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are the genuine Product of their Parents the Old COVENANTERS: For I think I may fafely affert it as Fact, that fince their Establishment, they have not let any one Opportunity flip, of Difturbing, Infulting, Scandalizing, Robbing, and Ruining all thofe of Epifcopal Principles, efpeci ally the Clergy, whom they could by any manner of way come at: Per Fas aut Nefas, by fair Means or foul. They pretend a great Averfion to Popery, and yet have incorporated into their Scheme of Politicks, the very worst Principles of the worst Papifts, fuch as KING-KILLING, PERSECUTION, and if not Fire and Faggot, yet Halters and Gibbets, and have turned the Laws which were made in King Charles II's Reign to Jupprefs and prevent their frequent REBELLIONS, now against the peaceable People of the Epifcopal Communion, who have ever declared their Abhorrence of all Rebellion.
SO foon as they were Eftablished, they employ'd all their Invention to raife Scandals upon the Clergy, who were turned out, and harraffed them from Court to Court, imprifon'd them, fin'd them, and banifh'd them, after having first mobb'd many of them, wounding fome, and beating others, even to Death; and turning their Wives and Children out of their Houses, ftript of their Cloaths, without any regard to the Image of GOD, the Laws of Nature, or of CHRISTIANITY, even in Winter. Full Accounts of all which barbarous Ufages were printed and published in London foon after
AND altho' they pretend their Presbyterial Government is of Divine Right, yet when it was offered them to have it declared to be fo by Parlia ment, they declined it, and feem'd then contented to have
have it ftand as it was, only upon the Bottom of the Inclinations of the People; from which I think 'tis very evident,
Firft, That if it be Fact, That the Inclinations of the Generality or Majority of the People were not then for Presbytery, 'tis founded in a Lie. And that the Majority of the People were then againft it, is too apparent from the Hiftory of thofe Times, to be deny'd.
Secondly, That allowing, giving, and not granting, That the Majority of the People was then for Presbytery; if the People have now chang'd their Minds, and are inclin'd to Epifcopacy, in this Cafe Presbytery ought to be difcharg'd, and Epifcopacy ought to be Re-establish'd: And that a Majority of the People are adverfe to Presbyter ry now, and defirons of Epifcopacy, is fo certain, That if their Votes are either to be Number'd or Weigh'd throughout all Scotland, the Majority will be found against Presbytery: And if they deny or difpute this, let them put it to the Trial; I do adventure to fay in the Name of the Epifcopal Communion, That they will be contented to be banifb'd their Country, if they have not a Majority for them.
Thirdly, This fhews, that their Cry of Divine Right notwithstanding; their chief Concern is the Poffeffion and Enjoyment of the LIVINGS, and of POWER: Why elfe did they refuse to have their Government declared by Parliament to be of Divine Right?
Fourthly, This fhews the Cruelty of their Nature, fince they are fo Arbitrary, Jo Infolent, and of fuch a perfecuting Spirit, when after all, they are Eftablish'd upon a Lie, and at beft upon the precarious Bottom of the Inclinations of the People, which now are against them. THEY
THEY fhew greater Civility to, or at least are lefs outragious against the Quakers, Anabaptifts, and Independents, than the People of the Epifcopal Communion; nay, the Papifts live more afely under their Government, than do the Afferters of Epifcopal Principles; and they choose to have People turn Papists, as many have done in the North of Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands, rather than allow them to have an Epifcopal Minifter amongst them.
BUT of all things they have à terrible Averfion to all Liturgies; and the Reafon is very plain, That the Beauty, Symmetry, and Harmony of Regular Worship, doth fo outfhine their Extemporary Rhapfodies, that they are not able to bear it; because they either do Affert, or at least by Innuendo's would have the People believe, that they are Infpired by the HOLY GHOST in all their Prayers; which yet are not Proof of being read without Horror, when catch'd by the Pen of a Short-Hand Writer.
I REMEMBER to have been told, That when King CHARLES I. of Blessed Memory, was a Prifoner to his own Rebellious Subjects at Newcastle upon Tyne, the famous Mr. Henderfon forced himself with great Rudeness to Pray before His Majefty, which the good King did all he was able to binder: But the other would do it, and the King could not help it, being under Durance. And when he perceived how Irregular, Indigefted, Flat, and often Wicked, Mr. Henderfon's Prayers were, he order'd two or three of his Servants who could write fhort Hand very well, to Catch Mr. Henderson's Prayer, but fo fecretly, that Henderson did not perceive it. When this was done, the King ordered them each of them apart, to write out at Length what they had thus Catch'd, and finding the Copies to agree
exactly, he told Mr. Henderson that he had a Prayer in Writing which he defired him to read, and to give him his Opinion of it. Henderson was about to read it then; no, Jaid the King, take it with you, read it carefully, and next time I fee you, tell me how you like it. Accordingly, Henderfon brought it with him next time he came, and told the King, It was one of the most Ridiculous, Impertinent, Nonfenfical, Wicked, Blafphemous Prayers he had ever feen in all his Life; and that the Compofer must have been an Illiterate, Pedantick Blockhead, unacquainted with Religion, and the Spirit of Prayer, and that he could scarce read it with Patience, nor without Horrour, and much more to this Purpose. Upon which the King modeftly and meekly told him, Thou art the Man; and fatisfied him that it was his own, and how he came by it. And to give Henderfon his due, it mortified him fo thoroughly, that he became much easier to the King after this, and conceived a better Opinion of him, than he had entertained before: and he continued to think well of him to his laft Breath, and told his Brethren upon his DeathBed, how wicked he and they had been in their undutiful Behaviour to their Natural Prince, and one of the best Men in the World. Thus he died a Penitent, but could not perfwade his Brethren to be fuch.
THIS fhews what ftrange things thefe People are capable of faying in their Prayers, when their Imaginations are heated; and when a Henderson, a leading Man amongst them, and a Man of good natural Parts, and of a Competency of acquired Learning, could pray in fuch a Manner, with fuch Fervency, such Blasphemous Nonsense, as himself did Condemn, and could not remember, for a few Days what he had faid, what may not the Teachers amongst them not Lay, who are many of them Men of Low Understan
dings, Illiterate, Malicious, but Conceited and Proud?
OF WHICH Number I take this Melvil of Aberdeen to be, to whom the following Letter is directed.
I HAVE not the Honour to be acquainted with the Ingenious Gentleman who is the Author of it; but by Character, he is a Man of a Regular Life, an Admirer of Primitiye Doctrine, Difcipline, Worship, and Government; a Diligent Enquirer after Truth, Orthodox in Principle, and one who spends his Time very much in Books, and to very good Purpofe; one who has fuffered much for his zealous Adherence to the Interest of the dif treffed Church, and yet who laments her defolate Condition, more than his own particular Afflicti“ ons. The Obligation he conceived himself to be under of Undeceiving his poor, well-meaning Neigh bours, as to that important Article of Worship, put him upon this Ellay, which he has folidly and judiciously performd, and from which I shall no lon
detain the Reader. And I wish that the bleed ger Time may foon come, when all who name the Name of Jefus may depart from Iniquity, may die unto Sin, and live unto Righteoufnefs; and that the greatly diftreffed, and feverely Perfecuted Church of Scotland may become like Gold tried in the Fire feven Times, Pure and Undefiled; and and may GOD forgive ber Perfecutors.