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itself, — which alone is able to square and fit the
The Scotch Clergy never got such a reprimand since they first took ordination! A very dangerous radiance blazes through these eyes of my Lord General's, — destructive to the owl-dominion, in Edinburgh Castle and elsewhere !
Let Dundas and Company reflect on it. Here is their ready Answer ; still of the same day.
“. To the Right Honourable the Lord Cromwell, Commander-in
Chief of the English Army.'
“ • Edinburgh Castle,' 9th September, 1650. “MY LORD, — Yours I have communicated to those with “me whom it concerned; who desire me to return this “ Answer:
“ That their ingenuity in prosecuting the ends of the “ Covenant, according to their vocation and place, and in “ adhering to their first principles, is well known; and one “ of their greatest regrets is that they have not been met with “ the like. That when Ministers of the Gospel have been im“prisoned, deprived of their benefices, sequestrated, forced “ to flee from their dwellings, and bitterly threatened, for
* Thurloe, i. 159 ; Pamphlet at Edinburgh.
“ their faithful declaring the will of God against the godless “ and wicked proceedings of men,-it cannot be accounted 6 can imaginary fear of suffering' in such as are resolved to “ follow the like freedom and faithfulness in discharge of “ their Master's message. That it savours not of ingenuity' “ to promise liberty of preaching the Gospel, and to limit the “ Preachers thereof, that they must not speak against the “ sins and enormities of Civil Powers; since their commission "s carrieth them to speak the Word of the Lord unto, and to “ reprove the sins of, persons of all ranks, from the highest “ to the lowest. That to impose the name of railing' upon “ such faithful freedom was the old practice of Malignants, “ against the Ministers of the Gospel, who laid open to people " the wickedness of their ways, lest men should be ensnared « thereby.
“ That their consciences bear them record, and all their “ hearers do know, that they meddle not with Civil Affairs, “ farther than to hold forth the rule of the Word, by which “ the straightness and crookedness of men's actions are made “evident. But they are sorry they have such cause to regret “ that men of mere Civil place and employment should usurp “ the calling and employment of the Ministry :: to the scandal “ of the Reformed Kirks; and, particularly in Scotland, con“ trary to the government and discipline therein established, "—to the maintenance whereof you are bound, by the Solemn “ League and Covenant.
“ Thus far they have thought fit to vindicate their return - to the offer in Colonel Whalley's Letter. The other part of “yours, which concerns the Public as well as them, they con“ ceive hath all been answered sufficiently in the public Papers “ of the State and Kirk. Only to that of the success upon
I Certain of our Soldiers and Officers preach; very many of them can preach, - and greatly to the purpose too!
“ your solemn appeal,' they say again, what was said to it “ before, That they have not so learned Christ as to hang the “ equity of their Cause upon events; but desire to have their “ hearts established in the love of the Truth, in all the tribu“ lations that befall them.
"I only do add that I am, my Lord, your most humble “ servant,
“ W. DUNDAS.”
On Thursday follows Oliver's Answer, — very inferior in composition,' says Dryasdust ;--composition not being quite the trade of Oliver! In other respects, sufficiently superior.
For the Governor of Edinburgh Castle : These.
Edinburgh, 12th September, 1650. Because I am at some reasonable good leisure, I cannot let such gross mistakes and inconsequential reasonings pass without some notice taken of them.
And first, their ingenuity in relation to the Covenant, for which they commend themselves, doth no more justify their want of ingenuity in answer to Colonel Whalley's Christian offer, concerning which my Letter charged them with guiltiness and' deficiency, than their bearing witness to themselves of their adhering to their first principles, and ingenuity in prosecuting the ends of the Covenant, justifies them so to have done merely because they say so. They must give more leave henceforwards; for Christ will have it so, nill they, will they.
And they must have patience to have the truth of their doctrines and sayings tried by the sure touchstone of the Word of God. And if there be a liberty and duty of trial, there is a liberty of judgment also for them that may and ought to try: which being so, they must give others leave to think and say that they can appeal to equal judges, Who have been the truest fulfillers of the most real and equitable ends of the Covenant?
But if these Gentlemen do2 assume to themselves to be the infallible expositors of the Covenant, as they do too much to their auditories to be the infallible expositors' of the Scriptures also,' counting a different sense and judgment from theirs Breach of Covenant and Heresy,—no marvel they judge of others so authoritatively and severely. But we have not so learned Christ. We look at Ministers as helpers of, not lords over, God's people. I appeal to their consciences, whether any person' trying their doctrines, and dissenting, shall not incur the censure of Sectary? And what is this but to deny Christians their liberty, and assume the Infallible Chair? What doth he whom we would not be likened untos do more than this ?
In the second place, it is affirmed that the “ Ministers of the Gospel have been imprisoned, deprived of their benefices, sequestered, forced to fly from their dwellings, and bitterly threatened, for their faithful declaring of the will of God;" that they have been limited that they might not "speak against the sins and enormities of the Civil Powers ;" that to “impose the name of railing upon
1 “if' in the original. :which do' in the original ; dele " which.'
3 The Pope.
such faithful freedom was the old practice of Malignants against the Preachers of the Gospel,” &c.—Now' if the Civil Authority, or that part of it which continued faithful to their trust, and true to the ends of the Covenant, did, in answer to their consciences, turn out a Tyrant, in a way which the Christians in after-times will mention with honour, and all Tyrants in the world look at with fear; and 'if' while many thousands of saints in England rejoice to think of it, and have received from the hand of God a liberty from the fear of like usurpations, and have cast off him” who trod in his Father's steps, doing mischief as far as he was able (whom you have received like fire into your bosom,- of which God will, I trust, in time make you sensible): if, 'I say,' Ministers railing at the Civil Power, and calling them murderers and the like for doing these things, have been dealt with as you mention, — will this be found a “personal persecution ?" Or is sin so, because they say so ?3 They that acted this great Business4 have given a reason of their faith in the action; and some here5 are ready further to do it against all gainsayers.
But it will be found that these reprovers do not only make themselves the judges and determiners of sin, that so they may reprove; but they also took liberty to stir up the people to blood and arms; and would have brought a war upon England, as hath been upon Scotland, had not God prevented it. And if such severity as hath been expressed towards them be worthy of the
1 When Pride purged them.
? Your Charles II., as you call him.