That the whole free people of any nation ought to be exercised to arms, not only the example of our ancestors, as appears by the acts of parliament made in both kingdoms to that purpose, and that of the wisest governments among the ancients; but the advantage of choosing out of great numbers, seems clearly to demonstrate. For in countries where husbandry, trade, manufactures, and other mechanical arts are carried on, even in time of war, the impediments of men are so many and so various, that unless the whole people be exercised, no considerable numbers of men can be drawn out, without disturbing those employments, which are the vitals of the political body. Besides, that upon great defeats, and under extreme calamities, from which no government was ever exempted, every nation stands in need of all the people, as the ancients sometimes did of their slaves. And I cannot see why arms should be denied to any man who is not a slave, since they are the only true badges of liberty; and ought never, but in times of utmost necessity, to be put into the hands of mercenaries or slaves: neither can I understand why any man that has arms should not be taught the use of them.
The Noble Lord advocates Union, what doth such a union mean? When the Smaller unites with the greater, what happens? The greater absorbs and engulfs the lesser, it is ever thus and so will be! There are ten times as many English as Scots. Think you then, when the ten becomes eleven, the eleventh will partner the ten? Or, be swallowed up by the ten? Is this what my Lord of Stair wants? An end to Scotland? The most ancient nation in Christendom, a kingdom when England was but a medley of warring tribes! Scotland, from whence Christianity spread to the English. Scotland, a people with their own Kirk and laws, their freedoms, customs and pride. Is all that for which our forefathers fought for untold generations, to be merely thrown aside for a mess of trading privileges and navigation rights? I would rather that Scotland sank to the bottom of the ocean rather than we lost one least part of our cherished Independence and ages old identity!
My Lord, I sorrow to learn that I am so timorous of heart and to learn that my Lord could be so forgetful of the elementary facts of nature, and also of mankind, that he believes when the lesser joins the greater, it can remain itself and maintain it