To the ministers and elders met at Edinburgh, April 26, 1710

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
To the ministers and elders met at Edinburgh, April 26, 1710  (1710) 

TO THE

MINISTERS AND ELDERS

Met at Edinburgh, April 26, 1710.

The Just COMPLAINT and Remonstrance
Of the
NATIONAL COVENANT of SCOTLAND,
And the
SOLEMN LEAGUE and COVENANT
of the Three Kingdoms of
SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, and IRELAND

Humbly Sheweth,
THAT whereas your Petitioners forlorn
By Chupch and State, held in Contempt and Scorn

By Persons of all Ranks and Qualities,
Exposed to Affronts, Indignities,
And all the Unjust Rage of Enemies

Unto the Covenanted Reformation,
Which once obtain'd within this Church and Nation
Cast off by all that's in Authority,
And Violate by the grossest Perfidy;
Under the Ashes of Affronts do ly,
Desert' by most unjust-Apostacy;
Deserve some other Treatment at the hands
Of all, and each in these Reformed Lands;
And specially, at yours, whose Place and Station,
Whose Honour, Interest, and that high Relation,
Wherein you stand unto the KING of Kings,
Who in Sublime o're Earth’s Clay-Monarchs reigns;
Doth challenge your Observance of His Laws,
With Life and Fortune to defend His Caufe;
His honour and His Interest to advance,
To propagate with Care and Vigilance,
His Kingdom, to oppoſe all Enemies,
Who would invade His Church's Liberties.
From You (We ſay) We juſtly might expect
Some ampler Demonſtrations of Reſpect,
And Signs of Love, than yet You kythed have,
Who ſuffer Us to ly ſtill in that Grave,
Which Tyrants, now convict of Perjury,
Did in the higheſt pitch of Cruelty,
Dig up, Our barned Aſhes to enſhrine;
Thereby to ſatiate that Fury keen
Bred in their Breaſts, by the Infernal Flames
Of Spight and Malice, 'gainſt the very Names
Of Reformation, and a Covenant,
Or what e're elſe might interrupt the Rant
Of that Chimeric Sinfull Liberty,
Which now hath drown'd their Souls in Miſery,
We might have thought, that through all this long Tract
of Peace and Eaſe, you ſometime would ranſact
Theſe deep Meanders and confuſed Cells,
Theſe Labyrinths, which Truths pure light expels,
Or rather ne're admit's; You know we mean,
Theſe darkſom Caves where we have bury'd been,
Of Tollerations and Indulgencies,
Granted by Chriſts declared Enemies;
But oh, alace! baſely accepted by,
Some of yourſelves to whom We now apply,
(Perhaps in vain.) We ſay, we might have thought,
That you at leaſt our Reliques would have ſought;
We can aſſure you, 'tis no fuperftition
To ſeek 'em out with carefall Inquiſition;
Nay, on the contrare 'tis your bounden duty,
Theſe Reliques to reſtore to th' ancient beauty,
Glory and Splendor wherewith once they ſhin'd,
While Chriſts true Citizens in one combin'd,
To propagate under their Captains Banner
His Truths and Cauſe in moſt couragious manner,
Hid with a juſt magnificence diſplay,
Their Zeal, for that Intrinſic liberty,
And Pow'r wherewith the Church is veſted by

Her Husband CHRIST, without dependency
On any State, or Worldly Monarchy.
We might have look'd, that when you did begin

The Church's Breaches to repair again,
We ſhould have been employed to Cement
That Fabrick, which Defections ſore had rent;
Inſtead of which 'twas baſely plaiſt'red over.
With fair pretexts, not to remove but cover
All the Defection, Blood-ſhed, Perjury
Enacted by Enormous Tyranny.
Yea ſuch was your reſpect, rather diſdain,
To Us, who had the Nations Glory been;
Leaſt Your new Structure ſhould participate
Of any thing which might to Us relate;
You chuſed rather to reject as Duſt,
And to conſign to everlaſting Ruſt,
Theſe worthy Acts, which did corroborate,
And Us to Our juſt greatneſs elevate;
Than to controll the Arrogating Pow'rs,
Which o're Chriſt's Church ſeek to erect the Tow'rs
Of an unlimited Supremacy.
Fve five of the Churches Liberty;
And that you might their Humours gratifie,
Thereby t' obtain Peace and Proſperitie,
A temporary, Earthly, fading thing,
Which ſeldom doth true ſatisfaction bring
Unto the Soul as its Concomitant,
Being that it is the Glory of a Saint
To bear his Croſs and imitate his Maſter,
Who when on Earth was ſubject to Diſaſter,
To ſufferings great, and maniefold Afflictions,
And to the worſt of ſinners Contradictions:
But you contrarie ways, to purchaſe eaſe,
And Worldly wealth, or out of Cowardice,
A Puſillanimous unmanly Paſſion
Converſant more with Fear than ſolid Reaſon,
Have contrare to the Duty which doth ly,
Upon theſe Lands, by vertue of that tye
Which we contain, meanly receeded from
The Churches choiſeſt Triumphs over Rome;

And practically granted them to be
What once they were declar'd by Tyranny
Acts of Rebellion 'gainst Authority.
And ever ſince Your late Eſtabliſhment,
You have declared that you are content
With any Model of Church Government,

Reſpondent to the Peoples Inclinations,
Within theſe three once Covenanted Nations;
Inſtead of that bleft Uniformity
In Sound Religion, with the Purity
Of all its parts, intended and begun,
And ſworn unto, tho' now alace o're-run
With Clouds of Error, Miſts and Superftition,
Eraſtian Uſurpation and Diviſion.
It is no Paradox to ſee it ſo,
When there's a patent Door to every Foe;
Since We Religions Bulwarks are broke down,
And ne're repair'd, what wonder tho' the Crown

Fall from your heads? It can't be otherways
Can you expect Heavens ſweet comforting Rayes
Till you repent and do reform your ways?

O! do you think, th' Eternal hath forgot
The wrongs His Truth ſuſtains? Obferves He not
The Manners and Deportment of theſe Lands?
Who ſolemnly with elevated hands
Did vow Allegance and Fidelity,
Both for themſelves and for poſterity,

To Chriſt his Kingdom, Scepter, Government;
And amply teftified their Souls Conſent
By entring in a ſolemn COVENANT;

A COVENANT which was the bleſt effect
Offree and boundleſs Love, imnenſe reſpect,
Which GOD vouchſaf'd upon theſe ſinking Nations
Whereby his People of all Ranks and Stations
Were animated, ſtrengthened, and enlarged
From Yocks and Burdens which had overcharged
Their Souls, their Conſcience had much perturbed,
And their due Chriſtian Liberty had curbed.
A COVENANT which for its riſe and ſpring,
Manner and Ends, yea every other thing
Relating to it, plainly doth diſcover,
That GOD therein hath been the ſupream Mover
His Kingdoms progreſs the ſupream Deſign;
The Manner what His perfect Laws define;
The Matter ſuch as every gracious Soul,
If well inform'd, muſt love, but can't control;
Binding to nothing but what formerly,
And antecedent unto ſuch a tye,
Was lying as a duty on theſe Nations,
Chiefly the Godly of all Ranks and Stations.
But leſt you ſhould Us tax of arrogance,
While modeſtly We labour to advance
That juſt Eſteem, and Honour which is due
To Us from all theſe Nations and from you
In ſpecial, if you ferve that Character
Which Chriſt upon His Servants doth confer,
Therefore We ſhall forbear Now to declare
What our Enduements and Perfections are.
Nor liſt We amply to enumerate
What wrongs we bear, left 't might exaſperate
Impatient humours, which can ſcarcely bear
Our Names, much leſs Our juft Complaints to hear;
And tho' We be contemned, flouted at,
Deſpis'd, derided and dilacerate;
Tho' ſuch as ſeal'd Us with their precious Blood,
Have been by You ſo far miſunderſtood,
As to be tearm'd Blind-Zealots, Men intent,
The Kingdom to diſturb, the Chưrch to rent;
Tho' in our room Oaths are impoſ'd and taken,
Contrare to Us, and We our felves forſaken;
Yea, tho' We have ſufficient Evidence

Of diſreſpect to Our juſt Eminence,
In every Event which doth now commence;
Yet here (We ſay) it is not Our Intentions
To draw theſe injuries in large Dimenſions,

Nor to aggredge the hainous Circumſtances,
Which them to ſuch a pitch of guilt advances:
But You may Juſtly, fear, ſome other Pencil
Will do't in lines of Blood, We mean the Benſil
And ſtorm of long-deſerved Indignation,
Juftly impendent on this ſinfull Nation.
But what We here intend, is to remind
You of the Duty, runto which We bind,
Theſe Kingdoms, namely that you ſhould ſuppreſs,
Whatever is contrare to Godlineſs,
To ſound Religion in its purity,
And pow'r, ſuch as that curſed Hierarchy,
Satanical no doubt in its invention,
Th' infamous Means of Antichriſts aſcenſion,
Erect by Law, confirmed by Decrees,
And Oaths impor'd on Men of all degrees.
As likewiſe every Het'rodox Opinion,
And Hereſy, fupporting the Domin.on
Of the Infernall King, now ſo much ſpreading;
Mens wretched Souls to endleſs darknefs leading;
Tho' by the Influence and Kindly Rayes,
Which † Moon and Stars upon their roots diſplayes,
Theſe Errours quickly pullulate and ſpring
And do their curfed fruits to ripeneſs bring.

VVE know 'tis vain for Us to ſupplicate
You to revive Us, or redintegrate
That Reformation which We bind you to,
For that's beyond your Reach and Pow'r to do,
Till once you break the Bonds, throw of the yocks
Wreathed on your Necks, renove the ſtumbling-blocks
Laid in the way of any Enterpriſe,
By which Chriſt's bury'd Int'reſt may ariſe,
Mount up and Flowriſh: yet, pray, do not think,
That Impotency under which you ſink,
Can leſſen or excuſe your ſinfull Courſes,
Which do prodace theſe Lets, and are the Sources,
From which do ſpring thefe grand impediments.
Which hinder Reformation, and foments
The Quite Reverſe, even every curfed Weed,
And Poiſon'd Root, which in theſe Lands do ſpread.
Only We crave, You'd ſerioufly advert
Unto theſe Means which may juſt Wrath avert;
That you'd Repent, and would no more refuſe
To turn to GOD, perſiſt not to abuſe
His long-protracted Love and Patience,
Which knows no Rival of its Eminence
Yet when abus'd will ſometime yield a place
To Juſtice 'gainft a ſtiff Rebellious Race.
Conſider that your triffling Quidities,
Whereby you cover your Iniquities,
All theſe Diſtinctions whereby you'd evade
Juſt Challenges, and whereby you'd perſwade
The ſimple to complaiſance with your ways,
Can never hide them from OMNISCIENT Eyes.
And tho' by ſtrength of rack'd Imaginations,
You may invent Diſtinctions and Evaſions,
Shifts, and Pretexts your ſins to palliate,
And your Declinſions to extenuate,
Yet when the Righteous LORD ſhall riſe to plead
And 'gainft theſe Courſes ſhall His Witneſs lead,
Perhaps you'l find, they'l prove but bruiſed Reeds,
Uſeleſs, yea, hurtfull in your greateſt Needs.
O! how will you that weighty charge elude
Of Cov'nant-breaking; yea, the guilt of Blood,
Even Blood of Souls; who do not Faithfully,
As Watchmen ſet on Lions Walls, deſcry
The hainous ſins and Heav'n-incenſing Crimes
Which are the Monſtrous product of theſe times?
How can you ſay that you Repentance preach
While you the Lands Defections do not reach?
While as you don't impartially declare
The ſins of Great and Small, while you do ſpare
Sin in your ſelves or others, ne're expect
ſuch tender Indications of reſpect,
As Chriſt hath pleaſed fometimes to confer
Upon His Miniſters, who did prefer
His Kingdom's ſucceſs to their Worldly Grandeur
Who were content and willing to ſurrender
Their ALL to Chriſt, if ſo they might promove
His Churches Intereſt, and unite in Love
His Subjects in the way of Truth and Duty,
Which is the Quinteſſence of Zions beauty,
Which now ſhe greatly wants, and can't regain,
While Aſher-like you love ſtill to remain
In theſe wide Breaches which her Foes have made,
Who did and do her Properties invade,
But to conclude, if you refuſe to hear
Theſe words of ſoberneſs, and ſtoppe your ear
Againſt the Truth, We'll reinforce our Charge
We'll change our Arguments and them enlarge,
And will oblide our briskeſt foes to yield,
Yea, with diſgrace at length to quite the field;
Becauſe HE's Mighty who has promiſed
Our Qarrel to a venge, our Cauſe to plead.
HIS faithfulneſſe and HIS veracity
Will not allow, HE ſhould indemnify
Theſe Obſtinat and unrepenting Lands,
Who do deſpiſe HIS Oath, and break HIS bands,
Who dream of eaſe, peace and proſperity,
While yet involv'd in profound perjury.
This is the Summe of what was Our intent
In this Aſſembly to have repreſent;
But doubting of a kind and friendly hearing,
Our uſeuall intertainment juſtly fearing,
We here await what honour your Diſcretion
Will put upon two Patriots of your Nation.

In prolem dilata ruunt perjuria patris
Et penam merito filius ore legit
Et quas fallacis collegit lingua parentis
Has eadem nati lingua refundit opes.
Claudianus ex Heſiodo.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.