« PreviousContinue »
We shall also according to our place and Calling, in this Common Cause of Religion, Liberty and Peace of the Kingdomsassist and defend all those that enter into this League and Covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof; and Shall not suffer our félves directly or indirectly, by whatsoever Combination, Perswasion or Terrour to be divided and withdrawn from this blessed Vnion and Conjun&tion; whether to make defcđion to the contrary Part, or to give our selves to detestable Indifferency or Neu. trality in this cause, which so much concerns the Glory of God, the Good of the Kingdom, and the Honour of the King : But shall all the dayes of our lives zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the same according to our power against all Letts and Impediments whatsoever : And what we are not able of our selves to suppreß or overcome.we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented and removed : All
which we-Shall do in the sight of God.
From which Article it it is plainly to be seen, That those who do believe themselves to lie under the Ob. ligation of this Covenant , are and ought to be looked upon as a Party already formed and combined together against the whole Nation besides, having a common Band to unite and tie them falt together : And this is such an Union as they look upon as sacred and indissoluble. And the Ends, in order to which they are thus combined, are in their esteem such, as that nothing can excuse the least intermission in their pursuance after them, besides an absolute Impossibility, and even in that case it is lawful for them only, to delay so long, as to expect a more favourable season: For they are according to this Article, Never to be wrought over to so much as a detestable Indifferency or Neutrality in this cause of God; but Zealously and constantly to continue therein against all opposition, all letts and impediments whatsoever.
And having now laid down the Six Articles of the Covenant, I shall only add a few of the last words of the large and solemn Conclusion of it ; wherein they pray God to bles their proceedings herein with such success as may be an encouragement to other. Churches, groaning under, or in danger of the Toke of Antichristian Tyranny, to joya in the same or like Asociati. on or Covenant, to the Glory of God, the Enlargement of the Kingdom of Jee sus Christ, and the peace and Tranquil. lity of Christian Kingdoms and Com. mon-wealths.
It hath been often said in the behalf of the Presbyterians, that they did not engage in the late War under a less Authority than that of the Two Houses of Parliament: What Authority the Two Houses of Parliament have in raising a War against the King shall be no part of this Enquiry, nor whether the Lords and Gentle men who at that time staid at Westminster were the Two Houses of Parliament? Be these two things as they will, although it is not unknown what
may be said as to both those Cases ; yet however the Covenant, hath informed us of another fort of Authority under which a War may be raised at any time against all the Kings in Europe : Because in these words is held forth a publick Invitation to all Subjects whatsoever, who do either really groan under, or are in any danger of any thing, which our folk have pleased to call, or themselves shall chance to fancy to be a Yoke of Antichristian Tyranny, to enter either into this or the like Association or Covenant. Now I suppose, that it is no easie 'task to make out, that all Kingdoms have Parliaments endued with lo large a share of the Soveraignty, as that they have Authority to take up Arms against their respective Princes : And if there were such Parliaments every where, this Invitation is only made to the Christian Churches, without taking the least notice of Parliaments; nay with a full assurance that there were no such Parliaments to be taken notice of. So that by this Doctrine
the Church alone may enter into af sociation against the State upon the score of Religion (especially if it can but cry out Antichrist ) may engage the Subjects of all Europe against their Soveraigns, be they Princes or Commomwealths.. · I know very well that those who urge the taking away of the Decla. ration enjoyned concerning the renouncing of the Covenant, have one evasion whereby to avoyd entring into the merits of the Cause, and that is this, The seeming unreasonableness of that Clause ; Also I hold that there lieth no obligation upon me, or any o• ther Person from the Oath commonly called the solemn, &c. Is it not unjust that one man should be bound to swear to the Obligations of another ? As plausible soever as this may seem, no doubt it is but an evasion ; for it is well known whom they mean by that other Person whom they suppose to be obliged; and besides to make this Case seem much harder than it is indeed; They endeavour to perswade us, that this regunciation is what really it is
F not ;