to their Well beloved Brethren in England.
WHEREIN IS DECLARED,
The sense and resolution of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, touching the Kings Majesties Royall Person and Authority, in preservation and defense of the true Religion and Liberties of the
As also, their Protestation touching the Solemn League and Covenant, and Resolution to live and dye in the same. With their Desires to their Brethren of England.
Subscribed in Name of the Commission of the Generall
Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, by
M. Robert Douglas, Moderator.
L O N D O N:
Printed for G. Horton, and are to be sold at the Royall Exchange,
and in the Old Bayley, 1647
A DECLARATION From the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of SCOTLAND To their Wel-belovedBrethren of ENGLAND
Right Reverend, and dearly beloved Brethren,
AS the Generall Assembly of this Church, and their Commissioners have upon many former occasions, expressed their great respects and speciall affection to our Brethren of England, and how much they valued and minded the Lords worke there, of which also their actions have beene reall Testimonies, So we have thought good in this present juncture or rather dis-juncture of affairs to add this new Testimony and simbole of brotherly love: And so much the more, lest either the Commissioners of this Church, their returne from London to their perticular flocks, after foure yeares absence, or any informations spread by disaffected persons might make some of our brethren in that Kingdome, grow somewhat lesse confident of the constancy of our affection to them, and to that common cause, which both they and we did undertake, and are obliged to prosecute with our best endeavours all the dayes of our lives. Wherefore we do at once both desire and trust that our Brethren, will be as confident as ever Brethren were of Brethren, that by the grace and assistance of Jesus Christ come what may come no alteration of affairs whatsoever shall ever remove us from those principles and intentions, which have beene professed before God and all the world, in our solemn Covenant, and in our publicke Declarations from time to time. We should think it a greater sinne in us than in others and should certainly expect a greater curse and examplary judgement from the righteous God, if ever there shall be cause to say that the Church of Scotland remembered not the brotherly Covenant. We owe indeed all loyall subjection, and lawfull obedience to the King. Neither shall our prayers and best endeavours be wanting for the preservation and defence of the true Religion and liberties of the Kingdomes: but God forbid that we should ever separate or connive at any who would separate what the covenant linketh together, that glory of God and good of Religion being always the principall, and Gods interest more then Cæsars, although not exclusive of Cæsars.
And now deare Brethren, although we are confident of you through the Lord, that you neither are nor will be otherwise minded then to stand fast in the truth of Christ and to be faithful to the death in the Covenant you have taken: yet give us leave to stir you up, by putting you in remembrance, That whereto you and we have already attained, there may be a walking by the same rule, and minding of the same thing.
The Directory of worship being about two years agoe agreed upon by the Assemblies and parliament of both Kingdomes.
The Doctrinall part of Church-Government agreed upon by the reverend and learned Assembly of Divines was at the same time with the Directory of worship approved by the Generall Assembly as sound and orthodoxe for the matter, and agreed unto on their part, that it be a part of the uniformity and a Confession of Faith for the Churches of Christ in the three Kingdomes.
We wish and hope that you all may stand, fast and firme together in the same principles and rules, and that these results of so long learned Synodicall debates may generally find acceptance through the Kingdome. It cannot be expected that such a Reformation as is according to the mind of Christ and tendeth to the casting out of Satans Kingdome, to the censuring of prophaness, and suppressing of errours and heresie can be carried on without a mighty and strong opposition: But how strong soever the opposition be it is but the strength of Satanne and wicked men: the weapons of your warre farre (if well handled) are more strong, and mighty through God to the casting downe of every thing that exalteth it selfe against the Kingdome of Christ: The eyes of God, Angells, and Man, are now in a more speciall manner upon you observing how to acquit your selves in this time of triall.
We know your tempations are many & great, yet such as God hath in his Word fore-warned you of, promising withall, that with your temptation, he will make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it, faithfull is he who hath called you who also will do it. When you are pressed out of measure and above strength, it is that you should not trust to your selves but to God; So that when you are weak, then are you strong, and when the adversaries of truth are strong, then are they weak. Be it therefore farre from you to be overcome with the tentations either on the right hand by complyance, and doing evill that good may come of it, or on the left by a despondency of spirit, and casting away of your confidence, which as we trust you will not. It is indeed the amazement of the Christian World, that after such a solemn Covenant for heresie and schisme, these pernicious plants have bin suffered to spred more then ever before. Tis a stupendious judgement of God, that a little horne should grow forth and wax great, and have an host given it against the dayly sacrifice by reason of transgression yea to cast down the truth to the ground, practising and prospering, and even by peace destroying many. Such things God hath permitted long ago, yet but for a time, having prelimited a certain period thereunto: truth was at last victorious, and so shall be, in the mean time the greater and more horrid the present evils be, tis the more necessary for you, and you have the cleerer call from God to give testimony against them, and the greater were the sin and danger if you should not. But we are the more confident, that you shall not fall under this sin and danger, because you have already by your Sermons and Writings so much witnessed for the truth, and against the errours of these times. God can as easily drive all the monsterous errours and heresies out of England, as once he took away all the locusts out of Egypt, by a mighty strong West wind, so that there remained not one locust in all the Coasts of Egypt. God can make the earth to open her mouth, and swallow up the flood which the Dragon cast out of his mouth: it is not in vain in the worst times to be witnesses for Christ and for his truth, to do duty, and trust God with events.
And for our part you are in our hearts to live and dye with you, and we cease not to make mention of you in our prayers dayly: believing also that God hath thoughts of peace towards you and not of evill, to give you an expected end; and that when he hath humbled his people under his mighty hand, and brought them to an acknowledgment of those offences which are the true causes of his controversie, he will awake for their help and appear for their joy. And then they who are by a temporary successe hardened in wayes of Errour or Malignancie, shall see it, and be ashamed, and shall wonder and perish, but peace shall be upon Israel.
Subscribed in the name of the Commission of the Generall Assembly of the Kirke of Scotland, by
Mr. Robert Douglas, Moderator.
To our Reverend and well beloved Brethren,
The Generall Assembly of the Church of England, assembled at Westminster.