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cannot easily explain, however, the motives of many who make the above objection. Who were the persons who took the covenants front political motives ? Were they not such as had a secret enmity at the Preibyterian system, and a monarchy limited by law? Were they not the friends of Epifcopacy and absolute government? The rest, generally speaking, were in good earnest, in avowing their Creed: But, to qualify for places, the royalists, as they are styled, swallowed all the national oaths; and yet their successors cry out of hypocrisy ! Would not one imagine, that a decent regard to their predecessors would enjoin them silence in this matter?
3. These Transactions were lawful, as to the matter; and necessary, as to the time. They were such as comprehended every attainment in Reformation. It has been their fate to meet with much opposition in the world, indeed; as well as their friends with amazing obloquy and reproach. I shall only single out one instance of both, from the many which might be produced. They are represented not only as encroaching on the rights of private judgment, but also as binding to fanguinary meafures and persecution for conscience fake. It has been said, that the Solemn League binds to EXTIRPAT E Prelacy, &c. But, let it be observed, that the phrase does not appear to be stronger than that of our Saviour, to ROOT
out every plant - which the Father's right hand hath not planted. Prelacy, in the view of every Presbyterian, who believes the divine right of the Presbyterian form of government, is a plant of this kind. Nothing fanguinary was intended by Christ; and the conduct of Presbyterians, when in power, suffers nothing by a comparative view with that of Prelates, as to complying with the will of Christ in this mat
The former provided su's T ENANCE for the life of the ejected ; the latter a PRISON. No measure which was used by the Presbyterians ever equalled the Bartholomew Bulhel, or the Corporation Act; not to mention the Star Chamber, under Laud. The doctrine of the right of conscience was as well understood by the Prefbyterians in Britain, as in any of the Protestant Churches: But the truth is, it was reserved to LOCKE to set them in a still clearer point of view. In one word, if any thing fanguinary was meant, we expressed our dissent as early as 1737*.
4. THESE Covenants had the seal of Heaven's approbation set unto them, not only by bringing many to enter into them; but also, by the effusion of his Spirit on the Covenanters, at the season of their entrance, and enabling them, at last, to seal them with their blood.
* Vide TESTIMONY.
Ο Ν Τ Η Ε
R Ε Ν Ο V Α Τ Ι Ο Ν
PRESENT A G E.
HE foregoing Covenants were renewed
in 1648: And the Confession of Sins, and Engagement to Duties are to be found usually bound up with our Confession of Faith. From the violation of these engagements, by what is called the PUBLIC RESOLUTIONS, until the Revolution, there followed a scene of covenant-violation altogether unexampled in the annals of mankind. If the violation was less flagrant at, and after the Revolution; yet, the proper season of covenant-renovation was utterly neglected. There were a handful of Oooo 2
sufferers who had kept themselves, in a great measure, from the pollutions of the world, who survived the Persecution. These were shamefully deserted by their ministers; and left in great confusion, as to both their political and religious principles. The judicatories of the Revolution Church were a very heterogeneous compofition: They were composed of members who had failed with the wind for thirty years bygone, for one portion; another was made up of the indulged; and a third of such as had been refugees in other countries. The iron and clay were tempered together by the force of civil authority. Various overtures and proposals were made, for putting hand to a Covenanted Reformation; but the diversity of opinion and practice among the clergy prevented the wishes of the few from any renovation of our Solemn Covenants at that memorable deliverance. Never had a church a faircr opportunity, or a louder call to it, than at that time : They had been delivered from flavery and absolute governiwent in the State, and a long period (twenty-eight years) of hot persecution for conscience fake. Never did a church and nation so slamefully neglect the golden season 'which God put into their hand. Those who polluted their consciences by swearing the covenants, and the oaths of canonical obedience, as well as all oaths by which the Covenants were abjured, could not well be expected to he honoured by God as instruments in such a
noble work. These, or such as had been ordained by them, formed the greater part, by much, of the ministers of the Church of Scotland. The indulged seem to have been a rump of the ancient refolutioners; of confequence, political maxims, which 100 frequently governed their conduct, prevailed with them, at this time, to fuperfede that work. The few who returned from their lurking places were out-voted, and borne down by the persuasion and address of others. The Synod of Galloway was the only one, if I mistake not, which took any steps for the renovation of their facred engagenients; but as much Court-water was procured as extinguished their desires. The perpetual obligation of our Covenants, however, was maintained by the grearer part of Presbyterians; and ininisters, when laying the baptismal vows on parents, mentioned both the National Covenant and Solemn League, in express termis. Individual minister's likeways made fome appearance in behalf of our national vows: Mr Hog appeared their steady fiiend on the north side of the Forth; Mr Boston's fermons, which he delivered in this country; New his sentiments on that subject; and to him were joined Messrs Wilson and Davidfon, as well as various other ministers of inferior reputation; prior unto thefe, Mir Gabriel Semple, who came out of the furnace of persecution, had patronized the fame cause : But the most vigorous and explicit testi:nony,