very Translation of the Scottish: It rests now to shew, that the English Practices are so likewise; and how far they have put their Seditious Positions in Execution. What was the English way of Remonstra­ting, and Declaring, but the Scottish Mode of Protesting? The General Assembly de­clines the Kings Authority in the Case of Treason; and so did the House of Commons, in the Case of their Members. The Kirk refus'd to pray for the Queen; and our Mock-Parliament made it Penal to Pray for the King; And they both of them took upon themselves to Convene Assem­blies; Impose Othes, and Subscriptions by their own Power: To Banish the Kings Servants, and Scandalize his Ministers: And with a Scottish Grace the English Fa­ction tells the King, in Answer to one of his Declarations, That his Suggestion is as False as the Father of Lies can Invent. As they agreed in the Intent of the Reformation, So did they also in the Manner of it. They Alarm'd the City of London at Mid­night, [Page 68] that the King was coming with his Papists to fire the Town, and burn the Citizens in their Beds; (the Common Pre­tences of Scotland) And after the Scottish Methode too, they Rifled Winchester-Church in 1642. Burnt the Communion-Table in an Ale-House; brake open several Leaden Chests, wherein the Bodyes of some of the Saxon Kings were Deposited; Casting the Dust into the Air; and throwing the Bones of them at the Windows: Hacking with their Swords the Crown that was there upon the very Statue of the King. With the same Barbarity they proceeded at Chiche­ster, where they Pickt out the Eyes of Edw. VI. his Picture; saying, that all this was long of his Book of Common Prayer. At Canterbury, and Rochester they did the Like, and turn'd the Church of St. Paul, both into a Stable, and an Ale-House. It might serve, in one word for all, to say, That they have put all their Positions be­fore spoken of in Practice.

The Two Houses, The Usur­pations of the Two Houses. by their own Autho­rity, set up Ordinances for Laws; settl'd the Militia; stil'd themselves the Supreme Iudicature of the Kingdome; Chang'd [Page 69] the Whole Frame of the Government; Punish'd those as Traytours that serv'd the King; Seiz'd the Kings Forts, Towns, Ma­gazines, and Revenues; Rais'd an Army against him; Impos'd Taxes, Excise, Cu­stomes; took away Episcopacy, and the Common-Prayer, and settled the Directory; Proclaim'd Fasts; spoil'd the King of his Authority; made him a Prisoner, under Colour of taking him into Protection; and then for a Sum of Money, with Iudas, betray'd their Master to be Crucifi'd.

All this and More was not only the Effect of the Covenant, The Ri­gours of the Cove­nant. but the very Drift, and Meaning of it; as appears by the Artificial Emprovement of it to all their Purposes: (being the very Test of the Faction.) No man was allow'd to Practice the Law; No man Admitted into the Ministry, that had not taken it; and it was Impos'd, under a Penalty upon the Whole Nation. And Then After the Taking of it, it was made Death for any man to return to his Allegiance; and all the Deserters of the Conspiracy, that were murther'd under a Form of Justice, were put to Death for Breach of Covenant.

[Page 70] When the late King, The Kirk Betray'd, and Sold the King in his Di­stress. May 1646. in his Distress, apply'd himself to the Scotch; and they receiv'd him, as into Protecti­on; his Friends were kept from him at Newcastle, by as strict an Order, as after­wards at Holdenby. But they Formaliz'd the Matter however, how Base a thing it would be for Scotland to Deliver up their King;Lowdon's Second Speech at a Confe­rence, Oct. 6. 1646. and how Inconsistent with the Duty of their Covenant, and how Dishonourable to the Army; to whom in his Extreme Danger he had Recourse for Safety. The Scotch Commissioners also Aggravating the Matter. Answer to the Vote of Sept. 24. 1646. If it be Contrary (say they) to the Law, and Common Practice of Nations, to deliver up the meanest Subject, fled to them, tho' it be for the greatest Crimes; How much more would the World abroad Condemn our Army for a Base, Dishonour­able Act, if they should deliver up their Head, and Soveraign (having cast himself into their Hands) to be Dispos'd of at the Arbitrament of another Nation? Nay, (says the Chancellour) I shall desire that the Word of Disposing of the Kings Person, may be rightly understood for to Dispose of the Kings Person, as Both Houses, or Both [Page 71] Kingdoms shall think fit, may in some sence, be to Depose, or worse. But alas! these Difficulties only stuck till the Price was agreed upon. How Stiff they were, till the Bargain was Struck, and after That, how Flat, and Supple! For Then he tells his Majesty plainly, If he refuses the Pro­positions,Lowdon's Speech to his Majesty. 1646. Both Kingdoms will be Constrain'd (for their Mutual Safety) to agree, and settle Religion, and Peace without him. And he is told afterward by the Pre­tended Declaration of the Kingdome of Scotland, of Jan. 16. 1646. that by rea­son of his Refusal, there would be a Ioynt Course taken by Both Kingdoms concerning the Disposal of his Person. And Then a little After, [with respect had to the Safety, and Preservation of his Royal Person. * In the Preservation, and Defence of the True Religion, and Liberties of the Kingdoms. According to the COVE­NANT, &c.] On Feb. 12. They Exhort their Covenanted Brethren (the Assembly at Westminster) to hold fast their Solemn League, and Covenant; to Enter­tain a Brotherhood, and Vnity between the Nations; but not a Syllable of the King. [Page 72] And again Ian. 18. the General Assembly of the Kirk presses the Two Houses to a Speedy Establishment of the Presbytery. (And here again no Mention of his Majesty.)

But what's the Sum now of these Pro­postions that stand in Competition with the Kings Freedome,The Cove­nanters Barbarous Propositi­ons to his Late Ma­jesty. Life, and Dignity? First; Only the Iustifying, and Confirming of all they had done. Secondly; The gi­ving away of the Militia of England, and Ireland, for Twenty Years, with Power to Raise Men and Money. Thirdly; His Majesty must Swear, and Sign the Cove­nant; Impose it upon the Three Kingdomes; Abolish Episcopacy, and settle Religion, as Both Houses shall Agree. Fourthly; All Honours (since 1642.) must be made Null and Void; No Peers admitted in Parlia­ment, for the Future, but by Consent of the Two Houses. Fifthly; All Great Places, and Offices of Honour in England, and Ire­land, to be Dispos'd of by Consent of Par­liament; and in Fine; his Majesty must deliver to Death, Beggery, and Scorn all that ever Serv'd him.

[Page 73] Thus was this Glorious Prince Betray'd, and Sold, according to the COVENANT. Here's the True English of it, and the Divinity of that Moloch, to which this Nation has offer'd up so many Noble Sacrifices. Are not our Fundamental Laws, Persons, Consciences, and Estates, Secure, and Happy, under the Care, and Wing of such Blessed Guardians? How meanly have we Prostituted the Reve­rence of the Land, and of the Govern­ment, to the Lusts of these Imperious, Shameless Ravishers! Take Notice here of some of the Kirks following Resolves upon the Main Point in Question. First, That the Kings Taking of the Scotch Cove­nant, and Passing Some of the Proposi­tions, does not Warrant Scotland to Assist him against England. Secondly; That upon bare Taking the National Covenant, they may not Receive him. Thirdly; That the Clause in the Covenant for Defence of the Kings Person, is to be understood In Defence, and Safety of the Kingdom. Fourthly; That his Majesty shall Execute no Power in Scotland, without satisfying every Point. Fifthly; That Refusing the [Page 74] Propositions, he shall be dispos'd of according to the Covenant, and the Treaties.

Nor would the Two Houses Probably have Us'd him any better if he had gone to Them.The Two Houses as bad as the Scotch. For, upon his First withdraw­ing himself, they Voted it Treason, and Death without Mercy, for any Man to Har­bour, and Conceal the Kings Person, (upon a Supposition that his Majesty was then in London.) This was the 4th of May; and on the 6th, the Commons Voted him to Warwick Castle, which was Unvoted again, upon the 9th; and in Iune, they Voted the Kings going to the Scots, a Design to prolongue the War.

Let me not appear to Confound the Faction of Scotland with the Nation; It was the Faction of Scotland, not the Na­tion, that Ruin'd the King. for no Country affords greater Instances of Integrity, and Honour. Nay, I have heard it from good Authority, that the Kings going into Scotland, (which he most earnestly desir'd) was carry'd in the Nega­tive, only by Two Voyces.

His Majesty is now under the Care of his New Governours,Their deal­ing with the King at Holdenby. and a Prisoner to the Covenanters at Holdenby; where he desir'd only Two of his Chaplains that had [Page 75] not taken the Covenant; and Then, a Common-Prayer Book for his own Private Use, but Neither could be Granted him.

At the Isle of Wight, Their Ri­gour at the Isle of Wight; and the Horrid Murther of Montross. the same Faction had the handling of him again; where they still Treated his Majesty much at the same Rate. And they Us'd his Royal Suc­cessour not much better in 1650. When, to Auspicate the Project for the Recovery of his Crown, in the very Dependence of a Treaty at Breda with him; upon the Instigation of the Kirk; they Murther'd the Brave, and Generous Montross, with the most horrid Circumstances of Malice Imaginable: And how they Us'd the King himself afterward at his Coming among them, I am not willing to mention.

Nay,The Cove­nanters Iu­stifie the Murther of the Late King, upon the Restau­ration of This. when the Time appointed by Gods Providence was come for the Re­storing of the King, the Presbyterian Mi­nisters in London Publish'd a kind of Squinting Gratulation upon That Occa­sion; as if Popery were coming in with his Majesty for Company. And the same Party, upon the Re-Admission of the Se­cluded Members, press'd upon the House [Page 76] of Commons these Two following Votes, for the Justification of the Rebellion in 1641. and in order to the Exclusion of the Royal Party from the next Choice.

1. I do Acknowledge, and Declare, that the War undertaken by Both Houses of Par­liament in their Defence against the Forces rais'd in the Name of the Late King, was Iust, and Lawful; and that Magistracy, and Ministry are the Ordinances of God.

2. Resolv'd that All, and Every Person, who have Advised, or Voluntarily Aided, Abetted, Assisted, in any War against the Parliament, (since the First day of Jan. 1641.) His, or Their Sons, (unless He, or They, have since manifested their Good Af­fections to This Parliament) shall be Vnca­pable to be Elected, to serve as Members of the next Parliament. So that as their Feud against Kings, is Implacable, their Aversion likewise to all those that Love their Prince, descends from Generation to Generation.

How Inconsistent Presbytery is with Monarchy, Presbytery is Inconsist­ent with any other Govern­ment▪ is sufficiently manifest. But they'l say for themselves, that Kings may be Misled; and that it is not the Form of [Page 77] Government that is Grievous to Them, but the Male-Administration of it. To which, it may be Reply'd, That All Go­vernours, under what Form soever, are to Them, Alike, where they themselves are not Vppermost: And that the Refor­mation of Personal Failings will not do their Business without the Total Subver­sion of all those wholesome, and Profi­table Laws that stand in the Way of their Discipline: It being their Custome to Re­proach Princes, and their Ministers, for straining the Prerogative, while they Themselves at the same time, Usurp over Kings, Parliaments, and People: And Trample under their Feet, All that is Sa­cred in Society, and Government.

Princes,The Pres­byterians Will is their Law 'tis true, may have their Er­rours, and their Passions; but what have the Innocent Laws done? Are They Po­pishly Affected too? But where ever Pres­bytery reigns, there can be no Law, but their own Will. Did they not (in Scot­land) Damn Bishops, as Anti-Christian, and Deprive Ecclesiastiques of their Voy­ces in Parliament, Convention, and Coun­cil? [Page 78] notwithstanding Three Acts of Par­liament; that is to say, of 1584. 1597. and 1606. expresly to the Contrary. And did they not pronounce the Acts of the Assemblies of Glasgow, and Perth to be Void, and Illegal, tho' Enacted as Muni­cipal Laws? Ask them now (says his Late Majesty; Large Declaration, Pag. 416.) by what Authority they do these things, ex­presly against Acts of Parliament, Acts of Council, and Acts of General Assemblies. They Answer, that Those Acts of Assembly were unduely Obtain'd; and that now they have Rescinded them. For Acts of Parlia­ment, and Acts of Council, they Express great Wonder that any man should Question their Authority over Them: For if Christ be above the King, Christ Council must like­wise be Supreme; Parliaments being only the Council of the Kingdom. And for the Kings Privy Council, and Iudges, they must sub­mit to the Councellours, and Iudges under Christ, who is the King of Kings. Nor is it all that they assume to themselves an Arbitrary Rule; but whoever refuses Sub­scription, and Obedience to their Acts, and Decrees, stands Excommunicate without [Page 79] Mercy. And Then (if he persist) follows Out-Lawry; Forfeiture of his Goods; his Revenue for Life; Letters of Caption for the Seizing of his Person; and Close Com­mitment as a Traytour. If he does not yet Appear, they take out Letters of Inter­communing; making it Treason to Re­ceive, or hold any Correspondence with him. This is Executed by a Warrant to the Civil Iudge from a Commissioner of the Presbytery; and upon his Refusal, to see the Sentence put in Execution, he himself incurrs the same Danger.

And the same Tyranny was Exercis'd by the Two Houses upon the English Go­vernment; The Tyran­ny of the Pretendea Parlia­ment in 1641. Whose Orders were Impos'd upon the Nation, for Laws, and Obedience requir'd to them, under Pain of Life, Li­berty, or Estate, at Pleasure.

What a Mockery is it now to talk of Religion, Kings, Parliaments, or Laws, where the Dictates of Mechaniques shall Over-rule the Articles of the Aposto­lique Faith; and the Vote of a Seditious Conventicle, Dissolve the Order, and Autho­rity of a Legal, and Establish'd Govern­ment?

The Tyranny of the Presbytery over the Consciences, Lives, Liber­ties and Estates of the People.

ALtho' These Vsurpations upon the King, and the Government it self, do Naturally Presuppose, and Imply an Oppression upon the Subject; It will not be amiss yet, more particularly to Expose the Inevitable, and the Scandalous Sla­very of living under That Dominion; as well in regard of their Vnlimited Power, as of their Inherent Cruelty, and Rigour.

In the Matter of Conscience, Life, Liberty, and Estate, Enough is said already in the very Case of their Covenants; wherein, without any respect to the Lawfulness of the Thing, or the Conscience of the Person, it was Sequestration, and Emprisonment, to Refuse them, even where it was the Haz­zard of Damnation to Take them: and be­ing once Engag'd, 'twas Death to Repent. The History of Scotland abounds with Instances upon This Subject; but I shall ra­ther bring my Observations Home, to the Covenanters of our Own Age, and Nation.

[Page 81] The Early Plunders of Sir Iohn Lucas, The Tyran­ny Cruel­ty, and Profane­ness of the English Covenan­ters. Sir William Boteler, The Lady Rivers; with other Persons of Eminent Condi­tion, both Lay-men, and Divines, are to be read at large, with the Inhumane In­solences that were Acted upon their Per­sons, and Relations, in Mercurius Rusti­cus: but the Out-rages that follow'd were so Great, and so Many, that These are hardly worth the Mentioning, and the Other would be too Tedious to Re­cite; for the Whole Story of the Rebel­lion was carry'd on with Rapine, and Bloud. How many Noble-mens Houses were turn'd to Prisons, without the Ma­sters knowing either his Accuser, or his Offence? Several Gentlemen of Quality put on Ship-board, and half smother'd in the Heat of the Year; where they con­tracted Diseases, and by an Arbitrary Power were to have been Transported no­body knew whither. Others were Sold for Slaves into Plantations: Near 100 Ministers were brought out of the West, and Clapp'd up in Lambeth-house, where almost all of them were Destroy'd by a Pestilential Feaver. Nay; so Profane was [Page 82] their Barbarity, that upon Sunday the 5th of March 1642. Dr. Featly Preach­ing that day, at Lambeth-house, order was given to dissolve the Congregation, and the Reformers took with them some great Guns to do the Work: At which time some Mischief was done, and there had been more, but for a Gentleman, who is at present an Eminent Person in the City, who snacht away the Linstock just as they were going to give fire upon the Congregation, into the Quire of the Chappel. This I have upon the Credit of a Man of Worth, and Value. I could tell you of a Minister in Covent-Garden that refus'd Christian Burial to the Body of a Gentleman that was Quarter'd for his Loyalty; One that made it a Moot-Point, upon an Anniversary Fast, whe­ther or no the Kings Death were a Mur­ther.

And These People were as well the Ma­sters of our Estates,They Di­sposed of our Estates, and Per­sons, at Pleasure. as of our Persons: (See Scobell's Collection of Acts, and Ordinances) by their own Power, taking upon them to Sequester Delinquents; Borrow Money [Page 83] upon the Publique Faith; gathering of Other Peoples Rents, and Debts; Levy­ing of Money; Raising of Horse; Assessing at Pleasure; Sequestring Church and Crown-Lands; Gulling the People with Irish Ad­ventures; Laying new Imposts; Autho­rizing the Breaking Open of Locks; and Examining upon Othe, for Discovery of Delinquents Money, and Goods; Raising, Continuing, and Enlarging several Excises; Borrowing Money for the Scots; Taxing the Whole Nation; Appropriating the Pro­fits of Tonnage, and Poundage to them­selves; Compounding for Wardships: Be­side their Impositions of a Weekly Meal; their Monthly Assessments; and other Im­positions upon the People to an Incre­dible Value, and without any Colour of Law.

As there is no Freedom either of Con­science, Their Scan­dalous and Unchari­table Cen­sures. Person, or Estate, under their Boundless Dominion; so there's no living under them, with either Peace, or Repu­tation. If a Man and a Woman Live in such a manner of Conversation, that it is Possible for them to be Lewd together [Page 84] in Private, the Presbytery shall take it for granted that they are so; and without any Evidence, require them publiquely the next Lords day, perhaps, before the Congregation to discharge themselves up­on Othe that they are Innocent. Which if they do, and that they purge themselves of the suspected Crime, they shall yet be forc'd to do open Penance for their Misbe­haviour. But if two Persons shall be Pre­sented, under a Suspicion of Incontinence, and that being Conven'd, and Examin'd, there shall appear any strong Presump­tions that they are so; tho' there be no Proof in the Case, they shall yet be made Close Prisoners, to feed on Bread and Water, and no body to come at them; to try, if either by Proof, or Confession, any thing can be made out against them by the next Court-day: If not, they are Dismiss'd, but upon Condition, that if ever they be seen together again, unless in the Church, or in the Market, it shall be taken pro Confesso that they are Guilty. There was a Husband that confessed to his Wife some Faults that he had committed, and She out of Zeal told a Presbyterian [Page 85] Minister the Story; for which the Mini­ster very fairly Convented him, and made him do Publique Penance. This Practice has Parted many Men and their Wives; and stirr'd up Feuds never to be Recon­cil'd. Nay a man shall not Sue for a Debt upon a Bond, or a Landlord, for his Rent, but the Presbytery shall take the Judgment of it to Themselves, as a Course Scanda­lous to the Profession, where any of their own Gang is Concern'd. They must have an Oar in every Boat. In Scotland they interpos'd in the Business of Salt-Pans, Salmon-Fishing, Fairs, and Mar­kets; and fell heavily upon some Scottish Merchants in Edinburgh, for carrying Wheat to Spain in a time of Dearth. But the Trade of Wax thither, was Unpar­donable, as not only feeding Gods Ene­mies, but maintaining their Idolatry. To say nothing of the Absurdity, in their Constitution, of making Tradesmen Iudges in Matters of Faith; and the Un­mannerly Temper of it, where a Taylor, or a Shooe-maker shall Sit, and Vote Cheek by Jowle with his Sovereign.

[Page 86] Having made a Faithful Report of the Pretended Powers, the Avow'd Principles, and the Open Practices of these Troublers of our Israel, so far as the Discovery may honestly conduce to our Present Purpose; we shall now lay open the Mystery of Ini­quity, in the Secret Contrivances of their Cabal; and upon no less Authority, than the Faith, and Honour of King Charles the Martyr, in his Remarques upon the Proceedigs of the Scottish Covenanters.

The Device of our standing Commit­tees in 1641. with Subordination to the Close Committee, The Scot­tish Gene­ral Table was the Pattern of the English Close Commit­tee. was only an Imitation of the Preparatory Tables of Advice in Scotland, with Subordination to their Ge­neral Table. And There, Effectually, was lodged the last Result of Counsel. It was Compos'd of Men of Brains, Po­pularity, Boldness, and such as were most Obstinately Engag'd to the Faction; whe­ther Preaching, or Ruling-Elders. The Acts of Assembly were but the Dictates of the General Table; as in England the Two Houses still agreed to the sense of the Close Committee. There it was, that the [Page 87] Abuses of Government were Inspected; Reformations Modell'd; Court-Offices dispos'd of; all Conspiracies Form'd, and Digested; And the Preachers Expresly di­rected what Points to Press, and which Nail to drive. There can be no better Accompt given of their under-hand deal­ing, than they give of Themselves, in their two Private Papers of Instructions (Printed in the Late Kings Large Declara­tion, Fol. 282. &c. with his Majesties Notes upon them) toward the Securing of a General Assembly (which was to meet at Glasgow, Nov. 21. 1638.) The One of them being directed to one Lay-Elder; and the Other, to some One Mini­ster in every Presbytery, for the Packing of their Party. In the Former of them you have in terms these following Particulars in Charge.

That some one Minister,Their Pri­vate In­structions. and Gentleman in every Presbytery meet oft together, to re­solve upon the Particular Commissioners to be Chosen, and use all diligence with the rest of the Ministers and Gentlemen, that such may be Chosen.

[Page 88] And Because nothing will avail so much for our Purpose, where the most part of the Mi­sters are disaffected, as that the Gentlemen be present to Vote in Presbyteries, it would be presently try'd whether this be put in Exe­cution; and if the Minister be slow in ur­ging it, the Gentlemen themselves to urge it, and put themselves in Possession.

That they linger not, they would be urged again to send their Commissioners to Edin­burgh before the First of October: by this we shall know our strength the better at our Meeting.

And the Gentlemen (at least the greatest part of them) would be warned to be at Edin­burgh, Septemb. 20. And that only the Gentlemen who are nam'd Commissioners to the Presbytery for chusing their Commis­sioners for the Assembly, with some to assist them, that day stay at home, and those to come away immediately after the Ele­ction.

That in every Presbytery there be a Par­ticular Care taken of the Informations a­gainst the Prelates, for Instructing our Com­plaints.

The Other Paper of Private Instructi­ons of Aug. 27. 1638. runs as follows:

THese Private Instructions shall be disco­vered to none but to Brethren well af­fected to the Cause.

Order must be taken that none be Chosen Ruling-Elders, but Covenanters, and Those well affected to the Business.

That where the Minister is not well Affect­ed, the Ruling-Elders be Chosen by the Com­missioners of the Shire, and spoken to par­ticularly for that Effect.

That they be careful no Chapter-men, Chappel-men, or a Minister, Justice of the Peace, be chosen, although Covenanters, except they have publiquely renounc'd, or de­clar'd the Vnlawfulness of their Places.

That the Ruling-Elders come from every Church in equal Number with the Ministers, and if the Minister Oppose, to put themselves in Possession, notwithstanding any Opposition.

That the Commissioner of the Shire cause Convene before him the Ruling-Elder of every Church, Chosen before the day of [Page 90] the Election, and enjoyn them upon their Othe, that they give Vote to none, but to those who are Nam'd already at the Meeting at Edinburgh.

That where there is a Nobleman within the Bounds of the Presbytery, He be Cho­sen: And where there is none, there be Cho­sen a Baron, or one of the Best Quality, and he only a Covenanter.

The King observes (Fol. 315.) that This Assembly of Glasgow had not so much as the Face of an Ecclesia­stical Meeting; The Medly of their Assembly. not a Gown worn by any Member of it, unless it was by one or two Ministers that liv'd in the Town: The Appearance of it was in a manner, wholly Laical. Among the Members of it, were Seaven Earls, Ten Lords, Forty Gentlemen, One and Fifty Bur­gesses, many of them in Colour'd Cloths, and Swords by their Sides; all which did give Voyces, not only in very high Points of Controversie, but also in the Sen­tences of Excommunication pronounc'd against the Bishops, and Others. Nay, and all things in the As­sembly carri'd by the Sway of these Lay-Elders; In­somuch that it was a very rare thing to hear a Mini­ster Speak there.

Now let any man Judg whether this be a Church-Assembly,The Gene­ral Assem­bly is but the Embryo of a Com­mon-wealth. or the Embryo of a Common-Wealth: A Conscientious Consultation for the Reforming of Reli­gion, or a Seditious Practice for the Embroiling of the State. How applicable is that Invective against Popery (in the Libel concerning the Growth of it) to the Case of Presbytery? The Power of it is Abso­lute [Page 91] (says the Author of it) and the Decree is Infal­lible. It can change the very Nature of things; ma­king what is Iust, to be Vnjust, and what is Vice, to be Virtue. All Laws are in the Cabinet of its Breast, and it can dispose of Kingdoms, and Empires as it pleases. It makes it a Mortal Sin even to doubt of any part of its Religion; and demands, under pain of Damnation, the Subjection of all Christians to its Authority. That Word of Reformation misappli'd, has serv'd it to ju­stifie all the Executions, Assassinations, Wars, Massacres, and Devastations, whereby the Discipline hath been Propagated. It is almost Vnconceivable how Princes can yet suffer a Power so Pernicious, and Doctrine so De­structive to all Government. Their strict Othes, and Vows of Obedience to the Presbytery Evacuate the Fealty due to the Sovereign.

What difference now (more than in the Name) betwixt the Papal Tyranny,Presbyte­rial Ty­ranny. as he has set it forth, and the Presbyterial, as it appears from their own Words, and Deeds? What Power can be more Abso­lute, Or what Decrees more Infallible, than That of the Presbytery; Which challenges Obedience to all its Dictates, both from Prince, and People, under pain of Life, Liberty, Dominion, and Estate? It Over­rules Laws; sets up Othes of Treason against Othes of Allegiance; and covers the Crime of Rebellion with the Title of Virtue. It takes upon it self the Office of Christ Vicar; Deposes Kings; and under the Masque of Religion, dissolves the Order, and Autho­rity of all Governments. The King in his Declaration before-Mention'd, (Fol. 404.) among other of their Vnchristian Extravagances, takes Notice of their Re­fusal to Pray for Sir William Nesbett upon his Death­bed, [Page 92] because he had not Subscrib'd the Covenant; and that they did Formally bar non-Covenanters from the Communion, in Express terms with Blas­phemers, and Adulterers; refusing Baptism in the Churches of Ministers that had not taken the Cove­nant, even to Children that were born in the same Parish.

The Unchristian Rigour of this Discipline is such (says the Authour of Toleration Discuss'd, Pag. 334.) that It Crucifies weak Consciences with Needless, In­finite, and Incurable Scruples, that Haunt, Dog, and Torment us in the most Necessary, and Ordinary Acti­ons of Humane Life: At the Church, at the Table, at the Market, at Home, and Abroad: At all Times, in all Places, and upon all Occasions; in our Thoughts, Words, and Deeds.

As to Excess in Eating; Excess in Eating Censu­rable. It is Censurable either in the Quantity, or in the Quality. So that in the first place the Eldership is to provide one Common Gage for the Stomachs of the Whole Parish, for fear of a Mouth­ful too much. And in the second Place, It is made a matter of Salvation, or Damnation, whether a man Eat's Beef, or Venison.

And so for Excess in APPAREL, In Apparel. one Inch more than to cover your Shame is a Superfluity; and One Peny more in the Pound than the Allowance of the Presbytery, is made as much a mans Soul is Worth.

It is the same thing for VAIN WORDS. Vain Words A Nurse shall not dare to still her Child but with a Psalm; and you must not presume so much as to ask What a Clock it is, without a Text to prove that the Question tends to Edification.

Nay they have drawn CHIDING Chiding. within the [Page 93] Compass of Ecclesiastical Censure. So that Malters shall not reprove their Servants, nor Parents their Children, without Leave of the Eldership. And they have taken in BRAWLING too; and made every Billingsgate Quarrel a Subject of Consistorial Cogni­zance.

Vnder LEWD CUSTOMES are Censur'd all sorts of Publique Sports, Lewd Cu­stomes. Exercises, and Recrea­tions that have been long in Vse, as having their Original from the Times of Paganism, or Popery; As Comedies, Interludes, Wrastlings, Foot-Ball-Play, May-Games, Whitson-Ales, Morrice-Dance, Bear-Bating, &c. All GAMES that bring Loss, are also Prohibited; as Tennis, Bowls, Billyards, &c. And so are UNCOMELY GESTURES; So that a man may be given to the Devil for Lolling upon his Elbow, or Sitting upon his Back-side before the Deacon of the Parish. Nay, our very THOUGHTS are Censurable, and 'tis enough to be suspected. He that sues to recover a Debt shall be suspected of Avarice; and he that refuses to Crouch like the Ass under the Burthen, shall be suspected of Pride.

To pass now from their Rigours, Rediculous Scruples. to their Scruples; There goes a Story of some of them that made it a Matter of Religion, to Piss a Bed, and Ride Hobby-Horses, because it is said, Except you become as little Children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. But Bancroft (in his Holy Discipline, Pag. 368.) tell you of those that made Hawking, and Hunting, and Womens laying out of Hair, to be Cases of Conscience; and Walker consults Field particularly, whether it be in any respect Tolerable for Women that profess Religion, and the Reforma­tion, [Page 94] to wear Doublets, Little Hats with Feathers; Great Gowns after the French, and Outlandish Fashion; Great Ruffs, and Hair, either Curl'd or Frizl'd, or set out upon Wyres, &c. And Cholmlye desires to be resolv'd whether the strict Prohibition of not Kindling of fire on the Sabboth be of the sub­stance of the Moral Precept.

Among all these Scruples I find no Difficulty made in the Cases of Dethroning Kings; Demolish­ing Churches; Killing, and taking Possession, &c. But to conclude, with the Treatise aforesaid;

From the Triple-Crown'd Consistory; that Lords it over Souls, Bodies, and E­states; over Kings, Nobles, and Commons; over Laws, Magistrates, and all Sorts, and Ranks of Men, and Interests; That Turns Gospel into Law; Communities into Deserts; Men into Beasts;



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