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John Brown of Wamphray was ejected in the "great ejection" of 1662 and thereafter imprisoned for speaking out against acknowledging the newly-appointed Archbishop of Glasgow. Later released from prison, upon condition of banishment, he left for the Netherlands in 1663. During these years he devoted himself to writing.
"Early in the year 1666 the Council was staggered by the dissemination of a little epoch-making book entitled 'An Apologetical Relation'... It was printed abroad in 1665... This treatise in twenty-three sections deals trenchantly with every aspect of the dispute, and powerfully maintains the righteousness of the principles and actions of the Covenanters, even to justifying their resistance to their unconstitutional governors. Acknowledging its dangerous import the Council at once proclaimed it seditious, ordered the hangman to burn it at the Cross, and attached a fine of 2000 pounds Scots to any possessor of it," notes Hewison (The Covenanters, vol. 2, p.189).
Furthermore, "His (Brown's) Apologetical Relation, or historic defence of the Church, and exposition and vindication of its principles, was much disliked by the Prelatic party in Scotland, and found a place in their Index Espurgatorius" (Carslaw, Exiles of the Covenant, p. 106).
The Reformed Presbytery adds further historical context to this famous work when they write, "new measures were again fallen upon for the oppression, suppression and extirpation of the true reformed religion, and the professors of it. The council being very diligent and careful to deprive the Lord's people of every thing which might contribute to their establishment and confirmation in the righteousness and equity of the cause and covenant of God for which they suffered, and which tended to expose their tyranny and treason against God, ordered the famous Mr. Brown's Apologetical Relation to be burnt in the high street of Edinburgh, on February 14th, 1666... such was their hellish enmity and and spite against our covenanted reformation, and every thing written in defense thereof, and in vindication of those that suffered for their adherence to it" (Act, Declaration and Testimony for the Whole of Our Covenanted Reformation, p. 28).
It is for works such as these that Johnston (in The Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, p. 339) says of Brown that "(h)e has been regarded (as) the most important theologian of the second period of Scottish Presbyterianism."
It has been further noted (by A.N.) regarding Brown (and this book in particular) that "his singular judiciousness and honesty, in being a faithful witness and wrestler for the purity of Reformation, appears very obvious in his piece entitled An Apologetical Relation, wherein he holds forth the dreadful and heinous nature of national perjury and covenant-breaking, and convincingly discovers that it is not in the power of the nations to shake themselves loose of their sacred obligations, either as to the matter or the manner of them; tho' to the great shame and unspeakable loss of these nations, the bulk and body of them have not only once or twice discovered their contempt in an open course of backsliding upwards of these hundred years past (See Apologetical Relation pages 328, 343. History of the Indulgence, page 132)" (cited in the preface to Brown's Exposition of the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, p. v).
To understand the nature of the conflagration emanating from the pits of hell, to suppress the knowledge of the battle for Christ's Crown and Covenant, the history of this fight (which included the sufferings of many faithful martyrs), and why a new and similar struggle is ensuing, some 331 years after the initial writing of this book, pick up this indispensable weapon (extracted from the Presbyterian Armoury, vol. 3), and "ride to the sound of the gun."
Brown deals with "the lawfulness of defensive wars," the divine right of church government, the divine right of kings (and related political questions), the "Supreme Magistrate's Power in Church Matters," "the Rise, Reign and Ruin of the Former Prelates in Scotland," and much, much more!
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