2: CHRON. 15. 15.
And all IVDA rejoyced at the Oath: For they had sworne with all their heart, and sought Him with their whole de­sire: and Hee was found of them.

Printed the yeare of God, 1638.


THat you maye know our Proceedings, how wee are brought upon the Stage, and con [...]rie to our expecta­tion, are put in print. Comming to Abe [...]dede on Fryday the afternoone, wee received, the Demands of our Reve­rend Brethren that night late: and, for the greater expedi­tion, without delay, wee returned our summarie Answers on Saturday at night. On the Lords Day following, wee desired to expresse our-selves to the People in presence of the Ministerie, but the Pulpits and Kirks were altogether refused; and therefore in the most convenient place wee could have, sub dio, and at such houres as were vacant from the ordinarie exercises of publicke Worship; wee delive­red our Message in the Audience of manie. After our last Sermon, towards Evening, wee found that our labour was not in vaine in the LORD, for diverse persons, of speciall note, both for place and wisedome, with willing heart, & great readinesse of minde did publickly put their hands to the COUENANT. Having the weeke following seene some parts of the Countrey, (where besides the Presby­teries Alford and Deare, who had subscribed before, the Moderator, & diverse of the Presbyterie of Aberdene, the Presbyterie of Turreff, after they were satisfied in some scruples, did also subscribe) wee returned the next Satur­day to Aberdene; where finding that some others had sub­scribed that week, we resolved to preach upon the morne. That night wee received a Reply, unto which before our returne home, wee have made an Answere. All these we desire may bee unpartially considered: and if it shall please the LODD, that any light shall come from our labour un­to thy minde, let it bee ascribed not unto us, (who nei­ther had time nor helps for such a taske) but to the bright­nesse of the Trueth, and Cause it selfe, and to the Father of Lights: to whom bee all Glorie.

[Page] VVHat did prodeed from our Penne in our Answ [...] to the D. D. of Aberdeene, concerning the late Declaration given to his Majesties Commissioner, did flow from minds filled with a zeale to the peace of this Kirk & Kingdome, and from our earnest desires of a perfect har­monie, betwixt the King and his Subjects against all Mis­takings. This zeale of ours wee confesse made us studie more, how to decline and to keepe our selves from touch­ing such of the D. D. demands as were thornie, than howe to walke safely through them. And likewise to make ma­nifest to his Majesties good Subjects in all places whether the D. D. demands, and our answeres should happen to come. That matters inclined to pacification, and were in a faire way off setling: for which peaceable intentions we could conceive nothing to bee more behovefull, than by word and write to make knowne to all men the forsaid de­claration, which his Majesties loyall Subjects presented to his Majesties Commissionar, for clearing their Covenant of all unlawfull Combination against Authoritie. And by so doing, to stoppe the mouthes of our Adversaries, and to stay all their obloquies. In using of this meane, it was far from our thoughts to wound anye man, or to write anye word, which might give the smallest offence to the mea­nest of his Majesties Subjects, Hoping rather that these our proceedings should have beene more acceptable to Au­thoritie, more approven of the wife and men of understan­ding, and more aggreable unto the minds of such as are for peace; than rashly and unadvisedly to have gone on in a Dispute of State questions, which hardly at any time hath beene profitable for peace, and which at this time seemed to us (to say no further) most unseasonable & impertinent. Yet knowing that it were not only base and shamefull, but in our persons, and in our proceedings in this cause, a very great incongruitie, and in it selfe sinfull, to speake wick­edly for GOD, and to talke deceitfullie for him, for that were as one man mocketh another so to mocke him. Iob. 13. 7. 9. and to make iniquitie a meane to promove pi­et [...]e, [Page] (a policie which wee have not learned,) as if GOD could bee served with our sinnes. Wee have made heere a briefe relation of the reasons & grounds, where-upon wee have in our answeres confidently affirmed, that his Maje­sties Commissionar did accept, and was well pleased with the late Declaration.

1. His G. was most earnest to have the late Covenant so solemnely sworne, and so universally subscribed to bee rendred, or rescinded, and did propone plausible reasons for that effect. But this by such strong impediments as were at that time represented, and are now extant in print, being impossible to us to doe, except wee wold sin highly against God. His G. afterward declared that the Kings Majesty was most willing to indict an Assembly & call a Parliament, but that our Covenant in the clause of mutuall defence, was a combination against Authoritie, and that we had sworne to defend one another in our owne private quarrells, aswel as in the cause of Religion. This his G. desired to bee re­moved, as a maine hinderance of the obtaining of our de­sires, and without the removall whereof an Assembly, and Parliament could not be indicted. When this motion of a Declaration was first proponed to the severall meetings the greater part was against it: because no Declaration, containing [...]ye thing contrarie to the Covenant could bee granted, and an explanation of the Covenant, the meaning whereof seemed to be plaine enough, would no more please than the Covenant it self: but by the earnest dealing of some Noblemen of his Majesties Counsell sent from the Commis­sioner, with some Commissioners sent from everie meeting, It was thought meet in end, that a Supplication containing a Declaration should bee formed, which at last his G. did receive at the hands of the Supplicants, and upon the recei­ving thereof promised to deale with the Kings Majestie for obtaining a free Assembly and Parliament, which he refu­sed to undertake without this Declaration. Thus by the ve­ry nature and course of our Proceedings about this point, it [Page] is manifest that the Declaration was, at least in this farre sa­tisfactorie to the Commissioner himselfe, that hee did pro­mise to mediate for an Assembly and Parliament, which was both the summe of our desires, and the onely end of this Declaration. So that no man could in any reason think that we should have wronged him in affirming that his G. did accept, and was well pleased with that Declaration since upon the sight, receiving, and hearing thereof, he pro­mised to doe his best endeavours with his Majestie for ob­taining what was petitioned by us, which before and with­out it, his G. had utterly refused to doe.

2. The three Noble-men of his Majesties Counsell who were imployed by his G. about this Declaration, did re­pare ordinarly to him for advysing what forme of Decla­ration would best please, and give best satisfaction. And we had great reason to think that the forme which pleased their Lorships should not be displeasing, or unacceptable to his G.

3. After that diverse formes of Declaration were drawn up, and none of them was found to give satisfaction: at last it was thought good, that one should bee formed by waye of Supplication for a generall Assembly and Parliament.

And because the maine hinderance of obtaining thereof, was that our Covenant was suspect to be a combination a­gainst Authoritie, it was found necessare that this impedi­ment should bee removed by declaring that no such thing was intended in the Covenant. This forme of Supplication did first please the three Noble-men, and thereafter, di­verse parts and expressions of it were corrected by his G. particular direction, which are still keeped in remem­brance, & in the notes of the Noblemen and others at that time imployed about this work frō their several meetings. This made us to think that his G. was well pleased with so much as was corrected by himself, and that his G. would have also corrected other parts & expressions thereof, if hee had not bene well pleased with them: and therfore made [Page] us secure that his G. would no have offended that we or a­ny other, shuld have affi [...] so much.

4. Wee have reason to think that the first Declaration which was showne to the Petitioners by the three Noble­men sent from his G. to negotiate with them, would have given satisfaction; why then shall wee not think, that the Supplication mended by his owne particular direction, not in the Petitorie part, but in the Declaration which it con­tained, might in like manner satisfie.

5. Among other partes of the Declaration which were mended by the Commissioners direction, One was in the beginning thereof, where, in place of that which was first written That the Kings Majestie bad conceived the Con­fession of Fayth and Covenant lately renewed by us his Ma­jesties Subjects to bee an unlawfull combination against Au­thoritie: His G. would have it changed thus, That his Majesties Commissioner hath conceived the Confession of Faith, &c. Wee might therefore have imagined that the Kings Majestie possibly would not have beene pleased with our Declaration, but it could not so much as enter in our minds that his Majesties Commissioner, who would have the words to expresse his owne dislike, and not the Kings, should not for his owne part beene pleased with it, or bee offended with us, for affirming so much.

6. There was some reasoning between the three Coun­sellers and the Petitioners, whether the words of the De­claration should bee thus conceived, amaine Hinderance, or, the mains Hinderance, for which later conception the Petitioners did plead, That this which was the maine hin­derance being removed by their declaration, for which end they were moved to make it, ther might bee no more hin­derances afterward, or at lest so small ones, that they might easily be put out of the way; and the trueth is, that since the removall of that main hinderance, we have heard of no par­ticulare hinderance from the contents of the Covenant. This also did make us to say with the greater confidence that the Declaration did please.

[Page] 7. When the Declaration was received by his Majesties Commissioner, was read openly, and was confirmed hearti­ly by the oath of the petitioner. His G. declared that hee verily believed that they meaned what they spake, that hee hoped what they had written should prove satisfactorie to his Majestie, and that hee would against the time appoin­ted do his best endeavours with his Majestie for obtaining our desires, which could not but make us conceive that his G. was satisfied with it himself.

8. Although all the companies of petitioners could not bee present to hear with their own eares, the words that were spoken, yet all of them had so much as we have written, re­ported unto them, not by uncertaine rumour, but by the faithfulnesse of their Commissioners; and upon the certain­tie of this report, and certaine evidences of the trueth, they rested satisfied, and were put in hope of a generall Assem­bly at the Commissioner his returne. Which hath made them also now in their answers to the last of the late propositions made unto them by his Majesties Commissioner after his re­turne, to affirme, that his G. accepted their Declaration as the most ready & powerfull mean, which could come with­in the compasse of their thoughts, for clearing them of that objected Combination, lykeas they have testified no lesse in their letters to others. So that if wee have erred in our affirmation, we have not erred alone, but have beene car­ried awaye with the common errour of so many as were heere conveened, without exception of any one.

9. As it is verie unbeseeming our profession & calling, so was it verie far from our minde & desire, in our answers to touch the honourable Lords of Counsell, or any in autho­ritie under his sacred Majestie. If the Act of approbation with the Subscriptions thereof, (the ground of the mis­sive) was torne and rescinded and the missive it selfe, once thought fitte to bee sent, was returned and promise given, that it should not be sent, there was no lesse done than was assevered by us. What reason wee had to affirme that this [Page] was done upon the Supplication & complaint of the lieges, may appeare, if it be remembred, First, that some of the honourable Lords of [...]unsell after they were informed by the supplicants what p [...]udices were done to their cause by the Act approving the Proclamation, were passionatly desirous to have the Act rescinded, and did declare that they would not spare to deale with the Commissioner for that effect. 2. When it was requyred by the Suppli­cants, that another Act should bee made bearing, that by their subscribing the Proclamation they had not given their Approbation to it, It was often and at large answe­red, that they did not by their Subscription approve the Proclamation, but onely gave warrant thereby to the Clerke for registration, and to the Herauld for publishing the same. And thirdly the Supplicants presented a petiti­on containing the reasons of their desires, and could not bee satisfied, except upon these reasons the Act were re­scinded, and the missive stayed. This Supplication was received by the Commissioner, was openly reade, and an­swere was given by his G. that their desire should be sa­tisfied. All this in substance was knowne to many thou­sands before any word was seene from our penne, neither had anye thing written by us come to the sight of the world, if it had not beene put to the Presse by the D. D.

So much have wee beene constrained to say for vindica­ting our selves, who esteeme it to bee our chiefest comfort and greatest glory, that wee plead for the cause of God, and trueth of Religion and desire neither in our plea nor in our preaching for the defence of the trueth to alledge any un­ [...]ueth. We have written nothing before, or at this time, from an humour to contradict any man, or to wrong the meanest far lesse any of the honorable Lords of his Majesti­ces Counsell, & least of all his Maiesties high Commissioner But doe confesse that there was much insisting great wor­king on both sides; & many meetings▪ before the forme of Declaration could bee agreed upon, and received: And wee [Page] doe believe also that the rescinding of the Covenant, so ve­hemently urged, was that which would have given him, as his Majesties Commissioner, greatest satisfaction, Neither are wee ignorant that Partly through the malignancie of Sycophants watching all opportunities to promove their owne projects; Partly through the rubs and difficulties which occurre in working of great maters to their wished ends; and Partly through the busie and overweaning con­ceit of some who would seeme to bee somewhat that they may warme themselves at a combustion, and who are readie to raise suspitions against the wisest and best affected to Authoritie; much must beewritten and spoken per ra­gioni di stato, which otherwise would not bee thought so necessarie. Yet cannot wee conceive but the acceptance of the Declaration of the loyaltie of his Majesties subjects set down in writ, and seconded by oath, was good service to the King, and that labouring with his Majestie to possesse his royall heart with the best conceptions and constructi­ons of the actions of his well meaning, and honest hearted Subjects, deser [...]eth from them the increase of that respect, and honour which they owe to all whom God honoureth to bee instruments of good and happinesse to this Kirke and Kingdome, which the LORD establish under his Ma­jesties long and prosperous reigne.


GOod Reader, what could not be performed by us in Printing or Answeres severally after their owne Replyes, let it bee supplyed by thy selfe in reading. And if there bee any part of our An­swers which seemeth not to be relative to the Replyes, let it bee imputed to the D. D. whose printed Copie a­grieth not with that, which in wr [...]t was sent unto us under their hands, & unto which our Answeres were made. Neither is it our fault that our answeres have not come to light before this tyme, we having sent the same, without the changing of one word to bee printed at Aberdene, before our comming from that part of the Countrie: This must bee ascribed to the ordinary difficulties and hinderances, which use to oppose the Trueth and a good cause in the World, and which, it is not meete now to specifie.

TO OVR REVEREND BRETHREN, The Doctors and Ministers of Aberdeene.

THat our Answeres (Reverend and beloved Brethren) have not given you full satisfaction, as it may bee impu­ted to our weaknesse, in the defence of so good a Cause, so may it pro­ceede also from your owne prejudice against what could be said by us, which wee have some reason to suspect for two causes, one is, that your Demands which wee conceived to have beene intended meer­ly for us, and were sent unto us from you in write, were published before our comming in print, lyke as you have now printed and published your Replyes before you had seene our Answeres unto that which wee received from you last in write; wee having promised to the bearer, to returne an Answere shortly ere wee departed the Countrey. This may seeme rather to bee a seeking of victorie from prae­judice, than a search of veritie for satisfaction.

The other cause of our suspition, is, that the groundes of our Answeres to you, have proven sa­tisfactorie to others, who for Age, and gifts of Learning and Understanding, are pryme men in this Kirk and Kingdome, and to whom modestie will not suffer you to preferre your selves. But [Page] whether our weaknesse, or your prejudice bee the cause, must bee now judged by others, to whose viewe yee have brought us: Whom therefore wee with you heartily desire unpartiallie to considder our first and second Answeres; wishing and hoping that partialitie, prejudice, and all worldly respects and feares, layde aside, the naked Trueth shall bee seene of all her lovers. Concerning your confi­dence of us, as wee in loue judge, that yee thinke not your selves to bee striving against the Trueth; so maye yee conceive, that wee can no more be [...] brought to your minde, than wee can bee drawne from the profession of our Religion, as it hath been reformed, sworne, and confirmed by the late and preceeding Covenants, and from following the example of our religious Reformers, and the ma­ny Worthies succeeding them in this Kirke, who would have beene glad to have seene the dayes which wee now doe see: and for which wee pray, that both yee and wee may bee thankfull; so shall it not be imputed unto us, that wee have not discer­ned, and used the daye of the Lords visitation: so shall wee all rejoyce together in the Daye of the LORD.

To the first Reply.

YOVR experience in your Disputes agaynst the com­mon Adversarie, wherein you say ye are so frequent, hath (no doubt) taught you, howe easie a matter it is to multiply Objections against the Tr [...]th, and Cause of GOD: [Page] and your selves knowe, that your Objection against our Calling, and the Warrant of our comming to you, was framed, and published in print, before it was propoun­ded unto us: and ere our Answere could bee had; but so soone as we did heare your Demands, we answered incon­tinent, in the humilitie and trueth of our minds, that wee were to obtrude nothing upon you, or your flock, by any particular Authoritie, Civill or Ecclesiastick, but that we did come in all meeknesse, to represent unto you the pre­sent case of this Kirke, and in love to intreat you, to joyn with us, for the peace thereof; for which wee trust, with­out wronging any lawfull Authoritie, wee may claime the Warrant of the highest and greatest Authority, although wee had not beene sent from almost the whole Kirke and Kingdome, lawfully conveened at this time, for pre­servation of Religion, and of the Liberties and Lawes of this Kingdome, so sore shaken, by the usurpation of the Prelates, and their Favourers. Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to good works, &c. sayeth the Apostle, Heb. 10. 24. And where yee object, that without your leave we preached within your Congregation; which is aggravated by you, as a hainous fault, both against Scrip­ture, and against the Canons of antient Councells, which yee have laboriously quoted against us, we intreat you, to bee more sparing, lest the guiltinesse, if there be any, re­flex upon your selves: For your Pulpits and Kirks beeing denyed us, (not from any injurie done by us, but by your owne determination, before our comming) a necessitie was laid upon us, to deliver our message in such places, as your courtesie did permit; wherein no man will find, that we have failed, if he consider, first, That there is as wyde difference betwixt Ecclesia turbata & pacata, the troubled and peaceable estate of a Kirke, as is betwixt Ecclesia con­stituenda & constituta, & many things are necessarie in the one, which perhaps are not expedient in the other. Ye speak of the Constitution of the Kirk this yeere, as if ye had beene [Page] speaking thereof many yeeres before this time. 2. That the word of God, and the Canons of Councels, will have Pa­stors so to care for their owne flockes that they forbidde them not, to care for the whole Kirke, especiallie in the time af a common Combustion. When the house is on fire everie man ought to runne to all rowmes, where hee may quench it: when a laik striketh up in a Ship, every Ma­riner, yea, everie Passinger ought to labour to stop it. Even hee who is not universall Pastor of the Kirke, is Pastor of the universall Kirk: and the Apostle hath taught us, That wee are members one of another, Rom. 12. 4. As all the members of one bodie beeing many, are one bodie; so al­so is Christ. 1. Cor. 12. 12. That the members should have the same care one of another, verse. 25. If some members of this Kirk had not cared more kindlie, in this time of common danger: than other some have done, the whole bodie had beene ere now dangerously, if not desperately diseased. 3. That we made choyse of such ho [...]res, for de­livering our Message, that the people might attend your ordinarie times of publick worship; which maketh your charge, of the peoples contempt, or ours, of your Mini­sterie, to be most unjust.

In the second part of your Reply to our Answere to your first Demand, yee might have made choyse of words witnessing more respect to the most part of the King­dome now, and to the Kirke in former times, than of a Confederation, and Negative Confession: we know no other Confederation at this time, but this same laudable Covenant which our Progenitors, and many yet living, made with God, and amongst themselves, at the commandement of Authoritie, and according to the example of the people of God in former times. Neither is that short Confession meer­ly Negative, since the beginning thereof is Affirmative, & doeth virtuallie containe the first large Confession ratifyed in Parliament, 1567. 2. No Pastors, in our knowledge, have either beene forced to flee to forraigne Countreyes, [Page] or have beene threatned with the want of their stipends, for the refusing their Subscription: but this wee have heard, that some of them have of their owne accord, gone to Court, for procuring of Protections against their Credi­tours, and against the Lawes, and Duetie of good Subjects, have made Lies between the King and his people. Others wee knowe have wilfully refused, to abyde with their flock: and beeing eranestly entreated by them, to attend their Charge, have left them, and haue gone out of the Countrie, for no reason, but because the people had sub­scribed, and as ye know, that Arguments have beene taken from augmentation of stipends, to hinder Subscription: so ye may know, That feare of worldy losse, rather hindereth men to subscribe, than scruple of conscience. The Prelates flight, seemeth rather to have proceeded from inward furies of accusing consciences, or for feare of a storme, (which beeing procured by their owne doing, may be ea­sily prognosticated by them) than from the inforcing of Subscription of the Covenant, which in our knowledge was never required of any of the Prelates, although they bee grosslie guiltie of the breach of the Covenant, which they did sweare, and subscribe before. 3. Your helpe, by your prayers, and other meanes, for extinguishing of the present Combustion, wee still desire, but withall intreat, that you would both ioyn with the rest of the kirks of the Kingdome, in publick humiliation and fasting, which the Lord himselfe doeth proclaime, and call for at this time; so should your prayers bee the more effectuall, and also yee bee good instruments, according to your power, with your owne people, and the countrey about, to joyne in the Covenant, so should yee find the worke of Pacification the more easie. 4. The Reasons which wee touched in our Answere, for proving, that ye might, without iust offence to anye, joyne with us in subscribing, are not yet answered for, first, a sound Interpretation of the Covenant, although proceeding from a private person, and altogether voyde [Page] of externall Authoritie, can not make a substantiall diffe­rence: and if the Interpretation bee unsound, although it were confirmed with Authoritie, it maketh not a substan­tiall co-incidence. 2. Why is it denyed, that the former Covenant containeth Mutuall defence, since all are oblied­ged thereby to defend Religion, according to their voca­tion and power, and the King's person and authoritie, which can not possiblie bee done without Mutuall De­fence: and since that clause of the Covenant, is so expo [...] ­ded, and applyed upon grounds of perpetuall reason, in the generall Band drawne up, and printed by Authoritie, anno 1590. 3. Yee must either prove this Covenant to bee sub stantially different from the former, which is impossible, or ye must acknowledge this to have the same Authority with the former, since wee are reallie obliedged in the former Covenant, and virtuallie the same warrant of King, Counsell, and Assembly, remaineth, and was never yet dis­charged: by vertue whereof the Covenant might have beene renewed yearely by all the Subjects of the Kingdome, no lesse than it hath beene subscribed yearely by such as passe Degries in Colledges, and such as were suspect of Papistrie from time to time. 4. What was done by his Majesties Commissionar, was not done in a corner, that it needeth to bee pryed into, or doubted of, and what was allowed by his grace, who had so great power from his Majestie, to declare his Majesties will, and to receive Declarations from his Subjects, and who was in every point so zealous, and tender of his Majesties service and honour: who are yee, that it should be disallowed by you? Ye will have the kingdome guiltie of Combination against Authoritie, and will not have the King to bee satisfied. when they have declared themselves to the contrarie, & their Declaration is accepted by his Majesties Commissionar. This manner of dealing, is more sutable to Papists, and such In [...]ndiaries, than for you, who desire to prove good Patriots, in using all means of Pacification. 5. We are sorrie that ye shuld be [Page] the first, who have accounted our Covenant to bee a Con­fedearcie, against the Trueth, since some of your selves, and all everie where haue beene constrained; to acknow­ledge, that they ayme at the same end with us, to main­taine the Trueth. And for that which displeaseth you in our way, that wee deale after such a manner with people, to come in, wee answere, that wee have seene in this Land, The day of the Lords power, wherein His people have most willingly offered themselves in multitudes, lyke the dew of the morning: that others of no small Note, have offered their Subscriptions, and have beene refused, till time should trye, that they joyne in sinceritie, from love to the Cause, and not from the feare of men: and that no Threat­nings have beene used, except of the deserved judgment of God; nor force, except the force of Reason, from the high respects which wee owe to Religion, to our King, to our Native Countrie, to our selves, and to the posteritie: which hath beene to some a greater constraint, than any externall violence; and we wish, may also prevaile with you.

To the second▪

WEE perceive, that you passe in silence, that which wee answered concerning the preventing of trouble, which by all appearance had beene too sensible to many before this time, if the Conventions censured by you, had not beene kept; we desire that yee would heere declare your selves, whether yee would have rather received the Service booke Booke of Canons, and other Trash of that kynd, tending to the subversion of Religion, and to the prejudice of the Liberties of the Kingdom [...], than to have conveened in a peaceable manner, to present Supplications to his Majestie, for averting of so great evilis. Neither doe yee speake a word of the saying of K. Iames, which ought to bee re­garded; both for the witnesse sake, who is of so great au­thoritie, and for the testimony which containeth so great reason. For, shall not the whole bodie of a Kingdom stirre [Page] pro aris & [...] or shall our Religion be ruined, & our light bee put out, and all men hold their peace? We told you al­so, that the first part of the Act of Parliament, 1585, is relative to another Act in Queene Maries time, which specifieth, what sort of Leagues and Bands are forbiddin, and setteth us free from the breach of the Act; but yee have answered nothing to this, and still dispute from the Act of Parliament, rather than from othergrounds, better beseeming your [...] and Ours; and in this will so precilelit adhere to the Letter of the Law, that you will have no Meetings, withhout the Kings consent, even in Case of the preservation of Religion, of his Majesties Au­thoritie, and of the Liberties of the Kingdome, which wee are sure must bee contrarie to the reason and life of the Law, since the safetie of the People is, the soveraigne Law. Although it bee true also that for our Covenant, we have the consent of Authoritie pressing upon all the Sub­jects in the Generall Band, and Confession of Faith, for­merly subscribed for maintenance of the Religion, their Subscription and Oath as a note of their soundnesse in Religion, and of their loyaltie and fidelitie to the King, and his Crown, wherin Iuris-Consults, more skilled in this kynd, than we need to be, have given their Responses, & verdicts, in favour of us, and our Cause.

2. The poynt touching Authoritie, is so full of Thornes and Rockes, useth to bee so vehemently urged, to pro cure envye agaynst the Gospell of CHRIST, and can so hardly bee disputed and discussed except in a large Treatise, to the satisfaction of King's and Kingdomes; and all having interest, that for the present wee onelie wish you to heare the testimonies of two great Divines, the one is Whitaker, in his Answere to Master Reynolds preface, pag. 6. Stirres and tumults for matters of Re­ligion, Reynold rehearseth, that have beene in Ger­manie, France, Bohemia, as though it were sufficient for their condemnation, that they once resisted, and did not [Page] by and by admitt what-so-ever violence was offered either to GOD'S Trueth, or to them-selves, contrarie to Promise, to Oath, to publick Edicts, to Law, where­by they were warranted to doe as they did: more of this matter, will I not answere, beeing of another nature, and cleared long since from the cryme of Rebellion, not only by just just defence of their doing: but also by the Pro clamations and Edicts of Princes themselves. The other is Bilson, in his Booke of Christian subjection, in defence of the Protestants in other Countreyes, against the ob­jection of the Iesuit, pag. 332, affirming, that sub­jects maye defend their Antient and Christian Liberties, covenanted and agreed upon by those Princes to whom they first submitted themselves, and were ever since confirmed and allowed by the Kings that have succee­ded, they may require their owne right, save their own lyves, beseech, that they bee not used as slaves, but lyke Subjects; lyke men, not lyke beasts; that they maye bee convented by Lawes, before Iudges, not murdered in Corners, by Inquisitors. This is also the judgment of Rivetus, in his Commentarie, PSAL. 68 Which beeing looked upon by you, will furnish a full answere to what yee have cited at length from his Iesuita vapulans. For betwixt Iesuiticall treasonabe & pernitious doctrine, and practises agaynst Princes, and Magistrates, refuted by him, and the loyall and sound doctrine of Protestants: your selves knowe the difference and opposition, lyke as it is cleare as the Sunne, by that short Confession, by the Application there-of, to the tymes in this present Confession, by our publicke Pro­testation, and by the Declaration exhibited to his Majesties Commissioner, that wee meane not onely mutuall con­currence, and assistance in the cause of Religion, but also to the uttermost of our power, to defend the King's Ma­jestie, his Person and Authoritie. Wee would bee glad, that yee and others were witnesses to our private prayers, [Page] nd the most secret of our thoughts. and affections con­cerning our loyaltie to our dread Soveraigne: so should yee either cease to write in this against us, or bee forced to write against your own Consciences.

5, When wee justifie our Conventions and Covenants, from their purposed ends, we meane not only the last and most remote ends: but the nearest and immediate, and if nothing in these can merite just censure, the Conventi­ons and Covenants no more in that which yee call the Object, nor in their ends, can bee culpable: what Asper­sions have beene put upon our Reformation, and Refor­mers, by the malice of our Adversaries, can not bee un­knowne to you. But wee wish, that your ingynes and pennes maye bee better imployed, than to joyne with them in so badde a Cause, which we expect also from your prudence, considering the people and place where yee live.

To the third.

Y [...]E doe well and wisely, that you search not cu­riouslie into the myndes of Princes, and Reasons of State: but whether all his Majesties Subjects bee satis­fied with the last Proclamation, needeth no deepe search. For although possibly some had beene more pleased with a Proclamation, commanding the Service Booke, such especiallie, who either will see no errours in it, or have publicklie prosessed, that they have beene groa­ning for it, yet the Protestation of the Supplicants against it, as it giveth most humble and heartie thankes to his gratious Majestie, for what is granted: so it restifieth upon undenyable evidences, that the Proclamation is not a satisfaction of our just desi [...]es: for, first, the Proclamation supposeth the Service Booke to bee no Inno­vation of Religion. 2. That it is not contrare to Pro testant-Religion. 3. That the Proclamation giveth not or­ [...]r for discharging all the Acts made in favours of the [Page] Service Booke, especially that of the 19 of Februarie, which giveth unto it so great Approbation, as serving for maintaining the true Religion, and to beate out all Su­perstition, and no wayes to bee contrarie to the Lawes of this Kingdome, but to bee compyled, and approved for the universall use and edification of all his Majesties Subjects. 4. It is so farre from disallowing the sayde Booke, that it putteth us in feare, that it shall bee prest in a faire and legall way, and therefore, notwithstanding the Proclamation, the necessitie of Covenanting, which con­taineth nothing contrarie to the Acts of Parliament, nor to the duetie of good Subjects, but is the largest Testi­monie of our Fidelitie to GOD, and loyaltie to our King, (whatsoever it maye seemeto you to import) doeth yet continue, that his Majestie maye bee pleased, to grant the full satisfaction of our reasonable Petitions, and that our Religion, and Liberties, may bee preserved for afterwards. Who-so-ever professe themselves to be perfectly satisfied with the Proclamation, doe proclame in the eares of all the Kingdome, that they are better pleased with the Service book and (anons, than with the Religion, as it hath beene prosessed in this Land since the Reformation.

To the fourth.

VVEE were assured that your Demand proceeded from a Mistaking, & therefore, according to our know­ledge, did ingenuously, for your satisfaction, expound un­to you the mind of the Subscribers, but find now, that we have laboured in vain at your hands, from which we have receiued this Reply: unto which, concerning the first. Missinterpretation, wee answere: 1. That altho we do neither use threatnings, nor obtrude our Interpretation, u­pon you, as bearing any obligatorie power, yet pardon us, that wee match you not, and put you not in the Ballance with the greatest part of the Kingdome both Ministers, and others, in whose name we recōmended this Interpretation [Page] unto you, by all faire meanes, and force of Reason: and in so doing, wee are so farre from the breach of our solemne Uow, and Promise, that wee esteeme this to bee no small proofe of that godlynesse and righteousnesse, wherein wee are bound by our Covenant, to walke. 2. The authoritative judgment of our Reformers and Predecessors, is evidenced not onlie by the Confession of Fayth, ratified in Parliament, but also by the bookes of Discipline, Acts of generall As­sembllies, and their owne Writs; wherein if yee will, ye may find warant for this Interpretation: and in respect whereof, it is publick, ratione medij, besides these midses of Scripture of Antiquitie, and of the Consent of the reformed Kirks, which are named for midses by you.

Concerning the 2 Missconstruction, it is no marvell that Prejudices, and pre-conceived opinions, poss [...]ssing the mynd, make men to fall upon interpretations of their own; but in the South parts of the Kingdome, where many lear­ned and judicious men, both Pastors. & Professors were assembled at the first subscribing thereof, wee remember of none that did fall into that Misstake. And the two sorts of Novations, such as are alreadie introduced, and such as are supplicated against, are so punctually distin­guished, that there is no place left to Ambiguitie: but o [...] the contrarie, the Novations which wee promise to for­beare for a time onlie, can not bee supposed in the fol­lowing words, to bee abjured, for ever, as Popish novations.

2. Vpon a new examination of the words, yee perceive, that the Articles of Pearth, and Episcopacie, are condem­ned as erronious corruptions, because we promise, to la­bour, to recover the former puritie & libertie of the Gospel, unto which our Answere is, that it appeareth, that you will have all the Covenanters against their intention, and whe­ther they will or not, to disallow, and condemne the Ar­ticles of Pearth, and Episcopall Governament, lest they bee tryed in a generall Assembly But it is knowne to manie hundreths, that the words were purposely conceived, for [Page] satisfaction of such as were of your judgement, that we might all joyne in one heart, a [...]d Couenant for establishi [...]g Religion, and opposing errours. And for your Argume [...]t, whether the Articles of Perth and Episcopacie, bee against the puritie and liberty of the Gospell or not, which is not determined by these words of the Covenant. But it cannot be denyed, first, That if in a free Assembly, they bee found to bee [...]gainst the puritie and libertie of the Gospell, [...]hey ought to bee abolished: in the meane time, it beeing left free, by the words of the Covenant to all, who will, to stand to the defence of their lawfulnesse. Secondly, how can it be denyed, that manie corruptions, contrarie to the puri­tie and libertie of the Gospell, were they never so inno­cent in themselves, have accompanyed these Novations, such as the superstitious observing of Dayes, [...]eriation and cessation from worke, on those Dayes, Feasting guy­sing. &c. manie grosse abuses have entred in the Sacra­ment, upon kneeling before the elements, and upon the lawlesse usurpation of Prelates: in respect whereof, even they who allow Pearth Articles, and Episcopacie, may sweare to recover the puritie of the Gospell. And thirdly, who can bee so great a stranger at home, as to denye, that manie corruptions of Poperie and Arminianisme, have en­tred in the Kirke, and have beene vented, and defended, in Schools, and pulpits: by reason whereof wee are bound, everie one of us, according to the measure of our light, to labour for recovery of our former Puritie? And therfore, if you had cast your eyes upon the condition of this [...] Kirk, as yee have pryed narrowlie, into the Expressions of the Covenant, yee might have spared both your owne la­bour and ours, and not laboured to skarre both your selves and others, with this shadow.

In your Argument, ad hominem, you should have con­sidered, that whatsoever bee our judgment, as wee are par­ticular persons, yet, at this time wee were to bee taken, as Commissionars, from the whole companio of Subscribers, [Page] who, about this point, are of different judgments, and if some of your owne judgment, had either come alone in our place, or had beene joyned in Commission with us, we had anticipate your Objection: and this yee have beene for­ced to see: and so yourselves, in propnunding your Ob­jection; have answered, your owne Syllogisme, in making us to say, that yee may sweare and subscribe, seeing ye thinke not these thinges to bee abjured in that Oath made Ann [...] 15 [...]1 neyther was it for you, to inquire in our private Opini [...], nor necessarie for us, to make it knowne, but to have conceived of our mindes, according to our Commis­sion, and the will of those that sent us. Your Arguments neede to bee no impediments unto your swearing of the Covenant. For upon your grounds, you would not have sworne the Short Confession, any time by past: yea. yee can not sweare the Confession of anie Kirke: nay, not the Ar­ticles of the Cr [...]d, because of the diverse Interpretations of the Article of Christs descen [...] into Hell; or swearing them in Scotland and England, yee behoved to sweare them in diverse senses. There be some words of the Lord's prayer as, Give us this day our daylie bread: and of the x Commands as the wordes of the 4 Command, which are diversly un­derstood; must Christians, therefore, forbeare to joyne in saying the Prayer, or swearing Obedience to the Comman­dements? Neither for this doe wee admit anie ambiguitie, or aequivocation: the wordes certainly have but one true sense and signification., but diverse persons conceave and understand them, according to the different measures of their light. Since then your Disputation, is builded upon such a S [...]pposition, it must eyther fall to the ground, or hardlie can any Confession of Fayth, or Religious Covenant be sworne. Offend not therefore if wee in modesty present unto you, A Dis [...] of your owne dressing: we meane, the like Argument, adhominem.

The Rites and Ceremonies which are not abjured in the negative Conf [...]ssion, are not abjured in this late Covenant.

[Page] But the Rites and Ceremonies, which were con­cluded in Perth Assembly, are not abjured as you say, in the negative Confession made, 158 [...].

Therefore, they are not abjured in this late Cove­nant, as yee thinke.

The first Proposition is evident, because in the late Cove­nant we are bound no farther, concerning the negative Con­feffion, but to keep it inviolable: and therefore, what Rites are not abjured there, are not abjured here? The second Proposition cannot be denyed by you; for these twenty years by gone yee have thought your selves free of perj [...]rie, not­withstanding of the Oath in 1581. & of your conforming your selves to the ordinances of Perth. And whereas ye al­ledge, afterwârd, as before, that our Supplications are satis­fied, the contrary is known, by our publick Protestution, & by our last Supplication & complaint presented to his Ma­jesties Còmissioner. And the urging of the Service book was a sufficient Reason, for for be arance of Perth articles, till an assembly; at which time it may bee determined, whether it bee expedient, that this Kirk bee any more troubled with them. Neither needeth your conscience to subscribe the for­bearance of these Novations, as if swearing of forbearance, were a swearing of disobedience to Authoritie: first, be­cause the swearing of forboarance of a thing in your opini­on, indifferent, in the case of soandall, and of sensible feare in others, of Superstition, is the swearing of Obedience to the Commandement of God. which sorbiddeth us, to destroy him, for whom Christ dyed, altho man should command the contrarie. 2. Because the articles of Perth were concluded, for satisfying, & not to presse any man with the practise of them, as was openly professed unto the Opponents. before the face of the whole Assembly, and because the Act it self giveth warrant, to forbeare the practise at this time, when the memorie of Superstition is revived, which maketh us to thinke, that they who have for borne the practise of these Articles, since the superstitious Service booke was compla­ned [Page] upon, make most truely conscience of Obedience of the Act of Perth, & Parliament, ratilying the same, and are most conforme to the Confession of saith, ratifyed in Patliament, declaring that Ceremonies ought to bee chang­ed; when they rather soster Superstition, than edifie the Kirke, using the same. Last of all, You saye, yee can not sweare Forbearance, because yee can not abstaine from private Baptisme, and priva [...]e Communion: where we per­ceave, that, in your judgment, private Baptisme & Com­munion, are not any more things indifferent but necessarie, necessitate praecepti, in so farre, that the not using them, is a contempt of the Meanes, and a tempting of God. By this your doctrine, first, The state of the Question anent Perth artieles, is quite altered: for yee, and your Associats, did ever to this time, alledge the Question, to bee of thinges indifferent: but now yee finde some of them so necessarie, that although the generall Assembly of the Kirke, should dis­charge them: yet yee behoved still, for conseience of the Commandement of God to practise them. If yee have the same judgement of Kneeling before the Elements, and of festivall Dayes, it commeth to passe amongst us, which hath beene incident to the Kirke in former ages that thinges have beene first brought in, as indifferent, their ur­ged as necessarie. If Confirmation also in your judgement, bee not indifferent, but necessarie, we desire to understand, with what conscience it hath beene slighted, and utterly neglected by the Prelates these 20 yeeres past? and how it is, that yee have carried so small regard to the Canon of the Kirke, and Act of Parliament, and to the benefite of young Children, as not to require, urge, and presse the practise thereof, both in your owne Charge & throughout the whole Kirke? This would seeme to bee partiall dealing, to presse some Ceremonies, and neglect other some; while both by the same Canon of the Kirk & Act of Parliament are appointed. 2. Ye doe hereby coudemne the practise of the Kirke of Scotland; from the time of Reformation; till Perths Assembly; and put no small guiltinesse upon other [Page] reformed Kirks, who use not that at all, but rather abstaine from it; as dangerous, which yee now doe prof [...]sse, to be so necessarie, 3. We wish you wisely to consider, whence [...] is, and what can bee the true cause, that yee living in that part of the Kingdome, should bee more pressed by the peo­ple, with the practise of privat Baptisme, and Communion, than all the Kirks in the Kingdome beside, where these 20 yeares past, rarely any such motion hath beene made: it is not because that Popery prevaileth there, and the people have a superstitious conceate of Baptisme & Communion, as absolutly necessarie to Salvation; as it GOD had tyed his grace to the Sacraments; and children dying without Bap­tisme, and others without their last Vi [...]ticum did perish? Thus ye minister the Sacraments in private, as necessarie necessitate praecepti; and the people seeme to desire, and receive them, as necessarie, necessitate medij; an Evill very curable, in that Citie where the Assemblyes of the people, for publick worship are frequent, wherein the Sacraments might bee ministred frequently enough, with great so­lemnitie and edification. 4. And though wee doe not de­nye, but Baptisme privately ministred, by the Minister of CHRIST, according to the institution, be true Baptisme, and, that a childe thus privately baptized, bee not to bee baptized againe, (altho it be true also, that private Baptisme maketh way to the Errour of re-baptizing,) yet wee hold that the necessitie of the Commandement, stands only for Baptisme in publicke, since no Precept requireth Baptisme, but when the ministration thereof can bee had orderly, with all the circumstances requisite; whereof this is one, That it bee ministred in the presence of that visible Kirke, whereof the children are to bee members: for not onely the minister of Baptisme, and the Parents of the children, but the Congregation also hath interest in the baptisme of everie member that entereth in their Communion; which therefore, ought to bee a publick actio [...], no lesse than the cutting off of a rotten member, by Excommunication, ought [Page] to bee done publickly. 5. It is knowne that ptivat baptisme hath bred, and fostered the opinion of absolute necessitie of Baptisme, of Baptisme of women, and private persons, of Baptisme by supposition, &c. and, that the ministration of the Sacraments in private places, hath beene, and is, the ready waye to bring people to the contempt, and neglect of the Sacramentes in publicke, and to the prophanation thereof in private. 6. When all the formes of ministration of Baptisme; shall bee compared, both that of the ancient Kirke, keeping Easter and Pent [...]st, for the solemne times of Baptisme, and the other of the Popish kirke, and other Kirks, not well purged of the dregs of Poperie; ministring Baptisme and Communion at all times, in privat places, & before few persons; it shall be found, that no better course could bee taken, than that which hath beene wyselie ap­pointed and observed, in the Kirk of Scotland, since the Reformation, that the Sacraments be ministred in the or­dinarie meetings of GOD'S people; unto which they had regard, and not unto the places of materiall kirkes: which wee adde, lest any should thinke, that wee entertaine a­ny superstitious conceat of places.

To the fifth.

TO the first Exception, wee have even now answered, and need to adde no farther, concerning private Bap­tisme and Communion. 2. Wee looked that your argument, ad hominem, had beene closed in the fourth reply & wish, what yee had to say against the Dispute of Popish English Ceremonies, or any other Treàtise: of that kynd, or any of us in particular, had beene kept to another time: for, wold any of us, refuse to sweare the short Confession, because yee [...]ave expounded some articles thereof, contrarie to our mynd? Our desire is, that ye keepe your owne meaning of the negative Confession, and we keepe ours, according to our diverse measures of light: and, that both sides promise forbearance, as is required in the Covenant, which may ve­rie [Page] well stand both with your meaning, and ours: of ours, there is no question: and of yours, there needeth none to bee moved by you, since ye thinke them indifferent and therefore, in such a case, may promise, to forbeare them. From this ground, and from the different use of the word Discipline, and Policie, it is easie to answere, both your Sorites and Dilemma: for the late Covenant, bindeth you to keepe the forme [...], according to the common meaning of the Subscribers, and not according to your interpretation or ours, in particulare: and the horues of your Dilemma, maye be turned against your selves: for wee aske of you, Vnto which of the members of the Distinction doe you referre Episcopacie, and the Articles of Perth? if they were abjured for ever, before Perths Assembly, how is it that yee have admitted and practised them, since that tyme; for this was perjurie? And if they were not ab­jured, but by the short Confession were left indifferent, why may yee not, for any impediment yee have from that Con­fession, forbeare now the practise of them? Wee looked not for velitations of this sort, which the change of Com­missioners sent unto you mighthave prevented, but for some solide and grave reasons, why yee could notsubscribe the Covenant, whether presented from our hands, or the handes of others, our Learned and Reverend Brethren, of your practise and judgment, who might have beene sent unto you in our place. In the meane time, because manie are intangled with the word of Discipline, and Policie, we desire the Reader to remember, that sometime the word is taken for the Rule of Givernement of the Kirke, and cen­sure of Manners, by Office-bearers appointed by Christ; and thus it was unchangeable: sometimes for the Constitu­tion of Councells and Acts of Parliament, about matters of Religion, and thus it is alterable or constant according to the nature of particular Objects: and thirdly, it is taken for the ordering of the circumstances, to bee observed in all actions Divine, and Humane: and thus it is variable. Wee [Page] appeale with you, to the indifferent Reader, who is ju­dicious, whether it bee necessarie for your Subscription, to knowe our Opinion of such Rites & Ceremonies, as are not of divine institution. Wee have reason, (for any thing that, ever wee heard to the contrarie, these 20 yeers past) to eleave unto the wordes of the Covenant, concerning such Rites as are broght into the Kirke, without or against the word of GOD. The blessing of Marriage (now the se­cond time instanced) wee conceive neither to bee circum­stance, it beeing neither time, place, order of doing, nor anye such thing, nor a Ceremonie properly so called, more than the blessing of the people, commanded in the Law, & practised before the Law, or praying for a Blessing upon the Ordinance of God that it may bee sanctified unto His people: wee neither exalt Marriage so high, as with the Papists to thinke it a Sacrament; nor doe wee abase it so lowe, as to think it a paction or Contract, meerly civill, it beeing the Couenant of God, which cannot be dissolved by consent of the parties, as other civill Contracts maye bee: and therefore, as wee will not use it superstitiously, ac­cording to the praescript of the Service booke, so will wee not for the abuse of Poperie, although it were a Paction meerly civill, it beeing so important, with-hold Ecclesia­stick Benediction from it.

To the sixth.

SIlence carrieth sometimes the appearance of Consent, sometime it is from weaknesse; and sinee you knowe also, that it maye at sometimes come from wisedome, and moderation; why doe yee not rather keepe silence your selves, than make such an interpretation of ours? We de­nye not, but Diuines both ancient, and moderne, are a­gainst us, concerning the lawfulnesse of the thinges con­traverted: but wee withall affirme, first, That Divines both ancient and moderne, are against you also, and both may bee true, for both are Propositions indefinite, in a matter contingent. 2. That almost all Divines universally are for [Page] us, and for the forbearance of things indifferent, in such a case, which is the point urged by us, and cleared before. Secondly, wee deny not, but the Oath containeth manie other Articles: but concerning that of the Novations al­readie introduced, if you could have believed us, & so ma­ny thousands as have subscribed, it containeth no more, but the forbearance of them, for a time, neither can any far­ther bee extorted from the tenor of the Covenant it self, ac­cording to your grounds. If you will interprete it accor­ding to the meaning which yee thought it hadde the last yeare, and which we urge you not to change: & to promise forbearance, can neither bee contrarie to that duetie which yeow to your flock, nor be disobedience to Authority, but a means to edifie God's people, and obedience to God.

To the seaventh.

FIrst, The Reason propounded in the 7. Demand, for refusing your Subscription, because yee supposed Perth Articles to have beene abjured, as Popish, is answered to the full, and the impediment put out of your way. This other that ye propound concerning our conception and meaning of the short Confession, may bee as easilie removed, if yee will once believe; that wee urge not upon you our mea­ning, but leave you to your owne, till the matter be exa­mined in an Assembly. 2. Ye call some of those novations, necessarie: but without warrant of that Assembly, which concluded them, as indifferent, & all the rest ye will have to bee laudable: thus by progresse of time, things formerly indifferent, become necessarie: and what was but lawfull before, and had much adoe to gaine that reputation, is now become laudable: where yee plainely discover the cause of your unwillingnesse to subscribe, not so much to bee the commandement of Authoritie, as the necessitie and excel­lencie of the things commanded. Till yee, therfore, change this opinion, ye cannot promise forbearance neither upon our dealing, nor at the commandement of Authoritie, altho forbearance should serve for the peace of the Kirk, & King­dome.

To the eight.

FIrst, Wee remit the Reader to our Answere, and your Reply, which, we hope, shall be fouud no Confutation. 2. We observe. That ye have not answered our argument, for our swearing the Defence of the King and his Authori­tie, with a specification, which yee call a limitation, wherin we have followed the Confession of Faith, ratified in Par­liament, the King's Confession, and Act of Parliament, upon which yeewill not doe well, to fasten so foule imputations, and put so hard Constructions, as yee doe upon us, for inser­ting in our Covenant, what they have said before us. If our specification be right, why censure you it? If it bee wrong, why fasten you not your censures upon the Fountaine from which it is derived? The Loyaltie of our intentions to main­taine the Kings person, and honour, is fully expressed, that it hath given content to those who are nearest his Ma­jestie: and wee should wrong, not onely them, but also the Covenant, and the Subscribers thereof, if wee should make new Declarations to others of greater distance, who wrong both the King, and them-selves, in craving them.

3. To doe with a doubting Conscience, is a grievous sinne but to make and multiplie doubtes, for hindering a good worke, and to oppose against a shyning Light, is no lesse grievous. Ye spake before of a limitation, & now ye have added Precislie, as if the naming of our Duetie, were the excluding of all other Dueties. We all by our Oath of Al­leadgeance, by his Majesties Lawes and by other Obligations acknowledge, that wee owe many other dueties to the King, which were verie impertinent to expresse in this Covenant. 4. What kynd of Conference yee meane; whe­ther by word or writ: we know not, but while we were amongst you; yee know what notice yee were pleased to to take of us, and wee have no delight, to resent it.

To the nynth.

FIrst, Wee are ashamed to draw the Rug-saw of Con­tention, to and fro, in a continuall Reciprocation, con­cerning the serbearance of Pearth Articles and therefore [Page] forbearing to doe so any more, wee referre the Reader to our former Answeres. 2. We doe not affirme that the on­ly Reason, why Kn [...]eling was appointed, was because all memorie of Superstition was past. There be indeed other Reasons expressed in the Act, but such as the authors ther­of may bee ashamed of, as both perverting the Text. Psal. 93, as making Kneeling to bee necessarie, in everie part of GOD's Worship, and as giving matter to many Treati­se [...], proving kneeling before the Elements, to be idolatrie, ac­cording to the Act, unto which wee now referre you: but this wee say, (which is manifest by the Act it selfe) that in the case of present Superstition, or feare thereof, all other Reasons had not beene forcible, to enforce knee [...]ing then, nor can have force to continue kneeling now, This feare hath beene great, this yeere by past, throughout the king­dome, by reason of the manie Superstitions of the Service booke, which it may bee yee no more acknowledge, than yee doe the superstitious disposition of the people, because they are not that which they were at the time of Refor­mation. 3. Wee would heare what Malice it self can say against the words of the Protestation, That it shall bee lawfull uno us, to defend Religion, and the King [...] A [...]ritie, in defence thereof, and everie one of [...] of anot [...], [...] that cause of maintaining Religion, and the Kings forsaid Authoritie, and to appoynt and hold Meetings to that end: lyke as our Proceedings have beene in themselves most necessarie, and orderly meanes, agreeable to the Lawes and p [...]ise of this Kirk and Kingdome, to be commended as Rea [...] Due­ties of faythfull Christians, loyall Subjects, and sensible members of the bodie of the Kirke and Kingdome, and tend to no other ende, but to the preservation of Reli­gion, and maintenance of the King's Authoritie.

To your Interrogator (which yee seeme to propone, rather to be snares to us, than for satisfaction to your selves) we an swere once for all in generall, That if this were the op­portunitie to that Disputation, wee shall bee found to de­ny [Page] nothing unto Authoritie of that which the worde of GOD, the Law of Nature, and Nations, the Acts of Par­liament, chiefe Royalists, sound Divines, and loyall Subj [...]s give unto Kinges and Princes, GOD'S Vi [...] [...] earth; and that not from respect to our selves, [...]t to [...]e Ordinance of GOD, by whom Kings reign [...]. But seeing so oft, & so instanly, you presse us in this point, yet force vs mutually to propone to you such Questi [...], [...] it may bee, yee will have no great delight to answere [...] We desire to understand of you, Whether yee allow, or disal­low the Service booke, and booke of Canons? If ye disallow them as an innovation of Religion, why have ye not either ioyned in Supplication with the rest of the Kingdome, or made a Supplication of your owne, against them, or some other way testified your dislyke? Next; Whether it bee pertinent for men of your Place and Qualitie, to move Questions of State, touching the Power of Princes, and li­berties of Subjects; after his Majesties Commissioner, & wise States-men have received satisfaction of the Subjects, for suppressing such motions as yours? 3. Whether doe the Subscribers more tender, his Majesties Honour, by suppo­sing his constancie, in profession of Religion, and equitable disposition, in ministration of Iustice: or yee who suppose hee shall fall upon his religious and loyall Subjects, with force of Armes, contrarie to both? 4. Whether the joy­ning of the whole Kingdome, in the subscription of the Covenant, or the intertaining division, by your wryt­ting, preaching, and threatning of your people, otherwise willing to joyne, bee a more readie Meane to settle the present Co [...]tions of the Kirke, and Kingdome?. 5. If the Prelates and their Followers labouring to introduce Popery in the Land, make a Faction by themselves, or as the Gui­sians in France, did abuse his Majesties name, in execution of the bloodie Decrees of Trent. (which GOD forbid) wee aske, Whether in such a Case, the lawfull defence of the bodie of the Kingdome, against such a Faction, bee [...] [Page] [...] of the M [...]rate, and a taking A [...] [...] [...] [...]g? If ye [...]firme it to be is not this to take p [...]t with a [...]tion; seeking their owne endes, against the Common­wealth of [...]he Ki [...]ke, and Kingdome, and Honour of the [...]ing? If yee say [...], Why then find you fault with our Pr [...] [...] of defending the Religion, Liberties, and [...] of the Kingdome, of the Kings Authoritie, in defence th [...]of, and everie one of us of another, in that cause, as if it were an unlawfull combination against Authoritie? 6. Whether doe yee thinke Christian Magistrates to bee of so absolute and undoubted power, notwithstanding of the Promise, or paction made with the Subjects at their Co [...]ion, or of any law made for the establishing their Religion, & Li­berties, that there is nothing left but [...]ering of Martyr­d [...], in the c [...]se of publick [...], of their Religion, and Liberties? If ye thinke, that any Defence, is lawfull, why [...]isconstrue yee the Subscribers of the Covenant? If not, how can you be free of flatterie, and of stirring up Princes against their loyall Subjects, for such ends as yourselves know be [...]? We [...]lie believe, that yee [...] [...] thankes, either of so good & just a King, or of so [...]uetiefull Subjects, for entering within these Lists. It is enough, that such Questions bee agit [...]ed in the Schooles, and that with as great prudencie, & [...]s circumspectly as may bee.

To the tenth.

FIrst, yee take us in our 4 Rep [...] to bee the penners of the Covenant, and yet will rather wrest the wordes of it, to your owne meaning, than receive the Interpretation thereof from us: for wee prejudge not your libertie of conception of that short Confession; but permit it to your selves; whatsoever may bee the private meaning of some who have subscribed; yet their is nothing in the late in­terpretation that condemneth the Articles of Pearth, and Episcopacie, as Popish Novations. Yee may voyce & rea­son in an Assembly as freelie concerning them; and give [Page] your judgement of them, without prejudice, notwith­standing of your Oath, according to your owne grounds, as you would have done at the Assembly of Perth. 2. We hope yee bee not so ignorant of the estate of the Kirke, neither will wee judge so uncharitablie; as to think you so corrupt, that in your opinion there is no thing hath en­tred in the Kirke, since that time designed by you, be­side Episcopacie, and Articles of Pearth, which can bee thought prejudiciall to the libertie, and puritie of the Gospell.

To the eleaventh.

FIrst, yee finde fault with us, that wee have not upon this occasion, given you that testimonie which wee owe to you, of your sinceritie; and professing the Trueth, & therefore, to supplie our defects, have taken an ample Testimonie to your selves, of paines in Disputing, in wry­ting, and preaching against Poperie, in processing of Papists, and in doing all things which can bee expected from the [...] [...] of frequent prayer to GOD, of humbling your selves before Him, of your holinesse of Lyfe, and Conversation, &c. which have made us who were desirous to heare that Te­stimonie, rather at the mouthes of others, that wee might bee no more challenged as deficient in that kynde, but give unto you your deserved praise, to inquyre in mat­ters; where upon, if wee would believe the report of others, wee heare, that for all your paynes, Papists, and persons popishly affected, are multiplyed, and Papistrie increased in your towne, more than, in any other towne of the Kingdome, and no lesse under your Ministrie, than any time before, since the Reformation; that there be in private houses Mosses, Crucifixes, and other monuments of Idolatrie; that yee had not manie convers from Poperie, that Iesuites, and Priests; are countenanced there, that your People at home, and your Magistrates abroad, com­playne; that yee are but too sparing of your paines in preaching, and often fill your places with Novices: but [Page] this wee are sparing to believe, and wish, that the not imploying of your Tongues and Pennes, in defence of the Service booke, and Canons, which are so pestred with Poperie, (if the seedes of Romish Heresie Superstition, Ido latrie, and Papall tyrannie come under that censure) and your willingnesse to joyne with the Kirk and Kingdome, in Fasting an Humiliation, had beene also Testimonies of your sinceritie against Poperie. 2. The laudable meanes of preaching, praying, &c. which wee wish may be still in all faythfulnesse used by you, maye verie well agree with the renewing of our Covenant with God, aod both beeiug joyned, have, in a short time past, produced more powerfull effects, to the comfort of manie thousandss, than all our prayers and preaching have done for a long tyme before: which testifie, That as it is warranted by the Word of GOD; so the motion hath proceeded from GOD. All the Arguments and subtilities that can be de­vised, will never make a People, (who at this time have found GOD dwelling, and working in their hearts) to think the contrarie. 3. The naturall inclination of people to Poperie, and the perswasion of others of their disposi­tion, maye make the people to conceive other wayes of the Service booke, and Canons, that ere it be long, they may bee brought in, in a fair and legall way: and therefore, it is necessarie, for preventing of those, and other Evills of that kynde, that the Subjects joyne in a Covenant, both for themselves, and their Posteritie.

To the twelfth.

FIrst, Wee have ever preached according to our mea­sure, and have given example of Reverence to Autho­ritie, and the LORDS Service; but wee neither acknow­ledge the usurped authoritie of Prelates, for lawfull Au­thoritie, nor the Service Booke, for the LORDS Ser­vice. And therefore, it was so much the more intolerable for the Prelates, without Authoritie from the Kirke, or [Page] Parliament, to bring in the Service booke into GOD'S owne House, upon the LORD'S owne Day. Which ma­keth it nothing strange, that people zealous of the Trueth, and of the Service of GOD, were stirred up to oppose: and wee are verie confident that those that have opposed, doe beare as loyall respect to the Kings Majestie, and will bee as loath to provoke him to just wrath, as their Opposites are. In the meane tyme, why doe yee not acknowledge, that the children were higher provoked to wrath, by the Prelates, whom yee account Reverend and holie Fathers? 2. As the preservation of our owne private Possession, from invasion of others, belongeth to our selves, under the Kings protection; so the keeping of GODS House, from pollution and Superstition, belongeth to Authoritie, to the Communitie of the Faithfull, and to everie one in his owne Place and Order. 3. We told you before, That wee did no more allow Violence of that kind, nor wee did allow the foule Aspersions of Rebellion, [...]eresie, Schisme & Perjurie, put upon the Noble-men, and remnant Covenanters. And where yee aske of us, Why these tumults are not publick­ly by us condemned, and rebuked? Wee aske againe of you, why yee did not condemne and rebuke such dealing, since that it is no lesse Transgression, both against the sixth, and nynt Command, than the other is against the sixt? And whereas yee are now so peremptorie, in drawing a Decla­ration from us, answerable to that which yee have given concerning the foresayd aspersions and Calumnies, wee having no Commission, to declare the mindes of others in this point, or to give Documents, for our own private judgement, doe heartilie disallow everie Wrong of that kynd. As for the Apologie of Doctour Iohn Forbes of Corse, seeing the Wrong hath beene done not unto some few particulare persons, such as ye say have been wronged by some of the people; but unto the bodie of the King­dome, consisting of Noble-men, Barons, &c. who are high­lie offended thereby, it were in us Presumption, and [Page] without the bounds of our Calling, to take upon us, to re­ceive any Declaration of that kynd, especiallie wherein so manie things are reprooveable; as first, That his bitter speaches were occasioned by some printed bookes, affir­ming, that Episcopacie and Perth Articles, were antichri­stian and abominable. Supposing it were true, did he think the Noble-men and whole Covenanters, to be the Authors of those Bookes? And was this dealing agreeable to that Christian meeknesse so much requyred of us before? The Wryters of those printed Bookes, are not the first who have spoken so. For Master Knox spared not, (in a Let­ter of his) to call this Kneeling, A Diabolicall invention. Secoudly; The swearing of forbearance of the practise of Perth articles & the cōfirmation of the said doctrine which wee neither deny, nor affirme, to bee imported in the olde Covenant, but onelie in the interpretation thereof, wee de clare. That Promise is onely made, to forbeare for a tyms doth not deserve so bitter a censure, as this Apologie bea­reth upon us. 3. If the King's Majestie, Councell, or the sub­jects of Scotland, had asked his opinion and advice, hee he might have used the greater libertie. 4. It is ill apologi­zed, to call it an holy indignation; & worse defended; since it is such a wrath as worketh not the righteousnesse of GOD. 5. Whereas hee desireth to be accounted in the number of these, qui proficiendo scribunt & scribendo proficium, wee could wish that hee had profited better by writing, than hee hath done by wryting his Irenicum first, & now this his Warning, after his Irenicum; for which if hee make no better Apologie, than confessing asperitis of wordes, pro­ceeding from an holy indignation, it will come to passe of his Apologie, as it fared with his Irenicum, unto which was applyed fitly, what was spoken in the lyke case,

Aut fabrum forceps, aut ars ignara fefellit.
[...] voluit cudere cudit [...].

6. Whereas yee desire us, to doe the lyke, if yee meane of us personallie, wee have declared our judgement, and [Page] shall bee carefull to approve our selves to GOD, and the consciences of all men, in everie such duetie: and if yee meane us, and those that sent us, wee shall not faile to to report unto them, what yee desire, altho our Commission from you had beene more acceptable, if yee had spoken more reverently of our Confession and Covenant, than yee have beene pleased to doe, in the wordes of your desire, and had put your hand unto the Covenant; which would presently have joyned us in a greater Affection, and made way for union in judgement, and perfect peace, which is the desire of our Soules.

To the thirteenth.

YEe pretended a threefolde Scandall, which should follow upon your Subscription. 1. The scandall of dis­senting from other reformed Kirkes, and famous Divines. 2. The scandall of dissenting from Anthoritie. 3. The Scandall of Perjurie,. Wee answered, That the contro­verted words of the Covenant being rightly conceived, & interpreted according to their true meaning, & not after the glosse which yee have put upon them, doe put you out of danger of all the three Scandalls, which yee seeme to acknowledge of the first two, and maye by the lyke reason acknowledge of the third, of Perjurie. We dispute not of the lawfulnesse of the Oath given at your Admis­sion, by what Authoritie it was exacted, with what con­science it was given, nor how yee can answere for the scandall risen thereupon: but conceaving it according to your owne grounds, none of you will saye, that yee have sworne the perpetuall Approbation and Practise of those things which yee esteeme to bee indifferent, what-soever bad consequent of Poperie, Idolatrie, Superstition, or scandall should follow thereupon: wee speake heere one­ly of thinges Indifferent, in your owne judgement; for yee have declared before. that yee thinke the Ministra­tion of the Sacraments in piivate places, no more indifferent: [Page] and therefore, cannot forbeare the practise of these, altho your Ordinarie, and other lawfull Superiours, should will you to doe soe; wherein Pearths Assembly for which you stand, is wronged by you two wayes: 1. That yee differ in judgement from them, about the indifferenc [...]e of the five Articles; and next, that at the will of your Ordinarie, and wee knowe not what other lawfull Superiours, yee are readie to forbeare the practise of these thinges which the Assembly hath appointed to bee observed. What Oathes you have given at your admission, wee know not, because their is no ordinance made, Civil or Ecclesiasticke, appointing any such oath, and because the Prelates, who arrogated that power, presented to the intrants diverse models of Articles, to bee subscribed, dealing with some more hardlie, and with others more favourably, accor­ding to their owne diverse motives, and considerations.

For some immediately after P [...]rth Assembly, without anye warrant from the Kirke or Parliament, were made to sweare at their admission, that they should both in pri­vate and publicke maintaine Episcopall Iurisdiction, and in their private and publicke prayers, commend the Prelats to Gods mercifull Protection; that they should subject themselves to the Orders that presently were in the Kirk, or by the consent of the said Kirke, should bee lawfullie established, The word lawfullie; was not in the Principal first subscribed, (as wee have learned) and if it had beene exprest, it is all one, for the Superiors were Iudges to this lawfulnesse and vnlawfulnesse. Wee will not labour to re­concile everie Oath given by Ministers, at their entry with the present Covenant; but wish, and exhort rather, that they may bee recalled, and repented of, as thinges for which they cannot answere before a generall Assembly,

To the fourteenth.

IF the words of the Covenant bee plaine, concerning the meere forbearance, & speake nothing of the vnlawfulnes, no man's thoughts can make a change. 2. By this Reply ye wrong your selves, in forging from the words of the [Page] Covenant, impediments, and drawing stumbling blocks in your own way to hinder your Subscription; yee wrong the subscribers, in changing the state of the question, & in ma­king a divorce betwixt Religion and the Kings Authority, which the Covenant joyneth together. hand in hand: and, most of all, ye wrong the Kings Majestie, in bringing him upō the Stage, before his subjects, in whose minds ye wold beget, & breed susspitions, of opposing the Trueth, of making innovation of Religion, & of dealing with his subjects contrary to his laws & Proclamations & cotrary to the Oath at his Co­ronation. We are not here seeking inscitiae [...], or a starting hole of ignorance, or the smalllest disloyalty of affecti­on; but would willingly decline that for the present, which neither his Majesties wisdome, nor the prudence of States­men: nor the modestie of good Subjects, will allow you or us to dispute. The Crowns and Scepters of Kings would be more tenderlie tonched, than the ordinarie Subjects of Schoole Disputes. The naked naming, & bare rpoposall of certaine suppositions, such (as some are made by you) cannot but reflex upon Authoritie, & sound harsh in the eares of all his Majesties good Subjects who wish, he may long and prosperously reigne over us. 3. His Majesties most honou­rable privie Counsell, hath proven more fauourable to this cause, of maintaining the reformed Religion, than many Pa­stors, whom by reason of their place & Calling, it beeseemed to goe before others; & altho according to their wonted custome, they gave warrant, to make his Majesties Procla­mation, yet on good grounds remonstrated unto them by the Supplicants, they willinglie refused their Appro­bation, therof; hoping that his Majestie should be moved to give greater satisfaction thereafter: and this is not our saying, but a publicke doing, before many honourable wit­nesses; of which number, some were directed unto you, whose report yee have no reason to call in question. 4, It becommeth us, to judge charitably of the intentions of our Superiors; but most of all, of the Intentions of our dread So­veraigne. Yet if that hold good which the Supplicants have [Page] offred to prove, that the Service booke, & Canons, containe a reall innovation of Religion wee must judge otherwise, de conditione operis, of the matters contained in the book than de intentione operant is, of his Majesties intention; altho the inten tion of the Prelats & their associats, the Authors and Con­trivers of the Bookes be most justly suspected by us. 5. It is no delight to us, and can bee but small comfort to you, to mention the wrongs, which by you are done to us all who have joyned in this Couenant, & doe adhere to the Religion as it was reformed in this Land; in your estimation and wrytings, we are rebellious perjured, hereticks. schismaticks, blind guides, seducers, miserable interpreters, ignorants: shall such men as these bee your reverend Brethren? Is this your meeknesse & charitie? Is this the duetie ye expect from us? But setting these aside, yee have wronged us, in with-hol­ding your hand and helpe from so good a Cause, of purging Religion, & reforming the Kirke from so many grosse Abu­ses, and opposing all those who have modestlie laboured for Reformation Your speaches in private, in your cham­bers, beds of sicknes, & in your missives, & in publicke, at tables and in Synods, which are come to our knowledge; wee wish rather should be remembred, & repented of, by your selves, than bee recited by us, who desire not to work you any trouble. 6. Altho there be a perpotuall harmonie betwixt the Word and Workes of GOD, sarre contrarie to that which wee find to bee amongst the children of men; yet often it commeth to passe, that the Word and Warnings of GOD, which we heare with our eares, are not belie­ved, till we behold with our eyes, the plaine Commentaries thereof, in his Works. Many Proofs and notable Documents have beene observed of the Finger of GOD, in the Worke in hand, the Characters of the gaeat Workes of GOD'S, more than ordinarie Providence, since the beginning, are legible heere. Then did the LORD bgin this work, when the Adversaries were raised to a great hight, and become intolerably insolent. The beginnings were small, and in the eyes of the world contemptible; such as use to bee the be­ginnings [Page] not of the works of men, but of the magnificke Works of GOD: the power of GOD sensible in the hearts of many, & manifested by the joy; the tearesand cryes of many thousands, at the solemne renewing of this Covenant, hath beene a matter of admiration and amazement, never to bee forgotten, to many wise and ancient Pastors and Pro­fessors, who did also finde an unwonted flame, warming their owne breasts; the plots and workings of the adversa­ry, have wroug [...] against their own projects, & have served [...]or our endes, m [...]e than all that have beene thought, or done by our selves, that wee may justly say, what they de­vysed, for evill, the LORD hath turned to good: manie thousands conveened, diverse times, in one place, have beene kept in such order & quyetnesse, without the smallest trouble, in such sobernesse & temperance, without excesse or riot, that hardly can History furnish a Paralell, & what effectes there bee already throughout the Land, of Pietie in domestick worship, in observing the exercises of Religion. in publick, of sobernesse in dyet and appatrell, & of righteous­nesse and concord, wee trust shall be sensible by the Blessings of GOD upon us, and shall be examplarie to the Posteritie, These wee present unto you, and unto all, as a Commentary, written by the LORD'S owne hand; wishing againe, that neither yee nor others, bee sound fighting against GOD, Who so is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall un­derstand the loving kindnes of the Lord. Psal 107. 43. Lord; when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see but they shall see, & hee ashamed for their envy at the people. Is. 26. 11.

Master Alexander Henderson, Minister at Leuchars.
Master David Dickson, Minister at Irwin.

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