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four or five dissented) restored Episcopacy, and that fó much the rather, because that Government had in no Age nor Place forced its way into the State by the Sword, but had still been brought in by the uncontrarjerted Magistrate, without ever thrusting it felf in by Violence, and yet the Government did sustain Episcopacy as a Part of the State, but never as a Hierarchy wholy independent from it. ' .
The Presbyterian Preachers had all along taught the People, That as their Government was Jure Divino, fo the People might thereby be obliged to defend them and it, under Pain of E
ternal Damnation, even r when Episcopacy was Established by .. Law;) and accordingly some of the People who retained that
Principle, frequented the Conventicles at which these Ministers
preach’d: Whereupon the State, fearing that the old Humour -might ferment again into a Rebellion, discharged under fome small
Penalties, any above Five Strangers to meet in a Conventicle, leaving thereby at once the free Exercise of their Conscience in their families, and yet securing the State against such a total Defection, as might involve us in a new Civil War, which without doubt was all the State design'd: But to elude these Penal. ties for. House-Conventicles, fome Preachers (amongst whom were some of those who had been formerly, banished ) gathered the People together in the Fields; they bringing Arms with them to secure their Ministers, came at last to have fuch an 0. pinion of their own Strength, that they formed themselves -ins to an Army, and were defeated at Pentland-Hills, November Anno 1666. Yet within ́a short Tiine of that, the State Indula ged them so far as to allow them their own Ministers, settling them in Churches, and allowing them the Enjoyment of the Benefices in many places. This did not satisfy thefe People, because the Ministers so indulged, acknowledged the King and Council's. Authority ; and they, with some of their violent Preachers, railed as much against these Indulged Ministers, as against the Bishops, and Regular Clergy, and call’d them Council Cúrates, and separated from them. The State considering that by the Law's of all Nations, rising in Arms is to be accounted Rebelion, and that a Preacher's Presence could legitimate the
Action no more than a Priest could Tranfubftantiate the Elements; they declared by several A&s, Field-Meetings, to be the Rendevolta zes of Rebellion : Notwithstanding all which, these Dissenters proceeded, as from Houfe to Field-Meetings, fo from Field-Conven-; ticles to publish Proclamations ; declaring, That the Covenant was the Original Contract betwixt God, the King and the People *; and therefore King Charles the Second having broken it, forfaulted his Crown, and being to be considered only as a private Subject, and Enemy tó God, they had declared a just War against him, and that it was lawful to kill him, and all who served him; following, as was pretended, the Noble Examples of Phineas and Ehud: And in confequence of this Doctrine, they murdered the Archbishop of St. An. drews, and several others. To defend thefe Murderers an Army was gathered by them, which was beat at Bothwel Bridge, Anno 1679.' But yet'the King, to reclaim them, granted both an Ina demnity and Indulgence, notwithstanding of which, a new Plot was entred into, and it was contrived in a Meeting of the Scots at Lona don, that 20000 Men should be raised in Scotland, and that the Garrisons of Berwick and Carlife, and all the Officers of State fhould be feifed, which was likewise seconded by Monmouth, and Argyle's Rebellion, Anno 1685. Whereupon the Parliament finding, That the preaching up of Rebellion in private Conventicles, had occafion'd all this Danger to King and People, and that nothing could be secure whilft every thing might be preachd; they enacted, That the Ministers who preach'd at Conventicles sould be capitally pumijbed; but by vertue of this A&t; no Man was ever punished, much lefs executed.;.:,: · This being the true Progress, and these the Occasions of making thofe Afts, it is admired why the Government is taxed with so much Cruelty, and the Acts themselves reproached as Diabolical: For First, Thése. against House-Conventicles are the fame with the Laws in England, and less fevere than those made against Dissenters in Queen Elizabeth's Time, or than those now standing against the Calvinift's in Sweden, or those made, and now executed by the Presbyterians and Independents in New-England; but much more gentle than those our Presbyterians made when they Govern'do. . Liriģin ...isini .
i 2. Whatever Vide Cargid and Sanchar's Covenant at the End.
2. Whatever might be laid against fuch Ads in Countries. where Dissenters never entred into a War, yet in this ifle, where they upon the same Principles overturned the Government and Laws, and were upon every Occasion again attempting it, so small a Caution cannot be accounted severe. 3. This Čaution was much more just in Scotland, than even in Englund; because the Dissenters in Scotland were more bigotted to the Covenant, which is a constant Fond for Rebellion. 4. The posterior Acts made against Field-Conventicles, were the necessary Product of new accessional Degrees of Rebellion; and were not Punishments design'd against Opinions in Religion, but meerly against Treasonable Combinations, which exceeded what was attempted in England, or elsewhere; and the Governours (for the time) can truly and boldly fay, That no Man in Scotland ever Suffer'd for his Religion. But if any will pretend, That Religion i obliges him to rise in Arms, or to Murder, this Principle ought neither to be sustain'd as a Defence, nor the obviating of it to be made . a Crime, and as the Covenanters laughed at such a Defence when propos'd for them, who affifted King Charles I. meerly for Coascience-fake; so they cannot deny, but they zealously prest. Sir John Dalrymple, then Advocate, to hang Mr. Renwick a Field. Preacher, for Field-Preaching, where some of his Hearers were Arm’d, because he was like to divide their Church, after they got an Indulgence from King James, against the accepting where of, Renwick and his Party exclaim'd highly; and that so much the . more plausibly, for that many of them, who now accepted an In-; . dulgence from a King professedly Popish, had rejected and preach'd. against those who accepted of one when offer'd by a King of the Protestant Profession. I must also ask them, If any should now rile in Arms in Defence of Epifcopacy, and alledge Conscience for 10 doing, would they sustain that as a juft Defence ? 5. Whenever any Man offer'd to keep the Church, former Fines were generally remitted, if timeous Application was made ; and more Indul-. gencies and Indemnities were granted by this King, than by any that ever reign'd; and generally no Man was executed in his. Reign, who would say, God Bless the King, or acknowledge his Authority; an unusual Clemency, never Thewn in any other
Nation, and such as was not practised by those, who now cry out against the Severity of that Government. ::
The Reader will be astonished, when we inform him; That. the Way of Worship in our Church, differed nothing from what the Presbyterians themselves practised, (except only, that we used the Doxologie, the Lord's Prayer, and in Baptism, the Creed, all which they rejected.) We had no Ceremonies, Surplice, Altars, Croß in Baptifms, nor the meanest of those things which would be allowed in England by the Dissenters, in Way of Accommodation : That the most able and pious of their Ministers, did hear the Episcopal Clergy Preach; many of them communicated in the Churches, and almost all the People communicated also; so that it cannot be said that they were pesecuted, and forced to join with an unsound, much less Heretical Church, as the French Protestants : are.
From all which, it follows clearly, that the Complainers, were the Aggressors, that the Government proceeded by slow Steps, to punish even those who had forced it into a Relentmint, and that all Pains were taken to reclaim rather than punish.
Any reasonable and unprejudic'd Man must allow, that the State had Reason to be jealous,that the same Men who had invaded. and overturned the Government under King CHARLES I. retaining still the same Principles as facred,and bursting forth intothe fame Exceffes under King CHARLES II. were ftill to be kept in awe, and within the Barriers of Law; and that, by their own Principle of falus populi, better some few of the Society should perish, than that the whole should go to ruin. Unitas, non unus, as was faid by them in the E. Strafford's Case; and if Two States of Para liament without the King, were thought the best, and necessary Judges, of what was falus populi in those Days; much more should it be acknowledged, that the King and Three Estates, in many subsequent Parliaments, agreeing cordially together, should be acknowledged to be the true Judges of what was falus populi in our Government, especially when what they did was founded on e Series of uncontraverted Laws, and upon long and deplorable Experience of the Mischiefs occasion'd by that Pary. Whereas they who condemn our Proceedings, must, and do acknowledge
before they condemn us, that they consider themselves as a People coming into a Country where there were no Laws, and so might take any new Laws they thought fit, for the present Exigent: A Liberty which we (poor Slaves !) durst never take, foolishly conceiving our selves over-ruled by our Státute-Books, ancient Cuftoms, and Oaths, regulating our Duty and Conscience.
For answering the objections which are made against the Government, I shall class them into these general Enormities with which the Government is charg'd, and into the particular Instances of its pretended Cruelty. *. The First general Objections is, That the severe Lams made ao gainst Conventicles were yet more severely put in Execution by Sir James Turner, and Sir William Ballantine, and others, which occafion'd the Infurrection at Pentland-hills; and it is alledged, that' these Conventiclers came only to petition the Council, nor to overturn the Government.
To this it is answered, That all rising in Arms upon any Pretext whatsoever, is declared Rebellion in this and all other Nati-, ons; and if any should rise now in Arms because Free. quarter is taken from them against Law, they would find this Government so to take it. Nor can it be pretended that Justice was denied to private Petitioners; but on the contrary, Turner and Ballano tine were laid aside, which is all the State could do, it being impossible to answer for all the Extravagancies of Soldiers, eyen under the most juft Government. From this likewise it necessarily follows,that because this was no just War,therefore the learned and worthy Sir John Nisbet, then King's Advocate, and the Criminal Fudges were unjustly reproached for refusing to allow the Defence founded on giving Quarter, that being only to be ałowed in justo bello: And it is to be remembred, that this Defence was not allowed to the worthy President Sir Robert Spotswood, Son to the famous Archbishop, in Anno 1645, tho' the War just on the King's side, and he acted by vertue of a Commission from that very King, by whose Authority the Parliament that condemned him was called; and it could not be proved by those that were ta. ken at Pentland-hills, that Quarter was granted them; whereas it was clearly proved, that the Council in general had discharged