An antidote against the infectious contagion of popery and tyranny

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An antidote against the infectious contagion of popery and tyranny  (1745) 

AN

ANTIDOTE

AGAINST THE

Infectious Contagion

OF

Popery and Tyranny.

Humbly offer'd in

An Admonitory LETTER from a Presbyterian Society in Edinburgh to their Friends in Town and Country, touching the preſent INTESTINE WAR.


Iſaiah viii. 9, 10.


Aſſociate yourſelves, O ye people, and shall be broken in Pieces.—Take Counſel together, and it ſhall come to nought; ſpeak the Word, and it ſhall not ſtand: For God is with us.


An antidote against the infectious contagion of popery and tyranny - Title.png



EDINBURGH,
Printed in the Year M.DCC.XLV.

An antidote against the infectious contagion of popery and tyranny - Headpiece.png

AN

ANTIDOTE

AGAINST THE

Infectious Contagion of Popery and Tyranny.

Humbly offer'd in

An Admonitory LETTER from a Preſbyterian Society in Edinburgh, to their Friends in Town and Country, touching the preſent INTESTINE WAR.

Gentlemen and Fellow-Chriſtians,

THE imminent Danger which the Proteſtant Religion, our Sovereign K. George, and the Realms of Britain and Ireland, are in, thro' the Pretenſions of the Chevalier de St. George to our Crown; The ſad Condition of the City of Edinburgh and the Lothians in particular, and all Scotland in general, unjuſtly invaded by, and groaning under the grievous Oppreſſion of, the Son of the ſaid Chevalier, ſupported eſpecially by our Eſan-like Brethren the Highlanders, who, according their wonted Avarice, are devouring our Subſtance, and inſlaving many of our Perſons; The great Silence of many (who ſhould cry aloud) thro' fear of the Violence of the Enemies, conſtant Contemners of God's Ordinances, and Haters of ſerious Godlineſs; The inevitable Hazard that many are in, of being compelled or ſeduced into a Compliance with their pernicious Courſes; The innocent Blood of our Brethren, murdered at Gladſmuir by theſe mercileſs Highlanders: The Miſery of the Multitude of Prisoners, inhumanely and barbarouſly uſed by them; And the bound Duty incumbent upon us to uſe our utmoſt Endeavours for preſerving ourſelves and our Poſterity from being ſunk in the dark Dungeon of Popery, and bound down with the heavy Chains of Tyranny and Slavery: DO call aloud to all who are not intoxicate with the Wine of Babylon's Fornication, and benummed with an Aſs-like Stupidity, to awake to a Conſideration thereof: For who is wiſe, and he ſhall underſtand and theſe things? prudent, and he ſhall know them? for the Ways of the Lord are right, and the Juſt ſhall walk in them; but the Tranſgreſſors ſhall fall therein: And the Wicked ſhall do wickedly, and more of them ſhall underſtand.

That which we would with a Brevity ſuiting the Bounds of a Miſſive, and Meekneſs becoming Brethren, appeal to your Knowledge and Experience for the Truth of, is,

1ſt, To preſent you with ſome of theſe Reaſons that induce us to look upon the preſent Attempt to ſet the Chevalier upon the Throne of Britain as the Lord's terrible Judgment upon us, and upon his Helpers as the Rod of God's Wrath. And,

2dly. To gueſs at ſome of the Cauſes wherefore the Lord ſeems to be thus ſmiting us, and what Uſe we ought to make of this awful Diſpenſation.

That the ſaid Attempt hath the Appearance of a terrible Judgment, and the Promoters thereof of a Rod of Wrath, ſeems evident from the Perſon pretending, the Principle whereupon he founds his Claim, the Inſtruments imployed in making it effectual, their Practices, and the fatal Conſequences the whole muſt inevitably be productive of to Religion, to the King, and to the Realm in general.

Imo, The Perſon pretending to be our King is a profeſſed and bigotted Papiſt, being one of the Pope's Cardinals, and the pretended lineal (tho' moſt reckon him but the ſpurious) Succeſſor of K. James VII. who to the Treachery, Diſſimulation, Covenant-breaking, Reformation-burying. Bloodſhed and Tyranny of his Grandfather, his father and Brother (Sins for which we have Reaſon to expect God will, according to the ſecond Command of the Moral Law, reckon with that Race unto the third and fourth Generation) added his utmoſt Endeavours, not only by intolerable Force and Cruelty upon the Lord's Peaple, but by Fraud and Deceit with the more ſimple, to bring back theſe Lands to Popery, and ſubject them to Slavery: for which he and his poſterity were in the righteous Judgment of God excluded from ſwaying the Sceptre over us.

2.do, The Principle whereupon this Pretender and his Friends, in all their Manifeſto's and Declarations, found his Title and Claim to theſe Kingdoms, being a hereditary indeſeaſible Right, is evidently productive of ſundry Plagues and Inconveniencies. For, (1) The preſent Exerciſe thereof were inconſiſtent with all Laws Divine and Human: For this Pretender being a Papiſt, and as ſuch an Idolater, the Law of God (Deut. xii.) which makes no Diſtinction betwixt King and Subject, commands that the ldolater thall die the Death; conſequently all ſuch are incapable of, and unfit for, Dominion in a Chriſtian Land. And by the Laws of the Land (viz. Act 8. Parl. 1. K. James VI. and Parag. 1 of the Claim of Right, ratified by ſundry Acts of Parliament) no Papiſt, or one of a different Religion from the People. can be our King: And for the Pretender has not yet ſignified the leaſt Attachment to Proteftantiſm.

(2.) This hereditary Right robs the People of their natural Liberty of chooſing their Kings, which alſo the Scripture in many places particularly in 1 Sam. x. 17. 2 Kings xiv. 21. 1 Chron, xiii. 38. & 2 Chron xxiii. 11. expreſly attributeth unto them, tho, for Order's ſake, that Power is exerciſed by their Repreſentatives. And to imagine that ſo many Thouſands People as K. George's Dominions conſiſt of, were born Slaves to him, and were his natural and hereditary Property, and that Kings are born juſt to rule over others, and inaugurate to receive Honour and Advantage to themſelves, were (as one wittily expreſſes it) a making Men to be born with Saddles on their Backs, and Bitts in their Mouths, that Kings might have no more do but leap off, and ride them at their Pleaſure; and withal, it were an impeaching of the Wiſdom and Equity of the Great Rector of Providence, who, as he hath given the Earth to the Sons of Men in common, hath alſo given the King Dominion over the lower Parts of the Creation,and left them at Freedom to uſe this their Liberty in ſuch a Way as, in their different Circumſtances and Situations, ſhould be moſt for his Glory and their Good. Conſequently Vox populi eſt vox Dei, and the ſubordinate chief End of his Conſtitution Salus & bonus populi. And, when this End is fruſtrate either wholly or in its chiefeſt Conditions, the Aggreſſors are juſtly reckoned to forfeit the Regal Power. Our famous Hiſtorian Buchanan, Rer. Scot. lib. 6. p. 195. in vir(illegible text) Kennethi, ſheweth, that for about 1025 Years the People of Scotland had in their Choice whom to own or admit to ſucceed in the Government, even tho' the Kingdom was hereditary; and uſed to elect, as ſuch always who were nearest in Blood-line, but frequently ſuch as were judged moſt fit for Government being of the Progeny of Fergus: And that tho' Kenneth III. to cover the Murder of his elder brother Son, and prevent his, and ſecure his own Son's Succeſſion, procured this Charter for Tyranny, the Settlement of the Crown upon him and his Poſterity by the Parliament: yet it was under ſuch Limitation as precluded the Succeſſion of Fools or Monſters and preſerved the People's Liberty to ſhake off the Yoke when Tyranny ſhould be thereby introduced and accordingly we find, that as they formerly re-elected ſeverals of their Kings, and executed ſome of them; ſo they afterwards diſowned K. Baliol and his Whole Race for his attempting to inſlave the Kingdom's Liberties to the King of England (which furniſhed a notable Precedent for our Revolutioners their not only caſting of the Authority of K. James VII. when he abdicate the Throne, but alſo their (illegible text) his Poſterity from the Succeſſion.) Moreover, that our Anceſtors not only refuſed Subjection to K.James I. while Priſoner with the Engliſh; but when charged, upon their Allegiance, not to fight againſt the Party who had his perſon Priſoner, they anſwered, "That they owned no Priſoner for their King, nor owed any Allegiance to a Priſoner." Which reproves the Madneſs of our Scots Epiſcopals and Papiſts their praying for a King in Exile. And, when Q. Mary would not refrain from Popiſh Idolatory and Tyranny, her Subjects withdrew their Allegiance to her, and depoſed her from the Government: Which plainly ſhews, that the Revelation was not the firſt Time our Rulers have been caſt off for Papery, as well as Tyranny. And as the Race of Stuarts brought not their Charter to our Crown immediately from Heaven, but muſt betake themſelves in the long-run to the Choice of the Eſtates of the Kingdom, and that not abſolutely, but upon Conditions; ſo, upon comparing theſe Conditions to be found in the ſtanding-laws too long to be here ſo much as abridged) with the Declaration of the Eſtates of Scotland and England at the Revolution, there comes out the fulleſt Evidence that K. James VII had broken theſe conditions in the moſt material and important Articles thereof, and that therefore they were free from the Surrender of the Crown made to his Anceſtors. But, ſuppoſing our Prognitors had actually transferred the Crown to the Family of the Stuarts abſolutely and unconditionally, it is yet queſtionable whether they could do ſo; or, if they could diveſt themſelves of the Dowry natural to them, whether could they alſo bind their Poſterity down thereto, without the actual Conſent? And if not, certainly it was not only an irrational Surrender of all their own Rights and inſlaving their poſterity, but an irreligious Contempt of Providence, refusing and anticipating its Determination in ſuch a Caſe, whereto their poſterity could therefore pay no Regard. And admitting more over, with the Author of a late Calm Addreſs, that the Pretender hath really an indeſeaſible Right to the Kingdoms; let us take a View of the Superſtructure that by all Popiſh Monarchs hath been built upon this Foundation: Have they not looked upon the Crown right as their Property ſo abſolutely, as to be poſſeſed and enjoyed by them, not for the Peoples Good at the chief End, but for their own; and upon Parliaments and Laws, in ſo far as they reſtrained their Power, as ſo many Incroachments upon their Property, and conſequently void and null? And, if this Hypotheſis is granted, doth it not hence follow alſo that the moſt valuable Intereſts of the Subject depend on the Pleaſure of the Prince, and that Subjects have no Right to inſiſt upon Terms with him, but muſt yield paſſive Obedience unto his pleaſure be what it will: and if he confers Honours, Profits and Advantages upon any, that they muſt look upon them, not as what they have any Right to, bot merely as Acts of Grace and Favour, reſumable at Pleaſure? Now, let the moſt bigotted Jacobites amongſt us ſuppoſe themſelves Subjects in ſuch Circumſtances, and tell honeſtly whether they could then rationally reckon upon their Liberty and Property with the ſame Freedom that they may now do, and if they would not then merit rather the Name of Slaves than Subjects. If after all it ſhall be ſaid, That by our Conſtitution the Law is above the King; Yet, by the Principles of our hereditary-right Men, the Law cannot be execute without the King and ſo our Kings may tyrannize at Pleaſure. And if they grant that the Law may be execute without the King, yea again him, which it both hath been; may be, and ought to be when there is real Cauſe for it: then this is in ſo far a giving up with hereditary indefeaſible Right, and making the Will and Pleaſure of the Eſtates of Parliament a fine qua non Condition of the Exerciſe of the Regal Power; which however our Pretenders to hereditary indefeaſible Right have complied with for their own Eaſe and Conveniency when they could not do better, they have yet paid no Regard to the Liberty and Property of the Subject, nor even to the Liberty of Parliament, when anywiſe compatible with the Prerogative; as in K. Charles I. and K. James VII. was exemplified. Nor (conſidering the Dependence that this Pretender muſt neceſſarily have upon the French and other foreign Powers, which may afterwards be made ſomewhat more plain) is it preſumable that he durſt act according to the Pleaſure of his Parliament, ſuppoſe he inclined it.

3tio, The Inſtruments imployed in this Attempt, viz. the French, Spaniards and Highlanders, ſeem eminently the People of God's Wrath. Are not the French and Spaniards, the conjunct Contrivers and Promoters of this Attempt, the two main Pillars of Antichriſt's Kingdom, with whom God will therefore have War till his anger ceaſe in their Deſtruction. And are not the Actors for the moſt part Highlanders, the Poſterity of theſe who, under the excommunicated and forfeited Montroſe waged War againſt the Presbyterians, and in four or five ſeveral Battles, or rather Maſſacres, about a hundred Years ago, cruelly murdered near Fifteen thouſand of our renowned Anceſtors, and plundered the whole Country? the ſame alſo who towards the End of the Reign of K. Charles II. offered their Service for ſuppreſſing the Presbyterian Aſſemblies and Nonconformiſts to Popery and Epiſcopacy, and whoſe Service having been accepted, were, to the Number of near Ten thouſand, quartered in the Weſt and South of Scotland, where under the Conduct of that Monſter of Barbarity. John Graham of Claverhouſe, afterwards for his Cruelty created Viſcount of Dundee, they murdered many in cold Blood, made Priſoners of a great many others, forced ſome Thouſands into Baniſhment, and waſted the Country in a Manner almost incredible to be believed; as the Acts of the Revolution-parliament, and Hiſtories of theſe Times, do proport; the ſame alſo who vigorouſly oppoſed our Deliverance from Popery and Tyranny at the Revolution, and who as they maintain an irreconcileable Enmity againſt the Reformation intereſt, have ſundry Times ſince, and particularly in the 1715, renewed their War for Antichriſt and his Members. And are not the preſent Gang for the moſt part Roman Catholicks? as by comparing their own Accounts of the places whence they are ſaid to have come, with the Account of Papiſts given by the Society in Scotland for propaganing Christian Knowledge, is apparent to the World. And are not the moſt part of them ſuch Wretches as by their Practice evidence they have no other Regard for Honour, Obedience or Government, than as by a Revolution and Alteration of Affairs, and ſtopping the Courſe of Juſtice for a Time, they may improve to themſelves an opportunity of robbing and plundering their Neighbours?

4, That the Pretender and his Abettors are the Rod of God's Indignation upon us, ſeems further evident from their irreligious and immoral Practices in the Courſe of the preſent War. We incline not to rake into Dunghills, nor to expoſe our Brethrens Shame; but, if they themſelves have declared their Sin as Sodom, who can be angry at our mentioning the ſame as Matter of Humiliation both before God and the World? Now, if, inſtead of receiving the only true God, they be found either chargeable with Idolatry, as in their Confutation of the Story about Father Graham they have avow'd; if, inſtead of receiving and obſerving all God's Ordinances, there be among them Worſhippers of Images, and ſuch as have made the Houſes for God's Worship and the Seats of the ſupreme Civil and Eccleſiaſtick Courts of the Nation, either Houſes of Office or the Repoſitories for their Armoury and ſtolen Baggage: if inſtead of reverencing the Names, Titles and Attributes of God, they ſhall be found dreadful Curſers and Swearers: and if, inſtead of ſanctiſying the Lord's Day, they ſhall be found to have been the Mean of ſtopping the outward Sanctification thereof in the Place, and open Profaners, thereof, by Marching, Shooting, Playing on Bag-pipes; ere, Shall nor God avenged on them for theſe Things? And for the ſecond Table of God's Law, unleſs Rebellion againſt and ſpeaking Evil of Dignities, Murder, Whoredom, Stealing, Lying, and Covetoutneſs, in the literal Meaning of the Law, be a paying Regard thereto, this Hoſt have ſhown little or none of it. Can it then be reaſonably expected that any Good will come to us by ſuch inſtruments? And,

5to That the preſent Attempt for ſetting the Pretender upon our Throne, is a clear Proof of the Lord's Diſpleaſure with us, is further evident from the native Fruits and Effects which it would inevitably produce to Religion, to the King, and to the Country in general.

1mo, That the true Religion were thereby greatly endangered, we need only advert to theſe Things: (1.) That this Pretender is a profeſſed Papiſt, and all his Family brought up in the ſame Faith, from which never one of them have ſwerved, ſo far as to pretend the leaſt Affection to Proteſtantiſm, and who muſt therefore (in a Conſiſtency therewith) look upon all Proteſtants as vile Hereticks; this having been made a fundamental Article of the Doctrine of the Mother of Harlots by the Council of Conſtance, and which was practiſed upon John Huſs and Jerome of Prague, in bloody Characters, even after the Council had pledged their Faith for their Safety. Moreover, they must keep no Faith with ſuch Hereticks further than to ſerve their own and the Intereſts of Holy Mother: as witneſs the Conduct of Queen Mary of Scotland to her Subjects, Queen Mary of England to the Men of Suffolk, and the Promiſes of the French King to the Proteſtants in his Dominions, which ended in the infamous Maſſacre at Paris. Furthermore, they muſt extirpate Proteſtants with Fire and Sword, ſo ſoon as they are in a Capacity of doing it; as obtained in moſt of the Popiſh Dominions where Proteſtantiſm had once a Footing, particularly in Italy, Auſtria, Tuſcany, Savoy, Piedmont and France. This was the profeſs'd Deſign of the Spaniſh Armada, and the very Motive of the memorable Iriſh Maſſacre. And ſicklike, they muſt propagate and eſtabliſh the Romiſh Religion to the utmoſt of their Power: This was eminently the Caſe under that tyrannical Uſurper, K. James VII. And wherever Popiſh Princes have had Power on their Side, they needed no Spurring from the ghoſtly Fathers to exert themſelves this way, Popery and Cruelty being as inſeparable as Sin and Satan. (2.) The boundleſſ Toleration that this Pretender and his son promiſe in their ſeveral Manifeſto's and Declarations to give to all 'Sects, to profeſs what Religion they pleaſe, gives the ſtrongeſt Reaſon to ſuſpect, that, if they ſucceed, theſe Beasts of Prey, the Romiſh Prieſts, will be accounted the very Salt of this place of the Earth, and ſwarm amongſt us like Locuſts. This was the obvious Deſign of K. James the Seventh's Toleration : and how effectually anſwered the End propoſed by it, is no Secret. (3.) Suppoſing this Pretender not to be of a ſanguine Diſpoſition (which yet were as great a Miracle in a Papiſt, as the Wonder of a Woman clothed with the Sun was to John the Divine) yet, would not his and his Family's Example, and the Dependence which many behoved to have upon him for Preferment, Poſts, Honours and Penſions, gradually lead them in to Liking to Papery and Compliance therewith? And, (4.) It ſeems alſo rational to preſume, that his Abettors the French and Spaniards being of this infernal Faith, and the Highlanders and others his Helpers in Scotland moſtly attached thereto, theſe would have no ſmall Influence upon him towards the Re-introduction and Eſtabliſhment of Popery, or at least of Epiſcopacy the Daughter of Popery.

2do, That our Sovereign K. George's Perſon and Government are thereby expoſed to the utmoſt Jeopardy, is the profeſſedly chief Deſign of the preſent War. It remains only to be noticed, that if the Liberty of Election be originally in the People, and that their Conſent either by themſelves or their Repreſentatives is what constitutes a perſon's Title to be their Kings: if K. George had the free, voluntary, unconfined Choice and Conſent of theſe Nations to be their King, and if an explicite formal owning thereof, by ſolemn Oaths, Addreſſes and otherwiſe, were lawful: Then ſurely he is our only rightful and lawful Sovereign; and they must be wicked Sons of Belial, that dare, by taking Part with the Pretender againſt him, involve themſelves in Treachery, Perfidy and Villainy. And,

3tio, That our Country in general is hereby in danger of Suffering in their worldly intereſts, conſider Theſe Things; (1.) That the War hath been hitherto carried on ſolely upon the Charges and Expences of the Country, and that levied in the moſt arbitrary and unequal Manner, to the almoſt utter Ruin of many true and loyal Proteſtants, while theſe that ſtand well affected to the Pretender's Intereſt have been paſt by: which firſt-ripe Fruits of his Government give us a genuine Swatch of what we may (in caſe of his Succeſs) lay our Account with hereafter. (2.) Suppoſing this Pretender to ſucceed in his Enterpriſe, then, beſides the Reſtoration of the Eſtate of Biſhops among ourſelves, and conferring at the leaſt all their ancient Rents upon them, to the diminiſhing of moſt of the Eſtates in the Nation; the Creditors and Benefactors of his family fall next to be ſatisfied: The Debts contracted by them ſo: Fifty ſeven Years Time, and in their ſeveral Expeditions and Invaſions at and ſince the Revolution have been computed to Fifty Millions Sterling, and where this is to come from, ſure no-body knows. And what would ſatisfy the inſatiable Avarice of the French and Spaniards is ſtill as inconceivable. But ſurely as the Author of the foreſaid Addreſs ſays, it would be no unreaſonable Demand in the King of Spain to ſeek back the important Fortreſſes of Gibraltar and Mahon, ſeeing they were both taken from thoſe who have all alongſt been aſſiſting the Pretender, and are preſently aiding him in the Recovery of his ſuppoſed juſt Right: It were therefore very ungrateful, if when he comes to the Throne he ſhall detain theſe, ſeeing he can pretend no Right to them, either by Gift, Treaty or Conqueſt. And if he ſhould give them up, which he can ſcarce refuſe a Conſiſtency with his reckoning the Government who took them Uſurpers, then our Trade to the Mediterranean were either at a Period, or dependent upon the Pleaſure of Spain. The ſame Reaſon holds with reſpect to the delivering up of Cape Briton to the French, tho' the taking thereof alſo promiſes great Advantages to us. Nor is it to be expected that France, upon whom eſpecially the Pretender has all alongſt depended, and upon whom he muſt ſtill have a Dependence, would be content with our gym up of Cape Britons: But conſidering that the Duties of French Wines, Brandy, Cambrick and other Commodities, are (on account of the French being moſtly furniſhed with them by their own Colonies, capable of underſelling us, and that they take little elſe but Caſh in lieu thereof) much higher than the Duties on the like Commodities of other Nations, as Portugal, &c. with whom we are in uſe to trade by excambing of Goods for Goods; therefore the Pretender behoved to make the French Commodities brought in to his Dominions liable only to the like Duties as the ſame Commodities from other Nations are liable to wherethro' our Trade with Portugal and our own Manufactures were almoſt ruined, our Species carried to France, and the Conſumpt of our home-brewed Spirits as good as given up, which were an immenſe Loſs to us. And tho' it were to be expected a wiſe King would not thus prejudge his Subjects for the ſake of others, yet conſidering the prior Obligation that the Pretender lies under to the French both in point of Debt and Gratitude, and the ſolemn Aſſurances he hath doubtleſs many Times given unto them, and more eſpecially the Dependence that he behoved neceſſarily to have upon them for guarantying him hereafter, the Preſumption of Favour ſeems to ly on the Side of the French. (3.) The Debts preſently affecting the Crown behoved either to be paid, or the Faith of the preſent Government pledged for them broke, and ſome Thouſands thereby reduced to Miſery; which were an effectual Way of expoſing the Nation to the Imputation of Bankruptcy through the whole World. (4.) Our truſty Friends the Dutch, whoſe Fleets are equal to ours, and conjoined with is in point of Intereſt, whoſe Liberality has maintained many of our jealous Anceſtors when they could not for the Cruelty of the start get leave to draw their Breath in their own native Land, whoſe Navy and Army were under God the principal Means of our Deliverance at the evolution, and whoſe Treaſuries have been our Reſort on ſundry Occaſions, would then be expoſed to two Fires, have a plauſible Pretext for turning their Aims againſt us, and operating their payment by the Sword. (5.) Beſides the Diſaffected among ourſelves, who would for the foreſaid Reaſons be in all Probability very numerous, K. George's Family would in that ſuppoſed Event be the Pretenders to our Crown, and have as good a Right to invade us as the other, ſeeing he hath alſo obtained the Conſent of the whole Nation, and the Conſtitution of Parliament, which is as much as the Pretender's Anceſtors had: And withal, his Strength to ſupport his Pretenſions would be much greater than that of the preſent Pretender, he having not only hereditary Dominions of his own, and the Kings of Pruſſia, Denmark, and the Princes of Orange, Heſſe-Caſſel, &c. for his Friends, and the Emperor and moſt of the Princes of Germany, and Auſtrians and Dutch for his Allies abroad, but alſo the numerous diſaffected Proteſtants galled with the Yoke of Popery and Tyranny at home: Therefore there behoved to be kept up, upon the Nation's Expence, a numerous ſtanding Army, to overawe the Diſaffected at home and abroad, and oppoſe the Pretenſions of his Rival of Hanover. And how all this is to be ſupported by a People ſunk in Trade and Credit, waſted and brought low by Invaſions and inteſtine Commotions, and who muſt be continually at the Beck of the French and Spaniards to ſupport their tottering Throne, is beyond all human Conception.

Nor do we know of any Advantage that can be ſuppoſed to accrue to us from the Government of the Pretender which we enjoy not at preſent, if it be not (1.) That it would be the Mean of freeing us from the Burden of maintaining foreign Intereſts and expenſive Wars, wherein we ſeem to have no immediate Concern. And, (2.) That it would put a Period to the incorporating Union with England, and conſequently that Edinburgh, which hath ſuffered most thereby, would be reſtored its former flouriſhing Condition. But as two Blacks would not make one White, and that theſe Suppoſitions when taken in their utmoſt Latitude, are nowiſe proportionable to the fatal Conſequences that muſt inevitably accrue to Religion and the Country in general reſtoring the Pretender; So, however great a Grievance the former may be, yet not the King alone, but the Parliament alſo, are to blame for it: And, this be a good Reaſon for ſetting him aſide, it muſt ſtrike equally againſt the Parliament, and then we ſhall have a toom Houſe.

But, ſeparatim, Have our Jacobites firſt taken amicable Meaſures for obtaining Redreſs of theſe Grievances with the King and Parliaments who only have it in their power to ſatisfy them, before they made the preſent Inſurrection and have ſuch Means been abortive? If they have not, then ſurely it muſt be accounted the greateſt Madneſs and Treachery in them to have all of a ſudden turned from ſeemingly contented Subjection to open Rebellion, and from profeſſed Friendſhip to a drawing the devouring Sword againſt their Brethren, to effectuate what they knew not but calm Meaſures might have done; whereby, beſides all that is to be feared, what of this Cure is already felt is more grievous than the Diſeaſe. And for the latter, albeit the Pretender hath ſhown his Inclination to diſſolve the Union, yet what Aſſurance have we that the Engliſh, or even the Scots, will conſent thereto? Or, tho' they ſhould, whether, conſidering the real Advantages that other parts of the Nation reap thereby, the Diſſolution thereof were not in our preſent Circumſtances a real Injury even to Scotland? And, if ſo, are they worthy being Members of any Society, who would, for their own particular intereſt, ſacrifice the general Good of the Nation? Or do ſuch Men imagine, that, when others about them are in a ſinking Condition, they will flouriſh long?

Theſe are the Motives which convince us, and will we doubt not alſo induce you to look upon the ſaid Attempt as the Lord's terrible Judgment, and upon the Executers thereof as the Rod in his Hand, which hath ſmitten us in his Indignation. Let us therefore comply with the Exhortation of our Seers of old[1], in taking notice of the Hand that ſmiteth us: For Affliction cometh not forth of the Duſt, neither doth Trouble ſpring out of the Ground; there is Evil in the City, nor Country, which the Lord hath not done. He it is that formeth the Light, and createth Darkneſs: who maketh Peace, and createth Evil. He it is that hath given a Charge to the Sword that it cannot be ſtill, and who hath his other Arrows, the Peſtilence and Famine, ready upon the String to ſhoot at us.

And as we conceive it incumbent upon us to look upon this Diſpenſation as our Puniſhment, ſo alſo to apply our Heart to ſearch out the Reaſon of Things, ſo as to underſtand the Language of the preſent Judgment: For tho' the Almighty giveth not an Account of any of his Matters, yet he hath promiſed, that, when his Judgments are in the Earth, the Inhabitants thereof ſhall learn Righteouſneſs; and that, when this Voice crieth into the city, the Man of Wiſdom ſhall see his Name, and hear the Rod and him that hath appointed it. And by the light of his Word, by the Voice of our own Conſciences, and by the Language of his Providences, he hath, with a Pen of Iron and the Point of a Diamond, made known our Sin and our Tranſgreſſion, inſomuch that he that runs may read them upon our Puniſhment.

It is not our Province to be publick Remembrancers unto others, nor are even our Seers ſufficient for making a full Diſcovery of the Cauſes of the Lord's Controverſy with us; we pray the Holy Spirit may be at Work with us this way. Yet we dare not conceal, that we conceive the Rod doth in a ſpecial manner point at our Diſobedience to and Rebellion against the Son of God, by the Contempt and Miſimprovement of the glorious Goſpel, our not believing in God, nor uniting in his Salvation: the Apoſtaſy of moſt even from the Profeſſion of ſerious Religion, and the Eſtrangedneſs of moſt Profeſſors from the Life and Power of true Godlineſs: at our not being duly ſenſible, of, nor evangelically humbled for, the Heaven-daring Abominations of the Race by whoſe Poſterity God is now ſmiting us, and putting us in Remembrance: Particularly for K. Charles the Second's overturning of, and burying, by the infamous Act Reſciſſory and other Acts made in his Reign, the glorious Reformation in Church and State, attained to betwixt the 1638 and 1650: the Non-ſuch Apoſtaſy and Perjury of him, his Parliament and Privy Council and of the Magiſtrates of Edinburgh and Linlithgow, in not only breaking their ſolemn Covenants made with God and his people, but alſo abjuring and burning the ſame in the Face of the Sun, to the open Effrontry of the Great God, and in Defiance of his Authority: the horrid, impious and ſacrilegious Uſurpation of the incommunicable Prerogatives of that Lord Jeſus Christ, as King and Head of his Church, by both the Royal Brothers, their conſcience-inſnaring and Soul-ruining Oaths, Bonds, Indulgences, Teſt and Toleration; their ſtrong Attempt to head back theſe Lands to Idolatry and Superſtition; their cunning and cruel Endeavours to baniſh the true Religion out of their Dominions; and their bedding the Blood of many of God's dear Saints in this and the other cities of Scotland, cutting them on Battle, whereto they were ſundry times compelled for their own Defences and impriſoning, torturing, ſcourging and baniſhing many others. As alſo, at our Ungratitude for, and Miſimprovement of our glorious Deliverance at the Revolution from that curſed Race and the Miseries they brought upon us, and from the Attempts ſince made by them, particularly in the 1708, 1715 and 1744, for bringing us again under the Dominion of Popery and Tyranny: And at the little Zeal either of Church of State for advancing and furthering the Welfare of the Houſe and Heritage of God, on the contrary, the Church hath winked at and tolerated Hereticks and their Errors whileſt Endeavours to make us ſenſible of our Abominations have been (as far as they could) ſupreſſed and the Attempters thereof behaved towards as Troublers of Mankind; the State hath given a Toleration unto Epiſcopals and all Sects of Hereticks amongſt us, and the Church hath connived thereat, not warning People of the Sin and Danger thereof; and this ſeems in an eminent Manner to Source and Spring of the preſent Rebellion: The Lord's People have been deprived the Privilege of electing their spiritual Guides and Overſeers by the Patronage-act, and arbitrary Church-meaſures taken in conſequence thereof wherethro' a Set of dead, lazy, time-ſerving Ministers are intruded upon them: An Abjuration-oath hath been impoſed, and almost univerſally ſubmitted to, which, however juſt as it reſpects the Pretender is yet reckoned ambiguous in other Points, and inconſiſtent with our former ſolemn Engagements: And the Sabbath has been profaned, and the Miniſterial Office and Power invaded and incroached upon, in the Matter of Porteous. All which, together with the abounding Idolatry, Blaſphemy, Infidelity Superſtition, profane Swearing, Idleneſs, Luxury and Extravagance of many kinds, Diſhoneſty, Fraud and Oppreſſion, open Diſregard of the Lord's Day and Worſhip, Treachery, Murder, Adultery and Fornication, with many other Abominations that might be named, rampant amongſt us, better known to many of you than to us, and which we leave to every one's own Heart to examine, are, we doubt not, ſpecial Cauſes of the Lord's thus contending with us.

And tho we neither incline, nor is it our Sphere, to be Exhorters of others, knowing of none that ſtand in more need of it than we; yet we cannot refrain expreſſing our Hopes, that many of you are judging it full Time, under the Feeling of ſo great a Burden both of Sin and Wrath, to humble ourſelves under the mighty hand of God, to juſtify his righteous Judgments to acknowledge our Iniquities, to make our Supplication to our Judge, and to ſeek his Face and Favour, that he may pardon our Sin, and heal our Land, The Lord roareth, and ſhall not his Children tremble? The God of Glory thundreth, and the Higheſt uttereth his Voice: who will not fall down and fear before him? The Fire waxeth hot, and burneth round about us; and ſhall any ſit ſtill and be ſecure? The Storm bloweth hard, and ſhall any Sluggard be ſtill aſleep? This is a Day of Trouble, and of Rebuke, and of Blaſphemy: who will not take up a Lamentation, lift up a Cry for the Remnant that are left, and ſay, Spare thy People, O Lord, and give not thine Heritage to Reproach; wherefore ſhould Papiſts, Atheiſts, Deiſts and Malignants ſay among themſelves, Where is our God?

But tho' this be the principal; yet not the only Duty of the Day: If Opportunity is afforded us, we declare our Willingneſs to apply ourſelves to ſuch other Reſolutions and Actions as ſeem moſt ſuitable and neceſſary at this time, for the Defence of Religion, King and Country: And whereas ſome of the Presbyterian Denomination have aſſiſted in the making of Targets, Scull-caps, Tents, Shoes, Pans, and other Pieces of Armoury to the Enemy: others of them have paid their Proportion of the Subſidy expreſly impoſed for defraying the Expence thereof; others have, without Conſtraint, paid in to them their Proportion of Ceſs and Exciſe, whileſt others have ſworn Oaths to them touching the having or knowing of Arms, accepted of Protections from them, and the moſt have been ſome how acceſſory in aiding them, or owning of their Authority: We declare that albeit we be ourſelves as liable to yield to Temptations as others, and deſire to exerciſe Charity towards our Brethren who have thus complied: yet we are not at Freedom ourſelves to do ſo, for the following among other Reaſons.

1. Becauſe this Pretender claims hereditary Right to theſe as his Due: but, this being what the Nation's Repreſentatives have refuſed, we muſt not do any Thing that may be interpreted an owning of his Title: For as the Effect can never be more noble than the Cauſe, ſo no more can our Obedience than his Command; and if it be his Sin to require, ſo does it ſeem our Sin and Shame to give.

2. Becauſe the End of the Demand is wicked: For tho' it is not expreſly declared to be ſo, yet is it declared virtually and indiſputably, and is univerſally known, that theſe Payments and Services are for aſſiſting the Pretender in the Recovery of his ſuppoſed just Rights.

3. Becauſe we are commanded (Jer. xxiii. 14.) not to ſtrengthen the Hands of Evil-doers, and we find Jehoshaphat reproved for helping the Ungodly, 2 Chron. xix, and that it was Ahaz's Sin in giving Money to the King of Aſſyria, Kings xvi. And we find the General Aſſembly 1648 in like manner dehorting all the Members of the Church from contributing any Aſſurance to Duke Hamilton's Engagement (tho' not more wicked then this) but that they ſhould rather ſuffer the utmost that wicked Mens Malice could afflict them with. And, in the 1646, we find they paſt an Act for cenſuring even ſuch as had taken Protections from thoſe that were engaged in Montroſe's Rebellion, or executing their Orders.

But becauſe the End of the action is ſaid to ly wholly in the Act of the Will, and that it is aſſerted the foreſaid Acts were compelled vi & motu: We ſhall, for caſting Light on what may be called an involuntary Action, tranſcribe part of a Paragraph of the zealous and learned Mr. Shields, from whole Reaſonings on this Head we have gleaned. "This will be cleared, if we conſider the Law of God (Deut.xxiv. 25.) concerning Rapes, where, to make out the Involuntarineſs of the betrothed Virgin, ſhe muſt be only be ſuppoſed to ſtruggle and reſiſt the Attempt made upon her Chaſtity and Honeſty by the Villain, but ſhe muſt cry for Aſſiſtance; without which ſhe is held in Law willingly to conſent to the committing of that Wickedneſs."

Other Arguments might be adduced on this point; but it being more our our Deſign to apologize for ourſelves (for which Purpoſe we conceive what is said is ſufficient) than to convince others, we forbear.

Upon the Whole, Tho' our Difficulties be many, yet our Caſe is not altogether deſperate, and tho' it be deplorable, yet when we reflect that God has yet left us a Nail in his holy Place, and what great Deliverances he hath wrought to us even from the ſame Party, Experience begetteth Hope. Our Fathers truſted in God, they truſted in him, and he did deliver them; they cried unto him, and were delivered. Who knoweth but he hath lifted up our Enemies, that their Fall may be the greater, and that he may caſt them down into Deſolation for ever? Ariſe and let us be doing; the Lord of Hoſts is with us, the God of Jacob is our Refuge.

Thus far we have preſumed (as no Attempt of his kind hath at this Time been publiſhed unto you) to give you a ſmall Token of our Love, party in the Words of the Holy Ghoſt, partly in the Stile of our zealous Reformers on ſomewhat parallel Occaſions, and partly in our own fiat (tho' we hope plain) Dialect. We are,

Gentlemen,

Edinb. 28th October

1745. Your Brethren in Tribulation and Hope.


An antidote against the infectious contagion of popery and tyranny - Endpiece.png


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

 
  1. Warning from the General Aſſembly in the 1645.