Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

the scene of a war, which seemed unavoid.

lay down their enmity against the cause and people of God, and cease to prefer the interest of man to the interest of God; which hath been one of those things which hath occasioned many troubles and calamities in these kingdoms; and, being insisted on, will be so far from establishing of the king's throne, that it will prove an idol of jealousy to provoke unto wrath him who is King of kings, and Lord of lords.”—The whole declaration is of a piece with what is here presented to view ; and will justly excite astonishment at the folly of those who drew it, as well as of the barefaced hypocrisy of him who submitted to expose it to the world as his own act.- -It was treated as it deserved, by the parliament of the commonwealth of England; who caused it to be printed, and answered paragraph by paragraph. There is a spirit in their reply which will please all who have a sense of liberty. “ The dispensations of divine Providence,” say they,

are indeed merciful, by which princes or governors are at any time really recovered out of the snare of evil counsel; yet when this is done by the violence of an absolute necessity, it is seldom real or lasting; and then the mercy of it is but little to the people, who will taste the bitter fruit of such dissimulations when it is too late. It seems that the king of Scotland can now profess to the world he hath been in the snare of evil counsel, &c. We do not deny but his former councils, as well as himself, have suffered a great change, through the merciful dispensation of divine Providence to this commonwealth, prospering so wonderfully our armies in Ireland as to exclude him and

* Parliamentary History, vol. XIX. p. 362.

able. But the event shewed their hopes

his interest in a great ineasure from thence, and preserving this nation in peace within itself, to prevent any footing to be given him here; whereby he was reduced to the course he hath now taken, to say what the parliament and kirk of Scotland shall put into his mouth, and tell him is fit for him and his affairs to declare, or else to lose all. And if Scotland do esteem it so great a mercy, to have him reduced to this pure necessity of casting himself into their arms, we know to whom, under God, they owe the obligation; a blessing which, we confess, we do not envy them, and which, were we secured never to be partaker of with them, or by their means, we should not hinder them from the free and full enjoyment of; having, by sad experience, found what it is to have a king, though never so well beset in appearance with good men about him, or to trust to his repentances and promises, oaths, or declarations, how fair soever in shew, and how strong soever laid down in words.- The first testimony of the good of the new councils, into whose hands the Scots king hath cast himself, is the repentence towards God which they advise him to make, in reference to his own sins, and the sins of his fathers house; a matter in itself truly praise-worthy, and the consequence whereof, in the words wherein it is erpress’d, doth in no small measure reach to the acknowledgement of the just hand of God upon his father and mother, in banishing of the one, and taking away the life of the other by the hand of justice; putting it into the hearts of those here, that remained faithful to their trust in parliament, to cause his blood to be poured forth, by whose personal actions, authority, and commissions, so much of the blood of the Lords

were ill-grounded. For at the battle of

with the qua

people hath been shed in the three nations, as this declaration itself acknowledges; and for which therefore we have reason to bless God, and admire his providence, that out of the mouth of the son there hath, in the sight of the whole world, been brought forth such a justification of the sentence passed and executed

upon

the father. But as to the manner of declaring this repentence, that is to say, with the lifications therein allowed of; whereby, under the pretence of a dutiful son, he may still retain in memory his fathers actions of tyranny for his pattern ; and, through the high estimation of his mother, have his ears still open to her counsels, as often as she can convey them to him : and as sensible he must be of his own and his own and his fathers, enmity and opposition against the Lords people in the three nations ; yet he must still be encouraged to persist in the same against those who are truly the Lords people, under the pretence of sectaries: these are such inconsistencies and haltings in so serious a work, that as it is justly to be feared that God will not be well pleased therewith, so neither will it have its expected effect amongst men, who with ease may see through the deceit and lameness of it, and will, with greater abhorrency, be aware of them and their designs that strive to cover themselves with webs that will not prove garments, but whose nakedness doth still appear. It is somewhat early days for him, who, by reason of his education and age, and the counsel and company hitherto about him, could not be much furthered into the sight of the justice and equity of what is contained in the covenants mentioned; presently, that is to say in the space of almost twenty four hours, to

Dunbar they were totally routed, with the

grow up into the full perswasion of the justice and equity of all the heads and articles of those covenants, and to be able to declare, that he hath not sworn nor subscribed them upon any sinister intention and crooked design for attaining his own ends; and with so fixed a resolution to persist therein really, constantly, and sincerely all the days of his life; when as the commissioners of the general assembly, in their declaration, dated the 13th of August, do say, that there may be just grounds of stumbling from his refusing to emit this declaration, and do tell him in so many words, that they will not own him nor his interest, otherwise than with a subordination to God, and in so far as he owns and prosecutes the cause of God, and disclaims his and his father's opposition to the work of God, and to the covenant, and all the enemies thereof; and notwithstanding all, he still persists in his refusal, withdrawing to Dumferling, whither the marquis of Argyle and earl of Lothian are sent after to press him to subscribe; and in the mean time, overtures are made, under-hand, to our army, as if things might yet be made up in a fair way, and their king and they were not likely to agree. And on the 15th of August, a remonstrance and supplication of the officers of the Scots army, by way of seconding the foresaid declaration of the committee of estates and commissioners of the general assembly, was presented to, and approv'd of by, the committee of estates; and on the 16th of the said August, the declaration so earnestly pressed upon him, or rather forcibly extorted from him, is subscribed and emitted by him. And now, in a moment, what a blessed and hopeful change is wrought upon this young king? How hearty is he become to the cause of God,

loss of their baggage, artillery, and ammu

on

and the work of reformation? And how readily doth he swallow down these bitter pills which are prepared for and urg'd upon him, as necessary to effect that desperate cure under which his affairs lie? But who sees not the gross hypocrisy of this whole transaction, and the sandy and rotten foundation of all the resolutions flowing hereupon? As first, he that, on the 15th of August, hugg'd all his malignant and popish party in his bosom, and lodged them in the secret reserves of his favour and love as his best friends, can now, the 16th, the day following, from a fulness of perswasion of the justice and equity of all the heads and articles of the covenant, renounce and discard them in the sight of God and the world, and vow never to have any more to do with them, as old sinners, unless they, by his example, turn to be as good converts as himself, and be able to personate and act the same part; and so, by virtue of the very covenant itself, eat out and undermine those who conscientiously and honestly intend the ends of it. The sad experience whereof, was as well seen in the managing the whole business of the duke of Hamiltons invasion, as in many of the then members in both houses; who never shewed more zeal for the covenant, than when they found that thereby they could suppress and beat down the truly godly and honest party, as sectaries and enemies to monarchical government, and buoy up the sinking and lost reputations of the most engaged royalists and rotten-hearted apostates, under pretence that they were turned friends to the work of reformation, and for upholding the church interest. And if in this sense the Scots king will have no enemies, but the enemies of the covenant; nor no friends but the

« VorigeDoorgaan »