Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rutherford Revised (358)

358. To several Brethren. Reasons for petitioning his Majesty after his return, and for owning such as were censured, while about so necessary a duty.    From St. Andrews 1660

Reverend and Dear Brethren,It is a matter of difficulty to me to write at this distance, not having heard your debates. It seems that the Lord calls us to give information to the Kings Majesty of affairs. The Lords admirable providence, in bringing him to his throne, and laying aside others who were sworn enemies to the cause and covenant of God, so that now the Government is in a right line, is to be adored. And I judge (without prescribing) that some should be sent to his Majesty to congratulate that providence; and that reason of our being so slow in rendering should be rendered.
1. We should write, not in the name of the Kirk of Scotland, but in the name of a most considerable number of godly ministers, elders, and professors, who both pray for the King, are obedient to his laws, and are under the oath of God for the sworn Reformation.
2. It is better now, than after sentences and trouble, to have recourse to him who is by place parens patriƦ.
3. We should supplicate in all humility for protection and countenance; far more for lawful liberty to fear the bond of the oath of the dreadful and most high Lord; affirming to his Majesty, that the Lord, His holy name being put in, will own that Covenant, and bless his Majesty with a happy and successful reign, in the owning of which, and kissing of the Son of God. And when the Lord will be pleased to grant that to us which concerns religion, the beauty of His house, the propagating of the Gospel, the government of the Lords kingdom, without Popery, Bishops, unwritten traditions and ceremonies, let his Majesty try our loyalty with what commands he will be pleased to lay on us, and see if we be found rebellious.
4. We should disclaim such as have sinfully complied with the late usurpers; produce our written testimonies against them; our not accepting of offices and places of trust from them; our testimonies against their usurpation, covenant-breaking, toleration of all religions, corrupt sectarian ways, for which the Lord hath broken them.
5. We are represented to his Majesty as such as would not consent that the Remonstrance of the western forces should be condemned by the Commission of the General Assembly; whereas, 1. We did humbly desire that the judicature should not condemn nor censure that Remonstrance, till the gentlemen were heard, and their reasons discussed. 2. Whatever demur was as to the banding or combining part of it, we were and are obliged to believe that they had no sectarian design therein, nor levelling intention. 3. They are gentlemen most loyal, and never were enemies to his Majestys royal power; but only desired that security might be had for reli- gion and the people of God, and persons disaffected to religion and the sworn Covenant abandoned; otherwise they were, and still are, willing to risk lives and estates for the just greatness and safety of his Majesty in the maintenance of the true religion, Covenant, and cause of God. The only difficulty will be, where to have fit men to send. But as it will be both sin and shame for us to desert our undeservedly now censured brethren, so it will be our sin and reproach sinfully to comply with such things and courses as we testified against, and confessed to God.
I can say no more at present but that I am your loving brother, S. R.

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