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gions." This touches not the ftate; for certainly were they fo minded, they need not labour it, but do it, having power in their hands; and we know of no act as yet paffed to that purpofe. But fuppofe it done, wherein is the covenant broke? The covenant enjoins us to endeavour the extirpation firft of popery and prelacy, then of herefy, fchifm, and profanenels, and whatfoever fhall be found contrary to found doctrine and the power of godlinefs. And this we ceafe not to do by all effectual and proper means: but thefe divines might know, that to extirpate all thefe things can be no work of the civil fword, but of the fpiritual, which is the word of God.

No man well in his wits, endeavouring to root up weeds out of his ground, inftead of ufing the fpade will take a mallet or a beetle. Nor doth the covenant any way engage us to extirpate, or to profecute the men, but the herefies and errours in them, which we tell thefe divines, and the reft that underftand not, belongs chiefly to their own funétion, in the diligent preaching and infifting upon found doctrine, in the confuting, not the railing down errours, encountering both in public and private conference, and by the power of truth not of perfecution, fubduing thofe authors of heretical opinions, and laftly in the fpiritual execution of church-difcipline within their own congregations. In all thiefe ways we fhall'affift them, favour them, and as far as appertains to us join with them, and moreover not tolerate the free exercife of any religion, which shall be found absolutely contrary to found doctrine or the power of godliness; for the confcience, we must have patience till it be within our verge. And thus doing, we thall believe to have kept exactly all that is required from us by the covenant. Whilft they by their feditious practices againfi us, than which nothing for the prefent can add more affiance or advantage to thofe bloody rebels and papifts in the fouth, will be found moft pernicious covenant-breakers themfelves, and as deep in that guilt, as thofe of their own nation the last year; the warning of whofe ill fuccefs, like men hardened for the fame judgment, they miferably pervert to an encouragement in the fame offence, if not a far worfe: for now they have joined intereft with the Bb 4 Irub

Irish rebels, who have ever fought against the covenant, whereas their countrymen the year before made the covenant their plea. But as it is a peculiar mercy of God to his people, while they remain his, to preferve them from wicked confederations: fo it is a mark and punishment of hypocrites, to be driven at length to mix their caufe, and the intereft of their covenant, with God's enemies.

And whereas they affirm, that the tolerating of all religions, in the manner that we tolerate them, is an innovation; we must acquaint them, that we are able to make it good, if need be, both by Scripture and the primitive fathers, and the frequent affertion of whole churches and proteftant ftates in their remonftrances and expoftulations against the popifh tyranny over fouls. And what force of argument do thefe doctors bring to the contrary? But we have long obferved to what pafs the bold ignorance and floth of our clergy tends no lefs now than in the bithops days, to make their bare sayings and cenfures authentic with the people, though deftitute of any proof or argument. But thanks be to God, they are difcerned.

Their next impeachment is, "that we oppofe the prefbyterial government, the hedge and bulwark of religion." Which all the land knows to be a moft impudent falfeLood, having established it with all freedom, wherever it hath been defired. Nevertheless, as we perceive it afpiring to be a compulsive power upon all without exception in parochial, claffical, and provincial hierarchies, or to require the fleshly arm of magiflracy in the execution of a fpiritual difcipline, to punish and amerce by any corporal infliction thofe whofe confciences cannot be edified by what authority they are co pelled, we hold it no more to be "the hedge and bulwark of religion,” than the popish or prelatical courts, or the Spanish Inquifition.

But we are told, "we embrace paganifm and Judaism in the arms of tolelration." A moft audacious calumny! And yet while we deteft Judaifin, we know ourselves commanded by St. Paul. Rom. xi, to refpect the Jews, and by all means to endeavour their converfion.

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Neither was it ever fworn in the covenant, to maintain a univerfal presbytery in England, as they falfely allege, but in Scotland againft the common enemy, if our aid were called for: being left free to reform our own country according to the word of God, and the example of beft reformed churches; from which rule we are not yet departed.

But here, utterly forgetting to be minifters of the gofpel, they prefume to open their mouths, not "in the fpirit of meeknefs," as like diffemblers they pretend, but with as much devilish malice, impudence, and falsehood, as any Irith rebel could have uttered, and from a barbarous nook of Ireland brand us with the extirpation of laws and liberties; things which they feem as little to understand, as aught that belong to good letters or humanity.

"That we feized on the perfon of the king;" who was furrendered into our hands an enemy and captive by our own fubordinate and paid army of Scots in England. Next, "our imprisoning many members of the houfe." As if it were impoffible they should deferve it, confpiring and bandying againft the public good; which to the other part appearing, and, with the power they had, not refifting, had been a manifeft desertion of their truft and duty. No queftion but it is as good and neceffary to expel rotten members out of the houfe, as to banith delinquents out of the land: and the reafon holds as well in forty as in five. And if they be yet more, the more dangerous is their number. They had no privilege to fit there, and vote home the author, the impenitent author of all our miferies, to freedom, honour, and royalty, for a few fraudulent, if not deftructive conceffions. Which that they went about to do, how much more clear it was to all men, fo much the more expedient and important to the commonwealth was their fpeedy feizure and exclufion; and no breach of any just privilege, but a breach of their knotted faction. And here they cry out, "an action without parallel in any age." So heartily we wifh all men were unprejudiced in all our actions, as thefe illiterate denouncers never paralleled fo much of any age as would contribute to the tithe

tithe of a century. "That we abolish parliamentary power, and establish a reprefentative inftead thereof." Now we have the height of them; thefe profound inftructors, in the midft of their reprefentation, would know the English of a reprefentative, and were perhaps of that claffis, who heretofore were as much staggered at triennial.

Their grand accufation is our juftice done on the king, which that they may prove to be "without rule or example," they venture all the credit they have in divine and human hiftory; and by the fame defperate boldness detect themfelves to be egregious liars and impoftors, seeking to abuse the multitude with a fhow of that gravity and learning, which never was their portion. Had their knowledge been equal to the knowledge of any ftupid monk or abbot, they would have known at least, though ignorant of all things elfe, the life and acts of him, who firft inftituted their order: but these blockish prefbyters of Clandeboy know not that John Knox, who was the firft founder of prefbytery in Scotland, taught profeffedly the doctrine of depofing and of killing kings. And thus while they deny that any fuch rule can be found, the rule is found in their own country, given them by their own first prefbyterian inftitutor; and they themselves, like irregular friars walking contrary to the rule of their own foundation, deferve for fo grofs an ignorance and tranfgreffion to be difciplined upon their own ftools. Or had their reading in hiftory been any, which by this we may be confident is none at all, or their malice not heightened to a blind rage, they never would fo rafhly have thrown the dice to a palpable difcovery of their ignorance and want of fhame. But wherefore fpend we two fuch precious things as time and reafon upon priests, the moft prodigal miflpenders of time, and the fcarceft owners of reafon? It is fufficient we have published our defences, given reasons, given examples of our juftice done; books alfo have been written to the fame purpofe for men to look on that will; that no nation under Heaven but in one age or other hath done the like. The difference only is, which rather feems to us matter of glory, that they for the moft part

have without form of law done the deed by a kind of martial juftice, we by the deliberate and well-weighed fentence of a legal judicature.

But they tell us, "it was against the interest and proteftation of the kingdom of Scotland." And did exceeding well to join those two together: hereby informing us what credit or regard need be given in England to a Scots proteftation, ushered in by a Scots interest: certainly no more than we fee is given in Scotland to an English declaration, declaring the intereft of England. If then our intereft move not them, why fhould theirs move us? If they fay, we are not all England; we reply, they are not all Scotland: nay, were the laft year fo inconfiderable a part of Scotland, as were beholden to this which they now term the fectarian army, to defend and refcue them at the charges of England, from a ftronger party of their own countrymen, in whose esteem they were no better than fectarians themselves. But they add, "it was againft the former declarations of both kingdoms," to feize, or proceed against the king. We are certain, that no fuch declarations of both kingdoms, as derive not their full force from the fenfe and meaning of the covenant, can be produced.

And if they plead against the covenant, "to preferve and defend his perfon:" we afk them briefly, whether they take the covenant to be abfolute or conditional? If abfolute, then fuppofe the king to have committed all prodigious crimes and impieties against God, or nature, or whole nations, he must nevertheless be facred from all violent touch. Which abfurd opinion, how it can live in any man's reafon, either natural or rectified, we much marvel: fince God declared his anger as impetuous for the faving of king Benhadad, though furrendering himfelf at mercy, as for the killing of Naboth. If it be conditional, in the prefervation and defence of religion, and the people's liberty, then certainly to take away his life, being dangerous, and pernicious to both thefe, was no more a breach of the covenant, than for the fame reafon at Edinburgh to behead Gordon the marquis of Huntley. By the fame covenant we made vow to affift and defend all thofe, that should enter with us into this league; not

abfolutely,

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