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part of the Controversie between us. It is well known that there are among them, and not among the meanest of them who have believed the Liturgy and Ceremonies to be very Innocent, and yet could be never brought to say one word to the People of this their belief ; But on the other side now, if they are really perswaded that the Covenant doth carry a lasting Obligation along with it : In that Care I shall not, during t fion of theirs, desire them to renounce it ; but withall I must crave their leave to add this further, that during that Perswalion of theirs, I think it but reasonable; that the Government should cast a very watchful eye over them. And of this I shall give an account from the Covenant it self; wherein there are so many things, and of such fatal and universal consequence , covenanted for, that the whole Nation is highly concerned that no considerable Part of it should look upon themselves, and every Body else, as lying under the Obligation of the Oath of God, to watch all
opportuopportunities wherein they may accomplish such great and publick milchiefs, as will appear by a particular Consideration of the Thing it self.
That we mall sincerely, really, and constantly, through the Grace of God, endeavour in our several places and Callings the preservation of the Reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland, in Do&trine, Worship, Discipline, and Government against our Common Enemies : The Reformation of Religion in the Kingdoms of England and Ireland in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government, according to the Word of God, and the Example of the best Reformed Churches : And Mall endeavour to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdoms to the nearest Conjun&tion and Uniformity in Religion, in Confession of Faith, Form of ChurchGovernment, Directory for Worship and Catechizing; That we and our Posteri. ty after us, may as Brethren, live in Faith and Love, and that the Lord may
delight delight to dwell in the midst of us. .
In which Article it is easie to observe many things lyable to very just and material Exceptions; as first, By what Authority can any private man in England, if he keeps himself within his own Place and Calling, intermeddle either in the Preservation or Alteration of the Religion and Government of the Church and Kingdom of Scotland ? Nay , by what Authority can any Person in this Kingdom whatever, be he in what Publick Capacity he will (His Majesty only excepted, or those who act by Commission from Him) have any thing to do with the Concerns in that Kingdom? And secondly, this first Part of the Article may upon very good Grounds be supposed to be inconfistent with the remaining Parts of it: For weare sworn to preserve the Do&trine, Discipline, &c. of Scotland, and withall, to bring the three Kingdoms to the nearest Uniformity in Religion, Con. feffion of Faith , form of church-Gozernment, Directory for Worship and
Catechizing ; So that Scotland must necessarily be our Pattern; and yet in the same breath we are sworn to reform England and Ireland, according to the Word of God, and the Example of the best Reformed Churches: And it is more than possi. ble, that our own Church, as it is already by Law established, or at least some other Church beyond the Seas, may come altogether as near the Word of God, as that of Scotland: And what is to be done in that Case? And in the third place, all the other Dissenters whatever, besides the Presbyterians, are highly concerned to see that the Covenant is not looked up. on as a thing of any obligation ; be. cause that that is express for Unifor. mity, and as such, is not less than absolutely inconsistent with Liberty of Conscience ; and as hard thoughts soever as the smaller Sects have entertained concerning the Bishops ; they are much more concerned to secure themselves against not a few, nor the least Considerable , among their own dear Brethren,
ARTICLE 2. That we shall in like manner, without respect of Persons, endeavour the Extirpation of Popery , Prelacy ; that is, Church-Government by Archbishops, BiShops, their Chancellors, and commissa. ries, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Arch. deacons, and all other Ecclesiastical Officers depending on that Hierarchy ; Superstition, Heresie, schism, Profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found contrary to found Doctrine, and the Power of Godliness, left we partake in other mens fins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their Plagues; and that the Lord may be one, and his Name One in these Kingdoms.
As to the former part of this Article, that which concerns the overthrow of the established Government of the Church, I shall only say this, that the Modesty of these men is in this case very admirable, and there is no doubt to be made, but that in any other Kingdom it would be thought