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A Looking-Glass for Presbyterians (Inscribed: J. Arbo) - 8

Majesty, who had been bred up in the principles of moderation in Holland, recommended a Bill to be passed for the Toleration of Dissenters in Scotland; but the General Assembly of that kingdom represented it to the people in such odious and black colors, and petition'd with so much spirit and warmth against it, as having a pernicious and dangerous tendency to destroy the Kirk, that it was laid aside. From this period the King despis'd and abhorr'd them, as a bigotted, stiff-necked, rebellious, pedantic crew, who had grossly impos'd upon him, in procuring an order to massacre the poor innocent inhabitants of Glencoe in cold blood.

I should exceed the bounds I have prescrib'd to myself if I was to give a minute account of the Rebellions, which happened in the Year 1715 and 1745 in Scotland, when that kingdom was twice up in arms in favor of the Pretender, under two of the wisest and best Kings that ever sway'd the British Scepter; I mean George the First and George the Second. Neither has the Government of our present most gracious Sovereign escap'd. It was but the last summer that thousands of the Presbyterians in the North of Ireland took up arms under pretence of grievances; but it evidently appear'd that their malice was chiefly bent against the Church-Clergy, who stood in the way of their idol, Presbytery; for they made all the establish'd Clergy in the North fly to the strong Fortress of Londonderry, in order to avoid being massacred. From all these instances it appears that Presbyterians have been always enemies to Kingly-Government, and consequently not fit to be entrusted with any share of the civil power, when a King reigns: And how can it be otherwise, seeing that not only their solemn League and Covenant, to which thousands of them adhere to this day, was founded on Rebellion; but that Formula of doctrine and discipline, call'd the Westminster Confession, which is the present infallible standard receiv'd by the whole body of them, was compos'd by a set of men, when they were in open Rebellion against their King; destroying the Monarchy, and endeavouring to plan, both in Church and State, the Constitution of Great-Britain after the model of a Geneva Republic.

These few hints may serve as a Looking-Glass for Presbyterians born within the Dominions of Great-Britain (as Foreigners who go under that name in this Province are not concern'd) who wou'd feign think themselves qualified persons to sit as Representatives of a free People. I earnestly hope, every other denomination will take the pains to examine them thro' this perspective, which is no magnifying one; and then judge whether they are fit to be intrusted with our lives, liberties and properties; especially if they keep in mind, that whenever this righteous people have the power in their hands, they will tolerate no other profession or opinion but their own, and never cease till they establish themselves in such a manner as to exclude all other sects. For the proof of this, witness Scotland and New-England; countries where their religion has been propagated by the Sword, instead of that peaceful manner recommended by the blessed Jesus.

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