Letter from the Congregation to the Queen Regent.
To the Queen’s Grace, Regent, all humble obedience and duetie promised.
“As heeretofore, with jeopard of our lives, and yitt with willing hearts, we have served the authoritie of Scotland, and your Grace, now regent in this realme, in service to our bodeis dangerous and painefull; so now, with most dolorous mindes, for unjust tyrannie proposed against us, we are constrained to declare unto your Grace, that except this crueltie be stayed by your wisdome, we sall be compelled to take the sword of just defense against all that sail persue us for the mater of religioun and for our conscience sake, which ought not, nor may not, be subject to mortall creatures, farther than by Gods Word man is able to prove that they have power to command us. We signifie, moreover, to your Grace, that if by rigour we be compelled to seeke the extreme defense, that we will not onlie notifie our innocencie and petitiouns to the King of France, to our mastresse, and to her husband, but also to the princes and counsells of everie Christiane realme; declaring unto them, that this cruell, unjust, and most tyrannical! murther intended against touns and multitudes, was and is the onlie caus of our revolt from our accustomed obedience, which, in God’s presence, we faithfullie promise to our soverane mastrcsse, to her husband, and to your Grace, regent, provided that our consciences may live in that peace and libertie which Christ Jesus hath purchassed unto us by his blood; and that we may have his Word truelie preached, and the sacraments rightle ministred unto us, without which we firmelie purpose never to be subject to mortall man. For better we thinke to expone our bodeis to a thowsand deaths, than to hazard our soules to perpetual condemnatioun, by denying Christ Jesus and his manifest Veritie; which thing not onlie doe they that committ open idolatrie, but also all suche as seing their brethrein pursued for the caus of religioun, and having sufficient meanes to comfort and assist them, doe neverthelesse withdraw frorne them their duetifull support.. We would not your Grace sould he deceaved by the false perswasiouns of these cruel! heasts, the churchmen, who afflirme that your Grace needeth not greatlie to regard the losse of us that professe Christ Jesus within this realme. If (as God forbid) yee give eare to their pestilent counsel!, and so use against us this extremitie pretended, it is to be feared, that neither yee, neither your posteritie, sail at anie time after this find that obedience and faithfull service within this realme, which at all times yee have found in us. We declare our judgernent freelie, as true and faithfull subjects. God move your gentle heart favourablie to interprete our faithfuil meaning; farther advertising your Grace, that the self—same thing, together with all things that we have done, or yitt intend to doe, we will notifie by our letters to the King of France; asking of you, in the name of the Eternal! God, and as your Grace tendereth the peace and quyettnesse of this realme, that yee invade us not with violence, till we receave answere from our mastresse, her husband, and their advised counsell there. And thus we comniitt your Grace to the protectioun of the Omnipotent.
“Your Grace’s obedient subjects in all things not repugnant to God’s will,
“THE FAITHFULL CONGREGATION OF CHRIST JESUS ION SCOTLAND“
Frome Sanct Johnstoun, the 22d of May, 1559.”