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The

Protestation

Of the Noblemen,

Barrons, Gentle-

men, Borrowes, Mini-

sters, and Commons,

Subſcribers of the Confeſſion of

Faith and Covenant, lately renewed within the

Kingdome of Scotland, made at the Mer-

cate Croſſe of Edinburgh, the 4. of Iulij im-

mediatly after the reading of the procla-

mation, dated 28. June

1638.

♥♥

Printed in the year of God, 1638.

TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Note.

The Protestation below has been typeset from the original publication, the language of which is not the most readable of the various documents printed at this time, or in relation to the events of the Second Reformation in Scotland. Original spellings and punctuation have been retained in order to present the text in the most authentic form possible. But whatever imperfections one may find in the form, the document is of peculiar importance. Covenanters, or Reformed Presbyterians, in defence of their practice of Political Dissent, have often pointed to language in the Solemn League & Covenant whereby the King's "Defence of the True Religion" is made a qualification of the loyalty Christian subjects will give to their king. This, and other principles of like significance, such as the duty of mutual defence among Covenanters, will be found traceable to Scotland, and to a time prior to the Solemn League, as is demonstrated in the document following.

2009.02.05.


The Protestation of the Noblemen,

Barons, Gentlemen, Borrowes, Mi-

nisters, and Commons, &c.

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W

♦ ♦ ♦

EE Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers and Commons, That whereas We the Kings Maiesties true and loyall Subjects, Who have ever esteemed it Our greatest happinesse, to live under a religious and righteous King, and Our greatest glory to testifie our best affections to our gratious Soveraigne, Have beene in His Maiesties absence from this His native Kingdome Heavily pressed for a long time past, And especially of late with diverse innovations, which both in themselves, and in the way wherein they have beene urged doe manifestly tend to the prejudice of the Kings honour and of our religion, lawes and liberties, And by which Wee were brought to such extremitie, that there was no way left betwixt the rocke of excommunication, and the high paine of rebellion on the one part, and the desperate danger of forsaking the way of true religion, and the breach of our Covenant with God on the other, But to represent {} our cace, and present our Supplications to the Lords of Secret Councell, That being equally pondered by Them, They might bee answered by Themselves, or by their recommendation might ascend to His Majesties owne consideration. And therefore in all humble manner We did to this effect supplicat their L. we were most willing for the modest following of our supplications, to obey their direction, in choosing Commissionars for the great number of supplicants, who flocked togidder from all the quarters of the Kingdome, Were carefull to order our selves in all Christian and quyet carriage, and against the tediousnesse of many and long delayes did waite for a long time with verie great patience, till at last they were pleased to receave our Supplications Complaints and Billes: And conceaving them to conteine weighter matters then could by themselves bee determined, They did promise and undertake to represent and recommend the same, according to their more than ordinarie importance unto His Majesties royall consideration, and to report His Majesties answere.

While His Majesties good Subjects of all ranks throughout the whole kingdome had their mindes wakened, and their hearts filled with the expectation of a gratious and satisfactorie answere, worthie of His Majesties pious and equitable disposition; in the Moneth of February last, incontinent a rumour flieth through the countrey, and filleth all eares, That the Lords of His Majesties secret Counsell were commanded to make such a Proclamation concerning the service booke, booke of canons, and the peaceable meetings of His Majesties good Subjects in time coming, As Wee were perswaded to have beene procured by the secret working, and malignant {} misinformation of our adversaries, Seeking for their owne private ends, without respect to his Majesties honour, and welfare of this kirk and Kingdome, To stop the course of our legall proceedings, and to escape their owne due censure: And therefore intending to make knowne to the Lords of secret Counsell what was noised concerning the Proclamation, How far the whole kingdome had beene by some sinistrous misinformation frustrat of their hopes, and their constant desire to have some course taken by their Lo. advise, How His Majestie being further informed, might deliver His good Subjects from so great grievances and feares, and establish a sure peace in this countrey for time to come. We found our selves tyed by order of law to decline those against whom Wee had made our complaint, unlesse We would admit our parties to be our Judges: And incace our declinatour should not bee accepted, Wee behoved to protest that Wee might have immediat recourse to the King himself, &c.  THERAFTER in the Moneth of March, finding that by the foresaid proclamation, the innovations supplicated against were approven, Our lawfull proceedings condemned, Our most necessare meetings prohibited, There being no other way left unto Us, wee were necessitate to renew the nationall Covenant of this Church and Kingdome, Thereby to reconceale us to God, provoked to wrath against Us, by the breach of his Covenant within this Land, to cleare Our Soveraignes minde from all jealousies and suspitions arising from Our adversaries misinformation of our intentions and carriage, And so to make way for his acceptance of our humble supplications, and grant of their lawfull remedies, to guarde {} this land in defence of religion, authoritie and libertie, against inward divisions, and externall violences, And that our actions might bee answerable to our holy profession, Wee afterward drew up an humble supplication, conteining our grievances, and desires of the ordinarie remedies thereof, to have beene delivered to the King himselfe, In the meane time Wee were directed by those who were intrusted by His Majestie, to attend His declaration heere in Scotland, which would free Us of all feares of innovations of religion, and prove satisfactorie. And least for want of true information of our just grievances and desires it should fall out otherwise, We expressed to them with the greatest modestie We could [culled] our desires in some few articles, and with great patience have attended His Majesties pleasure thereanent, And all this moneth bygone being frequently conveened to heare the same delivered by his Majesties Commissionar, the right Noble and Potent Lord, James Marques of Hamilton, &c. Wee presented a new petition to his Grace, as his Majesties Commissionar, craving most humbly the indiction of a free Assemblie and Parliament, as the only remedies thereof.  Like as finding a misinformation, or mistake of our Covenant with God, as if it had beene an unlawfull combination to bee the maine hinderance of obteining our desires, in a new supplication Wee have fully removed that impediment, renewed our desires of those supreme judicatories, to bee indicted with diligence, for setling of the Church and Kingdome: But being answered only with delayes after these nine Moneths attendance, and with this Proclamation that conteined his Maiesties gratious declaration of his pious intentions, not to admit of any {} innovations in Religion or lawes, nor any staine of Popish superstitions, But on the contrare, to be resolved to maintaine the true Christian Religion professed in this Kingdome, which Wee were ever so far from calling in question, as in our supplications, complaints, and billes We used the same, as one cause of our desires, one ground of our confidence of a gratious answere, and argument of our adversaries malignant misinformation of so religious a King.  And now most humblie with bended knees, and bowed hearts thanke our gratious Soveraigne for the same, Wishing and praying the Lord of heaven truely and fully to informe his Majestie, how far these bookes, judicatories, and all our other evils and grievances are full of idolatrous superstitions, and Popish errors, How destructive of the reformation of religion in this land, and of the lawes and liberties of this Church and Kingdome: And so directly contrare to this his Majesties pious intention and declaration. Yet seeing that no Proclamation could sufficiently remove the present evils, Nor settle our feares, nor secure us from the re-entrie of any evill or innovation, which it seemed to discharge or prevent the like in time comming, nor satisfie our humble supplications, craving the present indiction of a free Assemblie and Parliament, As the only remedies of our evils, and meanes to prevent the like.  AND seeing this Proclamation doeth not so much as make mention, or acknowledge any of Our Supplications, Complaints and Grievances, or any just cause thereof, Except under the name of great increase of disorders, faults, and misdemanours; But only Our feares of some future innovation of Religion or Lawes, Occasioned only as is pretended by the introduction {} of the Service bookke, booke of Canons, and high Commission, which feares his Majestie hoped to have been aboundantly and sufficiently satisfied by his two former Proclamations, of the Nynth of December, and Nineteenth of Februar: And by this his present declaration, Except his Subjects be blindly under pretext of religion led unto disobedience. Doth misken, passe over, and so in effect deny all our supplications, billes, articles, and desires, Especially our complaints against the prelats our parties. And that once for all, In a fair and perswasive way, even after the resaite of our last suppplication, Clearing us from the calumnie of unlawfull combination.  DOETH not dissalow, nor discharge any of the Innovations, and evils compleined upon, But only assureth, that his Maiestie will not presse their practise, But in such a faire and legall way, as shall satisfie his Subiects of his intention, which ioyned with the other clause, allowing and confirming the proclamation the Nineteenth of Februar, Evidenceth the libertie left to any Prelate or Persones to practise the same, And by all other faire wayes, To perswade others thereunto: And his Maiesties resolution, to presse their practise in a faire and legall way: And also confirmeth the former declaration, That the Service booke is a ready meane To maintaine the true religion, already professed, and to beate out all superstition, and no wayes to be contrare to the lawes of this Kingdome, But to be compylled and approved for the universall use and edification of all his Majesties Snbjests.  Doeth not abolish, but promiseth to rectifie the high Commission, with advise of his privie Counsell, Implying the Kings power with consent of the Counsell, To establish this or any {} judicatorie within this Kingdome, without consent of the three estates conveened in Parliament, contrary to the fundamentall and expresse lawes thereof, and by consequent, with the like reason, to establish lawes and service bookes, without consent of the Assemblie and Parliament, Which is contrare to the maine ground of all our supplications, against the manner of that introduction.  Doeth only promise to take unto His consideration in an Assemblie and Parliament, which shall be called at his best convenience, While as the evident and urgent necessitie, for setling the combustions, threatning the totall dissolution and desolation of this Church and State, Excuseth our uncessant and importune calling for these present remedies.  Doeth insinuat the continuance and execution of any pretended lawes, for these innovations of worship, and corruptions of Church government, and civill places of Church men, Which by our Covenant Wee have oblidged our selves to forbear, and the reestablishment of those evils in an Assemblie and Parliament, which he will call in his best convenience, To wit, for that and this other end of satisfying His Subjects judgements, anent the Service booke and booke of Canons.  Doeth condemne all our former proceedings; even our supplicating, compleining, protesting, subscribing of our Covenant together, and our continuall meetings, As great disorders, increase of disorders, deserving justly a powerfull rather then a perswasive way, a running headlong into ruine, a perishing in our faults, a blinde dissobedience under pretext of religion, and doth threaten and denounce, Now once for all, If we be not heartily satisfyed and give testimony of our obedience after this declaration, But continue, as by our former proceedings, to draw on our {} own ruine, that albeit unwillingly he must make use of that power which God hath indued him with, for reclaiming of so dissobedient people.

THerefore We, In our own name, and in name of all who will adhere to the Confession of Faith, and reformation of Religion within this land, are forced and compelled out of our bound duetie to God, our King, Native Countrey, our selves and our posteritie, (lest our silence should be prejudiciall to so important a cause, As concerns Gods glorie and worship, our Religion and salvation, The lawes and liberties of this Church and Kingdome, or derogatorie to our former supplications, complaints, protestations, articles, and proceedings, Or unanswerable to the solemne oath of our nationall Covenant with God,) To declare before God, and man, And to protest, Primo, That we do, and will constantly adhere according to our vocation and power to the said reformation, In doctrine, use of Sacraments and discipline; And that notwithstanding of any innovations introduced therein either of old, or of late.  Secundo, We protest that we adhere to the grievances, supplications, and protestations given in at Assemblies and Parliaments, and to our lait supplications, complaints, protestations, and other lawfull proceedings against the same, and particularly against the service booke, and booke of Canons, As maine innovations of Religion and lawes, and full of Popish superstition, and so directly contrare to the Kings declaration, and against the high Commission, as a judicatorie established contrare to the Lawes and liberties of this church and kingdome, and destructive of other lawfull judicatories, which both in respect to the nature of it, and manner of introduction, without consent of the three estats {} of Parliament, cannot bee any wayes rectified, but absolutely discharged.  Tertio, Wee protest that Wee adhere with Our hearts to our oath and subscription of the Confession of Faith, the solemne Covenant betweene God, this Church and kingdome, and the clauses particularly therein expressed, and generally conteined, and to our last articles for the peace of this Church and Kingdome, drawne out of it, and to all the matters therein conteined, and manner of remedie therein desired.  Quarto, we protest, that this Proclamation or act of Counsell, or any other act or proclamation or declaration, or ratification thereof, By subscription or act, or letter, or any other manner of way whatsoever, or any precondemnation of our cause or carriage, before the same be lawfully heard and tryed in the supreme judicatories of this church and kingdome, the only proper judges to nationall causes and proceedings, or any certification or threatning therein denunced, shall no wayes bee prejudiciall to the confession of Faith, lawes and liberties of this Kingdome, nor to our supplications, complaints, protestations, articles, lawfull meetings, proceedings, persutes, mutuall defences, nor to our persons and estates, and shall no wayes bee disgracefull either in realitie or opinion, at home or abroad, to Us or any of Us: But on the contrare, that any act or letter, or subscription of the Counsell, carrying the approbation of the declaration, and condemnation of our proceedings, indicta causa, is, and ought to bee repute and esteemed unjust, illegall, and null, as here before God and man Wee offer to cleare, and to verifie both the justice of our cause and carriage, and the injustice of such acts against Us, in the face of the first generall Assemblie of the Church and Parliament of the {} Estates, unto whom, with all solemnities requisite Wee do publictly appeale.  Quinto, Wee protest, that seeing our former supplications, last articles, and our last desire and petition to His Majesties Commissionar, which petitioned for the present indiction of a free generall Assemblie and Parliament, According to the law and custome of all nations, and of this nation in the like cace, To heare the desires, ease the grievances, and settle the feares of the body of the Church and kingdome, are thus delayed, and in effect refused, To wit, Once for all, till His Majesties conveniencie for the ends conteined in this Proclamation, that We continue by thir presents to supplicat His Majestie againe and againe, for the granting of the same: And whatsoever trouble or inconvenience fall out in this land in the meane time, for want of these ordinarie remedies, and by the practise of any of these innovations and evils, contrare to our supplications, articles, and confession, it be not imputed unto Us, who most humbly beg these lawfull remedies, But also, that it is, and shall bee lawfull unto Us, to defend and maintaine the religion, lawes, and liberties of this kingdome, the Kings Authoritie in defence thereof, and every one of Us one another in that cause, of maintaining the religion, and the Kings foresaid Authoritie, according to our power, vocation, and covenant, with our best counsell, bodies, lifes, meanes, and whole strength, against all persons whatsoever, and against all externall or internall invasions manassed in this proclamation.  Like as that in the great exigence of the church, necessitating the use of this ordinarie and lawfull remedies, for setling the commotions thereof, it is, and shall be leasome unto Us to appoint, hold, and use the ordinarie meanes, our lawfull meetings {} and Assemblies of the Church, agreeable to the law of God, and practise of the primitive Church, the Acts of the generall Assemblies and Parliaments, and the example of Our worthie Reformers in the like case.  Sexto, Wee protest, that our former supplications, complaints, protestations, confessions, meetings, proceedings, and mutuall defences, of every one another in this Cause, As they are, and were in themselves most necessare, and orderly meanes, agreeable to the lawes, and practice of this Church and Kingdome, to bee commended as reall dueties of faithfull Christians, loyall Subjects, and sensible members of the bodie of the church and kingdome, and no wise to be stiled nor accounted great disorders, misdemanours, blinde disobedience under pretext of Religion, and running headlong into ruine. &c.  So they proceeded only from conscience of our duety to God, our King, native countrey, and our posteritie, and doeth Tend to no other end, But to the preservation of the true reformed Religion, the Confession of faith, lawes, and liberties of this His Majesties most ancient Kingdome, and of his Majesties authoritie, in defence thereof and Satisfaction of our humble desires, conteined in our supplications, Complaints, and articles, Unto the which we adhere againe and againe; As we would eschew the curse of the Almightie God, following the breach of his Covenant: And yet we do certainely expect according to the Kings Majestie his accustomed goodnesse, and justice, that his sacred Majestie after a true information of the justice of our cause and carriage, Will presently indict these ordinary remedies of a free Assemblie and Parliament to our just supplications, complaints, and articles, which may be expected, and useth to be granted from so just {} and gratious a King, towards most loyall and duetifull Subjects, calling for redresse of so pressing grievances, And praying heartily that his Majestie may long and prosperously reigne over Us.

WHereupon a Noble Earl, John Earle of Cassles, &c. In name of the Noble men, Master Alexander Gibson, younger, of Durie, in name of the Barons, James Fletcher, Provest of Dundie, In name of the Borrowes, Master John Ker, Minister at Salt-Prestoun, In name of the Ministers, and Master Archbald Jhonston, Reader heereof, In name of all who adhere to the Confession of Faith and Covenant, lately renewed within this Kingdome, Tooke instruments in the hands of three Noters present, at the said mercat crosse of Edinburgh, being invironed with great Numbers of the foresaid Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Borrowes, Ministers and Commons, Before many Hundreth witnesses, and craved the extract thereof: And in token of their duetifull respect to his Majestie, confidence of the equitie of their cause, and innocencie of their cariage, and hope of his Majesties gratious acceptance, They offred in all humilitie with submisse reverence a copie thereof to the Herauld.

FINIS.