Declaration: answer to the declaration of the English parliament
Answer of the estates to the declaration of the parliament of England

The noblemen, commissioners of shires and burghs assembled in the convention of estates of the kingdom of Scotland, from their natural affection to their brethren in England, their Christian sympathy of the members of the same body and the apprehension of the similar dangers imminent to themselves and threatening their own religion and peace, are very deeply affected with the sense of the distractions and distresses of the kirk and kingdom of England, and find within their bowels their fellow feelings daily to grow with the increase of the troubles of their brethren, as if they were in a similar manner and measure afflicted themselves; and therefore, as they are assured of the willingness of the honourable houses of parliament in everything to acquit themselves faithfully to this kingdom, so, being unwilling to press them above their power, they have been and are so far from giving place to any misapprehension or sinister construction, that this kingdom has with much patience and love wrestled with many difficulties and undergone greater burdens than they are well able to bear through the want of the arrears due to the army in Ireland, and of the brotherly assistance proceeding from so much affection, with the which they had resolved before the coming of the bearer to direct one from themselves, with full instructions, whom they do now send, hoping by his speedy return to receive timely satisfaction in the particulars committed to his trust; and not doubting but at the coming of the committees from the parliament in Scotland, God will by his wise and gracious providence so direct and assist the joint counsels of both kingdoms in the matter of the declaration sent to the lords of privy council in November last, that the best way may be found for delivering his majesty, the parliament and kingdom of England from their many and grievous sufferings and the kingdom of Scotland from their similar dangers and threats, for rooting out popery and prelacy and suppressing the cursed faction of papists, prelates, malignants and atheists, who, through the working of Satan, are now in a rage, and imagine a vain thing against the Lord and his anointed; and for the peaceable settling of the true religion and kingdom of Christ in this island, to the glory of God, the honour of the king and the peace and liberty of all the people of God, a weight of happiness with which all the sufferings of this present time, although otherwise unsupportable, are not worthy to be compared, and for which the desires and endeavours of this kirk and kingdom are nothing remitted of that which is contained in the former true and large expressions of the several public judicatories of this kirk and kingdom, but do daily, according to the increase of difficulties and hindrances, arise and ascend to a greater height and fervour of zeal, and wait earnestly for the time when by all good means, with common consent, the particular ways may be agreed upon for the accomplishing of so great and good a work by the blessing of God Almighty. It had been impossible for this kingdom to have settled religion and peace without an ecclesiastical assembly, which through the mercy of God did by the reformation of divine worship and the government of the kirk lay the foundation of all the subsequent proceedings; and therefore we cannot but even from our own late experience much approve of the calling of an assembly of some godly and learned of that kirk for consulting about matters of religion, which, being once determined, will no doubt establish and unite the distracted and doubtful minds and hearts of many in the known truth and cause of God, and be a ground work of happy proceedings and many blessings upon the king and all his majesty's realms and dominions, which without it cannot be obtained. In respect of which, if by the sending of some godly and learned from this kirk the so much and so frequently desired unity of religion and uniformity of kirk government according to the word of God shall be at last brought and concluded, we shall think it the strongest bond for uniting and confirming the two nations against all division from within and opposition from without; and therefore have recommended the matter to the commissioners of the general assembly, who will endeavour by their more particular answer to give all possible satisfaction to the honourable houses of parliament.

  1. NAS. PA8/1, f.52v-53v.