Extracts from a Scottish Church pamphlet addressed to the people of Lothian and Tweeddale, warning them to stick to their Protestant faith and not to be taken in by the Catholic Pretender. It suggests they would never be able to practice their religion freely whatever promises James Francis Edward Stuart made if he became King of England and Scotland. No Protestant should be at war with a Protestant King. 2 November, 1715 (SP 54/10/5B).
A Seasonable ADMONITION [warning offering advice]
Provincial SYNOD [church council] OF LOTHIAN and TWEEDDALE,
To the People in their Bounds, with Respect to the present Rebellion
Edinburgh, November 2, 1715.
WE the Ministers and Elders of the Provincial Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, being deeply impressed with the Divine Goodness, brightly displayed in the late happy Revolution, begun and carried on by King WILLIAM [William of Orange], of Glorious Memory, and in bringing our only Lawful and Rightful Sovereign King GEORGE to the peaceable Possession of the Throne of His Royal Ancestors, notwithstanding of the many open and secret Practices that have been used of late Years to defeat His Succession, cannot sufficiently adore that kind Providence, which so often, and so seasonably interposed to save this Nation from Popery and Slavery.
And being sensibly touched with the present most horrid Rebellion against the King’s Person and Government, begun, and carried on by Papists [Catholics], and some who have professed themselves Protestants; whereby our Holy Religion and Liberties are threatened with utter Ruin, and our Country with Blood and Confusion, judge it our Duty, as Watchmen, in the Fear of the LORD, to declare before the World, and unto you our Flocks [people], our Abhorrence [severe dislike] of the Principles and Practices of these Rebels; and to warn you all of the Sin and Danger of abetting [aiding] and encouraging their wicked and pernicious [deadly or destructive] Designs.
It is with just Resentment we observe, That any who bear the Name of Protestants, should be engaged in a War against a Protestant Prince,
whose Illustrious House hath been noted for Their Zeal for the Protestant Religion; The Succession of which Family we cannot but look upon us as the best Security, next to the Divine Protection, to our Religion, and whatever else is dear and valuable to us: Are not all the reformed Churches of CHRIST in Europe GREAT Debtors to the Divine Mercy, for a Prince of the reformed Religion on the Throne of these Nations, and the Settlement of the Succession in His Royal Family, being Protestants? Should we then, who are more immediately concerned in this Blessing, be unthankful to GOD for it, of all Men we would be most inexcusable, and would provoke a Holy and Righteous GOD to deprive us and our Posterity of the Purity of Religion, transmitted [passed down] to us, at the Expence of the Blood of our Godly Ancestors; These Things we have always endeavoured [tried to do] both in our Judicatories [church courts], and upon all proper Occasions, to possess you with just Sentiments of.
We think it is our Duty to warn you our daily Hearers of the Danger you are in of Popery, in Case of the Accession of a Popish Pretender to the Throne of these Kingdoms, and of the Influence this Rebellion hath to forward [encourage] it: We ever look’d upon the Pretender and Popery as inseparable; and the Reformation of the Church of Scotland in the utmost Danger under the Reign of a Popish King: These Things are so evident [obvious], that they need no Illustration [examples]; if Popery be the same that it ever was, must not the Pretender, nursed up in bloody and idolatrous [worship of false idols] Popery, be as zealous as other Popish Princes to propagate [encourage] it, tho’ at the Expence of the Lives of his Protestant Subjects; and may we not expect to find his little finger heavier than the Loins of those who reigned before the Revolution? Nay, to see and feel the Bloodshed, Barbarity and Oppression of those mournful Times revived with greater Severity? Can we forget the barbarous Massacres of Paris, Ireland, and other Places, the Martyrdom of Thousands in Scotland and England, without Distinction of Age or Sex, for the reformed Faith; and shall we join in Affinity [closeness] with the People of these Abominations [shameful conditions]? Shall we abet [aid] those whose Hands have been lifted up against us? Or contribute to set up that Dagon [the fish-god, the national god of the Philistines] which GOD has tumbled down? Would not the LORD be angry with us, and all the Protestant Churches in Europe judge us Betrayers of our Religion, and our Posterity [history] curse us, for entailing [binding] upon them that Yoke of Slavery and Tyranny our Forefathers groaned under.
Be not deceived with the false and artful [clever] Insinuations [hints] that have been handed about by Way of Manifesto [handbills], to justify the present unnatural Insurrection [rebellion], as if the Pretender might become Protestant: What Evidence do these Rebels offer for such Assertions [statements]: Are ye to take it on the word of these, who being Papists, have concurred in this false Suggestion? Or are ye to rely on the Assurance of such as have made Profession to take Oaths, with Intention to subvert [overturn] the Government, to which they swore? What do these bold Asserters of this Falshood bring to make this imaginary Conversion probable that may not agree even to the Pope of Rome himself, who, if he would admit of fair Instruction, could not but submit to the Light of the Reformation? We are loth to exclude any Person from the Possibility of Conversion; but can that Possibility afford any Security or Satisfaction to any tension; but can that Possibility afford any Security or Satisfaction to any tenderly concerned for their Religion, to quit a legal Establishment, and to enter into a Rebellion for a Popish Government, or hope for Safety under it?