Front Page Titles (by Subject) On the Bill for the Union of England and Scotland - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 4
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
On the Bill for the Union of England and Scotland - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 4 
The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1901). 4 vols.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
On the Bill for the Union of England and Scotland
xxxi. f. 207.Concerning the provisoe offer’d by the Petitioners to bee put in the Bill of Union.4 It is desired that the Honorable Members will consider—
1. That it is unnecessary for either of their words debarring and molesting, they meane the ecclesiastick censures or civill punishments. As for ecclesiasticall censures, they have since Worster fight been made use of against very fewe, if against any: there are some1 Quakers and others for gross erroures and practices onely excepted; and what Church, whether Independant or Annabaptist, but doth clame liberty from the word of God to censer all who were members of their Church for scandalouse offences in doctrine or life? and may not they in Scotland accompt it a slavery and noe liberty to bee denyed the like? And as to civill punishments, noe instance can bee given since Worster where any person censured by the Church hath thereupon any waies suffered by the civill lawe or judge; and whatever danger can at this time bee apprehended that way may with farr less offence bee prevented by an express instruction to the Commissioners for Scotland, or to any Councellors or Judges theere, who onely executs such lawes, to abstaine from executeing the same, except in cases where themselves see good causes soe to doe.
2. It is not expedient in an Act of Union to insert such a proviso which will unquestionably disunite and discontent the godly, the ministry, the incorporations, and body of Scotland, and that upon grounds of conscience, letters from Generall Monck haveing already hinted how much they [are] dissatisfied with proceedures of this kinde.
3. This Act of Union is founded in the narrative thereof on the consent of Scotland by the Deputies of their counties and burghes, anno 1652. But nothing of this kinde was ever demaunded of, or consented to by them, nor could it bee expected that any county or burgh in that nation would give consent thereto. All which was demaunded to bee ruled by their owne lawes, except in soe farr as they should thereafter bee altered by common consent in Parliament, whereof they being Members [are] now to bee first heard; and if it bee urged that this Parliament may doe it without the consent of Scotland, it may bee answered that would bee by way of conquest rather then by lawe before the union, and that after declaracions not to use them as a province conquered by force, but as brethren united by consent. Yea, and after a former Act of Union founded onely in consent, and after an admission and usage of them as soe unite[d] for five yeares together, in the which case they would consider that by the word of God, if once the Isaralite married his captive, he behoved to use her as his wife (Deut. 21), and what Oded preached to Isarell concerneing captive Judah (2 Chron. 28), and what the Lord spoke to Jeremiah (chap. 34) concerneing the recalling that freedome once granted to their Hebrew brethren.
4. There is a very greate difference between the case of Scotland, where there is a setled constitute Church in doctrines, worship, and disciplin (very few that have been reputed professours differing therefrom these many yeares past, and now lately troubled with some persons who deny their ministry, ordinances, churches, and sundry fundamentall truithes in their confession of faith, and who revile and interrupt them in their worship and assemblies), and the case of England, which is yet unsetled, and wherein soe many godly men are of soe different opinions and waies, necessitateing a larger tolleracion there then in Scotland, where the prophane and malignant, who for the most part would bee loose of all discipline and restraint, are these that make most use of tolleration there. And upon serious consideration it will plainly appeare, that the most part of these reasons made use of for tolleration in England militat against granting the like latitude of tolleration in Scotland.
5. This proviso is much larger, and doth want severall restrictions mentioned in the 10th and 11th articles of the very Petition and Advise. As first the professing faith in God the Father, in Christ as the true God, and in the Holy Spirit. 2ly. In acknowledging the Scriptures in the Old and New Testament to bee the revealed will and word of God. 3ly. The punishing such who openly revile the ministry, or their assemblies, or disturbe them in the worship of God. 4ly. That this liberty bee not extended to such who publish horrible blasphemies, 5ly, nor to such who abuse the liberty to the civill injury of others, or disturbance of the publique peace. Lastly, the one was onely for protection of such who differed from the publicque profession, but not for an equall incurragement of them as this is, and such onely who agreed with the publicque profession in matters of faith, though they differed in matters of worshipp, discipline, were alike capable of any civill trust or publicque maintenance; whereas this not onely proteckteth, but incurrageth Antrinitarians, Antiscripturists, Antesabatharians.
6. When this same Parliament made the tender of this Union into one goverment unto Scotland, the people there did know and see the Articles of the Christian religion approved by both Howses after advise had with the Assembly of Divines, and printed by their order in June 1648, setting downe the heads of the Christian faith. In the 20 chapter—what is true liberty of conscience. In the 25 chapter—the duty of the civill magistracy to keepe the truiths of God pure and intire, to suppres all blasphemies and herisies, to prevent all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline, to observe all the ordinances of God, and preserve peace in the Church. Moreover, they saw the Parliament’s approbation of the Directory of Worship and Catichisme, and many ordinances anent the Church goverment, and they saw an Act of Parliament, May , anno domini 1648, for punishing blasphemies and herisies, and another Act, past August the 9th, 1650, for punishing atheisticall blasphemies and execrable1 opinions. All which joyned with Dr. Owen’s tractat concerning tolleration published by this Parliament’s order, wherein hee distinguisheth between the protection of erroniouse persons and the incurragement of them, the one as lawable, the other as unlawable in the Magistracy, and the Confession of Faith published by the Congregationall churches, with the preface which semeth to hould forth the same, as alsoe to distinguish betweene errors against the foundation and other erroures, and the error and practises of these called Quakers, which hath been knowne but of very late in Scotland, made them apprehend that the Parliament, who had soe often declared, covenanted, and engaged for the worke of Reformation, and for the maintenance of a godly magistracy and ministrie, and have againe made the same declaration the 7th of May last, would never admitt such a proviso to bee put uppon Scotland in the Act of Union, by which men would bee alik incuraged in sin as in duty, in errour as in truith, in workes of the flesh as in workes of the spirritt, in false worship, in false doctrine, which the Scripture calls the worshipp and doctrine of divills, as in the worshipp and doctrine of God.
7. The takeing away of these Acts of Parliament will cast the body of the common people in that nation loose into prophainesse, lycenciousnes, and many gross scandalls, Sabboth-breaking, contempt of ordinances, dispiseing magistracy and ministry, from which they are restrained by these acts, and by magistrates in burghes and justice in parishes, sitting in Church sessions joyneing with their censures and exchangeing their civill penalties imposed on scandalls, and soe would cast downe much of the reformation established in that nation, and turne it to deformation, and not onely greive the spiritts, but alienate the hearts of many of that nation from the governours and goverment.
For these and many other reasons of the like nature not unknowne to the Honorable members of the Comittee, this reasonable desire is humbly presented, that noe clause bee put in the Bill of Union to take away any of the lawes established in Scotland concerning theire religion, untill first that nation bee present by their representatives in Parliament, and heard concerneing the same, and that noe petition from any few persons without warrant from any burgh, country, or incorporacion in the nation in matters that concernes the whole be regarded, but that either the following proviso be inserted:—
It is provided that religion and the worke of the reformation in doctrine, worship, discipline, and goverment, according as the same is established in Scotland, shalbee noe waies prejudiced or restrained1 in the free exercise thereof (with Christian moderacion) according to the word of God by this present union.
It is enacted that the present Union shall bee understood to bee of and concerneing the civill liberties and priviledges of the Comonwealth and noe otherwise; for rather then this proviso bee inserted, it will bee lesse unsatisfieing to Scotland to let the whole clause ly over unexprest in this Act of Union, as it was in the former Act, untill Scotland have their owne commissioners sitting in Parliament, debateing and resolveing concerneing the same, provided that in the meane time they bee ruled by their owne lawes in the administration of justice.
[4 ]The business of the Union with Scotland occupied the restored Long Parliament for many sittings, as the Union effected by Cromwell’s ordinances and by the Instrument of Government was held invalid. On May 18, 1659, a Committee of the Council was appointed to take the question into consideration, and to report an Act for the purpose (Commons’ Journals, vii. 658). On May 24 an address, signed by the deputies who consented to the Union in 1652, was presented to Parliament, and referred to the Council of State (ibid. p. 664). The address is printed in Nicoll’s Diary (p. 242). The Committee of Council reported an old Bill on the Union, read twice formerly in Parliament, probably that which was discussed in the Parliament of 1656 (ibid. pp. 445, 450, 681; cf. Scotland and the Protectorate, p. 333). The House, however, ordered a new Bill to be prepared and introduced. This Bill was read a first time on July 27, and a second time on July 30. It was debated in Committee of the whole House for eleven sittings during the next few weeks, but got no further (ibid. pp. 693, 736, 740, &c.).
[1 ]MS. ‘fower.’
[1 ]MS. ‘excecible.’
[1 ]MS. ‘reckned.’