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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Address by some North Carolina Presbyterian ministers concerning the behavior of Presbyterians seeking redress for grievances
McAden, Hugh, ca. 1730-1781; Creswell, James; Pattillo, Henry, 1726-1801; Caldwell, David, 1725-1824
Volume 07, Pages 814-816

Letter from the Presbyterian Pastors to the Presbyterian Inhabitants
of North Carolina.

Dear Brethren,

It is with great concern and regret that we view the present Opposition to Order, Law and Government in sundry parts of this Province, and it is with equal concern that we find ourselves unable to assert with truth, that not one of our Profession is engaged in it; It is however our hope and wish, that the number of regular Presbyterians, among the present Insurgents is very small, and to those who may have been seduced from the peaceable Deportment and Loyalty of their Profession & Ancestors, we affectionately address Ourselves as followeth.

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We consider the scattered & destitute situation of the Presbyterian Church in this Province through the scarcity of Ministers, and the annual increase of our vacant Congregation, and tho' there are now a few Ministers settled among you, and the reverend Synod of New York and Philadelphia have heard your unfortunate Intreaties, and sent you annual supplies for some years past, yet it must be confessed there are sundry, especially of the younger sort who have been bred up in this Wilderness, ignorant of the Principles and Practices of their Ancestors, which we can assure them have always evidenced a zealous attachment to the Protestant Succession in the present royal Family, and a spirited opposition to every measure concerted at home or abroad, to shake the present happy Establishment and this on the principles strictly enjoined by the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechism.

We are sensible the movers of the present Insurrection, have put the cry of King, Loyalty, Allegiance, into the mouths of their unwary Adherants; which doubtless was the snare that caught you and many others, but we earnestly recommend to you to consider, that the opposition is directly levelled against Government and Law; for the Oath is what the Law nowhere prescribes, and that Oath to do unlawful things viz: to call Officers to a Settlement, in a way the Law has not allowed, and lastly that Oath is taken not to pay their Taxes, expressly contrary to the Laws of our Country, and the plain word of God. These things should detach every loyal Subject from them especially as you are assured by the Governor's Proclamation, that Justice will be done on all that have oppressed you on proper complaint, by a due course of Law. Should any object that they are bound by this Oath, we answer, such Persons have involved themselves in guilt by taking such an unlawful Oath, and greater guilt will lie upon them if they keep it, We therefore tenderly sympathizing with such do recommend to them Repentence for taking that Oath, and give it as our opinion that it ought to be broken—We pity, we compassionate the poor, and share with them in all their distresses, but remember Brethren the remedy for Oppression is within the Compass of the Laws of your Country—Let such of you therefore as have been drawn into this unhappy confederacy, return immediately to your Duty and Loyalty, remembering the Divine authority that has enjoined “Let every soul be subject to the Higher powers, for there is no Power but of God; the Powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever

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therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the Ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation; Wherefore ye must needs be subject for Conscience sake; For this cause pay your Tribute, also rendering to all their dues; Tribute to whom tribute is due &c. Romans 13th

Submit yourself to every ordinance of Man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the King as supreme, or unto Governors as those that are sent by him for the Punishment of Evil Doers, and for the Praise of them that do well. And We earnestly recommend to the whole Presbyterian Body, in this Province a Spirit of Loyalty and cheerful Obedience to Law and Government, that you may transmit to your Posterity the reputation you derived from your Ancestors, secure the continuance of your Civil and Religious liberties, and merit the future notice and indulgence of the Legislature; that you may all live soberly, righteously and Godly as the dutiful Servants of Jesus Christ, is the hearty prayer of your ready Servants and Affectionate Pastors