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LAUD, Christian Church: for being not prelatically constituted, they Abp. Cant. conceive your ministers want a lawful mission, which is essen
tial to church governors. And as for ourselves, we are sadly sensible that in all these three kingdoms they have prevailed so far in promoting popery and discouraging religion, that it would require a volume rather than a letter to relate all the particulars.” And here they go on to a considerable length of libelling upon the Church and State. After this they proceed to give a narrative of what was done in Scotland. They acquaint the reformed abroad that this Antichristian faction, as they call them, “imposed a new popish book of service of rites and ceremonies upon the whole Scottish nation: that when the piety and zeal of that kingdom refused submission to this usage, they prevailed with his majesty to proclaim them rebels and traitors: and had not the Lord by his blessing upon the Scotch army, by the calling of this parliament, by their godly care to vindicate the innocence of their brethren, and by the treaty of peace soon after concluded, prevented it, the two nations had long since been imbruing their hands in each others' blood.
“ But though through the goodness of God and his blessing upon the public councils, the English and Scotch were brought to a better understanding and more closely united: and though God had raised up such a spirit throughout this whole kingdom, to mourn after the Lord, to lament our backslidings, and to desire a perfect reformation ;' and had so inclined the hearts of the honourable members of parliament, 'to repair the house of the Lord among us,' that we verily believed, as
they go on, our winter was past, and the time of our refreshHos. v. 12. ing at hand: yet, alas ! we find it quite otherwise. Our God,
who before was a moth and rottenness, is now turned unto a lion to us. We know our sins have deserved all this; and if we all perish, we acknowledge the Lord is righteous; to his hands we submit, and from him alone we expect deliverance. However, we must say, it is the same Antichristian faction that brings these new miseries upon us : and the rage and diligence of these men rises and runs higher since the beginning of this parliament: and which is more, their success has in some measure answered up to their malice. They have raised a bloody rebellion in Ireland; they have alienated his majesty's affection from his good subjects ; advised his sur
prising some members of both houses in a hostile manner ; CHARLES prevailed with him to withdraw himself from the parliament and levy an army.
At first it was pretended his majesty would muster none but Protestants : but the Papists, both here and beyond sea, knowing the design of these forces, prayed for their success. And over and above gave out they were not to appear till the Protestants were engaged beyond retreat; and that then they were to own the cause, which has happened accordingly. For as soon as a great many seeming Protestants, the most part of which were obnoxious for public misbehaviour, and had been prosecuted for treason and high misdemeanours ; as soon as these men had declared for the king, and drawn out into the field, upon pretence of abetting the prerogative, the privileges of parliament, and the Protestant religion ; presently, the Papists, who had all along been used with distinguishing favour by the king's forces, had arms put into their hands, and were furnished with military commissions : and being thus reinforced with the whole body of the Papists, and provided with ammunition and money from other parts, they range up and down the kingdom, plundering and killing all those who stand firm for religion and the parliament.
“And notwithstanding, that the parliament, perceiving these wicked instruments had prevailed with the king to levy forces to protect them from justice, and enable them to carry on their designs ; and its members, apprised of this, endeavoured to secure the navy, and places of strength, and provide for the defence of themselves, of their laws, their liberties, and religion ; notwithstanding this precaution, the arbitrary faction have disguised their intentions to that degree, and laid such a varnish upon their practice, that now they have increased their party, and carried the sword almost through every part of the kingdom. And to complete our misery, they have at last prevailed with his majesty to own the bloody rebels in Ireland, so far as not only to call them his Roman Catholic subjects now in arms; but to grant them a truce for a year, with liberty to send messages, or come over to his majesty; and under this encouragement many of them have transported themselves and joined our enemies'.
| This stedfast adherence of the Roman Catholics to the crown is worthy of the highest praise.
LAUD, “ In this deplorable condition we remain at present; and Abp. Cant, under this dark prospect the honourable houses of parliament
have convened this assembly to assist them with our best advice for the reformation of the Church, for the purging off error and superstition, and retrieving the purity of religion : and here they require us to make God's word the standard ; to work by the Pattern in the Mount; to endeavour the nearest conformity to the best reformed churches, and to bring
the three kingdoms to an uniformity in belief and worship. 828.
And this is the business we are now upon, though the enemy has stirred up the heart of our dear and dread sovereign against us. However, through the good hand of God upon us, we have made some comfortable beginnings : the work is his, who commands us not to despise the day of small things.
“ Thus (reverend and dear brethren) we have given you the substance, or rather a faint shadow (for the true image is beyond description) of our miserable circumstances in England: our civil liberties are in danger of being lost; our estates are harassed, our house plundered, and our blood poured out in every corner. If our God will make us as the dust under their feet, and lay our bodies as the ground, the will of the Lord be done. Might our blood be accepted as a sacrifice, avert the Divine displeasure, and preserve the rest of the saints from anti-Christian fury; we would gladly offer it upon this service. But the most afflicting consideration is, the apparent danger which surrounds all the Protestant Churches. We are very sensible the rage of these men is implacable, and that it is not our blood that will satisfy them. It is not our being sinners which raises their aversion : it is our being engaged in the defence of the true religion: it is our panting after a thorough reformation, which makes them so unalterably our enemies. And if the Lord should once deliver us as a prey unto their teeth, what confusion and darkness must overspread these three kingdoms? What bondage and persecution must all those endure, who refuse receiving the mark of the beast? Neither will this calamity rest only upon the kingdoms of Britain and Ireland; but these men will endeavour to transport their barbarity, and carry the desolation through all the reformed churches in Europe. Your own thoughts may easily suggest with what “rage the
beast that came out of the bottomless pit, and the woman CHARLES who has thus long drank the blood of the saints;' you may easily imagine with what. rage these are swelled, against the virgins that follow the Lamb."
And having represented the Church and kingdom of Scotland's entering into a mutual league and covenant with the English ; and their resolution of assisting their brethren with an army, and flourished a little upon the wisdom, piety, and learning, of their assembly; they proceed to acquaint them with their request.
And here in the first place, they desire they would pronounce favourably on their condition : not arraign their innocency, nor misconstrue their necessary defence. Thus the reader may see they were terribly afraid the mask should be pulled off; and that they should be accounted rebels as they were. They rail plentifully upon the royalists; and pretend they are mightily injured, in being charged with revolting from their allegiance; and endeavouring to wrest the government from the crown, and bring anarchy and confusion upon Church and State. From these foul aspersions, they make no question, their solemn league and covenant will clear them; a copy of which they inclosed in each of their letters.
Secondly, They desire these foreign Protestants would sympathize with their sufferings: that such returns of compassion would be something of support, and revive their drooping spirits.
Lastly, They suggest, that as all the anti-Christian faction abets their adversaries, (meaning the king) and maintains the quarrel as their own; so these assembly divines desire the foreign Protestants would concern themselves in their interest, and look
their condition as the common cause. For that if these Covenanters miscarried in England, the calamity would shortly overtake those in other countries, of the same persuasion. As to the way and manner of their being owned, they leave it wholly to the conduct of these foreigners; excepting only in the assistance of their prayers. From hence we may collect, they would have been very glad if the Protestants abroad would have furnished them with forces or money to fight against the king, and destroy the Church.
These divines acquainted the foreigners that they wrote to
LAUD, them by the direction of the house of commons, and take Abp. Cant.
their leave thus:
“Your most affectionately devoted brethren in Christ,
Their superscription stood thus: "To the reverend and learned pastors and elders of the classes and churches of the province of Zealand, our much honoured brethren.” Their letters to the pastors and elders of Holland, East Holland, Guelderland, Overyssel, Utrecht, Friezland, and Groningen ; to those of Geneva, Bern, Zurich, Basil and Schafhausen; to those of
Hesse, Anhalt, Hanaw and. Paris, are superscribed in the Rushworth's same form. Hist. Coll. part 3. p. 37. The taking the covenant was now pressed close through all et deinc. The covenant
the parliament quarters, which brought a terrible persecution pressed
upon the loyal clergy. Those who refused to comply, were through the parliament turned out of their houses, and not suffered to compound quarters, either for personal or real estate : this rigour forced great sequent per- numbers of the clergy to quit their benefices, and retire to secution of the loyal
places under the king's protection': these vacancies were clergy.
partly supplied by those Presbyterians who had formerly been lecturers, or chaplains : partly by young unqualified students from the universities. To which we may add, some refugees from Scotland and New England; who came in for their share of preferment. And some of those Puritans, who had formerly declaimed so much against pluralities, were now recon
and the con
1 We may observe that republicans, who make the loudest boast of their own liberty, are often most intolerant of that of other people. Witness the unrelenting severity of certain Americans towards their slaves; who, in fact, are as good as themselves.