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be offensive, nor a wronging the people, to offer that to them which themselves had petitioned for, being a thing in itself so lawful, and recommended by the states of Scotland with the parliament of England, binding them to their duty both to God and their king. Notwithstanding all which, the mayor did request them to forbear administering the covenant in that place. They again did entreat him to suffer them publicly to proceed. He answered them, he would command, if they would not forbear for entreaty. They replied, Would he command ?' Meantime Sir Frederick comes into the room (who had, unknown to them, made much way for that business in these parts before they came), and in great boldness and animosity, according to his manner, said to the mayor, 'Mr. Mayor, take heed of what you do or speak to these gentlemen.' Likewise a lieutenant present, and belonging to the town companies, did express his resolution to take the covenant in a daring way. So that the mayor replied no more to the ministers, but that he would take it to advisement and see them in the afternoon. However, the double guards, which had been placed in the town, were ordered as before; and colonel Mervyn's regiment, which was making toward the town, did return to their quarters, and the gates which had been shut were opened again. In the afternoon the mayor sent captain Hepburn to the ministers to desire a conference with them in his own chamber, where they attended him. There he shewed them a letter from the parliament of England, recommending to them the taking of the covenant when it should come to the Scotch army; and withal a proclamation by those who then ruled in Dublin, prohibiting the taking of it, and declared his great straits what to choose. Whereunto the ministers answered, that he should lay the balance; on the one hand, the gracious purpose of the parliament of England for their true good, together with the hopes of support from them and from Scotland, and their brotherly affection, desiring to be in one league and covenant with them; and on the other hand, the corrupt disposition of those who then ruled in Dublin, with the experience they had found of their small help, or what could be expected from them.`
"And so the ministers left him, and received another discouraging letter from Sir Robert Stewart, sent by major Galbraith; however, the ministers sent for the keys of the church against the next Sabbath. The mayor told them
the sacrament was then to be administered in the great church, but they might have the little church that day, and should have the other the next; but the ministers finding the little church not sufficient to contain the number of people there met, went to the market-place (where, about two [four] years before, the mass had been publicly used by some Irish regiments who were to be sent to Scotland against the [national] covenant,) and there preached on the subject of taking God's people into covenant, declaring the divine authority of it; whereunto was added the exemplary encouragement of two sister churches, England and Scotland, entering into it. They also spoke from 2 Chr. xv. 15; Jer. 1. 5; and Neb. ix. 10, paralleling the cases then in hand, both as to the persons entering into the covenant, and the case of the time requiring reformation and preservation of religion, which was engaged unto in the covenant; and explaining the covenant as it rendered all secure, both what was proper to them and what was due to God. They also laboured to make the people sensible of the sin of the black oath, shewing that by engaging to obey all the king's royal commands (the contents of the oath), they had opened a door for the prince to bring in whatever religion he pleased, if it were the Turk's religion; and had deprived themselves of the liberty of passive obedience, which they said was 'ipso facto' a protestation against the iniquity of the command; for a royal command is whatsoever the king commands, whether it be lawful or not, as appears in Daniel vi, 7. The minis ters required, that all who were thus sensible of this evil, and who now resolved to enter into covenant by lifting up their hands and countenances, should abjure the one and enter into the other, which was done with many tears by the multitude there; and thereafter, prayer was performed with great solemnity and affection, both in speaker and hearers, wherein they owned God as their God, and gave up themselves to him. This was on the Lord's day [April 25]; and the mayor and others coming from their sacrament, stood somewhat amazed, yet with reverence did behold what was a-doing in the market-place. The Lord's day being thus spent, the ministers desired the keys of the church on Monday, which were sent them; the bells were rung, and the multitude, both from town and country, increased that day more than on the former, whereon the happy condition of a sanctified and true union was the
subject insisted on. A great many more, and some persons of quality from the country, did embrace the covenant with much signs of affection; and thereafter, according to the usual way, much time was spent in subscribing it.
"The ministers, having been blessed in Derry against much discouragement and opposition in the beginning, went the next day to Raphoe, accompanied by Sir John Cunningham and Lieutenant-Colonel Sanderson, (who
ad taken it in Derry,) with many others. There the whole regiment of Sir Robert Stewart did meet them (except himself.) and great multitudes from the rarishes about. They followed the same way here, and had the same success which they had formerly in other places; the one was necessitated to preach without the church when the other was within, and receive the people to covenant with the same solemnity. There were two curates, one Leslie and Watson, who did oppose and reason against the covenant before the people, especially as to the abjuring of episcopacy, &c. But it was to the advantage of the cause, for the men's weakness did much appear before the people; and understanding gentlemen said, that the solemn dispute appeared to them as an assize wherein the bishops were, as by a jury, found guilty and cast.
"From that they went to Letterkenny, where the most part of Sir William Stewart's regiment, and many others of that part, entered. From that they went to Ray, where, on the Lord's day [May 5], the multitude was so great that the one of the ministers was forced to be without when the other was within the church; where two ministers among the other multitude did abjure the black oath and conformity, and entered into the covenant before the people; the ministers keeping their former method in explaining, proving, and answering objections against the covenant. From that, on Monday, they went to Taboin [St. Johnston], being in the centre of the country, where an extraordinary number of people were met from all places, some fifteen miles off, both who had not taken the covenant in order to take it, and who had taken it to be further confirmed; and the ministers here made it their work to do both. Here Sir Robert Stewart himself began to draw nearer, and confer with the ministers about the covenant, his whole régiment having been entered into it before, and some more ministers. There came a letter from general-major Monroe to the ministers, and another to the Mayor of Derry, which,
when he read, he said to some covenanters with him, 'Now I will be as arrant a covenanter as any of you!' They come next to Ramelton, where they received the rest of Sir William Stewart's regiment, and very many of colo nel Mervyn's contrary to his threatenings; also one who opposed the covenant at Raphoe, Mr. Watson, being the most judicious, did now come in and confess his errors, and entered into it with apparent ingenuousness.
"From these places they returned to Derry, where Sir Robert Stewart, colonel Mervyn, and major James Galbraith, came now to hear the ministers preach and explain the covenant; where the ministers, hearing of some of their scruples, answered them in public. Divers ministers also were present then, and publicly renounced their former errors, desiring to enter into the covenant; but some of them speaking ambiguously anent church government, and churches, and magistrates' power to make laws, the ministers put them to explain themselves fully before they would admit them; and took occasion to clear before the people. the limits of divine, human, and church power, and things of that nature; and withal, whenever they received ministers into the covenant, they declared to the people publicly that these ministers were not thereby properly made capable of exercising their ministry, if there were other considerations to hinder their exercising it, such as insufficiency, &c. and that if judged competent, they might and should have their own way of admitting them to the exereise of the ministry according to the churches' order.
"The garrison of British at Enniskillen had sent to the ministers, earnestly desiring they would come and adminis ter the covenant to them; which the ministers delaying to answer, that garrison sent again, and told them, if they would not come to them, they would leave that and come to them the ministers to take the covenant; there being then a general inclination that way among the most part of people, even among those who were ignorant of religion or unfriendly to it; even some of the Irish who had come in under protection offered themselves, partly through fear and terror, and considerations of that kind, though many did it with great affection and sincerity. And the ministers did caveat in administering that solemn oath, as much as possible in receiving such a multitude in so short a time, who thought they were in that case over scrupulous. However, they were difficulted in this matter; for to go there
[to Enniskillen] wanted not hazard, many enemies being between and that place; and for the garrison to come to them would be dangerous for it, the country about being full of the rebels not yet subdued, and they having daily skirmishes with them. However the ministers after calling on God for direction, did resolve to venture themselves, as they had done in other cases; and had found much of the Providence of God preserving them, and his assistance with them in helping them in their work, and much blessing following on their endeavours. Meantime the Mayor of Derry, with some few who had waited on his motions, did desire them to stay a day or two till he could take the covenant. But they not finding ground for the delay, went to take their horse; which he hearing, came after them, and entreated them, before their departure to go to church, and administer the covenant to him and these few others, which they did. Sir Robert Stewart also declaring his resolution to take the covenant, only put it off upon some considerable reason alleged by him for that time.
"After this, they went towards Enniskillen; and the first night to Clady, where the two troops belonging to Sir William and Sir Robert Stewart did meet them, to convey them to Enniskillen without hazard. And the worthy gentleman, colonel Saunderson, went along with them; as at that time the generality of the officers of these regiments were both most respective to their persons, and instrumental in promoting the work they were about. They came along to Enniskillen without sight of an enemy. For the Irish, who were protected, hearing the covenant was coming that way, fled because they heard that the covenant was to extirpate all papists, and was against protecting them. And some so suddenly fled that they left their stolen goods, which they used to steal and send privately to the enemy, who then lay in the county of Cavan. Likewise the enemy in these parts near about, hearing the covenant was coming, which, as they understood, was against the cessation of arms with them, they did beat drums through their quarters, and marched bag and baggage thirty miles into the country.
"However, the ministers were very kindly received by lieutenant-colonel Atcheson, of Sir William Cole's regiment; and all took the covenant except one poor ignorant minister, and Sir William Cole himself, who said he would take it upon further consideration. However his