To the Noblemen, Baron, Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers, and Commons of Scotland: As also to the Scottish Armies, without and within that Kingdom.
From the Generall Assembly, 12 Feb. 1645.
And the humble Remonstrance of the
aforesaid Assembly to the King, 13. Feb. 1645
Shall the Watch-men of Sion be Silent, when
Israel is in trouble?
Printed by J. Raworth, in the yeer 1645.
According to the Copy printed at Edinburgh.
12 Feb. 1645. Postmeridiem.
The Generall Assembly, after mature deliberation, having found it most necessary that this whole Nation be timely Warned, and duly Informed of their present Dangers, and the Remedies to be used, and Duties to be done for preventing and removing thereof; Doth ordain this Warning to be forthwith Printed and Published, and sent to all the Presbyteries in this Kingdom, as also to the Presbyteries that are with our Armies. And that each Presbytery, immediately after receipt hereof, take speedy course for the Reading of it in every Congregation within their bounds, upon the Lords day after the forenoons Sermon, and before the Blessing: And that they give account of their diligence herein to the Commissioners of the General Assembly; Who have hereby Power and Warrant to try and censure such as shall contemne or slight the said Warning, or shall refuse or neglect to obey this Ordinance.
A Solemn and Seasonable Warning to the Noblemen, Barons,
Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers, and Commons of Scotland:
As also to our Armies without and within this Kingdom.
From the Generall Assembly, 12 Feb. 1645.
THE Cause of God in this Kingdom, both in the beginnings and progresse of it, hath been carried, through much craft and mighty opposition of Enemies, and through other perplexities and dangers; God so disposing, for the greater glory of his manifold and marvellous Wisdom, and his invincible Power, & for our greater tryall.
These dangers both from without and within, together with the remedies thereof, have been from time to time represented and held forth, in the many publick Supplications of this Kirk and Kingdom to the King, and in their many declarations, Remonstrances, Letters, Acts, and other publick Intimations: Particularly by a necessary Warning, published by the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly in January 1643. And by the Remonstrance of the same Commissioners to the Convention of Estates in July thereafter, concerning the Dangers of Religion, and the Remedies of these Dangers. Which Warning and Remonstrance at that time had, by the blessing of God, very good and comfortable effects. And now the Generall Assembly it self, being by a speciall Providence, and upon extraordinary occasions called together, while God is writing bitter things against this Land in great Letters, which he that runs may read: and knowing that we cannot be answerable to God, nor our own consciences, nor the expectation of others, if from this chief Watch-Tower we should give no Seasonable Warning to the City of God: While we think of these things; For Sions sake we will not hold our peace, and for Jerusalems sake we will not rest: trusting that God will give, though not to all, yet to many a seeing Eye, a hearing Ear, and an understanding Heart: For who is wise and he shall understand these things, prudent and he shall know them; For the Wayes of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein, and the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand.
That which we principally intend, is to hold forth (so far as the Lord gives us light) how this Nation ought to be affected with their present Mercies and Judgments; What use is to be made of the Lords dealings: And, what is required of a people so dealt with.
Had we been timely awaked, and taken warning, either from the exemplary judgements of other Nations; or from Gods threatnings by the mouths of his servants amongst our selves; or from our own former visitations, and namely, The Sword, threatened and drawn against us, both at home and abroad, but at that time through the forbearance of God, put up in the Sheath again, we might have prevented the miseries under which now we groane. But the Cup of trembling, before taken out of our hands, is again come about to us, that we may drink deeper of it: And although when these bloody Monsters, the Irish Rebels, together with some degenerate, unnatural and perfidious Country-men of our own, did first lift up their heads, and enter this Kingdom in a hostile way, it was looked upon as a light matter, and the great judgement which hath since appeared in it, not apprehended: yet now we are made more sensible, that they are The rod of Gods wrath, and the staffe in their hand, which hath stricken us these three times, is his indignation. He hath shewed his people hard things, and made us to drink the wine of astonishment. Take we therefore notice of the hand that smiteth us, for afflictions cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground. There is no evill in the City nor Country which the Lord hath not done. He it is that formeth the light, and createth darknesse; Who maketh peace, and createth evill: He it is that hath given a charge to the Sword, so that it cannot be still: He it is that hath his other Arrows ready upon the string to shoot at us, the Pestilence and Famine.
In the next place, let us apply our hearts to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to understand the language of this present judgement, and Gods meaning in it: for though the Almighty giveth not an accompt of any of his matters, and hath his way in the Sea, and his path in the deep waters which cannot be traced; Yet he is pleased by the light of his Word and Spirit, by the voice of our own consciences, and by that which is written and ingraven upon our judgement, as with the point of a Diamond and a Pen of iron, to make known in some measure his meaning unto his servants. God hath spoken once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth not; Therefore now hath he made this rod to speak aloud the third time, that we may hear the voice of the rod, and who hath appointed it. That which the rod pointeth at, is not any guilt of Rebellion or disloyalty in us, as the Sons of Belial do slander and belye the Solemne League and Covenant of the three Kingdoms, which we are so far from repenting of, that we cannot remember or mention it without great joy and thankfulnesse to God, as that which hath drawn many blessings after it, and unto which God hath given manifold and evident testimonies; for no sooner was the Covenant begun to be taken in England, but sensibly the condition of affairs there was changed to the better; and though a little before, the Enemy was coming in like a Flood, yet as soon as the Spirit of the Lord did lift up the Standard against him, from that day forward the Waters of their Deluge did decrease.
And for our part, our Forces sent into that Kingdom, in pursuance of that Covenant, have been so mercifully and manifestly assisted, and blessed from Heaven (though in the midst of many dangers and distresses, and much want and hardship) and have been so far instrumentall to the foyling and scattering of two principall Armies; First, the Marquesse of Newcastle his Army, And afterward, Prince Ruperts and his together; And to the reducing of two strong Cities, York and Newcastle, that we have what to answer the Enemy that reproacheth us concerning that Businesse, and that which may make iniquity it self to stop her mouth. But, which is more unto us than all Victories, or whatsoever temporal Blessings, The Reformation of Religion in England, and Uniformity therein between both Kingdoms (a principall end of that Covenant) is so far advanced, that the English Service-Book, with the Holy-days, and many other Ceremonies contained in it, together with the Prelacy, the fountain of all these, are abolished and taken away by Ordinance of Parliament; and a Directory for the Worship of God in all the three Kingdoms agreed upon in the Assemblies, and in the Parliaments of both Kingdoms, without a contrary voice in either; the Government of the Kirk by Congregationall Elderships, Classicall Presbyteries, Provinciall and Nationall Assemblies, is agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, which is also voted and concluded in both Houses of the Parliament of England: And what is yet remaining of the intended Uniformitie, is in a good way; So that let our Lot fall in other things as it may, the Will of the Lord be done; In this way rejoyce, and will rejoyce, that our Lord Jesus Christ is no loser, but a Conquerour, that his Ordinances take place, that his Cause prevaileth, and the work of purging and building his Temple goeth forward, and not backward. Neither yet are we so to understand the voice of the rod which lyeth heavy upon us, as it the Lords meaning were to pluck up what he hath planted, and to pull down what he hath builded in this Kingdom, to have no more pleasure in us, to remove our Candlestick, and to take his Kingdom from us: nay, before that our God cast us off, and the glory depart from Israel, let him rather consume us by the Sword, and the Famine, and the Pestilence, so that he will but keep his own great Name from reproach and blasphemy, and own us as his people in Covenant with him. But now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing, we will beleeve that we shall yet see the goodnesse of the Lord in the Land of the living: We will not cast away our confidence of a blessed Peace, & of the removing of the scourge and casting it in the Fire, when the Lord hath by it performed his whole Work upon mount Sion and Jerusalem, much more will we be confident of the continuance of the blessings of the Gospel, that glory may dwell in our Land. This is the day of Jacobs trouble, but he shall be saved out of it: And the time is coming, when a new Song shall be put in our mouths, and we shall say, This is our God, we have waited for him, and he hath saved us. Though the Lord smite us, It is the hand of a Father, not of an Enemy, he is not consuming us, but refining us, that we may come forth as Gold out of the Fire. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. We know assuredly there is more mercy in emptying us from Vessell to Vessell, than in suffering us to settle on our Lees, whereby our taste should remain in us, and our sent not be changed.
These things premised, we come to the true language of this heavy judgement, and to the reall procuring causes thereof. For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. God is hearby shewing to great and small in this Land their work and their transgression, that they have exceeded. He openeth also their eare to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. We leave every Congregation in the Land, every Family in every Congregation, and every Person in every Family, to examine their own hearts and wayes, and to mourn for Congregationall, Domesticall, and Personall sins: Cursed shall they be who have added fuell to the fire, and now bring no water to extinguish it; who had a great hand in the provocation, and bear no part in the humiliation.
Let every one commune with his own conscience, and repent of his, even his wickedness, and say What have I done? We shall here touch onely the Nationall sins, or at least more publike ones, than those of a Family or Congregation, which we also intend for chief causes of a publike Fast and Humiliation. If among our Nobles, Gentry, and Barons, there have been some studying their own private interests more than the publike, and Seeking their own things more than the things of Christ, or oppressing and defrauding the poorer sort and the needy, because it was in the power of their hand: and if among our Ministry there have been divers Time-servers, Who have not renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, whose hearts have not been right before God, nor stedfast in his Covenant, who have been secretly haters of the Power of Godlinesse, and of Mortification; shall not God search this out? who will bring to light the hidden things of darknesse, and will make manifest the Counsels of the hearts. In these also leaving all men to a judging and searching of themselves, there are many other provocations which are apparent in all or many of this Nation, from which, though they wash with nitre, and take much sope, yet they cannot make themselves clean: Because of these the Land mourneth, and at these the Sword striketh.
As first, the contempt, neglect, and dis-esteem of the glorious Gospel; our unbelief, unfruitfulnesse, lukewarmnesse, formality, and hardnesse of heart, under all the means of Grace; our not receiving of Christ in our hearts, nor seeking to know him, and glorifie him in all his Offices. The power of Godlinesse is hated and mocked by many to this day, and by the better sort too much neglected, and many Christian duties are not minded: as, The not speaking of our own words, nor finding of our own pleasure upon the Lords day: Holy and edifying conference both on that day, and at other occasions: The instructing, admonishing, comforting, and rebuking one another, as Divine Providence ministreth occasion. In many Families almost no knowledge nor worship of God to be found: yea, there are among the Ministers who have strengthened the hearts and hands of the profane more than of the godly, and have not taken heed to the Ministry which they have received of the Lord to fulfill it.
Next, God hath sent the Sword to avenge the quarrell of his broken Covenant: For besides the defection of many of this Nation under the Prelates from our first Nationall Covenant, a sin not forgotten by God, if not repented by men as well as forsaken, our latter Vows and Covenants have been also foully violated, by not contributing our uttermost assistance to this Cause, with our Estates and Lives; by not endeavouring with all faithfulnesse, the discovery, triall, and condigne punishment of Malignants, and evil Instruments; yea, by complying too much with those, who have not onely born Arms; and given their personall preference and assistance, but also drawn and led on others after them in the shedding of our Brethrens blood: Therefore is our sin made our punishment, and We are filled with the fruit of our own wayes. These horns now push the sides of Judah and Jerusalem, because the Carpenters, when they ought and might, did not [cast] them off: And yet to this day the course of Justice is obstructed: The Lord himself will execute justice, if men will not. But above all, let it be deeply and seriously thought of, that our Covenant is broken by the neglect of a reall Reformation of our selves and others under our power: let every one ask his own heart what lust is mortified in him, or what change wrought in his life since, more than before the Covenant? Swearing, Cursing, Profanation of the Lords day, Fornication and other uncleannesse, Drunkennesse, Injustice, Lying, oppression, Murmuring, Repining, and other sorts of Prophanenesse still abound too much both in the Country and in our Armies: yea, there is no Reformation of some Members of publike Judicatories, which is a great dishonour to God, and a foul scandall to the whole Nation.
Thirdly, we have not glorified God according to the great things which he hath done for us, nor made the right use of former mercies: since he loved us (a Nation not worthy to be beloved) he hath made us precious and honourable, but we have not walked worthy of his love: We waxed fat and kicked, forsaking God who made us, and lightly esteeming the Rock of our salvation. And this great unthankfulnes filled up our Cup.
Fourthly, Notwithstanding of so much guiltiness, we did send forth our Armies, and undertake great services presumptuously, without repentance, and making our peace with God, like the Children of Israel, who trusting the goodnesse of their cause, minded no more, but Which of us shall go up first?
It is now high time, under the feeling of so great a burden both of sin and wrath, to humble our uncircumcised hearts, to put our mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope, to wallow our selves in ashes, to clothe our selves with our shame as with a garment, to justifie Gods righteous judgements, to acknowledge our iniquity, to make our supplication to our Judge, and to seek his face, that he may pardon our sin, and heal our Land. The Lord roareth, and shall not his children tremble? The God of glory thundereth, and the Highest uttereth his voice, hailstones and coales of fire, who will not fall down and fear before him? The fire waxeth hot, and burneth round about us, and shall any sit still and be secure? The storm bloweth hard, and shall any sluggard be still asleep? This is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy, who will not take up a lamentation? Let the Watch-men rouze up themselves and others and strive to get their own, and their peoples hearts deeply affected, and even melted before the Lord: Let every one turn from his evil way, and cry mightily to God, and give him no rest till he repent of the evill, and smell a favour of rest, and say, It is enough. He hath not said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain. We do not mourn as they that have no hope, but we will bear the indignation of the Lord, because we have sinned against him, untill he plead our cause, and execute judgement for us. And what though our Candles be put out? so that our Sun shine: What though our honour be laid in the dust? So that God work out his own honour, yea, our happinesse out of our shame. In vain have we trusted to the arm of Flesh: in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. No flesh must glory before him, but he that glorieth, must glory in the Lord.
These duties of Humiliation, Repentance, Faith, Amendment of life, and Fervent Prayer, though the principall, yet are not all which are required at the hands of this Nation, but men of all sorts and degrees, must timely apply themselves to such other Resolutions and Actions as are most suteable and necessary at this time: Which that all may the better understand, and be excited and encouraged to act accordingly, let it be well observed, that the present state of the Controversie and Causes is no other but what hath been formerly professed before God and the World, that is, The Reformation and Preservation of Religion, The Defence of the Honour and Happinesse of the King, and the authority of the Parliament, together with The maintenance of our Laws, Liberties, Lives, and Estates. We are not changed from our former principles and intentions, but these who did fall off from us to the contrary party, have now made it manifest, that these were not their ends when they seemed to joyn with us: Therefore are they gone out from us, because they were not of us. And as our Cause is the same, so the danger thereof is not lesse, but greater than before, and that from two sorts of Enemies: First, from open Enemies, we mean those of the Popish, Prelaticall, and Malignant Faction, who have displayed a Banner against the Lord, and against his Christ, in all the three Kingdoms, being set on fire of Hell, and by the speciall inspiration of Satan, who is full of fury, because he knows he hath but a short time to reign. The Cockatrice before hatched, is now broken forth into a Viper. The danger was before our division, now our destruction endeavoured; before the Sword was fourbished and made ready, now the Sword is made fat with Flesh, and drunk with Bloud, and yet it hungreth and thirsteth for more. The Queen is most active abroad, using all means for strengthening the Popish, and suppressing the Protestant part; insomuch that Malignants have insolently expressed their confidence, that her journey to France shall prove a successefull Councell, and that this Island, and particularly this Kingdom, shall have a greater power to grapple with, before the next Summer, than any which yet we have encountred with. The Irish Rebels have offered to the King to send over a greater number into both the Kingdoms: The hostile intentions of the King of Denmark, if God be not pleased still to divert and disable him, do plainly enough appear from his own Letters, sent not long since to the Estates of this Kingdom. In the mean time, the hellish crue under the conduct of the excommunicated and forefaulted Earle of Montrose, and of Alaster MacDonald, a Papist and an Outlaw, doth exercise such barbarous, unnaturall, horrid, and unheard-of cruelty, as is above expression: And (if not repressed) what better usage can others not yet touched expect from them, being now hardened and animated by the successe which God hath for our humiliation and correction, permitted unto them? And if they shall now get leave to secure the High-Lands for themselves, they will not only from thence infest the rest of this Country, but endeavour a diversion of our Forces in England, from the prosecution of the ends expressed in the Covenant of the three Kingdoms, toward which ends, as their service hath been already advantageous, so their continuance is most necessary.
The second sort of Enemies, from which our present dangers arise, are secret Malignants and Dis-covenanters, who may be known by these and the like Characters: Their slighting or censuring of the publike Resolutions of this Kirk and State: Their consulting and labouring to raise Jealousies and Divisions, to retard or hinder the execution of what is ordered by the publike Judicatories: Their slandering of the Covenant of the three Kingdoms and Expedition into England, as not necessary for the good of Religion, or safety of this Kingdom, or as tending to the diminution of the Kings just power and greatnesse: Their confounding of the Kings Honour and Authority, with the abuse and pretence thereof, and with Commissions, Warrants, and Letters, procured from the King by the Enemies of this Cause and Covenant, as if we could not oppose the latter, without encroaching upon the former: Their whetting of their tongues, to censure and slander those whom God hath honoured as his chief Instruments in this Work: Their commending, justifying, or excusing the proceedings of James Grahame, sometime Earle of Monstrose, and his Complices: Their conversing or intercommuning by word or writ, with him, or other excommunicate Lords, contrary to the nature of that Ordinance of Christ, and to the old Acts of Generall Assemblies: Their making merry, and their insolent carriage, at the News of any prosperous successe of the Popish and Malignant Armies in any of these Kingdoms: Their drawing of Parties and Factions, to the weakening of the common Union: Their spreading of Informations, That Uniformity in religion, and the Presbyteriall Government, is not intended by the Parliament of England: Their Endeavours, Informations, and Sollicitations, tending to weaken the hearts and hands of others, and to make them withhold their assistance from this Work.
Let this sort of bosome Enemies, and disaffected Persons, be well marked, timely discovered, and carefully avoided, lest they infuse the poyson of their seducing Councels into the minds of others: Wherein let Ministers be faithfull, and Presbyteries vigilant and unpartiall, as they will answer the contrary to God, and to the Generall Assembly, or their Commissioners.
The cause and dangers thereof being thus evidenced, unlesse men will blot out of their hearts the love of Religion, and the Cause of God, and cast off all care of their Countrey, Laws, Liberties, and Estates, yea, all naturall affection to the preservation of themselves, their Wives, Children, and Friends, and whatsoever is dearest to them under the Sun (all these being in the visible danger of a present ruine and destruction) they must now or never appear actively, each one stretching himself to, yea beyond his power. It is no time to dally, nor go about the businesse by halfes, nor be almost, but altogether zealous: Cursed be he that doth the Work of the Lord negligently, or dealeth falsely in the Covenant of God. If we have been so forward to assist our Neighbour Kingdoms, shall we neglect to defend our own? Or shall the enemies of God be more active against his Cause, the his People for it? God forbid. If the Work, being so far carried on, shall now miscarry, and fail in our hands, our own consciences shall condemne us, and posterity shall curse us: But if we stand stoutly and steadfastly to it, the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in our hands, and all Generations shall call us blessed.
Let Ministers stir up others by free and faithfull preaching, and by admonishing every one of his duty, as there shall be occasion: And if it shall be the lot of any of them to fall under the power of the Enemy, let them through the strength of Christ, persevere in their integrity, choosing affliction rather than sin, glorifying God, and not fearing what Flesh can do unto them.
Let our Armies beware of ungodlinesse, and worldly lusts, living godly, soberly, and righteously, avoiding all scandalous carriage, which may give occasion to others to think the worse of their Cause and Covenant, and remembering that the eyes of God, Angels, and Men are upon them: Finally renouncing all confidence in their own strength, skill, valour, and number, and trusting onely to the God of the Armies of Israel, who hath fought, and will fight for them.
Let all sorts both of high and low degree in this Kingdom, call to mind their Solemne Covenants, and pay their vows to the most High: and namely, that Article of our first Covenant, which obligeth us not to stay nor hinder and such Resolution, as by common consent shall be found to conduce for the ends of the Covenant, but by all lawfull means to further and promove the same; Which lyeth as a bond upon peoples consciences, readily to obey such orders, and willingly to undergo such burdens, as by the publike and common resolution of the Estates if Parliament, are found necessary for the prosecution of the War; considering that the Enemy cannot be suppressed without a competent number of Forces, and Forces cannot be kept together without maintenance, and maintenance cannot be had without such publike Burdens; which however for the present, not joyous, but grievous, yet it shall be no grief of heart afterwards, even unto the common sort, that they have given some part of their necessary livelihood, for assisting so good a Work. It is far from our thoughts, that the pinching of some, should make others superfluously to abound: It is rather to be expected of the richer sort, that they will spare and defalk, not onely the pride and superfluity, both of apparell and diet, but also a part of their lawfull allowance in these things, to contribute the same as a free-will-offering, beside what they are obliged to, by Law or publike Order, after the example of godly Nehemiah, who for the space of twelve yeers, while the walls of Jerusalem were a building, did not eat the bread of the Governour, that he might ease by so much the Peoples Burthens and Bondage.
In our last Covenant, there is another Article which (without the oblivion or neglect of any of the rest) we wish may be well remembred at this time; namely that we shall assist and defend all that enter into this League and Covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof, and shall not suffer our selves, directly or indirectly, by whatsoever Combination, Perswasion, or Terror, to be divided and withdrawn from this blessed Union and Conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary part, or to give our selves to a detestable indifferency or neutrality in this Cause: According to which Article, mens reality and integrity in the Covenant, will be manifest and demonstrable, as well by their omissions, as by their commissions; as well by their not doing good, as by their doing evil; He that is not with us, is against us; and he that gathereth not with us, scattereth. Whoever he be that will not, according to publike order and appointment, adventure his Person, or send out these that are under his power, or pay the Contributions imposed for the maintenance of the Forces, must be taken for an Enemy, Malignant, and Covenant-breaker, and so involved both into the displeasure of God, and Censures of the Kirk, and no doubt into civill punishments also to be inflicted by the State.
And if any shall prove so outward and perfidious, their iniquity shall be upon themselves, and they shall bear their punishment: Deliverance and good successe shall follow those who with purpose of heart cleave unto the Lord, and whose hearts are upright toward his glory. When we look back upon the great things which God hath done for us, and our former deliverances out of severall dangers and difficulties which appeared to us insuperable, experience breeds hope: And when we consider how in the midst of all out sorrows and pressures, the Lord our God hath given us a naile in his holy place, and hath lightened our eyes with the desirable and beautiful sight of his own glory in his Temple, we take it for an argument that he hath yet thoughts of peace, and a purpose of mercy toward us; Though for a small moment he hath forsaken us, yet with great mercies he will gather us: He hath lifted up our Enemies, that their fall may be the greater, and that he may cast them down into desolation for ever. Arise, and let us be doing; The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our Refuge.
TO THE KINGS MOST
The humble Remonstrance of the Generall Assembly
of the Kirk of Scotland, met at Edinburgh
the 13 day of February, 1645.
AS our Record is on high, and our consciences within us bear us witnesse; so the many former Supplications and Remonstrances to your Majesty, from this Kirk and Kingdom, our solemne Covenants, and the whole course of our proceedings from time to time in the prosecution of this Cause, Do make known to the World, and we trust also to your own conscience, our loyalty and faithfull subjection, and how far our intentions are from the diminution of your Majesties just Power and Greatnesse; And although the successe of many of our humble addresses to your Majesty, hath been such as did frustrate our desires and hopes, yet this hath not blotted out of our hearts our loyalty, so often professed before God and the World; but it is still our Souls desire, and our Prayer to God for you, that your Self and your Posterity may prosperously reign over this your ancient and native Kingdom, and over your other Dominions. And now as we have published a solemn and free Warning to the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers, and Commons of this Kingdom, concerning the present affliction of this Nation, and their sins procuring the same; So when we call to mind, that God accepteth not the persons of men, and that the greatest are not to be winked at in their sins; We assure our selves, that the best and most reall testimony which we can give at this present, of the tendernesse and uprightnesse of our affection to your Majesties true Happinesse, is this our humble and faithfull Representation of your Majesties great and growing dangers, and the causes thereof; Of which, if we should be silent, our consciences would condemne us, and the stones themselves would immediately cry out.
The troubles of our hearts are enlarged, and our fears increased in your Majesties behalf, perceiving that your Peoples patience is above measure tempted, and is like a Cart prest down with sheaves, and ready to break, while as beside many former designs and endeavours to bring desolation and destruction upon us, (which were (and we trust all of that kinde shall be) by the marevellous and mercifull providence of God discovered and disappointed) Our Country is now infested, the blood of divers of our Brethren spilt, and other acts of most barbarous and horrid cruelty exercised, by the cursed crew of the Irish Reels and their Complices in this Kingdom, under the conduct of such as have Commission and Warrant from your Majesty. And unlesse we probe unfaithfull both to God and to your Majesty, we cannot conceale another danger which is infinitely greater than that of your Peoples displeasure: Therefore we the Servants of the most high God, and your Majesties most loyall Subjects, in the humility and grief of our hearts, fall down before your Throne, and in the Name of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who shall judge the world in righteousness, both great and small, and in the Name of this whole Nationall Kirk, which we represent, We make bold to warn your Majesty freely, that the guilt which cleaveth fast to your Majesty and to your Throne, is such, as (whatsoever flattering preachers, or unfaithfull councellors may say to the contrary ) if not timely repented, cannot but involve your Self and your Posterity under the wrath of the ever-living God, For your being guilty of the shedding of the blood of many thousands of your Majesties best subjects; For your permitting the Masse, and other Idolatry, both in your own Family, and in your own Dominions; For your authorizing, by the Book of Sports, the profanation of the Lords Day; For your not punishing of publike scandals, and much profanenesse, in, and about your Court; For the shutting of your ears from the humble and just desires of your faithfull Subjects; For your complying too much with the Popish party many wayes, and namely, by concluding the Cessation of Arms in Ireland, and your embracing the councels of those who have not set God nor your good before their eyes; For your resisting and opposing this Cause, which so much concerneth the glory of God, your own honour and happinesse, and the peace and safety of your Kingdoms; and for what other causes your Majesty is most conscious, and may best judge and search your own conscience (nor would we have mentioned any particulars, if they had not been publike and known.) For all which it is high time for your Majesty to fall down at the footstool of the King of Glory, to acknowledge your offence, to repent timely, to make your peace with God through Jesus Christ, (whose blood is able to wash away your great sin) and to be no longer unwilling that the Son of God reign over you and your Kingdom in his pure Ordinances of Church government and Worship. These things if your Majesty do, it shall be no grief of heart unto you afterward, a blessing is reserved for you, and you shall find favour with God, and with your People, and with all the Churches of Christ; But if your Majesty refuse to hearken to this wholsome councell (which the Lord forbid) we have discharged our own consciences, we take God and Men to witnesse, That we are blamelesse of the sad Consequences which may follow, and we shall wait upon the Lord, who, when he maketh inquisition for blood, will not forget the cry of the humble. In the mean while, beseeching your Majesty to take notice That we are not staggering or fainting through diffidence of the successe of this Cause and Covenant of the three Kingdoms unto which, as God hath already given manifold Testimonies of his favour and blessing; so it is our stedfast and unshaken confidence, that this is the Work and Cause of God, which shall gloriously prevaile against all opposition, and from which with the assistance of the grace of God, we shall never suffer our selves to be divided or withdrawn, but shall zealously and constantly in our several Vocations, endeavour with our Estates and Lives, the pursuing and promoving thereof.
That which we have concluded concerning Uniformity in Religion between both Kingdoms, is to be humbly offered to your Majesty from the Commissioners of this Kingdom, for your Royall Consent and Ratification. Although your Majesty was not pleased to vouchsafe us the presence of your Commissioner, according to the supplications of the Commissioners of the preceding Generall Assembly, yet we have proceeded with as much respect to your Majesties honour, and as much remembrance of our duty, as if your Royall Person had been present in the midst of us: And we shall still continue our Prayers for you that God would graciously incline your heart to the Counsels of Truth and Peace, and grant unto your Majesty a long and happy Reign, that we may live under you a peaceable and quiet life, in all Godliness and Honesty.
F I N I S.