The humble remonstrance
the Generall Assembly,
to the Honourable and high Court of Par-
liament now assembled.
the answer of the Estates of
to the said remonstrance.
PUBLISHED BY Evan Tyler
1. The humble Remonstrance of the Commission of the Generall Assembly; Unto the Honourable and high Court of Parliament.
IT is unto us the servants of Jesus Christ, and your servants for his sake, no small consolation; That whilest this Land lies afflicted, and almost fainting under a burden of many evils, you are assembled for her help; Promising unto our selves, that as in your own hearts ye do bewaile its misery before God, So you will gladly entertaine the representation thereof from all its lovers; and from the sense of your interest and trust, with spirits as large as your places, endeavour to repaire our ruines and build up our breaches; Therefore, as many Synods and Presbyteries do now make their humble addresse unto your Lordships, in their severall supplications, concerning the interests of Religion and of the [Page 2] Kingdome, So are we bold to poure forth our presons thoughts and desires into your bosome, hoping that as they flow from no other fountain th the discharge of our consciences and a purpose no doe good, So your Lordships will allow them that acceptation that beseems the justice and wisdome of so High and Honourable a Court, and improve the same as farre as you see reason, for the honour of God, and safety both of Church and State.
If we had forgotten the sad effects of the Lords former indignation, or were not sensible of the present tokens of his wrath, we were more then stupide; There was a time wherein the Lord made us flee before the Enemy, and made us drunk with the wine of astonishment, not finding either hearts to resolve or hands to execute and put in practice: Neither was the Pestilence lesse violent in our cities then the sword in the fields; Many thousands have fallen in our land by the arrows of the Almighty and fury of the most high, and yet his wrath is not turned away but his hand stretched out still: The flame of his indignation doth again burn hotly in some of our cities, and a considerable part of our Country groanes & languishes without help, under all the cruelty of a barbarous Enemy, who makes no other use of your offer of pardon, then to despise your power, and to waxe more insolent in acting of their mischievous designes, which reach not only unto our Lives and Liberties, but unto our Religion and Souls themselves; how sore is the Lord displeased when he suffers Antichrist to enter in our borders, and his emissaries to lead our brethren captive into Babylon [Page 3] and set up the Masse amongst them? and what can we take this for, but a sad prognostication of ensuing darknesse to those who have not walked worthy of the light, and that the Lord threatens to depart from his Temple?
and is it not an eminent token of his anger, that many who have made themselves drunk with the bloud, and rich with the spoyles of thousands of our dear Brethren, after that they were destinate unto death by your selves, have yet escaped the hand of justice, and are restored unto their Lives and Fortunes, unto the strengthening of the Malignant party, and discouraging the hearts and weakening the hands of all the well-affected in the land? It is bitter as death to live with these that have slain the Lords people, and to hear them boast of their cruelty, and rejoyce in their iniquity, every day insulting over the Cause of God, and despising and studying to tread under-foot all the lovers of the same.
Neither can we look upon the insolencies and oppression of many in our Armies, under which not a few in our Land groans; But as upon the rod of the Lords furie, turning the meanes of our health and preservation unto a cup of vineger and gall that sets the teeth on edge: Those calamities, and whatsomever miseries besides do afflict us, can issue from no other fountain then from that deluge of profanitie that hath covered the face of the Land, which accreses unto a great height of guiltinesse, because we have sinned in the day of the Gospel, and despised the Oath of God, neither regarding our Covenant, nor the operation of his hands, in which he hath made himself glorious in [Page 4] the midst of us, in many most eminent works both of Mercy and of Justice.
We acknowledge that the work of Reformation hath not beene without plentie of most gracious and comfortable fruits in many soules throughout the Land, who are for a testimony unto the trueth, and for a name of joy and praise unto the most High; Yet we cannot but bemone the power of ungodlines that prevailes and breaks forth in many grosse sins, unto the violation of our Covenant, the reproach of our Cause, and the great dishonour of the holy One of Israel our Saviour, whose mercies towards us calls upon us to be holy in all manner of conversation, and to bee fruitfull in every good work, that we may adorne the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord, and not make his enemies to blaspheme.
Therefore knowing all other cures to be vain without the studie of Reformation, We doe from the unfained zeal of your prosperitie and peace, in the bowels of the Lord Jesus Christ, by whose blood we have beene redeemed, in much tender and humble affection, with tears, exhort you by all your Oaths and Obligations unto God, by all his mercies and deliverances towards you, by all your zeal of his Honour and love to Religion and Countrey, that you will in all your conversation, study Sobrietie, Righteousnesse and Holinesse, and so to walk in the Gospel, that it may be known that the Son of God raigns in your hearts, when you not only hold forth his vertues in your selves, but discountenance every profane person, and cherish and embrace all those that bear the Image of God; [Page 5] The example of your good conversation cannot but be of great force to all the Land, and nothing will contribute more for repressing of sin or establishing of holinesse, then the precedencie of great ones, Ordering all things that concerns themselves and their followers and domesticks according to the Covenant; as is the frame of mans spirits and tennor of their conversation in private, such is their deportment and carriage in publike actions.
We do well know that nothing will be so effectuall for enabling your Honours in the integritie of your spirits, with much affection and love one towards another without emulation or self-seeking, faithfullie and zealouslie to act publike counsels and resolutions, then for each of you to walk with God, who is the Father of light, and the Author of every good gift and perfect donation.
But it is cheifly as you are cloathed with Authoritie and assembled in Parliament, that we do now make addresse unto your Honours, beseeching you by him who stands in the assemblie of gods, That as your Progenitors and you have made many pious and laudable Acts for punishing of vice, and advancing of vertue, So ye will see carefully to the execution of the same; And because vice is become common and strong, that you will lay it seriouslie to heart, and bestirre your selves in more then an ordinarie way, in thinking upon, and executing all the best expedients for stopping the sluces of iniquitie and impiety, and advancing Righteousnesse and Religion; We know no service better beseeming your place, and more worthy of your paines, that will be more acceptable [Page 6] unto God, or more profitable for the Commonwealth. next unto Reformation and the Rudie of Pictie and Godlinesse amongst out selves, We conceive it most necessary for out good, to hold fat the Union with our Brethren of England; As the attaining and establishing of it was long studied by the lovers of Trueth and Peace, as that subsidie that was like to contribute most for the lasting happinesse of both Kingdoms, in regard of all their interests, So hath the dissolving of this beene, and is the great designe of all the Malignant wits both here and abroad; Conceiving it the surest way to raise their hopes and ruine our happinesse, by dividing us asunder and dashing us one against another, which wee are sure that you abhorre, and will study to avoid, no lesse in your actions then we do in our desires: And that as hithertills; you have with much wisdome and faithfulnesse, carefully shunned every thing that might produce suspitions or foster Jealousies, and beene deficient in nothing that might strengthen the confidence of the English Nation in the perswasion of your affection and integritie to themwards; So you will still from the same wisdome and faithfulnesse, hold fast the League and Covenant betwixt the Kingdomes, as that which is most conduceable for the safetie and securitie of both;
And that you will by all faire and peaceable meanes travell with the Parliament of England, for promoving of the work of Uuniformitie, by establishing of the government of the Kirk, and all the ordinances of the Son of God in England in their puritie and integritie, that all the clouds of error [Page 7] which are there, may be scattered, and the beauty of the trueth shine brightly in both Lands. And conceiving it to conduce much for that work, and for the accomplishing our happinesse, that His Majesty should joyn therein, Therefore as we pour forth our prayers unto God for him on that behalfe, So we hope that your Honours will not be deficient in continuing to deale with him to subscribe the League and Covenant, that he and his Subjects being of one minde, he may be happy in his Government, and they in their obedience.
And though the Peace with the Rebels in the fruits and effects thereof, hath neither answered your expectations, nor put an end to the Kingdoms miseriers, yet we shall only desire, that all such as have been involved in the Rebellion may be keeped from places of publike trust, whether Civill or Military; And that you will take such course with them, in moderating their power, and regulating their carriage, as that it may be known, that you put a difference betwixt those that have served God and their Countrey, and those that have opposed him in the publike Cause; And that your peace may be peace indeed, and not the foundation of a more lasting Warre: If it were not tedious, we could lay it before your Honours what a height of arrogancy, and disdain of authority both Civil and Ecclesiastick, appears in the carriage and expressions of most of these men, & that not in corners abroad, but publikely in the chief Cities of the Kingdome, and under your own eyes; And it is yet more grievous, that such should be familiarly conversed with and countenanced by these who professe [Page 8] themselves to be for the Lord and his Cause, which evil is so increased, that excommunicate persons themselves are not avoided.
It wounds us deeply to behold the sufferings, and hear the cryes and complaints of our Brethren in the Province of Argyle, and the places thereabouts, who have their bloud shed, as water spilt upon the ground, their estates ruined, their houses burnt with fire, and the remnant that is left exposed unto the snares of Antichrist, and all the miseries of nakednesse and famine: We need not put your Lordships in minde what hath been their carriage & constancy in the publike Work, nor what is your obligation unto them by vertue of your Covenant, Nor how dangerous the seating of such an Enemy there may be, both unto our Religion and our Countrey, But we beseech you by the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that ye will apply your selves seriously, and bestirre your selves diligently for the help and relief of that poore people, whose conditions pleads for it at your hands, both as an Act of Justice and an Act of Mercy.
We do also lay before you the eminent dangers, and low condition of our Brethren in Ireland, who are neer to be swallowed up of their adversaries: Perswading our selves, that you will extend your utmost endeavours with the Parliament of England, for their tymous assistance and relief. And although we do acknowledge, not onely the courage, but also the moderation and piety of many worthies in our Armies, who not only walk as good Souldiers, but as Souldiers of Jesus Christ, unto their own commendation and [Page 9] our hearts joy, whose deservings we make no question will be both valued and rewarded by you according to their worth; yet we cannot but regrate, that many in our Armies walke loosly and disorderly, ryotously spending what they violently spoile, and making the lives of the Commons bitter unto them by their insolencies and oppressions, which are carried with so high an hand, that without the interposition of your authority, help cannot be found: And therefore we are confident that your care shall reach unto this also, that the poore be no more oppressed, nor the Gospel, and our profession reproached by the debordings of such: And we also trust that your Lordships will so dispose of common burdens, that friends have no cause to complaine of unequall measure amongst themselves, much lesse that Enemies are in a better condition then they, and that they are overcharged when the other not only retain their spoils but live in superfluities.
And because the preservation of the Judicatories of the Kirk in their integrity and strength is of a great consequence, unto the suppressing of iniquity and ungodlinesse, and advancing righteousnesse and piety, We desire that your Lordships will carefully see unto the keeping of their authority inviolable, against all the insolencies of unreasonable men: Our Religion and Liberty are blessings of excellent & incomparable worth, in establishing of which unto us, the Lord hath marched in as glorious and stately way of providence over all the mountains of opposition, as any eye hath seen for many hundred of yeers past: And it does not escape your knowledge what hath been the designes [Page 10] and endeavours of adversaries from the begining against the same; And though many of them be cut short of their power, that they can no more openly oppose, yet have they not desisted from their policy secretly to undermine; And there is no lesse danger in the misteries of iniquity then acts of hostility. When we consider how many of those who were once open Enemies are brought unto our bosome as seeming friends, we cannot but professe our fears, and as the watchman of the house of Israel forwarne you of the same; Earnestly beseeching you, that you will minde the same thing, and as one man from the unfained zeale of the honour of God, and with much love and affection one towards another, study the preservation of those precious blessings, That not only this, but the succeeding generations may be happy in the enjoying of the same.
2. The Parliaments Answer.
THe Estates of Parliament now conveened in this sixth Session of the first triennall Parliament, Having seriouslie considered the Remonstrance of the Commissioners of the Generall Assemblie presented to them; Do with all thankfull acknowledgement receive the pious and seasonable admonitions and exhortations therein contained, and return to their particular desires this following answer.
- That they do hereby Ordain all Acts already passed for punishing of vice and advancing of vertue, to stand in force, and be put to due execution, Recommending the same to all the Ministers of justice whom it concerns. And that they are yet ready to enact any further new Laws and Ordinances necessary for that purpose, having appointed a Committee for Acts and Overtures to meet with M. James Robertoun the Justice Depute at all convenient occasions, for receiving and considering the desires and Overtures of the said Commissioners, and to prepare a report of their opinions therein to the Parliament with all diligence.
- That they have beene ever carefull to preserve that Band of Union between the Kingdomes, and to prosecute the work of Uniformity according to the Covenant, still resolving zealously to study the same. That they have yet again made their humble addresses to His Majestie for signing the Covenant, [Page 12] and satisfiing the desires of his Parliaments of both Kingdomes; All which their instructions to their Commissioners at London and Newcastle, and their Letters to the Parliament of England do sufficiently expresse: And what further is to be done in relation to these particulars, shall bee communicate to the Commission from time to time, that they may joyntly concur according to their place and vocation for prosecuting thereof.
- Touching the particulars concerning these persons brought off the rebellion, by the Generall Major thereunto warranted; That the publike faith so given unto them is not to be violated: But for the better securing the peace & quiet of the Kingdoms, These Persons brought off the rebellion are hereby appointed to give such further assurance of their good and regular behaviour in time coming, and for keeping the Peace as is conforme to the former Lawes and Practises; And in the meane time, that such of themand others accessary to the rebellion, and under censure of Church and State, whom the Committee thereunto appointed shall think fit, be commanded off Town, And that an Act & Proclamation be drawn by that Committee, and speedily expedited and prepared for the Parliament to that effect: Ordaining further, that the saids Persons brought off the rebellion, and any others guilty of the crimes mentioned in the first Classe of the Act at S. Andrews, shal not be admitted to sit in any publike judicatories, nor enjoy and exerce any offices or places of trust Civill or Military, during the time of these troubles, and longer during the pleasure of the Parliament [Page 13] without prejudice to persons who have heritable offices, to nominate and appoint, by the advice of Parliament, Committee of Estates, or Secret Counsell, fit persons, against whom there is no just exception, to be their Deputes in these offices. And it is also hereby declared, that these Persons brought off the rebellion, are not to be in a better condition then other Subjects, But that they are and shall be lyable and subject in payment of all Loans, Taxes, Monethly Maintenance, and of their proportions for Leavies of Foot and Horse, at the rate and prices set down by Acts of Parliament, or Committee of Estates, or Committees of Warre in Shires where they have interest respectivè; And of all other publike burdens, impositions, and dueties whatsomever, for all years bygone and in time coming, as fully and in the same manner as any other person is or hath been subject thereunto.
- That all the former Lawes and Ordinances against excommunicate Persons, are hereby appointed to stand in full force and vigour, Recommending to every one whom it concerns, to put the same to due execution: And what shall bee found further necessary from the Parliament, to make that dreadfull ordinance of God, sensible to such obstinate offenders, And to have due regard and reverence from all, is to be considered by the said Committee, to whom the Overtures of the Commission to that purpose are referred, and after return of their report, The Parliament will take the same to speciall consideration.
- That they are very sensible of the distresses of the province of Argyle, and have already provided some meanes for their present subsistance and relief, Resolving [Page 14] still to take further course for their help and succour, and to prosecute the War against the Rebells, not only there, but in all the parts of the Kingdome.
- That the businesse of Ireland, is carefully recommended to the grand Committee; wherein, after the result of their consultations shall be returned, they are to take some speedy and effectuall course accordingly.
- That they judge it most just and reasonable, that the Judicatories of the Kirk bee preserved in their integrity and authority, That insolencies against them be exemplarly punished, And that particular ordinances be drawn for that purpose, which is hereby recommended to the said Committee of Overtures.
- That they have recommended to the Generall Officers, to punish the insolencies and disorders of Souldiers committed before this time; And for preventing the like hereafter, They are to consider the report of the great Committee, and to take course how the Officers that are to have command, may give assurance for restraining and redressing such insolencies and disorders for time to come.
And the Estates of Parliament hereby Statute and Ordaine, That the partie that Ordinances, Declarations and Answers above-expressed, shall have the strength and authority of Acts, Declarations; Answers, and Ordinances of Parliament conforme to the ors and of respective.