A LERNED EPISTLE OF M. IOHN FRASER: BA­CHLER OF DIVINITIE TO THE MINISTERS OF GREAT BRITANIE. Wherin he sheweth that no man ought to subscribe to their confession of faith. And that their presumed authorite to ex­communicate anie man, especially Catho­liques, is vaine and foolish.

Permissu Superiorum.


TO THE [...]VRITAINE MINISTERS OF GREAT BRITANIE HIS COVNTREY­MEN Iohn Fraser vvisheth vpright mynd tovvarde bothe God and Prince.

HEARING of your extraordina­rie dealing, according to the na­ture of your extraordinarie cal­ling, in outward shew onely gainst Catholique men, In very deed against o the God & Prince. I thought it my duetie or the publike good, to write some thing ouching that subiect where by ye might nderstand how ye deceaue your selues, and buse others in that mater; which is this: [...]e labour by al meanes to constraine men, [...]ho at Catholique (for as to others men ye [...] not very careful) to approue sweare and [...]bscribe your confession of faith; and in [Page 4] case they refuse, ye take vpon you to excō ­municat them. Wherefore with Godds grace we shal latt you see, that no honest man, true subiect or good Christian with safe consci­ence, can approue sweare or subscribe your forsaid confession: & that ye haue no power at al to excōmunicat any man: and although ye had, yet could ye not excommunicat Catholique men.

2. As a plaine dealer without further pre­face I wil enter in the matter. Thē to the first head, it is certaine that whosoeuer wil sweare and subscribe your new confession, contrarie to the duetie of an honest man, putteth him self in hazard to be mensworne, and that in the very entrie of his othe: for thir be your words, if I rightly remember: vve al and euerie one of vs vnder vvritten protest, that after long and devv examination of our ovvne consciences in maters of true and false religion, ar novv throughly resolued in the trueth by the vvord and spirit of God. Many faltes in fewe wordes, if men would long tyme, and duely examine them in their cons­ciences before they approue, subscribe or sweare them to be true: for first euery man here answereth for his companion & fellow saying: vve al & euerie one of vs &c. where if any of the nōber hath spoken against the veritie or his conscience, al the rest ar lyers. Nixt, [Page 5] what examination can be long in so weghtie a matter? certainely not fourtie dayes, yea not fourtie yeares. When these thinges cometh in controuersie we may wel say without reprehension Deliberandum est diu, quod statuendum est semel. Thirdly, how can any man duely examine his conscience in mat­ters of true and false religion, seing that his conscience or iudgement can not be a iust square of religion, because it surmounteth al humaine reason, & is comprehended onely by faith, not of our owne forgeing, but of God­des free gift? or how can he duely iudge vpon true and false religion who neuer hath seene, heard, or reade the reasons of al parties? For as a tēporal iudge, not without great reason, may be thought to iudge very rashly, if he pronunce his sentence & decreit before he heare bothe the parties, not withstāding the matter be of smal importance and value, and that he haue iudged according to the right, because he hath iudged before he knew the ground of the matter, and so if he hath done wel, it was more by happe then good reason. So the spiritual iudge may be esteemed rash and foolish, if in matters of religion and faith he decreit any thing, except▪ al reasons be wel discussed. Wherefor he who would duely ex­amine his conscience in maters of tr [...]w and fals [...] [Page 6] religiō (seing he take [...]h vpō him the charge & place of a iudge) should with great discretiō, quyet spirit & humble mynd, without any passiō trye both the true & false, read al books touching that subiect, weighing the reason diligently: because the profit is great to them that goeth right, and the danger likewise to them who goeth wronge. Now how the greater part of your sweares and subscribers can do or execute this charge truely I see not, yea can not gesse, seing that a good nomber of your selues, who ar ministers, and should be best armed at destitute bothe of bookes and good learning. Certainly ye can not iustly aske of gentilmen, or others of meaner degree making profession of armes or housbandry, that which, ye your selues who do make pro­fession of letters can not do: ye may easely iudge that gentilmen and commone people for lacke bothe of learning and bookes can not duely, and for lacke of tyme can not long and vvorthly examine their conscience in sic things their affaires ay hol [...]ing them oc­cupied otherwise; meikilles to sweare that they haue done that, which neither haue they done, nor could they do at any tyme. Albeit there were no othere reason but this, yetafter my iudgement, it were most iust & sufficient for any man to refuse your subcription and [Page 7] swearing, and should moue you not to vrge men there to, except perhapes ye seeke only their vtter ruine and damnation, for doubtles they ar mensworne who sweareth that to be true▪ which in their cōscience they knowe to be false, or ar not assured if it be true, of which nature ar theis thinges which ar conteined in your confession, seing they proceede of men who ar subiect to errour and false opinion, and so can gif no good assurance, where vpon men may establish their faith. Which cannot be certaine and firme except it haue an infal­lible ground and fondament free frome all suspiciō of errour. I may with many weightie reasons proue that honestie could not stand with sic maners▪ and shall bring them if it be needfull.

3▪ For the feconde head it is [...]ar against the duetie of a true subiect towardes his Prince and liege lord, to whom he is obliged from the first moment of his birth to his last breath, wherefor can not gif his band of mā ­red, no [...] othe of fidelitie to any other but with exceptiō of his soueraigne, which not­withstanding ye desire of your subscribers: for speaking of the worde of God (for so ye call your interpretations) and doctrine of your reformed kirk, ye say thus, to the vvhich vve ioyne ourselues vvillingly in doctrine, faith, religion, [Page 8] discipline and vse of th holie sacraments as liuely mē ­bers of the same in Christ our head, promising and svvearing, by the Great name of the Lord, that vve shall continue in the obedience of the doctrine and discipline of this kirk, and shall defend the same ac­cording to our vocation and povver all the dayes of our liues, vnder the paines conteined in the lavve, and danger bothe of body and soule, in the day of Goddes fearfull iudgement. There be here an absolute othe and without any exception, made to you and your reformed kirk, not onely in matters of religion and doctrine, but also in gouerment and discipline. It is not my in­tent at this present to examine the manyfold absurdities of this new forme of othe, in pas­sing I say onely, that it shalbe very hard to any of your swearers to behaue him sel [...]e well with other protestant ki [...]kes, who are bothe in doctrine and discipline far different from you: shall he enter incontinent in de­sence of your reformation? shall he trouble all states where he doeth come? Truely all men ha [...]e that opinion of your religion, that it bringeth euerie where seditions with it, as the most turbulent sect that euer yet was in­uented in our contrey. Ne longe exempla petan­tur Betonio primi maduerunt sanguine muri. Or shall he following the maxime of your faith call all in doubt not withstanding of his othe, [Page 9] [...]ecause ye are but men and may erre, except [...]e may gif some good and sure reason, why [...]e onely say true, and all the rest of the world false, and that nothing can procede out of your mouth, but veritie: for your othe im­porteth no lesse with it. And certainely with­out that pretogatiue of assured veritie bound to your heads and tounges, to astrict men to your doctrine and discipline formed or re­formed by you, neglecting the authoritie of your reformed kirk in generall, may seeme somewhat against reason, and very preiudi­ciable to the Prince and common wealthe. For by this othe all must depend vpon you as vpon the soueraigne magistrat, the solemne othe & absolute promise beinge made in fa­uour of your doctrine & discipline, which ye haue in your hands and ministration. This may be easely seene by the othe made to the Kinges Maiestie, or rather against him, which ye sett downe in this forme. And because we perceaue that the quyetnes and stabilitie of our reli­gion and kirk doeth depend vpon the safetie, and good behauiour of the Kinges Maieste as vpon a conforta­ble instrument of Goddes mercie graunted to this coun­trey sor the mainteining of his kirk and ministration of iustice among vs. VVe protest and promise with our heartes vnder the same othe, handwrit, and paines, that we shall defend his persone and [Page 10] Authoritie, vvith our geir, bodies, and liues, in the defence of Christes Euangell, libertie of our countrey ministration of iustice, and punishment of iniquitie, against all enemies vvithin this realme or vvithout, as vve desire our God to be a strong and mercifull de­fender to vs in the day of our death, and comming of our lord Iesus Christ to vvhome vvith the father and the holie spirit be all honour & glorie eternally Ai [...] Lat vs consider the partes of this new othe. Because (say ye) vve perceaue that the quyetnes and stabilitie of our religiō and kirk doeth depēd vpon the safetie and good behauiour of the Kinges Matie? &c. Well begoune truely; that ye mistak not your selues, ye lay downe the cause why ye will do or at lest appeare to do some seruice to his Maiestie, as long as ye perceaue thinges that please you, that is as long, as al thinges at donne according to your fantasie, ye wil be good and obedient subiects, or rather mai­sters, seing ye prescribe conditions to him who truely is your Maister: and reasons why ye will bestow any thing vpon him. What if any reformed imaginations take you, or some extraordinarie zeall of your heauenly disci­pline trouble your braine, and make you per­ceaue according to your passion (as droun­ken men doeth see two candels where there is but one) any other thing in his Maiestie? What if ye find not that good behauiour ye [Page 11] looketh for? Must he dresse all his actions to your fantasies and good pleasure? will ye be censours and comptrollers of his doings if he vse not your counsell and aduys [...]? If your perceauing of thinges to you agreable be the ground & cause of your promise & protesta­tion, how soone ye preceaue in your fantasie the contrarie, ye ought him nothing (I mea­ne according to your opinion) sublata causa [...]ollitur effectus if I serue you because ye nurish me, if ye cease to nurish me, I am no further obliged to serue you. what shall become here of your hearty promises and protesta­tions when your sight shalbe changed? to what state shal the cōmen wealth be brought when your foolish affections shewe a rule to the Kinges Maiestie and honorable con [...]ell to gouerne his realme? many thinges appea­res to vs otherwise then they ar: and reasons being knowen, they ar found good, that see­med ill before: we say cōmonly there should Artis i­g [...]arus.no hyndman half work see. ye do many things in your house perhapes well & hone­stly, which were neither expediet nor decent to be deuulgated to euery man: as also ye haue some secret counsell touching your affaires, which ye should loosse, if your intention were publikly knowen. Think also that King [...]s & Princes according to their great rankes haue [Page 12] secrets, which should not nor can not be pu­blished without preiudice of bothe Prince & state, the which can not be cōserued some­tymes without the euident domage and hurt of some particulare men (as by the losse of one member some tyme we preserue the rest of the body) by which we should not esteeme & mesure the princes actions but by the pu­blik vtilitie, which they procure better then we can see or vnderstand: because their au­thoritie and experience gifeth them the wis­dome & knowledge which we can not haue Caesaribus virtus contigit ante diem. There be cer­taine arcana imperij whereto we can not pe­netrate, & therefor lyke fooles oft tymes we do iudge rashly, & condemne thinges which we vnderstand not. Wherefor we should do well not to enter in iudgement of so high matters. Quam quisque nouit artem in ea se exer­ceat. but your extraordinarie calling maketh you maisters in all craftes, and your new dis­cipline will not suffer you to haue so long patience. Ye who enter in Goddes cabinet when ye list, must know all things at the first instāt: nothing should be hid to you. ye haue receaued the spirite of discretion, nothing should be donne without your approbation. Ye ar in the chaire of veritie, ye may speak what ye will; iudge whom ye please, comp­troll [Page 13] whome ye list: approue or improue as ye think good or ill: ye haue taken the po­wer: ye haue receaued the othe: all men ar your subiects, so the Prince is subiect to your perceauing, the principall rule of your new populaire tribuna [...]. But ye will say that my cōclusion followed not vpō your antecedēt. I wold be glad it were so & that I were de­ceaued in my opiniō, so willing I am to heare that there were no traittour in our countrey. But if we will consider the solemne othe pas­sed before in fauour of your new reformatiō, to defend and obserue the doctrine and disci­pline thereof vnder so horrible a promise, or rather imprecations & execrations as we haue noted before, it followed very neces­sarily: for ye may extend (as ye do when it pleased you) the borders of your discipline, as far as it seemed good to you, and interpret your doctrine as ye thinke most expedient, and so perceaue what ye please, where ye shall acknowledge or not, his Maiestie as ye shall think it most fit for your present place, or proper for the aduancement of your re­formed kirk, to whome ye will haue all men obliged with so terrible othes without any exception or restriction. A very hard obliga­tion and lawe, principallie being at the exe­cution and will of tippertin witted young [Page 14] fellowes (who commonly at rash and fool­hard [...]e in all their doings) or in the hands of ambitious and seditious men, who willin­gly do trouble all to come to their de [...]yre, to which by good meanes they can not easely atteine. your holie poets Buchanans pam­phelet, hath many notable maximes to thi [...] purpos, where vpō men may builde a world o [...] seditions and discords: But if your poetes authoritie (whose aduise not the lesse ye ha­ue so skilfully followed that ye may seeme [...]ather maisters then disciples or prentises) can be no preiudice to your pretended inno­cencie Kno [...].and good mynd, at lest your prophe [...]s words may serue for witnes of your vpright intentions. Ye shall haue the argument of the second blast of the trompette written and sett out by him selfe 1558. at your holie citie of Geneua foster mother of all seditious spitites and vnquyet heads. Heare then your good Apostle: [...]ecause many are offended at the first blast of the trompette (behold how this holie sainct is become penitente of his former of­fence) in whiche I affirme that to promote a Wo­man to beare rule or empire aboue any realme nation or citie is re [...]ugnant to nature, cont [...]mel [...]e to God, and a thing most contrariouse to his reuealed and appro­ued ordinance: and because also, that some hath promised (as I vnderstand) a consutation of the same [Page 15] [...] haue delayed the second blast, till suche tyme as their reasons appere, by the whiche I either may be reformed in opinion, or els shall haue fur­ther occasion more simplie and plainly to vtter my iudgement. yet in the meane tyme for discharge of my conscience (behold the holinesse of this ex­ [...]raordinarie patriarche, who thinketh him selue greatly burdened in his conscience if he trouble not the whole state of the commō wealth) and for auoyding suspition, whiche might be ingendred by reason of my silence, I could not cease (ô the good nature of this man, who can not cease from ill doing, sed quis Deus in frau­dem?) to notifie these subsequent propositions whi­che by Gods grace I purpose to entreate in the second blast promised.

1. It is noth birth only nor propinquitie of blood that maketh a king lawfully to reigne aboue a peo­ple professing Christe Iesus and his eternall veritie; but in his election must the ordinance, which God hath established in the election of inferiour iudges be obserued. autos epha. all princes shalbe subiect to the peoples iudgement, and the people to the ministers.

2. No manifest Idolater, nor notoriouse [...]rans­gressor of Gods holie precepts ought to be promoted to any publike regiment, honour, or dignitie in any realme, prouince or citie, that hath subiected it self to Christe Iesus and to his blessed Euangil.

[Page] 3. Neither can othe nor promisse bynd any s [...] people (call you these your hearty protest [...] ­tions othes and promises) to obey and main [...] tyrannes (so ye call all Kinges that will not fol­low your fantasie) against God and against [...] trueth knovven. that is your new forged faith.

4. But if either ra [...]hly they haue promoted [...] manifest vvicked persone, or yet ignorantly haue ch [...] ­sen suche a one, as after declareth him self vnvvorth [...] of regiment aboue the people of God (and suche be a [...] Idolaters and cruel persecutors) moste iustly may th [...] same men depose and punishe him that vnaduysedl [...] before they did nominat appoint and electe. Is no [...] this a moste notable argument to be handle [...] by a true subiect, and a man affectionat to the quyetnes of his natiue countrey? yet goo [...] sire Iohn Knoxe being in his owne opinion a prophete could not haue wanted many texts of the scripture to proue the mater. Ac­cording to this exemplere and paterne of [...] chosen or rather imaginarie King, ye haue formed your othe: for neglecting birth and blood, ye will that the Prince be made by e­lection, at lest subiect to obserue the orde­nance that God hath established to be obser­ued in inferiour iudges and magistrats, who may be deposed and punished if he passe the rules prescribed by you. For ye will the peo­ple be free from all obedience, promise and [Page 17] othe to haue no place if the Prince go frome your religion, or as ye call it, refo [...]med kirk, the declaration where of depended vpon your discretion & wisdome seing ye ar made iudges aboue all men. [...]owbeit good reason wold gif libertie to the Prince as well to leaue you, as ye haue left the Catholik kirk if ye hade not alreddie occupied the place to commād ouer all without appeall. I will not further insist in the examination of this blast of winde, seing it sauoureth so ill that no true & modest subiect can abyd it. I say only that your othe is as lyk this proiecte as euer dau­ther was lyk the mother, and lacketh but thinges which may very easely be vnder­stood as we shall shew after.

4. But ye will say that I am [...]alignus alien [...] voluntatis interpres a maliciouse interpreter of other mens myndes. What was your mea­ning, I pray you, when ye took your Prince, emprisonated and at last chased hir out of hir owen realme and pursued to the death? What was your meaning when during his Maie­sties minoritie ye caused strick money, mar­ked with a sword and this inscription pr [...] [...]e, in me s [...] mereor? What was your intent now of late yeares when ye beseeged the toulbrigh of Edenburgh? was it the blad [...] of rebelliō or sword of Gedeor that was drawen out that [Page 18] day? Why did ye cry at that tyme God and the kirk, if it was not to withdraw the peopl [...] ▪ hartes and obedience from the Kinges M [...] ­iestie to for ti [...]ie your plottes? a course mo [...] ▪ dangerouse where the Prince & whole com­mon wealthe were put in hazard vpon your [...]olie reformed worde. If I be not deceaued, ye would haue signified by God and the kirk your doctrine and discipline, to which ye will haue all men subiect, with no further obedience to others then ye think expedient, and so no place for the Kinges Maiestie and his officers till it please you to employ them to execute your plottes, which onely charge ye would leaue to them, and that because ye ar not able of your selues to execute sundry thinges that ye haue inuēted▪ But ye will say, reason wold that all thinges should be subiect to God: It is moste true: But ye ar no Gods, yea not haue no charge nor command of God, as we shall shew here after and alt­hough ye hade, why should ye, vnder pretense of your new forged or reformed discipline, [...]rouble the whole state to the vtter ruine of the common wealth. Think ye that God and a King can not be in one realme to gether? or that God is accoustumed to destroy Kinges, where he cometh? if your reformation pro­ceded of God, we might very iustly so think▪ [Page 19] seing it troubles all Princes where it hath any credit. It was well sayd by an ancient Scottish priest twelue hondred yeares since: Non [...]ripit mortalia, qui regna dat caelestia. but he was a priest of the Romaine kirk, and not a brother of your reformation mother of your detestable paritie, grandmother of your present confusion, where vpon is builded your sinagoge: permitt me to say so seing ye force men to enter therein, because your cal­ling hath no power nor strenght to inuite them. This can not stand with Princes law­full authoritie. Heare Iesus Christe him self saying: date Caesari, quae sunt Caesaris, & quae Dei, Deo. Certainely all mē of quyet spirite should esteeme them enemies bothe to God and good reason, who thinketh the one contra­rie to the other. There were never yet any people that hade a religion without ciuil gouuerment: we haue seene in all common wealths these two ioyned together, but most perfectly where Kinges haue [...]ade the s [...]ue­raigne power, because the vnitie is greater. Ye wold perhapes gladly say here (if ye hade the Christian liber tie, that ye so earnestly de­syre, that is licence to do as ye will) that ye at all priests and Kinges, and as ye haue cast out the priests of the kirk for their misbe­hauiour, so wold ye cast Kinges out of their [Page 20] throanes & realmes for lyk cause. assay agai­ne the play. assure your selfs that knauery will not ay haue good successe▪ If I be not de­ceaued ye shall now find Kinges more vigilāt, admonished by others mens exēples, then ye found the priests whom ye violently cast out, not by your vertue & strenght, but by their fault & negligence. God will cast the schour­ge in the fyre, when he shall think it good.

5. But to retourne againe to your words, As vpon a confortable instrument of Goddes mer­cie, graunted to this countrey for the mainteining of his kirk and ministration of Iustice among vs. With what reuerence obedience and mode­stie ye haue receaued that instrument, I leaue it to his Maiesties memorie and your con­sciences: and if a few of you ministers gaue him not more paine and trouble then all the rest of the realme. If I see you ouer forgetfull I may well call some thinges to your memo­rie, although your daylie behauiour might ve­ry well release me of that labour. Truely I think there be no subiects in Europe more obliged to their Prince then ye ar to his Maiestie considering your de [...]tes: nor no Prince who haue hade more rebelliouse sub­iects then he hath hade of some of you, so far as it did ly in your power. ye will do well in tymes comming to mend this, for feare ye [Page 21] be constrained to render compt of all toge­ther, giftes abused may iustly be called beak: Your dayly railling against the present forme of policie in England sheweth well that your sicknes do increasse. VVe protest and promise with our heartes (good and friendly words truely) vnder the same othe, handwritt, and pai­nes (quid dignum tanto foret hic promissor hiatu?) that we shall desend his persone and Authoritie with our geir, bodies, and liues. Parturiunt mon­tes nascetur ridiculus mus. good Sires will not your new Euangell suffer you to do more for the Kinges Maiestie? onely to desend his per­sonne & authoritie? I praise your wisdome to aduertise what [...]e may looke for at your hāds: yet sure I am, that ye your selues wold not be content to haue a seruant in your house with so small seruice, as ye offer here to your soueraigne whome ye wold seeme to haue greatly obliged. But at the lest may his Ma­iestie assure him self of your assistence in de­fence of his persone & authoritie? No truely but in certaine cases, which ye lny downe to him by writt that he may craue no further, to Witt, in defence of Christes Euangell (I think as it is now reformedly preached and inter­preted by you the discipline hauing it sull course) libertie of our countrey (euery ministe [...] being maister) ministration of iustice (in cha­sing [Page 22] away sic as will not acknowledge you in all affaires) and punishment of iniquitie: prin­cipally if any man gainesay you. Nothing at all for the Prince? Nothing surely, if there cometh none of thes thinges in question the Prince may stand alone for you, so far as I can see. Onely when ye haue a do, he shal be as­sisted to do you seruice, otherwise he may do for him self, if he thinketh it good. But if he touch your Euangell, yea with the vtter­moste of his finger, ye will put bothe persone and Authoritie in hazard, ye ar so mightely gouerned by the reformed spirite. I will not gesse further your myndes. Which beareth witnes, who so well does. But ye will suffer me to say that the subiect not onely is obli­ged of duetie ciuil, but also in conscience be­fore God to defend his Princes persone wit­hout any exception because he is vnctus Do­mini and one of the chief magistrates esta­blished by God him self. Therefore we never did reade that the Christians were blamed for defending of the Emprours personnes, not withstanding that sundry of them were most cruell persecutors of the Christian and Catholik faith, and did seeke by all meanes to destroy the veritie. The Christians refu­seth onely to be executers of these detestable designes of the Emprours: yea I think it shall [Page 23] never be found that the Ancient Godly fa­thers did lay to any Christians charge as a cryme, that he hath garded and keapt the personne of Iulian the Apostata▪ for that ne­uer was against God, nor reason; seing they were obliged there to, as to a thing bothe honest and Godly, which they could not ne­glect without a great blame. These onely were accused as cursed & misch [...]euouse men, who were instruments of his abominations. Certainely the Princes personne should be holie and inuiolable; and we more carefull there of, then of our owne lines. Lykwise we may say of his Authoritie which cometh of God, and hath ay God for reuenger, if any man be so bold as to touch it irreuerently. Ye mesure the Princes persone and Authori­tie according to your fantasie, making them great or small, to be obserued or dispysed, as ye think proper to your purpose and passion. But ye will say that it is well donne to defend the Princes personne & authoritie. that is very true. who so euer is owing a hondred crownes, doeth well to pay one crowne, but not inough except he pay the whole somme, so your duetie is not complete in these few heads. These fashions of othes a [...] inuented onely to exempt by litill and litill the people frome the due obedience oght to the Prince▪ [Page 24] for the people thinking that the othe is the onely sure rule of their due obligation to­ward, their soueraigne: and that they ar not further bound then the othe sheweth: if in their opinion any thing passe that boundes, they may think them sel es free and dischar­ged from further obedience as not contei­ned in their othe. For when I haue donne that, where to I am obliged, it is in my hād if I will do any further: If I do more, I merite thankes; if not, I merite no reprehension, nor blame, much lesse punition. Ye will not be offended, if I say some what yet of your othe, which hath beene formed either with a great malice or extreme simplicitie (which of these two be most proper for your sect I leaue the iudgement to others) which will be more cleerely seene if we shew the true forme of othe which should be geuen to the soueraigne Prince. The subiects of Emprour or King being as va [...]les (which we call cō ­monly lieges) should make to their Prince the othe simplie and without any condition, yea so farre that swearing fidelitie against al men they should not except them selues. And therefore the othe of fidelitie which the lawyers call sacramentum fidelitatis should be made without any condition or restriction: for if any sic thing be put in the forme of [Page 25] othe deceitfully, or craftelie couuert with words, where by the subiects may with draw them selfs from the fidelitie towards their Prince or attempt what so euer thing against him, vnder what so euer pretext, they should be accompted as rebelles, lacking reithe [...] occasion, then an euill mynd. And for that same cause it is not law fall to put the reason in the othe, that he, who sweareth, may haue no cloake nor excuse to break his othe: E [...]t enim forme fidelitatis actus legitimus condi­tionem non recipiens. when the othe of fidelitie is made to him who is onely lands lord and not soueraigne, the vassall puteth no condi­tion although he put an exception of the Emprour or King, as may be seene in this forme. Ego Titius iuro super haec sancta E [...]ange­lia, quod ab hac hora in antea vsque ad vltimum diem vitae meae, ero fidelis tibi Ca [...]o Domino contra omnem hominem, excepto Imperatore vel Rege. But the forme of fidelitie and othe made to [...]he Emprour or King, or any other soue­ [...]aigne Prince, should be sett downe in most [...]imple plaine and cleere words, without any [...]eceit fraud or guyll. For as the Kinges Em­ [...]ire is free and absolute, subiect to no other, [...] the othe of the subiects should be [...]ltoge­ [...]er simple and without any restriction. I [...]ay all good and true subiects, not onely for [Page 26] their duetie, but also for their conscienc [...] cause, compare this with our new reformed or reither deformed forme of othe, and con­sider if it rasted not of rebellion and conspi­racie against the law [...]ull Prince, and if this be not a beginning and foundament to bring in the Swisers common wealth where the so­ueraigne magistrate at the yeares end is ans­wearable to the people, by whome he is cho­sen. Doubtles these craftesmen haue had be­fore their eies Bruti vindicias, Buchanans pre­cepts, Knoxes blasts of the trompette of sedi­tion, Goodmans discours how superior po­wers ought to be obeyed of their subiects▪ Knoxe histories of treasons &c. or els the King of Poles othe, Si sacramentum violauer [...] nullam nobis regni incolae obedientiam praestar [...] debebunt. the Poloniens may desyre of their future Prince, what othe they please seing he is at their election and choise. But to pre­scribe to your selues, how and what ye will sweare to your Prince, to whome ye, your fathers and posteritie ar allreddie obliged whether ye will or not, I know not how ye can be excused except ye ministers esteeme your selues in the same rank with the ancien [...] arrogant Aragoniens, who in reception o [...] their king were wount to say in this maner Nos, qui valemos tanto comme vos, y podem [...] [Page 27] m [...]s que vos, vos elegimos Re, con estas & estas conditiones intra vos y nos, vn que manda mas, que vos. We, who ar as good as ye, and may more then ye, choose you our king, with sic and sic conditiones betwixt you and vs that one may commande more then ye▪ wold ye not think your selues braue men, if ye might truely vse [...]ic speech to his Maiestie. But ye do meikill [...]orse, seing in eff [...]ct ye gif him no thing but assistence to do you seruice, without any further honour or profit. A great seruant truely, if ye were wo [...]hie m [...]isters. Certainly if the King were at your choise (as God forbid he were) ye could gif him no lesse then ye do here by your othe: yea what lesse can ye gif to your moderator of one day, then defend his persone and au­thoritie, as long as he is in charge, for ye do nothing therein, but mainteine your selues. The Mu [...]iners in the warres offer no lesse to their new choisen head, not for his cause, but for their owne. I am assured that there is no people in the worlde so seditiouse or re­belle, but wold bestow more vpon their Prince o [...] head whatso euer, then ye b [...]stow here vpon his Maiestie: In promptu ratio est, his Maiesties forces can not agree with your folies. But ye will say perhapes that the Kin­ges Maiestie doeth acknowledge him self [Page 18] In his speech to parla­ment. to be made for the people and not the people for him. he speeketh lyk a noble wise and moste worthie Prince acknowledging what he oweth to God, in whose place he is esta­blished, whose persone he doeth present, and in whose authoritie he doeth command. On the other part, why will▪ ye not lyk true and good subiects acknowledge▪ your duetie, to­wards him, to whome ye ar obliged, as to Goddes lieutenant aboue you? or ar all men obliged to you, and ye to no man? it is law­full to you to be more familiar with his Ma­iestie, then he is with him self. More ouer ye ar not the wholl people being but onely the tribunes at your owen making, and albeit ye were, yet should ye not presume so farre of your selues, as all should be donne by you, and at your appetite. It is certaine that the head is made for the body (as also the body for the head) yet should not the body be maister and command aboue the head nor yet prescribe lawes or conditions to it, but should obey it in all thing without contra­diction as being subiect and not superior. The physiciens do teach, and (as I think) not without good reason that the wholl strenght of the body, and all the functions thereof co­meth of the head, where the senses at chiefly, & wittes ar onely. If we would credit you & [Page 29] your reformation, we should shortly see a deformed gouerment through all the world. I am assured that it wold be better dwelling among the antient Cyclops, if there were any, then among you: and if ye be curiouse to know why, I shall mak you a description In the sessions presbi­teries sy­nodes & gene­rall coū ­sels.of your selues, where ye may see a part of your beauties with out a mirrour: Ye haue bene so impudent and shamelesse, as to aske for your [...]eformed kirk an absolute othe of all the Kinges Maiesties subiects, yea of him selfe (whome in his tender age ye did ci [...]cumuent) that he should defend your do­ctrine and discipline, that is, embrace your inuentions and execute your plottes, so that his Maiestie and all his subiects of what so euer qualitie or condition. should onely be vestrae voluntatis imo tyrannidis ministri, to trouble and persecute all theis that will not obey you, albeit it were bothe against his Maiesties honour and state. Which I think his Maiestie will suffer no longer to be don­ne, because of the danger that may eusue there vpon. For what can be more perni­ciouse within a realme, where obedience and modestie ar moste necessarie, then to suf­fer the subiects to be corrupted either by monopoles or periuries or damnable opi­nions tending to a new forme of gouerment [Page 30] and state? or to permitt a [...]orme of common wealth within an other, as a cotadaill or for­tresse within a towne, to hold the Prince and all his subiects bound s [...]aues to yow. A thing, I know not whether more dishono­rable to the Prince, or more dangerouse. I say onely that the mo [...]e his Maiestie beareth with you the more ye at presumptiouse and the reddier to attempt some new interprise. Ye contented your selues before to raill a­gainst the state and gouerment of Scotland; now, as if your iurisdiction were amplified with his Maiesties empire, ye ar entred in England, all Britaine is fallen to your lot: ye will comptroll all mens actions there, ye will assist your brethren of that nation, de­fend them, their doctrine and discipline ac­cording to your reformed ministeriall othe, for why should any man be so bolde as to touch in any wise your inheritance? or medle with your affaires? or command within your iurisdiction? A surplice, a square cappe, or a Bishoppe may serue you for a most iust rea­son to trouble all, so liuely is your faith fin­ding Idolatrie in any thing that mislyketh your humour. O tribus Anticris caput ins [...]nabile. It were best his Maiestie sent you to the vn­found lands, where there is no man yet, that ye might forme a common wealth at your [Page 31] owne fantasie without other mens griefe or trouble. Certainely if ye were sent ouer sea fiue, or sixe yeares to seek your meate as others haue donne, ye wold perchance be more modest, and vnderstand how bontifull and patient his Maiestie is suffering you so long to reigne and raill without ryme or rea­son: Coge [...]is aliquando per vestrum scelus iracunda louem sumere sulmina. But ye the Saincts of God, his elected people, assured inheritance, indued with only faith voide of all good wor­kes, destitute of free will, and yet willfull in all your opinions, predestinated to the hea­uens how so euer emptie of honestie, and covered with vice, ye zealouse brethren, I say, ar aboue all Kinges and Princes, they at but your officers, executers of your good pleasiurs and will: otherwise to no purpo [...] in this world. To conclude this matter I will tell you the Catholik opinion herein, which is this. As we ar wholly and without any ex­ception obliged to God in matters of faith and conscience, so at we absolutly and wit­hout any exception or restriction obliged & bound to our Prince with all fidelitie and obedience in temporall affaires, that is in matters nether repugnant to God nor good reason, how soeuer they be to our dommage and hurt in worldly thinges, or to out [Page 32] paines and against our repose. There is no reason, why the foote should refuse to tra­uaill▪ when the head haue a doe, how hote that euer it be: wearinesse can serue for no excuse: at the nodde of the head, the rest of the membres should be reddie: at sic tymes excuses ar but disguised rebellions: the want of commodities maketh the way more diffi­cill but not impossible. To the foote thes thinges may seeme very hard and iniust, be­cause of the great paines and many incom­modities it must suffer, oftentymes not kno­wing the reason why, except that it is a mem­ber subiect to the head, and therefor obli­ged to obey according to the office and due function of a member, as it shall please the head to command. Wold ye that men should goe as Iugling tumblers doe, their feete vp, and their head downe? ye haue some reason so [...]o desyre in maters of state (although there be no reason, why it should be graunted to you) seing by that meanes sundry of you myght hope for the highest place, as being in all degrees the very dregges of the people, yet being promoted without order or extra­ordinairely (for all is one in your personnes) ye at found worthie of the charge ye haue, ye become so perfect raillers: but how pro­per ye be to gouuerne Kinges and realme [Page 33] (which ye will to [...]pend vpon you in ma­ters of greatest consequence) I leaue the iud­gement to others; and principallie when it is question of your zealouse brethren, who ordinairely ar caried away rather by passion and opinion, th [...]n guided by disc [...]eti [...]n and wisdome: where vpon ar founded an infnite nomber of rash iudgements that they haue made vpon other mens actio [...]s. I think it not needfull that I specifie any▪ the ex [...]mples being so frequent [...] and common. A n [...]w sor­te of tyrannie me [...]kill to be lamented▪ if we [...]ere not oppressed with a mor [...] grieuouse, [...]her by it is fre [...] to no mā to vse his naturall aire and inioye▪ the sight of his friends and kinnesmen, except [...]e sweare him▪self your slaue, foreswearing bothe God and Prince for a reformed folie: Ouer high a price truely▪ and ouer great subiection, for the small re­ward that any mā can look for at your-hand. What so euer banishment were more to be desyred, then that dwelling at home: for ac­cepting that condit [...]on, men incu [...]reth the danger of double treason, diuine and humai­ne, which being donne, they were vnwor­thie not onely to be esteemed his Maiesti [...]s subiects, but to [...]e suffered to liue vpon the earth, if that come of their proper consent and desyre. And what fidelitie, I pray you, can [Page 34] his Maiestie look for of you, who requires of other men sic othes as cutt away all assuran­ce of fidelitie towards the Prince? ye pre [...]er­ting your vaine opinions (that I say nothing more displeasant) to the whol antiquitie, yea to all ages passed and present, in maters of religion, and your iudgement to all magistra­tes of what so euer authoritie or experience in maters of state, and your interprises to peace and quyetnesse, ar good Christians and true subiects, well at your case in honour and Authori [...]ie, although the greatest part of you be the first honest men of your race, or rather the worst that euer was of your race, shewing the common say to be very true. Asperius nihib est humili cum surgit in altum, [...]et a beggar on horseback and he will ride [...] gallop. But peiceable men, who haue not that turbulent presomptious spirite, because they prefer the authoritie of the vniuersall ki [...]k, and iudgement of the ancient pastours and Ca [...]holik consent to their priuat and particula [...]e opinion, respecting the magistra­tes as Gods officers and law [...]ull instruments, they at Idolaters, papists, traitours to his Ma­iestie enemies to the cōmon wealth, excōmu­nicat incōtinēt▪ put to the horne▪ their goods confiscated, them selues banished out of the countrey: what rank or qualitie that euer [Page 35] they be of, they ar not worthie to be faluted by the worst rascal fellow of your sessions although they be composed ordinairely of the very sinke of the people. But honest men must take patience, seing ye gif so litill reue­rence to them, to w [...]ome ye ar more obliged

6. where I will no [...]e a thing very remar­cable, that neither riches, good traict [...]ment, dignities, nor honours can mak you quyet and peaceable men; neither iniuries, indigni­ties, banishment, losse of goods nor freinds can moue the Catholiks to leaue their duetie towards the Prince: which I doubt not but his Maiestie some day will consider when it shall please God to haue pitie of our mise [...]ies. Abyding which tyme, I pray you all good and Godly Catholiks (s [...]sfer me good sites to turne my speeche a litill to them) to behaue your selues towards his Maiestie with due obedience and modestie, se [...]king no pre [...]xt no [...] excuse to withdraw your selues: suffe­ring paciently persecutions if any be. Mixe no worldly respectes with heauenly bl [...]slin­ges, God is highly offended when we mak [...] to our particulare passions a cloake of his na­me, his honour and our affaires ar not of lyk rank, they should not be mingled together▪ If any harme cometh to you in his seruice, your reward wilbe th [...] greater, soing ye haue [...]r [...] ­uailled [Page 36] for his glorie, and haue stand stoutly to his ryght, vnder whose banner to die, is to triomphe for euer: feare no damnage▪ not losse, ye haue a most sure promise of a hon­derdfold profit & the lyfe eternall. we should bestow our goodes w [...]llingly in his seruice who rccompenseth so liberally. The lesse of our priuat affections we midle here in, the better is outs, the more ample shal be our lords goodnes towards vs: because his glorie the more cleerly doeth shine, when it is al­lone. But when his veritie is blamed for our misbehauiour, what can we look for at his hands, but for a iust punition for abusing his authoritie and name? It were very hard to suffer sundry thinges that occurre in thes spi­rituall wat [...]es, if our captaine were not in­uincible, and we assured how long we stand with him. We lack no good examples bothe of head and membres. We can not be first in this batai [...]l where so many thowsands los­sing the earth haue conquised the heauens▪ there ar passed before vs infinite nomber of champions off all dignities ages and quali­ties, Kinges, Quyenes, nobles & meane men, learned and ignorant, men, wemen, ould men and babes, poore and riche, who haue borne armour vnder this standart, & after the losse of all worldly goods haue shead their [Page 37] bloode with ioy to their eternall blesse, be­cause they had only Goddes glorie before their eyes, which principally in this tyme so dangerous we should do, that our vice be not obiected to the Catholik religion, as if our faul [...]es came of that which we professe, and not of ou [...] selues; to which sorte of ca­lumnies and craftie accusations, our aduersa­ries haue ost recourse, taking argumēts from ou [...] liues and behauiour, which they can not haue frome our religion. We should not mixe the religion with matters of state, they apperteine to diuerse magistrates; God will haue vs here obedient to bothe, because they a [...] his lieutenants, established in his name and authoritie we should not serue our sel­ues with the command of the one, to disobey the other in his charge. Who so euer hender any of the two, can not serue him s [...]lfe with excuse of the other: we must follow bothe their commands according to their place & rank: they at ordained by God to keepe one another, and not to distroy each other. If standing to the true saith, to the defence of our soueraigne, we be persecuted either in lyf body or goods, after the bataill, we shalbe restored to ou [...] owne, or to meikill better. he who receaueth a prophete in name of a prophete, shall receaue the reward of a pro­phete Mat. 10 [Page 38] yea he who giueth a cuppe of cold wa­ter in the name of a Disciple shall not loose his reward, what shall he receaue I pray you, who willinglie, w [...]en occasion se [...]ueth, gifeth his lyf to God in Gods name to de­claire his veritie or mainteine his iustice in defence of religion or his Prince, so highly recommended to vs by God him selfe? lat vs not infect this gift & oblation with our pri­uat plottes and passions, he who heard Sainct Paul in his weaknes, will graunt vs strenght to susteine all aduersities: he will say to vs also sufficiat vobis gratia mea: the more we loosse here, the more we shall winne in hea­uen. Seing this patience sure I am that the Kinges Maiestie will not be so farre offen­d [...]d, when he shall vnderstand that thereis onely conscience that do stoppe you to con­descend to many thinges, and no rebellion nor contempt of his lawes, or ordainances: for in that case ye prefer onely God to him, and that because your fi [...]st obligation mo­ueth you thereto. Byding in this resolution, the victorie shalbe yours, and ye shall obtei­ne, if not mans, at lest Goddes fauour, other­wise ye may look to loosse bothe: surther we may hope that his Maiestie being better in­formed of the matter, wilbe more gra [...]ious to his true and humble subi [...]cts then to punish [Page 39] them by death, banishment or priuation of their goods in fauour of the ministers who byding at the ground [...]s of their doctrine can neither be good Christians nor true subiects as we haue sha [...] alreddie, and shall sh [...]w more euiden [...]ly here after if this be not thought sufficient. Yet if our sinn [...]s be so great that God will haue vs punis [...]ed with all tigour and extremitie in this present lyf, lat vs receaue the same not onely with pa­tience because we haue deserued meikill mo­re, but also with gladnesse and thankes gi­uing as comming o [...] his hand, who will gif vs the strenght to beare it, seing that his quar­tell is mixed with our paines, lat vs crye for his helpe▪ and succo [...]re who hath the heartes of Princes in his hand, that he may dispense their actions to his glorie, to their and our saluation and publik peace and quietnesse. how that shalbe donne, we must leaue it to his infinitie wisdome and prouidence hauing alwaies in our heartes and mou­thes, thy will be donne in earth as it is in heauen.

Now to retourne to you againe (good sites) it is not onely very dangerouse, but also farre against the duetie of a good Christian man to sweare according to your desyre, os reither command and force, to [Page 40] witt that they abhorre and detest all contrario [...] religion and doctrine (to your reformation) but cheiflie all kynd of papistrie in generall and particu­lere heades▪ Because the most chief heads of the Catholik Apostolik and Romane doctrine (w [...]ich ye of your great humanitie and cour­tesie doe call papistrie at all occasions and propos) a [...] conteined in the symbol of faith m [...]de by the Apostles, if ye haue any thing to say there to ye may. But as to vs, as we beleef in the symbol that there is one God omnipotente Fat [...]er, Sonne, & holie Ghost, w [...]o hath created, redeemed, & sanctified vs by his infinite goodnes & mercy; so do we be­leef that there is one holie Catholik kirk, by whose mouth we ar instructed in all theis thinges, that we should beleef, or do; becau­se shee is the spouse and mysticall body of Ie­sus Christ, of whome as of hir head shee hath grace and power, and we command to obey. Theis at the generall heades of that which ye call papistrie (seing it pleased you so to terme it) where vpon ar biulded all par­ticuler heades professed by the same kirk, and all hi [...] children remaning in due obe­dience within hi [...] bosome. To detest and abhorre theis thinges, ye may easely iudge your selues (if passiō commād not aboue your [...]ittes) how hard a thing it wil [...] be to [...]any [Page 41] Christian man, w [...]o hath Christs spouse in good estimation and as it becometh him to haue hi [...] who is guided with so nobell a head: But ye will say that ye condemne not that which is good, but our errours: I answeare to you in one word, so farre as I can see ye haue as litell iudgement to discerne vpon an errour, as ye haue power to condemne it. But this doth require a more ample discours. Moreouer to haue the Catholik religion in greater horrour and detestation then te Iew­daisme, Turcisme, heresie, or at heisme I can not think that it cometh of a good and holie Frere Io­hn Crag fleeing out of I­talie frō the Ca­tholik [...]: being (as he said) in need he recea­ued a pourse frome [...] black dogge, iudge y [...] of that viati­cum.spirite; but rather of him, who vnder the figure & shape of a black dogge gaue a purse with siluer to the forger of your confession. But I vnderstand well how the matter stan­ded: he who hath fled a way for knauerie, had rather serue any man then retorne back to his owne maister. It is not my intent at this present to refu [...]e your negations of the faith: ye will gif occasions, as ye haue giuen matter to answear by the groundes of your owne doctrine and maximes of your chief ministers, which I graunt ye may deny, as ye haue donne many better thinges, by reason of your Christian libertie, where by ye may [...]udge and condemne whome and what ye please if it agree not with the scriptures in­terpreted [Page 42] by you, that is, with your opinion▪ where to ar subiect all thinges, by vertue of the spirite which guideth you as supreme iudges without appealle, for otherwise thin­ges can not stand with your credit: ye hold as the chief foundament of your detestations and refusals, that the Pape is the Antichrist: which point no man of iudgement can passe with, meikilles to subscribe or sweare it to be true. Sundry cunning and learned men hath most sufficiently confuted this blasphe­mous reuerie, so I may be excused if I enter no further in the matter, yet for other mens contentement, who haue not seene, or could not vnderstand these bookes, I will bring here some reasons why that can not be. And 1 first the Pape acknowledgeth not onely God to be aboue him, to whome all honour and glorie iustly doeth apperteine because he is maker and authour of all thinges; but also he acknowledgeth the Angels and Sainctes (al­though in different degree & maner, God for his owen causes and them for Goddes cause) who ar in heauen; and for that cause prayet [...] to them as being Gods in time and most deare friends to interced for him; where as the An­tichrist if ye will gif credit to Sainct Paul, shall prefer him self to all thing that is cal­led God, where no exception is made. [Page 43] Secondly we reade of no Pape who hath sla­ine 2 either Elias or Eno [...]h, or any other excel­lent men indued with supernaturall giftes, principallie at Ierusalem seing there hath beene there no Pape thes many hondred yea­res. Further the Papes successiuely haue raig­ned 3 th [...]s s [...]xteine hondred yeares not wit­standing of the great varietie and trouble of the [...]yme. The An [...]ichrist should reigne one­ly three yeares and an half. Moreouer there 4 was never yet any Pape receaued by [...]he Ie­wes for their true M [...]ssias, because the Pape doeth teach that the true Messias is alreddie come: the Antichrist should be receaued, Si alius venertt in nomine suo [...]um recipietis. of con­trarie there is no man they hate so meikill as they hate the Pape, because he is the grea­test obstacle thes 1600. yeares. ye being yet in lumbis in [...]isibilis Ecclesiae. The Euāgell should 5 be receaued through all before the Antichrist come: The Euangell is not yet receaued through all: and if the Pape be not yet come why preach ye against him? The Pape with 6 all diligence and [...]a [...]e hath keaped and yet do keape Iuge saecrific [...]um the perpetuall sacrifice which onely is accep [...]able and pleasant to God: & therefore the Antichrist will labour to tak it away: where in ye trauell as ye can. The pape mainteineth the religion of his 7 [Page 44] forfathers, for he cond [...]mneth all thing as errour that is contrarie to the doctrine of the primitiue kirk and venerable an [...]iquitie; because Iesus Christ being the veri [...]ie it self, the religion founded vpon him, and publis­hed by his deare spouse at his command, can neither be variable nor false. the Antichrist shall mispryce the religiō of his fathers whe­rein 8 ye imitat him perfectly well. The pape sitteth at Rome and hath so donne thes many ages. The Antichrist should sit at Ierusalem. 9 The Pape adoreth with all humilitie and re­uerence the Trinitie, teacheth and comman­deth all true Christians to doo the same. The Antichrist openeth his mouth with all sorte of blasphemie against the holie Triniti [...]. 10 The Pape [...]alleth him self Seruu [...] seruorum Dei, acknowledging that the honour he recea­ueth of men, is because of his office that he hath of God, and that he is institute Pastour here in earth to serue the wholl flock of Ie­sus Christ out lord whose seruant he is and chief minister: And therefor before all mor­tall men in dignitie seing he representeth Christ our soueraigne Lord, yet subiect to serue all men, helpe and assist them because of his office and charge, certainely the lest of the realme is to be prefered to the greatest, how lōg he represented the Kinges Maiesties [Page 45] personne. The Antic [...]rist shall call him self God. There hath beene two hundred and 11 thirtie Papes and more: there should be but one Antichrist contrarie to Christ in all thin­ges: for we speak here of the great Antichrist. The religion professed by the Pape hath du­red 12 (with your owm prophetes confessions) more thē twalf hundred year [...]s: the religiō or rather impietie of the Antichrist should dure short space, as he him selfe. The Antichrist 13 should be an Apostate & go out of the kirk of God, where by that his wickednes may be the greater being ioyned with rebelliō ▪ The Pape remaineth yet still in the house of God. 14 There hath beene great number of heresies & heretikes during theis 1600. yeares that we haue hade so many Papes. But the Anti­christ should be the last of the heretiks, be­cause all wickednesse should be compleit in him, all heretiks seruing to him as foreriders, where of Simon Magus was the first a dete­stable magicien and a traiterous apostate, who not withstanding hath found ouer many cō ­panions to follow him. Iesus Christ should 15 slay the Antichrist with the spirite of his mouth, that is, as ye interprete it, with the preaching of the Euangell, that hath he never donne to any Pape, albeit ye haue imagina­ted to your selfs, that ye haue slaine the Pape [Page 46] by your preachinges, o [...] rather taillinges, the Pape never hath had one houres sicknes for all your crying; assure your selues that his infirmities cometh of other causes. Luther in spirite of prophicie as he thought made this most notable verse Pestis eram viuus, moriens tu [...] mors ero Papa: he knew very well the first part to be true, and therefore myght say it confi­dently, the last part was lyk the authour, fal­se and vntrue, he being deade and his do­ctrine bothe, it being changed partly by him self during his lyf, partly by his disciples and followers after his deathe, where as the Pa­pes Authoritie, because it is founded vpon God, doth remaine, & shall remaine till the 16 worlds end. The Antichrist should oppose him self to our lord in all thinges and abolish his name and honour so farre as he can: for so the name of Antichrist doth signifie. The 17 Pape doeth the plaine contrarie. The Anti­christ should come after Gog & Magog: how­beit that the Papes hath beene so many ages, yet know we not, what Gog and Magog ar, nor what place of the world they dwell in. 18 The Pape honoreth the Sainctes as Gods vnd­oubted friends and desyreth them to pray for him. Where vpon maliciously ye preach to the people that we gif Christs honour to the Saincts & yet we acknowledge them as ser­uants [Page 47] onely, who hath credit to pray and not to command. The Antichrist should ha­ue 19 in his name the number of 666. to find this number your brethren, further different frome you in doctrine and discipline then in place or habites, haue taken great paines tourning the Papes names, but all in vaine, it could not be found the holie spirite hauing so prouided against your calumnies. Many 20 thousands ar saued in the Catholik kirk, which ye call the papist kirk, for otherwise all your forfathers ar condemned, yea all the ancient fathers, martyres, and doctours of the kirk, seing that they haue acknowledged the pape for their superior, and chief vicare to Iesus Christ, and a great part of you were baptised by the membres of the Antichrist, in whose kirk no man can be saued. The Pa­pe 21 armeth him self & al men so far as he can for Iesus Christ, with reasons, scriptures, ge­nerall counceilles, authorities of fathers, exē ­ples of martyres, consentement of the wholl Catholik kirk of all ages. The Antichrist shall arme him selfe and his followers with force and violence against Iesus Christ. The Pape conserueth, and haue conserued at all 22 tymes the scriptures: The Antichrist if he do according to his name and profession, should destroy the scriptures. The Pape hateth and 23 [Page 48] condemneth all sort of rebellions and nouel­ties in religion: The Antichrist should em­brace them as most proper & conuenient in­struments for his auancement of perdition. 24 The Pape came so quietly, and peaceablye (yea according to your owen [...]ellowes saying) that ye can not yet goodly-tell, when, or how he first entred in the kirk, ye ar so trou­bled to tell well your new forged fable. The Antichrist should come with sic trouble and mischief as neuer was since the beginning of the world, where in he shalbe more lyk to you, then to the Pape, seing we can well tell when ye came, and may yet shew ouer eui­dent 25 markes of your vnquiet intré. And to be short the Antichrist should be filius perdi­tioni [...] the sonne of perdition, chief instrument of satan, that is, so possessed and assisted with the deuill, that he shall do all thinges in the deuils power and for his cause, and shalbe so perfect and accomplished (if I should so say) in all vice and iniquitie, that no man can equall him, meikilles to surpasse him, and principallie in pryde, as our maister and lord Iesus Christ did excell in all vertue, & chiefly in humilitie discite à me, quia mitis sum & hu [...] ­lis corde. Wherefor not without reason sun­dry learned men haue repported the seuen montains to the seuen deedly sinnes which [Page 49] shalbe in the Antechrist in most high degree that he may iustly answeare to his name, The Pape can no wayes be thought so wic­ked: I call to witnes all sort of Protestantes of what so euer nation, saction, or opinion who haue beene at Rome before or since the Iubile, and haue seene the Pape who now sitteth Clement the eight a man wor­thie of that name, if any of them may say in his conscience, that he is so wicked and des­perate a mā, as the Antichrist is described to be in the scriptures. Sure I am that there is none of them so far drounkē in the ministe­riall humour, that will say so, if he speak ac­cording to that he hath seene. It is so far from that the Pape can be the Antichrist that his most excellente Maiestie a Prince of rare iudgement and learning, doth acknow­ledge the Pape to be a temporall Prince, to whom he is obliged and to whome in all good offices he wilbe correspondent. [...]hat wordes may be said to your opinion who maketh our Kinge to haue obligation from, and commerce with the Antichrist? I may say with your pardon and licence sessionall, that he is a better & more honest man, then any ministers that either is or euer was in Scotland without exception of your chief pontifs first or last, Iohn or Robert. I am as­sured [Page 50] that he who knoweth the Pape an [...] your ministers will say the same, principally if it were question of humilitie and humani­tie: and if I be put to my proues, I hope ea­sely to discharge my selfe litill to you [...] ho­nours. If this be true as it is most certaine why should any man sweare the Pape to be the Antichrist, that is the most wicked and detestable man that euer was, is, or shal be, seing that there is none of your companie how godly brethren that euer ye be, but i [...] meikill worse, then he? or if they sweare a thing so farre out of all reason and verit [...]e as thinking it true, why should they follow or acknowledge you for true and lawfull pastours sent by God to reforme the world, if ye be worse then the Antichrist, who must be the most detestable and abominable in­strument that euer Satan hath employed? If ye say that it is but simulation and hypocri­sie in the P [...]pe to deceaue men, I answeare you, that if we graunt your foolish affirma­tion, ye must also graunt to vs that the de­uill hath donne more good with the Pape, & his hypocrisie, pretēded, or fained holinesse, then euer the holie spi [...]ite, which is in you, I say, could do by [...]ou and your pietie and reformed Godlinesse: your actions may bea­re witnes if I lie. O Sanctas gentes quibus ha [...] [Page 51] [...]s [...]untur in [...]ortis minima. Whose best workes a [...] so litill worthe. Certainely ye ar very greatly obliged to theis, who will not swea­re a thing so preiudiciable to your honour and reputation, which necessarilie followed vpō your doctrine, if it were once admitted. Truely I haue not so hard opinion of you: for notwitstanding I esteeme you in all de­grees farre inferior to the Pape: yet think I not that ye ar so low & abiect, or so wicked and abominable as the Antichrist, meikilles to think you worse. Acknowledge the obli­gation ye haue to them, who doing accor­ding to their consciences toward the Pape, hath donne so meikill for your honour. But ye will say that ye ar not so wicked as the Pape. I doubt not but ye will winne your cause, if it be referred to your saying or othe. If the boundes of this epistle wold suffer, or if it were my principall butte to traict that matter, I should mak a comparison betwix the Pape and you, where I should mak you ashamed (if ye haue any shame in your for­head) of your selues, the merueillous differē ­ce being seene. I maruell how a minister can look to his companions vnlaughen when he seeth the people beleef a thing so ridiculous. And in cōsciēce beleef ye that the Antichrist shal be a litill hypocrite or simple heretik? [Page 52] [...]e shalbe more furiouse then any that euer came to trouble the kirk. Because ye cannot shew that the Pape is come with force and violence, as our Lord hath aduertised vs he shall come, ye wold mak the world beleeue that the Antichrist should come to continue lyk a lamb. Iesus Christ sayeth the contrarie of him. It wilbe an ill reformed faith to gif our lord the lie: how can ye think, that he who shalbe instructed and fullie inspired wi [...]h the spirite of Satan, will in any wise, ether follow or conter [...]ect our maister and lord Iesus Christ? ye deceaue your selues and all others, who credits you if ye beleef so. The heretiks, who ar onely his foreruners hath entred in the kirk of God lyk Woulfes and Tigres, and ye your selues came with so great modestie and quietnes, that the earth did tremble and shake vnder your feete (I know nōt if it was for gladenesse of your cō ­ming) so mightelye that the whole policie & publik buildings thr [...]ugh out all Scotlād did fall downe as if it had beene a generall earth quake. verelie according to his nature and dignitie, he must be more violent and cruell then all the rest. Is it possible that ye think the Antichrist will vse onely persua­tions, faire words, & li [...]ill hen wyles, seing that ye vse all s [...]rt of violences and compul­sions? [Page 53] he wilbe more cruell then ye in all re­spectes, more craftie and more mightie: he will bring with him all mischiefs that can be inuented, & for that cause God will shor­ten his tyme. Think ye that that deuill (if I [...]hould so say) wil be lyk Clemē [...] the 8. Are ye so ignorant or so foolish? Truely Pape Clement is so wicked, that it were better haue ten thowsand lyk him, then one lyk [...]ny of you, and his death more to be sorro­wed thē the death of a hundred thousand of you, howbeit ye haue a better opinion of your selfs. Think not also that the modestie that is in the Pape, cometh of any feare he hath of you or yours. Ye slay him euery yeare with your tounges, but so softlie, that he perceaueth it no more, then ye did the first Papes entring. How can ye beleeue that the Pape or Papes, ar, or can be the Antichrist, seing they haue condemned all the heresies that hitherto hath risin against ether the di­uinitie or humanitie of Iesus Christ (as may be proued by your owen fellowes) yea they haue condemned the errours risin now of late yeares amonge your selues, as the new heresies of Gentilis, Stancharus, Blandrata, and other good disciples of Caluin, against the holie Trinitie, whose errour ye approue not although bred among you. How can it [Page 54] be that they shal be the Antichrist, who so stoutly, so constantlie, with so great expen­ses and danger doeth defend the dignitie of Iesus Christ? for they onely whome ye in your reformed language call the Antichrist, hath holdin, approued, & yet doth defend & approue, all & wholl the generall councelles where Christs honour, authoritie, and diui­ne Maiestie haue beene lawfully defended and keeped: yet can ye not shew any sic thing donne by you, who calles your selues true Christians and lawfull pastours. What shall we think of these Antichristes, & of you zealous Christians? They keept the bible from corruption of heresies, when ye could not be found, yea when none of your refor­med brethren could be seene, at what tyme your inuisibilitie excused you from sic cha­ritable offices. It apperteneth to him onely whome ye call the Antichrist to defend Christs name, keepe the bible, distroy here­sies, confute errours, conuert infideles, send to all partes to cō [...]ort the faithfull, to assure them, who ar in brangle, to reduce them, who ar gone astray, and that in Europe, Asie, and Afrik. Which is donne yet in the new found Ils, where there is more Christians now, then heretikes in all Europe, yea a great deal more: O good & diligēt Antichrist [Page 55] who onely hath watched & laboured in the viniard of our Lord as it becometh a true & faithfull seruāt. And o ye wicked negligēt, sluggish & disloyall pastours who haue slee­ped like as many Endymious thes 1500. years past in some obscure caue, till the moune of false & foolish imaginations haue wak­ned you, to embrace againe the cloudes of errour in place of that heauenly Iuno of ve­ritie Haue we not iust occasion to wish of God to haue in your place so good and godly an Antichrist? which if we hade in eue­ry toune, we should not now haue beene in paine to refell your follies. We may bould­ly say that this Antichrist is meikill better reformed, then your kirk, and lesse to be feared, then your reformation. I doubt not but ye wold here willingly answeare, that ye contribu [...]e with no lesse good will for the diliuerance of Geneua, which ye make the people beleeue is besieged by the Duk of Sa­uoye (where I will remark a great folie in you to beleeue a thing so mani [...]estly false, & a malice in them, who haue abused so farre your simplicitie and rash crudelitie) for their reformed faith. I wold also willingly know of you, why your reformed charitie exten­deth it self onely to sic as haue rebelled against their lawfull Prince reither then to [Page 56] them, who round about you ar in great need and distresse? If ye did helpe your holie citie because of their necessi [...]ie, I wold think it well done, if ye could do well with out preiudice to your onely faith. But to main­teine their rebellion against their iust and lawfull Prince, is but an open and euident argument of that which is secretly hid in your breastes as we haue said here before. I was almost here deliberat to shew that a great nomber of the qualities which should be in the Antichrist may be easely found in you, as in his sorriders: but I will keep that to your answere, if perchance ye persist in your Antichristian opinion. For then we shall see God willing, whither ye can better apply the markes to the Pape, or we to you.

8. Now to your excommunication, a thing truely meikill to be wished of many, and to be embraced of all men: for who should not desyre to be out of their followship, who ar ioyned together by periuries, treason, & er­rours? Honest true and faithfull men should seek by all meanes to deliuer them selues of sic companie if either willingly, rashlie, or by force they haue entred there in. Yet lat vs see what power ye haue to excommunicate [Page 57] any man. Onely true and lawfull pastours (which ye can not be, lacking as ye do, the law [...]ull vocation) haue power and authori­tie to excommunicate: where vpon it follo­weth that ye haue no power nor authoritie at all. we haue brought manv reasons in our offer printed, why your calling can not be good, w [...]ich for the present we will not re­peate, because your owen reformation will furnish vs good store of reasons to proue the same, which we will employ here be­cause they ar your owen and that most foun­damentall. Ye will graunt me if I be not de­ceaued that the office and dignitie of a pa­stour is so great and excellent, that it pro­perly conuiueth only to Iesus Christ, and is cōmunicated, to sic as it pleased him to call there to, either by ordinarie meanes, or ex­traordinatiely that is immediatly by him self. And for that cause no man should be so hardie or reither temerarie as to medle there with of him self, if he wold not incurre the cryme of lesmaiestie diuine, in taking the of­fice of Iesus Christ out of his hand. For this cause Luther, seing he could not well serue him self with the ordinarie vocation of the Catholik kirk, where he was nurished and brought vp, took him to the extraordinarie, alledging he was sent immediatly by God to [Page 58] reforme the world Frome this extraordi­narie power g [...]fin to Luther, ye haue recea­ued your ordinarie calling, which I must shew to be false with most euident reasons, to proue that ye haue no authoritie to ex­communicate any man. Luther was sent (if we will credit him and you) by God him self to teach the trueth, the which might serue vs for a sufficient warrand of his assured true vocation, that the true doctrine he broght with him, might force vs to acknowledge his power. I will for the present (albeit a­gainst the veritie) suppose all as true and good, because out of theis principels and groundes we shall easely prooue, that ye ha­ue no lawfull vocation, and consequently at no true Pastours, where vpon followeth the millitie of your pretended excommunica­tion. Luthers doctrine (say ye) was true, ergo his vocation was good, and he a lawfull Pa­stour. I say on the other syde (by the maxime of your owen doctrine) if his doctrine w [...]s false his vocation was not good, nor yours receaued frome him, and consequently nei­ther [...]e, nor ye lawfull pastours: or if your doctrine be false, your vocation (if ye hade any of him) is loste and ye no pastours, be­caus [...] the true doctrine onely (as ye alledge) is the sure proofe of true vocation. If Lu­thers [Page 59] doctrine was true and of the holie Spi­rit, doub [...]les yours is [...]alse, seing ye teach do­ctrine not onely farre different frome his doctrine, but also in many heads plaine con­trarie as may be easely shewen by bothe your writtinges Heare, I pray you what one The [...]log C. lu [...] ­nist. l [...]b 2. sol. 135.o [...] your Lutherian breth [...]en sayeth H [...]nc [...]gitur inter omnes piè eruditos constat Luth [...]rum non Ver­tumni aut Eceboli instar in veritate semel agnita & professa varillasse, sed in [...]a per Dei grat [...]am vsque ad extremum vitae halitam permansisse: Caluinistas ve­rò, in hoc & alijs articulis sibi nunquam constare ex Zuinglij, Martyris, Bu [...]eri, Philippi, Victorin [...], Hem­mingy, profugorum VVitebergentium & aliorum libris & actionibus docers & d [...]m [...]nstrari potest. And in the inscription of the same book he speaketh very plainely howye agree together and with the veritie. Theologiae Caluinistarum libri tres, in quibus ceu in tabella quadam, quasi ad oculum plusquam ex 223▪ sacramenta [...]iorum publicis scriptis, pagellis, verbis proprijs, & auth [...]orum [...]oni­bus indicatis, demonstratur, eos de null [...] ferè doctrinae Christianae articulo rectè sentire: addita simul verae sententiae ass [...]rtione, & contrariae opinionis refuta­tione: collecti opera & studio M. Conrad [...] Schluss [...]l­burgij, dioeceseos Rareburgensis, superintendentis & coniunctarum Megapolensium Ecclesiarum generalis inspectoris. In his cataloge of heretikes he cō ­pteth the Caluinists, against whome he [Page 60] writteth the third book that he concludeth thus. Epilog. de secta Caluinistarū. Cum igitur ex enumeratis nostrae doctrinae rationibus, & falsis sacramentariorum fundamentis conscientiam anxiā semper in dubio relinquentibus, luce meridiana cla­rius apparea [...] imp [...]os & blasphemos esse Caluinista­rum errores; Nos secundum Dei verbum (ye see how this mā alledgeth against you the word of God for his warrand) Augustanam confes­sionem veterem, scripta viri Dei Lutheri, librum con­cordi [...] atque apologiam eiusdem, à sacramentarijs (he speaketh of your sect) tanquam blasphemis hareticis nobis caueamus, & ipsorum opinionem im­piam tanquam prasentissimum & noxium animae venenum toto pectore execremur. Further ye may see what Hunnius hath writtin not only a­gainst all the Caluinists in generall, but also in particular against Caluin in a book inti­tuled Caluinus Iudai Zans. In the other part it will not be difficill to you to know what Zuinglius, Caluin, Beza, Lauatherus and the rest of that band haue writtē against Luther and Lutherians, and with what dispyte and iniuries they treate one another, Scires [...] sanguine natos, which may euidently proue the diuersitie of their doctrine. If the one haue the trueth, necessarily the other can not haue it, seing they agree not: so if the one haue the true vocation the other can not [Page 61] haue it, they being of repugnant doctrine.

9. But ye will say that Luther did onely beginne the holie reformation which then was so necessarie in the kirk, that God was moued to send him extraordinarily for that cause: yet hade he not the strength to per­forme it, as it was needfull; which worke Caluin with his followers, but principally ye, haue done by your reformatiō: changing all thinges, that no thing can be better, tour­ning af [...]irmations in to negations, faire buil­dings in to kellyards or corne land, good or­der in to confusion, charitie in to particular profit, obed [...]ēce in to rebelliō, superioritie in to a foli she paritie, assu [...]āce in to mistrust &c. because he & ye haue bene most fullie instru­cted with the holie spirite. If we receaue this for a good answeare, we must say that this hath bene dōne by a n [...]w cōmission that God ha [...]h gifin to Caluin and you, farre different from the commission gifin to Luther and his [...]ollowers: for the Lutherians according to this saying, hade only charge to beginne the matter, and ye to end it; but beginning and ending should agree to gether, and not like aegri somnia or worse. They should agree I say, if they be of one spirite, except they come of that spirite, who neuer yet could agree with him selfe. The holie spirite [Page 62] who is the sp [...]ite of vnion and concorde could not haue condemned by your mouth, which he hath approued by Luthers or Lu­therians mouthes▪ I doubt not but ye trust al that ye haue the holie spirite, yet the diuer­sitie of your opinions assure me the contra­rie, seing that the spirit, who approueth and authoriseth the one and his doctrine, con­demneth and dischargeth the others and their doctrin. If ye say that the errours hade takin so deepe roote that it was not possible to take them out of mens hartes in short space, and therefore we should not maruell if there be many [...]hingis in Luthers doctrine not agreable with the veritie. But, I pray you, hade it not beene more seemely and as easie to Luther (if he was sent by God, whose asistence he could not want in that case) to haue told the veritie at the beginning as to haue preached new errours so detestable, as ye say, and so contrarie to Godds worde and our saluation? what spirite moued him so to doe? If he [...]ad winked at some or many of these poinctes that ye call errours, which he found in the kirk before him because of the inueterate opinion cōfi [...]med by long vse, there might be some apparent excuse in your answere, but to bring in errour for errour, or to put out one to take in two (the people [Page 63] being so docill to [...]eceaue what so euer im­pression at that tyme Luther wold or cold haue giuen them) or to confirme obstinatly an ancient errour is no worke of the holie spirite, who should haue guided your extra­ordinat [...]e prophete and new sent pastour. Or was the holie spi [...]ite so weake in Luthers mouth, that he could not teach him the ve­ritie? or Luther so hard harted, [...]hat he could not receaue, nor conceaue the veritie me­killes teach it to others? or hade the holie spirite since that tyme found Caluin a more proper instrument to instruct the world truely and plainely in all thinges? Then why was he a lying spirite in Luthers mouth, seing it was o [...] him, ye haue your extraordi­narie calling, which now is so ordinairie and established that no man may preach without it?

B [...] Za in epistol. th [...]olog. & de notis Ec­c [...]siae. 10. I see not what can be answered here. or shal we tourne ba [...]ke againe to the first foun­dament of Luthers extraordinarie vocation? where of the marke was the true doctrine, which ye ar constrained to denye and di­sauow, if ye wold proue your owen good: for he condemneth you and your doctrine, and ye condemne him and his doctrine; which if ye denye obruam vos aduersarum & ves [...]rarum partium voluminibus scriptisque contra­rijs. [Page 62] [...] [Page 63] [...] [Page 64] what shal become here of your vocatiō? for lack of true doctrine it wilbe null, either in him, or you, or (if ye say bothe true in your mutuall accusation) in you both? what shal become of your ministerie if this false thunder be shaken out of your hands? ye will haue hard escapping out of this snare, wherein ye haue feltred your selues, fleing frome the Catholik kirk. For if ye say that it is ynough that ye agree in the groundes and foundaments of faith and religion which ar necessarie altogether for mans saluation, and in these ye agree with Luther and Lutheri­ans, & they with you. I wolde gladly vnder­stand what ar these groundes and founda­ments of faith and religion necessarie for Iust. lib. 4. [...]ap. 1. [...]. 9.mans saluation. Is it to beleeue that there is but one God? Iesus Christ to be God & Gods Sonne? That our saluation cōsisted in Godes mercy & other sic thinges as sayeth Caluin? Or in the Creed, Lordes prayer, & ten com­mands De notis Eccl [...]siae.as thinketh Beza? Or shal they be in the inuocatiō of our lord Iesus Christ as tea­cheth du Plessis? Or shal these foundaments be the negation and detestation of the Ca­tholik doctrine, or (as ye call it) papistrie according to your mēswearing of the true fai [...]h? If ye wil hold you at your owen groūd, I say onely that a negatiue faith, is no faith [Page 65] properly, and so your negations wil neuer open the heauens to you, except that ye think that the Iewes gentils Turkes and he­retikes o [...] all sects and at hei [...]ts may haue pla­ce as well there as ye, seing they can deny heads of religion professed by the Catholiks Ye ar th [...] first that e­u [...]r did propos [...] negatiō [...] for a faith.with noth lesse assurance then ye, & a great part of the same with you. If ye will say any of the [...]s thinges which the others hade said I ask you wherefore came Luther, seing theis thinges (as ye can not denie [...]) were be­leeued in the Catholik kirk before that euer Luther blew the trompette of sedition or as ye wold call it, reformation, if that honour had not beene reserued to you? if the puritie of theis pointes was requesit, why came Lu­ther, seing he teacheth not that puritie? For that was reserued to you onely as we haue said often tymes. It were out of purpos to say that God hade sent him to bring in new er­rours and confirme ould vnder p [...]etext of some few that he hath taken away, where by an other might be sent. Was it needfull that your Caluin should as an other Sainct Iohn the Baptist Parare viam Domini? In the meane tyme I will conclude (if there was so many errou [...]s in Luthers doctrine▪ that it was needfull to send another in his place to teach the trueth) that his extraordinarie vo­cation [Page 66] was not good, or els yours, who at come vpon a false token to gif him the lie. But Domini moderatores why shall we beleeue Luther in some heads of religion as hauing commission of God and not in others, be­cause ye say it? According to your Eu [...]ngell ye at all equall, not one greater thē an other: why shall we gif you more credit, then him? or if we refuse to credit Luther, why shall we not re [...]use to credit you also, that ye may remaine euer Pares? or why shall we beleeue your, when ye improue some thin­ges and approue others? is it not needfull here to haue a new extraordinarie calling to iudge with discretion and to our saluation? and if in any thing ye be gone wrong, should there not be another extraordinarie prophe­te to correct you as ye haue corrected others? And seing that the true kirk (according to your reformed opinion) may erre, when sh [...]ll we haue lawfull pastours? ye put the true doctrine the certaine mark of lawfull calling, yet it can not be hade, because euery man bringeth errour with him, and the kirk is vncertaine and subiect to errour and so we can not trust hir. And certainely as to Luther, I credit you, when ye accuse him of false doctrine and his followers, because he him selfe doth acknowledge his nature to [Page 67] be so corrupted and defiled, that he can do no good at all. But that ye be not draw in frome your paritie, I gif also credit to Luther and his followers when they accuse you of so many errours, and your patriarche Caluin of so great wickednes, because he acknow­ledges him self of as good nature and incli­nation as Luther, and therefor can not tell the veritie sincerely, as not being proper in­struments for so precious a worke which wold be spilt, if they touch it. Monsieur du Plessis hath no better opinion of mans natu­re in generall, as may be seene in the third book of the Eucharistie cap. 17. not far from the end, where he seemeth to say that the grace of God can not mak good, that cometh of vs, because that we mix in with Goddes work some of our owen particular honour, glorie, profit, and so that there is no good which we can do well, nor no ill but we can do ouer well: for so he speaketh. Not­withstāding we read not that any, who hath beene sent extraordinariely by God to preach the veritie, haue teached or proposed in Godds name to be beleeued any false doctri­ne And it is to be supposed that God ha­uing sent Luther, hath also sufficiently in­structed him in all thinges he should say or do in that charge and office: for otherwise [Page 68] seing the thinges that we should beleeue at aboue all naturall reason and humaine iud­gement, how shall we know, if he, who is sent by God, keep the direction which he hath receaued? if he be conuict in one fals­hood, he losseth credit in all the rest, and there by disappointeth his maisters intent, who employeth him, Further it is certaine that God of his in finite wisdome & power, either choshed or maked the instrumēt pro­per, that he will employ, and suffers not in theis great matters to go otherwise then he will & our saluation requireth. For it is im­possible that man can be deceaued by God who is the veritie it self. But ye will say that his doctrine who is sent, should be exami­ned with the word of God conteined in the scriptures: yea but he is come to interprete the scriptures to you and not to [...]ece [...]ue any interpretation of you. His vocation gifeth him good assurance to speak. If ye wold trie his vocation by the scriptures, ye should ha­ue good reason, but to trie his doctrine ha­uing admitted his calling I see no reason.

11. Moreouer if it be lawfull to call in doubt any mans doctrine who is extraordi­nariely sent now in our dayes, why shall it not be lawfull to call in doubt the doctrine of all the [...]s, that euer were sent extraordina­riely [Page 69] by God, principallie seing ye acknow­ledge not the Authoritie of the kirk? For being doubt some and incertane in the one, ye can not be assured in the others seing that it is that same God that sent them all, and for that same end▪ so shall we haue the whole bi­ble, I say not subiect to triall, but subiect to be reiected by euery presumptuous braine, as hath beene donne by sund [...]y in our dayes & besore. Further seing we should receaue nothing of any extraordinarie Pastour but that which we haue tryed with the scriptu­res, I wold be glade to know, what triall can be made by wemen and children or ig­norantes? For if triall should passe before, why should any man or woman (how igno­rant that euer they were) reither then lear­ned mē receaue any doctrine without triall? or why force ye m [...]n to approue sweare and subscribe your negations before they haue well tried them to be true, or reither seing they find them false. But we will keep the rest of this dispute to the triall of your ses­sions presbiteries and assembles prouincials and generals, where in ger erall and particu­ler we shall, God willing, discusse this mat­ter the best we can. Now to your calling, which I say can not be good, whe [...]her Lu­thers be good or ill. For if it be good who so [Page 70] euer ingyre him self to preach and teach in the kirk of God as being a lawfull Pastour, not hauing power of Luther, should be esteemed a priuat man and not a publik offi­cer of Gods house, a traitour and not a true man, a woolf and not a hited, ye and yours being without his mission and calling, as we haue alreddie shewin, I see not what ye can pretend for you, to haue donne as ye haue. Which I proue once againe in this sort: He who is sent a Pastour and Doctour in the kirk of God, principally is sent to preach the Doctrine, as he receaued it of the Doctour who sent him: if he doeth otherwise, his commission or procuration conteining no sic thing as he hade donne, can not serue him: for who so euer cometh in the kirk with charge, cometh as procurer, and not as proprieter, wherefor he should do accor­ding to his procuration, (because he hath onely the handling of other mens goods and good) and not according to his fantasie, as if all were his owen. Now if Luther the first of this new extraordinarie calling sent you, it vvas to preach that same doctrine, which he preached & hath deliuered to the world before he sent you. If ye keep not that do­ctrine, his mission serueth you to no pur­p [...]s, because ye haue not donne the thing, [Page 71] wherefor ye were sent, it not your commis­sion iustly called back and ye declared euill officers? As when ye gif power or commis­sion to any new young scholler to gouuerne a kirk, it is not without iniunctions that he shall teach that same doctrine, that ye teach and that he hath heard of you, and not a no­ther forged at his owen fantasie or inuented by an other. If he do contrarie to your com­mand, wold ye not depose him as not doing according to the power receaued of you? and therefore iustly to be disawowed, but so that he could not serue him self against you with your procuration hauing passed the boundes prescribed to him. Now if ye haue receaued any power of Luther or nor, I refer the matter to you, I say onely that ye haue preached and yet do preach another doctrine then he & his followers do preach. ergo ye ar priuat men and not publik offi­cers or lawfull pastours in this new refor­med kirk▪ except perhapes by verrue of your reformation it be lawfull to rulle without reason, ye may call your selues pastours and sainctes of God; ye will neuer persuade to men of iudgement that ye ar his sainctes as long as ye take vpon you, the charge of Pa­stours without power or charge. Think not but thi [...] merites a [...]u [...]t excommunication▪ [Page 72] and not a conterfaited folie lyk yours, med­ling our selues with things for aboue your state, being but priuat men, yea so meikill worse then priuat men, that your vsurpa­tion maketh you giltie of cryme of lesmaie­stie diuine. I [...] ye will not credit me, go to Luther your first patriarche, and he will de­clare, w [...]at he thinke [...]h, seing he hath long since excommunicated you out of his new kirk because in place of his heauenly doctri­ne (as he sayeth) ye haue teached your do­ctrine which ye haue brought out of hell (tak you to him if the words be some what sharpe) to prison the wordle; and for that cause in the very beginning he did excom­municat Caluin & Zuinglius whom he cal­led sacramentaries and that most iustly ac­cording to their owen opinion: for they acknowledging him for that new begin­ning of their vocation and new reformed kirk, it behoued him to haue that power aboue them. So what doubt is but Luther hauing power to send them, hath power also to call them back if they past the boundes of his commission? I he hath called them back and broken the commission he gaue them before (as in deed he hath donne what he could that is in imagination as he gaue them that power) they at priuate men againe in [Page 73] the middes of their reformation, and ye also, destitute of all power and authoritie to excommunicat any man. By this although Luther hath neuer called backe his power gifin to Caluin, yet could it serue him for no Warrand, seing that Luther denyeth planely that euer he him self receaueth any charge to speake or write sundry thinges, which Caluin and Zuinglius haue spoken and writ­ten since that tyme: and therefor he calles them heretiks and sacramentaries as I haue said before. Or if he receaued charge to preach thes thinges, why condemneth he other men, who preached them? There we­re some excuse, if he did not all, but there is no excuse nor reason, why he should hinder other men hauing lawfull power of him self, to do that which he could not do, or to condemne them, who teacheth the veritie that being the chief and principall end of his [...]xtraordinarie vocation. There is none of all [...]he Prophetee, Euangelists, or other holie writters, who haue written althinges, which [...]t hath pleased God to sh [...]w to the world. [...]or so he hath though it good to distribute [...]is giftes at sundry tyms, to sundry person­ [...]es, for sundry reasons, as he thought it most [...]xpedient for his glorie and our saluation. [...]ut there is none of them all who either [Page 74] gaine sayeth or condemneth the others▪ meikilles stoppeth them to say or write any thing that they haue in charge to declare and publish to the world▪ here tourne you to what syde ye will either Luther shal be a false prophete or Caluin an Apostate, & his vocation null and yours also.

12. I mak no doubt but ye will reither forsak Luther, howbeit first, then Caluin your last patron. I may obiect here to you the honourable titels (quo iure non disp [...]to) that Caluin gifeth to Luther as to a true seruant of God, and not as to a false prophete, which were sufficient to close your mouthes if they could be closed. But I will passe this as if it were not, and speak of Caluin and you, be­cause ye may say that Caluin him self was sent extraordinariely to performe that ex­cellent worke, in vaine and falsely attempted by Luther, I will well by supposition, pro­uiding that ye reformed brethren will stand there to, and suffer me to examine the mat­ter a litill: for we shall see, if ye can fight better vnder this new captaine. Caluin or any oth [...]r ye will, was sent (I suppose this now, in case ye will not stand by Luther & tak your ordinarie calling of him) extraor­dinariely by God him self to teach the veri­tie, and ministrate the sacraments according [Page 75] to the reformation [...]e was to make: if he did not his duetie in this most excellent and ne­cessarie charge, ye should esteeme him▪ as he is, a false prophete, who being commanded by God and assisted by the holie Spirite (for sure I am in your opinion he lacketh not that ioyned to his charge) yet wold not de­clare the veritie truely & plainely without admixting some lyes of his owne by the de­uils suggestion, where by the world migh [...] be of new poysoned with false doctrine vn­der colour of Goddes soueraigne name. If this be true he merites more thē to be slaine 3. book the kin­ges cap. 13.in the way by a Lyon for trāsgressing of the lords command, not in simple eating and drinking, being forbidden to eat or drink, as did the ancient prophete, but for teaching of false doctrine far by his cōmission, which was to shew the veritie. If he did his duetie [...]n all thinges, where from cometh it, that [...]undry of your brethren in France & other [...]laces, yea your excellent Apostle-Verelian [...]reat Pontif of Geneua M. Theodore Beze [...]is owen good disciple, dissentes from him [...] many heads, and as I think, ye also disa­ [...]ow him not in few pointes. Certainely I [...]aue not to this day found one who appro­ [...]eth him in all thinges. For when any of [...]ours ar vrged with Caluins authoritie, y [...] [Page 76] answere that ye acknowledge not Caluin, but so farre as he agreeth with the scriptu­res, where ye find that he agreeth with the scriptures, ye will receaue him: what lesse can ye gif to Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Seneca, or any other profane writter? will ye reiect them although ye find them agree with the word of God? I think not. Truely Caluin is meikill obliged to you, if ye graūt him that, which ye can not refuse to an ould wyf. Is this the reuerence ye beare to him for his extraordinarie calling? ar thes the thankes ye gif him for the vocation and po­w [...]r that ye haue receaued of him? shall not the spirite that spak in him haue more cre­dit, then any of you? was he sent with that condition that he should haue no credit, till ye found in the bible that it was true he sayed. Truely if I be not far deceaued, it wil be very easie to mak you beleeue any thing ye please and otherwise impossible, if the iudgement be re [...]erred to you poore Caluin (so far as I vnderstand by your answers) re­ceaued not the spirite in the best sort. He re­ceaued onely the spirite to tell you many thinges in forme of proposition to your ho­lie assemblies, and ye receaued of discretion and wisdome, to iudge what was good an [...] what was ill. ye haue gotten a more mighti [...] [Page 77] inspiration then your chief prophet [...]. I am glade for your cause. we can not faille to go well hauing gottin you for supreme iudge to trie all thinges, but, as I think, euery one in Semp [...] discente [...] & nun­quam ad sciē ­tiam ve­ritatis perue­niente [...] 2. ad Ti­moth. [...]. 7.his owin parish; for euer the further we go frome vnitie, the nomber is the greater, and Papes ar multiplied in your persones. I lo­ue your wittes to follow Cesar, reither first in a village, then second in Rome, yet good sires, seing ye ar sett vpon that high throne lyk to as many Salomons, that euery one of you & iuris nodos & legum aenigmata soluit, be not offended, if I ask some thinges at you, seing there rested me yet some litill doubtes▪ I ask whe [...]her Caluin was sent extraordina­riely to teach you the veritie, or be to teached & examined by you? If he was sent to teach you, ye should admitt him without any fur­ther triall & tak the conference with the scriptures to confirme and strengthen his sayinges, & not to confute thē: for so did the first Christiās read the places of the prophe­tes cited by the Apostles. If he was sent to be teached & examined by you, why came he extraordinariely? to what purpos was so great honour, & afterward to be subiect to you? But this for an other tyme; lat vs cōsider on­ce againe the first. If Caluin was sent extra­ordinariely vz. to teach you, he may say with [Page 78] Sainct Paul: Ego enim accepi à Domino, quod & tradidi vobis: there is no other witnes here but God and he. If ye of your reformed mo­destie will giue them bothe, or any one of them the lie, I can not mend it, seing, it is ye, who hath gotten the charge to reforme the world, and so this may be accompted as a re­formed lie, with the which no man should be formalized: yet with licence I may vrge Caluins pretended right. If he spak & writ­te according to the direction that he recea­ued of God how so euer thes thinges seemes strange to you, yet should ye admitte them & think, that they ar according to the scrip­tures: because God is never contrarie to him self, he being but one in diuerse mouthes, & not diuerse in one mouth. how can it be possible that ye can better know, what char­ge Caluin receaued of God, then he him self, who was (as he and ye pretend) employed? We receaue without any contradiction or gainesaying the writtes of the Prophetes and Euangelists with all the rest of the holie bible, because thes writters were sent & as­sisted by God. If there seemeth any diuersitie, we accuse our weacknes, & not the scriptu­res of contradiction or falshood: for no sic thing can be in Goddes work. So if Caluin, or any other, was sent immediatly by God, [Page 79] ye must receaue all his doctrine, except ye shew either that he hath beene ill instructed & that it was Spiritus mendax in ore eius: or that he hath dōne besides his cōmission, of which neither can be true if God was the authour. It will serue you for nothing to say, that he was but a man & might erre. Because all the prophetes and Apostles were but men and might erre. yet the assistance of the holie Spi­rite suffered them not to erre in there com­mission, & therefor we receaue their sayinge [...] as Goddes owen fayinges, because he was the [...]uthour, & they onely the instrument. Why receaue ye not Caluin in this maner? or shew vs that God hade sent any man to deceaue vs falsis vera im [...]isce [...]s. I think ye will find no sic Sinōs sent extraordinariely by God, or if the­re be any, lett vs heare their names. If Caluin was sent, as ye pretēd, ye should thinke that God hath instructed him well, & hath giuen him good and sufficient directions (for else the fault shal be Goddes & not his) and suf­fered him not to go therefro: otherwise it hath beene a great vanitie to haue sent him. Ye will perhapes replie that God in all ages had raised vp Godly fathers & learned men to oppose them solues to errours and abuses beginning to enter in the kirk, as S. Athana­se, S. Basile, S. Augustin, S. B [...]rnard & othe [...]s [Page 80] in great nomber, whose writinges notwith­stāding ar not altogether so cleene but some­thing may be tried & corrected. I answere there be great differēce betwixt them & Cal­uin or any other to whome the reformation [...]ath beene extraordinariely committed. For although these Godly and learned fathers were sent by God, yet were they not sent ex­traordinariely▪ but by the ordinarie way: for they receaued their vocation and power of the Catholik kirk in whose bosome they were brought vp and [...]eached: The doctrine which they had receaued of the kirk, they deliuered to the members of the kirk, whe­re in they remained still as obedient chil­dren, submitting all their works and writ­tinges to hir iudgement, condemning as schismatiks or heretiks, all those who left hir, employing their wholl trauell and writ­tinges to defend and mainteine hir against all Satans insultes, never making any sect a part, never alledging any particuler com­mission to reforme others, nor yet to bring any new thing. Caluin to the contraire left the kirk where he was conceaued and tea­ched an other doctrine, then he hath lear­ned of his mother Christs spouse, whome he shamefully foresook, refusing in any wise to acknowledge hir or hir iudgement▪ [Page 81] [...] him self to them, whome he con­dem [...]th in mynd and writting, oppugning and [...]u [...]sprysing hir, who concea [...]ed him, making a band a part, because of the preten­ded commission he had receaued to reforme all these thinges merited a good warrand to be beleeued, seing they conteine so many strange maximes aboue or contrarie to all good reason, which can not be found in the foresade godly and learned fathers who we­re sent before. And therefore their example maketh nothing for Caluin and his doinges or errours. Ye will say for your and his de­fence, that they at but litle thinges where in ye dissent frome him. I know that neither he, nor ye can do a great fault, ye ar all God­des owen mignons▪ how soone that the lord heareth, tha [...] it is y [...]e, who hath committed any thing, it is incontinent excused, because of your strōge faith, which changes [...]nauery in good seruice. But I pray you how shall I know, if his faultes be great or small▪ seing that ye will receaue no thing at all of his doctrine, till ye haue had it vpon th [...] touch­stone of your iudgement? and so for their litill thinges, as ye call them, ye call all in doubt, at lest with other men▪ who perchan­ce may think meikill, that ye think litill. And here vpon (good sires pardon me, if I be so [Page 82] bold) I gi [...] you no more credit then ye gif Caluin? for by your owen rule, I must [...]rye bothe his saying and your iudgement, befo­re that I receaue any thing, yea I will re [...]a­ue, nether because he sayeth it, nor because ye approue it (for that were to do w [...]ong to the spirite and Christian libertie) but [...]ca [...] ­se I think that I haue [...]ound it so in [...]h [...] [...]i­ble. For if I find it not there I will condem­ne and detest it as a plaine heresie, [...] that where i [...] ye agree no [...] with Caluin, but all the rest, and this (as I haue said) accor­ding to your owen rule and pretended C [...]i­stian libertie, where by [...]uery man is i [...]g [...] in all thinges within the reformed kirk. Fur­ther it may seeme by the forsaid answer that ye think a man can not receaue a de [...]dly wound; except he be (as they say) [...] to the teeth. Certainely the largenesse of the wound oft [...]ntymes m [...]keth no [...] the danger, but the place and part that is wounded. A man may be strooken through the body, and y [...]t liue; a pri [...]k with a pi [...]n [...] in the hea [...]t or harnes myght bring certain [...] death, which should not be mesured by the great­nes of the wound, but by the lo [...]e of the man: ye ar not ignorant how litill differen­ce was betwix the Cat [...]ol [...]kes and the A [...] ­rians if we will look to the lett [...]rs. But to [Page 83] reto [...]ne to your Apostle he was sent to shew vs the true way, yet hath he ledde vs by the way and deceaued vs▪ how litill as euer the mater be▪ his part is not good▪ Cer­tainely I can not esteeme your Patriarche (be it Luther, Caluin, Z [...]ingli [...]s▪ Knoxe, Willox, Me [...]en, He [...]io [...]e, Craig or what so euer other ye will for all is one in thes ma­ter) a true prophete, seing ye your selfes esteeme him a liar. For a litill leasing▪ prin­cipallie in matters of religion, maketh no lesse a lier then a great leasing, onely the greater it be, he is the mo [...]e detestable who maketh it▪ Ye will perchance here reply to me▪ and say that God suffered him to fall in some thing [...] where by bothe he and we might knew that he was but a man. I ans­wer first that it was not [...]eed [...]u [...]l because no [...] could haue taken him for a God, al­though he [...]ade said all true▪ for we beleeue not that the Apostles & Prophetes ar Gods▪ albeit we be surely persuaded that all is true that they haue said, [...] lest that they haue left vs by writt. Next there was no sic superna­ [...]urall thing in him as might bring [...]s in that errour, last of all it hath beene more prope [...] [...]or vs that he had said althinges [...] wit [...] any suspicion of falshood▪ where by we might assuredly haue knowen that God [Page 82] [...] [Page 83] [...] [Page 84] had sent him and spoken in him: and that for his cause, who sent him, we should re­ceaue him as an extraor [...]inarie pastour come to reforme the world. It was not needfull to hazard our saluatiō to proue him a man, but we needed many good arguments to pro­ue, that God had sent him, and principallie an argument taken frome the veritie▪ As to him self I find him extreme proude in all his writtinges, yet think I no [...] that he esteemed him selfe a God, and sure I am he died not with that opinion, I say no further. Ye will perchance aske of me here, if I wold conclu­de that ye ar also false prophetes and liers, if ye teach any false doctrine, as doubtles ye do? No truely, although in some sense, I might most iustly so conclude: for [...]here is great difference now betwix you, as ye pro­fesse your selues to be but ordinatie pastours (if perchance ye content your selfes with so humble and simple a stile) and Caluin o [...] any other, whome ye acknowledge to b [...] sent ext [...]ordinariely by God him self: fo [...] howbeit your power (if ye haue any▪ I vn­derstand) be diuine, as comming of God, ye [...] your iudgement is but humaine▪ so that it i [...] no meruaill if ye go sometymes wronge i [...] high maters which should be called re [...]he an e [...]ou [...], then a lie, because ye w [...]r [...] dec [...] ­ue [...] [Page 85] in your opinion as men. For this cause the ordinarie Pastour is obliged▪ to follow the footstopes of his forfathers▪ & make no new way to him self, nor any thing that see­med to incline to noueltie: because huma­no iudgement should not be bold in diuine matters: for i [...] ye open the doore that euery man may iudge as he list, there can be no assurance in religion, but dayly change, as spirites of men be diuerse bothe frome them self [...]s and others. But Caluin (or any other ye will) being sent by God him self, came not here to tell vs his opinion as a man, [...]ut to declare Gods mynd and will as an instru­ment chosen extraordina [...]iely for that ef­fect. So that if he haue failled, it can not b [...] called human a mentis error, but a per [...]iciouse lie against the holie spirite, who hathe ge­uen him expresse charge to speak otherwise then he spak. For he lieth, who in his mai­sters name sayeth thinges which his maister never had said; Omnis enim debet sine [...]a [...]o nucius [...]sse. The Poetes haue fained the messengers of their fabulous Goddes, more discreit, then ye acknowledge the messengers of th [...] true God; for ye shall not lightly find any one worde changed in M [...]rcuri [...]s Commissions, he is so religious in doing his charge. The same may be said of Princes Embassadors in [Page 86] theis dayes. I think it should meikill lesse be permitred to any man to goe from the com­mission gifin to him by God, either in eiking or pairing, what shall I say to speek to con­trarie? Now nothwithstanding all this seing ye find errours in your Apostle, where by ye think not your selfes obliged to follow him, but with this caueat, if he agree with the written worde, ye gif the world [...] plainely to vnderstand that ye approue not his extra­ordinarie vocation▪ but receaues him as ano­ther man of the common so [...]t, who may [...]e­ceaue many good and true instructions of your spit [...]te▪ which is the true square and rule of all other spirites, where vpon [...] con­clude that ye haue no calling of his lying spi­r [...]te (pardon me if I say so seing I say it after you) who could haue no si [...] power▪ and for that same reason your vocation is fallen in non entery, because ye haue bene so many yeares in violent possession, and can not as yet shew either yours or any of your fore­fathers re [...]oures: vpon theis [...]ands ye haue builded your house, yea erected your King­dome of confusi on, and established your la­wes of pa [...]rtie to haue all men subiect to your ministeriall imaginations tending to the ruine of all superior powers. The more high your interpri [...]es b [...], th [...] [...] you [...] [Page 87] tre [...]son, the [...]ust cause men [...]at [...] ▪ not onely to disobey you▪ but meikill more to gaine­stand you as [...]sur [...]ers of Christs Iesus char­ge and office wit [...]out his commission or command, and troublers of the common wealth and seditiouse subiects, qui est is nat [...] in pernicie [...] Principum [...] bonorum omnium▪ Brag­ge of your excōmunication as ye please it is but an vaine imagination, a bugle to fra [...] babes▪ or a scare crow▪ [...] found and a shew▪ without [...]ither danger or profite, and in a word i [...] is but a false [...]honder where by no man can be made [...]elp [...]lo nigrio [...] [...]o.

13. I look here for your last refuge ye will pay [...] with your ordinarie fashion of scof­fing▪ for some of you being asked where ye found the ki [...]k do [...] answer, in the [...] mid­ding of Papis [...]rie▪ Truely a most meete and proper natiue so [...]le for so wor [...]ie and no­ble a Lady as your ki [...]k is▪ I gesse your voca­tion was [...]ound in the same royall palace. This an [...]wer as it is more neer to the purpos, so it contented [...] meikill better▪ for the Apost [...] priests▪ monkes▪ and friers with other dissol [...]te [...]d debouched men of our ki [...]k were the first groundston [...] of your re­ [...]ormed f [...]ie congregation: so if we hade ne­uer had aposta [...], ye should neuer haue [...]ad Apostles▪ Luth [...]r was [...] mo [...]k, C [...]l [...]i [...] a [...] [Page 86] [...] [Page 87] [...] [Page 88] none, Beza a Priour, Knoxe a Priest. If ye de­syre to be any further informed of this mat­ter, our country may furnish you many true histories of the great and charitable pietie of your primitiue kirk whē it begane 40. yeares since.

14. Now to the last head of our dispute, where as the matter is more cleare so shall we be more shorte. Gising and not granting that ye hade good Calling and were lawfull true Pastours hauing power to bind and loose. I ask what iurisdiction ye can haue vpon them, who neuer were subiect to you; neuer acknowledged nor could acknowled­ge you for lawfull pastours hauing at alty­mes made profession of the Catholik reli­gion which is so far different, yea contrarie to that which ye professe, and desyres them to embrace, how can ye vrge theis men to acknowledge you, or how can ye excommu­nicat and separate them frome you as rotten and spilt members frome the rest of your re­formed body, they neuer being of your bo­dy. Feare ye not that men laught at you and your folie, to dispose so rashely vpon thin­ges neuer yours except perchance by a re­formed imagination, or dreame? Kinges and Princes vses not to banish out of their do­minions other princes subiects who neuer [Page 89] were within their boundes. True it is, that they may forbid any stranger to enter wit­hin their empires, and that for good and iust reasons, yea for their only pleasure if they will so, because the lands ar theirs, and so may receaue, or hold out any man as they list, or punish sic as wold without their li­cence enter there in. But to banish men that never were within their realmes, were a thing very ridiculouse, that I say not, foo­lish. And to constraine free men, or other Princes subiects to gif them the othe of fide­litie and du [...] seruice were altogether against reason, principally neuer being with in their iurisdiction. Lykwise I say to you, that ye can not iustly force thes men now to ac­knowledge you who neuer were yours; ye may in deed forbid them to enter in to your kirk, or to assis [...] to your seruice, if ye haue any, or to your prayers, or to take any charge amongst you, seing that they [...]r not of you [...] sto [...]: but how ye can passe any further a­gainst them truely I see not, except ye wold say, that your power hath no other marches, then your will and fantasie. An ample em­pyre truely if it be so. Ye will haue the ex­ [...]resse word of God for all thing [...]s that other [...]en say. I pray you bring vs here some good [...]nd euid [...]n [...]e [...] of the scripture which may [Page 90] serue you for bound & charter of your bor­dors [...] cite vs some sure place, by whose au­thoritie ye may proue that it is lawfull to ba­nish men out of your kirk, who neuer were in it. Think ye not but this meriteth two or three passages of the holie writt, befor ye passe to the execution there of. The Iew [...]s did esteeme the Gētils in rank of excommu­nicated men; bnt neuer did excommunicat them: that is did hold them as profane men destitute of the grace and assistance of God, and out of his kirk seing that they professed not that same religion, which onely at that t [...]me was the true religion. But neuer did they curt them of their body as rotten mem­bers thereof, because they were not of their body, but reither a body a part distinguis­hed frome them bothe in religio [...] and cere­monies, which onely the I [...]wes did declare, and could do no further, C [...]ptaines vses not, to discharge or b [...]ack out of their [...]ands, soul­diours who neuer were vnder their ban­ners. Christ Iesus neuer gaue [...]o any sic exē ­ple or command nor yet, the Apostles, y [...] none of their successours after them▪ Where [...] find ye the Iewe [...] or gentils excommunica­ted by the Apostles or primi [...]iue [...]irk? I find [...]ruell pors [...]utiōs exercised ag [...]nst the Chri­stians and their great patience with [...] [Page 91] and [...]eruent prayer made for their persecu­tors, I find not their execrations and curse [...] against them. [...]e s [...]e the Iewes yet among [...] the Christians and vnconstrained to embra­ce the veritie▪ o [...] ye [...] excommunicated, ex­cept by that generall excōmunication whe­re by they ar all declared strangers in Goddes house and profane personnes▪ with whome notwithstanding we may h [...] n [...] [...]peek; tra­fik, and communicat [...]iuille although that our kirk doores and prayer places be closed vp to them. They may haue action in law a­gainst any man who hath either offended them, or is owing them any thing▪ Iustice is not refused to them, because they, ar me [...] remaining with in the same commō wealth. Now seing the [...]s branches were neuer your [...] How can ye [...] them of your tree. K [...]mi su [...] alteri [...] arbor [...]s. If ye could do that, ye might hardely va [...]t your selues to haue donne a miracle, which hath beene so often craued at your hands for your extraordinaire vo­cation.

15. But ye will say tha [...] they ar in your Pari [...]hes▪ and therefore ye haue power vpon them as vpon the rest who ar within the sa­me iurisdiction. I vnderstand well▪ ye ar [...]ands lo [...]de [...], all is yours that g [...]owe [...] vpon [...]he gro [...]d. But good [...]es▪ ye should first [Page 92] shew that the ground is yours, and then dispose there vpon at your pleasour▪ we shall neuer op [...]n our mouthes to gainesay you. The iurisdiction that ye pretend is spi­rituall, hitherto they haue neuer entred wi [...]h in your dominious▪ Why will ye now force them to land, because they ar driuen by storme of wind vpon your costes? They ar [...]orie that your limites ar so neer to them. The onely sight of your realme hath disgu­sted them exceedingly: suffer them to stay where they ar and they will enter no fur­ther. They content them with your good will. The Turkes constraine no man to em­brace their opinion, except he enter with in their temple: any man may be within the countrey without any compulsion. ye re­quire more then the most cruell tyrannes▪ If ye will credit them it shall not be needfull to banish them out of your territorie. They desyre not to enter. They haue chosen ano­ther free citie, where they like better to be burgessis, which they will lose, if they enter with you. Vlysses was neuer more de­syrous to be deliuered out of Polyphemu [...] cauerne, or danger of Si [...]enes, or Charibdis then they to be exempt of your commu­nion. It is but in vaine ye excommunicat them who neuer haue, nor yet desyre to [Page 93] communicat with you. Ye do as they tell the [...]able of the foxe and plummes, which he could not come by, nigra sun [...] [...]olo they ar black (sayeth he) I will haue none of them. ye ar very liberall, ye gif to others, which neither is yours nor can ye haue▪ what ex­traordinarie reformed charitie is this in you to deliuer ouer to Satan Goddes creatures not being in your charge nor keeping, mei­kill lesse at your gift? But good sires why ta [...] ye not the paines to shew that ye haue the true kirk, out of which there is no salu [...] ­tion; and that ye ar lawfull pastours, to whome all true Christiās ar obliged to obey as to Christs vic [...]i [...]es and lieutenants▪ This were the ordinarie and easie way, if ye wold follow it; for this being once sufficiently [...]hewen; I doubt not but they wold shew them selues very docil and very easie to re­ceaue all your instructions, because of your vndoubted authoritie and charge. Ye might then very well exhorte them to enter wit­bin your spirituall iurisdiction, seing ye hade the lawfull power to receaue them, and to enroll them among the Children of God, and heauenly citizens. If they wold not yet heare you, ye might according to Christs command, shake the dust of your feete▪ and leaue their blood vpō their owen heades ex­cept [Page 94] perchance ye wold patiently abyde their conuersion to God, seing that some ar called and do [...] in the [...]ords vinia [...]d▪ in the morning, some at midday, some in the [...]ue­ning, and at last all ar new [...]tded for their l [...] ­bours, [...]o the which none ar constrained▪ Ye know that faith is a gift of God, it c [...]n not be found e [...]ry where. Spiritu [...] vb [...] vul [...] spir [...]t it de pended [...] vpon our will, nor [...]eurs to make men bel [...]ue the veri [...]ie▪ that appe [...]i­n [...]d to God onely. vol [...]ntas [...]ogino [...] p [...]est [...] [...] is God onely▪ who may change the hardnes of mens hea [...]es. Why will ye force men, seing we deny free will: If ye say as ye think why v [...]ge ye men as if they had it▪ excuse me, if I propose sic thinges, seing I do it following your h [...]mour and strange opinions. I [...] some exemple either of▪ ou [...] maister [...]esus Christ o [...] of his Apos [...]los▪ where either [...] or Gentill euer was constrained to acknow­ledge the gospell, o [...] excommunicated [...]f [...]he wold non I will graunt to [...] very freely▪ that all men who will not acknowledge the true kirk [...] and lawfull pastour [...] a [...] with out the communion and pa [...]k [...] of Iesu [...] Christ▪ but not [...]u [...] out of th [...] communion of [...] park of Iesus Christ: because as I haue said now often, they were ne [...]er within i [...] ▪ And therefore the Apostles and [...]h [...]ir [...] [Page 95] did euer ciuilie cōuerse with the [...]othe prea­ching and teaching the ve [...]iti [...] (where by our for fathers were con [...]erted to God) but neuer admitted them to be present at God­des s [...]r [...]ice till they hade left their errour & were instr [...]cted in the trueth, and so rece [...] ­ned in the bosome of the kirk a [...] true Chri­stians should be. If the Apostles had de [...]a [...] ­red from [...] their companie all men, who wo [...]d not incontinent embrace their doct [...]ine, I think they [...]hold not haue [...] so m [...] ­ny as they haue donne. In their pa [...]ien [...]e they ouercame the world, wonn [...] the fa [...]ou [...] of their enemies, assured the faithfull, b [...]a [...] ­gled the infidel [...]es seeing them die so co [...]d­geously for the ve [...]i [...]ie that they preached, & at last left ou [...] for fathers peaceable in the kirk of God? which certainely was a heauen­ly work donne by naturall inst [...]un [...]en [...]es in­dued with supernaturall graces and vertues, infused by the holie Spirite in the hear [...]s of [...]ue and law [...]ull pasto [...]s to confound all worldly wi [...]dome and bring vs wi [...]h simpli­citie and obedience to eternall blisse . In pl [...] ­ce of which godly modestie and meeknes ye employ your reformed force and violence shewing that ye had [...]e [...]her make, them [...]e made martyres, where in by many degrees ye s [...]pass [...] the cruell barb [...] of the Turkes, [Page 96] impati [...]t au [...] importune in all your actiōs, yet according to your discipline (which is a­gainst all good discipline) impellens quidquid sibi summa petenti obsis [...]it, g [...]udensque v [...]am [...]ecisse ruina.—Magnámque cade [...] magnámque re­uertens dat [...]stragem latè, sparsosque recoll [...]gi [...] ignes.

16. Thus faire for them who all wai [...]e ha­ue remamed Catholikes, as to others who haue at any tyme yeelded to you being [...]ither forced or deceiued by you, good reason re­quireth that they be sett at libertie as befo­re. Doubtles the law will declare all sic men as free frome all obligation to you, as they who neuer were yours, because of the vio­lence and deceit ye haue vsed, principallie seing it is so fa [...]re against the honour of God, the Kinges Maiesties servi [...]e, and publik ho­nestie, and yoú to be punished as publik transgressours of diuine and humaine lawes. If ye will haue men obliged to your doctri­ne and discipline, sett vp new play, procee [...] with honest lawfull and godly meanes wit­hout bothe fraud & force errour or treason take an ordinarie sure calling or proue wel your extraordinarie, and then, who hat [...] once acknowledged you, punish him [...] your discretion and according to your la­wes, if he reuolt frome you, But now as ma­ters goeth, although I were a zealous bro­ther [Page 97] yet as faithfull Christian and true sub­iect, I wold be gladd to be excommunica­ted out of your companie, where treason and heresies ar confirmed with subscriptiōs and solemne oathes.

18. Now to end with you, I will yet make you an offer, as I think very reasona­ble, which is this. Seing ye wil haue no thing that cometh of the Catholik Aposto­lik and Romaine Kirk, as being infected with superstition and Idolatrie▪ nor ack­nowledge the Pape, because ye esteeme him the Antichrist, and therefor will haue no counceill gathered by him: do like good & vigilant pastours, assemble your selues by whose authoritie ye please, hold an vni­uersall synode among your reformed breth­ren of all sortes through out the whole re­formed world, without beginning and en­ding, that there appeere no superiorite▪ make a round table, speek al at once; dispute vpon the controuerted heads: agree among your selues and we shall agree with you. what can ye ask more of vs? if no accorde can be hade among you, how can we agree with you? Consenting with any one com­panie, we shall haue all the rest for enemies, and shall not be assured if the partie, that we haue followed, will stand long at his [Page 98] owen opinion. Or if ye think this offer of greater expenses then esperance, we will make you another, to agree with you & subscribe your con [...]ession of faith, if ye can shew that euer there was any empire, King­dome, canton, citie, toune, village or cot­house, yea any single man Catholik or here­tik, young or old, lerned or ignorant, pro­fessing your doctrine and gouuerned by your discipline before this last hondred yea­res. If ye refuse this offers, iudge your sel­ues, what the reformed flock may think of you. Abyding your answere I will mak he­re an end and pray God to gif vs his eter­nall blesse, and to you (where by ye may atteine to the same) a faith that may stand with your duetie to God and Prince, and with Christian charitie.

Fare well.

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