THE SPEECH OF WILLIAM ASHHƲRST ESQUIRE; One of the Commissioners of the Parliament of ENGLAND, at Edenborough, the 28 of Febr. 1647.

Upon their first hearing by a Com­mittee of LORDS and others, appointed for that purpose by the Committee of Estates of SCOTLAND; as it was taken by one that was then present.

LONDON: Printed in the Yeare 1648.

The SPEECH OF William Ashhurst Esquire; One of the Commissioners of the PARLIAMENT of ENGLAND, at Edinburrough, the 28. of Feb. 1647.
Upon their first hearing by a Committee of Lords and others, appointed for that purpose by the Committee of Estates of Scotland; as it was taken by one that was then present.

My Lords and Gentlemen:

I Am commanded by the rest of the Commissioners of the Parliament of England, to acknowledge your Lordships favour and respect, in appointing our lodging to be the place where you will receive our Addresses to the Honorable Committee of Estates; for which I am to return Thanks unto your Lordships.

For our businesse I am to acquaint your Lordships, that the chiefest end why we are sent hither by both Houses of the Par­liament of England, is, to maintain a good Correspondence be­twixt them, and the Parliament, Conventions, and Committee of Estates of this Kingdom, and to continue and preserve the Union and brotherly Agreement that we hope (by the blessing of God) will ever be betwixt both Kingdoms.

My Lords, I conceive that I need not say much to inforce this part of our Negotiation, when I consider by how many wayes God and Nature hath united us. We are two Kingdoms in one Island, of one language, under one King, and (which is more then all) professing one Religion: I cannot but look upon these as many cords that cannot easily be broken. Wherein I am the more abundantly confident, when I consider what we have added to them of later times, by Treaties, Leagues, and especially by solemn Covenants betwixt our selves, and be­twixt [Page 4] God and us for Ʋnion, which have been sealed with so much Blood, and seconded with such successe and blessing from heaven. And when I further consider that we have been so long united in one common Cause, wherein so many of both Nati­ons have hazarded their lives, and against a common Enemie, by whom so many of both Kingdoms have lost their lives, and others their estates; And that (as we have common Enemies, so) we have common Friends, and common Interests; And (as I hope it will appear at last) common Ends. And all these are ac­companied with great advantages by our Union, not onely in a comfortable converse and communion, and a profitable Trade and converse betwixt the people of both Kingdoms; But with so great an assurance of publick safetie in the prayers and Arms of both Kingdoms united, that (if we do not foolishly, and make God our Enemie) we need not fear any (nor all) earthly powers that can be raised up against us.

Besides all this (my Lords) shall I onely say England, nay I hope that I may say Scotland also, hath other strong ingage­ments to Union. England, I am confident, will not (nay it can­not) forget their seasonable assistance from this Nation. And Scotland (I doubt not) will remember, that both these Houses of Parliament (at their first sitting) could not be drawn by all the earnest endeavours of the Malignant and Prelaticall party (who were then exceeding powerfull) to ingage or assist when it was against their Brethren of Scotland, which I do the rather now mention, because that partie in England who would have ingaged us against Scotland at the first, and since, have been in Arms against both Kingdoms, are now renewing their mani­fold former endeavours to divide us; By sowing jealousies, and fomenting discontents, thereby hoping we should do that for them they could never by all their policie and power do for themselves. But the more it stands with their interest to divide us, the more it must needs be ours to unite; And the stronger seige they lay to our Union, the more it stands us upon to for­tifie it.

My Lords, I wonder at the confidence of our Enemies, that can hope for our Divisions; do they look upon us as men so al­together void of Reason, that we should not see or consider, [Page 5] That dissentions amongst Brethren must necessarily very much weaken, and doth usually prove destructive to both; And that if it should fall amongst us at this time, it were far more proba­ble now when the Popish, Prelaticall, and Malignant, are so much strengthened by a discontented party, (though we should both resolve the contrary) to bring in Tyrannie and Episcopa­cie (it may be Popery) then be any good means for the establish­ment of the known Truths of God amongst us, or a right Disci­pline in the Church, or a good and peaceable Government in the Kingdoms, the things so much desired by all good men.

My Lords, Division is the Devils work at all times, and it would be more especially so amongst us at this time when the Aids sought for in all parts by the bloodie Irish Rebels fails them, and they have no other hopes of subsistance under Hea­ven left; these things considered, if yet we should fall into dis­sentions amongst our selves, not onely all the Protestants in the world would condemn us, but we should ingage the God of all the world against us, to whom we have sworn to preserve the Union, and then what could we expect but ruins, upon which might be written, These were they that (when there was no other visible way to effect it) did with the foolish woman in the Proverb, pull down their house with their own hands.

My Lords, To deal freely with your Lordships, I have spoken the more upon this point, because we hear (which it may be your Lordships do not) that some of our great English Delin­quents are at this time come too or neer this City, if their busi­nesse be to blowe coals betwixt us, we hope they will never be able to kindle them to a fire, especially when not onely the Mi­nisters, and good people of both Kingdoms, and poore bleeding Ireland, and all the Protestants in Christendome (whose interest and welfare is much lapt up in it) do all cry to us to take heed unto, and preserve our Union. But the great God of Heaven and Earth, to whom we have sworn it, bids us look to it at our perils, lest he bring upon the breakers of it Ruin without reme­die; And onely those (for the most part) that have been, and I fear will still be found to be our Enemies, incite us to division, where it is thus unequally dealt I hope our choise will soon be made. And for the Parliament of England we do assure your [Page 6] Lordships, it is their reall resolution to preserve the Union, and in order to it to do all just and honourable things for the satis­faction of this Nation; Nor can we doubt but the like affection and resolution will appear in the Parliament and Committee of Estates of Scotland. And for my Lord Nottingham, and the rest of us that are come hither upon this Imployment, we are sen­sible that what we have depends upon the welfare of these Kingdoms, which in a great part rests upon their peace and Union, for the preservation whereof we are resolved to contri­bute our greatest care and utmost endeavour; And to carrie our selves with all respect to this Kingdom, whereunto all of us have generall, and some of us former particular obligations.

My Lords, I have done: the rest is onely the tender of some Papers I am commanded to deliver to your Lordships, whereof I shall speak little; onely thus much for the first that concerns the preservation of the Union and brotherly Agreement be­twixt the Kingdoms: which although it be the same (for the most part) which we have alreadie sent to the Honorable Com­mittee of Estates, yet we thought fit now to offer it to your Lordships, because we knew not how far your Lordships would regularly take notice of what we have done, untill it come to you in a way of your own designing. For the rest, one is con­cerning the payment of the 100000 l. the other, A Proposition in order to give satisfaction unto the Scottish Armie in Ireland. For however it hath pleased God to exercise the Kingdom of England with sore troubles, that have occasioned a vast expence, which they could neither prevent nor foresee; Yet both Houses of the Parliament of England are fully resolved to satisfie all their just Ingagements by all the wayes and means that lyes in their power. Which is all I shall trouble your Lordships at this time.

A Copy of a Letter from Scotland to a Friend in London, in which the Speech was inclosed.

SIR,

THe common Discourse here, is how far the Scottish Armie is advanced into England, and how little op­position they are like to meet with; yet we are confident God will meet with them that have so unrighteously in­vaded your Kingdom. In the mean time they are uplift­ing more men to strengthen themselves against you and us; But our Kirk (despising all danger) do still declare and stick to their old principles, and prophesie their ruin: and we are glad to see such a letter to them from the House of Commons, which gives great satisfaction to ho­nest men here, as doth the dinted transactions betwixt our Parliament and Committee of Estates, and your Commissioners of England (who carried themselves with great integritie to the Parliament that trusted them, and unblameable to all) in which passages we see how reason­able their offers were, and what unreasonable Answers were returned to them. And yet God suffers wicked men to be over us, but I am perswaded that it will not be long for the prayer of his faithfull people in both Kingdoms will be heard. And however these wicked Malignants in our Kingdom have broken the Treaties with England, and do use the utmost endeavours to break the Union be­twixt both Kingdoms, yet if you in England should take occasion thereby to break off from us, or that advantage to make the breach Nationall, as you would gratifie the Malignants of both Kingdoms who have long designed [Page 8] and endeavoured it, so you would be unfaithfull to God unto whom you have sworn to preserve the Union; and exceeding unkind to us, who have lost our goods, and ha­zarded our lives in opposing those here who laboured to break it, with whom if we should have concurred, we could have had a visible securitie to our selves, and have raised thrice as great a strength here, and made a farre greater partie to have opposed you in England; Besides it would be a disadvantage to your Nation as well as ours (at least the honest partie in both) as was well ex­pressed by Mr. Ashhurst in a Speech at the first coming of the Commissioners; A Copie whereof (as it was than taken by one that heard it) is here inclosed: which al­though I would not have you to publish commonly without his consent, yet though he should not be in Town I pray you get some Copies printed at my charge, and put it to acc [...], and send them to me by the first safe opportunitie; onely out of them send some few Copies to my good Friends Mr. Goodwine, and Collonel Birch: but let them not know that they come from

Your very loving Friend, J. L.
FINIS.

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