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A DECLARATION And RESOLUTION Of the Lords and Commons aſſembled In PARLIAMENT, IN ANSWER to the Scots Declaration.

Wherein is ſet forth the true Zeal and Affection betwixt both Kingdoms, for the Reformation of Church-Government.

ORdered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That this Declaration be forthwith printed and publiſhed:

Hen. Elſynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.

London, Printed for Edward Husbands and John Franck, and are to be ſold at their Shops, in the Middle Temple, and next door to the Kings head in Fleet-ſtreet.

September 23. 1642.

[Tudor rose
[Scottish thistle
[French fleur-de-lis
[depiction of Irish harp

A DECLARATION And RESOLVTION Of the Lords and Commons in PARLIAMENT, In Anſwer to the Scots Declaration.

THe Lords and Commons in Parliament have with ap­probation and thanks, re­ceived from the Commiſſi­oners of the Kingdom of Scotland, a clear Manifeſtati­on of the reſpect which the Lords of His4 Majeſties Secret Councell for that Realm do bear to the well-fare and peace of this King­dom, in the expreſſion of their Affections, wherein they were pleaſed to ſecond the de­ſires of the Generall Aſſembly of that Church for Unity in Religion, and Unifor­mity in Church Government in His Maje­ſties three Kingdoms: And having often had that matter in debate, and our moſt ſerious conſideration; the Chriſtian Advice of that Reverend Aſſembly, and the grave Councell of that Honourable Table concurring with our own Judgement, and Experience of the manifold miſchiefs and diſtractions which the Government of the Prelacie of this Kingdom hath in all Times and Ages produced in this Church and State, Have moved us to bring our Reſolution to a more ſpeedy maturity and concluſion; wherein, as we have ſatisfied our own Reaſon, ſo we hope we ſhall ſatisfie the loving and Chri­ſtian deſires of our Brethren of Scotland; Although we know that hereby we ſhall exceedingly irritate that oppoſite and ma­lignant Partie who will bend all their In­vention and Force to interrupt this Work,5 and to ruine and deſtroy us in the underta­king of it.

And we deſire their Lordſhips to conſider that the Party which hath now incens'd and arm'd His Majeſtie againſt us and His other faithfull Subjects in this Kingdom, is the very ſame which not long ſince upon the very ſame deſigne of rooting out the Reformed Religion, did endeavour to begin that Tragedie in Scotland; which, whenſoe­ver it ſhall be perfected in either Nation, wil eaſily be accompliſhed in the other; Religi­on being the Band and Foundation of the ſafety and happineſſe of both. And as we reſolve, according to the Nationall Com­mand betwixt the two Kingdoms, to be carefull of the peace of Scotland as of our own, ſo we doubt not but their Lordſhips and the Nation of Scotland will be carefull to expreſſe their Brotherly kindeneſſe to us, and prudent care of themſelves, by reſtrayning the evill-affected amongſt them, that they may not foment our troubles; and by all clear wayes, according to the Articles ratified in the Parliaments of both Kingdoms, to maintain the Peace and Amity betwixt the6 two Nations, and to reſtrain the miſ­chievous attempts and practiſes of thoſe who are enemies to both; that ſo, through Gods bleſſing, we may mutually rejoyce in one anothers happineſſe, and yeeld his Ma­jeſtie ſuch a faithfull ſubjection, as may be honorable to himſelf, comfortable to his People, advantagious to the Profeſſors of the Reformed Religion in other parts be­yond the Seas.


WE the Lords and Commons in Parlia­ment aſſembled, having with much contentment peruſed the brotherly and Chriſtian Anſwer, which the Generall Aſ­ſemblie of the Church of Scotland have made un­to the Declaration formerly ſent unto them from us; And finding therein great expreſſions of love to this Church and Kingdom, and of prudence and faithfulneſſe in propounding thoſe things which may conduce to a more cloſe and firm union of the two Churches and Nations of England and Scotland, in preſerving and maintai­ning the truth and purity of the Reformed Re­ligion, not onely againſt Popery, but againſt all other ſuperſtitious Sects and Innovations what­ſoever; Have thereupon reſumed into our con­ſideration and care, the matters concerning the Reformation of Church government and diſci­pline, which we have often had in conſultation and debate ſince the beginning of this Parlia­ment: And ever made it our chiefeſt ayme, though we have bin frequently interrupted, and powerfully oppoſed in the proſecution and ac­compliſhment of it.

8And however we continue ſtill in the ſtorme and conflict, finding ſmall abatement of diffi­culty, and much increaſe of malignity and per­verſneſſe in the oppoſition, wherewith this great and neceſſary worke of Reformation is incountred; Yet we heartily thank God and rejoyce with our Brethren of Scotland, for that Peace, Liberty, and preſervation which God hath afforded them, taking it as a pledge and earneſt of the like mercy intended to us in his good time, and hoping that he will not onely free us from the moſt greivous and diſtructive miſeries and calamities of a Civill War, but graciouſly perfect our deſignes and endeavours of a full Reformation in all matters appertay­ning to Religion, which as it is the greateſt ho­nour and ſervice which God receives from his people; ſo we acknowledge with our brethren that it is the ſureſt foundation of glory, ſtrength, and happineſſe, which he beſtowes upon any Nation.

The manifold obſtructions and impediments which we have met with in ſeeking this great bleſſing, do give to us and all Gods People, great cauſe of grief, and works in us an earneſt longing for the removall of them: Yet knowing that all the wonderfull works of God in this kind have bin brought to perfectiō, through many op­poſitions and ſeeming impoſſibilities, that ſo the concluſion might be more glorious to His divine9 Majeſty, & comfortable to his children, we cannot but in humility & ſubmiſſion expect the like iſſue of our wraſtling, and ſtriving with that fierce and peremptory oppoſition which hath beene framed, and acted againſt us by the moſt ſubtill and buſy engines of Satan, the moſt peſtilent in­cendiaries among us the Jeſuits from abroad, a virulent & diſcontented party at home, conſiſting of the Prelaticall Clergy, Atheiſticall projectors againſt Religion, prophane and ſenſuall ſelf­lovers, hightned and inflamed againſt us, with a ſpirit of malignity beyond the example of former times, wherein we have had manifold occaſions to diſcerne both our owne weakeneſſe, and im­perfections, and the Divine mercy and goodneſſe, and to hope that God having upheld us ſo long beyond our owne ſtrength and merit, will bring us through at laſt to the full accompliſhment of his owne praiſe, and of the joy of this and other Churches.

We acknowledge it an act of love to us, and of wiſdome for the good of both Churches, for which wee are thankfull both to God and them, that our Brethren of Scotland have beſtowed their ſerious thoughts, and earneſt deſires for Unity of Religion; That in all his Majeſties Do­minions there might be one confeſſion of Faith, one directory of worſhip, one publique Cate­chiſme, and one forme of Church-Governe­ment. And although it will hardly be obtained10 punctually and exactly, unleſſe ſome way might be found for a mutuall Communication, and Conjunction of Councell and debate in fram­ing that one forme: yet both intending the ſame end, proceeding by the ſame rule of Gods Word, and guided by the ſame ſpirit, we hope by Gods aſſiſtance to bee ſo directed, that wee may caſt out whatſoever is offenſive to God, or juſtly diſ­pleaſing to any Neighbour Church, and ſo farre agree with our Brethren of Scotland, and other reformed Churches, in all ſubſtantiall parts of Doctrine, Worſhip and Diſcipline, that both we and they may injoy thoſe advantages, and con­veniences which are mentioned by them, in this their anſwer, in the more ſtrict Union of both Kingdomes, more ſafe, eaſy and comfortable Government of His Mjeſty, and both to him­ſelfe and people, more free Communion in all holy exerciſes and duties of worſhip, more con­ſtant ſecurity of Religion, againſt the bloody practiſes of Papiſts, and deceitfull errors of other Sectaries, and more profitable uſe of the Miniſtry: for the compaſſing and attai­ning whereof we intend to uſe the labour and adviſe of an aſſembly of godly learned Divines, for the convening of whom a Bill hath already paſt both Houſes, which had taken effect long ſince, if we could have obtained His Majeſtyes Royall aſſent thereunto. All which conſidered, we acknowledge the faithfull and affectionate expreſſions of our Brethren, in wiſhing and deſi­ring11 this great advantage for us, doth fully deſerve thoſe thanks which we have formerly expreſſed, and no whit ſtand in need of that apology which they are pleaſ'd to make.

The maine cauſe which hitherto hath depri­ved us of theſe, and other great advantages, which we might have by a more cloſe Union with the Church of Scotland, and other reformed Churches, is the government by Biſhops, which to ſtrength­en it ſelfe hath produced many other differences in Diſcipline and ceremonies betwixt them and us, and is apt to worke in the minds of thoſe who are the approvers and defenders of it, ſuch a diſ­eſteeme of, and oppoſition to thoſe Churches, as makes us deſperat of that moſt beneficiall and de­ſirable conjunction with them, untill this great impediment be removed: whereupon wee have entred into a ſerious conſideration, what good we have received from this government by Biſhops, which may countervaile ſuch a loſſe and incon­venience, And we are ſo far from apprehending any ſatisfaction herein, that we plainly perceive it a cauſe of many other calamities, dangers, and intollerable burdens, being a diſhonour to God, by arrogating to themſelves a preheminence and power which hee hath not given them, by pro­phaning the purity of his ordinances, with the mixture of their owne injunctions, by withſtand­ing the frequent and powerfull Preaching of the Goſpell, that ſo their uſurped authority might12 receive more eaſy admittance into the ignorant, and miſguided conſciences of men, by corrupting the Miniſtrie with Pride, Ambition, Covetouſ­neſſe, Idleneſſe and Luxurie, by ſuppreſſing the ſpirituall power and efficacie of Religion, and tur­ning it into formality and Pompe, by inclining to popery, the principles thereof being ſutable to this government, and contrary to thoſe principles which were the firſt grounds of Reformation. We likewiſe finde it moſt pernitious to the civill ſtate and common wealth, in that the Biſhops have ever beene active to infuſe into our Kings ſuch Te­nents and Poſitions, as are contrary to the fundamentall lawes of the Kingdome, and apt to introduce Tyranny, and an arbitrarie power over the lives, liberties, and propriety of the ſubject, & that they have been forward to incite the King againſt his people, & by force of arms to conſtrain them to ſubmit to ſuch an arbitrary government. and by unlawfull contribution ofmoney to aſſiſt his Maieſty in making war upon his ſubiects wher­of there are many evidences both in thoſe prepa­rations which not long ſince were made to invade Scotland, and in the warre now raiſed againſt the Parliament, and kingdome of England, and yet they have ſhewed themſelves ſo ambitious of ſo­veraignty, that they forbeare not to maintaine in Sermons and printed Books, that the Kings Scep­tre ought to ſubmit to Aarons rod, and the Mi­tre to be above the Sword; which argues in them13 an Antichriſtian ſpirit to exalt themſelves above all that is called God, and a deſigne (when they have brought the Kingdome to be diſpoſed at his pleaſure) to ſubiect his Maieſty to their own ar­bitrary cenſures that themſelves may triumph in the bondage and ſlavery both of King and people. Upon all which & many other reaſons we do de­clare, That this governmēt by archbiſhops, Biſhops their Chancellours, and Commiſſries, Deanes, Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, & other eccle­ſiaſticall officers depending upon the Hierarchy, is evill and iuſtly offenſive and burdenſome to the kingdome, a great impediment to Reformation and growth of Religion, very prejudiciall to the ſtate and government of this kingdome: And that we are reſolved that the ſame ſhall be taken away. And according to our former Declarati­on of the ſeventh of February, Our purpoſe is to conſult with godly and learned Divines that we may not only remove this but ſettle ſuch a govern­ment, as may be moſt agreeable to Gods holy Word moſt apt to procure and conſerve the peace of the Church at home, and happy union with the Church of Scotland, and other reformed Church­es abroad, and to eſtabliſh the ſame by a law which we intend to frame for that purpoſe to be preſented to his Maieſty for his Royall aſſent. And in the mean time humbly to beſeech his Maieſty that a Bill for the Aſſembly may be paſſd in time convenient for the meeting to be by the fift of No­vember14 next, the miſerable eſtate of the Church and kingdome not being able to endure any lon­ger delay.

This being the reſolution of both Houſes of Parliament, we do deſire our brethren of Scotland to concurre with us in petitioning his Maieſty, that his Royal authority may be applyed to the con­ſervation of a firme unity between the two king­domes, and that they likewiſe will think good to ſend to the ſame Aſſembly ſome godly and lear­ned Divines of that Church, whereby an uniformi­ty in form of Church government may be obtained, and thereby a more eaſie paſſage made to the ſet­ling of one Confeſſion of faith, One Liturgie or di­rectory of the publick worſhip, & one Catechiſme in all the three kingdomes. Which we hope through Gods bleſſing will have ſuch an effect in all his Maieſties dominions, as will much advance the honor and ſervice of God, enlarge the greatnes power and glorie of the King, confirm the peace ſecurity & proſperity of all his good ſubiects, make way to the relief and deliverance of the poore af­flicted Churches abroad, and to the totall aboliſh­ing of the uſurpation and Tyrannie of Rome, being the prime cauſe and fountaine of all the miſeries and calamities, the bloudy maſſacres, outrages, cru­elties, and bitter perſecution of Gods people in all he Chriſtian world for many Ages.


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TextA declaration and resolution of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, in answer to the Scots declaration. Wherein is set forth the true zeal and affection betwixt both kingdoms, for the reformation of church-government. Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, that this declaration be forthwith printed and published: Hen Elsynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.
AuthorEngland and Wales. Parliament..
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SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A82602)

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Bibliographic informationA declaration and resolution of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, in answer to the Scots declaration. Wherein is set forth the true zeal and affection betwixt both kingdoms, for the reformation of church-government. Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, that this declaration be forthwith printed and published: Hen Elsynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com. England and Wales. Parliament.. 14 p. Printed for Edward Husbands and John Franck, and are to be sold at their shops, in the Middle Temple, and next door to the Kings head in Fleet-street,London :September 23. 1642.. (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Church of Scotland. -- General Assembly. -- Scots declaration in answer to the Declaration sent unto them by their commissioners now at London from the Houses of Parliament.
  • Scotland. -- Parliament.
  • Church and state -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Scotland -- Church history -- Sources -- Early works to 1800.

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