THE HISTORY OF THE INDULGENCE Shewing its Rise, Conveyance, Progress and Acceptance: Together with a Demonstration of the Unlawfulness thereof, And an Answere to contrary Objections: As also a Vindication of such, as scruple to hear the Indulged. By a PRESBYTERIAN.

Printed in the Year MDCLXXVIII.

TO THE CHRISTIAN READERS, Particularly, the suffering Ministers and Professors in the CHURCH of SCOTLAND.

Reverend, much honoured, and dearly beloved;

I hope, I need not tell you, (whom I look upon and ad­dresse my self unto, as taught of God, not onely in the main; but in many things that relate to our present calamitous case and condition) that the knowledge of the times, and what the Israel of God ought to do, should be your Orna­ment & Cognizance, distinguishing you from others, who are brutish in their knowledge: Neither need I tell you, how impossible it is to know, what the present day and hour makes indispen­sible dutie, without a just reflexion on what is past; for the emergents of the present day can never be improved, to the advantage of preventing the mor­row's miserie, without this; whereas hereby the present day may be made the better for yesterdayes errour. Now, that you and I may be helped to a profi­table reflexion upon what is past, and improve it to its just advantage, the Lord hath been pleased, in this common and unconcerned sopor of many, to put it upon the heart of a Servant of his, to whom he hath given dexteritie, of hand for the undertakeing, to give you and me the following History, and Account of one particular emergent, in the sad History of our time, which hath been followed with the most dismal and dire effects of any thing that hath befallen our poor Church, & the precious remnant therein, since the Holy Lord was pleased to give us up into the hand of such, as have with vio­lence and rage overturned that blessed and beautiful fabrick, reared up and erected amongst us by Him, who dwelt in it, and made our soules glade in his house, while we walked with Him, and He dwelt among us.

[Page]If this History and account be carped at, and cryed out against by some; that must be borne with; for our distempers (Alas) and distractions are arisen to that heat and height, as he who rebuk [...]th in the gate is hated, and he who speaketh uprightly is abhorred. And yet a faithful and wise Servant, seeing how his Lord is wronged, and for what the Land is made to mourne, and the Church in hazard to be utterly ruined, may not lay his hand upon his mouth, and, to prevent the opening of the mouths of others against him, give up himself to a stupid silence. But whatever some may judge or say of what is here said, and set before us, wisdom will be justified of her Children: and I am sure, the account given will be refreshful and acceptable to many, who love the truth, and lament these our recessions and declineings from our first love & wayes. Oh if I might mix myself amongst the mourners, and those whose souls are melted & poured-out in them, in this heart-rending reflexion!

I shall at present forbeare to go so far backward, as to set before your eye, (which may make you and me goe mourning to our grave, and ought to be remembered by us for that very end) what was our carriage, or rather, what were our miscarriages, in the day, when the Enemy, with displayed banner and open-faced violence, did raze and overturn all. Oh, if He would raise up some to represent us now unto ourselves, according to what we really were in that day; that so we for our part might goe mourning to the grave, and the succeeding generations might thereby take warning, and be­ware to tread our path, or trace our steps, lest, as we have done, they should stumble, fall and be broken.

Leaving therefore this sad subject, I come to make a blunt and abrupt in­quirie how did we behave? What was our Posture and Practice after we had so stupidly stood by, till we saw the whole work overturned, without of­fering to interpose effectually to prevent its ruine, or fall with it? And now, when we ourselves were thrust from the publick Exercise of our Ministrie, are we found lamenting after the Lord? Are we found lying in the dust, loathing ourselves in the remembrance of the sad and soul-afflicting ruine, which fell under our hand? Is there now a corresponding how to excite one another unto the first Love, and to the first works of the Church of Scotland? doth the sorrow of every mans soul look-out at his eye, while he beholds the desolation of the Sanctuary, the Mountain of Zion laid waste, and the Foxes walking upon it, and considers how he hath not onely outlived the depart­ing of the glory, but must, if he see, and lay to heart what hath been in his hand, carrie his own tormenter about with him, as having by his conni­veing, or a cowardise, unworthy of the Spirit of Ambassadours for Christ, [Page] contributed to the advancement of the enemies desperat designe? Do we now meet, and set dayes apart alone and together, on this very designe, to mourn, to pour out our hearts before Him, to weep upon Him, importuning Him, and praying with all manner of prayer and supplication for Light, for Life, for Zeal, for Courage; that as being strengthened with all might, according to his glorious Power, we might be in case to stand and withstand, in so evil a day, and having done all to stand? Did we, as knowing from what had past, and as not ignorant of his devices, plead with our Lord, that we might not be left, nor led into temptation; but that we might be up­held in our integritie, and helped upon all hazards to witnesse our soul ab­horrence at the wayes of these turners aside, and overturners of the work of God? Did we, as faithful Ambassadours of Christ, fixedly loyal to our exalted Prince; or as true Lovers of the soul-interest of those, who by their way had witnessed there was no feare of God before their eyes, yea that they had forgotten, or delete the apprehension of that Eternal God, who is above them; and so in the madnesse of their apostasie, without all inquirie or care, whether that way did lead them, or where it would Land them, run as en­ràged upon the bosses of the buckler of God Almightie? Did we, I say, deal plainly with the men of these abominations, these prodigious wicked­nesses, these hateful and heaven-dareing practices? Did we beseech, obtest, exhort, yea and with an Ambassadour-becoming boldnesse charge them, in the name of the liveing God, to returne, as they would not be turned into hell, for these their treacherous turnings away from Him, and transcendent­ly wicked turnings against Him? Nay alas! Whatever were the secrete mournings, the sorrowings, the grievings of some, which, I hope, are on recorde in Heaven; yet, the first thing that is heard of in others, after an interval of shameful and sinful silence, is a fearlesse making and medling with the stated enemies of the work of God, even while breathing-out a keen­nesse of crueltie against the more zealous faithful Ministers and Professors, and this fearlessé medling (ere mourning over former unfaithfulnesses and miscarriages had gone before; ere Brethren, equallie concerned in the case, and on whom the care of the Church did equallie lye, yea and of some of them I may say, were no lesse eaten up with the zeal of His house, than the Consulters, were consulted) produced this that fatal Indulgence; and to use the Vindicators phrase [which he in useing, upon the occasion and account he makes use of it, to detestation abused] hinc illae lachrymae.

Alas? What else but a further defection could be exspected, as the issue and result of these medlings, betwixt, (on the one part) not onely the [Page] Chiefe Instruments of all these incumbent Calamities; but men set upon this mischiefe, how to destroy by dividing, and ruine by their Methodes, beyond hope of an escape or recovery, the poor remnant; and root-out the remembrance of that People, and Partie, whom in their thoughts, desi­res and designes, they had devoted to destruction. And (on the other part) what ever the men had formerly been, or still were; yet I must say it (and let none mistake me so far, as if I intended hereby to reproach or reflect; far be it from my soul; for while I am constrained to mention it, I desire to let my ink drop out of my Pen here, with a wrung and wounded heart; and to writ as knowing what I now say must meet me at the Tribunal; nay, I would for­beare to say it, if I did not beleeve it should meet me there, if I smothered what I am now about to say, in a truth-prejudgeing silence) men in as ill case to have made or medled in the concerns of Christ and his Church, with the men, with whom they had then to doe, in their circumstances, as ever any Godly men in our Church were. I desire not to be put to the unpleasant necessitie of dilating this further; Nor, if necessitie be laid upon me (since it is the pure interest of truth, I desire to aime at, without respect of Per­sons) shall I decline it, though for that I should be yet more vile.

Now, as foregoing untendernesse & declineing had paved the way, & pre­pared us, for this new step of further defection; so this wretched Indulgence hath had the most deplorable & dismal effects; & if the Lord do not graciously deliver his Servants & Church from what it tends to & threatens, it is like to be & prove more fatall to the Poor languishing Remnant, than any step of defe­ction, to which ever any Godly men were left, in the Church of Scotland. The Historie of its effects & of the bitter fruits it hath produced (which will make it the just hatred of Posteritie; as well as it is the griefe, sorrow and lamentation of many a serious soul in the Generation) is not at present my businesse; All I have to hint at this time, in reference to it, shall be shortly this. That however I doe not offer to make an addition of Arguments (for that were superfluous, Considering what the Author of the following Discourse hath so nervously adduced) yet let me addresse my self without offence; not as an acute disputant, but as a poor blunt, plain, open-hearted well wisher, to the Work and Interest of Christ, to my Indulged Brethren (not a few of whom are dear to my soul; and, I hope, though they should both de­spise me and despitefully use me, shall be so) in a few plain Questions.

Now then the Indulgence is embraced, and thanks to the givers are ren­dered by the takers. I Ask therefore First, If they could, after this their acceptance and giving of thanks to the Council, have withdrawen from [Page] that appearance, and sisted themselves before Christ Jesus, the King of his Church, and with a sweet serenitie of soul have had confidence to offer their thanks to Him, for being helped to witnesse a good Confession against the wickednesse of this Invasion, made by the Overturnes of his work, upon his Royal Prerogative, who built the house, and must beare the Glory; for it was either then or never, that it was to have been done. Secondly, Let me aske; are they so very cleare and confident in the case, as they can, not onely in dealing with men, hold up their face, and affirme, without hinck or hesita­tion, that this is their rejoyceing, even the testimonie of their Conscience; that in simplicitie and Godly sinceritie, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the Grace of God, they have had their Conversation before all men, and more aboundantly towards these backslideing Rulers, before whom they appeared, now declared enemies to the Work of God, and invaders of His Throne and Prerogative: But are they also content to be carried before the Tribunal of Christ, with this acceptance from those, who have exautorat their Lord and Master, in their hand; and to have the qualitie of their Love to the comeing of His Kingdom, and their Loyaltie to Christ Jesus, now opposed and put from the exercise of his Royal Government by the Partie Indulgeing, in this very Indulgence, tried by such a Test? It were fit, sure, to think on this, and lay it to heart; for each receiver may lay his count with it, that soon or syne he shall be put to it. Thirdly, Let me aske (though I put it out of doubt, they doe, and far be it from me to think otherwise) whether they believe, that Christ, who purchased His Church, and bought His Crown with His precious blood, lives also to make intercession, and to plead his own purchase, and Procure, by vertue of the Price He hath payed, the execution of the written vengeance upon all, who will strive with Him for State and Supremacy in ordering the affairs of his house, the Church of the living God; or who will, in their desperat daring and rage, revolt and exautorat Him by their Law (which is a legal and explicit bursting of his bonds, casting away his cords from them, and, in contempt of, and Con­tradiction to the Christ of God, a formal taking of His house in Possession) as our Rulers have done; to the out-doing, in this affront to Jesus Christ, all that ever went before them; or as if they were resolved never to be out­done by any, who should come after them, in a copeing with the Mediator, and a down-right denial of Him to be King (for now they have put Caesar in his Place) sure, the Indulged Brethren neither can nor will deny this: Then they must give me leave to assert and subsume (what hath been, as oft upon my soul, as I thought upon their carriage at that appearance (yea, [Page] if they speake consequently to the supposed concession, they must agree with me in it; That with the same objective assurance, I beleeve the Right that Christ hath bought, to be sole and supreme, in regulating all the affairs of His own house, to have none to share with Him in the Autocratorick, Archite­ctonick and Magisterial Power of makeing Lawes, to obliege the Conscience of his Subjects, nor to be in case to give a Ministerial Power besides himself; And as I beleeve the firmnesse of the stipulation betwixt Jehovah and his Anointed, to secure unto him his throne; and take vengeance on all his Adver­saries, and as I beleeve he lives to make intercession; so I must beleeve also that, at that very instant, when the Indulged stood before the Council, and by their mouth made such a harangue; The Mediator, who is set down, at the right hand of God, was interceeding and pleading by his blood, by his wounds and Passion, for the execution of the purchased and promised ven­geance upon such, who by the complex of this very deed, in a defiance to the everlasting Decree, whereby his throne is Established, declared, they had taken unto themselves His house in Possession. Ah; my deare Brethren, can the thoughts of such a discord & discrepancy betwixt His intercession in heaven, and your harangueing on earth, enter into your soul (and I give you the defiance to enter into the serious thoughts of the matter, and hold them out) or be reflected upon, without Terrour, Trembling, Confusion of face, Shame and Astonishment.

Now my reverend and very deare Brethren, may I not, upon this [...]ccasi­on, make bold to fall before you as prostrat, and with the teare in mine eye, (for I have confidence to say it, I scarce see my Paper, while by my Pen I make this addresse unto you,) humbly and earnestly beg of you, request, beseech and obtest you, for your blessed and glorious Master's sake, who is now Crucified againe amongst us, from whose head the crown is taken; for His Churches sake, whereof he hath made you Ministers, and so mag­nified you amongst men, in sending you into the world, under the Cha­racter of his Ambassadours; for your poor broken hearted and bleeding Bre­threns sake, as ever you would be amongst the restorers of our breaches; as ever you would againe be as some of you were in times past, as the cha­riots and horsemen of Israel; as ever you would wish to be brought againe to keep His Courts, and to judge His house; and, when that work is o­ver, to have a Place amongst them that stand by; as you would not be the occasion of the rupture and utter ruine of the small remnant (for God and all good and understanding-men will refound this distracting and remnant-de­stroying Division, that is amongst us, upon this Indulgence); as you tender [Page] the good of the Posteritie, and would give an unquestionable evidence, how intensely you desire, that Jesus Christ may reign and rule without a competitor, when you are gone; As you Love to live at peace with God, and enjoy, as feeding Pastors and faithful Witnesses to your Lord, a sweet serenitie of soul? Nay as ever you exspect to goe off the stage in good termes with God, and have your Masters welcome of well done, good and faithful servants, and be enrolled, when you are gone, amongst the Confessors of his name, and holders fast of the word of his Testimonie, and such as had obtained mercy to be valiant for the truth: Let me, I say, upon all these, and many other accounts, make bold to beseech you, without more debate, without more delay, to deliver yourselves; to deliver the Church; to deliver your wounded, weeping and overwhelmed Brethren; and to deliver the Posteritie from the snare of that cause-destroying, Church ruin­ing, remnant-divideing Indulgence. Do not say, I would wheedle and fool you into an irrational implicitnesse or bogle you into a relinquishing of what you have embraced, with a parcel of words, wherein is nothing to convince you of the evil of what you have done, Read but the follow­ing History; and if, as in His sight, without prejudice or mind-occaecat­ing Passion you Peruse it, I am not without hope; but you will suffer your­selves to be overcome (which will be one of the greatest Victories you have ever obtained,) into a compliance with the humble and earnest beseech­ings not of your Poor Brother onely, but of many, who are Presenting you to God, and dare seek nothing for you, till this be obtained. Do not of­fend at this last word; for, if it were my last, I must both confesse unto you, I have never had Confidence to seek any thing for you, since you embraced that Indulgence, save this; and I know, you have, since that day, been much out of the Praiers of many serious Prayers, to whom you were, and yet are, deare, which hath been none of your advantage; yea whatever use you may make of it, yet fidelitie to you put me to use this freedom, that I have not onely found my self in fetters, but I have observed more servent Judicious and gracious Persons, to whom it was a case of Conscience; yea who had no Confidence to represent you to God, as a Part of that suffering remnant, for whom they essayed to Pour out their heart before Him, where­at you will cease to wonder, when you consider that to them, the Indul­gence was a Defection. But if the following History Prevail not with you, yet Let the History that God hath writen against that acceptance doe; Least He impose the necessitie upon some to transcribe it, and set it before your eye, for your further Conviction, and a Caution to the Posteritie. But to close [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] this, give me leave, Deare Brethren, to say this one word more; that of­ten, under my sinking soul-anguish and sorrow, because of this Indulgence, and its woeful effects, I have with an anticipat complacency essayed to allay the sharpnesse of my sorrow, and to flatter my self into a cheerfulnesse in the pleasant expectation and hope, that amongst the Indulged themselves, a­mongst so many Godly men, there was more than a may be of hope, that the Lord would pitch upon some of these, and make use of them, to disco­ver, with more conviction and advantage, the evil of this Indulgence, than any else is in case to doe: Blessed shall that man or these men be! And O that I may not be disappointed in this expectation!

I know, the following History will fall under the severe Censures of ma­ny, and not a few will be ready to cry-out against it, (who shall never be able to answer its reason, but by clamour) as unseasonable; I grant indeed, that it is the great Qualification of writing and speaking, that it be seasona­ble; and it is also the great commendation of Hearers and Readers, that they have that wisdom of heart as to discerne both time and judgement; for as a word in season and fitly spoken is like apples of go [...]d in pictures of silver; so it is a rare thing, especially in a declining time, to be in case to judge what is truely such, and, as having escaped the mistakes ariseing from precon­ceived Prejudices, to approve that which is more excellent; but whatever Prejudice may prompt some to say; yet what is said by this wise Reprover will be found and entertained as an ear-ring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold unto an obedient eare. And for my confidence in commending it, as a word in season unto the Reader, I render these reasons. First, If men consider the hainousnesse of guilt, which the Author hath clearly de­monstrat to be wrapped up in, and inseparably connected with this Indulgence, they will rather say, Alas, he hath been too long in comeing, to make a discoverie of its iniquitie; than complain as if he had come to soon. Secondly, If men take it up in its true nature and tendency, and consider imparti­ally the qualitie of its defection, according as it is here held forth, if they speake their soul, they must say, That a standing Testimony against this evil is of more value and worth, than all of us are, when sold out of the ground. Thirdly, It will not fall under the Censure of unseasonablenesse by any, except such as doe either down-right plead for the Indulgence and defend it, or else connive at it, as an aliquid nihil, not to be regarded; and it is to me, and, I hope, will be so to many, in regard of such, that the one may be cured of their Confidence and the other of their Indifferency and de­tastable Neutralitie, a word in season. Fourthly Let this silence the clamour a­bout [Page] its unseasonablenesse, and satisfie, yea plead the indispensible necessitie of it, at this time. That the Indulged Brethren have of late been more hot and high, than formerly, even to the threatning of men into a silence at its defection, by boasting us with a Vindication of the Lawfulnesse of their Acceptance; and therefore, as to them it ought to be justly reckoned seaso­nable. Fiftly, Because somewhat hath been of late done even by the Non-Indulged, not onely to the strengthening of the hands of the Indulged, and giving them new confidence in their course, in obliquo, by covering all, and carrying towards them, as if they had done nothing amisse, But upon the matter (for it is beyond my shallow capacitie otherwise to interpret, or under­stand the deed) by a direct homologating of that Indulgence; for now silence, as to all speaking against this evil, is made the very Door and Porch, thorow which all the Intrants to the Ministery must passe. I hope, they will not al­leage, that this is misinformation, for now we have it under their own hand; and the breach of this engagement is brought and laid down as a ground, upon which a Young man is challenged; And therefore, its now simply necessate yea more then high time to discover and detect the blacknesse of its defecti­on, when the Church is thus brought in bondage by it. Sixtly, The severe in­sulting over some of the poor remnant, who cannot forbeare to witnesse their abhorrence at it, and dare not dissemble their hatred of it, constrained the Author to give the world this account, to convince them, how little reason the one Partie hath to insult thus over their poor Brethren, and how litle cause the other have to be ashamed of witnessing their dislike. Seventhly, Be­cause it hath been often and still is objected to us, that we have made a hide­ous hue and cry after it, as a theefe, but neither would nor could render a reason, or prove it to be a coming-in not by the right door, but a climbing up by another way: And therefore, the Interest of truth constrained the Au­thor, to give them and the world such a Plain and Publick Account of the rea­sons of his just dissatisfaction, as may abide ad futuram rei memoriam. And Lastly, Because there is a may be of hope, that as some at least of these Godly men Indulged may be hereby taken off, and all of them made more sober, and lesse violent; so it is much more to be hoped, that the Non-Indulged will hence-forth more seriously consider what way to deliver the Church from this evil, their Brethren out of the snare, and how to keep themselves free from the transgression of giving this evil any interpretative countenance; (for if God put it upon their heart to apply it, the Plaister is in their hand, to wit, a just discountenanceing of this as a defection.) And withal that they will henceforth appeare more friendly towards the real Lovers of them and the [Page] cause; and holders fast of their integritie, and lesse severe against such, who ought to be countenanced, cherished, and encouraged for their upright­nesse in hateing the Supremacy, as the spring, and all the streames that flow from that corrupt and cursed fountain; and hereby shall they have better ac­cesse, when real affection and tendernesse upon these accounts is witnessed, to curbe or cure these excesses, which are not inseparable from, yea inci­dent to the zeal of the best of Saints out of heaven; for it is there that our fire will want smoak. Deare Brethren I shall detain you no longer from Peruseing this History. And that you may in calmenesse and without Prejudice consi­der what is said; and that the Lord God himself may, as in all things, so in this thing also, give you Light, is for you the soul-desire of

Your poor afflicted Brother and welwisher.


AFter the unexpected Alteration (which proved in­deed a Convulsion falling-out so suddenly) that came upon the Church, after the Kings restauration, when beside many other sad passages, (and too many here to be commemorated) the memorie of which may make tears trickle down from our eyes, so many of the able, painful, faithful and succesful labourers in the Vineyard of the Lord were by one Act of Councel at Glasgow Anno 1662. put from their work; and by violence thrust out of the Vineyard, where the Lord had set them to labour; even to the number of Three hundered and above. Nor was it enough to the Rulers to banish all those by an Act from their own Parishes; but to make this banishment yet more grievous, and the life of those faithful Servants of Christ yet more bitter and less vital, they thereafter did command them to remove from their own Paroches twentie miles, six miles from a Cathedral Church, and three miles from a Brugh. After (I say) this surprizing and astonishing blow, tending so directly to the over­throw of the Lords Ministrie, in that Church, and the Introduction afterward of ab­jured Prelacie, whereby the Church became suddainly filled with aswarme of locusts; and the many Acts made to enforce a compliance among the people with this defe­ction, and actual conformity thereunto, and that so violently and rigorously, as even simple withdrawing was made seditious and criminal, and severely punished: the ejected Ministers began to think with themselves, that this tyrannical ejection did not, nor could not, unminister them, or make them no more Ministers of Christ; so as they might not preach the Gospel, wherever they were, as Ambassadours of Christ; but, on the contrary, they saw, that they lay under the wrath and dis­pleasure of God, if they should not preach Christ; and that a necessity was laid up­on them, yea and wo was unto them, if they preached not the Gospel; according to that 1 Cor. 9: v. 16. and they observed likewise, that the necessity was now great, yea greater than ever, upon many accounts: And on the other hand, the people [Page 2] being more and more alienated from the Swarm of Curats, as being not only prodi­giously profane, and lascivious, vaine and ignorant (enough to demonstrate, that they were never the authorized Messengers of Christ) but also highly guilty of per­jurie and defection, in their compliance with, receiving their commission immediat­ly from, acting in subordination to, and by a power derived from the abjured Prelates, contrare to the Word of God, the Primitive Pattern and our own Reformation, confirmed by Oaths, solemne Vowes and Covenants; and being sensible of an ob­ligation still lying upon them to owne the outed Ministers, as the faithfull Servants of Christ, and therefore under a necessity to hear them, and to receive the Ordinan­ces of Christ, as dispensed by them: both the one and the other saw themselves called to some other exercise, both to restifie their adherence to their former avo­wed Profession, their abhorrence of the abjured re-introduced Prelacie, and their willingness to keep Christ, in his pure Ordinances, in the Land.

Wherefore not a few of the more serious Ministers, bethinking themselves, and considering the many obligations lying upon them, to preach, and to be instant in season and out of season, and considering the urgent necessitie, and withall the cheerful readiness and willingness of the people to hear, saw themselves called of God to preach as Ministers of the Gospel, wherever providence ordered their abode; and thereupon, as occasion offered, preached unto all such as were willing to hear; but at first (that they might as little displease the Rulers, as possible) only in privat houses, and that for the most part, (if not altogether) at such times, when there was no publick Worshipe in the publick meeting places. (A superplus of caution.)

But such was the rage of the new installed Prelates, and such was their Indigna­tion at, and Enmitie against those outed Ministers, and chiefly at and against the work they were about, as knowing that if Christ were keeped in the Land, and a memory only of him were reserved, they could enjoy no quiet in their usurpations; that they ceased not to stirre up the Rulers, to all extravagancies of Cruelty, for suppressing of the Innocent, Peacable and Harmeless Assemblings. Hence came severe prohibitions, discharging all such meetings under exorbitant Penalties, both upon the Masters of the houses, where these Assemblies were found, and upon the Minister found there exercising, and upon all and every one present, without ex­ception, Hence were houses forced and searched, and many hailed to prisons, and several necessitate to escape at windowes with the hazard of their lives; Officers and Spies sent unto and set in several suspected places, to seize and fall upon such, as they found at such meetings, or but suspected to have been there: whence it came to passe that many, both men and women, young and old, have been dragged to Prisons, and there closs keeped, as if they had been the worst of Malefactors, be­sides several other outragious and illegal Acts of Violence and Oppression committ­ed against them, contrarie to all Law, Equitie and Conscience.

The faithful Ministers and people, desireing still to follow the Lord, in the duty of the day, and finding so many and so great Difficul [...]ies, in their Assembling in Houses, where they were so easily attraped, and could with so great hazard meet, and with difficultie escape the hands of these Burrioes, were constrained at last to keep their Meetings in the fields, though without all shelter from Cold, Winde, Snow, and Raine: Whereupon the rage and fury of the Rulers, instigated by the Pre­lates, did break forth into more excessive and boundless Flames: Whence came seve­re [Page 3] Acts of Councel and Parliament against the same; and all wayes of cruelty ima­ginable taken, to suppress these House and Field meetings; field meetings being dis­charged under the paine of death unto the Minister and Convocater, and other grievous penalties unto such as did meet: Which course of severity and rigour hath con­tinued unto this day: But to mention the several Steps, Methods, Means, Conse­quences and Effects of this Tragoedie, would make too long a digression,

It is sufficient for us to notice, that the Suppressing of these Meetings hath been the butt, a [...] which a great part (if not the far greatest) of the Acts and Actings of the Rulers have been levelled, ever since they began to appear; and the onely occa­sion of so many Acts of Cruelty, and of Enormitie in point of Justice and Legality▪ they being the onely eye-sore of these Enemies to Christ and His Interest, and that which they had been hitherto, both with cruelty and craft, seeking to destroy, by Tyrannical Acts and Lawes, and by more Tyrannical and illegal Executions; as if these Assemblers had been no more lawful Subjects, but open Traitours, and the Worst of Rebels. Hence came the filling of P [...]isons with such as were appre­hended, the sending of such Ministers as were taken into the Basse; the setting of a great summe of Money upon the Heads of some; liberty granted to Souldiers to wound and kill, in seeking to apprehend Ministers, and to apprehend and trouble any person they found on the high-wayes; the selling of honest people, as Slaves, unto the French Captains, and unto Persons going to America; the Banishing of the Wives and Children of the outed Ministers, that were come to Edinburgh for shelter, commanding them to dislodge within the short day prefixed, under the paine of being forcibly shut up, or dragged out; the appointment of a Major in Edinburgh, with command over the Town Guards, and a good salarie for this very end, to ap­prehend, at all times, all such Ministers or people, as he could finde Assembling together; the out-lawing of several Ministers, and many hundereds of Professors, discharging all supply, were it but of bread or water or of a nights lodging, to be given unto them; and what not?

In the midst of all this furie, and after the quashing by blood, illegall & most falsly patcht up for saltures, of severall estates escheating and confiscating of goods, of that trouble Anno 1666., occasioned through the Barbarous Execu­tions of illegal Commands, against simple Non-complyers with the course of Pre­lacy, the King (at whose instigation, or in compliance with whose Desire and Re­quest, I know not; but that it was not of God, nor of Christ, nor of the Spirit, that I know) essayeth other meanes, and taketh other measures; (but all tending unto the same destructive end designed, to wit, the suppressing and banishing out of the Land all these Memorials of the Lords Covenanted Interest, and of his pre­sence in the Land, the Assemblies, (I mean) of his Servants, to serve and Wor­shipe him; according to the pure Order of the Gospel, after the example of Christ and his Apostles, & those primitive Christians, which willingly followed and heard them,) when by cruelty the Rulers saw they were not able to attaine their end, but the more they laboured that way, to suppress these meetings, the greater and more frequent they grew, the craftie device of an Indulgence to some certaine select per­sons of the whole outed Ministers is fallen upon; which if it had been more Ge­neral or Universal, than it was, had in all probability, proven an effectual meane for attaining of that, which they were so earnestly labouring for, viz. the extinction of the whole Remnant.

[Page 4]Being now to discourse of this Indulgence, as it is called, we shal beginne where it began to appear; that is at the Kings Letter to the Councel hereanent, dated at W [...]it [...]hal the 7. of Iuny 1669. which was as followeth.


Right Trustee &c. Wee Greet You well.

Whereas by the Act of Councel and Proclamation at Glasgow in the Yeer 1662. a Considerable number of Ministers were at once turned out, and so debarred from preaching of the Gospel, and ex­ercise of the Ministerie; we are graciously pleased to authorize you, our Privie Councel, to appoint so many of the outted Ministers, as have lived peacably and orderly in the places, where they have resided, to returne to preach and exercise othe [...] functions of the Ministery, in the Paroch Churches, where they formerly served, (provided they be vacant) & to allow Patrons to present to other vacant Churches, such others of them, as you shall approve. And that such of these Ministers, as shall take Collation from the Bishop of the Diocie, and keep Pres­byteries and Synods, may be warranted to lift their stipends, as other Ministers of the Kingdom. But for such, as are not, or shall not be collated by the Bishop, that they have no warrand to meddle with the vacant Stipend, but only to possesse the Manse and Gleib; and that you appoint a Collector for these and all other va­cant stipends, who shall issue the same, and pay yeerly maintenance to the saids not collated Ministers, as you shall see fit to appoint.

That all who are restored, or allowed to exercise the Ministrie, be in our Name & by our Authoritie enjoined, to constitute and keep Kirk-Sessions, to keep Pres­byteries and Synods, as was done by all Ministers before 1638. And that such of them, as shall not obey our Commands in keeping Presbyteries, be confined with­in the bounds of the Paroches, where they preach, aye and while they give assu­rance to keep Presbyteries for the future.

That all, who shall be allowed to preach, be strickly enjoined, not to admit any of their Neighbour or other Paroches unto their Communions, nor Baptize their Children, nor marry any of them, without the allowance of the Minister of the Paroch, to which they belong, unless it be vacant for the time. And if it be found upon complaint made by any Presbytery to you, our Privie Councel, that the people of the Neighbour, or other Paroches, resort to their Preach­ings, and deserte their own Paroch Churches, that according to the degree of the offence and disorder, you silence the Minister, who countenances the same, for shorter or longer time, or altogether turne out, as you see cause. And upon complaint made and verified of any seditious discourse or expressions in the Pul­pit, or else where, uttered by any of these Ministers, you are immediatly to turn them out, and further punish them according to Law, and the degree of the offence.

That such of the outted Ministers, who live peacablie and orderly, and are not reentered, or presented as aforesaid, have allowed to them foure hundereth merks Scots, Yeerly, out of the vacant Churches, for their maintenance, till they be provided of Churches. And that even such, who shall give assurance to live so, for the future, be allowed the same yeerly maintenance.

And seing we have by these orders, taken away all pretences for Conventicles, [Page 5] and provided for the want of such as are, & will be peacable: If any shall be found hereafter to preach without Authoritie, or keep Conventicles, our express plea­sure is, That you proceed with all severity against the Preachers and Hearers, as seditous Persons, and contemners of our Authority. So leaving the Managment of these disorders to your prudence, and recommending them to your care, we bid you farewell.


Ere we proceed, it will not be amiss to set down here some few most obvious re­marks, to the end, we may come to understand better the nature, and true import of this Indulgen [...]e, where of this Letter is the ground and Basis. And

1. We see it is said, That by the Act of Council, and Proclamation at Glasgow An. 1662. a considerable number of Ministers were at once turned out; and so (N.B.) debarred from preaching of the Gospel and exercise of the Ministrie. Whence we cannot but ob­serve, That those Ministers, who were by that Act at Glasgow banished from their Paroch-Churches, were not only debarred and hindered from preaching of the Gospel, and Exercise of their Ministrie, in their own Congregations (which could not but follow by an inevitable consequence) But in the sense and meaning of the Court, they were by vertue of that sentence debarred from, and incapacitated for preaching of the Gospel, and the Exercise of the Ministrie, any where; and so according to the meaning of the Civil Magistrate, emitting this Edict, these Mini­sters were simpliciter deposed from their Ministrie, and looked upon as men, having no longer power or warrand, before God or Man, to preach the Gospel, or dis­pense Ordinances, as Ministers thereof. Whence it followeth, that the Indulgence (as it is called) is a full and formal opening of their mouth againe; & (as to some) a Reponing of them, according to the meaning of the Indulgers; who doubtless will not say, (What ever the plain Language of their Practice be) that they have power to countermand what God hath commanded, or to discharge such, from serving Christ in the Ministrie, as he hath strickly enjoined, and that upon all high­est peril, to serve him so; but they think, they have power from God, to silence Ministers from preaching when they will; and againe to open their mouthes, and grant them liberty to Exercise the Ministrie, as they see good; and that the Lord Authorizeth what they do; and so, they do but what Church-Judicatories were in use to do formerly, or Prelates yet do, as to such, who are under them.

Here then being a Full, Formal, and judicial Power, granted to such, as were, in the Courts Iudgement, put from their Office, deprived of and debarred from the libertie of exercising the same, or any part thereof, to re-enter into the full and free Exercise of the same; it appeareth to me to be undeniable, That the accepters of this Indulgence have, upon the matter, assented unto this grievous incroach­ment upon the Priuileges of the Church of Christ. Our Church never thought it competent to the Civil Magistrat, to depose Ministers from their Office, or to sus­pend them from the Exercise thereof. Let the Second Book of Discipline be viewed; Let the CXI. Propositions be considered; Let the Propositions for Government be look­ed upon; Let our first or Second Confession of faith, or the late Confession, drawn up at West-Minster be pondered; Let the writtings of our worthies Mr Rutherfoord, and [Page 6] Mr. Gillispy be read; Yea, let all our publick proceedings, and the whole tenor of the pub [...]ick actings of our Church be remembered, and it will be seen, that the granting of this unto the Magistrate is point-blank contrary unto all these; Yea, & to all the writtings of the Orthodox Anti-Arminian Anti-Erastian Divines.

But I know it will be said. That the Receivers of the Indulgence cannot helpe what the Magistrate saith; they know what themselves think; and as they did not look upon themselves as deposed, when banished from their own Parishes, as appeared by their preaching else where after that sentence; so they grant no such power now unto the Magistrate: Yea, when some of the Indulged were some yeers thereafter called before the Councel, it was said roundly by their Mouth, That they had received their Ministrie from Iesus Christ. But I answere, (1.) Though the In­dulged could not cause the Magistrate speak otherwise, than he would; yet they were Masters of themselves, and of their own actions; and they had liberty to do and speak that, which before the world might testifie and declare, that they did not assent unto that assuming of Church power, but on the contrary did dissent there from, and protest against it, as a sinful Usurpation and Incroachment. What pub­lick Protestation was, I pray, given in against this, first or last? What Plaine and Positive Testimonie was borne unto the Doctrine & Practice of our Church, in this point, which many of our forebearers did owne unto Banishment and Bloud? (2.) As for that, which was said by the mouth of some of them, (of which more after­ward) it was but a poor salvo, in the case; bec [...]use no man breathing, neither Ma­gistrate, nor Church-Judicatory, can properly give the Ministerie; that being pro­per to Christ Jesus alone: Men only can Instrumentally and Ministerially convey & apply the power, which is of Christ, unto such or such a Person: now I suppose these Brethren, who spoke so by their mouth, did not think or meane, that they had their Ministrie from Christ immediatly, without the intervention of an instru­mental and ministerial cause: So that notwithstanding of this, by their practice they might and did declare, that the Civil Magistrat was the Instrumental and Ministeri­al cause, lawfully Authorized to repone them to their Ministrie; that is, that all that power of Deposeing & Reponing of Ministers, which by our Reformed Doc­trine, Discipline and Practice, hath been asserted to agree only to Church-Offi­cers and Church-Judicatories, is competent to the Civil Magistrate, as such (3.) Further it may be noticed, that a Minister once deposed, or suspended, and now reponed by a lawful Presbytery, might say the same, to wit. That he receiveth his Mi­nistrie from Iesus Christ, with full Prescriptions from him &c. Without the least questi­oning of the lawful Ministerial and Instrumental power of the Presbyterie, in that affaire: So that it is manifest, that this could not salve them from a real acknow­ledging the Council upon the matter, to have the Ministerial power of Deposing and Reponing of Ministers; and that, de jure. (4.) Itis true, thei [...] preaching else where, after their Banishment from their own Congregations, will say, that in so far, they did not acknowledge themselves deposed from the function; yet it will not help much; for their by past faithful deportment will not lessen their fainte at this time, but rather aggravat their cedeing, or their silence, at the accept­ing of this Indulgence, springing forth of such a fountaine. Their by past hon­est carriage (I speak here upon supposition, that they did sedulously preach else­where, when thrust from their own Charges; though I apprehend, it will be found [Page 7] true, but of a few of them) should have prompted them now to a plaine declaration of their adherence to their former Principles, and of their abhorrence of such gross and Palpable Invasions upon, and Usurpation of the power, which Christ hath grant­ed only to his Church.

2. We may remarke, that it is said, We are graciously pleased to authorize you, our Privie Councel (N.B.) to appoint so many of them &c. and againe, as you shall approve of. Whence it is obvious (1.) That all the power, which the Privie Councel had, was from the King; and consequently, that they go no greater length, than the Kings Letter did allow; and that their Actings could not justle with, or cross the Scope, Intent and Designe of his Maj. Letter; but fully comply therewith in all points, and in all its Designes. So that, when any doubt ariseth anent what the Councel did, we must, for obtaining of Satisfaction and Clearness, have our recourse to this pri­mum mobile, the Spring and Principle of this Motion, and the Ground and Basis of the Councels Actings: Yea we must interpret the Actings and Deed of the Coun­cel by this Letter, which was their Cynosure, by which they were to direct their course, and their Rule and Ground of Acting. (2.) Itis obvious allo, that That power, which they are authorized to exercise, is a Power to appoint such and such Persons, as they think meet, and shall approve of, to go to such and such places. It was not then a Command given, or a power granted to recal the Act of Glasgow, whereby the Ministers were banished from their Charges; but a power to meddle with pure Church-matters, and that immediatly; that is, to judge and cognosce of the Qualifications of Ministers; and so to approve or not approve of them; and a powe [...] of installing such as they approved of, in such places, as they shall think meet, and none else. These things are plaine. And it is manifest, that there is herein a Plaine, Clear, Palpable and Gross Incroachment on the Liberties of the Church, and on the Power granted to her of the Lord Christ Jesus, as no man will deny, who is not a stranger to the Word of God, and to the Principles of Presbyterian Govern­ment, and to all the Acts and Actings of our Church from the very first Reforma­tion from Popery. Wherefore, seing it is known, that in this case, qui tacet consen­tire videtur, he who is silent, is construed to consent: And it hath been alwayes ac­counted in our Church (and is so also by the Word of God) a sinful compliance with a wicked course, not to give faithful, free and timeous Testimonie against the same; it is undeniable, that these indulged Persons, accepting this Indulgence, conveyed through such a channel, & flowing from sucha fountaine, as is already shown have not only fainted, as to their duty; but are interpretatively assenters unto this Usurpation.

3. The Qualification of those, who are to be restored to the Ministrie, is here also to be remarked, in those Words, So many of the outted Ministers, as have (N. B.) lived peacable and orderly, in the places, where thy have resided. I shall be far from say­ing, that Ministers should not live peacably and orderly; but we ought to consider, what is accounted, living peacably and orderly, by such as propose this Qualification: And that sure, to speake it in the smoothest of Termes, is a negative compliance with all their Tyranny, Oppression of Church and Countrey, Bloudshed, Over­turning of the Work of God, Establishing iniquity by Law, Perjurie, Apostasie, Re-establishing of Perjured Prelats, and abjured Prelacie, intruding of Hirelings; Persecution of conscientious people, for not acknowledging of these Hirelings as lawful Ministers of the Gospel &c. That is to say, have been very quiet and silent, [Page 8] as to the bearing of faithfull witness unto the Cause of God, and the work of Refor­mation, according to our solemne Oaths and Covenants; and have been loath to transgres any of their iniquous Lawes; and careful to walk and carry so, in all their deportment, as not [...]o displease them in the least. Now I would think that this very thing should have been enough to have scarred tender conscientious persons from accepting this Indulgence. What Son of the Church of Scotland could have accep­ted of a favour, in the bosome of which lay this Reproach? Who could have ac­cepted of this Indulgence, and not with all openly have thereby declared, that he was one of those peacable livers, for whom it was designed, and upon whom in special, as such, it was to be conferred? And however this peacableness and orderliness was accounted a good Qualification by the Rulers, and a satisfactory Mark unto thē of the fitness of these Persons, for receiving of their favours, and a sufficient ground of security unto them, that these Persons would not stand in the way of their further destructive progress, nor marre them in their further pernicious designes: It seem­eth strange to me, that conscientious Sons of the Church of Scotland, should have suffered themselves to be looked upon, with such a special eye of favour by those Enemies, and to be distinguished from others by such a Character, as in our good times, and according to the wholsome Canons of our Church, would have exposed them unto the highest of Church Censures. Had they not then a faire occasion here, yea and a loud [...]all, to vindicat themselves from this Aspersion, howbeit esteemed, judged and declared the prime and indulgence-procureing Qualification by the Ru­lers; and to have born witness unto the Truth of God; if their desire to the offer­ed favour, and love to that esteem with the Rulers, had not been too excessive and prevalent?

But there is another thing beside remarkable here, to wit. That here we see, the Magistrate assumeth to himself power to prescribe, to determine and to judge of the necessary Qualifications of Ministers, or of their Qualifications sine quibus non. And moreover, That the accepters of the Indulgence after this manner, did, upon the mat­ter, and interpretativly, give their assent to, and approbation of these two things: First, That the Magistrate, as such, hath power to prescribe, to specifie and to de­clare what are indeed, and what he will have to be looked on as, the only Qualifica­tions, necessarily requisite in Ministers: And next, That the Qualifications, by him here specified and expressed, are the only Qualifications necessarily requisite in Mi­nisters: And consequently, that the Apostles and Primitive Ministers, who neither could nor would have lived so peacablie in reference to the Heathen Emperou [...]s, and their wicked Decrees, when no more repugnant to the Interest of Christ and of the Gospel, than the Decrees and Executions of our Rulers have been, were not right­ly qualified for the Ministrie. Adde to these, That hereby they acknowledged themselves to be duely qualified after this manner, that is, to have been and yet to be such, (and that deservedly, after the Court construction) as have lived peaceablie and orderly, in the places, where they have resided.

4. There is another remark in the Letter obvious, where it is said [That such of these Ministers, (i.e. who are indulged) as shall take Collation from the Bi [...]hop of the Dio­cie, and keep Presbyteries and Synods, shall be warranted to lift up their stipends, as other Ministers of the Kingdom. But such as are not, or shall not be collated, shall have no war­rand to meddle with the local stipend; but onely to possesse the Manse and Gleibe and shall [Page 9] have such a yeerly maintainance, as the Councel shall think fit to appoint, out of the vacat stipends.] Though this, at the first view, may not seem very material, yet it will have its own weight, when we consider these things following, (1.) That the Law of God alloweth such, as serve at the Altar, to live by the Altar; and that the very ox, that treadeth out the Corn, should not be muzzled; and that the labourer should have his hire; as we see 1 Cor. 9. Gal. 6: ver. 6. 1 Tim. 5:17, 18. And that all Equity and Reason requireth, that the Benefice should follow the Office, as an accessorie and consequent thereunto. (2.) That Ministers stipends are a part of the Church-rents and Emoluments; and are as proper and due unto the Ministers of the Gospel, who serve in the place, as the Rents of any mans heritage is to him, who enjoyeth it; these being irrevocablie given away and dedicated to the Church, and the said Do­nation confirmed and ratified by Law. (3.) Our second Book of Discipline, ap­proven in all points by the General Assemblie, prescribeth other Collectours of the­se Stipends, or of the Church Rents, than such as the King or Councel should name, and that in conformitie to the Word of God and Primitive Patern; as we see Chap. 9. Where, speaking of the Patrimonie of the Kirk, and of the Distribution thereof; and after they have told what they meane by the Patrimonie of the Kirk they have these words. To take any of this Patrimony by unlawful meanes, and convert it to the peculiar and prophane use of any person, we hold it a detestable Sacrilege before God: And then they adde: That the goods Ecclesiastick ought to be collected and distributed by the Deacons, as the Word of God appoints, that they who bear Office in the Kirk be provided for, with­out care or solicitude. (4.) That there is an introduction here made to that, which may ever hereafter prove noxious and hurtful to the Church; even way made to the bring­ing of the Ministers of the Gospel under perfect slavery unto the State; for hereby we see they must be obnoxious to them, and depend upon them, not only for the quota of their stipend; but also for the actual and yeerly payment thereof; for yeerly must there an address be made unto the Councel, or to the Exchequer, by every Minister for his Stipend: though this be altered now; yet there was no appearance of it, at their accepting of the Indulgence, and several yeers after. Though this may seem but a matter of small moment; yet we think faithful Ministers should have been tender of the least thing, which might but occasion, or usher-in bondage and slaverie to that poor Church, which hath had a wrestling life, what for one thing, what for another, from the very beginning: And sagacious persons might easily have foreseen, whither such a course, as this, did tend. And if hereafter the State should lay down such a course, as that in all time coming, all the Stipends through the Land should be uplifted by general Collectours, thereto appointed by them, and given-out by these againe, to such as, and in what quantity the State shall think fit, and so make the Ministers become their slaves, and to depend upon them, as if they were their domestick Servants, and Hirelings (the inconvenience of which up­on many accounts cannot but be obvious to any considerat and judicious person) whom had we to blame, as first breaking the ice in this matter? And was there not here ground enough to have refused this favour (as it is accounted) thus conveyed; and to have declared, they would choose rather to preach gratis, than any way contri­bute unto the laying of such an yoke upon the neck of the Church of Scotland.

Further, see we not here, that such a snare was visible before their eyes, that either they should accept of Collation from the Prelates, and so acknowledge their [Page 10] dependance likewise on them, and confirme these perjured Invaders, and comply with abjuted Prelacy; or otherwise become the Councel's Pensioners, which did tend to a manifest prostituting of the credite of the Ministrie, and to the obstructing, of ministerial freedom and faithfulness, in declaring the mind of God, as becometh the Ambassadours of Christ?

5. The next thing to be remarked, is the Injunctions here laid upon the In­dulged, which are expressed in the Letter at some length. Which Injunctions either are Lawful, or Unlawful. If they be Lawful, Then (1.) They must obey them without any hesitation. (2.) Then they must acknowledge the conformable Cler­gie, as they are called, to be lawful Ministers of the Gospel. (3.) And that it is lawful to keep the Prelat's Courts and Meetings; and thus condemne themselves, for not doing so formerly. (4.) Then the people are also obliged in Conscience to owne and acknowledge these Hirelings, as lawful Ministers of the Gospel, whom they are called of God to hear and obey. But if they account these Injuncti­ons Unlawful, how could they by their silence, and accepting of the Indulge [...]ce up­on these termes, tacitely approve of the same? To say, That they did not posi­tively approve thereof, is not enough: Yea, their not-disapproving thereof Open­ly, Plainly, Publickly and Avowedly, being so stated as they were, and cir­cumstances considered, cannot but be accounted an Interpretative Approbation, by all Godly, Sober and Rational persons. Nor will it availe here to say, That these Instructions were not proposed condition-wayes: For the Councel, [...]hat are both the best Interpreters of this Letter, and of their own deed, in consequence of and in compliance with the same, tell us in their Act August 10. 1677. that the Indulgence was accepted upon condition of keeping and observing of these Instru­ctions, in these words: For as much as the Lords of his Maj. privy Councel, did confine several outed Ministers to particular Paroches, with allowance to preach and exercise the other functions of the Ministrie within the same; and did (N.B.) deliver unto them certain Instructions to be keeped and observed, upon which they accepted the Indulgence, granted to them: And againe, after whatsoever manner these Injunctions were proposed, yet it is certaine, as we see, they were intended so. And if these Ministers had ex­presly told the Councel, that they would observe none of these Injunctions, be­cause they judged the same unlawful, and themselves obliged in conscience to de­clare the same; shall any think, that the Councel would have granted them this In­dulgence? Had not that been a direct crossing of the designe and purpose of the King and Court? How should then the people have been amused into a stupide quies­cence, and asse-like couching under the burden, and blown-up with an irrational and groundless expectation of some desirable change?

It cannot, moreover, here satisfie, to say, That they undertook nothing, but resolved to do, as they found clearness; and when they were not clear to obey to subject themselves to the penalty. For the Counsel, (as we see) offering the In­dulgence upon condition of observing the Injunctions, when they accepted of the benefite, offered on those termes, they could not but also embrace the termes, upon which the benefite was offered; and their accepting of the benefite was a plaine declaration of their acquiesceing in and satisfaction with the termes. And further, when they accepted of the benefite, either they accounted Obedience unto these Injunctions Lawful, or Unlawful. If they accounted it Lawful, why were they so [Page 11] disingenuous, as to simulate some hesitation, when they were clear and certaine? This was not the carriage of faithful, & zealous Servants of Christ. If they did ac­count that Obedience unlawful; Why did they not declare so much; especially when their silence, at the acceptance of the benefite so offered, could not but be construed by all, to be a full satisfaction with the Conditions? did not their silence confirme the Councel of the lawfulness of the Obedience, required to these Injunctions? This looked not like the carriage of our worthie Fore-fathers, and zealous Reformers. Moreover, what in case the Councel had likewise injoined them (after the same man­ner of way, that they proposed the foresaid Injunctions) to preach Justification by works, The Popes Infallibility, or the Kings Headship over the Church, or some such thing? Would it have been faire in them, to have come away thanking their L L. for the favour, which was bestowed upon them, & satisfying themselves with this mental reservation, We will do as we shall be answerable, and take our hazard? Could any have justified them in this, or judged their carriage Ministerial? Might not every one have said, that they had taken up their Ministrie, in an unlawful way, not approved of God; and so had run unsent? Finally, Let me ask the Reader, if the King or a great Noble man should grant to a Person some considerable Charge or Imployment in his familie, which possible the same Person had before, but was lately thrust therefrom; and in the mean time should lay upon him some injunctions, which seemed onerous, or not very lawful; could any think, that his accepting of the Charge and Imployment, and returning thanks therefore, did not speak out most clearly his acquiesceing unto the conditions, his accepting of the Charge upon these conditions, and his tacite promise to obey these Injunctions, especially since he made no exceptions against them, when mentioned and proposed?

6. We remark further that the Letter saith, That none of these Ministers have any seditious discourses, or expressions in pulpit, or elsewhere. And what is understood here, by seditious discourses or expressions, we cannot be ignorant? But now, what Consci­entious Minister can either tacitely promise such a thing, or upon the highest [...]eril forbear to utter such discourses? Or who can think, that any such thing can be yeeld­ed unto, who considereth, what God requireth of Ministers, in reference to a Corrupted and Apostatized State? and what the weight of the bloud of souls is? and who hath ever read Ezek. 3: vers. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. and Chap. 33: ver, 7, 8, 9, 10. and considered, what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of a living God? It is true, the Councel in their act made no mention of this; for what reasons; themselves best know: Yet it is sure, that the King and Court expected that none should have the benefite of the Indulgence, but such only, of whom they had, or thought they, had all the rational security imaginable, that they should be men of other Principles, than to utter such expressions. And we may be very certaine, that the Councel, in pursuance of the ends of his Maj. Letter, made choise of such, as they accounted most peacable, and of whom they had the least fears imaginable, that they should ever utter, whether in pulpit, or out of pulpit, such seditious discourses and expressions. They took them (no doubt) to be men of a more peacable disposition, as they called it, and more wise and so­ber (to speak according to their dialect). But oh, what will after ages say, who shall hear of the Kings Letter, and what the Councel did in pursuance thereof; and see also that N. N. &c. without the least Testimony to the Truth, accepted of [Page 12] the offer, and never hear, where or when these Persons were challenged, or accused for uttering of such speeches; that is, for an honourable mentioning of the glorious work of God, so miraculously wrought and carried on; and a faithful Testifying against the unparallel'd perfidie and breach of Covenant, and against the most abominable, irreligious, inhumane and tyrannical Acts, made for establish­ing of this wicked Course of Defection? What (I say) will after ages say, when they compare this with the valiant and zealous deportment of our Predecessours, and of some, at least, of these same persons Anno 1648. and some yeers pre­ceeding?

It will not be a sufficient covering for this nakedness to say, They heard noth­ing of that, while they received the Indulgence: For it is not unlike, but they saw or heard of the Kings Letter; and the report of such an expression therein should have made them diligent to have gote a sight of it, if it was not offered unto them: and their Mouth did clearly, in his discourse before them (as we shall hear) inti­mate, that they were no strangers thereunto. And suppose they had known noth­ing of this; yet they could not be ignorant, that this was included in their quali­fications. And if they should reject all this, as importing no consent on their part; Let their practice, since the accepting of the Indulgence, say, whether or not they have regairded that, as the maine and only condition. However I think here was ground enough for them to have scrupled at the embracing of this supposed favour.

7. The next thing here to be noticed in the Letter, is the Power and Command, which the King giveth to the Councel, to silence those Ministers for a longer or short­er time, if they disobey these foresaid Injunctions; and if a complaint be verified the second time, to silence them for a longer time, or to turne them out (that is, in plaine language, to depose them simpliciter) especially if they utter any sedicious speeches. He must be very blinde, who seeth not what height of Erastianisme is here: did ever any of the Reformed Churches say, that a Magistrate, as such, could sus­pend and depose Ministers from their Office? Did ever King Iames assume this power unto himself? See if his Declaration, penned with his own hand, signed and deliver­ed to the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland at Linlithgow Dec. 7. 1585. saith so much, though at this time he had gote his Supremacie in Church-matters screwed up to the highest peg, he thought attainable? Did ever any of our Confessions of Faith, or Books of Discipline, or Acts and Canons of our Church, give the power of the Keyes, the power of inflicting Church-censures upon Ministers, unto the Civil Magistrate? Did ever our Divines (for I except Court Chaplains, and Parasites, whom I account none of ours) write or say such a thing? Read what Calderwood hath said, in his Altar. Damasc. pag, 23, 24. and what worthy Mr. Rutherfoord hath said, in his Due Right of Presbyteries pag. 427. and forward; and read that elaborat Tractat of Mr G. Gillespie Aarons Rod Blossoming, and see if there be any such thing hinted there. See if the CXI. Propositions, or the Propositions for Government, men­tion any such thing. Now if these Indulged be not Erastian in their Principles (as I hope they are not) I cannot see, but they are Erastian in their Practices: For they, knowing that such a power was assumed by the King, and now given and granted by the King unto the Councel, whereby they were authorized to put the same in pra­ctice, and so to exercise pure and intrinsick Church-power, that is, inflict pure [Page 13] Church-censures, Suspend and Depose Ministers: That is, (1.) Not only not to suffer them to preach and administer Sacraments, in his Kingdom and Dominions, (which yet worthie Mr Rutherfoord will not grant, in his Due Right &c. pag. 430. up­on these accounts 1. Because the King as King hath not Dominion of places, as sa­cred and religious, for his power in Church-matters is only cumulative, not priva­tive; so as he cannot take away an house, dedicated to Gods service, no more than he can take away maintainance alloted by publick authority upon Hospitals, Schools, Pastors and Doctors. 2. The Apostles might preach in the Temple, though Civil Authority forbad them. 3. And all know, that he cannot hinder the exercise of the Ministrie, in any other Kingdom,) it is not this onely, I say; but simplie not to preach, and administer the Sacraments. (2.) It is not only to discharge the exer­cise of the Ministrie (which yet Mr Rutherfoord, ubi supra pag. 431. with Calderwood take to be a degree of Suspension, which is an Ecclesiastical degree to the censure of Excommunication; and therefore the King may as well Excommunicat, and re­mit and retaine sins, as he can suspend:) but it is to take away the very power of Or­der, given instrumentally by the Church; if; with Papists and Formalists, they as­serte not an indeleble Character. And (3.) It is the taking away of what he never gave; for he never ordained, nor could ordaine a Pastor, by any Law of God; that is, Ecclesiastically designe, appoint, set apart, and constitute a qualified Per­son to the Ministrie, by prayer and laying-on of hands; for this was alwayes done by Church-officers Act. 13: v. 3. and 14: v. 23. 1 Tim. 4:14. and 5:22. 2 Tim. 2:2. Tit. 1:5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Doth it not hence appear, that this was a manifest Usurpation of the Power and Privilege of the Church? And what can the silence of such, as were indulged, as to this, when they accepted of the Indulgence, from such as were, in the very giving thereof, openly and avowedly declaring this their Usurpation and Incroachment, say before the world, but that they acquiesced thereunto? This matter was not hid under ground; It was plaine enough to all, who would not put out their owne eyes, that the King was assuming to himself Church-power, and was robbing the Church of her Privileges; and to make way for the full accomplishment thereof, did here command and authorize his Councel to appoint such and such Ministers, so and so qualified, to such and such places, as they thought good, with this mani­fest certificate, that they must expect no Church-censures to be inflicted on them, for any crime or misdemanour, they shall be charged with, and be found guilty of, but by the Civil Magistrates immediatly; not Causatively, that is, causing Church-Judicatories do it; but doing it immediatly themselves. Who then can justifie them, and their practice, in accepting so thankfully, as they did, that Indulgence, without the least word of a Testimonie against all these open and manifest Incroach­ments; and that at such time, when the designe of tyrannizing over the Church, in an Erastian way, was so palpable, and might be seen and known of all, who would but open their eyes?

But there is another thing, which here occurreth; We see here that these Indul­ged Persons, are standing immediatly under the Censure of the Civil Magistrate, not only for transgressing of the Orders, and Instructions given; but also (as must necessarily follow) for any other failing and transgression, not specified; as for ex­ample for Fornication, Sabbath-breaking and other Sins and Scandals, deserving [Page 14] Deposition or Suspension: For put the case, that some of them (which yet I have no cause to fear) should commit any such scandal, as did de [...]erve, or were usually punished by Suspension or Deposition; who shall inflict this Censure upon them, but the Councel? There is no Church-Judicatorie having power over them for that effect; and they are not under the Prelates; And we cannot think that they may commit such crimes, and continue in the Ministrie; Nor may we suppose, that they will suspend or depose themselves.

8. Moreover we must remark here, that the Councel is to take notice of their speeches in pulpit, who are indu [...]ged, and to punish them; yea, to turne them out immediatly, if they be found to have uttered any sedicious Discourse: By which we see, that the Councel is made the immediat formal judge of Ministers Doctrine, for under the pretext of sedicious Doctrine, they may judge and condemne the most innocent and orthodox truthes. No Anti-Erastian Divine will grant this unto the Civil Magistrate. And though it be true, that the Civil Magistrat can only and properly judge of what is truely sedicious, and can only civilly punish for such crimes: Yet our Divines never granted, that the Magistrate might in prima Instantia examine, and judge of Ministers Doctrine, when alleiged to be sedicious, or treaso­nable: Nor did our Church, in her pure times ever yeeld to this. Our Church-Historie tels us, that Mr. Andrew Melvine, that faithful and zealous Servant of Christ, would not answer before the King and the Councel, for his alleiged trea­sonable discourse in Sermon, until he had first given-in a plaine and formal Protesta­tion; and the like was done by worthy Mr David Black upon the like occasion, and the Protestation was approven and signed by a good part of the Church of Scot­land 1596. And we know also upon what ground it was, that that famous late Martyr for the Liberties of the Church, Mr Iames Guthrie, was questioned, and put to suffer: Now where was there any thing spoken by the Indulged, to bear witness to their adhering to the Church of Scotland, in this point of truth? What was said, that might declare their dissent from this piece of Encroachment? Was not their silence here, and accepting of the Indulgence, in the manner as it was accepted, without any publick Testimonie for the Church of Scotland and her Li­berties, a Declaration, that they were willing that all their Doctrine should be immediatly, and in prima instantia, judged and examined by the Councel; and con­sequently, that our Predecessours in offering Protestations, in this case, were to be condemned, and that Mr Guthrie died as a fool?

9. We may remark a snare laid in the Letter to catch moe: for it is appointed, that such of the outted Ministers, who have lived peacably and orderly (here is a Discriminatiō made, no less scandalous to the commended, than dangerous to the rest) and are not reentered or presēted, as aforesaid, shall have allowed to them foure hundereth merks scots yeerly, &c.—And that such as will give assurance to live so for the futurē, be allowed the said yeerly maintainance: Seing it is not unknown what is properly here understood, by living peacably and orderly, any may see what a snare is laid here to catch others. But some will say, what is that to the Indulged? I think it speaketh very much to them; for had they not accepted of this Indulgence, that temptatiō had been removed from the door of others, who now, seeing them without any scruple accepting of the Indul­gence offered, and granted unto them in special, only upon the account, and in con­sideration of their being peacable and orderly livers, are emboldēed to take that gra­cious [Page 15] gift, and accept of that Princely benevolence, upon the same account, and gape for a greater morsel, Viz. a Vacancie: And will not others, who are not fast rooted, be ready to engage, and give-in security, that they may also taste of the Kings gra [...]uity; and so sell their consciēce and fidelity, at as good a price as they can. And if it fall out otherwise (as I wish, and hope it shall) that none shall accept of those baits, under which the hook is so conspicuous; yet no thanks to the Indulged, who have so fairly broken the ice for them. I know, a scandal may be given, when not taken; and such, as give the scandal, are guilty before God of destroying those for whom Christ died, Rom. 14:15. And that word of our Saviour Mat. 18:6. Luk. 17:1, 2. Mark. 9:42. is very dreadful, But who so shall offendone of these little ones, which beleeve in me, it were better for him, that a mils one were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. I know they will say, They are far from this hazard, having done nothing, but what is du [...]y and necessary duty. But though I grant it an indispensible duty for Ministers to preach the Gospel, and to be instant in season and out of season: yet they might have preached without the Indulgence, as others did, and yet do; and the accepting of the Indulgence was not the only necessary opening of a door to preaching. Nor is it of simple preaching that I am here speaking; and they shall never be able to make it appear, that it is a necessary duty to do, as they have done, considering what is already said, and what shall yet further be said.

10. There is another particular in the Letter, worthie of a remark, and we shall but here name it; and that is, Tha [...] the councel is to allow Patrons to present to vacant Churches such Ministers, as they shall approve of. Whence it is clear, that without this consent of the Patron, which is his real or virtual Presentation, the Ministers appro­ven of by the Councel cannot have access unto these vacāt Churches: Therefore their accepting of the Indulgence unto Vacant places, after this manner, is an approving and an establishing of the power of Patrons; whereby they did condemne all such Ministers, and possibly some of themselves, who formerly had suffered ejection, according to the Act of Glasgow, because they had no clearness to accept of this Pre­sentation, even though the Patron would willingly have granted it, and did of his own accord offer it. Did they not hereby also condemne that laudable piece of our Reformation Anno 1649. When these Presentations were abolished, and the people restored to their liberty of Electing their own Ministers?

11. We may also take notice, That all this contrivance is not in order to reduce our Church in whole, or in part, to her former Presbyterian state and lustre, or to wea­ken, or in the least deface, the re-established Prelacie; but rather to confirme the sa­me; for in the Letter, we see these Indulged are to be enjoined, in the Kings name, and by his authority, to keep Presbyteries and Synods; that is, the Prelats meetings, so cal­led; for there was no other. As also encouragment was given unto them to take the Prelates Collation. So that this contrivance, as it was to gratifie a few, so it was to cor­roborat the abjured Prelats, in their possessiō of what they had obtained, as their quid mihi dabit is. And further, they were discharged to exerce any Ministerial function towards any of the neighbour Parishes, where there were Curats serving. Now all these Injunctions, being manifestly sinful and unlawful, might have sufficiently cautioned them against the receiving of a favoure, so strangely clogged with sinful conditions; or at least, prompted them to have remonstrated freely and faithfully all these evils, and plainly declared their fixed aversness from ever submitting unto these Injunctions,

[Page 16]12. The last particular, which I shall remark here, is the Result of all this; or that rather which is the end mainly driven at, howbeit couched in words not so mani­festly expressive of a mainly designed end. The words are in the last part of the Let­ter. And seing we have by these orders, taken away all pretence for Conventicles, and pro­vided for the want of such as are and will be peacable; if any shall be found hereafter to preach without authority, or keep Conventicles, our express pleasure is, that you proceed with all severity against the Preacher and Hearers, as sedicious person, and contemners of our Authority. In the by, we may here take notice, that according to the import and meaning of this letter, no Minister must preach either in or out of Conventicles, without a borrowed Authoritie from the Magistrate, otherwise they are to be looked upon, as sedicious persons, and as contemners of Authority: So that this licence or in­dulgence was a reall clothing of the Indulged and licensed (in the sense of the Court,) with authority to preach; as if all they had from Christ, conveyed to them by the ministrie of Church officers, according to this Appointment, had been null, and al­together insignificant. Which one thing, in my apprehension, had been enough to have scarred any, that minded to stand unto their Presbyterian, Gospel and anti-E­rastian Principles, from accepting of licences of this nature, so destructive to the very being of an Ecclesiastical Ministrie, and to its dependance on & emanation from Christ Jesus, the only Head and King of his Church, and sole Fountaine of all Power and Authoritie, communicated or communicable to his Servants and Officers, as such; and so repugnant unto the methods and midses of conveyance, instituted and ordained by Christ, and practised in the primitive Church.

But the other thing, here chiefly to be noticed, is, That as we see this device of the Indulgence was batched and contrived of purpose, to beare down these Conven­ticles, and to give a more colourable shew of justice in persecuting the zealous Con­venticlers. It is true, the Persons Indulged were not of those chiefly, who keep­ed Conventicles, especially in the Fields; for if so, they had not been such as lived peacably and orderly: And so, the Conventicle-Preachers were not much diminished in their number hereby; yet it was supposed, that none of those▪ who lived under the Indulged their Ministerie, would much trouble themsel­ves to go to Conventicles, and field Meetings; wherein, in a very great part, their supposition failed not. But now; with what Conscience shall we suppose this Indulgence could be accepted, seing thereby, every one might see a further bar and restraint put upon those worthies, who jeoparded their lives in the high places of the fields in preaching of the Gospel, and were owned and contenanced of God to admiration, in the rich, yea wonderfully rich blessing of God upon their Labours, and Ministerie, dispensed by the sole Authority of Jesus Christ: yea and those of them, who were present before the Councel August 3. 1672. might have seen more cruelty breathed-out by severe orders, against those, who still followed the Lord, in Houses, in Valleyes and in Mountaines, though contrarie to the Law: For that same very day a Proclamation was issued out, commanding all Heretors timeously to declare any, who within their bounds shall take upon them to preach in such un­warranted Meetings (as they were called) and make their Names known to Sheriffs, Stewarts, Lords, and Bailiffs of the Regalities, or their Deputes, and all others in publick trust, within whose Jurisdiction they may be apprehended: And Autho­rizing these Sheriffs &c. to make exact search and enquirie after them, to apprehend and incarcerat their Persons, and to acquaint the Councel of their Imprisonment, [Page 17] And requiring the Magistrates of Brughs to detain them prisoners, till further Or­der; and that under the highest paine: And also declaring that they would put all Lawes, Acts and Proclamations vigorously in execution, against withdrawers from the publick worshipe, in their own Paroch-Churches? And thus was there a new fiery persecution raised, both against faithful Pastors and People. May it not be thought, that they had carried more honestly and ministerial-like, when seeing this End and Designe (which could not be hid,) if they had freely and plainely told the Councel, they could accept of no such Courtesie, unless the like were granted to all the faithful and honest zealous Ministers in the Land; or at least, had declared and protested, that what was granted unto them might be no prejudice unto the rest to preach the Gospel, and to be instant in season and out of season, wheresoever and whensoever occa [...]ion offered? But now, when nothing of this kind was done, did not they contribute their concurrence unto the establishing of this Midse, made use of for keeping-down of those Assemblings of the Lords people; I mean the Indulgence? And did they not hereby plainly enough condemne those Meetings, when they concurred so actively and effectually with the Councel, and the Kings designe to have the Land freed of them?

I know it will be said, That they could not procure favours to others: it was enough for them to accept of what was offered to themselves. But yet, though they were not Master of the Magistrates treasure of Indulgence, they were Master of their own deed; and I suppose, few of the Godly of the Land would have blamed them, if they had, out of tenderness to the poor perishing people, and out of respect to their suffering Brethren, told the Councel; that, as matters then stood, they could not accept of that offer, though it had been cleaner than it was, unless all their Brethren were also made partakers thereof; or at least, that the House, and Field Preachers might not be molested. This would have looked like the deed of men, respecting the publick good, and not seeking themselves, or their own ease and li­berty. It would have smelled of brotherly affection, if they had said; We will rather take the same lot with our Brethren, than do any thing, how promising so ever it be of ease and quiet to ourselves, that may render their case more lamentable and grievous; and may seem in the least, à countenanceing, were it but interpreta­tively, of the severities used against them, or do any thing that may encourage unto more cruelty, and to the prejudging of the far greatest part of the Land, of the Gospel, now going forth with power.

If any shall say, That possiblie they did not approve of that manner of preaching themselves. I shall Returne, that possiblie it may be so, as to some of them, who were therefore looked on as most peacable and orderly; and shall adde, that certain­ly such must condemne Christ and his Apostles, who were the greatest of Conven­ticle-Preachers and almost preached no other way, wanting alwayes the Autho­ritie of the Supream Magistrate, and yet not waiting upon their Indulgence.

But as to all these things, deduced from the Kings Letter, it may be, the In­dulged Ministers will think themselves little or nothing concerned; nor obliged to take any notice of what is there said, in regarde that the Kings Letter was not di­rected unto them, but unto the Councel; and it was with the Councel immediat­ly, and not with the King, that they had to do: And therefore are concerned only to notice what the Councel did, and said unto them, and required of them, and [Page 18] to notice their own carriage againe, or return unto the Councel. For answere I say. It may be so, that they shall thus think, to cheate the world and themselves, by such metaphysical abstractions, but in our actions before the Lord, and in matters of this nature, so neerly concerning the Glory of Christ, as King; and that in a day, when all things call aloud unto a Faithful, Free & Full Witnessing unto & for the truth, such abstractions are neither Christian, nor Manly. The Letter was not hid from them, nor the contents thereof unknown to them; for when they were before the Councel, (as we shall heare afterward) they by their mouth expressed their sense sufficiently of that Letter, and took the favour of the Indulgence with all humili­ty and thankfulness, as his Majesties Royal Favour and Clemencie. Our fore­fathers used not to carry so, when Court-favours were pressed and urged upon them, but searched the ground and rise of these, and considered their tendencie and consequences; knowing, that favours, granted by standing and stated Ene­mies, could not be for advantage, but for hurt. The Spirit of zeal and faithfulness would teach us another more Moral, Plaine & Christian Deportment: But though the Indulged should be such Metaphysical Abstracters, contrare to that Spirit of wisdom and ingenuity, that should lead all Christians; yet the Councel dealt more plainely and roundly (as we shall see) and told at all occasions, and in all their Acts and Resolutions, that what they did was in pursuance of his Majesties Com­mands and Royal Pleasure, signified in his Letter. Finally, This abstraction, though it were yeelded to them, will not availe; for though the Kings Letter had never been seen or heard of there was enough done by the Councel and its Commit­tee, (of which they could not be ignorant) to have resolved them, if they had not been prepossessed: It was the Committee of the Councel that Elected them, that Judged them qualified for the Exercise of the Ministrie in such and such places: It was the Councel that did Appointe, Authorize and Impower them to Exerce their Ministery: It was the Councel, that did Depose & Repose, Plant and Transplant, give Injunctions, Restrictions, and Limitations, and punish for Non-Obedience: all which will be further cleared in what followeth.

Having premised these few remarks upon the Kings Letter, as necessarie to the clearing of our way, because that was the ground of all; and having, in the by, discovered several things, to shew the sinfulness of this Indulgence; we shall now proceed to mentione more particularly what was the progress of this Business, and how this wicked Designe took effect.

The Councel appointeth a Committee to cognosce upon the matter, signified in the Kings Letter, and to condescend upon the Ministers, judged fit and qualified for such a favour, according to the minde of the King, signified and plainly expressed in his Letter; and upon the Paroches, to which they were to be ordered to go, & exercise their Ministrie: Whereupon the Councel enacteth as followeth.

Edinbr. 27. Iuly 1669.

THe Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel, in pursuance of his Majesties Commands, signified in his Letter of the 7. of Iuny last, do appoint the Persons following to preach, and Exercise the other functions of the Ministerie, at the vacant Kirks un­derwritten viz. Mr. Ralph Rodger, late Minister at Glasgow, to preach at the Kirk of Kilwinning, Mr George Hutcheson, late Minister in Edinburgh, at the Kirk of Irwing. [Page 19] Mr William Violant, late Minister at Ferrie, at Cambusnetham: Mr Robbert Miller, late Minister at Ochiltree, at the same Kirk: Mr Iohn Park, late Minister at Stanrawer, at the same Kirk: Mr William Maitland, late Minister at Whithorn, at the Kirk of Beeth: Mr Iohn Oliphant, late Minister at Stanhouse, at the same Kirk, Mr Iohn Bell, late Minister at Ardrossine, at the same Kirk: Mr Iohn Cant, late Minister at Kel [...], at the same Kirk, and Mr Iohn Mc-Michen, late Minister at Dalry, at the same Kirk.

Here we see Ten were appointed to the places respectively condescended upon by the Councel; and some were appointed to preach at the Churches, out of which they had been ejected; but this was only an accidental thing, and meerly because these Churches were at that time vacant; as appeareth by Mr Iohn Park his disap­pointment, because the Prelate prevented his coming to the Kirk designed, which had been formerly his own, by thrusting in a Curat, notwithstanding of his pleading the benefite of the Act of Indemnity, in his own defence, against what was objected against him; and thereby acknowledged himself to have been a Traitour in all his former Actings, and that all the work of Reformation was but Rebellion: And there is no difference betwixt the appointment made to them, who returned to the places, where formerly they had preached, and that appointment, which was made to others to go to other Churches. The Councel doth not so much, as verbally sig­nifie, the Sentence of Banishment from their own Parishes by the Act of Councel at Glasgow Anno 1662. to be now annulled, as to them, whereby they had liberty to returne to their own Charges, and follow their work; but simply enjoyneth and appointeth them to go to such a place, and there to exercise their Ministrie, as sim­ply and plainely, as if they had never been there before: So that the appointment is one and the same, as made by the Councel, in pursuance of the Kings Letter: And all the difference, that was in their several Orders and warrands, which they receiv­ed from the Councel, was in regarde of the Patrons, and of nothing else; as may be seen by the following tenors of these Acts.

Followeth the Tenor of the Acts of Indulgence, given to the several Ministers to preach, conforme to his Maj. Letter of the 7. of Iune 1669.

THe Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel, in pursuance of his Maj. Commands, signified the 7. of Iune last, do appoint Mr Ralph Rodger, late Minister at Glasgow, to preach and exercise the other functions of the Ministrie, at the Kirk of Kilwinning.

And thus did all the rest of this kinde run. The other did run thus.

For same ekle as the Kirk of . . . . . is vacant, the Lords of his Majest. Privie Councel, in persuance of his Maj. command, signified by his Letter the 7. of Iune Instant; and in regarde of the consent of the Patron, do appoint . . . late Minister at . . . . . to reach and exercise the other functions of the Ministrie at the said Kirk of . . . . .

Whereby we see, that these Orders make no difference betwixt such, as were ap­pointed to their own former Churches, and others, who were appointed to other [Page 20] places, so that as to this, all of them received a new Commission, Warrand and Power to exerce their Ministrie, in the places designed, as if they had never had any relation unto these places before.

Further, it is observable here. That these Orders and Acts of the Councel have the same Use, Force and Power, that the Bishops Collation hath, as to the exer­cise of the Ministrie; and that the Ordinance of the Presbyteries used to have in the like cases: And therefore this is all the ministerial potestative Mission, wich they have unto the actual exercise of their Ministrie in these places. Thus wee see the Ci­vil Magistrate arrogateth to himself that, which is purely Ecclesiastick, to wit, the Placeing and Displaceing, the Planting and Transplanting of Ministers; and giv­ing them a Ministerial Potestative Mission, which onely belongeth unto Church-Judicatories. So that these Indulged Persons may with as much right be called the Councels or Kings Curats, as others are called the Bishops Curats, whom the Prelates Collate, Place and Displace, Plant and Transplant, as they please. And wee see no regarde had unto the Judicatories of the Church, and to their po­wer, more in the one case, than in the other; and possibly the Prelates transport­ings are done with some more seeming regarde unto the power of Church-Judica­tories, such as they owne under them: but in this deed of the Councel, there is not so much as a shew of any deference unto any Church-Iudicatory whatsomever; nor is there any thing like it. It is obvious then, how clear and manifest the en­croachement on the power of the Church is, that is here made. And because Ma­gistrates have no such power from the Lord Jesus, and are not so much as nomi­nally Church-Officers (as Prelats in so far are, at least) nor can act any other way, as Magistrates, than with a coactive civil power, and not ministerially under Iesus Christ; it is manifest, that the Indulged, having this Authoritie unto the present exercise of their Ministerie in such and such places, only from the Civil Ma­gistrate acting as such, have not Power & Authority from Christ; for Christ con­veyeth no Power and Authority in and by the Civil Magistrate, but by his own way, by Ministers of his own appointment, who act under him ministerially. And whether or not, they have not, in submitting to his way of conveyance of Power, and Authority to exerce their Ministrie hic & nunc, upon the matter renounced the former way, by which Power and Authority was ministerially conveyed unto them; as we use to speak of such of the Prelats Underlings, who have received Col­lation from him, and Power to exerce their Ministrie in such and such places, where they are now placed, though formerly they were ordained and fixed by lawful Church-Judicatories, I leave to others to judge.

But because it may be said, that in these foregoing Acts, there is no mention made of the Injunctions spoken of, in his Majest. Letter, to be given to all the In­dulged Ministers; Hear what was concluded and enacted by the Councel, on that same day.

Edinb. the 27. of Iuly 1669.

THe Lords of his Majest. Prive Councel, in pursuance of his Maj. Royal plea­sure, signified to them by his Letter of the 7. of Iune last▪ do in his Maj. Name and Authoritie, command and ordaine all such outted Ministers, who are, or shall be appointed or allowed to exercise the Ministrie; That they constitute and [Page 21] keep Kirk Sessions and Presbyteries and Sy [...]ods, as was done by all Ministers, before the Yeer 1638. And the Councel declares, that such of them, as shall not obey in keeping of Presbyteries, they shall be confined within the bounds of the Paroches, where they preach, aye and while they give assurance to keep the Presbyteries. And also the Councel doth strickly command and enjoine all, who shall be allowed to preach, as said is, not to admit any of their Neigbour or other Paroche unto their Communions, or Baptize their Children, nor marry any of them: without the allowance of the Minister of the paroch, to which they belong, unless that Paroch be vacant for the time; nor to countenance the people of the Neighbouring or other Paroches, in resorting to their preachings, and deserting of their own Paroch Churches. And that hereunto they give due obedience, as they will be answerable on their highest peril. And ordaines these presents to be intimate to every person, who shall by Authority foresaid be allow­ed the exercise of the Ministrie.

We see here, that this Act, concerning the Injunctions, was made distinct from the foregoing Act of Indulgence, and these Injunctions were not expresly included or mentioned in the Act of Indulgence: And some because of this may possibly think and say, That the accepting of the Indulgence is the more justifiable. But I am not of that mind: For this dividing of these two, which were conjoined in the Kings Letter, was either done by collusion of the Indulged, or wholly without their knowledge and consent. If the former be truth, their accepting of the Indul­gence is so much the more condemnable, that it was accompanied with such unfaire dealing, devised of purpose (for no other end of this deed can be imagined) to blindfold and deceive the simple; whom possibly such a cheate might hoodwinke. If the latter be said, to wit, that the Indulged themselves were utterly ignorāt hereof though it is certaine, as was said above, they were not ignorant of the Kings Letter: Then I think, the first intimation made of these Injunctions unto them should have given such a discoverie of unfaire dealing, and of the Councels purpose and inten­tion to have them in snared, that the credite of their Ministrie, the Conscience of their duty to God, and to the souls of people, the care of shunning all appearance of evil, the Command of God to give no offence, and other things considerable of that nature, should have compelled them unto a plaine and full Declaration of their sensibleness of this cheatrie, and of their unwillingness to accept of favoures, so clogged with snares. And if they had thus carried, they had approved themselves, (otherwise than they did) to the consciences of all Men, as lovers of upright deal­ing, and as such who durst not take on them the charge of souls, on such unlawful termes, nor run the errands of God, with such a Pasport.

As to the Conditions themselves, I hope, even the indulged Persons themselves, are sufficiently convinced of the iniquitie of them, when (as I hear) they have now at length laid aside the careful observance of them: But the careful and cir­cumspect obedience yeelded unto them at the first, is standing as a witness against them unto this day, and sheweth that however now they neglect the same, because possiblie perceiving the Councel not so earnest in pressing observance, as at the first; yet so greedy were they of the bait of the Indulgence, that they cared not to swallow this hook with it, though it was an adding of griefe to such as had sor­row [Page 22] enough already; and had in it a condemning of such, as scrupled the hearing of the Curats, and submitting to the Ordinances of Christ, administred by them.

Before we proceed, it will be fit here to take some notice of that Discourse, which Mr H. had unto the Councel, in name of the rest, who were at that time Indulged with him; for hereby we may be helped to understand, what was their sense of the Indulgence, who did receive it; The just double of which Discourse, as it came to mine hand, I shall here set down, as followeth.

I am desired, in the name of my Brethren, here present▪ to acknowledge, in all humility and thankfulness, his Maj. Favour and Clemencie, in granting us the liberty of the publick exercise of our Ministrie, after so long a restraint from the same; and to returne here all thanks to your L L. for the care and paines, you have taken therein: And that your L L. have been pleased to make us, the unworthiest of many of our Brethren, so early partakers of the same. We have received our Ministrie from Jesus Christ, with full prescriptions from him, for regulating us therein; and must, in discharge thereof, be accountable to him And as there can be nothing more desirable, or refreshing to us on earth, than to have free liberty of the exercise of our Ministrie under the protection of lawful Authoritie, the excellent Ordinance of God, and to us ever most dear and pre­cious; so we purpose and resolve to behave our selves, in the discharge of the Ministrie, with that wisdom and prudence, that become faithful Ministers of Jesus Christ; and to demaine ourselves towards lawful Authority, notwithstand­ing of our known judgment in Church-affairs, as well becometh loyal Subjects, and that from a lawful principle of Conscience. And my L L. Our prayer to God is, that the Lord would bless his Maj. in his Pers [...] and Government; and your L L. in the publick Administration; and [...] the pursuance of his Maj. mind in his Letter, wherein his singular [...] appears; that others of our Brethren, in due time, may be [...] of the liberty, which through his Maj. favour we now enjoy.

I shall not long insist in descanting on this discourse; seing it is so plaine and manifest an homologating of the Kings Letters; and consequently its iniquity is so undeniable from what was formerly remarked upon that Letter, that there is no great necessitie of many moe words to that end: only it may suffice to touch on some particulars, in a few words.

1. We see hence, That these Brethren were not ignorant of the Kings Letter and of the contents thereof, when they do here acknowledge a favour and clemencie, granted unto themselves thereby.

2. Nor were they ignorant of the scope and designe of that Letter, seing they pray, that the Lord would bless the Councel, especially in the pursuance of his Maj. minde in that Letter.

3. Nor were they Ignorant particularly of the Instructions, contained in that Letter, and which were to be given unto them: as these words, with full prescriptions from him (i.e. Christ Jesus) to regulate us therein, do clearly show; for by these words, as it would appear, they gave their L L. to understād, that it was not needful that these In­structions, or Prescriptions, contained in the Kings letter, should be laid before them.

4. Nor were they Ignorant, that what the Councel did herein, was by vertue of, [Page 23] and in full compliance with the designe of the King's Letter; and consequently, that the King's Letter, and the contents thereof, were the onely spring and original of all this Indulgence, and of the Councels power in acting in conformity thereto, and actually granting the Indulgence; for they thank their L L. for the care and paines, they had taken therein; and they pray, that the Lord would blesse them, especially in the pursuance of his Maj. minde, in his Letter.

5. It is matter of astonishment to me, considering what is said, how they could ac­knowledge this for such an Act of favour and clemency; And how they could say, that in this Letter, the King's singular Moderation did eminently appear; when from what is said, and what shall hereafter be more fully held forth, it is so notoure. That the contents of this Letter did hold forth a designe of overturning all Church-Power, as exercised by Church-Persons, and of clothing the Councel with power to impose Pre­scriptions, to prescribe Rules and Limitations, and to order and regulate Ministers, in the exercise of their Ministrie, as also with power to Place and Displace, Plant and Transplant Ministers, without regarde had either to the previous Call of the People, or to the Mission of any Church Judicatory; and of subjecting of the Exercise of the Ministrie wholly unto their will and pleasure; not to mentione the severity breathed out, in that Letter, against the Assemblings of the Lord's people.

6. It is manifest from what is already marked, that the Indulged Brethren did owne that Letter of the Kings, as the onely rise and fountaine of the favour, which they were made partakers of; and therefore did not take the Indulgence onely from the Councel, but from the King principally, as the onely spring thereof, conveying the same to them, through the channel and medium of the Councel, who did nothing but by vertue of that Letter, and in obedience thereunto. Whence we see, that there is no ground to abstract the stream from the fountaine, or to think that these Ministers could imagine, that they were onely to notice what the Councel did, and no more; for as they neither did this, so it were unreasonable to think they could do so.

7. They acknowledged here, that as to the liberty of the publick exercise of their Ministrie, they were onely beholden unto this Indulgence; for, for this cause they give thanks: And thus did tacitely grant, that there ought to be no publick Exercise of the Ministrie, without liberty granted from the Magistrate; whereby they not onely condemned all these faithful Ministers, who ventured, without that liberty granted, to preach publickly, where occasion offered in houses, or in the fields; but they likewise condemned Christ and his Apostles, the greatest of Conventicle-keepers. So like-wise they do tacitely here grant, that when the Magistrate prohibiteth the publick Exercise of the Ministery, for longer or shorter time, he must not be dis­obeyed; whereby the Magistrate hath the power yeelded to him of Suspending and Deposeing Ministers, from the exercise of their function. It is true, Magistrates can hinder the peacable publick exercise, or free publick exercise, by outward force and constraint; but they speak not here of the freedome of peacable publick exercise, but simplie of the freedome of publick exercise of the Ministrie. Our own Church-history tels us; how famous Mr. Bruce was cast in a fever, through terrour of conscien­ce, for promising silence but for ten dayes, though in hopes of greater liberty.

8. It is observable here; how thankful they are for partaking alone (as chosen out from their Brethren) of this favour; whileas this very act of separating them from their Brethren, should have been a sufficient ground for them to have rejected the ten­dered supposed favour, seeing by the accepting thereof, in this separated way, they [Page 24] suffered themselves to be divided from their Brethren, contrarie to their sworn Covenants: not to speak of the stigma, they received thereby.

9. They say, That they received their Ministrie from Iesus Christ. But why was it not said, as some of them (if I be not misinformed) desired, onely from I. C? When this was designedly and deliberatly left out, let all the world judge, whether in this, they carried, as faithful Ministers of the Gospel, or not: for my part, I cannot but judge, that this was a manifest betraying of the cause, and a giving up of all to the Magistrate: for hereby they declared, that in their judgements, either they had their Ministrie from others, as well as from Christ; that is, from the Magistrate, as well as from Christ, and that in a co-equality and co-ordination; or else that they had it not from Christ immediatly but from men, from the Magistrates, in subordination to Christ. Now neither of these can assort with truth, and with our Principles: Not the former; for then Christ should not be sole King, but halfe, and the Magistrate should have the halfe of Christs Thron, Crown, Scepter and Glory: which were blasphemy to think. Not the latter; for Magistracy is not subordinat in a direct line unto Christ, as Media­tor; nor hath Christ substitute the Magistrat, as his Vicar; nor hath he given to him, as such, a ministerial power under him, to convey ministerially (in respect of the Subjects) or with a ministerial Authority, as his Servants, what power of Mission he giveth to his Ministers; Magistrates, as such, act not ministerially, or with a mini­sterial Authority, in reference to their Subjects, but with a Coactive, Autocratorical and Architectonick Power and Authority. If it be said, that they reserved only to the Magistrate hereby, the power to grant the liberty of the free exercise; but they meant, that they received the Ministrie it self from Jesus Christ alone. I answere, had they spoken so, we might then have understood them so. But though they had said so, the cause had been betrayed, for if they have their Ministrie from Christ alone, they must also have the free exercise of the same from him: If Christ give the Office, he giveth the power to exercise the Office: And if they depend upon others, in refe­rence to the Exercise, they in so far rob Christ of what is his due, & hold that of men, which they should hold of Christ alone. No man needs to say here, that by this means we take away the Power of Church-Judicatories, by whom Ministers receive both the Office, and the Power of its exercise: For what Church-Judicatories do herein, they do ministerially under Christ, and Christ by them conveyeth the Office to such and such a Person, and with the Office a power to exercise it, according to the Rules of the Gospel; and notwithstanding of this, these Officers may and must say, that they receive their Ministrie onely from Christ Jesus. But this cannot be said, if the Magi­strate be substitute in the place of Church-Officers, either in reference to the Office it self, or in reference to its free Exercise; because no Magistrate, as such, (as is said) acteth with a Ministerial Power, under Christ, in a right line of subordination: And therefore when they keeped out the word, onely, they did plainely declare, that they held the Ministrie partly of the Magistrate. If it be said, that they would hereby one­ly have reserved to the Magistrat, power to grant the Peacable Publick Exercise of the Ministrie. I would answere, that though they had meaned thus, yet they might safely and should have said, that they received their Ministrie only from Christ; for I cannot be said to receive my Ministrie from every one, who can hinder my peacable publick exercise thereof, otherwayes I must be said to receive it, in part, from Satan and his Instruments, who can hinder my peacable publick exercise thereof. So that, use what [Page 25] devices men can to cover this matter, a manifest betraying of the cause will break thorow, and a receding from received and sworn Principles will be visible.

10. They said, They had full prescriptions from Iesus Christ, to regulat them in their Ministrie. Who then can justifie them, in receiving other Prescriptions from the Magistrate, and such as Christ never made mention of in his Law; yea some where of do directly militate against Christs Prescriptions? Doth not their receiving of these Instructions or Prescriptions, which were contained in his Maj. Letter, say, that the Prescriptions of Christ were not full? But againe, seing they had not freed­om to say, that they received their Ministrie from Christ alone, how could they say, that they had their full prescriptions from Christ? unless they meant, that they had them not from Christ alone. And then they must say, that they had them partly from some other, and that other m [...]st either be the Magistrar, or Church Officers: not Church-officers; for neither had they any call to speak of that here; nor doth Church Officers hold forth any Prescriptions, but Christs, and that in the name of Christ. If that other be the Magistrat, than it must either be meant, Collaterally, or Subordinatly to Christ: not Subordinatly, for they are not appointed of Christ for that end; nor do they, as Magistrats, act Ministerially, but Magisterially; not Collaterally, For then they should have these Prescriptions equally from the Magi­strates, as from Christ; and the Magistrat should be equal and King of the Church with Christ, which is blasphemie.

More might be here noted, but what is said is enough to our purpose, at pre­sent; and what was said above needeth not be here repeated.

But now we must proceed: These fore-mentioned were not all, who were that yeer indulged: For the same supposed favour was granted to others shortly thereafter, as appeareth by these Extracts out of the Register.

Edinburgh, August 3. 1669.

THE Persons under-written were licenced to preach at the Kirks after speci­fied viz. Mr Iohn Scot, late at Oxnam, at the same Kirk, Mr William Ham­miltoun late at Glasfoord, at the Kirk of Evandale: Mr Robert Mitchel, late at Luss, at the same Kirk: Mr Iohn Gemmil, late at Symming town at the same Kirk: Mr Pa­trick Campbel, late at Innerary, at the same Kirk: Mr Robert Duncanson, late at Lochanside, at Kildochrennan: Mr Andrew Cameron, late at Kilsinnan, now at Loc­head in Kintyre.

Edinburgh, 2. Septemb. 1669.

For as much as the Kirk of Pencaitland is now vacant, by decease of Mr Alex­ander Vernor, last Minister thereat; and there being some questions and legal pur­suits before the Judge ordinate, concerning the right of Patronage of this Kirk: Until the decideing whereof the Kirk will be vacant, if remeed be not provided: Therefore the Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel, in pursuance of his Maj. plea­sure, expressed in his Letter of the 7. of Iune last, have thought fit at this time and for this Vacancie allennerly, To appoint Mr Robert Douglas, late Minister at Edinburgh, to preach and exercise the function of the Ministrie, at the said Kirk of Pencait land. And it is hereby declared, that thir presents shall be without preju­dice of the right of Patronage, according as the same shall be found and declar­ed by the Judge ordinarie.

Edinburgh, Septemb. 2. 1669.

The Persons underwritten were licensed to preach at the Kirks after specified viz. Mr. Matthew Ramsey, late at Kilpatrick, to preach at Paisley: Mr Alexander Hammiltoun, late Min. at Dalmenie, at the same Kirk: Mr Andrew Dalrymple, late Min. at Affleck, at Dalganie: Mr Iames Fletcher, late Min. at Neuthcome, at the same Kirk: Mr Andrew Me-Claine, late Min. at Craigneis, at Kilchattan: Mr Donald Morison, late at Kilmaglais, at Ardnamurchant.

Edinburgh, Septemb. last 1669.

The Persons following were ordained to preach at the Kirks after specified; viz. Mr Iohn Stirling, at Hounam: Mr Robert Mowat at Harriot: Mr Iames Ham­miltoun at Egleshame: Mr Robert Hunter at Downing: Mr Iohn Forrester at Tilliallan with Mr Andrew Reid. infirme.

Edinburgh, Decemb. 9. 1669.

Mr Alexander Blair at Galstown: Mr Iohn Primrose at Queensferrie: Mr David Brown at Craigie: Mr Iohn Craufurd at Lamingtoun with Mr Iohn Hammiltoun aged and infirme: Mr Iames Vetch at Machline.

Edinburgh, Decemb. 16. 1669.

Mr Iohn Bairdie at Paisley with Mr Matthew Ramsey infirme.

Thus we see there were this Yeer 1669. Five and Thirtie in all licensed and indul­ged, and ordained to preach, in the several places specified, upon the Councels Order, in pursuance of the Kings Royal pleasure. And in the following yeer, we will finde the same Order given unto and obeyed by others.

But ere we proceed, it will not be amisse, that we take notice of the first Act of Parliament, holden this yeer Novemb. 16. 1669. and consequently, before the last Six were licensed. The Act is an Act asserting his Majesties Supremacy over all Persons, and in all Causes Ecclesiastical. Whereby what was done by the Councel, in pursu­ance of his Majesties Pleasure, signified by his Letter, in the matter of granting these Indulgences, is upon the matter confirmed and ratified by Parliament, when His Maj. Supremacy is so ampliated and explained, as may comprehend within its verge all that Ecclesiastick Power, that was exerced, or ordained to be exerced, in the granting of the Indulgence, with its Antecedents, Concomitants and Con­sequences: And a sure way is laid for carrying on the same designe of the Indul­gence, in all time coming.

The Act is as followeth. Nov. 16. 1669.

THE Estates of Parliament having seriously considered, how necessare it is, for the Good and Peace of the Church and State, That his Maj. Power and Authority, in Relation to Matters and Persons Ecclesiastical, be more clearly as­serted by an Act of Parliament: Have therefore thought fit it be Enacted, Assert­ed and Declared: Like as his Maj. with Advice and Consent of his Estates of Par­liament, doth hereby Enact, Assert and Declare, That his Maj. hath the Su­preame Authority and Supremacy over all Persons, and in all Causes Ecclesiasti­cal, within this His Kingdom: And that by vertue thereof, the Ordering and Dis­posal of the external Government and Policy of the Church, doth properly be­long [Page 27] to His Maj. and His Successours, as an inherent right to the Crown. And that His Maj. and His Successours may Settle, Enact and Emit such Constitu­tions, Acts and Orders, concerning the Administration of the External Govern­ment of the Church, and the Persons imployed in the same; and concerning all Ecclesiastical meetings, and matters to be proposed and determined therein, as they in their Royal Wisdom shall think fit: which Acts, Orders and Constitutions, being Recorded in the Books of Councel and duely published, are to be observed and obeyed by all his Maj. Subjects; any Law, Act or Custome to the contrary notwithstanding. Like as His Maj. with Advice and Consent foresaid doth Res­cind and Annul Lawes, Acts and Clauses thereof, and all Customes and Constitu­tions Civil or Ecclesiastick, which are contrary to, or inconsistent with His Ma­jesties Supremacie, as it is hereby asserted. And declares the same Void and Null, in all time coming.

Concerning the Irreligiousness, Antichristianisme and Exorbitancie of this Ex­plicatory, and (as to some things) Ampliatory Act and Assertion of the Kings Su­premacy in Church-affairs, much, yea very much might be said; but our present business calleth us to speak of it, only in reference to the Indulgence; that we may see with what friendly aspect this Supremacie looketh towards the Indulgence, and with what Veneration the Indulgence respecteth this Supremacie; to the end it may appear, how the Indulgence hath contributed to the establishment of this Supra-Papal Supremacie; and how the Accepters thereof stand chargeable with a Virtual and Material Approbation of, and Consent to the dreadful Usurpation, committed by this Supremacie.

In order to which, we would know, that this Act of Supremacy, made Anno 1669. was not made, upon the account, that the Supremacie in Church-affairs had never been before screwed up to a sufficient height, in their apprehensions; for up­on the matter, little that is material is here asserted to belong unto this Ecclesiasti­cal Supremacie, which hath not been before partly in more general, partly in more special and particular termes, plainly enough ascribed unto this Majestie, or pre­sumed as belonging to his Majest. In the 11. Act. Parl. 1. Anno 1661. where the Oath is framed, he is to be acknowledged, Only supreme Governour over all persons, and in all causes; and that his Power and Iurisdiction must not be declined: So that under all Persons, and all Causes, Church-officers, in their most proper, and intrinsecal ecclesiastick Affaires and Administrations, are comprehended; and if his Majest. shall take upon him to judge Doctrine, matters of Worship, and what is most essen­tially Ecclesiastick, he must not be declined, as an incompetent Judge. We finde also Act. 4. Sess. 2. Parl. 1. Anno 1662. (which is againe renewed Act. 1. Anno 1663.) that his Majestie, with advice and consent of his Estates, appointeth Church-cen­sures to be infflicted for Church-transgression, as plainly and formally, as ever a General Assembly, or Synod did, in these words; That whatsoever Minister shall without a lawful excuse, to be admitted by his Ordinary, absent himself from the visitation of the Diocess — or who shall not, according to his duty, concurre therein; or who shall not give their assistance, in all the Acts of Church-discipline, as they shall be required thereto by the Archbishop, or Bishop of the Diocess, every such Minister (N. B.) so offending shall, for the first fault, be suspēded from his Office and Benefice, until the next Diocesian meeting; and if he amend not, shall be deprived. But, which is more remarkable, in the first [Page 28] Act of that Second Session. Anno 1662. for the Restitu [...]ion and Re-establishment of Prelats, we have several things, tending to cleare how high the Supremacie was then exalted: The very Act beginneth thus, for as much as the ordering and disposal of the external Government and Policy of the Church doth properly belong unto his Majestie, as an inherent right of the Crown, by vertue of his Royal Prerogative and Supremacie in cau­ses Ecclesiastical. This is the same, that is by way of statute asserted in the late Act 1669. In the same Act it is further said, That whatever (this, sure, is large and very comprehensive) shall be determined by his Maj. with the advice of the Archbishops and Bishops, and such of the Clergy, as shall be nominated by his Maj. in the external Go­vernment and Policy of the Church (the same consisting with the standing Lawes of the Kingdom) shall be valide and effectual. And which is more, in the same Act, all pre­ceeding Acts of Parl: are rescinded, by which the sole and only Power and Iurisdiction within the Church, doth stand in the Church, and in the General, Provincial and Pres­byterial Assemblies and Kirk-Sessions. And all Acts of Parliament or Councel, which may be interpreted to have given any Church-Power, Iurisdiction or Government to the Office-bearers of the Church, their respective Meetings, other than that which acknow­ledgeth a dependence upon, and subordination to the Soveraign [...]wer of the King, as Su­preme, So that we see, by vertue of this Act, all Church-Power and Jurisdiction whatsomever, is made to be derived from, to have a dependance upon, and to be in subordination to the Soveraigne power of the King, as Supream; and not to stand in the Church: Whereby the King is made only the Foun [...]aine of Church-power, and that exclusive (as it would seem) even of Christ; Of whom there is not the least mention made; and for whom is not made the least reserve imaginable. So in the 4. Act. of the third Session of Parl. Anno 1663. For the Establishment and Constitution of a National Synod. We finde it said, that the ordering and disposal of the external Go­vernment of the Church, and the nomination of the Persons, by whose Advice, Matters relating to the same are to be setled, doth belong to his Maj. as an inherent right of the Crown, by vertue of his prerogative R [...]yal and Supream Authority in causes Ecclesiastical. And upon this ground is founded his power to appoint a National Synod; to appoint the only consti [...]uent Members thereof, as is there specified; to call, continue and dis­solve the same, when he will; to limit all their Debates, Consultations and Deter­minations to such matters and causes, as he thinketh fit; and several other things there to be seen.

Seing by these Particulars, it is manifest and undeniable, that this Ecclesiastick Supremacie was elevated presumptively before the Year 1669. to as high a degree, as could be imagined; It may be enquired, why then was this Act made Anno 1669? I answere. This act (so I conceive) was not framed so much to make any addition to that Church power, which they thought did Iure Coronae belong orginally and fundamentally unto the King; for that was already put almost beyond the reach of any additional supply, though not in one formal and expressive Statutory Act: As to forme the same, when screwed up to the highest, into a plaine and positive formal Statute, having the force of a Law, for all uses and ends; and particularly to salve, in point of Law, the Councel in what they did, in and about the Indulgence, accor­ding to the desire and command of the King in his Letter, in rega [...]rd that the gran­ting of this Indulgence, did manifestly repugne to and counteract several anteriour Acts of Parliament, and was a manifest breach and violation of Lawes, standing in full force, and unrepealed; which neither their place, nor his Maj. could in Law [Page 29] warrand them to do, by his Letter, That the granting of the Indulgence did thus in plaine termes repugne to standing Lawes, I thus make good. In the Act of Rëstitu­tion of Prelates Anno 1662. Prelates are restored unto the exercise of their Episcopal fun­ction, Presidence in the Church, power of Ordination, Inflicting of Censures, and all other Acts of Church Discipline. And as their Episcopal power is there asserted to be deri­ved from his Maj. so withal it is expresly said, that the Church-power and jurisdi­ction is to be Regulated and Authorized, in the Exercise thereof by the Archbishops and Bishops; who are to put order to all Ecclesiastical matters and causes, and to be accoun­table to his Maj. for their administrations. Whence it is manifest, that the King alo­ne, or with his Privie Councel, cannot put order to Ecclesiastical matters and causes, or exerce Church-Power and Jurisdiction, without a violation of this Law, and ma­nifest controlling of it. And further in the 4. Act of that same Second Session of Parlia­ment it is expresly ordained, that none be hereafter permitted to preach in publick or in fa­milies within any diocess;—without the licence of the Ordinary of the Diocess. So that this licence and permission, granted to the Indulged by the Councel, to preach and ex­ercise the other parts of their function, being without the licence of the Bishops, is manifestly contrary and repugnant to this Law. Moreover Act 1. in the third Sessi­on Anno 1663. we have these words. And the Kings Maj. having resolved to conserve and maintaine the Church, in the present State and Governmēt hereof by Archbishops & Bishops▪ and others bearing Office therein; and not to endure, nor give way or connivace to any varia­tion therein, in the least; doth therefore, with advice and consent of his Estates, conveened in this third Session of his Parliament, Ratifie and Approve the afore mentioned Acts, and all other Acts and Lawes, made in the two former Sessions of Parliament, in order to the set­tling of Episcopal Dignity, Iurisdiction and Authority within the Kingdom, and ordains them to stand in full force, as publick Lawes of the Kingdom, and to be put to further exe­cution, in all points, conforme to the tenor thereof. Here is a further Ratification and Confirmation of the Lawes mentioned, and the Councel hereby yet more firmely bound-up from emitting any Acts or Edicts, contradictory to, and tending to wea­ken and invalidat the publick standing Lawes of the Kingdom. And, which is yet more considerable, in the following words of this same Act, the effectual putting of these Lawes in execution is specially, and in terminis, recommended by King and Parliament, unto the Privy Councel, after this manner. And in pursuance of his Maj. Royal resolution herein, his Maj. with advice foresaid, doth recommend to the Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel, to take speedy and Effectual Course, that these Acts receive ready and due Obedience from all his Maj. Subjects; and for that end that they call before them all such Ministers, who having entred in or since the Yeer 1649. and have not as yet obtained Presen­tations and Collations as aforesaid, yet darred to preach in contempt of the Law; and to pu­nish them as seditious persons, and contemners of the Royal Authority. As also that they be careful, that such Ministers, who keep not the Diocesian meetings▪ and concurre not with the Bishops, in the Acts of Church-Discipline, being for the same suspended or deprived, as said is, be accordingly after deprivation, removed from their Benefices, Gleebs and Manses. And if any of them shall notwithstanding offer to retaine the Possession of their Benefices or Manses, that they take present Course to see them dispossest. And if they shall thereafter presume to ex­ercise their Ministrie, that they be punished, as seditious Persons, and such as contemne the Authority of Church and State. Now, notwithstanding of this express reference and severe recommendation, we know, that in the matter of the Indulgence, they were [Page 30] so far from punishing such, as had not obtained Presentations and Collations, and yet had continued to preach, and exercise their Ministrie; that in perfect contra­diction to this Injunction of King and Parliament, and other forementioned Acts, they licensed, warranded and impowered some such, as by Act of Parliament were to be punished as seditious Persons, and contemners of Authority of Church and State, to preach publickly, and to exercise all other parts of their Ministrie, and that upon the sole warrand of the Kings Letter, which cannot in Law warrand and impower them to contraveen express Lawes, and Acts of Parliament; and not on­ly to disobey the Injunctions of Parliament, but in plaine termes to counteract and counterwork the Established and Ratified Lawes; and so to render them null and of no effect.

Whence we see, that there was a necessity for the Parliament An. 1669. to do something, that might secure the Lives and Honours of the members of Councel, in point of law, in granting of that Indulgence, which was so expresly against law, and which the two Arch-Prelates, members of Councel, would never give their assent unto, as knowing how it intrenched upon the power granted to them, and the other Prelates, confirmed by Law; and so was a manifest rescinding of these Acts and Lawes. And though this might have been done by a plaine and simple Act, approving and ratifying what the Councel had done, in compliance with his Maj Royal Pleasure, and authorizing them in time coming, to pursue the ends of the same Letter further, with a non obstante of all Acts, formerly made in favoures of Prelates and Prelacie: Yet it is probable, they made choise of this way of ex­plaining, by a formal and full Statute and Act of Parliament, the Supremacie, in these plaine, full and ample termes, wherein we now have it; that thereby they might not only secure the Councel, but also make the Kings sole Letter to the Councel, in all time coming, a valid ground in Law, whereupon the Councel might proceed, and enact and execute, what the King pleased in matters Ecclesiastick, how intrin­secally and purely such soever; without so much, as owning the corrupt Ecclesia­stick medium or channel of Prelacy: And withal it might have been thought, that such an act, so necessary for the legal preservation of the Indulgers, and consequent­ly of the Indulged, in the enjoyment of the Indulgence, would go sweetly down with all the Indulged, and such as gaped for the like favour, howbeit so framed, as that it was not very pleasant, at the first tasting: For it cannot be rationally sup­posed, that such, as are pleased with their warme dwellings, will cast out with the walles & roof of the dwelling, without which they would enjoy no more warmness than if they were lodging beside the heth in the wilderness: And who could think, that any indulged man could be dissatisfied with that, which was all and only their legal security, and without which, they were liable to be punished as seditious persons, and as contemners of Authority, even for preaching by vertue of the In­dulgence, according to Lawes standing in force unrepealed?

Whence also we see, what a faire way was made unto this Act of Supremacy, by the Indulgence; and how the Indulgence is so far beholden unto this Act, that it can not stand without it, nor the persons Indulged be preserved from the lash of the Law, notwithstanding of all that was done by the Councel: And thus these two are as twines, which must die and live together; for take away the Act of Supre­macy, and the Indulgence is but a dead illegal thing. We may also see; what to [Page 31] judge of this illegal and illegitimat birth, that cannot breathe or live, where Law reigneth, without the swedling clothes of such a Supremacy, nor can stand but as upheld by such an Anti-christian Pillar.

We may also see here, that the very embraceing of the Indulgence was, upon the matter, a recognition of this Power in the King, to do in and by his Privy Coun­cel, in Church-matters, what he pleased, even though contrary to antecedent Acts of Parliament; and that such as are so satisfied with the effect, to wit, the In­dulgence, cannot but comply with the cause, to wit, the Supremacy, as asserted in this Act; as the man that hath a complacencie in drinking of the streames, cannot be displeased with, but delight in the fountaine, from whence they proceed. If any of these Brethren had received the same Indulgence from the Prelates immediatly, had they not thereby complyed with the Prelates, homologated their Power, and plainely assented and submitted thereunto? Yea, had they not in this assented also mediatly unto the Supremacy, seing all the Prelats Power did flow from the Su­premacie? And shall they not now much more be looked on, as homologating the Supremacie, and as assenting thereto, when they receive the Indulgence, that im­mediatly floweth therefrom, and must be vindicated and defended solely by the asserting thereof? How is it imaginable that I can receive a favour, and not ho­mologate, assent to and acquiesce in that Power, that gave it, when the asserting of that Power, is the only mean to keep me in legal possession of the favour received;

But now, for further confirmation of what is said, let us take a view of the Act of Supremacy it self, and there see a ground laid of sufficient warrādice for the Council, in what they did, in granting the Indulgence; and also be able to read the Indulgence it self out of the Supremacie, as here asserted; and for this end, it will be sufficient for us, to take notice only of the last words thereof, where it is said. And that his Maj. and his Successours may Settle, Enact and Emit such Constitutions Acts and Orders, concer­ning the administration of the external Government of the Church, and the Persons im­ployed in the same, and concerning all Ecclesiastical Meetings and Maters, to be propo­sed and determined therein, as they in their Royal wisdom shall think fit: which Acts▪ Orders and Constitutions, being recorded in the books of Councel, and duly published, are to be observed and obeyed by all his Maj. Subjects. Before this time, as we heard, all Acts, Orders and Constitutions, concerning Church-affairs, Church-meetings; and Church-administrations; were to be put in execution by the Prelates, impo­wered by the Supremacie unto this end: And what was lately done in the matter of the Indulgence, was done by the Councel, and not by the Prelates, and therefore contrary to law: whereupon, that this deed may be valide in law, it is here asserted, that the King, by vertue of his Supremacie, may Emit what Acts, Orders and Constitutions, he, in his royal wisdome, thinketh fit, and after what manner he pleaseth; and so, if he will, may order and dispose of all Church-administrations, Ecclesiastick Persons, Church-meetings and matters, by himself immediatly, or by his Councel; yea or by his lackeys; so that if the Lawes, Con­stitutions, Acts and Orders, concerning these Matters, Meetings, Persons and Administrations, be signified to the Councel, by Letter, or any other way, and be recorded in their books, and duely published, (which they must doe whensoe­ver required) they must be obeyed and observed by all Subjects: Now this power being asserted to belong to his Maj. as an inherent right of the crown, no deed of [Page 32] gift▪ formerly granted to the Prelats, could weaken or diminish it; and therefore noth­ing done of late by the Councel, in granting of the Indulgence, according to his Maj. will and pleasure, signified by his Letter Iuny 7. 1669. can prove prejudicial unto the said PrivieCouncel, they doing nothing but what was consonant unto the Kings Supre­macie, here more clearly asserted, and not granted of new, save in the forme of a for­mal Statute and law asserting the same. Yet notwithstanding, for the more security, (for abundance of Law breaks no Law) it is added in the Act. (as we see) Any Law, Act or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding. And moreover they rescind and annul all Lawes, Acts and Clauses thereof, and all customs and constitutions, Civil or Ecclesiastick, which are contrary to and inconsistent with his Maj. Supremacie, as it is hereby asserted; and declare the same void and null in all time coming: According to the usual course and manner.

As to the other particular, we may see the native feature and lineaments of the In­dulgence, in the face of the Supremacie, so manifestly, that none who see the one needs question the intimate Relation, that is betwixt them. We see it now asserted as be­longing to his Maj. Supremacy, in Church-affairs, tha [...] he may Settle, Enact and Emit what Acts, Constitutions and Orders, he thinketh good, whether concerning Church-Administrations, or Church-meetings, or Church-matters, or Church-Officers; and that there needeth no more to make these Lawes, to be obeyed and observed by all the Subjects, but the recording of them in the books of the Councel, and duely publishing of them. Now, as we saw above, in the Kings Letter, concer­ning this Indulgence, there areConstitutions, Acts and Orders emitted and setled con­cerning Church-administrations, shewing what shall not be preached under the paine ofCensure: whoseChildren may be baptized, whose not: who may be admitted to hear the word, and who not. Concerning Church-persons; who shall be accounted qualified for preaching, who not: who shall be accounted fit for the charge of such a flock, and who for the charge of another: Such and such Ministers are ordained to go to such or such Congregations, not by vertue of a Call of the people, but meerly by vertue of the Councels designation. Concerning Church-meetings, They are appointed to keep Diocesian Visitations, or Synods, and to resort to Prelats Exercises, though the Pre­lates look not on them as sutable company. So it is ordained, whom they are to marry and whom not. In a word, let any but compare the Kings Letter with this part of the Act of Supremacie, and he shall be forced to say, that the Letter is nothing but the Supremacie exemplified and put in practice.

Hence it is manifest, that no man can submit to, and accept of the Indulgence, but he must eo ipso submit to & accept of such Constitutions, Acts and Orders, as did consti­tute, qualifie, and limite the same; for the Effect includeth the Causes Constituent and Discriminating. And again, no man can submit to and accept of Constitutions, Acts and Orders, flowing from a power, but they must eo ipso recognosce that Power to be properly residing in the person, giving forth these Acts and Orders; or grant, that he is vested with that power: and seing it is plaine from the Act of Supremacie it self, that such Constitutions, Acts and Orders, so given in Church-matters, and about Church Persons, as these were, whereby the Indulgence was midwif'd into the world, do flow from the Supremacie; it is also manifest, that no man can accept of the Indulgen­ce, as so and so conveyed, as it was, but they must withall virtually, implicitly, and in­terpretativly at least though yet really and consequentially) acquiesce, & submit un­to, and acknowledge the Supremacie, in so far, as concerneth the matter of the Indul­gence, and the Acts, Orders a [...] Constitutions, [...]erein comprehended.

[Page 33]I am, in all this, far from thinking, that these Indulged brethren did formally and expresly Owne, Acknowledge, Acquiesce in or Approve of the Eccle­siastick Supremacie, in and by their accepting the Indulgence; or that they had any such Intention therein, as to make way for, approve of, or to confirme the said Su­premacy. No: I am only shewing what is the native consequence thereof, and in­evitablie followeth thereupon; and what consequentially they may and ought to charge themselves with, and others, not without ground, account them interpre­tatively guilty of; and what a Conscience, when rightly awakened and illuminated, will challenge them for; and the Posteritie will think they have failed in, and many now a dayes are stumbled by, or induced to stumble upon the occasion of: not to mention the designe of the Contrivers, which yet, when known and discovered, may occasion yea and cause a sad and wakening reflection; Nor yet to mention, what afterward, upon several occasions was discovered, of which more afterwards, and which might have been sufficient to have made some bethink themselves, and search more narrowly what they had done, and give glory to God by turning out of such dangerous, and so many wayes scandalous and offensive pathes.

Having thus briefly spoken of the Supremacie, as relating to and friendly corros­ponding with the Indulgence, its native daughter, we now proceed in our History, and shall show, who were Indulged even after this Act of Supremacie was thus made and published: And of these we have found already five or six licensed, that same yeer, within a moneth or thereby after the Parliament, (which gave us such a full, and large explication of the Supremacie,) sat down. But we proceed to the following yeers.

Edinbr. 27. 1670.
  • Mr Alexander Wedderburn at Kilmarnock.
Edinb. March. 3. 1670.
  • Mr Iohn Lauder at Dalzel:
  • Mr George Ramsey at Kilmars:
  • Mr Iohn Spadie at Dreghorne.
  • Mr Thomas Black at Newtyle:
  • Mr Andrew Mc claine at Killaro and Kilquhanan:
  • Mr Andrew Duncanson at Kilchattan in Lorn.

Thus we have this yeer seven moe; in all fourtie three. Towards the beginning of the next year, there is a Proclamation of the Privie Councel, re-inforcing the punc­tual observation of the forementioned Injunctions, delivered unto the Indulged; after this forme.

Edinb. Ian. 26. 1671.

For as much as the Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel, in pursuance of his Maj. Royal pleasure, signified to them by his Letter the 7. of Iun. 1669. did by their Act of the 27. of Iuly 1669. Ordaine all such outted Ministers, as should be allowed to exercise the Ministrie, to keep Kirk Sessions, and keep Presbyteries and Sy­nods, as was done by all Ministers, before the Year 1638. And did declare, that such of them, as should be allowed to Exercise the Ministrie, and should not obey in keeping of Presbyteries, should be confined within the bounds of the Paroches, where they preach, aye and while they give assurance to keep Presbyteries. And the saids Lords being informed, that hitherto Obedience hath not been given to the foresaid Act of Councel: Do therefore command and require all and every one of these Ministers, allowed to preach by order of Councel, to keep Presby­teries [Page 34] in time coming. And do hereby confine all these, who shall not give Obe­dience in keeping Presbyteries, within the bounds of the respective Paroches, where they preach. And ordains Extracts of this Act to be sent to every one of the saids Ministers, that none of them pretend ignorance.

How or what way this Injunction was observed, I am not much concerned to en­quire. Onely the Reader would know, that the Presbyteries now, and before the year 1638. were not the same; so that however honest Ministers did observe those; yet no honest man could, with a good Conscience, keep these meetings now; because before the year 1638. Presbyteries had never been discharged, or removed: How­beit many complied with the Prelates then, and frequented these meetings, yet good men keeped their Possessions; only the Synods then were so far changed into Episcopal Visitations, that several honest men had not peace and freedom in going to them. But in our Dayes, Presbyterian Government was plucked up by the roots, and wholly cast away: And there was no Presbytery or Synod, but what was purely Episcopal, depending upon him, and recognosceing his Power. Whence we see, that by this Injunction, a compliance with Prelacy was designed. And I suppose, such of those Indulged Ministers, as had not freedom in Conscience to yeeld obe­dience unto this command, thought that by compliance herewith they should have Homologated the Prelats Power, and abjured Prelacy, notwithstanding that they were obliged by the Command of God, to hold such meetings for the exercise of Discipline, according to the Patterne of the New Testament, if such circumstances had not made it sinful in them: Why then might they not also have judged it unlaw­ful for them, to have accepted of the Indulgence, as homologating the Magistrat's usurped Supremacie, and abjured Erastianisme, notwithstanding of their Obliga­tion to preach the Gospel? Why did not the Obligation to observe Presbyterial As­semblies, for the Exercise of Discipline, make them willing to step over the incon­venience of Prelacie, without acknowledging of which they could not keep these meetings hic & nune; as they supposed their obligation to preach the Gospel did warrand them to step over the inconveniencie of Erastianisme, without acknowledg­ing of which they could as little preach hic & nune; Especially seing if they observ­ed not these Presbyteries and Synods, they could observe none: But though they preached not in these places designed by the Indulgers, they could have preached else­where, with as much Glory to Christ, Good to souls, Edification of the whole Body, and Peace in their own mindes, if not more. I see not, how they, who scrupled not at preaching, though, as circumstantiated, attended with abjured Eras­tianisme, could rationally scruple the Exercise of Presbyterian Discipline, though, as circumstantiated, attended with abjured Prelacy. Yea, I think there was less ground for scrupling this of Discipline, than for scrupling that of Preaching; be­cause, as I said, they could have preached without the Erastian Indulgence, & that to much more advantage, as experience hath proved in others; But they could not have exerced Discipline, such I meane as used to be exerced in Presbyteries and Synods, without the Prelates Courts.

We have now seen the Progress of this device of the Indulgence, contrived mainely to suppress and keep down the Meetings of the Lords people in houses, and in the fields, which were the eye-sore of the Rulers, and which they were seeking to de­stroy [Page 35] by all meanes: As appeareth by that grievous Act of Parlia. made against them August 13. 1670. with the Act against Baptismes August 17. 1670. and that made Au­gust 20. 1670. against withdrawing from publick meetings; all tending to this End. But notwithstanding of all th [...]se Midianit ish wiles, and cruel Acts, such was the pre­sence of the Lord in the Assemblings of his people, and so powerful was the Opera­tion of his Spirit with the laboures of a few, who laid out themselves to hold up the Standart of Christ, though contrary to the Law of men; that the number of converts increased and multiplied daily, to the praise of the glory of Gods free grace, and to the great Encouragement of the few hands, that wrestled through all humane dis­couragment. Therefore our Rulers cast about againe, and fall upon another de­vice, which they supposed would prove effectual for destroying the work of the Lord; which was this. Besides the Ministers Indulged, as said is, there was a great company of Non-conforme Ministers, not yet Indulged, who they suppos­ed either did, or might thereafter hold Conventicles (as they are called;) and therefore to remeed or prevent this in time coming, they appoint and ordaine them to such and such places, where Indulged Ministers were setled, there to be confin­ed, granting them liberty to preach, and exercise their Ministery there, according as the Indulged men would allow and imploy them; or of new Indulging them by pairs, and appointing to places; thinking by this meanes to incapacitate so many Ministers from holding of Conventicles or private meetings there, or else where: All which will be clear by the Acts of Councel, which follow.

Halyrudhouse Septembr. 3. 1672.

THe Lord Commissioner his grace and the Lords of his Majesties Privie Councel, considering the Disordres, which have lately been by the frequent & nume­rous Conventicles; and being willing to remeed so great an evil, in the gentlest manner that could be thought on; and his Maj. Commissioner being sufficiently instructed herein. They do order and appoint the Ministers after-named, outted since the yeer 1661. to Repaire to the Paroches following, and to remaine there­in confined, permitting and allowing them to preach and exercise the other parts of their Ministerial function, in the Paroches, to which they are, or shall be con­fined by this present Act, and Commission after specified, viz.

In the Dioces of Glasgow.
  • In Egelsham Paroch, with Mr Iames Hammilton, Mr Donald Cargil.
  • Paislay, with Mr Iohn Bairdy, Mrs William Eccles and Anthony Shaw.
  • Neilstoun. Mrs Andrew Miller and Iames Wallace.
  • Kilmakolme, Mrs Patrick Symson, and William Thomson.
  • Kilbarchan, Mrs Iohn Stirling and Iames Walkinshaw.
  • Killiallan, Mrs Iames Hutcheson and Alexander Iamison.
  • Newmiles, Mrs Iohn Burnet and Georg Campbel.
  • Phinick, Mrs Thomas Wyllie and William Sheil.
  • Stewartoun, Mrs William Castellaw, Andrew Hutcheson and Andrew Mortoun.
  • Dunlop, Mrs Gabriel Cuninghame and William Meine.
  • Larges, Mrs Iohn Wallace and Alexander Gordoun.
  • Kilbride, Mrs Robert Boid and Gilbert Hammiltoun.
  • [Page 36] Comray, Mrs Archbald Porteus and Iohn Rae.
  • Kilminning, with Mr Ralph Rodger, Mr Robert Fleming.
  • Irwine, with Mr Georg Hutcheson, Mr Iohn Law.
  • Kilmarnock, with Mr. Alexa. Wederburn, Mrs Iames Rowat and William Hay.
  • Kilmares, with Mr Georg Ramsey, Mr Iohn Parke.
  • Dreghorn, with Mr Iohn Spading, Mr Iames Donaldson.
  • Beith, with Mr William Maitland, Mr William Creightoun.
  • Kilbirnie, with Mr William Datlidafe, Mr Patrick Anderson.
  • Ardrossine, with Mr Iohn Bell, Mr Iames Bell.
  • Cultoun, Mr William Fullertoun.
  • Riccartoun, Mrs Hugh Campbel and Hugh Crawfurd.
  • Dundonald, Mrs Iohn Osburne and Iohn Hutcheson.
  • Machline, with Mr Iames Veitch, Mr Robert Archbald.
  • Ochiltrie, with Mr Robert Miller, Mr Patrick Peacock.
  • Gastoun, with Mr Alexander Blair, Mr Adam Alison.
  • Cragie with Mr David Broun, Mr Robert Maxwel.
  • Dalganie, with Mr Andrew Dalrumple, Mr Iohn Campbel.
  • Symentoun, with Mr Iohn Gemil Mr Francisce Irwing.
  • Carsfairne, Iohn Semple, and Mr William Erskine.
  • Kelles with Mr Cant, Mr Georg Wauch.
  • Dalry, with Mr Iohn Mc Michen, Mr Thomas Thomsoun.
  • Balmaclellan, Mrs Iames Lawrie and Thomas Vernor, in place of Iohn Ros, when he shall be transported to Staniekirk.
  • Avendale, Mrs Iames Hammiltoun and Robert Young.
  • Glasford, Mrs William Hammiltoun and Iames Nasmith.
  • Shots, Mrs Iames Curry and Alexander Bartoun.
  • Dalserfe, Mrs Thomas Kirkaldy and Iohn Carmichel.
  • Stanihouse, with Mr Iohn Oliphant, Mr Matthew Me Kell.
  • Cambushnethen, with Mr William Violand, Mr Robert Lam.
  • Dalzel, with Mr Iohn Lauder, Mr Thomas Melvil.
  • Carlouk, Mrs Alexander Livingstoun, and Peter Kid, now at Carlouk.
  • Carmichel, Mrs Iohn Hammiltoun, and William Sommervail.
  • Culter, Mrs Anthonie Murray and Robert Lokhart.
  • Lamingtoun, with Mr Iohn Crawfurd, Mr William Baillie.
  • Lesma [...]ago, with M [...] Thom. Lawrie a regular incumbant, Mr Iames Brotherstons
  • Carstairs, Mrs Iames Kirktoun and Iohn Greg.
  • Westealder, Mrs Iohn Knox and William Weir.
  • Burrowstouness, Mrs Robert Hunter and Iohn Ingles.
Lothian, &c.
  • [Page 37]Lintoun, with [...]r Robert Elliot, Mr Robert Elliot, his Son.
  • Oxnam, with Mr Iohn Scot, Mr Hugh Scot.
  • Hownam, with Mr Iohn Stirling, Mr . . . . . Ker.
  • Killerne, Mrs Iohn Cunninson, and Alexander Mc Claine.
  • Kilfannan, Mr Iohn Cameron.
  • Campbeltoun, Mrs Duncan Campbel and Edward Keith.
  • Kilchattain in Lorn, Mrs Iohn Duncanson and Alexander Mc Claine.
  • Knapdail with Mr Dougal Campbel a Regular Incumbent, Mr Duncan Campbel.
  • South Kyntire, Mr David Sympson.

And yet notwithstanding of the said confinement, the Lord Commissioner his grace, and Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel, give full power, warrand and com­mission to the Lord Chancellovr, the Lord Duke of Hammiltoun, the Earles of Ar­gyle, Tweddale and Dundonald, The Lords President of the Session, Register, Treasurer Depute, and Justice-Clerk, with the Bishop of the Diocess, where­in the saids Ministers are confined, or any foure of them, within the space of Six Moneths after the date hereof, to alter and change any of the Persons fore­saids from any of the saids Paroches, to another of those Paroches; or to allow and confine other Persons in their place; They alwayes pitching in the first place upon some outted Ministers from that Diocess, wherein the Paroches, to which they are to be confined, dolye: And allowing none to preach, who were outted before the yeer 1662. or being outted since the yeer 1661. are under [...]ertifications, or sentences of any Court of this Kingdom: With power to the said Commissioners and their quorum, to confine to and allow outted Ministers, as said is, in the Pa­roches of Tarboltoun, Barnweel, Stevenson, Lochguenoch, Inchanen and Mearns: and that so soon as the present Incumbents in these Paroches shall be provided, and transported to other Kirks. Recommending to Patrons, to give them Presen­tations at Kirks that shall vaik; and particularly to . . . . . . . Patron of the Kirk of Gallouwsheils to give a Presentation thereto Mr Alexander George. To . . . . . Patron of the Kirk of Burghtoun, to present thereto Mr Wil­liam Naismith. To . . . . . . Patron of the Kirk of Maclue, to present thereto Mr Robert Kincaide. To . . . . . Patron of Grainae, to present thereto Mr . . . Stewart. And for the Intertainment and maintenance of the Ministers foresaids, confined and allowed by this Act, and of these formerly indulged by the Councel: The saids Lords do think fit, that the halfe of the Sti­pends of the Respective Paroches, wherein they are confined, of the Crope and Yeer of God 1672. be payed to the Ministers, formerly indulged therein; and that the other halfe of the said stipend be equally devided amongst or betwixt these formerly, and now allowed to preach in the saids Paroches. The saids whole sti­pends, receiving in the future Division proportionably, according to the number of Persons formerly and now allowed to preach therein. And where there was no Person formerly indulged, the third part of the stipend of the yeer 1672. is to be payed to these confined and allowed by this present Act, in the respective Paro­ches foresaids. And in case any of the Ministers foresaids shall not serve; as they [Page 38] are allowed by this Act or Commission foresaid; their proportion of the said sti­pends are to be holden as vacant, and to be imployed, conforme to an Act to be made in this Session of Parliament, anent the disposal of the Vacant Stipends. And ordaines letters to be directed, at the Instance of the several Ministers fore­saids, serving as said is, against these liable for payment of their proportions of the saids stipends. And the Lord Commissioners Grace, and Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel considering the extent of the Indulgence given by this Act, and that if the same should be any further enlarged, the regular Ministers might be discouraged, and the orderly and peacably disposed people of this Kingdom dis­quieted; do declare that hereafter, they are not to extend the said Indulgence, in favours of any other people, or to any other Paroches, than to those mentioned in this Act; nor to allow outted Ministers to preach in any Kirks, not herein ex­pressed, and wherein there are not already Ministers allowed to preach by this Act.

Thus we see this Indulgence very far extended, and as far as the Counsel minded to extend the same, in all time coming: But you will say, we hear of no Orders, In­structions and Prescriptions, given unto them, whereby they were to be regulated in the exercise of their Ministrie, as others formerly allowed and licensed were. Therefore in order to this, there is an Act of Councel, of the date of the foresaid Indulgence, to this effect.

WHereas by an Act of the date of thir presents, and by former Acts of Coun­cel, diverse Ministers ou [...]ted since the Year 1661. have been and are warrant­ed and licensed, to preach at certaine Kirks, therein specified; and it being ne­cessare for the better keeping of good Order, that the Rules following be observ­ed by these Ministers indulged, by an Act of the date of thir presents, and these Indulged by former Acts of Councel. Therefore the Lord Commissioners Grace, and the Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel do enjoine the punctual and due obser­vance thereof to the saids Ministers, as they will be answerable.

1. That they presume not to marry or baptize, except such as belong to the Pa­roch, to which they are confined, or to the neighbouring Paroches vacant, or wanting Ministers for the time.

2. That all Ministers indulged in one and the same Diocess, celebrate the Com­munion upon one and the same Lords Day, and that they admit none to their Communions belonging to other Paroches, without restificats from the Ministers thereof.

3. That they preach only in these Kirks, and not in the Church-yards, nor in any place else; under the paine, to be repute and punished as keepers of Con­venticles.

4. That they remaine within, and depart not forth of the Paroch, to which they are confined, without license from the Bishop of the Diocess only.

5. That in the exercise of Discipline, all such cases, as were formerly refe­rable to Presbyteries, continue still in the same manner; and where there is no Presbyterial meeting, that these cases be referred to the Presbyterie of the next bounds.

[Page 39]6. That the ordinary dues, payable to Bursers, Clerks of Presbyteries and Sy­nods, be payed by the saids Ministers, as formerly.

And that the saids Ministers may have competent time for transporting of their families, and disposing upon their goods, The saids Lords suspends their confine­ment for the space of three moneths, to the effect, in the mean time, they may go about their affairs, providing that during the time of the said Suspension, they do keep and observe the rest of the Orders and Instructions foresaids, and other Acts, made anent outted Ministers.

There was another act of Councel made this same day, concerning all the rest of the outted Ministers, nor as yet by name Indulged and licensed, and concerning some newly ordained, as followeth.

Halyroodhouse, Septemb. 3. 1672.

THe Lord Commissioner's Grace and the Lords of his Maj. privie Councel, consi­dering that by the Act of the date of thir presents and former Acts of Councel, certaine Ministers outted since the Yeer 1661. are confined in manner ther [...]in con­tained; and that there are remaining diverse of that Number not disposed on by the said Act, it ought also to be provided, that these may not give scandal to any, by with drawing themselves from the publick worshipe, in the Kirks of these Paroches, where they reside, nor ensnare others to do the like by their practice and example; do therefore give order and warrant to Sheriffs, Baylies of Regalities, Baylies of Baylieries, and their respective Deputes, and Magistrats within Brughs, to call and conveen before them all outted Ministers since the Yeer 1661. And not disposed on as said is, and who are not under a sentence or censure of State, resideing in the respective jurisdiction or bounds, or who shall in any time thereafter reside therein, to require them to hear the word preached, and communicat in the Kirk of those Paroches, where they dwell or repaire to; or dwell in some other Paroches, where they will be ordinary Hearers and Communicat; and to declare their resolution herein; and condescend upon the Paroches, where they intend to have their residence, and hear the word and Communicate: with power to the said Sherifs and other Ma­gistrats foresaids to seize upon and imprison their Persons, within the space of a Mo­neth after they should be so required. And in case any of the said Ministers shall reside in the Paroch, where there are Ministers indulged by the Councel, they are hereby warranted and allowed to preach in the Kirks of those Paroches, where they reside, upon the Invitation of the Minister therein confined and allowed; and not else.

And whereas some within the Kingdom, without any lawful Authority or Ordina­tion, take upon them the calling of the Ministrie, preach and do other Acts, peculiar to those of that function; and considering that such Presumption and Intrusion upon the sacred O [...]fice, tend to the Disordering and Disquieting of the Church and King­dom. Therefore the Lord Commissioner's Grace, and the L L. foresaid of his Maj. Privie Councel do enjoyn the said Sheriffs and other Magistrates foresaids, within the respective bounds, to make search for, and seize upon and imprison such, upon tryal that they have exercised the Office of a Minister: To acquaint the Councel of their Names and place of their Imprisonment, that such course may be taken with them as they shall think fit. And further, the said Sheriffs are ordained and com­manded [Page 40] to enquire, how the Ministers, confined and allowed to preach in their sever­al Jurisdictions, do obey the Rules prescribed to them, and contained in another Act of Councel, of the date of thir presents, and whereof extracts are to be sent to the several Magistrates foresaid, who are hereby appointed to report to the Councel there anent, every six moneths, and betwixt and the first of june next their diligence in the execution of the order, contained in the Act, certifying them, that if they shall be negligent or remisse in the execution of the orders, given to them herein, or falzying to give in the said account, they shall be proceeded against and censured, according to their demerites.

By this Act we see what course was laid down to have all the outted Ministers can­tonized, and brought under restraint, that so the Word might also be under bonds, and restricted to these bounds, to which they had been pleased to extend the Indul­gence. We see also, how the Councel looked upon such, as had been ordained, but not by Prelates, and how they were to be persecuted by their Order. We see also, how the ministery of those, who were thus to confine themselves in places; where Indulged men were, is restricted by their Prescriptions, in its exercise.

But by the preceeding Act of Indulgence, we saw a number of Ministers Indulg­ed. who were to repaire to the several places specified; and to this end every one of them were to receive their own particular Act or Summonds, to this effect.

Halyroodhouse Septemb. 3. 1672.

THe Lord Commissioner's Grace and the Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel, considering the disorders, which have lately been by frequent and numer­ous Conventicles, & being willing to remeed so great an evil in the gentlest man­ner could be thought on: and his Maj. Commissioner being sufficiently instructed herein. They do hereby order and appoint . . . to repaire to the Paroch Kirk of . . . and to remaine therein confined, permitting and allowing him to preach, & exercise the other parts of the Ministerial function in the said Paroch, with . . . formerly Indulged.

But where no Minister had been formerly Indulged, this last clause was left out. As also there was sent alongs with this act to every one of them an extract of the Councels Instructions, of the date thereof.

Here we see the Former Injunctions renewed, and pressed on all, formerly and now of late indulged; and moreover we finde some new Injunctions superadded, to wit, concerning the time of their celebrating of the Lords Supper; of purpose to hinder the greater Good and Edification of the people, who used to go to other Churches, than their owne, to partake of that Comforting and Strengthening Ordinance; Whereby also an insupportable yock was put upon their necks, to celebrat the Sa­crament at times (as to some in particular possiblie) most unseasonable, when nei­ther they nor their people were in case, and when the season of the year might prove an impediment in Landward Kirks, though none to Towns. And further they are injoined not to preach without the Walls of the Kirk, nay not so much as in their House; such hatred and indignation had these Rulers, at all House and Field Mee­tings, that they would not suffer even their own licensed and warranted Mini­sters to do any thing, that might carry the least appearance of any such thing. So [Page 41] they are ordered to acknowledge their subjection unto the Prelates Courts, by re­ferring cases, usually referable to Presbyteries, unto them; as also to testifie their acknowledgement of the Prelates Courts, by paying their proportion of the Salarie, now alledged to be due to the Clerks of these Courts. Any may see what snares were laid here; and what obedience was given hereunto by these Ministers, who accepted of the benefite of this Indulgence, I know not. It is sufficient for me to note here, that these Injunctions flow from an Usurped Power, and are not proper Magistratical Acts, circa sacra, but Intrinsecally Church-Constitutions (at least se­veral of them:) and therefore the accepting of these, which were a piece of the com­plex Business of the Indulgence, as tendered and granted by the Rulers, bewrayed their falling off, in so fa [...], from former Principles, owned and sworne unto. And beside, this addition of New Instructions did show, that the Councel looked upon them, as their Curats, and as Obnoxious to their Orders in Church-Matters, and what concerneth the manner and way of their exerceing of the ministerial function, as the other Curats are unto the Prelates, or as [...]ver any Minister was obnoxious to the Canons and Constitutions of General or Provincial Assemblies, in our best times. And let me enquire of these Accepters, how they think such an act as this, had it been done, while the Church was in possession of her Power, would have been looked upon? And how our General Assemblie would have looked upon such Ministers, as should have submitted unto the like then, as they have done now? I suppose they will think, that if they had done so, they would have met with no less, than Deposition. And then let them consider, if that can be a commendable duty now, which would then have been such a Transgression. And let them say whether or not, such do them great wrong, who, adhering to their former Prin­ciples, must needs look on them, as ipso jure deposed.

It deserves to be noted here, that a Lybel was formed against one Mr William Weer, at this time Indulged, and permitted to preach in West-calder; and he was looked upon by the Councel, as one, that most basely slighted their Favour and Indulgence, and was severely to be punished, because he thought it not sufficient to enter unto that charge, mee [...]ly upon the Act of the Councel; but to satisfie him­self the more, as to his ground of en [...]rie, did receive a call from some of the Heri­tors and People; and because in his first preaching to that people he declared his adhe­rence to the So [...]emne League and Covenant, and that he did not acknowledge the power either of King of Bishop, in matters belonging to the Church of Christ: And in his next Sermon said, that neither King nor Councel were the Treasurers of the Gospel, or of the Ministrie of it. And because the following day, he preached against the Supremacie in matters Ecclesiastical, and against Prelacy: And because he had in preaching declared, that the Civil Magistrate had no power to appoint a day to be kept holy and observed in holy worshipe. By which we see, That the Councel tak­eth upon them to make this man a Minister, though they plainely shew, that he was never owned as a Minister by the Church-Judicatories. Further we see, That the Councels Act, thus ordering these Indulged Ministers to the respective Kirks, was all the call they had, or that they would acknowledge should be had, or required; and therefore the Indulged have no call, but the call of the Councel as their ground. Further we hence see that the Councels aime and end (among others) was to have the Supremacie established, and Prelacie; so that the very speaking against these, by [Page 42] such as were Indulged, was sufficient to be the matter of a Lybel, and was looked on as criminal: What Interpretation can then be given of the silence of others, thus Indulged, as to these great points let sober men judge; and whether or not, the Councel did suppose, that by this Indulgence, they had obtained so many coy­duks, as did willingly submit thereunto.

I know several Ministers, mentioned in this Act, had not freedom to accept of this supposed favour of the Indulgence, and were therefore cited before the Coun­cel: Among these, faithful and worthy Mr Iohn Burnet, Minister at Kilbride neer Glasgow, was one, who thought it his duty to give an open and plaine account of his Reasons to the Councel, why he could not submit to that Indulgence, and for this end, drew up his Reasons in write, directing it to the Councel: But being prevented by sickness, and thereafter by death, did not get it presented, yet sent it to the Chancellor, and left it, as his Testimonie against that evil, not changing what might have been changed in the manner of its address, because of sickness and other inconveniences. I shall here set it downe, as he left it; not only because it was his Testimony to the Truth (and Testimonies should be carefully keeped, and Committed to posteritie;) but also because his Reasons are weighty, and may helpe us to see more of the iniquity of this Indulgence. His paper was as follloweth.

The draught of this Paper was framed purposely to the S. Coun­cel, as will appear in the very entrie thereof, which mould I could not change, because of the want of health, and other Inconveniences.

BEing called before his Majesties Privie Councel to give an account of the rea­sons, why I have not accepted of this present Indulgence, granted by his most excellent Majest. to several Presbyterian Ministers in Scotland, I desire humblie and in the fear of God (who standeth in the Congregation of the Migh­tie, and Judgeth among the Gods) to give this true, sober and ingenous Relation of such things, as did and doe invinciblie binde me, why I cannot accept of this late complex Indulgence, framed in three distinct Acts of Councel, of the Date Sept. 3. and 7. 1672. To which I shall premit these things briefly.

1. That it is well known to all the Protestant Reformed Churches abroad, concerning the Constitution and Government of this ancient Church of Scotland for many yeers, and particularly in the yeer 1660. That it was framed according to the Word of God, confirmed by many laudable and ancient Lawes of the King­dome, and solemnly sworne to by all Ranks within the same.

2. It is also found by lamentable experience, that since that time this Ancient and Apostolick Government is wholly overturned in its very Species and kinde, and that by the Introduction of Lordly Prelacie, which is tyrannically exercised; whereby the Church was suddenly deprived of her lawfully called Pastours, and their roomes filled by strangers, violently thrust-in upon the people, many of whom have proven scandalous and insufficient.

3. The sad Effects of these things are conspicuously apparent upon the face of this Church this day, such as involving the Land in great backsliding and defe­ction, [Page 43] the abounding Ignorance & Atheisme, the overflowing spa [...]e of Sensuality & Profanness like to Sodome, the increase of Poperie and Errour through the Land, even to the height of Antichristian Paganisme, & Quakerisme; The sharp suffer­ing and smartings of many of his Maj. loyal Subjects through the Land, meerly because they cannot conforme to the present Prelatical frame; and finally the in­crease of Animosities, Dissentions, Divisions, Jealousies, and Differences a­mong the Subjects.

4. Whatever Power sound and orthodox Divines do acknowledge the Magi­strat to have, and may have exercised in a troubled and extraordinary state of the Church; yet it is not at all yeelded by them, that the Magistrat may in any wayes, alter its warrantablie established Government, and so turne that same [...]roub [...]ed and perplexed state and frame of the Church, made such by himself, meerly to be the subject of his magisterial authoritative Care and Operation.

5. That I be not mistaken, as denying to his Maj. his just Power in Ecclesiastick matters. I do humblie and with great alacritie acknowledge, that the Civil Ma­gistrat hath a power circa Sacra, which power is objectively Ecclesiastick; so as he by his Royal Authoritie may enjoyn that whatsoever is commanded by the God of Heaven, may be diligently done for the House of the God of Heaven; which Power also is by Gods appointment only Cumulative and Auxiliary to the Church, not Privative, nor Destructive, and is to be exerced alwayes in a Civil manner.

As to the Reasons of my not-acceptance of the present Offer, and not repairing to the place designed by the Councel: They are

1. That our Lord Jesus Christ, Mediator, the King and Lawgiver of his owne Church, hath committed all Ministeria [...] Authority, for Government of his House, to his own Church-Officers, as the first proper subject and receptacle thereof, Ioh. 20: v. 21. As my Father sent me, so send I you. Math. 28:18.19.20. All Power is given to me in Heaven and Eearth, go ye and preach the Gospel. 2 Cor. 10: v 8. Our Authoritie which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for destru­ction▪ &c. But so it is that the Act explanatorie of his Maj. Supremacie in the Church, (whereupon the Act of Indulgence is grounded) doth not only claime the Power to belong of right to his Maj. and Successours, as an inherent pri­vilege of the Crown, but doth actually also invest and cloath him with the formal exercise thereof in his own Person, and that he may derive the same, and con­vey it to others, as in his Royal wisdome He shall think fit: For his Majest. is pleased to designe and make application of Ministers to Congregations, and that, without the previous call of the People, and power of the Presbytery (which would suppose the Civil Magistrat to have Authoritie to judge of the suitableness of Ministers parts and gifts to labour amongst such and such a people.) As also to frame and prescribe Ecclesiastick Rules, relating to the exercise of the Ministerial Office, as also appointing a Commission to Plant and Transplant Ministers, as they shall think fit; Notwithstanding that it hath been unanswerablie evinced, that Pres­byte [...]ian Government is founded on the Word of God, and confirmed otherwayes aboundantly.

2. Although I do freely disallow and condemne all tumultuarie and seditious meetings (among which it is sad and grievous, that the peacable meetings of the [Page 44] Lords People for Worship, and hearing the Word soundly preached, should be reckoned;) yet I am so convinced and perswaded in my heart of the Lords bles­sing, attending the preaching of the Gospel (though not in a pub [...]ick Parish Church) as that I judge the narrative of the first act to go near to involve my acceptance of this Indulgence, being an interpretative condemning of the saids meetings.

3. There is a standing relation betwixt me & another Flock, overwhich I was set, by the appointment of Jesus Christ in his word, which tye c [...]n never reallie be dis­solved by any other Power, than that which at first did make it up, and give it a being: And after that I had Ten years (during the English Usurpation) wrestled in opposition to Quakers & Independants ▪ in the place, where the first breach had been made upon the Church of Scotland, I was without any Ecclesiastick sentence thrust from the publick exerci [...]e o [...] my Ministrie in that place, where there will be 1200. examinable Persons, whereof th [...]re were never 50. Persons, yet to this day, who have subjected themselves to him, who is called the Regular Incumbent; And that even when I was living 30. mi [...]es distant from the place. Now what a door is hereby (by my being keeped from my Charge) opened to Error, Atheisme and Profanness may be easily conj [...]ctured by those, who hear of the deplorable case of that people? And what a g [...]ief must it be to them, to have their owne Law­ful Pastor shut up in a Corner, whereby we are both put out of a capacitie to re­ceive any mo [...]e Spiritual comfort flowing from that Relation, which is yet in force betwix [...] us? Or how is it to be imagined that any new supervenient relation can result betwixt another Flock and me, by vertue of an Act only of a meer Civil Ju­dicatorie? Beside, that the people, in whom I have present Interest, are utterlie rendered hopeless by a clause in the end of the first Act viz. That the Indulgence, is not hereafter to be extended in favours of any other Congregation, than these mentioned in the Act, whe [...]eof they in that Parish are none.

4. That I will not offer to debate the Magistrat's sentence of Confinement, let be his Power to doe the same; yet I shall soberly say, there are so many things attend­ing the present application thereof to my Person, that it cannot be expected, I should give that Obedience hereto, which might inferre my owne Consent or Ap­probation, for 1. Though this Confinement be called a gentle remedie of the great evils of the Church, in the narrative of the first Act, yet it is found to be a verie sharp punishment, as it is circumstantia [...]. 2. All punishments, inflicted by Magi­strats on Subjects, ought to relate to some Cause or Crime, and cannot be done arbitrarilie, without oppression, which truth is ingraven on the light of nature: For Festus, a heathen Man Acts 25:27. could say, It seemeth to me unreasonable to send a Prisoner and not withal to signifie the crime laid against him; yet am I sentenced and sent in fetters to a Congregation, without so much as being charged with any crime, And all the world are left to collect the reason of this Censure. 3. If my Confinement relate not to any crime, it must needs relate to a designe, which designe is obvious to Common sense, viz. th [...]t I should preach and exercise the Office of my Ministrie, whollie at the appointment & disposal of the Civil Ma­gistrat; and a sentence of Confinement is less obvious to debate and dispute by the Subjects, and will more easily goe downe with any simple man, than an express command to preach, grounded on his Maj. Royal Prerogative and Supremacie, and cannot readily be refused by any, unless a man make himself to be constructed, [Page 45] a squimish wild Phanatick, and expose himself to great sufferings; so this Confin­ment, which hath both his Maj. Prerogative and Supremacie in Ecclesiastick mat­ters in it, comes to me in roome, and that directly, of the Peoples Call, and Pres­byteries Authoritie and other Ecclesiastick Appointment. Now this designe, however closely covered, I dare not in Conscience, yea I cannot (with the pre­servation of my Judgment and Principles) concurre with, or be consentient there­to. 4. By the Confinment I am put to an open shame before the world, and particu­larly in that place, where I am permitted to preach the Gospel: For what weight can my preaching or ministerial Acts of Discipline and Government have, while I my self am handled and dealt with as a Malefactour and Transgressour, a Rebel or Traitour to my Prince & Nation? Or how can I preach the word of the Lord free­ly and boldly against the [...]innes of the time (as against Profanness, Errour, Inju­stice and Oppression) as Ministers ought impartially to do, while I am kept under a perpetual check of the sword of the Magistrat at my throat? This to me is not preaching, but an over-awed discourse: Morover, I become a prey for any malici­ous prejudicat hearer, who shall happen to accuse and informe against me. Can I be answerable to God who sent me, to render up my self willingly to be a servant of men? Were not this to cut-out my owne tongue with my owne hands? 5. This Confinment is not simplie or mainly of my Person, (which sentence if it were so, I should most willingly undergo) but it is of the Office it self (the imprisonment of which ought to be sadder to me, than any personal suffering whatsoever) while 1. It is not of me alone, but of all the Presbyterian Ministers in Scotland, a very few only excepted. 2. While the propagation of the Gospel by the personal restraint of us all is manifestly obstructed. 3. We are cut off from the discharge of ma­ny necessary duties, which we owe to the Nation and Church, and specially at such a time, while she is in hazard to be swallowed up with a swarm of Iesuits, Quakers and other damnable Subverters of the Truth; and (which is yet more) while three parts of the Kingdom, are groaning under [...]he want of the Word, faith­fully preached, and some few Shirs only here in the West are made, as it were, the Common Goal of all the Ministers, that are permitted to preach. 4. By this Confinment, I lose an essential part of my Ministerie, which is the exercise of Ju­risdiction and Church Government; which yet Mr Baxter, (a very favourable non-conformist) asserts to be as essential to the Office of a Minister, as Preaching of the word; The staff being as needful to the shepherd, as either the pigg or the horne is; so sayes the Scripture of preaching Elders Acts. 20.28. The Holy Ghost hath made you Overseers or Bishops, no less then Teachers; a principal par [...] of which Government is Ordination of Ministers, for preservation of a succession of faithful men in the Church; whereof by the Act of Confinment (as also is ex­presly provided by the last c [...]ause of the last Act) we are intentionally deprived for ever, while it is in force: In loseing of which one branch of our Government, we undo our own cause with our owne hands. I remember the first thing the ambi­tious Romane Clergie invaded and usurped, was the Jurisdiction and Authoritie of Presbyters, turning the Ministers of Jesus Christ into the Prelats jurney men, making Curates of them, only for preaching and intimating the Bishops mandats, And what else doe I in this case, but make the Ministerie of the Gospel in my Person Immediatly dependant, in the exercise of it, upon the arbitriment of the Civil Magistrat.

[Page 46]5. As for the Permission and Allowance I have to preach▪ when confined, This Permission seemeth very fair, while I look on it abstractly, without relation to the rest of the Particular circumstances of the Act; for this would look like opening the door in part, which the Magistrat himself had shut; but while I take it com­plexly with what else is joyned with it, it doth presently carry another [...]ace, like some pictures or medals that have two or three different aspects to the eyes of the beholder: For Permission to preach in any vacant Church within the Kingdome is so very great a favour, as for which I would desire to bless God, and thank hi [...] Maj. most heartily: But take it without the praevious Call of the people, the Au­thoritie and Assistance of a Presbyterie, as it may be had; and take it without the exercise of Discipline and Government, but what is Congregational; and so it is [...]ame. Againe, take it with the Confinment and other claggs and cavea [...]s, con­tained in the 2. Act, Or take it with the burden of being obliged to follow all matters (formerly referable to Presbyteries and Synods) before these Presby­teries and Synods, which are now constitute by Bishops and their De [...]egats; and so it is nothing but that same Accommodation, which we formerly had in our of­fer from the Bishop, and did refuse: And take it yet with the robbing of our owne Congregations, and with the depriving of three parts of foure of the whole rest of the Land, and then I have it to consider, whether this my Permission to preach be not the putting of my neck under a heavier yoke, than it could be under before.

6. The last Reason (for brevity) is from the Affinity with and dependance this Act of his Maj. Royal Indulgence hath upon the late explanatorie Act of his Maj. Supremacie, (which I desire with sorrow of heart to look upon, as the greatest In­croachment can be made upon the Crown and Authority of Jesus Christ, who is only King and Lawgiver of his Church upon Earth) as will be evident by com­paring the two Acts together; For the Act of his Maj. Supremacie (besides the narrative) containes two principal parts, viz. (1) The Assertorie of his Maj. Su­premacie, which is the main Theam proposed to be explained, in these Words▪ The Estates of Parliament do hereby Enact, Assert and Declare, that His Majest. hath the supreame Authoritie and Supremacie over all Persons, and in all Causes Ecclesiastick▪ within this Kingdom. (2. The Explanatorie part followes, in so many most comprehensive and extensive Branches and Articles, thus: That by vertue thereof the Ordering and Disposal of the external Government of the Church doth properly belong to his Maj. and his Successours, as an inherent righ [...] of the Crown, and that his Maj. and Successours may Settle, Enact & Emit such Constitutions, Acts & Orders, concerning the Administration of the external Government of the Church, and the Persons employed in the same, and concerning all Ecclesiastical meetings and matters, to be proposed and determined therein, as they in their Royal Wisdome shall [...]hink fit.

Againe the Act of his Maj Royal Indulgence, which is the exercise and actual application of his Supremacie in matters Ecclesiastick, may be taken up in these particulars comprehensively. (1) The nomination and election of such and such Ministers, to such and such respective places. (2) A power to plant and trans­plant, put out and put in Ministers to the Church. (3) The framing and prescri­bing Rules and Instructions, for limiting Ministers in the exercise of the Ministe­rial Office. (4) The ordaining Inferiour Magistrats, as Sherifs, Justices, &c. to [Page 47] informe the Councel every six moneths, under highest paines, anent the carriage of Indulged Ministers, and how they observe the foresaid Rules. (5) The Con­fining of licensed Ministers to one small Corner of the Kingdome, and declaring all other Places and Congregations whatsoever within this Nation to be uncapable of any share of this Royal Favour, except such places only as are exptesly con­tained in the Act itself. Now, that these Particulars of the Act of Indulgence are of the same nature and kinde with the Articles Explanatorie of his Maj. Su­premacie, will demonstratively appear by this plaine Argument, viz. To Settle, Enact, Emit Constitutions, Acts and Orders concerning Matters, Meetings and Persons Ec­clesiastick, according to their Royal pleasure, is the very substance and definition of his Majest. Supremacie, as it is explained by his Estates of Parliament. But the Act of his Majest. Indulgence, in the whole five fornamed particulars thereof, is only to Settle, Enact and Emit such Constitutions, Acts and Orders, concerning mat­ters, and Meetings, and Persons Ecclesiastical, according to Royal pleasure: Therefore the Act of his Maj. Indulgence is the substance and definition of his Maj. Supremacie, as it is explained by his Estates of Parliament. The Rules and Instructions for limiting Ministers in the exercise of their Office, as also the rest of the two forenamed Particulars of the Indulgence, are such, as I declare I cannot accept of them, or any other favour whatsoever, upon such termes and condi­tions; because they containe the down-right exercise of Erastianisme (as I humbly conceive; and a discretive judgment of such Acts as a man resolving to practise can not be denyed him, unless men be turned into bruits, and so be ruled no more as reasonable creatures) namely, the Magistrat by his proper and elicit Acts, doing that which is purely Spiritual and Ecclesiastick, as a Nomothetick Head and Lawgiver, framing such Lawes and Constitutions Ecclesiastick, as are not com­petent for any Ministerial or Declarative Power to enact or impose; but of that Power only, which is absolutely Soveraigne: and whatsoever will militat against an Ecclesiastick Person, to arrogat to himself to be Christs Vicar on Earth, and a visible Head, to give and make Lawes for the Church, according to his pleasure; The same also will make much against any other, though the greatest in the World, to assume to himself this Prerogative, so long as he can produce no divine warrant for this claime. A more particular consideration of these Rules, and other Parti­culars, I must needs (for brevity) forbear.

My Noble Lord. HAving, in the singleness of my heart, and I trust without any just ground of of­fence, given this short and sober account of the Reasons, why I have not made use of his Majest. Royal favour and Indulgence, And being fully perswad­ed in my Conscience, that both Magistracie and Ministery are Gods Ordinance, & no wayes destructive, but mutually helpful one to another; so that I can not but earnestly long, That the Lord, who hath the hearts of Kings and Rulers in his hand, would put it in the heart of our great Soveraigne (and in your Gr's heart to be instrumental therein) that he would grant us, Ministers, libertie to make full proof of that Ministery, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for destruction; that we might have the opportunitie to make it appear, that the Go­vernment, [Page 48] which the Lord Jesus hath appointed in his Church, doth well con­sist and agree with the Magistrats Civil Government in the State, that so I and all others, my outted Brethren, may have access to our former Charges, or other Congregations, as we shall have opportunity of a cordial Invitation from the people, with the assistance and help authoritatively of lawful Church [...]udicato­ries, until such time as God shall grant a patent way to returne to our own Char­ges. (2.) And that Presbyterian Ministers may have access to his Maj. for re­presenting just grievances, which press heavily our Consciences, and the con­sciences of the people, his Maj. loyal and faithful Subjects in the Land. In grant­ing of which necessary and just desire, I your Gr's. Servant shall be a humble Sup­plicant at the Throne of Grace, for the preservation of his Maj. Person, the esta­blishing of his Throne in righteousness; and that the Lord would poure forth the Spirit of righteous judgment on your Grace that the Lord may be blest, and your Grace may finde mercie in the day of visitation.


By this free and faithful Testimony, we see what Reasons moved him not to ac­cept of this supposed favour; and particularly we may observe, that one maine Rea­son was, the Relation and Affinitie, that was betwixt the Act of Indulgence, and the Explicatory Act of Supremacie; so that who ever accepted of this Indulgence, could not but be looked upon as virtually and materially (at least) approving and consenting to the Supremacie; & what iniquity lyeth wrapped-up in this, a few words could not express.

But Moreover there were Ten Ministers (I suppose worthie Mr Iohn Burnet fore­mentioned was one of them) who did meet together upon the same account, to draw up reasons of their refusing the Indulgence, to be presented unto the Councel: But though the Paper was drawn up and subscribed; yet I did not hear, that it was presented. However, because it may also contribute some light and confirmation, I shall set it down here, as I had it.

ALL of us being concerned and reached by the late Act of Indulgence and Con­finement, & some of us being already cited to give an account, why we have not accepted the same, do humblie desire, in the fear of God, (who standeth in the Congregation of the Mighty, and judgeth among the Gods) to give this true, so­ber and ingenous relation of the Reasons, which lye weighty on our Consciences, and binde us up from compliance with your LL. Commands, in this matter; briefly premitting first. That our non-compearance hath not flowed from any con­tempt of, or disrespect unto Authority (which we alwayes highly esteem in the Lord, as our Consciences bear us witness, resolving through grace to submit there­to, in all things Lawful) but from the apprehension, we have conceived of the hazard of our Ministrie and Persons thereby, lest by our personal appearance, and signifying our reasons coram, we might have probably irritated your LL. Secondly. That we be not mistaken, as denying to his Maj. his just power, in reference to Ecclesiastick matters, we do heartily and with great alacrity acknowledge, that the Civil Magistrat hath a power circa sacra, objectively Ecclesiastick; so as he by his Royal Authority may enjoine, that whatsoever is commanded by the God of [Page 49] heaven, may be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: Which po­wer is only cumulative and auxiliary to the Church, not privative nor destructive, and is to be exercised alwayes modo civili.

As to the reasons amongst many, which might be adduced (not willing to trouble your L L. with prolixitie) we humblie propose these few.

1. That our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, Mediator, the only Head, King and Law-giver of his own Church, hath committed all Ministerial Power and Autho­rity for Government of his House, to his own Church-Officers, as the first proper Subject and Receptacle thereof Ioh. 20:21. Matth. 16:19. and 18:18, 20. and 28: v. 18, 19, 20. 2 Cor. 10:8. But so it is, that the Act explanatory of his Maj. Su­premacie in the Church, whereupon this Act of Indulgence is founded, doth a­scribe this Power to His Maj. and His Successours, as an inherent right of the Crown; and actually invests him with the formal exercise thereof, in his own Person, deriving and conveying the same to others, as he in his Royal Wisdom shall think fit: And that the Act of Indulgence appeareth to be the Exercise and Actual Application of the Supremacie in Matters Ecclesiastick, is obvious by comparing the two Acts together; namely in these 3. Particulars, (1.) The No­mination and Election of such and such Ministers to such and such respective Congregations, and that without the previous Call of the People, and Power of lawful Church-Judicatories; which supposeth the Civil Magistrat to have Autho­rity to judge of the sutableness of Ministers Gifts and Qualifications, to labour a­mong such and such people. (2.) A power to plant and transplant, to put-out and to put-in Ministers in the Church, and actually clothing Persons meerly ci­vil with Power for that effect. (3.) The framing and prescribing Ecclesiastick Ca­nons and Instructions, for regulating the exercise of the Ministerial Office: all which are proper, intrinsick and formal Acts of Church-power, belonging by vertue of Christs Institution to Church-Officers.

2. Although we do freely disallow and condemne all tumultuary and seditious Meetings (amongst which it is sad and grievous that the peacable Meetings of the Lords people, for Worship and hearing of the Word soundly preached, should be reckoned) yet are we so convinced and perswaded in our hearts of the Lords blessing, attending the preaching of the Gospel, though not in a publick Paroch-Church; as that we judge the narra [...]ive of the first Act goes neer to involve the Ac­cepters of this Indulgence in an interpretative condemning of the saids Meetings; which we in Conscience da [...] not do, being commanded to abstaine fom all appea­rance of evil 1 Thes. 5:22.

3. There being a standing relation betwixt us and those flocks, over which the Holy Ghost hath made us Overseers, according to Christs Institution in his word▪ the sense of which tye engageth us, to have special regard to these flocks, until that be dissolved by the same power, that made it up and gave it a being; besides that by keeping us from our Charges, a wide door is opened to Errour, Atheisme and Prophanity, and we disabled to discharge the trust, committed to us by Christ, for which we must be answerable to him, in that great day of accounts: What a grief must it be to the people to have their own Lawful Pastours shut-up in a Cor­ner, whereby both we and they are put out of a Capacity for performing of those duties, which tend to our mutual Comfort and Edification; which no doubt is [Page 50] much aggravated by the Intrusion of others, whom they cannot acknowledge as their Lawful Pastors, they looking on the former relation, as yet in force.

4. Though we be far from questioning the Magistrats just power to confine any of his Subjects within his Dominions; yet there are several things in the present complex case, which we do humblie desire to present to your L L. as burdensome to our Consciences, as (1.) That this Confinement is not simplie of our Persons, but of the Ministrie it self, the Imprisonment of which should be sadder to us, than any personal suffering whatsomever: while, First, It is not of one or two, but of all the Presbyterian Ministers of the Church of Scotland, a very few only except­ed. Secondly, While the Propagation of the Gospel, by the personal restraint of us all, is manifestly obstructed. Thirdly, We are cut off from the discharge of ma­ny necessarie duties, which we owe to this National Church; and specially at such a time, when so much in hazard to be swallowed up with the floud of Iesuits, Qua­kers and other damnable subverters of the Truth; and which is yet more, that the three parts of the Kingdom are groaning under the want of the word faithful­ly preached. As also by this Confinement, we lose the exercise of an essential part of our Ministrie viz. Jurisdiction and Church-Government, a Principal part whereof is Ordination of Ministers, for preservation of a succession of faithful men in the Church, whereof by this Act of confinement (as is also expresly provided by the last clause of the last Act) we are intentionally deprived for ever, while it is in force; in loseing of which, we do burie our cause with our own hands (2.) We cannot but sadly regrate, that no Physical restraint is put upon Papists & Qua­kers, yea while their Meetings and Conventicles have been found and known, yet not all quarrelled. But the Meetings of Orthodox Protestants hunted, pur­sued and obstructed, to the great griefe of all the Godly in the Land, though nothing hath been found in them to the prejudice of the peace of the Kingdom, or his Maj. true Interest (3.) It is no small grievance, that we are cast in two's and three's in one Paroch, where there is no need of our Ministrie, nor accommo­dation for our families, while there are Thousands left to the oversight of others, both in sufficient and scandalous.

5. By the last Act of this Indulgence, all Ministers not indulged are prohibite the exercise of their Ministrie, even as to the preaching of the word, except in the places of their respective confinements, and that upon a call from the Incum­bent allannerly: And in their summonds are required to engage to the same; which being contrare to the Scripture commands, and the Commission delivered to us by the Lord Jesus, for feeding of his people by the everlasting Gospel, doth cast us upon a sad dilemma either of disobeying God, or your L L. so that we must say, Whether it be better to obey God or Men, judge ye.

And now, My Lords, having in the singleness of our hearts, and, we hope, with­out any just ground of offence, given this short and serious representation of our thoughts, in this affaire; we humbly intreat your L L. to give a favourable hear­ing to these our subsequent just and necessarie desires viz. 1. That your L L. would not construe our non-compliance with the Indulgence, as tendered in the forementioned Acts, to proceed from humour and peevishness; but from Con­science, which makes us, that we dar not be [...]ilent in matters of so great concern­ment to our Lord and Master, to whom in the first place we owe fidelity, upon [Page 51] all highest paines; and that our hearts may not condemne us, in withholding from Caesar what is Caesars, nor in giving to him, what is the Lords. 2. That we be not pressed to go to our Confinements, nor proceeded against as disloyal, and contemners of Authority, on that account; and that we may have liberty to preach the Gospel to our own respective flocks, and to others, as we have access in providence. 3. That your L L. would be pleased to deal with his Maj. to take off the legal restraints on our Ministrie and Persons; that we may peacably give ourselves to the work of the Ministrie, for the Edification of the body of Christ. 4. & Lastly. That your L L. would seriously consider, in the sight of the most high God (before whose tribunal we are all shortly to appear, and give an account of our acti­ons) the heavy pressures and burdens, lying on the Consciences of Ministers and People for meer preaching, and hearing of the word; which pressures have main­ly flowed from the heavy yoke of Prelacy (a plant that our heavenly Father never planted) under which this Church hath groaned those many years. And also we most humbly beseech your L L. that what favour it shall please his Maj. in his Royal Clemency to grant, may not be inconsistent with our known Prin­ciples, to which we stand engaged by solemne Covenant and Oaths. In granting of which desires, as your L L. will undoubtedly make glade the hearts of many Thousands of his Maj. Loyal Subjects; so ye will much encourage us, your humble Petitioners, to continue serious Supplicants at the throne of grace, for Establishing his Maj. Throne in righteousness, and for pouring out a spirit of righ­teous judgement; that we may lead a peaceable and quiet life, in all Godliness and honesty.

By these Testimonies and Papers, howbeit not all presented either to the Chancel­lour or Councel, as was in singleness intended by some, we may see, that there wanted not weighty reasons to have moved such, as loved to walk tenderly, and circumspectly, in such a day of trial and snares, to have peremptorily refused this so dangerous, so ensnaring, so scandalous and so destructive an Indulgence.

We shall now proceed in our Historie, and hasten to an end thereof. The fol­lowing year, to wit, 1673. Some Ministers, who had been Indulged, were now cited before the Councel, for not observing the 29. of May. and other Instructions given unto them, of which, and of the carriage of these Ministers at that time, we shall take occasion hereafter to speak more fully, and shall content ourselves now with the simple relation of the matter, as it stands in the Registers.

VPon the 8. day of Iuly 1673. The Ministers underwritten, who were Indulged to preach, at the Kirks, specified in the Councels Act of the 3. of Septemb. 1672. and formerly, being conveened before the Councel, viz. Mr Iohn Craw­furd, Mr Anthonie Murray, Mr Iohn Hammiltoun, Mr Iohn Oliphant, Mr Iames Currie, Mr Iohn Lauder, Mr Iohn Stirling, Mr Iames Hutcheson, Mr Iohn Bair­dy, Mr Iohn Eccles, Mr Andrew Dalrymple, Mr Iohn Gemmil, Mr Hugh Camphel, Mr Alexander Blair, Mr Iames Veitch, Mr William Fullertoun, Mr Iohn Hutcheson, Mr Robert Miller, Mr George Ramsay, Mr Iohn Bell, Mr Ralph Rodger, Mr William Dillidaff, Mr Georg Hutcheson, Mr Iohn Spading; Mr Iohn Wallace, and Mr Wil­liam Maitland; and all of them, except the saids Mr Iohn Bairdy, Mr Iohn Craw­ford and Mr William Fullertoun, compearing, and all of them, except the saids [Page 52] Mr Iohn Spading, Mr Iohn Wallace, and Mr William Maitland, acknowledging that they had not observed the 29▪ of May 1673. The Councel did finde them to have contraveened the 12. Act of the third Session of his Majest. second Parliament, and therefore fined ilk one of them, in the halfe of their respective proportions of the Stipends, allowed to them by the Act of Indulgence, and that for the Crope and year of God 1673. And in regard the saids Mr Iohn Spading, Mr Iohn Wallace, and Mr William Maitland did observe the 29. of May ▪ the Lords of Councel as­soiled them; and ordained the three Persons not compearing to be denounced Re­bels. And further, the said Mr Alexander Blair Minister at Castoun, having pub­lickly disowned the King and Councels Power, in giving them these Instructions, appointed for the Indulged Ministers; the Lords of Councel did ordaine him im­mediatly to be carried to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, and there to be kept close prisoner, until further order. And in regard diverse of these Indulged Ministers did pretend, they had not received the saids Instructions, did cause deliver to them extracts thereof at the Bar, that they might pretend no ignorance of the same.

Edinbr. the 10. of Iuly 1673. The Ministers underwritten being conveened for the cause foresaid, were fined ut supra, upon their own Confession, viz. Mr Iohn Mc Michen and Iohn Sempil. And Mr Iohn Colt not compearing was ordered to be denounced.

Edinbr. the last of Iuly 1673. The Ministers underwritten were also fined upon their own Confession, ut supra, for the causes foresaid, viz. Mr Iohn Scot, Mr Iames Fletcher, and Mr Robert Mowat.

Upon the 4. of Septemb. 1673. Mr Alexander Blair is ordered to have liberty upon caution, that dureing the time of his Inlargment, he should keep himself in the House of Iean Weir, nigh the Weigh-House of Edinbr. and re-enter his Per­son within the Tolbooth thereof, within the space of one Moneth. And that dureing the said space, he should not keep any Meetings, contrare to the standing Lawes of the Kingdom, under the paine of 5000 Merks Scots money. And upon the 8. of Januar. 1674. his Inlargment is prorogat for the space of fourteen dayes, up­on caution of the summe, and in the former termes.

But before this short time was fully at an end, He was called home to his Master's joy: of whom, & of the ground of his particular sufferings, we will have occasion to speak something hereafter; and therefore it will be sufficient at present, for clearing of what is past concerning him, to give a short deduction of the matter. When Mr Alex. Blair, and others (as we saw above) were called before the Council, upon the occasion mentioned, The Councel enquired if they had observed the Instructions that were given unto them; some answered that they had never seen them; where upon the Coun­cel resolved, to prevent this excuse in time coming, to give to every one of them Co­ram, a Copie of these Instructions. When the day appointed here unto cometh, they all compear, (what was their Deliberations and Resolutions, in the Interim, and what was the carriage of the rest, that day, we will have a fit occasion to speak hereafter) the Copie of the Instructions is given to each of them, standing Coram at the Bar; Several had received them, before, they were presented to Mr A. Blair. But when they are given to him, he, being moved with zeal, and remembering whose Ambassadour [Page 53] he was, told the Council plainly, that he could receive no Instructions from them, to regulat him, in the exercise of his Ministrie; otherwise he should not be Christ Am­bassadour, but theirs; and herewith letteth their Instructions drop out of his hand, knowing of no other Salv [...], or manner of testifying for the Truth, in the case. The Council, seeing what a direct Opposition this was unto them in their Designes, in a rage sent him with a Macer unto prison; which made a great noise in the City, the more serious, though sorrowful at his sufferings, yet rejoicing that he had witnessed a good Confession, and so had perpetuated the Testimonie of the Church of Scotland her patience. This could not but carry some sad reflection with it on the rest, who had received, and come away with these Instructions in their hand; wherefore some Judicious and serious Ministers in the Town, being filled with shame and sorrow both at what past, endeavoured to call the rest together, that they might owne Mr Blairs Testimonie, vindicat themselves, and prevent the contempt, under which other­wise they would lye; but though they did meet, yet nothing of this kind could be granted; some would not move one step forward; and the rest, out of a pretence of love to Union, though in evil, would not leave them; but they all, notwith­standing of all their love to Union, left Mr Blair alone, who yet was not alone; his Masters presence making up the want of his Brethren their fellowship: at this meeting, I heard there was a motion made, that some should be appointed to write about the Magistrats Power in Church-matters; as if they, forsooth, could have found-out new Principles, to have justified their own proceedings, so point blank contrary to all the Actings of the Church of Scotland, and of the faithful in it, from the beginning; and if the Person that drew up their Vindication (of which afterward) was appointed hereunto, I should have expected nothing but a piece of Vedelian Pedantrie: But it was good, that this motion was also laid aside. However faithful and honest Mr Blair must moreover suffer by their Tongues; for they were not ashamed to say, that all his suffering was for his rude and unsutable car­riage before the Council, though all that knew him, knew him to have as much of a Gentle-man, and of good breeding, as any of them: But the Truth was (as a faithful Person, to whom he himself spoke it, did report) he had that day bowed the knee to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with much earnestness begged Counsel and Courage, in order to a sutable carriage, at that appearance, and find­ing his heart enlarged, did not leave praying that morning, until he had obtained some assurance, he should be assisted; and therefore came before the Council, with Micajahs Rudness (if so it must be called,) as having gote a sight of his Royal Ma­ster, and durst do, or receive nothing, that might countenance an encroachment upon his Prerogative Royal. It was also known, that some of those, who in their previous Meeting voted for Mr B. being their mouth before the Council, said now, they were glade he was not, for then he had marred all their Business: And in a Vindication of the rest, emitted by some of their number, he is also (as we shall hear) lashed, and that with the Intrado of hinc illae lachrymae, as if he had done more hurt by this Testimonie, than his own, and the lives of many were worth. While worthie Mr B. is (as we have seen) in prison, he falleth very sick, and friends and Physicians fearing his disease should prove mortal, he with much difficulty ob­tained the liberty mentioned, until he was taken home to glory. It is worthie of our noticeing, That dureing the time both of this Imprisonment and Confinement [Page 54] as the Sufferings of Christ abounded in him, so his Consolations also abounded by J. C. for all who conversed with him returned comforted, by seeing and sharing of his Consolations; and particularly when drawing nigh to his end, how was his Soul made to rejoyce, in reflecting on his being honoured and helped to give that Testimony? And with what Horrour and Indignation would he express himself, up­on supposition he had done less than he did; yea, all his griefe and regrate was, that he had not done more. At length, when the time of the liberty granted, to abide in his Chamber, was almost expired, his glorious Master, who would want him no longer, nor suffer him to want the Confessors reward, sent and rescued him from the rage of Persecutors, and from the Reproaches of his deserting Brethren, and took him home to his Masters Joy; and the sound of, well done good and faithful Servant, filling his eares, made him shut his eyes singing, and give up the Ghost in assurance of being embraced, and of having access to embrace.

From all this, these things are observable, 1. That God, by the speaking sig­nifications he gave of his complacency in the Freedom and Fidelity of his Servant, wrote a sufficient refutation of all that was said by some, to disgrace both him and his Cause. 2. That here is a new witness from Heaven against these Invasions. 3. As also against the Indulgence, and the taking of these Instructions. Beside 4. The En­couragement given to all to abide faithful, in avowing Christs Prerogatives, and the Priviledges of his Church and Kingdom, even though abandoned of all, who should bear them Companie, or go before them.

Ere we returne to take further notice of what past, when the forementioned In­dulged Ministers compeared before the Councel, we shall for a close out of the Re­gisters mention these following Acts.

Edinbr. 6. of Feb. 1673.

A Nent a petition, presented by Mr Robert Hunter, now Minister at Burrow­stouness, that conforme to an Act of Councel, the petitioner did serve the cure at the Kirk of Duning for the 1671. and 1672. years, and after Martimass last did transport himself to the Kirk of Burrowstowness, conforme to the Councels Or­der. And therefore humbly supplicating, that the Stipend of the said Paroch of Duning for the saids two years might be appointed to be payed to him. The Lords of his Maj. privie Councel, having heard and considered the said Petition, do or­daine the said Stipend of the said Paroch, for the said two years, to be payed to the Supplicant; and that Letters of Horning be direct for that effect.

In the Year 1676. there came forth an open Proclamation, Dated March 1.

THE Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel considering that by their Act of the 3. Septemb. 1672. they did Order and appoint diverse outted Ministers, to re­paire to the several Paroches, therein specified; and to remaine therein confined, permitting and allowing them to preach and exercise the other parts of the Mini­sterial function in those Paroches, and did require and enjoyn these Ministers, or any other Ministers indulged by former Acts of Council, to keep and observe the Instructions following, as they would be answerable.

That they should not presume to Marry or Baptize any, except such as belonged [Page 55] to the Paroch, to which they were confined, or to the neighbouring Paroches va­cant or wanting Ministers for the time.

That all Ministers indulged, in one and the same Diocess, should celebrate the Communion upon one and the same Lords Day; and that they should admit none to their Communions belonging to other Paroches, without testificats from the Ministers thereof.

That they should preach only in these Kirks, and not in the Church-yards, nor in any place else, under the paine to be repute and punished, as keepers of Con­venticles.

That they should remaine within and not depart forth of the Paroches, to which they are confined, without licence from the Bishop of the Diocess onely.

And whereas it is informed, that the saids outted Ministers, indulged as afore­said (at the least many of them) have violated and contraveened the foresaids Or­ders and Instructions (upon which termes they were permitted and indulged to preach and exercise the other functions of the Ministry) whereby many disorders are occasioned. The saids Lords do therefore, of new againe, require and com­mand all these Indulged Ministers to keep and observe the foresaids Orders and Instructions, in time coming, and specially for keeping within the bounds of their Paroches, and celebrating the Communion upon one and the same Lords day, as they will be answerable at their perril. And ordains these presents to be printed, and Copies thereof sent to the several Ministers.

Nothing needeth be here observed beside the Parenthesis, where it is said, that the Observation of these Instructions was the termes, upon which they were indulged; and therefore when they accepted of the Indulgence on such termes, they consented to them, and professed and declared their willingness to accept of their Ministery, and of the free Exercise thereof upon these Conditions; So that whether they observed them punctually afterward, or not, the bargain was established, and they became oblieged by their own deed, in accepting of these favoures granted on these Condi­tions, to observe the Instructions carefully; and it was too late to say afterward, that the Conditions were not lawful, and therefore could not be observed, for that should have been said at first; and even upon that account alone, had there been no­thing else, they should have plainely and peremptorily rejected the supposed favour. Nor will it avail to say, that they knew not, that the punctual observing of these Instructions was made the Condition of the granted favour; for though at first these Instructions, when given, were not expresly so called; yet the manner of pro­posal was such, as all who desired not willingly to run into a s [...]are, might have been convinced, that so and no otherwayes they were intended, and upon the matter could carry no other import. And if any were invinciblie ignorant hereof, at their first accepting of the Indulgence; yet now, when such a Printed Proclamation came forth, wherein this was in terminis expressed, and the Printed Proclamation order­ed to be sent unto each of them, they could no longer pretend ignorance; and there­fore were called, if they had been formerly really circumvented and cheated, now openly to have declared their unwillingness to accept of the Indulgence on these termes; and henceforth to have abandoned the same, and followed their Bre­thren to the Mountaines. But now when this was not done, but they remain­ed [Page 56] in their warme nests, how they can plead innocent before God, or Man, I see not.

We proceed to relate a few things following.

Edinbr. 3. August. 1676.

THe Lords of his Maj. privie Councel do hereby ordaine Mr Iohn Stirling, Mini­ster, who is confined to the Paroch at Hounam, by an Act of Councel and In­dulged to preach in that Paroch, to transport himse [...]f from thence to the Town of Irwing, and confine himself to the Town and Paroch of Irwing, with liberty to preach and exercise the other Functions of the Ministrie, in that Paroch, as he did in the former, according to the Instructions of the Councel, given to the rest of the Indulged Ministers.

By which we see, that the simple Act of the Councel is the all and only ground of transportation from one place to another; and that alwayes the Instructions must go alongs with them, as the constant Companion of the Indulgence.

Edinb. 9. Novemb. 1676.

HAving heard and considered a Petition, presented by the Magistrats of the Brugh of Irwing, supplicating that the Stipend of the Paroch of Irwing, vacant in the year 1676. might be allowed to the Petitioners, for defraying the Expen­ces, that Mr Iohn Stirling will be at, in transporting himself to Irwing, and repairing the Kirk, School and Bridge of Irwing. Do allow the Supplicants the Sti­pend of the said Paroch, for the said year 1676. Instant, which is vacant, for de­fraying the expences of the said Mr Iohn Stirling, and repairing the Kirk, School and Bridge of Irwine; and if need bees ordained Le [...]ters of horning to be direct hereupon in forme as effeits.

Edinb. 1. March 1677.

Anent a petition presented by Mr William Maitland, Minister at Beeth, shew­ing that the petitioner hath served the Cure, at the said Kirk; the two by gone years 1675. and 1676. without receiving any stipend, albeit he hath himself and a numerous family to maintaine, which he will not be longer able to undergo, un­less the Lords of Councel be pleased to allow him the said stipend for the saids two years service: And therefore humbly supplicating, that an order and war­rant might be granted for that effect, in manner underwritten. The Lords of his Maj. Privie Councel, having heard and considered the foresaid Petition, do here­by grant order and warrand to the Heritors and others lyable in payment of the stipend of the said Paroch of Beeth, to make payment of the same to the Petitio­ner, and that for ilk one of the saids crops and years of God 1675. and 1676. and ordains Letters of horning and others to be direct thereupon, in forme as effeirs.

Edinb. 7. of March. 1677.

The Lords of his Majest. privie Councel, do hereby ordaine Mr Alexander Hammiltoun, who is by Act of Councel confined to the Paroch of Dalmeny, and permitted to preach there, during their pleasure, to remove himself from the said Paroch of Dalmeny to the Paroch of Dalserfe, and that betwixt and the fift [Page 57] day of Aprile next, and to confine himself within the said Paroch of Dalserfe till further order, as he will be answerable at his peril. And do hereby permit and a [...]low the said Mr Alexander Hammiltoun to preach and exercise the other functions of the Ministrie in the said Paroch, till furder order from the Councel, upon the same termes, that he hath exercised his Office formerly in the said Kirk of Dalmeny.

So that we see the whole exercise of the Ministrie, is, by this Indulgence, wholly at the free and arb [...]riarious disposal of the Councel, and depending upon their Or­ders. As also, we see, that the observation of the Instructions is an essentia [...] part of the bargane, being the termes and condition, on which the Indulgence is granted.

There came forth a Printed Proclamation August. 10. 1677. as followeth.

FOR as much as the Lords of his Maj. Privy Councel, in pursuance of his Maj. Commands, signified to them by a Letter of the 7. of Iune 1669. did confine several outted Ministers to particular Paroches, with allowance to preach and exercise the other functions of the Ministry within the same, and did deliver to them certaine Instructions, to be keeped and observed; upon which they did accept the Indulgence granted to them. And a [...]beit these Instructions have been frequently repeated, and sent to these Ministers, yet diverse of them have con [...]raveened the same, without any manner of regarde thereto. And whereas by his Maj. Letter foresaid, it is left to the saids Lords, to allow to these Ministers such parts of the Stipends, as they should think fit; and that from time to time, the Councel hath gi [...]en Orders and Wa [...]rands to the Heretors and others, lyable in payment of the stipend, to make payment thereof, as they saw cause; without which special war [...]and, they could not, nor cannot, warrantably pay the same. Notwithstanding whereof, it is informed that several Heretors have payed, or intend to pay these stipends, without special Warrant and Order. The saids Lords do therefore Prohibite and discharge all Heretors, Fewers, Liferenters, and others, lyable in payment of the stipends of the Paroches, where these Mini­sters are confined, to make payment of any part of the Stipend to them, for the cropt and year 1677. and in time coming without a special Order & Warrand from the Councel, under the penalty of being lyable in payment of the said Stipend againe, to such as the Councel shall appoint, and further censured for their Con­tempt, and ordains these presents to be printed, and published upon a Sabbath day at the several Paroch-Kirks, where the saids Ministers are confined, that no Person pretend ignorance.

In the Proclamation-emitted in the preceeding year 1676. the Council said in plaine termes, that they granted the Indulgence, upon condition that the Indulged should observe the Instructions given; and here in this Proclamation, they say, that the Indulged did accept of the Indulgence granted to them, upon these termes; whereby we see that it was a full and formal compact, & the Indulgence was both granted & Ac­cepted upon the termes specified. What can now be said for vindication of these ac­cepters, I canno [...] imagine. If they should say: That all this is but the deed of the Council, with which they are not concerned. Yet it is certaine, that every one is [Page 58] Master of his own favours, and may dispense them on what termes he pleaseth; and when the termes are known, upon which such favours are granted, and the favours formerly accepted are held, though the conditions should seem hard, yet the fa­vour is embraced cum hoc onere; & any after signification of a dissatisfaction cannot but be unseasonable and insignificant. It would now have been thought, if the Indulg­ed had not been satisfied with the termes, after such publick Intimations were made unto the whole Nation, both of the grant of the favours, and of their acceptance, upon these termes, they would have signified their dissatisfaction with the bargain, and rejected the favour of the Indulgence, which they could have upon none, but sinful termes; especially now when their silence, and continuing in the possession of the favour, did not only interpretativly, but plainly and expresly, in the sight of the whole Nation, say, they were satisfied with the termes, and would rather sub­mit unto them, than lose the benefite they had received in and by the Indulgence.

Upon which account possibly it was, that the Councel, seeing that they had attain­ed their end, in granting the Indulgence, and had found the Indulged so calme and pliable to submit to any termes they pleased to propose, did mitigate, within two moneths thereafter▪ the severitie of the last Act, in so far, as concerned the sti­pends; for Octob. 5. 1677. this Act was made, with which I shall end this historical Relation.

Edinb. Octob. 5. 1677.

The Lords of Council thought fit, of that the Indulged Ministers shall not be put to a necessity of seeking yearly warrands for their stipends: But autho­rizeth and appointeth the Heretores of the Paroches, where they serve, to pay them their stipends, according as they serve the cure, in whole, or in part. And do declare, that if any of these Indulged Ministers shall be found to contra­veen their Instructions, the Council will proceed against them, as they shall see occasion. And recommends to the respective Commissioners, appointed by the Council, for putting the Decreets of Council &c, and Acts against Conventi­cles and others, in execution, to see them keep their confinements; and to re­port if they finde them transgre [...]s.

We have thus deduced this Business of the Indulgence unto this period; and, as occasion offered, have hinted all alongs such remarks, as might suffice to give understanding in the matter, and to clear up the true state of the question unto the understanding and unprejudged Reader. And from what is said, the judicious may see what is to be said of the Indulgence, & of those Ministers, who have thus accept­ed thereof, though no more were said: Yet that fuller satisfaction may be given in this matter, I shall, according as I promised, turn back a little; and take notice of some things, that fell out Anno 1673. when severals of the Indulged were (as we heard) called before the Councel, for not observing the 29. of May, and the Instructions that had been given to them, where by we may be helped to some fur­ther clearness in this affaire.

And in this examination, I shall, as to the ground I go upon, be favourable to the Indulged, beyond all exceptions; for I shall only take notice of the relation of what passed, as made by one of themselves, in a Narrative (as it is called) con­cerning the carriage of some Ministers, who appeared before the Councel in July last) to wit 1673) written in answere to afriend, who de [...]ired to be informed about that affaire; and [Page 59] truth or falshood was in that Paper, scattered up and down among the People; concerning the same. And I suppose, no man will blame me for grounding my discourse against the Indulgence, and Indulged, upon this Narration, seing it may be supposed, that this would be made as favourable to them and their cause, as truth would suffer; and I shall be loath to question matters of fact; nor shall it be necessary for [...]e to examine every word in that Paper it being sufficient for my present business, to touch upon those things, which are most material, and which concerne our pre­sent question.

This Author tels us; that there were a considerable number of Ministers, who had ob­tained liberty from the Magistrat to preach publickly, without hazard of that legal restra­int, under which they lay before, cited before the Councel. But, not to exaggerat that word obtained, which would import, that these Ministers had been too active in procuring to themselves that liberty, as it is called; which, whether it was so, or not, I cannot determine, though this expression would give the Reader ground to suppose that indeed it had been so; I only observe, that his Construction of the Indul­gence, and his Description thereof here given, appeareth too favourable, and more fa­vourable than true; for sure there was more than this in the Indulgence; Matters had been thus, if the Act of Glasgow had been simply repealed, and every man permitt­ed to returne home to his own Charge: But when that is not done; but every one of them sent to such places, as the Council thought meet, and appointed and ordained, there to abide, and to exerce the function of the Ministry, with such and such limi­tations, and upon certaine Conditions held forth and made known, and (as the Councel saith) accepted and submitted to, it is manifest that the matter had a far other face. Beside, that the granting of liberty to preach publickly without hazard, needed no such Act of Parliament, as is the Act of Supremacy, to salve the grant­ers in Law, and make the grant to stand good in Law. But what for a Possession this liberty is, the Charter, by which it is confirmed, may tell us. It can be no lawful Possession before God, which must have such a de Novo damus, and Charter to secure it: And that the Indulgence could not stand without this▪ we have seen above; and how, notwithstanding of all that liberty, the Indulged could not be secure, in point of Law, untill this explanatory Act of the Supremacy had past in Parliament Anno 1669. whereby not only what was done by King and Councel, in licensing of so many, before that Act, was declared to be legal, because of the Kings Supre­macy in Church-Affairs, never before so amply and fully declared and explained; but way made for prosecuting the same designe, in time coming; according as it came to passe. When the Indulgence standeth engaged thus unto; and under the fa­vourable aspect of that unparalleled Supremacie; who, that is not wholly devouted unto the Supremacy, can give such a favourable verdict of the Indulgence, as this Au­thor did? Beside, that impartial On-lookers will judge, that there was much more in this Indulgence, seing it is obvious enough how the contrivance was made to break the honest suffering party, and (as some of the chiefe Contrivers said) to di­vide betwixt the Mad-Cap Phanaticks, and the more sober; to confirme the Usur­pation, to strengthen the hands of Adversaries, to suppress and keep down the glo­rious and blessed Assemblings of the Lords people, and to settle people in a Sin­ful silence and stupide Submission to all the Incroachments, made on the Prero­gatives of the Crown of Christ, and on the Privileges of his Church, and to the [Page 60] overturning of the whole Work of God; and not only the Intentio Operantium, (which Wise men so circumstantiated, as they were, were called to eve and con­sider) was obvious and clear; but also the Intentio Operis was undeniable; however we may please ourselves, in devising terms of mincing and extenuating, where­by to paint it forth, as well as we can, if not so, as that it shall appear beautiful; yet so as that it may not appear so deformed, as indeed it is, and will be to all that view it in a just and upright mirrour.

He saith that it is not easie nor necessare, to tell what was said to or by every one of them, they being called-in one by one; but this is certaine, that all of them (except two, who were dismissed upon their declaring that they had preached on that day onely because it fell to be their lecture-day) declared they had not preached on that day, and did agree in substance upon this ground of their forbearance, that it did not flow from any disloyalty or disaffection to Authority; but that they had not freedome to observe any s [...]lemne fixed anniversary Day for religious Worshippe, besides the Lords Day. To which I shall only crave leave to say, not questioning the account he giveth here, though the Council's books tell us▪ that there were Three assoiled, and that because of their observing that day; nor taking notice, that the Lords day is no anniversary day, but a weekly solemne day; nor doubting of the first part of their Apology; for as to some, it may be more than proba­ble, that such was their loyal affection to Authority, that for fear of offending, they did not hold forth and plainely show the true ground as they ought to have done. I grant the Parliaments calling that day, an holyday, might give ground of scrupling to Conscientious Persons: Yet I suppose, it is well enough known, that this deno­mination was not the effect of true Devotion, nor yet of Superstition; the day being observed, rather in honour of Bacchus, than of the true and living God; and that the Principal thing intended, was, a Solemne, Universal and Anniversary Condem­nation of the work of Reformation, which was so fully signified in the very narra­tive of the Act, that I wonder these Brethren did not give this, as the ground of their non-observing of that day. I shall not think, that they thought themselves free to abstract from that Narrative, and not once to notice it; seing they could not ab­stract simple preaching on that day, from its due observation; and seing every one knowes, that every observation of a day holy, or civil, appointed by Men, doth homologat the Grounds & Reasons of the Institution.

But passing this, which is not of moment, as to our present business, he tells us, that there were foure of the Brethren called-in together, upon particular summonds, for baptizing of Children of other Congregations: To which among other legal defences (whereof he can give no particular account) they gave this answere; that these Acts, relating to that matter, were never intimate unto them. Upon which they were told by my L. Chanc. they should get them; and so all were commanded to appear againe the following Tuesday. As to this, we may see, that the Council did suppose those Acts to have been made known unto them. And that, so far as the Concil did know, all the rest, save these foure, had observed the Injunctions, otherwise they had been challenged upon the violation of them, as well as these foure. As to this answere, given by those foure, I suppose, the rest will willingly acknowledge, that it was not sufficient; and that another answer had been both more pertinent, and less introductive of new troubles; for probably, if this answere had not been given, they had not gote such a returne from my L. Chanc. Had they ingenously said, that their commission [Page 61] bare them to Baptize, as well as to Preach; and that they might not be answerable to their Master, to refuse to Baptize any Childe within the Covenant, brought unto them for that end, much trouble and temptation had been, in all appearance, prevente [...]. And though I will not condemne all legal defences; yet I must say, that Ch [...]istian prudence might soon have taught them to have waved this defence, not only because it was obvious enough what would follow: but mainly because it contained a tacite acknowledgment, that they would not have done what they did, if the Act had been intimat to them; and that in time coming they would willingly obey the same; and consequently, that the Injunctions were just and righteous, and such as neither they, nor any other should disobey, whether because of the matter, or because of the power enjoining them: But more of this purpose afterward.

He gives us next an account of what they did in the Interval, and how they did meet almost every day, to consult what they should do, at their next appearance, in case these Acts (called, saith he, Rules) should be intimate unto them: And how a Paper was produced by some, appointed thereunto, which was only rela­tive to these Instructions or Rules, with a touch of the reasons of their not-observing of the 29. of May, to which (saith he) afterwards was prefixed a pretty large Intro­duction, concerning Christ's power, in and over his Church; and asserting the Magistrat's just right about Ecclesiastick affairs, as amply as any thing Mr Hutcheson spoke; and denying him no more, when it was finished, than he [...]enied unto him. Concerning this Paper, I can say nothing, having never seen it; only I finde, it contained (as himself tels us, in the following words) this clause: That we could not receive from the Magistrate any Instructions, to regulate us in the exercise of our Ministrie: And I finde by his own relation; that three or foure dayes they debated upon this clause, which he calleth, Unqualified: And that many of the Brethren were against it, as an Assertion, which being so generally and indistinctly expressed, would not hold water, nor be found agreable with the Word of God, or Concessions even of our Orthodox Anti-Erastian Divines, concerning the Magistrates just right.

As to this Assertion, which, as he saith, Was not satisfying to some; though I do not know, what particularly was objected against it by these some; yet I may take liberty to say, that it appeareth not to me contrary either to the Word of God, or to the Concessions of Orthodox Anti-Erastian Divines, if it be understood, either as relative to the case than in hand (as it behooved to be, if pertinently adduced,) or according to the true and native import of the words, wherein it is expressed: and that because.

1. Nothing occureth to me, in Scripture, whence it can with any shew of pro­bability be inferred, that this Assertion is not consonant to Scripture, except what is recorded of David's giving Instructions to the Levites, Porters and Singers, and Marshalling them in their several Orders and Work. But sure I am, all Anti-Erastian Divines look upon that practice, as no precedent to Christian Magi­strates now, as is well known: And their ground is clear and irrefragable; for David ▪ did what was done herein, not as King, by any proper Magistra [...]ical power, as is clear from what he said himself▪ when he was delivering all these Orders and Instructions, mentioned 1 Chron. 23. and 24. and 25. and 26. over unto Salomon Chap. 28. vers. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. he tels him vers 19. That the Lord made him under­stand all this, in writting by his hand upon him: And accordingly we finde Salo­mon [Page 62] doing nothing in this matter by his own proper Magistratical power; 2 Chron. 8: v. 14. But according to the order of David his Father. And moreover, when King Hezekiah is about this work, reforming what was am [...]sse, he doth nothing of this kind, Iure Regio, by his Magistratical power; but according to the commandement of David, and of Gad the Kings Seer; and Nathan the Prophet, 2 Chron. 29: v. 25. and it is added; for it was the commandement of the Lord, by his Prophets. In like manner King Josiah, when he is ordering Church-affairs, and reforming abuses, assumed nothing to himself of this Nature, as King, but appointed all to be according to the writting of David King of Israel, and according to the writting of Salomon his Son, 2 Chron. 35:4.

2. Nor can I call to mind what that Concession is of our Anti-Erastian Divines, that can seem to contro [...]e this, (1.) It cannot be that Concession, That Magistrates may and should put Ministers to their Duty, in following the Rules and Injunctions, prescribed by Christ, viz. in their Political Way, and by their Political Penalties: For hence it will no way follow, that Ministers receive Instructions from Magistra­tes, to regulate them in the exercise of their Ministrie; more than it can be said, that Magistrates receive their Instructions, for regulating them in the exercise of their Civil Function, from Ministers; because Ministers, in their Ministerial Way, put Magistrates to their Duty, in following the Rules prescribed by God in his Word. (2.) Nor can it be that Concession, That Magistrates may, by their Political and Ci­vil Sanction, confirme and enforce civilly Canons and Rules, Ministerially cleared and concluded by Church-Judicatories: For that is but to presse the Rules of Gods Word to be observed, and is no prescribing of Injunctions; but an enjoining civilly the Observation of Injunctions, imposed and proposed Ministerially by Church-Judicatories. (3.) Nor can it be that Concession, That the Magi­strate is Custos utriusque tabulae, for the Reasons already given; The Minister also may be said, to be Custos utriusque tabulae, in his way and manner; and yet none wil hence inferre, that he may give Instructions unto Magistrats, to regulate them in the exercise of their Office. (4.) Nor can it be that Concession, That the Magistrat is Episcopus [...], an overseer of things without; for these external things are properly and formally political things, belonging to the Civil Government of the outward man; among which the function of the Ministrie, as such, cannot be reckoned; this being purely Ecclesiastick, and properly belonging to the Spiritual Kingdome of Christ. (5.) Nor can it be that Concession. That the Magistrate may limite and confine the Person of a Minister, whereby, per accident, there is a con­finement laid upon the further extension of the exercise of his Ministrie: for every body seeth, that this is properly a confinement of the Person, and but consequently of the exercise of the Ministrie; and no man will say, that is Orthodox, that the Magistrate hath the same Power over the Office of the Ministrie, that he hath over the Person of the Minister.

3. Some such thing may, I grant, be gathered, with some probability, from that Assertion of Vedelius, viz. That Magistrats have an Inspection of the Office of Ministers, as he urgeth it. But he is no Anti-Erastian, but an Erastian Divine: And I suppose no such thing will follow from this Assertion, or the like, as qualified or explai­ned by our Orthodox Divines, who have written against Vedelius, such as Apolloni­us, Triglandius and Revius: Beside what Walaeus and Voetius have spoken hereunto.

4. I conceive that Assertion was very orthodox and safe; for these Reasons, [Page 63] (1.) This Power of giving Instructions, for regulating the exerci [...]e of the Mini­strie, would inferre or presuppose, that the Office of the Ministrie, and its exercise are subordinat to the Magistrate in linea recta: For Instructions and Orders or Rules coming from a Superiour (for from such they must come and not from an Inferiour, not yet from a Co-ordinat Power) to an Inferiour, say, that the Superiour hath Po­wer to grant a Commission to that Inferiour, be it Court or Person, to Act in that function and sphaere; and a Power to Limite, Restrict, Enlarge or Qualifie the ex­ercise of that function, as he seeth good: But none of our Orthodox Anti-Erastian Divines grant a Subordination, but assert a Collaterality. (2.) No Orthodox Anti-Erastian Divine will say, that Ministers, as such, are so subordinant unto the Supreme Magistrat, as other inferiour Magistrates are. But if the Supream Magistrat might give Instructions to Ministers, and prescribe Rules to regulat them in the exercise of their Ministrie; what difference shall there be, as to this, be­twixt Ministers, as such, and inferiour Magistrates? Can the Supream Magistrate do more, as to the regulating of the Magistratical function, in inferiour Magistrates, than Limite them, Restrict them, Qualifie them by such and such Instructions? and what less shall now hereby be granted to him, in reference to Ministers, as such?

5. But now if we speak of Injunctions and Instructions, in particular, the matter will be yet more clear, that that Assertion was truth, and nothing but truth: For either the Instructions are concerning such things, as are at all times necessary to the right exercise of the Ministery; or concerning alterable circumstances, which only hic & nunc can be called neces [...]ary: If the former be said, it must be granted, that these are set down to us in the Word; for all necessaries are there contained; and if so, the Magistrat either enjoineth these Ministerially, as holding forth the mind of God; but this cannot be said, for then were he no Magistrat, in that, but a Church-Officer and a Minister: or Magistratically and Autocratorically, as a Civil Magistrate. And then this must either be, in Ecclesiâ reformata & bene instituta, that is, in a well reformed and instituted Church; or in Ecclesiâ reformanda & con­fusa; that is, in a Church wholly confused & needing reformation; In the former case, Orthodox·Anti-Erastian Divines will say, there ought to be an antecedaneous judgement of the Curch, or of Ministers, who are the only authoritative and au­thorized Ministerial Interpreters of the Word: And then the Magistrat doth not give the Instructions, but by his Civil Sanction politically inforceth the observation of Gods Instructions, authoritatively and ministerially held forth by the authorized ministerial Interpreters. The latter case is not our case, unless by this Concession we would grant Power and Liberty to any Magistrate, to overturn the best reformed Church that is, to the end he may order all things in it, as he pleaseth; which was never understood by the Users of this Distinction. If the Instructions respect only the alterable Peristatica: Either Christ hath given Power to his Church, in these cases, to judge, according to the General Rules of the Word; or not. No reformed Orthodox Anti-Erastian Divine will say not, and if the former be said (as it must be said) Then quo jure? By what Law can the Church be robbed of this Power? And by what right can the judgement of this matter be committed, in prima inflantia, at the very first, unto the Magistrat; or rather wholly and solely unto him? For thus the Ministers are altogether excluded, when it is said, that the Magistrate can give In­structions [Page 64] in these matters: For the granting of this power unto the Magistrate, will necessarily bring the examination and judgment of Ministers, as to the Acts of the exercise of their function, unto the Civil Court, either wholly, or in the first place at least, contrare to the Orthodox Anti-Erastian Doctrine.

I think then, that all, who minded honest and plaine dealing, in this day of tryal, and of witnessing to the truth; and to that truth, that so neerly conce [...]ned Christ, as King and Head of the Church, should have consented unto this Asser­tion, and in plaine termes have told the Councel. That they were to receive no Instructi­ons from the Magistrat, to regulat them in the exercise of their Ministrie. He tels us next, that Some supposed this question was determined, in the Concessions, that were in the Intro­ducto [...]y part of the paper wherein the Magistrat's power objectively Ecc [...]esiastical is asserted. Bu [...] if all those concessions, set down in the Introductory part of the Paper, issued in the clearing of the Magistrates power to be objectively Ecclesiastical, they expressed nothing to weaken the fore-mentioned Clause: For, who will say, that because the Magistrat's power is objectively Ecclesiastical: Therefore he can give Instructions to regulat Ministers, in the exercise of their Ministrie? It were as good a conse­quence to say, The Magistrat is keeper of both the Tables of the Law. Ergo he may set down Instructions, Limitations and Rules, shewing when the Law o [...] God shall oblige as the Law of God, and when not. And to lay, Because he hath the Scriptures for the object of his care: Therefore he may set down Rules how this or that Prophecie, this or that doctrinal Book, or History should be understood and Interpreted. So to say, Because his care reacheth to Doctrine, and he must coun­tenance the preaching of Truth, and discountenance the preaching of Errour. Ergo he may appointe Ministers what to preach, and what not; and command them to preach of the Seven deadly sinnes, and not of Predestination, as the King said in his Letter to the Archbishop of York And because his power objectively reacheth to the Worship of God: therefore he may do as Ieroboam did. So because Discipline and Government are also the object of his care, therefore he may give Rules and Instructions, how the Chu [...]ch shall be governed; that is to say, whe­ther by a Pope, or by Prelates, or by the People, or by Himself and his Under­magistrates. Yea and from this power objectively Ecclesiastical, it may as well be Inferred, that he may regulat Controversies and other debates, handled in Church Assemblies, and prescribe what Arguments pro and what Arguments contra shall be used, what sins shall be so and so Censured, &c. Yea, in a word, we may as well inferre from this objectively Ecclesiastical power, all that is summarily con­tained, in the Explicatory Act of Supremacy: As that he may give Instructions, to regulat Ministers, in the exercise of their Ministrie.

How did this debate issue? He saith, in end, some made a motion, which, with common consent, so far as could be discerned, was embraced: And what was this? That the Assertion should be thus qualified, That we would not receive from the Ma­gistrate Instructions, Formally and Intrinsecally Ecclesiastical, to regulat us, &c. Which, in my judgment, was either nothing to the purpose; or (which is worse) was a betraying of the Cause: For either this was understood, in reference to these Rules, which the Councel prescribed in their Act Sept. 2.1672. or not. If not, what was it to the purpose then in hand? If it was understood with this refe­rence, then either hereby they meant to justifie and defend their refusing to accept [Page 65] of these Instructions, or to justifie their accepting of them, but not of others. If the former be said, Then (1.) Why was Mr Blair so much condemned, who did but refuse the accepting of these, that had been expressed in the Act, and were then exhibited? (2.) Why was it not plainly affirmed, that they would not receive these, that the Councel tendered unto them? (3.) Why was there so much debate in private, about a general Thesis, when the clear assertion of the Hypothesis, would have salved both Credite and Conscience? If the Assertion was thus qualified, to ju­stifie their accepting of these Rules, then sure, the cause was betrayed: And if they were clear to accept of these Rules, what necessity was there for this general blinde? If they intended it for a Testimony, was that a fi [...] season for a Testimonie, when they were resolved to yeeld to all, that was at that time desired, without hinck or scruple? Further, I suppose it wil be found, that some of these Instructions were indeed formally and intrinsecally Ecclesiastical. And if these were excepted, they should have been particularly mentioned, that all might have been clear; for in Te­stimonies we cannot be plaine and clear enough. If they were not clear to embrace these Instructions; why did they not unanimously agree to tell this in plaine termes? And if reasons of their refusal had been demanded, ingenuity and plain, dealing had furnished them with reasons sufficient, taken both from the matter of the Rules, the manner of enjoining them, and from the sad consequences of obeying them, be­side several other circumstances, not to be despised.

When all agreed unto the Assertion thus qualified, and so to the whole Paper that was drawn up, he tels us, there fell out another question, whether that Paper should be made use of, as a Directory, when they should be called to speak, before the Councel, or if it should be subscribed by all, and so given in as their answere, and sense of these Matters? This was, no doubt, a weighty debate, and such as might have occasioned their breach among themselves: But when the Lord is away, what Light or Counsel can remaine? Well, what came of this question? The ge­nerality (he saith) were indeed for the subscribing of it. Which I confess I would not have been for; Nor yet for using of it as a Directorie; for reasons already given. But now the generality being for the subscribing of it, what became of it? Was it subscribed indeed? No, saith he; and thus the Minor part prevailed. But he saith, there were Reasons moving hereunto. And I shall be glade to hear these. The first is, One, who was then withdrawn about some necessary affairs, had declared before, upon reasons ponderous to him, that he was not free in his mind to subscribe any such Paper, at that time. It seemeth strange to me, that the unclearness of one should have proven such an effectual meane to stop the rest, in that, whereabout they had no scruple; espe­cially when that one did not shew, what his ponderous reasons were. I humbly judge; the Zeal of God would have determined them another way. But there was good cause for this; for saith he, They judged it not safe, but prejudicial to the cause, and to unity to break bulk, and Act in a divided way, when all were ready to concurre in the matter, though they differed in the forme and manner: And how inconvenient was it, saith he, that differences about the manner should be seen in publick, when they were one upon the matter? But what prejudice had come to the cause, if a Testimonie had been given-in to the Councel, unto which all had assented, though it had wanted the subscription of one, who was necessarily absent, when it was subscribed? Yea, though it had wanted the subscription of one, who was unwilling to subscribe? In so doing they did not [Page 66] break bulk; but that one, if ever he had been within the hold, had made the breach, by abandoning his Brethren. Unity and Harmonie is good, I grant; but I know not, why every man should have a negative voice, in all such matters; and why no­thing should be done by a Company or Society, if but one man dissent. I know no Divine rule for this; nor will Christian prudence teach it: and I am sure, it is one to an hundered, if ever any thing be done of moment, or hazard, by a company, on these termes. And I much doubt, if, when one onely Person, yea or two are refractory, all the rest of that Society should think themselves exonered in Conscience, to forbear a duty, clearly called for. The forme and manner here was (I judge) a material thing; and who were not clear, as to it, could not be very clear as to the matter.

There was another reason of this forbearance, Had they (saith he 2.) been free to subscribe Papers, at that time; yet they could not look on that Paper, as it was hastily and crudely patched up, as beseeming so many Ministers of the Gospel, to give-in to the State; as their mature and formed thoughts. In thesi I grant, it is good, that no man should subscribe a Paper, with which he is not satisfied; and I think, it is exception rele­vant enough against the subscribing of a Paper, called or looking like a Testimony, when it is not plaine nor full enough, even though what is said be otherwise not re­proachable. But as to this Paper, I think, this reason of his very strange, when he told us before, that the generality was for subscribing of it, as it was rude, hasty and raw. Whence came this change? Second thoughts, it seemeth, have taken place. But in soberness, I cannot but think strange, that so many able Ministers of the Gospel could not, after so many dayes debate, give their formed and mature thoughts of a Business, in which every Minister of the Gospel, and Servant of Christ was obliged to be ready alwayes to give, upon less, than a few houres warn­ing, yea at the first demand, an account of his Faith; especially in this Contro­versie, wherein all were called to be most clear; and they especially, who could not but know, that their silence, as to bearing Testimonie to the Truth, at their first receiving the Indulgence, had given such offence: for my part, though I cannot judge of the Paper, having never seen it, and though I see not, how all he saith of it can prove it raw and indigested, considering the account he gave of it before: Yet because of that one clause, he tels me was in it, and universally assented unto, I am as glade it was not subscribed and given-in, as he was; and upon that account do judge, it was unfit to to be a standing thing (as he speaketh) for friends and foes, at home and abroad, to descant upon. Onely I wonder how this Consideration could pre­vail with them, rather to commit the expressing of the matter unto their chosen Mouth; seing words spoken are more liable to Mis-constructions, and Mis-repre­sentations, and other Mistakes; than words set down in write; and it was one to to an hundered if that one Brother, their Mouth, should so happily, in a set dis­course, hit upon the very expressions, that were onely accomodat to declare all their mindes; or if that Brother could have expressed the matter, in more lively, masculine, digested and significant Expressions, why might he not have been at so much paines, as to have set these down in write, and then the Paper, being no more raw and indigested, might have been subscribed and given in? But the plaine Truth is, litera scripta manet: And it was to be feared, that a written Paper would have provoked the Councel, more than a transient and volant Expression, in a running [Page 67] discourse, buried under an heap of words, and so not fully understood, could have done. Finally, I would tell him, That an honest, well meaning, and plaine Testimonie, though not set off with the paint of Words, and Expressions, having all their amiable cadencies and flowrs of Rhetorick, would go far with honest well meaning Friends, both at home and abroad, and have been very acceptable; yea and more convincing unto Enemies, whether at home or abroad, whose angrie descanting upon it would have been a further Confirmation of its honesty and validity.

There is yet a Third Reason given, which is something long. There being (saith he) such a clashing among Ministers and People, some being for an utter refusal of any benfite of the late liberty; and others being free to make use of it, having given a Testimonie in their Station; and that Paper relating only to these Instructions, and not to the whole cause, they could not but foresee, that the giving-in of that Paper would have been looked upon, as a Testi­monie; and therefore being so defective, relating only to these Instructions, and not speaking to other cases, it would raise greater debates, and heighten differences; and this they were con­firmed in, when a Brother, coming-in among them, told them expresly, their Testimonie (as it was called) was defective, and would do more hurt, than good, except it were fuller: yea certified we were upon good grounds, that if that Paper had been given-in, more tongues and pens would have been awaked, and set on work against it, than now are against the forbearing of it. In which case, albeit I could heartily have wished a full, free general, unanimous Testi­monie were given-in; yet I cannot see, how their prudence can be blamed for forbearing that, which would certainly have ministred fewel to the fire, which is like (if mercy prevent it no) to consume this poor Church, and may perhaps burn their fingers, who are so eager to kindle and blow at it. Not to insist nere on enquiring who were those, who were free to make use of that, (which he calleth Liberty) having given a Testimony? And what was that Testimony, and when and in what Station, was it given by such, as were free to make use of it? Nor on showing how Improbable it was, that such as could not agree on a Paper, relating only to these Instructions, could agree to a more full Pa­per: I would only say (1.) Matters being so, as he here saith, could they not also foresee, that the Words, uttered by their Mouth, following this Directory, would be also looked upon, as a Testimonie; and that that Testimonie, relating only to the Instructions, would have been judged defective; and so occasione new Diffe­rences? (2.) If the Paper was defective (as very like it was) why was it not helped? Why was the matter made worse, by giving-in no Paper at all, but committing the matter to the uncertain Expressions of one of their number? Could this more pre­vent the trouble of Tongues and Pens both? (3.) If he commend their Prudence for not ministering Fewel to the fire, he cannot approve them, for casting in Oyle; for certainly the Course which they took, did contribute more to the burning fire, than that course could have done, which they did forbear. (4. Woe to them, that first kindled that fire, which is like to consume that poor Church; and to them also, who Administer fewel thereunto; but let some laboure, as they will, to free them­selves of this, It shall, I fear, lye at their doors.

But now, when all thoughts of subscribing that Paper were laid aside, what course was taken? It was resolved (saith he) that one should be mouth to the rest, to speak their sense of these Impositions, in case they were to be intimate to them: And that this one was Mr. H. and that he was to hold him to the matter, agreed-on in the Paper. Though I could ra­ther [Page 68] have been satisfied, that a full and faithful Paper, subscribed by all, had been given in, than that this course had been taken; yet, to wave reports of some circum­stances, that then went abroad, I think it was requisite, that they had particularly condescended upon the fit season, when their Mouth should have uttered their mind; and I cannot be of this Authors mind, who thinketh, that he was not bound to speak in that affaire, until he was called upon by the Councel; which might have been, for any thing I know, after all and every one of them had been put to speak their own mind, in particular, or say nothing, which the Council could not but take for a compliance. Yet he giveth this reason. That the time not being determined by his Bre­thren, he was to be ruled by Prudence, which dictated his own being called-upon (whensoe­ver it might be) to be Gods opportunity season and call, to speak what he had to say: The thing also it self, and the usual practice in like cases saith, it was the most fit time to speak to the cause, when all had been gone thorow, and then when he had spoken his light in the matter, the Brethren (as he willed them to do, when they named him) might adde, diminis [...], or alter, as they thought fit. This is a wonderful thing, that one should be appointed to speak the sense of the rest of certaine Impositions, or Injunctions, in case they were intimate; & yet that prudence should not teach him to speak, when the Intimation was first made: Was not his speech to be in reference to these Impositions? Was not his speech to be (at least) a virtual Protestation, Apologie or Insinuation of Reasons, why they could not in con­science accept of these Impositions? or an Explication and declaration of the sense, in which they were clear to accept of them? And if so, doth not Nature & Common sense teach, that the onely season for this had been, when the first offer of these Injuncti­ons was made; and that it was a manifest loseing of the opportunity, to delay, till after the Instructions had been tendered, & accepted by severals of the Brethren? did not the accepting of the Paper, containing these Instructions, virtually (at least) if not formally say, that they submitted thereunto, and were satisfied therewith? And then, what could their giving of a sense afterward import? Neither the thing it self (as every one knoweth) nor any (set be the usual) practice, in such like ca­ses, saith, that it was the fittest time to speak, when all had been gone thorow. Had he been only to speak his own judgement, in the matter, he might have forborn, until the offer had come to his own door; but being appointed mouth to the rest, and to speak the sense of all the rest, when these Impositions were offered, his delay­ing until some, yea till many, had received the Impositions and Rules in write; was really a crushing of what Testimony was intended by his speaking in their names: And what could the Council judge otherwayes, than that the mouth, that spoke, was not their publick mouth, having been so long silent; but his own, speaking only when it came to his own turne? And if what that mouth spoke had been dissa­tisfying to the Council, and contradictory to their sense and meaning, might they not have judged the silence of such as went before, and had received the Injuncti­ons, a plaine homologating with their Meaning and Intention? & that their Mouth's speaking had discovered them not to be all of one minde?

This is concerning what passed among these Brethren, in private, before they com­peared, according to the order of the Council. We would know, what was their deportment, when they compeared: And our Info [...]mer tels us, that when they compeared, the sentence of the Council for not-preaching May 29. was read unto [Page 69] them. After which, we are told, that Mr H. addressing his speech to my L. Chan­cel. did declare, That his Brethren and he did very cheerfully submit to any out ward preju­dice they might sustaine, in following their light, yet humbly desiring that the true state in their case might be remembered by their LL. And that they were brought under that sen­tence, not upon account of any disloyalty to Authority; but upon a scruple of conscience, con­cerning that particular way of expressing it. Of which I shall not now speak (having spoken to this matter before) and it doth not concerne our present business: only it is obvious, that more, yea much more, might and should have been said.

It is more to our present purpose, to notice what was further said. With all (saith he) not knowing, whether these Instructions were to be presented, but rather to obviat them, Mr. H. added another desire, That their LL. would be pleased not to burthen them with Impositions, in the matter of their Ministrie, wherein they were the Servants of Christ, and they being men, who demeaned themselves, as became loyal Subjects. Here is my former remarke confirmed; for prudence taught, we see, this their Mouth, to speak something to the matter, even though as yet the Impositions were not presented, and offered to them. Moreover, this desire doth import, either that he and the rest were unclear to submit unto Impositions, in the matter of their Ministrie, because of their being the Servants of Christ; or that, though they looked on these Impositions as burthens, and so wished to be free of the yoke; yet being imposed they would submit unto them, as to an outward prejudice, which they behooved to sustaine; as he spoke before in reference to the sentence, read against them. If this later was his meaning, it is past doubt, that the Cause was betrayed, and his mouth stopped from giving that Declaration or Testimonie, in all their names, which he was ordered by them to give. If the former was his mean­ing, as I am apt to think; why were the Brethren so offended with what Mr Blair said hereafter? (as we shall hear they were) was it because Mr Blair's words were too too plaine and distinct? Sure, Christianity will tell us, that Testimonies cannot be plaine enough.

Upon this he tels us, they were (as they thought) dismissed. But the L Chancel. forth­with called them againe, as they were turning their faces towards the door, and told them, that seing some of their number had said, these Papers viz. the Papers containing the In­structions) were not given them, the Clerck was to give every one of them a Copie, which ac­cordingly he went about to do. May not every body now think strange, that prudence did not now teach thei [...] mouth, to express what he had to utter in their names, when all of them were thus spoken to in Common, and particular mention was made of that Paper of Instructions, which before, when no mention was made thereof, he laboured to obviat & prevent the giving of?

When their faces are now againe turned towards the Councel, the Clerk went about to deliver each the paper of Instructions, and we are told that they had been delivered to the one halfe or more of the Brethren, even to all cited out of Clidsdale, Renfrow, and some of Kyll before they came to Mr A. Blair. And our Informer tels us, he beleeveth there were few or none of these behind, that resolved to speak any thing till Mr H. who was not called upon yet, should beginne, (as they had agreed upon, Mr A. Blair consenting thereto, as well as the rest) if Mr Blair's speaking had not drawn some of them, who had been spoken to before, and others, as they were called thereto thereafter, to speake somewhat: But all stood [Page 70] still in one body, waiting till it should come to Mr H. who was to be their com­mon Mouth, to speak their mind, and they to homologat, adde, or alter, as they should think fit. This is our Informers relation of the business, and I shall not question the truth thereof, but come and see what he saith of Mr A. Blair and his discourse, which (as would seem) broke the intended method and order.

As for his Reverend Brother Mr A. Blair's speaking, he saith, as I hope in Charitie, his motive was zeal and forwardness; so I wish heartily it had been forborn till its season; for hinc illae Lachrimae; and the rather I wish he had not first filled the field; because that lax assertion (of which before) of receiving no Instructions from the Magistrate &c. (albeit it had been limited and qualified by Common consent; Yet) he I know not how repeated it to the Chancellour, in terminis, telling, That he would not receive Instructions from them, for regulating him, in the exercise of his Ministrie; and added this reason, That if he did so be should not be Christs Ambassadour, but theirs. To which I shall only desire to say. That I am of the minde, that as true Zeal and Conscience of duty moved M. A. Blair, to say what he said; so the same should have moved all of them, to have said the like, or more. And I cannot but think strange, that this Informer thinketh it was not seasonable for Mr Blair to speak, when the trial came to his own door; and that notwithstanding their Common mouth had been so long silent, and neglected his op­portunity: Our Informer told us lately, that it was seasonable for Mr H. to speak, when it came to his turne: and was it not as seasonable for M. B. to speak, when it came to his turne? As for his calling Mr Blairs Assertion, lax; I shall passe it, having sufficiently shown above, how consonant it was to truth, and how ground­less all the exceptions were, that were taken at it, so far as I could conjecture. And I wish himself had hinted (at least) some one ground or other, whereupon he judged it lax. And what difference, I pray, was there upon the matter, betwixt Mr H's requesting, that they might not be burthened with impositions in the matter of their Ministery. And Mr B's saying, that he would not receive Instructions from them, for regulat­ing him in the exercise of his Ministrie. Mr H's expressions wanted the limitation, that they had all agreed upon, to wit, formally and intrinsecally Ecclesiastical, as well as Mr B's; and no man will say, that the word, Impositions, do more import Instructi­ons formally and intrinsecally Ecclesiastical, than the word, Instructions: Nor is there any such difference betwixt these words, in the exercise of the Ministery, which were Mr B's words; and these words, in the mattter of the Ministrie, which were Mr H's words, as to make the one discourse Lax, and the other acurate. Nay, I am ready to say, that Mr B's Assertion was both more congruous to the truth and to good sense, than the words of the other. And finally, This Informer is not well satisfied with the Reason, which Mr B. added; and yet the same was insinuat, in Mr H's discourse, in these words, wherein they were the servants of Christ; for these words did either containe a reason, why their L L. should not burden them with Impositi­ons; or they sounded forth nothing but non-sense; as every understanding Reader will see.

Yet this reason is made the ground of a great out-cry, for he addeth, which reason, if it do not als strongly militate against Ministers receiving of Instructions and Rules (for the prescriptions in that Paper go by these names) from Church-judicatories as well, as from the Civil, and strick equally at the Diatactick power of both, I leave to you to judge; And then to [Page 71] make all strong, the matter is cast into a Syllogisme, but with this mishap, that it is made up of four termes, contrary to the law of Syllogismes. But this is but trivial. It is more to the purpose to say, that this same absur [...]ity will follow upon what Mr H. spoke, (unless he pleaseth rather to let it passe under the notion of Non-sence) and therefore what ever way he shall think to salve Mr H's credite, wes hall by the same way salve Mr B's. Though this might satisfie: Yet I shall tell him, that it is far worse for him, by his discourse here, to grant unto the Civil Magistrate a Diatactick power, in matters ecclesiastical [...], in such an illiminated and unqualified manner, as he doth, when he talks of the Diatactick power of both: for this is a manifest homologating the Supremacy, as lately explained by the Patlia. But for vindication of Mr. B. he would know, that he was speaking only of Instructions coming from Magistrates, acting by their Magistra­tical and Architectonick power; and not of all Instructions coming from any what som­ever beside Christ; and his reason was against the receiving of Instructions from Ma­gistrates, as such, to regulat him, in the exercise of his Ministerie; and did not mili­tate against receiving of Instructions from Church judicatories. For clearing of this, and for his instruction, I shall tell him first. What Instructions Ministers or Church-ju­dicatories give, they give them by a Ministerial Power, explaining, applying and authoritativly declaring, what are the Impositions, Rules, and Instructions of Christ; so that they are but as Heralds and Messengers, Proclaming and declaring, with a Mi­nisterial Authority, the mind of Christ: and therefore the receiving of such is but the receiving of the Instructions and Impositions of Christ, sent and delivered by Christ mediatly by such, as stand in a right line of subordination to Him, as sole Head and King of his Mediatory Kingdom, and act onely as in that relation and subordination. But on the other hand, as Magistrates, as such, are not Ministers of Christ, as Head of his Mediatory Kingdom; so nor do they act, in giving out Lawes and Instructions, as Christs Heralds and Ministers, ministerially explaining and applying the Rules and Instructions of Christ: Nor do they press these Instructions, as Christ's Instructions, nor in his Name and Authority; but as in all other things, so here, they act with an Au­tocratorical and Architecctonick power: So that, when they give Instructions to Mi­nisters, to regulate them in the exercise of their Ministrie, they do it by their Magi­straticall and Architectonick power, by which they do all other Magistratical Acts. Hence is it, that such as receive Instructions, to regulate them in the exercise of their Ministrie, from Magistrates, do acknowledge this Magisterial and Architectonick po­wer in Church-matters, to be competent to the Magistrate, as such; and themselves to be formal Ambassadours and Servants of the Magistrate: for, who receive In­structions from one, acting Magisterially and Architectonically, in Church-matters, do owne themselves as his Servants: which cannot be said of such, as receive Instructi­ons from Church-judicatories, which act but ministerially; and thereby formally declare, that the Architectonick and Autocratorical power, over Church-matters, agreeth alone to Christ, whose servants they declare themselves to be, in that very act of holding forth these Instructions, as the Instructions of Christ, and that in His name. This is one maine difference. Hence Secondly, Ministers receiving Instructions, for regu­lating them in the exercise of their Ministrie, from Magistrates, acting like themselves, Magisterially and Architectonically, do (if not formally, yet at least) virtually deny Christ to be the only Head and Lawgiver of his Church Acting and Ruling with a su­pream power: for this Architectonick and Supream power, in the Church, is com­petent to Christ only; and he hath substituted none, as his Vicar-general, neither [Page 72] Prince; not Prelat, Pope nor other: As were easie to evince, if needful: And so there is but one Architectonick Supream Magisterial Power in the Church; and if this be attributed to the Magistrate, Christ is put from his Right: And so such Mi­nisters, as by receiving Instructions from Magistrates, to regulate them in the ex­ercise of their Ministrie, do attribute this Power to the Magistrate, must of ne­cessity take and have their Commission from Magistrates, and become their Ambas­sadours, and not Christs; because by this deed, as they spoile Christ of his Prero­gative and Crown, attributing that unto Magistrates, which is proper to Him; so they acknowledg their Dependance on, and Subordination to Magistrats, and not upon and to Christ. But nothing of this kind can follow upon receiving of Instru­ctions from Church-Judicatories, acting as Christs Servants; and, in the very way and manner of their Acting, declaring Christ to be the Sole Head and Supream Governour of his Church: For, as the Church-Judicatories act but Ministerially, so the receiver of Instructions from them, can owne no other Power in them; because they receive these Instructions from them, as authorized of Christ, with power Mi­nisterially to declare his mind and will. And this is a Second Difference, which leadeth me to a Third, which is this, Christ hath never appointed Magistrates, as such, to Act under him, after such a manner, in the regulation of his Church and Mediatory Kingdom; as he hath appointed Ministers and Church-Judicatories. Now, to receive Instructions from an Usurper, is to acknowledge the power of the Usurper, & a de­pendance upon him, as his Servant: And therefore, as a King will not owne that man, as his Ambassadour, who taketh his Instructions from an Usurper: So nor can that Man formally look upon himself, as the Kings Ambassadour; but as the Ambassa­dour of that Usurper. But when one taketh Instructions from the Councel, act­ing in subordination to the King, and clearing his mind by vertue of his Commissi­on, impowering them thereunto, he is truely the Kings Ambassadour, though the Council did immediatly give him his Instructions: So a Minister, receiving his In­structions immediatly from Church-Judicatories, is nevertheless the Ambassadour of Christ; for the Church-Judicatory acteth in subordination to Christ, and only cleareth up his mind, by vertue of his Commission, impowering them thereunto. Thus I have manifested the Invalidity of this Informers Argument; and withal shown that Mr. B. had good ground to say what he said, and to reject these Instructions, upon that very ground, that if he had accepted of them, he should have acknow­ledged himself not Christs, but their Ambassadour; and withal have shown, that the Indulged Ministers, in receiving these Instructions, have declared themselves not to be the Servants & Ambassadours of Christ, but of the Magistrates; & there­fore can be owned as no other.

Our informer tels us, in the next place, That there were some speeches, be­twixt My L. Chanc. and Mr B [...]. and that Mr B. did not deny that the Council might con­fine him, when the Chanc. asked that at him. And this being one of the Rules, our In­former supposeth, that hereby he overturned his own universal negative. Wherein he is no less mistaken, than he was in his last reasoning; for though it be true, that the Council did confine them to these places, (which, among other things, as then circumstantiat, might have moved them to have refused that Indulgence, they being thereby declared no more free Subjects, and unworthie of the Common Privilege of all Free Subjects; and so actually under the Scandal of Disloyal and Censured [Page 73] Persons, which, as it was a Reproach to the Ministrie; so it could not but expose them to Contempt, and make their Office vile, in the eyes of the World, and their paines fruitless, when their Ministrie was made contemptible: And if there was some further Designe in this obvious, it was so much the more worthie of their Con­sideration.) Yet it is as true, that this Confinement was properly and directly of their Persons; and cannot, in any propriety of speech, be called a regulating of them in the exercise of the Ministrie. The Ministers Body and his Ministrie is not one and the same thing. It is true, by confineing of the Minister to such a particular place, the exercise of the Ministrie is consequently confined: But hence it will no more follow, that the Magistrate may give Injunctions, to regulat Ministers in the exer­cise of their Ministrie; than it will follow, that he may depose a Minister from his Ministrie, because, when he condemneth him to death, and accordingly causeth the Sentence to be execute, or keepeth him in closs and perpetual prison, he doth consequentially put him from the exercise of his Ministrie. Yet he cannot but know, that this Consequence is naught, and that a Physical restraint and a Moral Restraint or Limitation much differ.

When Mr B. upon this honest Testimonie and Declaration, was committed to a Macer to be carried to prison, the Informer tels us. That the Brethren, being surpri­zed, with his speaking unexpectedly (besides the Common agreement) and with the Asser [...]ion that dropped from him and affected with the Apprehension of the Issue, began to be much Af­flicted in their Spirits But why were they not also surprized with Mr H's speaking un­expectedly, besides the Common agreement; for the Common agreement was not, that he should say any thing in reference to the Instructions, before the Councel had made any motion there about? And why were they not also surprized with the Asser­tion that dropped from him, seing, as is shown, it was the same upon the matter, with what Mr. B. said, unless we think he meant it in a most corrupt sense?

After this he tels us, that upon Mr B. his commitment to the Macer one Minister told My L. Chanc. that he beleeved diverse Ministers of that Company were, upon the mat­ter of Mr B's judgment, whereof himself was one: And another declared, that one of these Rules did bring Ministers into direct Subjection to Prelacie, contrary to their Principles. Whereby I see, that the Consternation and Affliction of Spirit, was not so universal, as he did just now hinte: and that all were not of a Contrary judgment to Mr B. and that the agreement to the forementioned limited Clause, was not so unanimous and cordial, as he would have made us beleeve: But passing these smaller matters, let us hear what followed.

He addeth, Mr H. also, though his time was not come to speak, yet stepped in with them, to see what he could do to remove mistakes. Whereby I see, that even he was at length forced to transgress the Rules of Prudence, and to anticipate even God's Opportu­nity, Season and Call (as this Informer supposeth;) and to crosse the Usual Pra­ctice in all such like cases, that is, to speak before his own turn came. I sup­pose, if Mr H. had spoken what he was obliged to speak, in Gods true Season and Opportunity, that is, when the first motion was made of delivering to them these Rules, he had prevented much of this mistake, and also Mr B's suffering. What were these mistakes, that Mr H. stepped now in, before the time, to remove? Were they betwixt his Brethren? Or betwixt the Councel and such of his B [...]ethren, as spoke? And what were these mistakes? Whatever and betwixt whomsoever they [Page 74] were, if he stepped-in to remove them, that which he said must be looked upon, as having a tendency to the removing of these mistakes; and therefore we must suppose, that his Discourse tended either to rectifie Mr B. and such as were of his judgment, or to rectifie the Council, tha [...] had committed Mr B. to the Macer. If the Former, then in his judgment, Mr. B. and the rest, were not to be owned and approved in what they said, being in a mistake: If the Latter, his discourse should have tended to have vindicated Mr B. and to have shown the iniquity of what the Council had done: But it may be, it was of a mixed Nature, tending partly to Approve, and partly to Condemne both.

Let us heare what it was he said. Our Informer tels us, He spoke according to the tenor of the Paper agreed upon, to this purpose, He humbly desired their L L. not to misun­derstand his Brother Mr A. B▪ for as for Rules intrinsecally Ecclesiasticall (the other terme Formally was forgotten, through occasion of the present jumble, as our Informer supposeth) For regulating Ministers in the exercise of their Ministrie; he hoped their L L. Intended not to make and impose any such upon them, who were the Servants of Christ, in these matters. But for the Magistrates Power objectivly Ecclesiastical whereby they might judge of Matters of Religion, in order to their own Act, whether they would approve or discounte­nance such a way, he knew no Reformed Divine, that did deny it unto them. And judging that was his Brothers (i. e. Mr Blair's) sense, in what he spoke, did againe desire, he might not be mistaken. Now if we look on these Words, as they are here set down, we must take them either as an Apologie for, or as a Defence of Mr B. or as Explica­tory of his Assertion; and what way soever we take them, I cannot but observe their uselesness: For when he speaks of Rules Intrinsecally (let us add Formally, though that was then omitted) Ecclesiastical &c. he must mean either the Rules, which were then offered to Mr B. and the rest; or some other: If some other, then he could not desire their L L. not to misunderstand Mr B. for Mr B. meant and spoke of the Rules, which were tendered unto him, and which he neither could in con­science, nor would accept of: Nor could he then be supposed to be speaking any thing in favours of Mr B. whether by way of Apologie,, Defence, or Explication: If he meant the same Rules, that were then tendered, Then (1.) he must grant, that these were Intrinse [...]ally and Formally Ecclesiastical; and so such, as the Magistrat might not make, nor impose upon the Servants of Christ, and that because they were the Servants of Christ, in these matters: And so consequentially, his Words con­firme Mr B's Argument, which this Informer (as we heard lately) judged most absurd. (2.) if he meaned the same Rules, why was the matter expressed in such general and not obviously intelligible Termes? Every one doth not understand what the Termes Formally and Intrinsecally meane, in this Business, which is abou [...] Rules, to regulat Ministers, in the Exercise of their Ministrie. And the mentioning of these Termes, Intrinsecally and Formally, here, would say, that there were other Rules Extrinsecally and Materially Ecclesiastick, which the Magistrates might impose, and they might receive, to regulate them in the exercise of their Ministrie: Now I would gladly know, what these are? Will the Confinement, or Imprisonment of a Ministers Person, go under that Name? Or will Rules made, concerning the length of time, which a Minister is to spend, in the exercise of this or that Act of his Ministrie, or the like, be accounted such? The first is wholly Political, and no more Ecclesiastical, than any other thing, which immediatly concerns a Mini­sters [Page 75] Person, as his Hat, Books and Cloathes, and the like. The Latter, as they par­take more of the Nature of Ecclesiastical Rules, being more formally, and more neerly related unto the exercise of the Ministrie, but yet only in so far, as they be­long to publick Actions; so it is a question, if Magistrates may either solely, or in Prima Instantia, prescribe such Rules unto Ministers. However this being, at best, but dubious, and the other so clearly Political; and it being (to me at least) very un­certaine, what Rules these are, which may be called Externally and Materially Ec­clesiastical &c. I could have wished, that some Instances hereof had been given; that so not only, it might have been known, what Rules were not Formally and Intrin­secally Ecclesiastick; but also it might have been better understood, what Ecclesia­stical Rules were Formally and Intrinsecally such.

(2.) The other part of the discourse, concerning the Magistrats power objecti­vely Ecclesiastical, is as useless for any thing I can perceive, either for clearing of Mr B. or of his discourse: for. (1.) There was nothing in Mr B's discourse, giv­ing the least hint of his denying that power to the Magistrate, which all Orthodox Anti-Erastian Divines grant; For the denying to the Magistrate a power of giving Instructions, for regulating of Ministers, in the exercise of their Ministrie, hath no affinitie with this; as all know, who know any thing of these Controversies. Nor (2.) doth this piece of the discourse, in any manner of way clear, in what sense Magistrates may give Instructions to Ministers, to regulate them in the exercise of their Ministrie, and Ministers may receive them; and in what sense not. These two questions are so far distinct, that I cannot imagine to what purpose this dis­course was brought in; or what it was that gave the least occasion thereunto.

But as to this maine Business, I would further enquire, whether the Brethren do judge, the matter of giving these Instructions, about which the debate did arise, did belong to the first part of the discourse; and so to be Intrinsecally & Formally Eccle­siastical; or to the later part; and so belong to that power of the Magistrate, which is Objectively Ecclesiastical, whereby they judge of the matters of Religion, in order to their own Act, whether they will Approve, or Discountenance such a way? This question must be judged necessary, unless that whole discourse be ac­counted Unnecessary and Impertinent. If the former be said, then why was any troubled at Mr B's refusing to receive these Instructions? Why were not those con­demned, who had received them? Why did not such as had received them cast them back againe? How came it that all of them did not unanimously agree in this Testi­monie? Or how came it, that their Common Mouth did not speak what was the Common opinion of all? Why was it not more distinctly and in fewer words said, That they could not receive these Instructions, as being Rules Intrinsecally and Formally Ecclesiastical, regulating them, who were the servants of Christ, in these matters. If the Latter be said, Then was not only Mr B's both Practice and Dis­course condemned; but the whole cause was basely betrayed; because under the pretext of the Magistrates power Objectively Ecclesiastical, that which is as In­trinsecally and Formally Ecclesiastical, as many other, at least, are, was granted to the Magistrate. Will the Magistrat's power to act as a Man, and not as a Brute, in his Magistratical work, about an Ecclesiastical Object; that is, his power to judge by the judgment of discretion, which is Common to all the members of the Church, yea, to all men, as Men; which Papists deny unto Magistrates, allowing them [Page 76] only to see with the Churches eyes, but Protestants grant unto them: Will, I say, this power warrand him, to give Instructions, and set down Rules, for regulat­ing the exercise of the Ministrie? Yea, or will his Authoritative Judgment, in matters of Religion; that is, his sentence of Approving or not Approving; of Tolerating, or not Tolerating in his Dominions; of Countenancing or not Countenancing by his civil Lawes, such a Way or Profession of Religion, war­rand him also to set Rules to the very exercise of the Ministrie? By what argu­ment shall this consequence be proved; seing (1.) In the one case, he judgeth of Religion, only in order to his own Act; but when he prescribeth Instructions, Rules and Orders, he judgeth of Religion, or of that part of Religion, concern­ing which the Instructions are, in order to it self, and the Intrinsick manner of its Administration (2.) In the one, his judgment is purely Political and Civil, in the other case it is really Ecclesiastical. (3) In the one case, his judgment is Objective­ly onely to be called or accounted Ecclesiastical; but in the other, it is Formally & Elecitely Ecclesiastical. (4.) In the one case, he acteth as a Magistrate, considering the outward Good, Quiet and Advantage of the Commonwealth; In the other, he acteth as a Church-Officer or Head, considering the Intrinsick Nature, & Spiritual Ends of that part of Religion. (5.) In the one, he acteth in subordination to God, as Supream Governour of the World; but in the other, he acteth, as in a right line of subordination to Christ, the Supream Head and Governour of his Church, and Institutor of all the Administrations and Ordinances, dispensed in the Church, and sole Appointer of the Qualifications of the Officers, and Rules of Administration: Or rather, if he act as a Magistrate, in this last, he Acts by an Architectonical power, and so as an Usurper, or by a power, which is only proper to Christ; or if he be said to Act ministerially, than also as an Usurper, because never impowered thereunto by Christ, the Supream King, and Head of the Church.

If we look upon this discourse of Mr. H. as a Testimonie, (and so it may be it was intended) or as a Declaration of the Judgement of the Ministers, concerning the Magistrat's jus, or Right, to impose Instructions or Rules on Ministers, for re­gulating them, in the exercise of their Ministrie; and concerning Ministers their call and warrant to receive or refuse such Instructions; I cannot but observe (1.) That it is very defective and short of a faire and full Testimonie, against the Practice of such, who were known to have invaded the Rights of the Church; yea and the Prerogatives of Christ, as sole Head and King of his Church; and, in prosecution of this designe of invading the same more, to have devised this medium of the Indulgence (2.) That it is not a plaine and full Testimonie against the present Act of Usurpation, whereby a power was assumed to judge in matters Ecclesiastical, Intrinsecally and Formally such; Yea, and to performe Elicite and Formal Church-Acts, either Ministerially, as Ministers of Christ, clothed with Ministerial Church-power from him, which cannot be Instructed, nor doth it compete to a Magistrat, act­ing as such; or rather Magisterially, as Supream Governours in the Church, and Appointers of Qualifications, Rules, and Manner of Administration of Spiritual Institutions. (3.) That it was not a full and plaine Vindication of the Doctrine of the Church of Scotland; Nor an Assertion thereof, according to former Vowes, Co­venants and Solemne Engagments. 4. That it was not candide and ingenuous, nor pertinent to the purpose in hand, as it should have been, by holding forth the Ini­quity [Page 77] of such Impositions. (5.) That it was conceived in such General and Schola­stick termes, that neither they, to whom it was spoken, could well understand what was the drift thereof; nor others conceive what was yeelded, or denied, in the then present case; yea, did not some of the Council say plainly, they did not understand it? (6.) That it contained desingenuous Insinuations and unfaire Reflections on ho­nest and worthy Mr A. B. and a tacite Condemning (at least in part) of his Plaine and Honest Testimony; as if it had contained something, either as to the matter, or expression, unjustifiable; or, at least, liable to exceptions. (7.) That it con­tained (at least) as worded, a designe too obvious of humoring and pleasing the Ma­gistrates, while actually stated in, and prosecuting an opposition to Christs Supre­macie, and to the Right and Power, granted to the Church-Office-Bearers. (8.) That as it speaketh not home to the point; so it is not clear in it self; opposing unto Giving and Imposing of Rules, Intrinsecally and Formally Ecclesiastical, a power only Objectively Ecclesiastical, whereby the Magistrate judgeth of the matters of Religion, in order to his own Act of approving or disapproving of such a way; and nothing else: And so either accounting all things to be Rules Intrinsecally and Formally Ecclesiastical, which is not a meer judging in order to the Magistrates own Act; or, on the other hand, accounting all things, in and about Religion, to belong to that power, which is Objectively only Ecclesiastical, and so to be no less competent to the Magistrate, than is that Judgment of discretion, where­by he judgeth, in reference to his own act of Countenancing or Discountenanc­ing such a way, which are not real prescribing of Rules, Intrinsecally and For­mally Ecclesiastical: And thus either giving the Magistrate too little, or else too much.

He tels us of another, that spoke before it came to Mr H's turn; and that this Person told, He could not receive Ecclesiastical Canones from their L L. but as for civil significations of their pleasure, under the hazard of civil penalties, he could say nothing to that; & that an­other did homologate this speech. But under favoure, this is secundum artem violatilizare densa & densare volatilia; a pretty whim wham good for nothing. On a serious solid zeal­ous Minister should have been ashamed, to have substitute such Whity Whaties, in the place of a plain Testimony, clearly called for in the case. But these two Persons not onely brake their own Order, and might have occasioned some Consternation to the rest, as well as Mr B's speaking did, but also spoke indeed nothing to the purpose; and might as well have been silent, For (1.) By this Distinction (little better than a mental reservati­on) they might have scrupled at nothing, that theMagistrate might attempt to prescribe, in Church-Matters; no, nor at his giving Rules Intrinsecally and Formally Eccle­siastical; for these might also passe under the Notion of Civil Significations of their pleasure &c. and thus contradict Mr H. their Common Mouth, and the Paper also, to which they had unanimously agreed: For, can they say, that the Magistrate giveth, or can give a Civll Signification of his will, onely when he judgeth in order to his own Act of Approving or Disapproving such a way: and so exerteth that Power of his, which is only Objectivly Ecclesiastical; and not also in many other Acts, meerly Ecclesiastical, even Formally and Intrinsecally? Or can they say, that all the Intrinsecalness and Formality, in Matters Ecclesiastical, consisteth in their being done by Church-Officers, acting in a Church-Judicatory; and that [Page 78] [...]here is no Act, which in it self can be called Intrinsecally and Formally Ecclesia­stical; but that the sole ground of that Denomination, is their being performed by Men, in Church-office; and so the very Act of Preaching and of Administrating of Sacraments, might be done by the Magistrate, as Civil Significations of his plea­sure, being not Intrinsecally and Formally Ecclesiastick, but when done by Church-O [...]ficers: And thus all the Ecclesiastickness of Actions, which are Intrinsecally and Formally such, floweth from, and dependeth upon the Ecclesiasticalness of the Agents. Whence it will follow, that all, which such Ecclesiastical Persons do, must be Intrinsecally and Formally Ecclesiastick; and so their judging Civil matters, condemning Malefactors &c. (not to speak of other actions) should be actions For­mally and Intrinsecally Ecclesiastical, Ergo it is competent only to Church-Officers. And on the contrary, this should be a good Argument. This man is an Ecclesia­stick Person; therefore the Action, which he doth, must be Formally and Intrin­secally Ecclesiastick. And, as by this meanes, there should be no Cause, or Acti­on, Formally and Intrinsecally Ecclesiastical, in it self; so there should be no Cause, or Action, Intrinsecally and Formally Civil in it self, but that onely which is done by the Civil Magistrate: And this consequence were good; This is done by a Civil Magistrate. Ergo it is Formally and Intrinsecally Civil; and this should be a bad consequence, This is an action Formally and Intrinsecally Civil Ergo it is to be done by the Civil Magistrate onely (2.) This answere of these two Brethren must either Homologate what Mr H. said; or be dissonant therefrom: If Dissonant, then they did not keep to the Paper, which they had owned, as Mr H. did Then also Mr H. in his discourse spoke not truth; for I suppose, these two will think, they spoke right; and then either the Paper, that was agreed on, was not right, or Mr H. spoke not according to it; for I also suppose, that these two will say, they spoke nothing disagreeing with their Paper. If their answere did Homologate Mr. H's discourse, then what necessitie was there for it: And why used they other expressi­ons, if they had a mind to speak: And it would seem, that all that Mr H. said, was this and no more: Mr B. and we must be excused, if we look not upon the Council as a Church-Judicatory, making Ecclesiastical Canons; but only as a Civil Court, emitting Civil significations of their pleasure, under the hazard of Civil penalties. (3.) This answer seemeth to me a more plaine giving up of the Cause, than all which Mr H. said; for it is no other in effect, than this; Let the Magistrates enjoine what they please, we need not scruple, upon the account of any encroachment made upon the Prerogatives of Christ, or Privileges of his Church; for this distinction will salve all; Let us receive all, not as Ecclesiastical Canons, but as Civil signi­fications of their pleasure &c. and so there is no danger, though they should use both a Dogmatick, Critick and Diatactick power, determine Controversies of faith, Appoint Rules of Ordination, Condemne Hereticks, Debarre from the Sacra­ments, and Admit thereto by their sentence; judge of Church-members, or de­termine who should be admitted, as such, and who not: In a word, do all which Church-Judicatories do. This distinction will make all go down. (4.) By parity of Reason, if these Brethren were before a Church-Judicatory, medling with all Civil affairs, determining Civil pleas, giving-out civil Injunctions, Lawes and Rules &c. they might and ought as willingly submit, and salve all with this distinction, saying. We cannot receive Civil Lawes from you, but as for Ecclesiastical significa­ [...]ions [Page 79] of your pleasure, under hazard of Church-censures, we can say nothing to that: And thus they would sweetly comply with all the Invasions made upon and U­surpations of the Civil power, whereof the Popes Conclave, and other Popish and Prelatical Courts, are justly accounted guilty, without scruple.

Now at length, it came to Mr H's turn, who, as our Informer saith, received not these Instructions publickly, as having seen them before: Let us hear what he said. He tels us, that he resumed what he had said formerly, concerning a Formal Ec­clesiastical Power, which could not be allowed to the Magistrat; and a Power Objectivly Ecclesiastical, which was allowed to him: Intimating with all, that the Brethren would either observe, or not observe their Directions, according as they judged of them, in their Consciences, upon their peril. On what was here resumed, I have given mine Obser­vations before, and shall onely adde. That this Formal Ecclesiastick Power must pointe forth a Power in it self such, and therefore so called; and not so denominated meer­ly because it is exerted by Church-men; as the two Brethren fore mentioned hinted in their Answer and Distinction; otherwise his Distinction should have run thus, betwixt a Power Subjectivly Ecclesiastical, and Objectivly Ecclesiastical. But this would confound all Causes and all Power; and would bring all Civil Causes objectivly under the Power of the Church; and all Church-Causes objectivly under the Power of the Magistrate: Yea and make all Things and Actions, done by the Civil Magi­strate, though otherwise but Objectivly Ecclesiastical, to be Formally Civil; and on the other hand, make all Actions, done by Church-men, though otherwise but Ob­jectivly Civil, to be Formally Ecclesiastick. As to the Latter Part of this speech, I judge the same might have been said, had been before the Church-Judicatory, re­ceiving the same, or the like Instructions. And was this all? Was there no more requisite in this case? Is it all one thing, at whose hands Ministers receive Directi­ons, Rules, Restrictions and Injunctions, or the like, to regulate them, in the exercise of their Ministrie, whether at the hands of the Pope, of a Prelate, of the Magistrate, or of a Church-Judicatorie, providing they be such, as may be ob­served, or otherwise to take their hazard? I suppose, our Fore-fathers would have said something else: And, I trow, Civil Magistrates, if called before the Prelates Courts, to receive Injunctions or Rules, to regulate them, in the exercise of their Of­fice, would say some other thing, than that they would observe, or not observe these Directions, according as they judged of them in their Consciences, upon their peril. And if they would have stood to their Rights, as is to be supposed, the greater fault it is for Ministers, to quite the Rights of the Church so easily, wherein the Glory of their Master doth so much consist. Yea moreover, this superadded Insinuation makes me suspect the fore-mentioned Distinction the more: For had that Distinction been honestly proposed and intended, this superadded clause had been utterly needless.

Upon this (as we are told by our Informer) followed my L. Chanc. Answer, which was this, That the King gave them these Instructions by his Council, and if they did not observe them, the Council would punish them. By which we see, that these In­structions were gi [...] by an Autocratorick power, by the Magistrate, as such; and consequently being in Church-matters, Intrinsecally and Formally such, by an Usurped power. We see next, that the commanding of the observation of these In­structions, cometh from the Magistrate in prima Instantia, and so are not Civil San­ctions, [Page 80] and Confirmations of Injunctions, ministerially proposed by Church-Offi­cers, upon both which grounds, I conceive Mr H. had a faire occasion to have vindi­cated both the Prerogatives of Christ, the sole Head of the Church, and the Privi­leges of the Church, bestowed on her by Christ, her King and Lord: Yet we finde, that all the reply, which he made, was this. That for the matter of Civil punishments, they had never denied the Magistrates right in them: And that he took notice from that Answere, that their L L. acted in a Civil way, onely competent to them, in their dealing with Ministers, which they could not decline; hoping their L L. designed not to stretch their power beyond their Civil line, Which reply, in my judgment, was neither Perti­nent, nor Sufficient: Not Pertinent, because the question was never moved, concerning Magistrates executing civil punishments, but concerning their power of Imposing Injunctions and Rules, to regulate Ministers, in the exercise of their Ministrie, which the L. Chanc. owned and avouched in his Answere, little regarding Mr H's distinction, betwixt a Formally Ecclesiastick power, and power Objectively Ecclesi­astical. Not Sufficient; because the maine business was unhandsomly waved. Nay, moreover, this Reply was an yeelding of the whole cause, and a granting that Ma­gistrates might meddle with any Church power, and enjoyne what they pleased, providing they punished only civilly such; as transgressed. Hence they might or­daine a Minister, and command him to preach to such a people, that would not call him, and depose another, and discharge him to preach any more, as a Minister or Ad­minister Sacraments, under a Civil penalty. So under a Civil penalty they might prescribe the matter of preachings, decide Controversies of Faith, and appeals in Church-maters, &c. Yea, in a word, meddle with the most Intrinsick and For­mal Church-matters. Finally, I do not see what ground my L. Chanc. gave, yea or occasion to make this Reply; for though his L. said, the Council would punish, yet the said not, the Council would punish civilly onely: No, his expression might com­prehend Ecclesiastical Punishments also, conforme to the power granted to them by the Kings Letter.

After a great deal of Discourse, spent upon personal reflections; and vindica­tions, with which the cause is not much concerned, and therefore the less to be no­ticed by me, our Informer cometh in end to vindicat Mr H's speech, which, as it would appear, had given no small offence, and he tels us, that in it we may per­ceive, an Assertion of an Ecclesiastical power to make Rules for regulating Ministers, which was not yeelded to the Magistrate; with a concession of his power Objectively Ecclesiasti­cal: And a declaration of their receiving Papers of them under that notion did not oblige them to observe these directions; but they were to act therein upon their peril. We heard indeed of Rules Intrinsecally (and afterward) Formally Ecclesiastical, for regulating Ministers in the exercise of their Ministrie, which he hoped their L L. did not in­tend to make or impose upon them, who were the Servants of Christ. But we heard of no Assumption. That such were the Rules, contained in the Paper, tendered unto them: Nor of a Conclusion. That therefore they could not, they might not in conscience, accept of them. We heard of a Concession also of the Magistrats power objectively Ecclesiastical: But we could not understand, to what purpose it was adduced, unless for justifying of the Magistrates, in giving those Injunctions, and themselves in receiving of them. Nay, I perceive here, our Informer assert­eth, that which I was but suspecting formerly, and durst not positively affirme, [Page 81] viz. That they looked upon these Instructions, as flowing from the Magistrat's Power Objectively Ecclesiastical; For nothing else can be Imported in these words, And a declaration of their receiving Papers, under that notion. Now, what can this notion be, under which they received these Papers, but the Magistrat's power Objectively Ecclesiastical? And what may hence be gathered, we shall hear an­one. We heard lately, that Mr H. did intimate, that the Brethren would either observe, or not observe their Directions, according as they judged of them in their Consciences, upon their peril: But that he declared that the receiving of these Pa­pers did not oblige them to observe these Directions, I did not hear till now. How­ever, since this Informer saith, that this was Mr H. declaration, I profess, it seem­eth strange to me, that he should have spoken so; for the publick & Judicial receiving, even at the bar, of such Instructions, was a solemne declaration of their present pur­pose and willingness to obey these Injunctions, there being no exception made a­gainst any of them in particular; nor no desire expressed of a liberty to be granted, to consider and examine them. And sure, if they had suspected the irrelevancie or unlawfulness of any of them upon the matter, Ingenuity and Conscience would have said, that so much should have been exprest; and that the Paper, (if so be they would not refuse to accept of it) should have been accepted, with that clause of exception; or rather rejected, until they were assured, it contained nothing but what was lawful upon the matter: For to accept a Paper, containing Instructions; and to say withal, they would obey, or not obey them, as they thought good, on their perril, was neither to act with an Ingenuity, becoming Christians; nor with an Zeal, becoming Ministers, nor with that Respect due to Magistrats from them, both as Christians, and as Ministers; nor with that Care and Circumspection requisite for avoiding of scandal, and especially at such a time, when the eyes of many were up­on them, both of friends and of foes. And if any say, That that Declaration was a sufficient Protestation, I crave leave to adde, that it was a Protestation annulled by their deed, Protestatio contraria facto. How much better then had it been, to have forborne that deed, which bad in it, at least, an appearance of evil; and to have dealt faithfully with the Council; and told, That they could not obey these In­structions; and therefore behoved to be excused from receiving of them. But I confess, when that great matter was so lightly passed over, I meane, the Power, making and imposing these Instructions, it is to me little wonder, that this was swallowed down also.

Our Informer tels us next, that in all this discourse of Mr H's he cannot see such Hete­rodoxie and Noveltie, as to give occasion to any to say, That he gave to them all, that the Godly Divines give unto the most Godly and reforming Magistrats on earth; or that Ministers receiving these Papers, on these termes, should warrand honest people to think, that they gave up the right of the Church, with their own hand, to the Civil Magistrate; or that any Mi­nisters should highly resent their treacherie. But to answere, Though this Informer can­not see such Heterodoxie, or Novelty, as to give occasion to passe that censure on Mr H's discourse; yet it may be, others shall see ground for that, and for more too. And I shall willingly grant, that what agreeth to Magistrates, as such, agreeth to all Magistrates, good and bad: Yet it may be maintained, that more may be allow­ed in such Magistrates, as are really minding Reformation, the Glory of God, the good of the Church and all her Rights and Privileges; than in such, as are open [Page 82] Enemies thereunto; and are seeking by all meanes to destroy the Church, to rob her of her Rights, Privileges; and Power, and to enrich themselves with the spoils of Christs Crown. And therefore when Ministers have to do with such Open and A vowed Enemies, they are called to more strick watchfulness and care, lest they do, or say any thing, which may confirme such in their Usurpations, and encou­rage them to encroach more. And whether this care was used at this time, I leave to all, who are acquainted with what passed about that time, and with what daily is observable, to judge. For my part, if Mr H. did grant to the Magistrat, by ver­tue of his Power Objectivly Ecclesiastical, a Right or Power to Make and Impose Rules and Injunctions, to regulate Ministers, in the Exercise of their Ministrie, as our Informer lately himself hinted, I think, he hath not onely given to them all, that the Godly Divines, give to the most Godly and reforming Kings: But much more; except it be that, which was given to Extraordinary and Immediatly Inspir­ed Magistrates, that were Prophets also, and Men of God, such as David and Salomon: Or in a time of Universal Defection and Deformation, which can no other way be remedied. Neither of which can be applied to our case. And further, I wonder how he thinketh, any can judge otherwise, than that, interpretatively at least, the receiving of these Papers, on these termes, was a giving-up of the Right of the Church, with their own hands; seing it is so clear and manifest, by what we have said. And seing it is so, himself will, I suppose, grant, that every Minister is call­ed highly to resent this treachery.

What saith our Informer for Vindication; But who so will read, saith he, Our Anti-Erastian Writters, will finde that they yeeld to the Magistrate, as Magistrate, (and conse­quently to all Magistrates, be what they will, good or bad, though upon his perril, as he shall answere to God for it, if he shall determine wrong) a Publick Politick Definitive judgment, concerning Matters of Religion, in reference to his own Act about them; or (for they diver­sifie the phrase) a Power of judging of his own Act, about Spiritual or Religious things, to be observed, or not observed by their Subjects. And to make out this, he citeth some words out of the CXI. Propositions, Propos. 97. where these Words are, As to each member of the Church respectively, so unto the Magistrate belongeth the judgment of such things, both to apprehend and judge of them: For although the Magistrate be not ordained and preferred of God, that he should be a judge of Matters and Causes Spiritual, of which there is a controversie in the Church; yet he is questionless judge of his own Civil Act about spiritual things; namely of defending them, in his own Dominions, and of approving or tol­lerating the same: And if in this business▪ he judge and determine, according to the Wisdome of the Flesh, and not according to the Wisdome which is from above, he is to render an ac­count thereof, before the Supream Tribunal. But to what purpose is all this waste of Words? Doth he, or any man think, that we deny to the Magistrate a judgment of his own Civil Act; or that we suppose, that Mr H. and others have betrayed the Cause, because they granted to the Magistrate a Power Objectively Ecclesiastical, so far, as to judge thus of his own Civil Act of Tolerating such a way within his Dominions? No, that is not the ground we go upon. But this we say, that if Mr H. or others, do inferre from this power of judging, in reference to his own Act competent to the Magistrate, that the Magistrate, may Impose Rules and Injunctions, to regulat Ministers in the exercise of their Ministrie; then they have betrayed the Cause: And either they must inferre this therefrom, or they speak nothing to [Page 83] the purpose: And himself lately told us, as much as all this. Now let him, or any man show me, where any Anti-Erastian Divine reasoneth thus, or draweth such an Inference, from this Power Objectively Ecclesiastical. Yea I much questione, if Ve­delius or Maccovius his Collegue, did ever so argue. And sure I am, the Author of the CXI. Propositions Propos. 45. &c. cleareth up that Difference betwixt these two Powers, which is taken from the Object and Matter about which. And Prop. 54. he showeth, that those things, wherein the Ecclesiastical Power is exercised, are preaching of the Word &c. And Prop. 55. That though the Civil Magistrate is occu­pied about the same things; yet it is but so far, as concerneth the outward disposing of Divine things, in this or that Dominion. Nay. I must say, that I cannot see, how this will follow, That Magistrates may prescribe such Rules unto Ministers, to regulate them in the exercise of their Ministrie, because of a Power granted to them, to judge of their own Civil Act, about spiritual things; more than that every Church-Member may do the like; for in that Prop. as the Words cited do clear, the Author giveth that same Power to every Member of the Church respectively, and how can it be denied to them, or to any rational man? Nay, let me say more. Have not Ministers, and every private man, this power of judging of his own Act about things Civil; and in this respect also an Objectivly Civil Power? Will it therefore follow, that they can prescribe Rules, to regulate Magistrats in the exercise of their functio [...]? And if a Magistrat should come to the Prelates, or Pop's Bar, and take a Paper from him, containing such Instructions, and give this onely as his Apologie, that he acknowledged a Power Objectivly Civil, competent unto the Pope or Prelate? because they had power to judge of their own acts about civil things; would not others have cause to judge, that that Magistrate had denied the Co-ordination of the Po [...]ers, & had professed his Subordination as Magistrate to Pope or Prelate? Now, Verte Tabulas and see how the parallel runneth in our case, and then judge.

From the foregoing discourse, and particularly from that cited out of the CXI. Pro­positions, our Informer, now a Disputer, Inferreth, That he hopeth no man in reason can alledge Mr H's recedeing from the Principles of this Church, in the matter. But for my part, though I will not judge of the Thoughts or Intentions of Mr H. or of any other of his Brethren; yet considering the work it self, as this Informer hath represented it unto me, in its circumstances, I cannot but say, that in the thing, and as to the Intentio operis, there was a recedeing not onely from the Principles of the Church of Scotland, but also from the Zeal of our former Worthies, who ventured all to trans­mit the truth, pure from Erastianisme and Caesario-Papal Invasions & Encroachments, And from the strick Obligations, lying on us all, to stand to the Truth, and to the Defence of the Power and Privileges of the Church, against the Usurpation and Encroachments of the Magistrates, seeking alwayes to inhaunce all Church-power into their own hands; not out of love to promove the Glory of God, and the real good of souls; but out of a desire to have the Ministrie, and the outward Admini­strations of grace enslaved unto their wills. Is it not certaine, out of what ground this Indulgence did grow; and how the Act of Supremacy (which no Conscientious Minister or Christian can owne or acknowledge,) as it was occasioned and necessita­ted by the Indulgence; so it became the Charter thereof, and gave legal life and being unto all that followed? And was it not as certaine, that a Designe to procure a Requiem to themselves, in all their Usurpations, and intolerable Invasions of [Page 84] Church-Power, and overturning of [...]he whole Work of God; and withall to make way for the further Enslaving of the Church▪ and of all Church-Power to their [...]usts, did midwife this Bastard-Child into the World? And could it be uncertaine to rational observing Persons, what was the Designe of King and Councel, in-giving these Instructions, First and Last? Yea, was not the whole Business so carried on from First to Last, as half an eye might have discovered a wicked Designe therein? And was not the Explicatory Act of the Supremacie a more than sufficient proof of an Erastian Spirit, that led and acted them, in some things, beyond what the An­ti-Christian Spirit could for shame prompt the Pope to arrogate to himself? And when from these things, and many others such like, yea from the whole Procedour of King Parliament and Council, in their Actings, since this last Revolution began, it is more than sufficiently clear, what they did and do Intend; will any say, it was not their Duty, while so Providentially called to witness to the Truth, to give a more Plain, Full, Ministerial and Christian Testimony, to the Truth, which our Predecessours maintained, with so much Hazard, Expence of bloud, Loss of Li­berty, Tossings, Imprisonments, Confinements, Condemnation to Death and Banishments &c. and which we were so solemnely sworne to stand to? And will any Ingenuous Christian say, that, all circumstances being considered, the Testimony given was such, as became men standing in the Fields for the Truth of Christ, and engaged in point of Conscience and Christian Valour, Honour and Credi [...]e, to cover the ground they stood on with their dead Bodies, rather than cede to such a manifest Encroaching and Invading Enemie? Will any, who readeth the carriage of our valiant and renowned Worthies, in opposing the Encroachments of King Iames, (who yet never did, nor for shame could arrogate to himself such a transcendently Super­lative Supremacie over Church-matters, as now by Act of Parliament is declared to be an Inherent Right of the Crown) think, that they would have satisfied them­selves with such a General, Impertinent, Confused, Indistinct and Defective Te­stimony to such a Glorious Truth? Will any, who considereth the Zeal, that or­dinarily acted our faithful Progenitours, from the beginning to this late Catastroph, and of our valiant Worthies, who valued this Truth of Christ's Kingship above their lives, think that there was not here a palpable cedeing from that Spirit and Zeal, which moved them to postpone all things, to this chief matter? And can any say, that this way of vindicating Truth, wherein so much Pusillanimity, Dis­ingenuity, carnal Consultation occasioning Misconceptions and Blindness, ap­peared, did keep correspondence with our frequently reiterated Vowes and En­gagements? Was it pertinent or seasonable, or could it be satisfying to propose, in such an exigent, a meer Cothurnus; I meane, that general Assertion of the Magi­strates Objectively Ecclesiastical Power, no less ambiguous till fitly explained, than impertinent to the case then in hand? Nay, let this very Informer tell me, if he think not, that more Plaine, Clear and Full expressions might have been fallen upon, if plaine and home dealing had been Intended? This I suppose may serve for an Examination of that matter, as this Informer hath declared it unto us.

Reasons against the Indulgence.

THough by what is said, it may be sufficiently seen, how sinful that Indulgence was upon the Accepters part (with which we have onely here to do) as it was conveyed and circumstantiated; and occasionally we have here and there discovered several particular Evils, wrapped up in it, beside its sinful Rise and destructive Tendencie: All th [...]t now remaineth to be done, is to draw the several Eviles, com­prehended in this complex business, to their own proper Heads, that the Reader may see at one view, what was formerly scattered up and down the foregoing Rela­tion: And, considering what is said, it will not be necessary to insist on particulars; to touch them in a word will be sufficient.

I. How injurious it is to Christ, as Head of the Church.

WE shall beginne with this Head of Arguments, and show in how many parti­culars, injurie was done, by the Indulgence, as accepted, unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the onely Head and King of his Church; And

1. In that hereby they declared, they did not hold their Ministrie wholly and solely of Jesus Christ: Sure Christ alone, as Head and King of the Church his spi­ritual Kingdom, did Institute this Office of the Ministrie, and did Impower men unto the exercise thereof: As the Scriptures do prove: And Ministers depend sole­ly upon Him therein, if they renunce not their own place and standing. But we saw above, how the Indulged did plainly and positively refuse to say, that they held their Ministrie of Iesus Christ alone: See what is remarked on Mr H's speech, when the first Ten were Indulged, where ex professo the word alone was left out; and what is said in Answere to the Informer, who was dissatisfied with Mr Blair. whereby an injurie of a very high Nature was done unto our Lord Jesus, who alone ascended up on high, and led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men; even, gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, Eph. 4: v. 8, 11. It was God alone, that set some in the Church, first Apost­les, secundarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that Miracles, &c. 1. Cor. 12:28. So that as the office of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, &c. were onely from Christ; so was the office of Pastours or Teachers. Hence they are said to be made Overseers by the Holy Ghost, Act. 20. v. 28. Whoever therefore will not confess, that Mi­nisters hold their Ministrie alone of Christ, do derogat hugely from His glory, and rob him of his Prerogative; and set these others (who ever they be) of whom they hold their Ministery, in part, or in conjunction with Christ, down upon Christ's Throne, and make Christ no sole King, and Head of his Kingdom; and conse­quently no sole Prophet or Priest and Mediator. And what an affront this is unto our Lord, let any judge. And if (as we know) the clay-Kings of the Earth will think themselves sufficiently dethroned, and unpardonably injured, if any Sub­ject be made partaker with them of their petty Soveraignity, in whole, or in part; let any consider, how Christ shall take this injurie done to him by his own professed Servants. But some will possibly say, Though this was their fault and great escape; yet it was but personal, and accidental, as to the Indulgence; and so can­not [Page 86] not affect the same: Or make it an incroachment upon Christ, of such an high Na­ture. I answer; This being spoken at that occasion, when the King and Council were acknowledged thankfully for the granting of the Indulgence, cannot but have a reference unto the Indulgence it self; and supposing (as all reason will allow us to do) that what was said, was spoken with understanding, it must be granted, that they had their eye upon the Indulgence granted; and so their discourse was to this pur­pose in effect. We declare, that we hold not our Ministrie of Christ alone, but of Christ and of the Magistrate; and therefore do accept of this Indulgence, without scruple, Whence also it is manifest, that they looked upon the Indulgence, as a con­sequent of their holding of the ministrie partly of the Magistrate. And whether the Magistrate did intend the granting of the Indulgence, as a declaration of their ac­counting Ministers to hold their Ministrie partly of them, or not; yet the accepting of the Indulgence thus, was a plaine declaration, on the accepters part, that they held their Ministrie partly of the Magistrate, and not solely of Christ; And consequent­ly that they owned not Christ, as sole Head of the Kirk. Further, This discourse of theirs, so worded purposely and deliberatly, saith, that if they had not beleev­ed, that they held their Ministrie not of Christ alone, but of others also, they could not have accepted of the Indulgence. If any should yet say, That though this might be said of the Indulgence, according as it was understood by the Accepters; yet it will not follow, that the Indulgence it self is chargable with this. I answer yet hereby it is granted, that the Accepters are chargable with high Treason against the King of Kings, our Lord Jesus Christ: And as for the Indulgence it self, we may safely construe of it, according to the sense both of the Granters and of the Receivers: And by what followeth, its nature will be more fully discovered. If it be said, That the most that can be inferred from that expression of the Accepters, at that time, is, that as to the Exercise (which is distinct from the Office of the Mi­nistrie it self) they did depend on others, than Christ, I Answere, No mention was made of the Exercise, but of the Ministrie it self. And even as to this, there was no small injurie done to Jesus Christ; and this leads me to a second thing, here remarkable.

2. By this Indulgence, the Prerogative of Christ, as sole Head of His Church, is further encroached upon, in that the Indulged do hold their Ministrie, as to its Exercise, not of Christ alone, but of the Magistrates, either solely, or in conjun­ction with Christ. And that this is a wrong to Christ, is manifest, in that it saith, the Office, and the Power to exerce the Office are not from Christ alone. The Of­fice can import nothing, but a ba [...]e name, if it import not Power to exerce the Of­fice, or do the work peculiar unto such an Office: And if Christ be said to give the Office, but others must give the Power, Authority, and Ius or Right, to exercise the Office, he shall be made a meer Titular King. But he told us some other thing, when he said Matth. 28; 18, 19. All Power is given unto me, in Heaven and in Earth, go ye therefore and Teach all Nations, Baptizing them &c. And when he said Ioh. 20:21, 23. — As my Father hath sent Me, even so send I Youwhose soever sins ye re­mit, they are remitted unto them &c. See Mark. 16:15.—go yee into all the World, and preach the Gospel. The Office was in order to the Exercise: And when he gave the Office, he gave the Power to exercise the same. When Paul was made a Minister, he was sent to open eyes Act. 26:16, 11, The Ministrie, sure, is a Talent, and [Page 87] who ever get it must trade with it, or expect a sad Sentence. If it be said, That this will take away the Power of Chu [...]ch-Judicatories, who ministerially, under Christ, both conveyeth the Office and the Power to exercise the same. For Answere, I deny that any such thing will follow: And to clear this, I shall shew a third Inju­rie done to Christ, by this Indulgence.

3. If it should be said, that by the accepting of this Indulgence, from the Magi­strat, they no more prejudge Christ of his Right both to give the Office and Power to exerce the same, than when they take the same as conveyed to them by Church-Officers. I Answer, That the Difference is great, and the Encroachment made on Christs Prerogative by the Indulgence clearly assented to: In that another way of Conveyance of the Ministrie, and of the Power to exercise the same, is here closed with, than Christ, the only King, hath appointed. Christ hath instituted Church-Officers for this end, to convey the Office and Power, which he hath appointed, unto particular Persons. The Holy Ghost said unto Prophets and Teachers, that were at An­tioch, separate me Barnabas and Saul. for the work whereunto I have called them Act. 13:1.2. Paul and Barnabas ordained Elders in every Church Act. 14:23. Titus was order­ed to ordaine Elders in every Church Tit. 1:5. Timothie was to commit the things, he had heard of Paul, to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others 2 Tim. 2: v. 2. The gift was given with the laying on of the hands of the Presbyterie 1 Tim, 4:14. But here the Office, or the Exercise thereof is conveyed by the hands of Magistrates. whom Christ never did commit that matter unto. And thus another, yea a quite Opposite, Medium is embraced and followed, than what Christ thought good to make choise of, to his great dishonour and disparagment; as if he had not been Wise enough to appointe the best meanes; nor had not Authority enough solely to appoint the meanes and wayes, he thought fit.

4. The wrong done to Christ, by the accepting of this Indulgence, will be hence manifest (which will also clear up the Difference betwixt what is conveyed from Christ, by his owne Ministers, and what is conveyed by Magistrates.) That the Office or Exercise of the Ministrie is received from them, who in this deed, do not, neither can Act, in a Ministerial Subordination to Christ, as sole Head and Fountaine of all Church-Power; so that their interveening betwixt Christ, and those, who receive the Office or its Exercise, as a Medium of Conveyance, saith, that Christ is not sole Head of the Church, and Fountaine of Church-Power. The ground of this is, because Magistrates, as such, do not Act in a direct line of Sub­ordination to Christ, as Mediator, as Church-Officers do: And further, what they do as Magistrates, they do not (in reference to their Subjects) with a Ministerial Authoritie, as Church-Officers do; but with a Magisterial, Imperial, Coactive, Autocratorical and Architectonick Power and Authoritie: And as to the Church, this Magisterial Power belongeth to Christ alone: So that the submiting unto any other Magisterial and Supream Autocratorical Power, in Church-affaires, than what is solely in Christ, is an acknowledging of another Head and Supream Gover­nour in the Church, beside Christ; and this is a plaine dethroning of Christ, who will either be sole King, or no King.

5. The accepting of this Indulgence containeth another wrong done to Christ, in that thereby, there is an acknowledgment made of the Insufficience of all the Rules, Prescriptions and Instructions granted by Him, for the ordering of the exercise of the [Page 88] Ministrie, and for information unto his Ministers, concerning the way, how they should go about the exercise of that Imployment: For in the Indulgence, there were with all first and last Instructions given, how to regulat them, in the exercise of their Ministrie: And so when the Indulgence was embraced, as accompanied with these Instructions, the Power, granting these Instructions, was acknowledged and submitted unto; and when these Instructions were not holden forth ministe­rially, as when the like are given by Church Judicatories, but by such, as Act in all things, which they do as Magistrates, by a Magisterial and Autocratorical power, not subordinat unto Christ, as Mediator, in a right line of subordination; an Autocratorical, Magisterial, and Supream power to make Rules, and to give Instructions to Ministers, to regulate them in the exercise of their Ministerie, is granted to the Magistrate, to the robbing and spoiling of Christ of that sole Supream power, which is due to him, and is a part of his Prerogative Royal.

6. Herein also the Accepters of the Indulgence have done injurie unto Jesus Christ, in that they have taken a new holding of their Ministrie, and of the Exercise thereof; and so materially have renounced their old holding of Christ immediatly, as King of his Church, and sole Lord of his House; They have taken a new Commission for the Exercise o [...] their Ministrie, and a Commission inconsistent with, & not subor­dinate unto the Commission, they had formerly from Christ. I shall not need to insist on this here, having declared it so fully above, in vindication of M. A Blair's Assertion; to wit, That if Ministers take Instructions from Magistrats, for regulat­ing them, in the exercise of their Ministrie, they should not be the Ambassadours of Christ.

7. It is a part of the Royal Prerogative of Christ, to appoint the Qualifications of his own Officers: But here the Magistrate doth, by his Magistratical Power, appoint and determine the qualifications, which he will owne as such, in refe­rence, at least, unto the exercise of the Ministrie, and this is not done ministeri­ally; and consequently in contradiction to the sole power and Prerogative of Christ. The accepters therefore of this Indulgence, granted onely to such, as are so and so qualified, do not onely acknowledge themselves to be so and so qualified; but do sweetly, in so far, acquiesce unto the Magistrat's Autocratorical determineing of these qualifications; and unto his assuming a Supreame Nomothetick power, in Church-matters. As for these qualifications, we have seen above, what they are: See our 3. remark upon the Kings Letter.

8. It is also a part of Christ Prerogative Royal, to prescribe and set down the way, how he will have such and such an Officer in Particular, set over such or such a Flock in Particular; that so the Minister, so fixed to his special work, may have ground to say, that this is the Flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made me an Over­seer. But here in this Indulgence, the matter is so conveyed, as that the Indulged can not with good ground say, the Holy Ghost hath set me over this people, but only, this is the flock over which the King & his Councel have made me the Overseer. But against this it is said, May not the Man, who returneth to his own Congregation, from which he was unjustly thrust away, say this? And may not he also speak thus, who hath the Cor­dial Invitation and call of those concerned? And what shall then be said of them, who preach in the fields? Answ. 1. If the Minister's returne to his own place were faire and clean­ly, and so as the old method and ground were not questioned, or weakened, then [Page 89] he might indeed so speak; but it is not so here; for his returning to where he was before, was a meer accidental thing, and his ground is not his former relatione unto that people, but the Order of the Councel, which was of the same nature with the Or­der given unto others, as we saw above, and so he can only now say; though this be the flock, over which the Holy Ghost did once make me an Overseer; yet now I am set over it by the Councils Order. (2.) As for that Cordial Invitation, which some possibly did obtaine, it was no such call, as Christs Law alloweth, it was not the rise & fountaine of those Ministers going to those places; but a & posteriour meer precatious thing, whereby the Ordinance of Christ was rather prostituted, than followed: It is sufficiently known, that the Councel made the free Election, and not the Parish: And withal, where was the Act of the Presbyterie, giving them Mini­sterially a Potestative mission? This belongeth to the Methode, that Christ hath Pre­scribed; but here the Council both called, choosed and sent, and so were both the Flocks and the Presbytery. (3.) As for the third Particular, every one may see how impertinent it is; for this preaching in the Fields, or Houses, is no fixed stated Oversight over a distinct company, as is that of a Minister over a Particular Flock, but a m [...]er occasional Act, depending upon a Providential call from God, and the cor­dial entreatie of this Persecuted people; which is all that is requisite thereunto.

9. There were among these Instructions, given by the Council, several Restric­tions and Limitations in and about the administration of Christs Spi [...]itual Instituti­ons, as of Preaching, of Administration of Baptisme, and of the Lords Supper, as also of Discipline: And these Restrictions and Limitations, not being made by a Ministerial Power, with a Ministerial Authority explaining and applying the Ge­neral Rules, given by Christ thereanent, as Church Officers, and Church-Judica­tories do; but by the Magistrat, who acteth with a Magistratical Migisterial, and Au­tocratorical power; that is, by a power, which in Spiritual matters of the Church; belongeth to Christ only, who is sole Head and King thereof. The receivers there­fore of this Indulgence, thus conveyed, and accompanied with such Limitations & Restrictions in and about the Administration of Christs Ordinances, do contribute their concurrence unto this Invasion.

But against this and other Particulars formerly mentioned, taken from the Pre­scriptions, Rules and Instructions, wherewith this Indulgence was attended, it is said, That in the accepting of this Indulgence there was a simple use making of a favour offered, and no formal engagment unto the prescriptions, which the Magistrat did not expect plain­ly resting upon the intimation of his own will: For here the Magistrate was not treating and expecting our formal consent or security for performance of what was required; but did sim­ply appoint and command, as they would be answerable. So that the embracer of the Provi­dential favour giveth no complex consent unto the Prescriptions. I Answere, The favour offered was no favour indeed, as circumstantiated; nor could there be a simple use making of that supposed favour, which was so attended with imposed Conditions, In­structions and Limitations, without at least a virtual acknowledgment of a Right & Power in the Magistrate, to make and impose such Conditions &c. for howbeit the Council propose the matter by way of Command, as thinking it below them to Act otherwise; yet both the Nature of the thing, and the concomitant Acts, made of purpose of Restrick, Limite and Qualifie the favour proposed, and to Instruct and Oblige the Receiver, say, that the accepting of the first, is with an engagement to per­forme [Page 90] the second, both being but one complex thing. Nay the Council (as we say above) in their Acts and Proclamations do expressy hold forth the favour to be grant­ed and accepted condition wayes: and Mr A. Blair, for renouncing of the conditi­ons, was deprived of the favour. Who accepteth a favour offered with its burdens, in accepting the one accepteth both, and taketh the favour cum onore, and this can­not be otherwise understood, howbeit the Council did not waite for their express consent unto the Conditions, for their receiving of the favour so offered was suffi­cient thereunto; as when a Father granteth such or such a piece of land to his Son, but withal layeth this burden on that favour, that he must pay so much debt, if the Son accept: of the land so clogged, he cannot but take on the debt, though he gave no express consent thereunto before.

II. How contrary it is unto Presbyterian Principles.

We shall in the next place show, how injurious the accepting of this Indulgence was unto our Presbyterian Principles; & what wrong was hereby done unto the Church, as to her Privileges, and that Power, which Christ hath granted unto her.

1. It belongeth to the Church, and to Church-Officers, to try and examine the gifts and Qualifications of such, as are to be exercised in the Ministrie, and to de­clare Ministerially, by explaining and applying of Christ's Rules and Lawes, who are fit and qualified for the work of the Ministrie, and who not: But here the Ma­gistrate declareth what that is, which he looketh upon as a due Qualification, and judgeth who are so qualified, as to be fit for the Ministrie; and that without the least deference imaginable unto any Church- [...]udicatorie whatsomever. If it be said, That they Indulged none, but such as were Ministers already, and so were suppos­ed to be sufficiently qualified for that work. I Ans. The Church Officers, or the Presbyterie, are not only to judge of Qualifications, in reference to the Ministrie in general, but also in reference to the Ministrie, in this or that Particular place, where he is to be fixed; and no Church-Judicatory had this judgment, in the matter of the Indulgence; but the Council only. And as they Indulged them, so they might have Indulged others, who had not been placed Ministers before, as we see they did Mr Weer, whom they did not account a Minister before, If it be said, That the Qualifications, which were here considered, to wit, peacable and orderly, belong properly to the judgment of the Civil Magistrate, who, as he mak­eth civil Lawes, so can judge, who observeth or transgresseth the same. I Answ. Not to mentione here the Magistrat's true sense of that peacable and orderly living. I say, though the Magistrate be the proper judge of this peacable and orderly de­portment: in order to civil punishment, or exemption therefrom; yet Church-Ju­dicatories are the only competent judges thereof, in reference to the exercise of the Ministrie: And it was in reference to this exercise of the Ministrie, that these Qua­lificatio [...]s were here taken notice of.

2. It belongeth to the Church, or Church-Judicatories, to convey Ministerial­ly the Office and Power unto Persons qualified, and to grant a Potestative Mission, whereby they become authorized to exerce the Ministerial function; as was seen a­bove. But in the Indulgence, all this was done by the Magistrate immediatly; the Council sent the Indulged to such and such places, as they thought fit, and they only [Page 91] clothed them with Authority for that effect; or did all, that Presbyteries do or ought to do, in the like cases. See what was said above upon the Acts of Indulgence granted Iuly 27. 1666. Pag. 21.

3. It is a part of the Power and Privilege of Church-Officers and Church-Judica­tories, to loose Ministers relation unto a place, and to Plant and Transplant, to Place Ministers in Particular Charges, and to Transport them to others, as the good of the Church requireth. And this we know was constantly practised by our Presbyteries, Synods and General Assemblies. But here in the Indulgence, all this was practised by the Council, without once consulting any Church-Judicatory what­somever. They planted and transplanted according to their own pleasure, as we saw above, in several Instances, sending severals from one Church to another, & many from their own Churches unto others. See further our 2 Remark on the Kings Letter. It will not here be said, I suppose, That by the sentence of banishment, their relation to their former Charges was annulled: And though it were said and granted too (which yet cannot be) though it would follow that such were not pro­perly transplanted, yet our argument would remaine strong; for there were others, whom the Councel had Indulged to such and such places, and thereafter transpor­ted to other places, as they thought fit. And beside, as to all of them, it was the Council their deed alone, which did constitute them Ministers of such and such places, and so made up that relation: And if they should think, that they are not Formally Ministers of such places; they could not then say, that they were set as Overseers ove [...] these places by the Holy Ghost, as possibly they will; & they should also think themselves free of the burden of that Charge, and of the souls of the peo­ple, as not being committed to their Charge; and the people are not obliged to owne them, as their Ministers; and then they are called to consider, with what Conscience they can take the Stipend and Benefice, onely allowed by the Law of God to such as take on the cure of souls. And beside, what ever they think; yet the Council did designe and Formally intend their fixed relation un [...]o these places, as proper Pastors thereof, for the Patrons were thereunto to be consulted, & their consent to be obtained, which according to the Established Law, is the way of ad­mitting Formally such and such Persons, to be Ministers of such places; the other Formality of the Bishops Collation being dispensed with, as to its necessity, and only enjoined under a penalty, or they encouraged to seek it, by a farther favour, as to their stipend; and however, it was ordered, that Intimation should be made to the Bishops and Archbishops, when any Person was Indulged within their Diocies.

4. It is a part of the Power granted unto Church-Judicatories, to make Canons, and prescribe Rules, and to give Injunctions, concerning the Exercise of the Mi­nistery, the Administration of the Ordinances of Christ, and the like; and this is that Diatactick power, acknowledged by all the Orthodox to belong to the Church-Judicatories; and we might confirme it here, if it were necessary. But in this In­dulgence, we see the Magistrat assuming to himself this Power of making proper Church-Canons, giving Rules to regulat Ministers in the Exercise of their Ministrie, and imposing such like Injunctions, as used to be prescribed and imposed, by the Judicatories of the Church, in former times. Of these Injunctions, we have had often times occasion to speak before, & need not repeat here what hath been said: [Page 92] Nor need we in sist on that againe, which is commonly said, To wit. That their accepting of the Indulgence hath no necessary connexion with their approving of this Power, to make such Canons, and to impose such Injunctions. For, as we have shown, this cannot be evited, and this one thing will abundantly evince it, to wit. If they had received [...]his same or the like Indulgence, at the hands of the Prelats, (& this had been likewise more consonant to the established late Acts, before the Act ofSupremacie was made) and if the Prelates had clogged the same supposed Favour with the same or the like Injunctions; had not their accepting of the Indulgence, accompanied with these Injunctions, been a granting of that power unto the Prela­tes, to make such Canons, and to give out such Injunctions and Restrictions? And if it had been so, as to the Prelates, why not here also, as to the Council?

5. Upon the same account, we finde by this Indulgence, that the Council hath assumed Power of exercising real Church Censures, such as Suspension from the ex­ercise of their Ministrie, and total Deposition, or turning out, as they call it. See our first and 7. Remarkes on the Kings Letter. This most be a great invasion on the Power of the Church; and by the Indulgence, this Power, granted by the King to the Council, is confirmed both in the King and in the Council: And who is not convinced how sad this is, when every one might see what invasions daily were made upon the Power of the Church by the Civil Magistrate; and therefore all were clearly called aloud to cry against this, and to stand and withstand, and do noth­ing that might contribute to fortifie them in their Usurpations, or to occasion their further Incroachment, which might have been forborne without sin. And sure I am, if these Brethren had forborn to accept of the Indulgence, as several others did refuse it, the occasion of this and many other Invasions had not been given, and Church Power had not been so formally usurped, as it hath been; not the Magi­strates so fixed in the possession thereof, as they are by such cedings.

III. What Affinitie it hath with the Supremacie.

OUr third Head of Arguments against this Indulgence, is taken from its relation to, affinitie with, dependance upon, and con [...]irmation by that woful Act of Supremacie, made by our Parl. 1669. And sure, all, who are tender of the Concernes of Christ's Crown, and of the Privileges of his Church, will have an utter detestation of and abhorrence at any course, which floweth from, is conti­nued and confirmed by, and cannot stand without that Act, which with one dash doth dethrone our Lord, and spoile him of his Royal Prerogative, and his Church of all her Privileges. What occasion or rise the Indulgence gave unto the Act of Su­premacie, and what a foundation it laid for m [...]re of that kind, and what a neer affini­ty and likeness is betwixt them, we have shown above, and need onely reca­pitulat things here.

1. Had this Indulgence been utterly refused, we had never yet seen that Act of Supremacie; for the Council having granted the Indulgence upon the Kings Letter, contrary to many Acts of Parliament, knew no other way to salve themselves, but by framing this Act, which both secured them for times by past, and against all ha­zard also, in going on in the same course, as they had begun, for the future. The grant of the Indulgence was never lawful, nor the granters-secured by Law, until [Page 93] this Act was made. How shall we then judge well of the Indulgence, that gave the necessary rise unto that prodigious Act?

2. The Indulgence it self would be still an illegitimat brood, notwithstanding of all that King and Council both did, were it not for the Act of Supremacy; for by the Act of Supremacie, that is now made a legal deed, which otherwise was directly against Law. What shall we then think of the Indulgence, that must be legitimat by such an Act? And what a possession that must be, that hath such an Act for its Groundright and Charter, let sober men judge.

3. The Indulged would, notwithstanding of all that is done by both King and Coun­cil, be still seditious Persons, in the account of the Law, and lye under hazard of the same, were it not for this Act, which alone secureth them from the lash of all Lawes, made for that end. This Act is their onely Right and Ground of Securitie, whereby they can plead themselves free from all that could be brought against them by forego­ing Lawes. So that among other things, wherein the Indulged do now differ from all the Non-conforming Ministers, this is one, that the Indulged are under the Protection of the Supremacie, and lye in saftie under the winges thereof; whileas others have it not stretched over their heads, and so do not enjoy that chilling warmth, that is to be had thereunder.

4. This is further confirmed by all the Particulars, mentioned under the two foregoing Heads; for they all belong to this Supremacie, and are parts of the same; and the Su­premacie is but one comprehensive, complicated and compounded Act of Usurpation of the Crown of Christ, as Head and King of his Church, and of the Power and Pri­vileges belonging to the Church, and to the Officers of the House of God.

5. We saw before the same asserted by Worthy Mr Iohn Burnet, in his Testimonie against the Indulgence, whose Argument is worth Consideration, and I shall here repeat it: To Settle, Enact, Emit Constitutions, Acts and Orders, concerning Matters, Meetings and Persons Ecclesiastical, according to Royal Pleasure, is the very Substance and Definition of his Maj. Supremacy, as it is explained by his Estates of Parliament. But the Act of his Maj. Royal Indulgence is only to Settle, Enact and Emit such Con­stitutions Acts and Orders, concerning Matters, Meetings and Persons Ecclesiastical according to Royal Pleasure. Therefore the Act of his Maj. Indulgence, is the sub­stance and definition of his Maj. Supremacy, &c.

6. Seing by what is said, it is apparent, that not onely is the Usurped Supremacy put in exercise, and confirmed in the hands of the Usurped, by the Indulgence; but also the formal asserting of the extravagant Supremacy, by a plaine Statute and Act of Parlia­ment, explaining and confirming the same, is looked upon as necessary to support the Indulgence, and to keep it in legal being: It can not be well denied, that such, as have ac­cepted of this Indulgence, have homologated this Supremacie, and contributed, by vertue of that acceptance, all their power to the fixing of this Usurpation; for more was not required of them for this end; and if they had refused the Indulgence, this Statutory establishment of the Supremacy had never been accounted necessary; nor possibly once thought upon.

7. As he who accepteth a benefite from a Person, which that Person cannot bestow but by an usurped Power, and doth formally flow from that Usurped Power, doth ho­mologat by his acceptance that Usurped Power; So the Accepters of the Indulgence, from the King and Council, which they could not give but by the Usurped Supremacie, [Page 94] and which formally and kindly floweth therefrom, cannot but, in so doing, homo­logate that Usurped Supremacy.

8. If this Indulgence had been granted by the Prelate of the Diocie, would not the acceptance thereof have homologated Prelates Usurpation, and been an acknowledg­ment thereof? Why then shall not the accepting of this Indulgence, when granted by the King and his Council, be an homologating of their Usurpation? Especially seeing the Usurped Power of the Prelate is but a branch of the Supremacy, and floweth there­from, Prelates, as such having no Church-Power with us, but what is granted by the King by Vertue of the Supremacie, by the Statute Law of the Land. Wherefore if the accepting of the Indulgence at the hands of the Prelates, would have homologated the Usurpation, that yet flowed from the Supremacy, and consequently the Suprema­cy it self, though at a step further off; how is it imaginable, that the accepting of the Indulgence from the King and Council immediatly, shall not be an homologating of the Supremacie, which is the immediat root and ground thereof?

9. Such as accepted of the Prelates Collation, whether to new places, or to the same places, where they had been, before the restauration of Prelacy, will I suppose be looked upon, as homologating, in that act, the Prelates Power, and consequently the Supremacie, from whence that Power floweth to the Prelat: And what difference is there. I pray, betwixt the Prelates Collation (which possibly was freer of conco­mitant Instructions, Rules and Directions, how to regulate them in the Exercise of the Ministrie, than was the Indulgence) and the Councils Collation, as to the Fountaine, the Kings Supremacie, from whence both do flow? By vertue of Power descending from the Head to the Left arme, the Prelates, is the Episcopal Collation granted, and by vertue of Power descending from the same Head to the Right arme the Council, is the Council their Collation granted.

10. Who homologate a Supream Authoritie in the King over all Persons, and all Causes Ecclesiastick, by vertue whereof he may Settle, Enact and Emit such Con­stitutions, Acts and Orders, concerning the Persons imployed in the External Go­vernment of the Church, and concerning Meetings and Matters Ecclesiastick, as he in his Royal Wisdom shall think fit; they homologate the Supremacie: This is certaine; for this is the Supremacy, as appeareth by the Act explicatory: But so it is, that the Accepters of the Indulgence do homologate this Supream Authoritie in the King. Which I thus prove. Such Ecclesiastick Persons, as are willingly dis­posed of by the Supream Authoritie in the King over all Persons, and Causes Eccle­siastick, and goe to what places he by his Council appointeth, for the exercise of their Ministrie and of Church-Government, and withall receive Orders, Acts and Constitutions concerning Ecclesiastick Persons, to regulate them in the Exercise of their Ministrie and Government, made by him in Church affairs, according to his Royal Wisdom, by vertue of his Supream Authoritie; these do homologate the Supremacie. But so it is that the Accepters of the Indulgence have done this. There­fore, &c. The Minor is uncontrovertable, & certaine, from the Councils disposing of them, and ordering of them to such Kirks, as they pleased, and their yeelding thereunto, and accepting of Instructions, Orders, Acts and Constitutions, made by vertue of the Supremacie, to regulate them, in the exercise of their Ministrie: all which hath been cleared above. The Major is manifest from this, That to be wil­lingly dis [...]osed of by a Power, is to homologate it; and to receive Instructions, [Page 95] Orders, Acts and Constitutions from a Power, is to homologat it; By homologating a Power, I understand an acknowledgment of such a Power in such a Person, by a sutable and answerable compliance therewith, and yeelding to it, or Acting under it: And this may be materially, as well as formally done, implicitly as well as ex­plicitly, by the Intention of the deed, as well as by the Intention of the doer: As he who obeyeth an Usurper, and acteth under him, in some place of trust, and receiveth Ins [...]ructions from him, for to regulate him, doth homologate that Usur­ped power, by his very deed, though he should hate the Usurper and the Usurpation both, and really wish he were thrust from his Usurpation altogether, and would possibly concurre thereunto himself.

It cannot weaken this Argument to say, that the Indulged Persons never did nor will owne the Supremacy, but plainly disown it: For though I am ready to beleeve this to be true; yet the Argument holdeth; for I speak not of a Positive, Explicit, Formal, Intentional and Expresse Homologating; but of a Virtual, Implicit, Mate­rial Homologating, and such as is included in the deed; and work it self, abstra­cting from the Intention of the Worker, which is but extrinsick and accidental, as to this: And that the accepting of the Indulgence is an homologating, and a virtual acknowledging of this Supremacy, is clear from what is said, though the Indulged should intend no such thing.

IV. Hovv it is injurious unto the Povver of the People.

A Fourth Ground of our dissatisfaction with the Indulgence, is the wrong, that is [...]ereby done unto the People, as to their Power and Privilege of Free Election of their Pastor. In the accepting of the Indulgence, there was the accepting of a Charge of a Particular Flock, without the previous due Call, free Election, and Consent of the People: (this holdeth, as to such of the Indulged, as were sent to o­ther Churches, than their own.) The meer Appointment, Order and Designation of the Civil Magistrat, was all the Ground of this Relation, and was the only thing that made them Pastors to such a people, together with the Consent of the Pa [...]ron. This was a way of entrie unto a Pastoral Charge, that our Principles cannot assort with, wanting either precept or precedent in the pure primitive times. Our Di­vines have abundantly shown the necessity of the previous Call of the People, unto a Ministers Admission to a Charge. See Mr Gillespy in his Miscel. Questions Quest. 2. Nor need I hold forth the iniquitie of entering by Patrons, whereof our Par. 1649. were fully sensible, when the Church was restored to her Privilege, conforme to our First Book of Discipline, Chap 4. Concerning Ministers, and their lawful Election: And to the Second Book Chap. 12. It will be here said possibly, That they obtained the full and unanimous consent of the people. But I Answere (1.) I doubt if this was either universally sought, or obtained. (2.) Where it was had, it was but a meer b [...]inde, and, to me, a meer prostituting of [...]hat Appointment and Order of Christ, rather than any conscientious Observation thereof. For (3. This call of the People ought to be a free Election and Choise, but here was no free Election left unto them; but whether they did consent or not, the Person designed by the Council was to be set over them. (4.) The free Election of the People should go before the Per [...]ons Designation to that Charge, and become the Foundation of his Relation to that [Page 96] Flock; but here it was posteriour unto the Councils De [...]ignation, and was a meer precarious thing, coming in ex post facto. (5.) This Call and Election of the Peo­ple was not in the least presupposed, as any way requisite, either in the Kings Let­ter, or Councils Nomination and Election. (6.) Nor did they make any mention hereof, when before the Council; nor make exception against the Councils Or­der or Collation, until this was had. (7.) Nor did they testifie their Dissatisfaction with, or protest against, the unlawful usurped Interest of the Patron, and his necessarily prerequisite Consent. (8.) Did such as wanted this unanimous Call or Consent of the People, give back the Councils Warrand, as weak and insufficient?

2. I would ask, whether they look upon themselves, as the fixed Pastors of those particular Flocks and Churches, or not? If they own themselves for fixed Pastors, what is become of their relation to their Former Charges? They cannot be Pastors of both places, for we owne no Pluralities; nor can it be said, that the Councils meer Act did loose their Former Relation, and make it null. And whether they protested at their entrie to this new charge, that it was without prejudice to their Former Re­lation, when the Lord should open a free passage in his good Providence to returne, I know not. If they look not on themselves as fixed Pastors, then are they meer Curates, sent of the Council to those places, to preach and performe the other Acts of the Ministery, till furder Order, or during their pleasure: And then they can­not be offended, if the people look not on them, as their Pastors; nor carry towards them, as such.

V. How Erastianisme is hereby established.

ANother Ground of our Dissatisfaction with the Indulgence, and with the accepting thereof, is, that thereby Erastianisme, the professed Enemie unto and perfect de­struction of all true Church-power and Church-Jurisdiction, is established and fortified.

1. This is manifest from all the Particulars, mentioned above, under the First, Second and Third Heads, which need not here be repeated; for these are parts of E­rastian Doctrine, which the Orthodox disowne, and our Church hath resisted and opposed from the beginning: and beside.

2. Hereby are the Magistrates confirmed in that Usurpation of being proper jud­ges of Ministers Doctrine, even in the first Instance; that is, before any Church-Judicatory take cognition thereof, and passe a judgment thereupon. See our 8. Re­mark. upon the Kings Letter.

3. Hereby they are confirmed in this Usurpation, that Ministers may not preach in publick, or in privat, without Authority and Licence had from the Civil Magistrate. See our 12. and last Remark. upon the Kings Letter.

4. How this was confirmed and yeelded to by the Indulged, we saw above, in our Examination of Mr H's speech before the Council, Anno 1669. and of that Relation of the carriage and speeches of those, who were before the Council Anno 1673.

5. We were not ignorant, how from the very beginning of this Catastroph, and in the very First Session of Parliament Anno 1661. an exorbitant Supremacie in Church-affaires [Page 97] was acknowledged to belong to the King, in that, he was declared to be Supreame Governour over, all Persons, and in all Causes; beside what was presumpti­vely asserted in other Acts of Parl. thereafter, as in the Act for the National Synod, and for the Restauration of Prelacy, and others: And how by all these, and other things considerable, it was manifest and undeniable, that Erastianisme was in the ascendent, and that the designe of the Rulers was to subject all Church-power unto themselves, and to assume as much thereof into their own hands, as they thought fit, and to have the whole of it subordinate unto them. Now when this designe was open and a­bove board, out very not-withstanding and not-opposing, in our Places and Stations, this Erastian Designe, was a virtual cedeing and yeelding unto these Invasions and Usurpations; how much more are they chargable herewith, who will­ingly submitted unto the Magistrat [...]s Actual Usurpation of Church-Power; & by accepting of this Indulgence, did put them in Actual Possession of what was but notionally, and in the theorie, arrogat formerly, as to Non-conformists?

6. It is granted by some, and cannot well be denied by any, That the Magi­strats principal designe, in granting the Indulgence, was the establishement of the Erastian Supremacie: And if so, sure, it was the part of those, who accepted of the Indulgence, rather to have withstood this designe, at least by simple refusing of that, the accepting of which (as every one might have seen) would contri­bute unto this Erastian designe, and put them in actual possession thereof. Whe­ther the Magistrate himself doth look upon the Accepters, as hereby acknow­ledging his Erastian Supremacie, or not, is not much to the purpose; seeing the ac­ceptance, as circumstantiat, was a virtual and reall enough acknowledgment and confirmation thereof: And, it is like, the Magistrate did designe no more, not regarding whether they should openly & professedly acknowledge such a thing, if he himself were confirmed & secured in the possession of that Erastian Usurped Power.

But it will be said, That though it be granted, that the Supremacie is now in its exal­tation, and that Erastianisme is the great designe; and that such, as minded to be faithful, should not cede in the smallest of the Churches Rights, not to the loosing of one pin of the Government: And that this Erastianisme and Supremacy hath act­ed, outed and overturned, at its pleasure; and that the Magistrat, in this offer of the Indulgence, doth still act, according to Erastianisme, and owne the same Supre­macie, and intend its further establishement: Yet the Indulged did onely accept of a licence, which, when abstracted from its offensive circumstances, is a meer relaxation of the rigour of former Edicts.

To which I Answer. (1.) If this Indulgence did respect nothing but the Persons and Estates of Ministers, then it might be looked on as a meer relaxation of the ri­giditie of former Edicts, under which they groaned: But it is past all denial, that this Indulgence relateth more, yea and Principally, unto their Office and function, and is designed (as is confessed) for the Estabishment of an Usurped power over the Function and Ministrie; yea, and includeth an acquiescing and submission unto Acts, made and proposed by such, as confessedly act from a Principle of Usurpa­tion, and that for the better Establishment of the same, & confirmation of them­selves in the possession thereof; and therefore the accepting of the Indulgence, can­not but contribute to the iniquous ends, proposed by the Indulgers. (2. Whate­ver that licence (as it is called) may be, or be supposed to be, when abstracted [Page 98] from its offensive circumstances; yet taken complexly with these circumstances, it must be condemned; and however in our imaginations, we may abstract it from these circumstances, yet we cannot do so in point of practice; seing it is confessed, that the morality of actions do much (at least) depend upon circumstances.

7. This contrivance of Erastianisme being so notour and undeniable, the yeeld­ing unto and accepting of the Indulgence, so conceived, so clogged, and restricted, as it was, cannot but be contributive unto the same; and a plaine (though not professed) helping forward of the designe. Sure, the refusing of the Indulgence had been a sensible defeating of the designe, and would have necessitated the designers, if so be they would still have prosecuted their Intendment (as is probable they would) to have taken other measures, and invented other meanes, how to have accomplished their ends; and this supposable defeat is sufficient to show, how suita­ble a medium this was unto the projected end. It cannot be said, for obviating of this, That this is but accidental, and a meer probability: for it hath a necessary conne­xion with the end, as not only experience hath proven; but the very nature of the thing evinceth, as is abundantly cleared above.

VI. How Prejudicial this is unto the good of the Church.

THe discovery of this will serve for another head of Arguments against the law­fulness of this Indulgence: for certainely that cannot be a way approven of God, which is not for the Edification of the Body; much less that, which is for its hurt & prejudice. Now that the Indulgence is of this nature, may hence appear.

1. Church-Historie sheweth, what hurt came to the Church by such a course as this, when Arian Emperours, by their own sole power thrust-out faithful, zealous and Orthodox Ministers, and put-in Arian hereticks in their places; and now by this Indulgence, the way is paved for the same Course: so that now the Magistrate hath no more to do, to get all the Ministery on his side, and to carry on some corrupt & erroneous designe, but to thrust-out honest faithful men, and put-in brevi manu, whom he will. Who will scruple at this now, after the Indulged men have thus broken the ice? and who will once question the Magistrates power to do this, seing they have so sweetly submitted, in the beginning: Turpius ejicitur quam non admitii­tur hospes, it is better holding-out, than thrusting-out.

2. Our own History sheweth us, how noxious it was to our Church, when K. Iames obtained but so much, as to have an eminent and active hand, or a negative voice, directly or indirectly, in the planting of all the eminent places of the Land, especially of Edinburgh; though he never had the confidence to seek a liberty to do it brevi manu; but did it by collusion with the Commission of the Kirk, which was made to his mind: How quickly had he overturned all, if he had assumed the po­wer to have transplanted Ministers, as he pleased; and if Ministers had complied with him therein, and upon his sole call, or act of Councel, had left their own Char­ges, and gone to places, whither he sent them? And what would these worthies, who opposed all his designes, in maintainance of the Established Order of the Church, and of her Power and Privileges, if alive, now say, to see so many Ministers, under so many obligations to maintaine the Liberties of the Church, willingly obeying the Councils Call and Act?

[Page 99]3. If according to this Method, and the way now laid down, & put in practice, our Magistrates, in all time coming, should follow this course, and put away what Mi­nisters they pleased from one place, and thrust others in where and when they pleas­ed; and in all this should meet with nothing but sweet submission; how long should our Church enjoy purity? And how long should the Gospel be preached in power, in any eminent place in the Land? How long should Gospel freedom be keeped up, & the Gospel flourish? And if all this should be, whom have we to thank therefore, but the Indulged? Would not they have all doing, as they have done? Are not they a sad preparative? May not their example prove noxious to the following Generations? And whither shall we then cause our shame to go?

4. According to this Example, the Magistrate might quickly banish all purity out of the Kingdom, and turne all the Land over into Popery, by sending all the Or­thodox Ministers to the Highlands, or to some one small and inconsiderable corner of the Land (according as in the late Act of Indulgence so many scores were canto­nized to one or two Diocies) and suffering Papists to preach where they pleased, or fixing Popish Priests, in every Paroch. And if such a thing were intended, hath not the Indulgence broken the ice thereunto?

5. Nay, we see that in the very Indulgence, some such designe is carried on; fo [...] by it, the far greatest part of the Non-conforme Ministers were Cantonized and shut-up in twoes or threes together, in one Corner of the Countrey, and all the rest of the Land was given over to the will of Prelates, Papists, or Quakers: And if all the Ministers named, had followed the example of others, what had become, ere this day, of the greatest part of the Land? Was then this Indulgence the thing, which the General good of the Church and Kingdom called for? Were the Indulged put in best capacitie by the Indulgence, to serve their Generation, according to the ne­cessity of the day? Was this the only duty of the day? Or did the Lord call for nothing else? Well is it, that we have such a proof of the contrary, this day, legible upon the face of that Land; and that the very prisones can declare some other thing.

6. It being beyond all doubt now, that the Assemblies of the Lord's people in Houses, or Fields, to partake of pure Ordinances, with full freedom of Consci­ence, hath been signally owned and blessed of the Lord; and hath proven a mean to spread the knowledge of God beyond any thing that appeared, in our best times, whereby the Lord preached from heaven to all, who would hear and understand it, that this way of preaching, even this way, was that wherein the Soul of God took pleasure, and to which he called all, who would be co-workers with him, this day, to help forward the Interest of his Crown and Kingdom. Now, when in despight of this signal appearance of God, and out of enmitie to the good done in these meetings, wayes of cruelty are fallen upon, to suppress utterly all these Ran­dezvouzes of the Lord's Militia; and these coming short of effectuating the thing, Midianit ish wiles are fallen upon, of which this of the Indulgence was the chiefe, of purpose to keep the Countrey free of these solemne occasions of the Lords Ap­pearances; can it be thought to be the duty of the day, and that which the Lord is calling to, to contribute our concurrence unto these stratagemes of Satan, & welcome an Indulgence, devised of purpose to destroy the work of God? I leave the thoughts of this to themselves, when they are thinking of appearing before their judge.

7. I shall not insist on that yoke of bondage, in the matter of stipends, which [Page 100] was hereby begun to be wreathed about the necks of Ministers; to the inexpressible hurt and prejudice of the Church. See what was remarked in the 4. place on the Kings Letter.

8. It will be more to our purpose, as in it self it is of greater moment, to consider how hereby a Path-way was made, to make all the Ministers of the Land, in all time coming, wholly subject unto the Council, even in all Matters Ecclesiastick, whether concerning Doctrine, Discipline, or Manners; For hereby they became wholly subject unto the Council, as being accountable only to them; and were so wholly at their Devotion, that they were to stay in the places, where they were set, only dureing their pleasure; and so might be couped from Kirk to Kirk (as some of them were) no otherwayes, than the Prelates Curates are, at the pleasure of the Prelate: Thus was the yce broken to the bringing of the Ministrie under perpetual Slaverie; and what should then become of the glorious Liberty of our Church?

9. Nay, as we saw above attested by open Printed Proclamations of the Council, there was, in this Indulgence, a base and sinful compacting for the same, which, to me, is the basest of Simoneie. A conditional accepting of the supposed favour, and, as it were, a formal barganing for it, by taking the liberty to preach and performe the work of the Ministrie, on sinful Conditions, even such Conditions, as con­tained a giving up of the Cause to the Supremacy, and the Erastian Designe, as hath been shown above. And what a preparative this was, let any judge. I know, the Indulged themselves will say, they are free of all compacting: And I shall not ac­cuse them further than I know, or have ground: Yet this is certaine, that the Kings Letter mentioned such and such Instructions to be given to all the Indulged; & it is also certaine, that this Letter was not altogether unknown to them, And when the Instructions (which the Council, in plain Expressions, calleth, termes on which they granted the Indulgence, & the samine was accepted) were tendered unto, and put in the hand of each of these in particular, who were called before the Coun­cel Anno 1673. I heard not of their expressing their Dissatisfaction with these Termes, so as to quite the benefite, or, as we say, to cast the bargane there­upon; And if all the Ministers, that shall ever hereafter be admitted to preach the Gospel, in Scotland, must follow this example, and give but an implicite consent unto these, or the like termes, imposed by the Council, where shall then our Gospel Liberty be? And what shall then become of the Liberty of our Church? And how shall the Ministers then be called the Servants of Christ, and not the Servants of Men?

10. By the very subjecting to the Councils Instructions, to regulat them in the ex­ercise of their Ministrie; they become thereby as formally subject unto them, in Mat­ters Ecclesiastick, as any inferiour Civil-Officers, such as Sheriffs, Justices of Peace Baylies &c. who yet, it may be, shall as little observe all their Instructions, as the Indulged haue observed theirs this subjecting of the Ministrie, in its exercise, unto the Magistrate, is a manifest enslaving of the same, to the unspeakable prejudice of the Gospel, and hurt of the Church.

11. What prejudice it is to the Church, to want the free and full exercise of Dis­cipline, & that in the lawful Courts of Christ, needeth not here to be told: And yet, in this Indulgence, there was an accepting of the exercise of the Ministrie, without the full exercise of Discipline, save what was to be had in a sinful way, by compli­ance [Page 101] with Prelacie; and so a tacite (at least) consent given unto this want. It will not be of advantage here to say, that the Field-Preachers or Non-indulged Mini­sters, have no Discipline, & yet preach: For all their preaching is sub cru [...]e, not having so much as fr [...]edome to exerce any part of their Ministrie, and so are allowed of God to do all they can▪ when they cannot do all they would: and beside, it is al­ledged without ground; for with no lesse signal countenance, they exercise some Acts of Discipline, such as receiving of penitents, than they preach, and in both are countenanced as His [...]mbassadours. But the indulged are under the lee sheet of the Supremacie, having full peace, countenance and protection, as much, as in our best times, and when our Church was most flourishing; and yet dispense calmely with the want of Church-Discipline, in Presbyteries and Synods; and how some of their Sessions guide, and are constitute, is none of our Glory.

12. Nor needeth it be told, what prejudice will inevitably follow upon the want of Ordination, whereby a Succession of the Ministrie is keeped up, and the word committed to faithful men, according to Christs Appointment, who may serve the Lord in the Work of the Gospel, in their Generation: How quickly, upon the want of this, a faithful Ministri [...] shall of necessitie cease, every one may see: And yet the Indulged have accepted of the exercise of their Ministrie, on such termes, or in such a way, as doth utterly incapacitate them for going about the Necessary Work of Ordination. Their Transgressing their Bounds, and violating the In­junctions upon their peril (if so be they do so, that they may ordaine some) in or­der to the keeping up of this Ordinance, is in so far commendable; but is not suf­ficient to expiat the guilt of accepting the Indulgence, which was thus clogged; as their whole relinquishing of the Indulgence, & betaking themselves to the Fields, with the rest of their Brethren, would prove a commendable after-wit; but would not say, that there was no evil, in their accepting of the Indulgence, but the contrary rather.

VII. How hereby our Cause and Ground of Suffering is vvronged.

THE Lords good hand of Providence having so ordered it, that once a consi­derable Company were willing to endure Hardshipe. Want & Tribulation, for the Truths sake (and therefore choosed suffering rather than sin); which, howbeit it was upon some accounts sad and afflicting; yet upon the account, that the Cause of Christ was owned, the Work of Reformation not condemned, but accounted still the Work of the Lord, was no small matter of Joy: Though it might have been expected, that few or none of all the Ministers, that had seen the great Works of the Lord, should have so relinquished the Interest of Christ, and embraced what once they had abjured; yet we ought to bless the Lord, that so many abode stead­fast in the day of Temptation. But how joyful so ever it was to see such a goodly Company, adhering to their Principles, and fully following the Lord; it cannot but be as sad and afflicting, upon the other hand, to see this goodly Bulk wretchedly broken. and to see men stepping off, and that such Men, and so many such, and that after such a way, as cannot but be accounted a falling off from formerly received Principles, and from the Cause and Ground of our Sufferings. Now that the [Page 102] Embracers of this Indulgence are justly chargable herewith, may appear from these Particulars.

1. It was a part of the Reformation, which through the special goodness of God, our Church at length, after long wrestling, attained to, that the people should be restored to their Right and Privilege of Calling, and making a free Choise of their own Pastors, according to the example of the pure and primitive Church: And it was because they would not renounce this way of entrie, that so many Ministers were thrust out from their Congregations, by the Act of Councel at Glalgow. But in the Indulgence, there was an entering into the Pastoral Charge of a people, upon the Act and Call or Order of Council, without this Free and Full Election of the people. The Nominal Call, that was precariously had thereafter, as to some, was but a mock-call, and no foundation of their Relation unto these places, as hath been seen. And how the Councils Act and Order was exclusive thereof is manifest, and confirmed by the Instance of Mr Weer's Process. Sure, as the Election here was null, there being none to choose upon, and the Call prelimited, because the Councils Order did set such an indulged Man over them, whether they would, or not; so the making a shew of seeking or of getting a Call from the people, after the Ground of the Relation was already laid, was the exposeing of that Order of Christs to ludibrie.

2. Multitudes of the Non-conforme Ministers were ejected, and cast-out of their Places and Congregations, because they would not acknowledge the Power and In­terest of Patrons, nor accept of their Presentations unto Flocks: But in this Indul­gence, as we saw above, the Interest of Patrons is reserved entire: Though they should say, That they sought no Presentations from Patrons, nor had they any active hand therein, it will not much avail: For even several of the ejected Mini­sters might have been free of ejection, if they could in Conscience have yeelded to so much, and acquiesced in this, that the Patron should have signified to the Bishop his presenting of such a Person, and that without his express Consent, or Formal Acceptance thereof: Yea how many had the Presentation willingly and cheerfully offered unto them undesired?

3. It is the chiefe Corner stone of our Reformation, and the fundamental point, whereupon all the wrestlings, and sufferings of our Church from the beginning have been stated, viz. That Christ is the alone Head of the Church: But by the Indulgence another head is acknowledged beside Him; when thereby it was declared, that the Indulged held not their Ministrie of Christ alone: as we saw above on the first head, and first particular thereof.

4. So by the rest of the Particulars, mentioned under that head, we see how many wayes, there was, in this Indulgence, a defection from former Principles, and a falling off from our grounds, all which we need not here repeat.

5. We fall from our Principles, and from the cause, upon which our sufferings are stated; when we cede and yeeld to Adversaries, seeking to overthrow the pillars and grounds of Presbyterian Government: And in how many Particulars Presby­terian Principles are, by this Indulgence, receded from, we have seen above, in the 2 head.

6. It hath been the Lot of the Church of Scotland, from the very beginning, to be put to wrestle against the Powers of the Earth, encroaching upon the Prerogatives [Page 103] of Jesus Christ, and the Privileges of his Church; and in contending for the same, against all such Usurpation, did the faith [...]ulness and steadfastness of our worthie & renowned Predecessours appear and shine forth; and upon the account of their faith­ful adhering to the Truth, and bearing witness against all Usurpations, made upon the Rights of the Church, and on the Jurisdiction of Christ, sole King of Zion; and for declining Judicatories acting by usurped Authoritie, were they all alongs put to suffer in their Freedom, Persons, Goods &c. by Tossings, Citations, Let­ters of Horning, Confinements, Imprisonments, Confiscation of goods, Rele­gations, Sentences unto death, and Banishments. But now, what a falling off this ground, ceding to Usurpations, Homologating of the Supremacie, & Esta­blishment of Erastianisme is in the Indulgence, is manifest from the Particulars men­tioned under the 3. and 5. head.

7. We need not forget, what was one maine ground of the actings of our wor­thie and valiant Predecessours, in the yeers 1637 and 1638. viz. That Ecclesia­stick causes should be determined by Lawful Ecclesiastick Judicatories, and Civil cau­ses by Parliaments and other Civil Judicatories. But to Homologate a Power in the Civil Magistrate, as such, to cognosce upon, and judge in Church affairs, immediatly and formally, is to condemne all these actings, and all the actings of Church and State since, upon that ground; and a plaine relinquishing of that foun­dation. And that by the accepting of the Indulgence, such a power is acknowledged to be competent to the Civil Magistrate, as such, hath been manifested above, in several Particulars, Let us here but name that one Instance of the Councils sole judg­ing of the fitness and Qualifications of a Person for such or such a charge, in reference to his setling there, as Pastor of the place; which is an Ecclesiastick cause, and hath been alwayes so accounted. But it will be said, No man needs question their abilities, some having been Ministers, in the most eminent places of the Kingdom. For answer. I shall not question their abilities, though it may be, the carriage of some of them hath been such, since this defection began, as would make a Con­scientious Church-Judicatory not a little averse from admitting of them within their bounds, if the Acts of our General Assemblies, by which they stand censura­ble, were in any regarde. But however, the Civil Magistrate is here made sole competent judge of this fitness; and by what right he hath appointed these to go to the places, particulary designed, he may appoint others to go to such places, for which no Church-Judicatory, acting conscientiously, would judge them Qualifi­ed: And who can challenge them upon this account, seing they are sole judges, themselves?

8. In King Iames his dayes, several faithful and honest Ministers were banished from their own Churches, and confined in other places of the Land, and seeing no hope of getting the Civil Sentence taken off, were necessitate to accept of a call to serve the Lord, in the places where they were confined; but we never finde, that they took the Charge of such or such a Flock, upon the Edict or Act of Council, en­joining them thereunto.

9. Who ever heard before, in our Church, Ministers compeating before the Pri­vie Council, and there receiving Directions, Instructions, Rules and Canons, directing them, how to regulate themselves in the exercise of their Ministerial Fun­ction? And when the Indulged Persons did thus, who can assoile them from a plaine [Page 104] Defection from our Cause and Principles? Put the case, that some Ministers had done so in the Year 1649. how would they have been looked upon by our General Assembly? Or if our Parliament and Council Anno 1648. had turned out such as were against the Duk's Engagment, and thereafter had ordered them; to go to such and such places of the Land, as they thought fit, giving them withall such Instru­ctions, as here were given to the Indulged, if these Ministers had carried but just, as our Indulged did, I leave to all to judge, whether or not they had been looked upon, as Deserters of our Cause.

10. We know what sufferings those faithful men underwent, when after so long imprisonment they were at length condemned at Linlithgow Anno 1606. for decli­ning of the Privie Council, when about to judge them in the matter of a meeting keeped, or offered rather to be kept, at Aberdeen: But now we finde severals In­dulged called before the Privie Council, there to be judged concerning their Bap­tizing of some Children within the Covenant; a matter no less unquestionably Ec­clesiastick, than was that meeting at Aberdeen; and in stead of giving-in a Declina­ture, we heard of nothing, but of a simple excuse, that they had not seen those Orders, plainly showing, that if they had seen them, they had obeyed them: was not this a manifest defection from our Principles and Cause?

11. I might mention under this Head, the Indulged persons their forsaking and laying aside, at the command or desire of the Council, that useful and commendable piece of our Reformation, I mean, the Lectures, or Explication of the Scrip­tures; against which nothing can be supposed to move our Adversaries, but onely that it is a piece of Reformation; yea the only remaining monument of that blessed work, all which they abhore.

12 We are engaged, as will not be denied, against Prelacy; and yet the In­dulged did virtually engage to support that, which they stand obliged to pull down, by receiving of these Injunctions, which ordered them to do many things, tending to the strengthening of the Prelatical Invasion: Of which more particularly in the following Head.

VIII. Hovv the hands of Prelates are hereby strengthened.

COnsidering how we stand engaged against Prelates and Prelacie, every sinful course, that hath a tendencie to strengthen their hands, and to fix them in their tyrannical Usurpations over the Church, should be so much more abhorred by us; Yea, what otherwayes might be lawfully done, in this case, should be wholly forborne. We shall therefore take notice of the Advantages given to Pre­lacy by this Indulgence. As.

1. Not to mention the open door, that is left unto them, to accept of the Prela­tes Collation, nor the encouragement they have unto the seeking and obtaining of this from the Bishop, in and by this Indulgence; we may take notice of this, That hereby they put themselves in prison, and the key of their Prison, door is in the Pre­lates hands; for without licence, granted by the Bishop of the Diocie, they may not go without the bounds of their confinment. And, sure, as this is no small dis­advantage to themselves, but a manifest exposeing of themselves unto temptation; so it is a great power and advantage granted to the Prelate over them; which slaverie [Page 105] and bondage they had been free of, if refusing the Indulgence, they had remained in the same Condition with the rest of their Non-Indu [...]ged Brethren.

2. There is in the accepting of the Indulgence, a voluntarie with-drawing of an helping hand from the greatest part of the Land, groaning under the Tyranny of Prelacy; and a leaving of the same unto the will and pleasure of the Prelates and of their Curates; for hereby they willingly did give up themselves to be inclosed wi [...]hin their several designed and limited places, and were content their Ministery should be their confined, let the necessity of the Church be what it would, or cou [...]d be. Thus, as to them, the Prelates, and their Curats were left in the pea­cable possession of all the rest of the Land, which was no sma [...]l advantage, seing they were secured as to them, in all time coming, and had no ground to fear, that they should [...]ssen their Kingdom, and beat-up their quarters, with Field & House-Meetings, as others Non-Indulged did, and are doing, to the Glory of God, & to our Comfort.

3. Not to mentione the friendly and brotherly love and correspondence, that some have observed betwixt some of the Indulged, and their neighbour Hirelings, who are under the Prelates the general deadness and slackness as to any zeal against the Prelates and their wicked courses, which is commonly observed, wherever the Indulgence is, is no small proof of the advantage, which Prelates and Prelacie have had by the Indulgence: Prelates themselves will possiblie say, that one field Conventicle hath done them and their cause more prejudice, than many preachings of all the Indulged men: Though I am far from: thinking, that the preachings of the Indulged, have any direct tendencie to strengthen the Course of Prelacie; yet what I have said being generally observed to be true, themselves are concerned to search, whence and how it cometh to passe, that it is so; as also, how it is that so many observe a greater keenness in them, against the field preachers, than against the Pre­lates; yea and the Supremacy, even in their Sermons.

4. It may have some weight, as to this, to consider, how by their accepting of the Indulgence, which floweth from the Supremacie, the Prelates are ready to look upon themselves as justified, in accepting of Prelacie from that same Supremacie, for, may they think, These men cannot blame us for acquiesceing unto the deter­mination of the King, acting by vertue of his Supremacy in Church-affairs, and over all Church-Persons, and accepting of that Charge and Place, which is given to us, in the Church, from him, who hath full power to dispose of Ecclesiastick Persons, as he will; seing they themselves have acquiesced unto the determination of the King, acting by vertue of his Supremacie over Church-Persons, and accept­ed of what charge and place in the Church he thought fit to give them, and took their Instructions, to boot.

5. In accepting of the Instructions, they virtually engaged themselves to several things, which could not but strengthen the hands of the Prelates and their Curates. As (1.) To admit none of the people, who live under Curates, unto their Sermons. (2.) Not to admit them to their Communions, without the allowance of the Cura­tes. (3.) Nor to baptize their Children, without the same allowance. (4.) Not to marry any, living within their bounds, without the said allowance, if the place be not vacant. (5.) They are ordered also to observe Presbyteries and Synods, which are now wholly Prelatical. (6.) Matters of Discipline and Censure, which usually [Page 106] came before Presbyteries and Synods, are ordered to run in the same channel. By all which (not to mentione their praying of dues to the Clerks of those Episcopal Meetings, which was also injoined) it is obvious and plaine, how the hand of the Prelates and their Curates were to be strengthened; and if these Orders had been punctually observed, themselves, I hope, will grant, that hereby the hands of these Adversaries had been strengthened; and if so, sure I am, their receiving of these Injunctions, and of their licence upon condition of observing them, was a virtual engaging of themselves hereunto.

IX. Hovv it is against our Covenants.

I Hope, it will be granted, that the obligations of the Covenants, Vowes and Solemne Engagments are upon us; and that I need do no more here, than show, wherein the accepting of this Indulgence was against our Covenants; and this is to me manifest from these Particulars.

1. It is a chiefe part of that Religion, and head of that Doctrine, that we are obliged by all our Covenants and Vowes to defend, viz. That Christ is sole King and Head of His Church, which is His House and Kingdome; and consequently, we are obliged to do nothing, that may wrong His Right, and entrench upon His Royal Prerogatives. But what wrongs the accepting of this Indulgence carrieth alongs with it, against the Royal Prerogatives of Christ, as sole Head and King of His Church, we have seen above, under the first Head, and we need not here re­peat them.

2. We are obliged by our Covenants to defend and own Presbyterian Govern­ment, as is granted by all: but in how many particulars this Indulgence crosseth the principles of Prebyterian Government, we have seen above, under the Second Head; and as to all these particulars our Covenants are violated.

3. How we are engaged by our Covenant against P [...]elacy, the second Article of the Solemne League and Covenant can tell us; and how many wayes the accepting of this Indulgence, did contribute expresly or virtually, unto the strengthening of Prelacy, we saw above, under the foregoing Eight Head: And it is past all question, that these particulars there mentioned are utterly inconsistent with an Endeavour to extir­pat Prelacie.

4. We cannot be ignorant, that in the Solemne Acknowledgment of sins, and Engag­ment to duties, we vowed and swore to study and endeavoure to preserve Religion in purity, against errour &c. and particularly against Erastianisme, in these words, Be­cause many have of late laboured to supplant the liberties of the Kirk, we shall maintaine and defend the Kirk of Scotland in all her Liberties and Privileges, against all who shall oppose & undermine the same, or encroach thereupon, under any pretext whatsomever. And certaine it is, that Erastianisme was never so regnant in Scotland, as it is, and hath been, since this Catastrophe began, and that the Liberties and Privileges of the Church are not only now opposed, encroached upon, and undermined, but overturned and qui­te taken away. Now, how became it all, who minded faithfulness and steadfastness in their Covenant, to stand fast in this Particular, and be tender of all the Privileges of the Church, and to guaird against very thing, which might contributee in the least, or be justly interpreted to contribute unto this Invasion, or prove a consent thereun­to? [Page 107] But on the other hand, in how many Particulars, the accepters of the Indulgence stand guilty here, hath been shown above, and may be seen under the Third and First heads.

5. We are expresly bound by our Covenants, not to suffer ourselves Directly, or Indirectly, by whatsoever Combination, Perswasion, Suggestion, Allurment, or Terrour, to be divided or withdrawn from our blessed Union and Conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary Party, or to give ourselves to à detestable Indifferency or Neutrality. But, now, as to this Indulgence, what a divisive mo­tion it was, is notour enough; and it was, by the confession of some of the chiefe of the Indulgers themselves, said to be intended for that end; and beside this, the thing it self speaketh out this with a loud voice. How manifest and great a breach is hereby made among the suffering remnant, is beyond all denial; and how great, consequently, and manifest the breach of Covenant is, upon this account, is Alas! too obvious and plaine.

X. Hovv hereby the condemne themselves.

THis Consideration may also furnish us with another head of Arguments against this Indulgence, That the accepters thereof have thereby, in several Particulars, condemned themselves, as to their former Principles and Practices: And this Con­sideration may be looked upon, as an Argumentum ad hominum, as it is called: An ar­gument, that may militate against them. Now this self contradiction of theirs ap­peareth in these Particulars.

1. I shall suppose, that several of them at least (for I love to judge the best) were no Enemies to Field and House-Meetings, howbeit condemned by the Law; and that possiblie some of them did preach sometimes at such meetings; though the Qualification, required in the Kings Letter, and presumed by the Council to be in them, to wit, of living peacably and orderly, would say some other thing. And if they did approve of these Meetings, and of that way of preaching, for spreading of the Gospel, and doing good to the suffering Church of Scotland; they could not but, in so far, condemne all courses and wayes taken, or to be taken, of purpose to hinder that good work; and consequently condemne the Indulgence, which was manifestly contrived for that end. But now in accepting of the Indulgence, they have approved what formerly they condemned, and have condemned what formerly they approved.

2. They all, I suppose, do condemne the Supremacie, as an Usurpation, not to be allowed; for I never heard of any of them, save one, of another judgment, in that particular. But in accepting of the Indulgence, they accept of that, which pure­ly floweth from the Supremacie, and which had never been, if the Supremacy had not been usurped, and which hath no legal being but by the Supremacie and its ex­plicatory Act, which is all their legal ground of security, as hath been manifested above: And therefore do Homologate, and virtually approve of that, (as was manifested under the 3. Head, which they have condemned; and so have acted in­consequentially to their own Principles.

3. I likewise suppose, that they condemne the entry of the Curates, who have en­tered by the Prelates: And whatever accidental differences may be betwixt their [Page 108] entry, and the entry of the Curats; yet in this maine and Principal ground, where­upon both are to be condemned, they agree; to wit. That the entry of both is found­ed upon the Supremacie: For the Prelates have their power in the Church from the Supremacie: and so doth the Councel act in Church affairs by vertue of power, flowing from the King, as Supream in Churchs-affairs; and Curats enter immediatly by the Prelates, and the Indulged enter immediatly by the Council; and both en­ter mediatly by the Supremacie, but with this difference, that the Conveyance seem­eth to be more Ecclesiastical, as to the Curats, Prelats, as such, being supposed at le [...]st, Ecclesiastick Persons, and so called; than it is as to the Indulged, the Coun­cil neither really, nor nominally being a Church-Judicatory.

4. They formerly refused to stay with their Charges, by vertue of a Presentation of the Patron, who possibly would have granted it undesired; and yet now they have accepted the same Charges, and some have accepted of other Charges, not without the Consent of the Patrons, according to the standing Law; and the same is expresly mentioned, as had and obtained by the Council, in order to their Legal Estab [...]i [...]hment. In so far therefore, they cannot but have condemned themselves and their former Principles and Practice.

5. We know how many of these same Brethren refused the Accommodation, that was offered by B. Lightoun; and therefore would not joyn nor concurre with the Pre­lates, or their Curats, in their Presbyteries and Synods; and yet with the Indulgence, which they embraced, was this, among other Instructions, given, that they should re­paire to these Meetings, and referre Causes, usually referable, thereunto; and though they did not obey the said Injunctions, yet their receiving of them, at the Councils Bar, was a virtual Approbation yea and a promise of performance; and that so much the more, that the favour was offered upon these termes, as the Council expresly declared. But further, we may draw a parallel here, whereby it may distinctly appear, that their refusing of the Benefite, offered by the Accommodation, did condemne their accepting of the Benefite, offered by the Indulgence: As (1.) as the exercise of the Ministrie in preaching is a part of the Ministerial Function; so is the exercise of Discipline. (2.) As the one exercise doth natively and originally flow from the Appointment of Christ, and Power given by Him; so doth the other. (3.) As it is unlawful to acknowledge and submit to the Usurpation of Prelates, in the exercise of Discipline; so it is unlawful to acknowledge or submit to the Usurpation of the Council, in the exercise of other parts of the Ministerial Function▪ (4.) As in following the Indulgence, we may pos­sibly imagine, that we act by vertue of our Ordination, solely and purely; so in sitting in Presbyteries, we may likewise imagine, that we act by vertue of our first Ordinati­on. (5.) As the Interposition, or Intervention of the Prelats Usurpation altereth the cur­rent of the exercise of Discipline; so doth the Interposition or Intervention of the Ma­gistrats Usurpation alter the current of the Exercise of Preaching &c. (6.) As in the exercise of Discipline, in those Meetings, the Accepter of the Accommo­dation would have yeelded himself up to be accountable to the Prelat; so, in the exercise of the Ministrie, the Accepter of the Indulgence yeeldeth himself up to be accountable to the Magistrate, who gave him these Instructions; in so far as concerneth these? Yea, in the offer of the Accommodation, there was this ad­vantage, That the Accepter had full Liberty granted to him, at his entry to these Meetings, to declare, that he did not renounce his own private Opinion anent Church-Government; and to enter his Declaration in what forme he pleased: But the [Page 109] Accepter of the Indulgence had no such Liberty granted to him, though the deed was as manifestly a compliance with Erastianisme, as the other had been with Prelacie. But it will be said, that the maine ground of scrupling at the Accommodation, was, that these Meetings were not true Presbyterial Meetings, these being discharged by Autho­ritie, and all their warrant in Law removed, and those new meetings being enjoined for establishment of Prelacie, on which they were wholly to depend. I Answere, I am not seeking to weaken any ground of scruple, which these Brethren had against the of­fered Accommodation; but am only showing, that what grounds moved them to scruple at the Accommodation, these same should have prevailed with them, to scruple at the In­dulgence; and therefore shall hold forth the Parallel of the two Cases, even as to this ground: So that (1.) As no act of Civil Authority can lawfully depose a Minister from the Ius and Right of preaching; so neither from the Ius and Right of exercising Disci­pline. (2.) As Civil Authority can only impede the Actual exercise of the one, in such or such a particular place; so only can it impede the Actual exercise of the other. (3.) Civil Authority could not take away the Ius of Presbyterial Meetings, but only impede their exercise; as Civil Authority could not take away the Ius of a Mini­sters preaching, as Pastor over such a Ch [...]rge; but only impede the exercise of that Function. (4.) As notwithstanding of all that the Civil Authority did, Ministers retained a fundamental Right to exerce the Office of a Minister, in their several Con­gregations; so, notwithstanding of what the Magistrates did, they retained a funda­mental Power and Right to meet in Presbyterial Assemblies for the exercise of Disci­pline. (5.) I [...] yet, notwithstanding of this, Presbyterial-meetings are said to be quite overturned▪ by the Magistrates discharge, and cassing the Lawes made for the establish­ment thereof; why may not also the Ministers Relation to such a flock as Pastor thereof, be said to be annulled by the Magistrates Act, discharging him to preach there, and cassing the Law establishing the right way of entry by Free Election of the People, without Presentation of the Patron? (6.) And if after what hath been done by the Magistrats, in taking away the Old Presbyteries with their legal Ground, any new Meetings that are, being appointed for establishing of Prelacy, be Prelatical Mee­tings; why may not also this new Pastoral Charge, being appointed by the Magistrates, for Establishment of Erastianisme, after all that hath been done, in taking away the Old Relation with its legal ground, be an Erastian Relation; and consequently as much to be scrup [...]ed at, as these Meetings?

6. No doubt, these Brethren would have scrupled to have taken the Bishops Col­lation: And in accepting of the Indulgence, I judge, they have condemned them­selves in this: For what ever Reasons could have moved to have scrupled that, the same, or the like should have moved them to have scrupled this; as will appear by the parallel, in these Particulars, (1.) If the Indulged think that the Indulgence is but a partial Restitution of the Liberty, whereof he was totally deprived; so the Mi­nister, that accepteth of the Prelats Collation, may judge and say, that it includeth not Ordination, for he was an ordained Minister before; but is only a granting of Lberty, for the free exercise of the Ministrie. And he may think, that by no rea­son he can be construed to acknowledge more, as well, as the Indulged Minister may think. (2.) As he, who submitteth to Collation, acknowledgeth and preferreth the Prelate, as a proper Minister of Jesus Christ; So he, who submitteth to the In­dulgence; acknowledgeth the Magistrate, or the Council to be the proper Subject of Fo [...]mal Church-Power, which is tantamount to the making of them Ministers of [Page 110] [...]e [...]us Christ, yea, which is worse, he ascribeth unto the Magistrate, that Archi­tectomick Power in Church-Matters, which is proper to Christ, the only Head of His Church. (3.) As in Collation there is a formal acceptance, a direct Submissi­on and Recognizance and as significant a Transaction, as if the Bishop did ex­presly stipulat, and the other Consent and Promise; so in the Indulgence, (as hath been cleared above) there is a formal Acceptance, and a plaine Submission and Recognizance; and as Significant a Transaction (if the Council be to be beleeved) as if the Council did expresly stipulate, and the other Consent and Promise. (4.) Sup­pose the Prelate should send to an outted Minister a warrant, licensing him to go to another Church, than his own (I state the Supposition thus, in case any should think there is a Difference betwixt a Collation, and such a Licence) would the outted Minister, or any of those, who are now Indulged, accept of the same, and upon that sole Ground, look upon himself as Minister of such a place? If not, why did they accept of such a Licence from the Council?

XI. Hovv thereby the Meetings of Gods People are prejudged.

IF the Indulged Ministers be not real Enemies to, and utterly dissatisfied with the Assemblings of Gods People in Houses, or in the Fields, against which the rage of Rulers hath appeared so much, by terrible Acts and Proclamations, and more terrible Executions, (as I desire to think they are not) it will easily be granted, that if their accepting of the Indulgence, be really Prejudicial unto the carrying on of the Work of God, in and by these Meetings, nicknamed Conventicles; or if it be found, that by the accepting of the Indulgence, they have contributed unto suppres­sing of these Meetings: and consequently, that interpretativly they may be charged in part with the Severities, exerced against the same, if, I say, this be made probable and likely, we will have, upon this account, a new Head of Ar­guments against the accepting of this Indulgence, which deserve some Conside­ration here.

What have been the Tossings, Harassings, Afflictions, Vexations and Suffer­ings, that the Servants and People of God have met with: because of their fol­lowing of this Necessary and Signally blessed Duty, none of the Inhabitants of the Land can be ignorant of; and the Jailours can abundantly witness unto this very day, together with the Barbarous Souldiers, who readily did and do put in exec [...] ­tion the cruel Commands of their enraged Masters: And it would be too long and too Tragical an Historie to make a full and faithful relation of the same. It would be too tedious also to make mention only of all the Acts, Edicts, Proclamations and other things of that kinde, that have been made and emitted against the sa [...]ds Meetings, breathing forth nothing but the height of cruelty and rage, imposei [...]g exorbitant fines upon all Persons found at those Meetings, threatning death to he Ministers; giving encouragement to Souldiers to apprehend the hearers, by the po­mise of their fines and escheats, and to apprehend some certain Ministers by the Promise of two thousand Merks; and to apprehend all others, preaching at [...]uch Meetings by the Promise of one thousand Merks, besides other rewards. It w [...]uld likewayes prove too long, to give but an acc [...]unt of the Letters of Inter commu [...]ing, against multitudes both of Ministers and Professours, simply upon this account, [Page 111] Datted Aug. 6. 1675. Whereby all the Subjects were prohibited to Reset, Supply or Intercommune with any of the Persons therein mentioned, or to haue intelligence with them by Word, Write, or Message; or furnish them with Meat, Drink, House, Harbour, Victual, or any other thing useful, under the paine of being re­pute ai [...]t and part with them, in the Crimes of Rebellion mentioned, and pursued therefore with all rigour. Only, from all these it is manifest, what an eye-sore these Meetings have been, and yet are unto the Rulers, and with what edge and eagerness they have laboured by all meanes possible, to suppress and quite destroy the same.

This premised, in order to our Designe here, we desire that these following Particulars may be pondered.

1. It hath been manifest above, both from the Kings Letter and other Particu­lars, beside the notoriety of the thing it self, that the Indulgence was contrived of purpose, for this special end, among others to bear down and extinguish these Meet­ings, nicknamed Conventicles.

2. It is certaine, that all such, as have accepted of the Indulgence, have for the most part laid themselves wholly aside from this necessary work of the Lord, this day, and have received a Letter of ease from this troublesome and hazardous imployment of carrying the newes of the Gospel, from mountaine to hill; (to which the Lord is calling aloud, this day, and graciously encouraging by his wonderful blessing the laboures of these few, who yet venture) and have given themselves to rest, under the covering of the Supremacy.

3. It is likewise manifest, that if all the rest of the Ministers, named in the Coun­cils Acts, had done as they have done, and had accepted of that supposed favour, and submitted unto their Order of Indulgence and Confinement, there had been few left to have carried on that great work of the day, which appeareth to be the work, that God is in a special manner calling unto.

4. If all had refused to accept of that Indulgence, and had concurred with one shoulder to carry on that great and necessary work of the Lord, the Rulers had been utterly frustra [...] in their designe of banishing these Solemne Assemblies, these Royal Rendevouzes of Christs militia, and these solemne occasions of the Lords appearing in the power of his grace, out of the Land: And, on the other hand, the accept­ing of the Indulgence hath encouraged them in their wicked Purpose, fortified them in their Resolution, and animated them unto a following forth of their Designe, by all their cruel Acts and bloudy Executions.

5. By accepting of the Indulgence, not only have the Accepters laid themselves a­side from this necessary and blessed Work; but likewise all these people, over whom they are set by the Council, are with-held or withdrawn from waiting upon the Lord, at these blessed and wonderfully countenanced Occasions. Whereby the Followers of the Lord are broken, divided, and weakened, and so become a more ready prey unto the Adversary: For

6. If all the outted Ministers had faithfully and diligently gone about this Work, and had, for that end, divided themselves thorrow the Land, the work had been more succesful, the Followers of the Lord had multiplied, and had remained unite in one intire Body; the Adversaries had been put to a demurre, and had not gote such Advantage, as now they have gote; and the people of the Lord had had more Free­dom [Page 112] to serve him, and had been more secured from Danger: Whileas now, when re [...]cted to a few number, their Assemblings are the more laid open unto the perse­cution, and fiery pursuite of Rulers, and exposed more to hazards and grievous Dif­ficulties, as experience hath proven.

7. Wherefore, seing by accepting of and submitting to this Indulgence, there is a contributing of a concurrence with the Rulers, in their wicked Designe of banish­ing all these Meetings out of the Land, which manifestly had been defate by a plaine & positive refusal of that supposed favour; and seing the same is so inconsistent with the keeping up of these Meetings, and infallibly effectuateth a relinquishing of them by many, and a diminishing of their number; it is undeniable that the Accepters of this Indulgence have, in so far, and upon the matter, condemned all those Meetings; and consequently approven all the Opprob [...]ious and false Epithers given unto them, and persecution made against them by the Rulers.

8. Having thus exposed the residue of the faithful of the land, (who through grace are resolved to follow the Lord with full purpose of heart), unto the furie of the Adversaire, They become interpretatively guilty of and accessorie to all the Cruelties and Barbarities, used and exercised upon Ministers and Professours, for adher [...]ing unto that way.

These things might be further enlarged and exaggerated; but I choose only to mention them, and proceed,

XII. How Scandalous and Offensive it is.

The reall ground of Offence, that was in the accepting of this Indulgence, and the Scandal that was thereby given to one and other, is valide enough alone to militate against it, and sufficient to condemne it, unto all, who understand the na­ture of Scandal, and the dreadfulness of the sin of giving scandal by any thing we do, whether as to Matter, or Manner; and who remember what Christ and His Apostles have said of this Matth. 18:6, 7, 8, 9. with the Parallel Places Mark. 9:42. and Luk. 17:1, 2. Rom. 14. throughout 1 Cor. 8, and 9: and 10. Chapters. And there is no way to evi [...]e the force of this Argument, but by affirming and proving, That the Action, at which offence is taken, or may be taken, is not onely lawful in it self; but, as circumstantiat, is expedient and necessary to be done; as all Ortho­dox in this matter know, and as may be seen in the Disputes of our Predecessours against the Formalists, especially in the English Popish Ceremonies; and in the De­bates of the Non-conformists in England, this day, with their Adversaries, upon this Head.

Wherefore, seing it will be easily granted, that the accepting of the Indulgence, was not a thing in it self necessary, so as it could not be refused without manifest sin against the Lord; and we have sufficiently, by our foregoing Arguments, proven the same to have been sinful. And seing it will not be sufficient to say, That it was a matter in it self Lawful, or Indifferent, seing what is Lawful in it self may become, by reason of some Circumstances, Inexpedient, and what is Inexpedient, in so far as Inexpedient, is Unlawful; and by what we have said, we suppose it is appa­rent, that none can with any shew of Reason affirme, that it was Expedient. Seing I say, the matter standeth thus; and seing withall it had such a manifest appearance [Page 113] of evil in it, and that upon so many accounts, as hath been cleared, upon all which, it cannot but be conceived, to have been very Scandalous and Offensive.

In prosecuting of this Head, I might here make a large recapitulation of the Par­ticulars, wrapped up in that complex Business, considerable in the circumstances thereof, and in their carriage, at the receiving thereof, and at their receiving of their Instructions, and otherwayes; and show how, by all of these, they gave offence: But to shun prolixity, I shall leave that, knowing that the Judicious Reader will have observed these things, in the perusal of what is said above.

All therefore that remaineth here to be done, is to show what appearance of evil, and real matter of scandal there was, in the accepting of this Indulgence: And while I am to do this, I would have no man thinking, that hereby I do in the least weaken my foregoing Arguments, proving it sinful; for it is a truth, that the open com­mitting of a manifest sin is scandalous; and no man can say, that the scandal, arising from an action, maketh that action indifferent, and not sinful, in it self, or extra casum scandali. But because we ought all to be tender of the Spiritual welfare of our Brethren, and carefully to guard against the laying of a stumbling block before them, or do any thing that may induce them to sin, or tendeth thereunto, or to retard them in their Spiritual journey &c. Therefore ex superabundante, an argument hence may be convincing.

In order therefore to the holding forth of the scandalousness of this action, I shall only mentione the several Persons, unto whom hereby scandal was given, and cleare the same in a word.

1. The accepters of the Indulgence, did hereby give offence unto such of their Brethren, as had the offer, but were not clear, nor convinced of the Lawfulness of the embraceing of such a favour, at such a time; for by their example these were encouraged and moved to do that, which they judged sinful and unlawful for them to do: And thus was there a stumbling block, and an occasion to fall, put in their Bro­ther's way Rom. 14.13. And it is evil for any to do such a thing with offence, even though it were in it self, and as abstracted from circumstances, Lawful and Pure Rom. 14:20. Nay suppose, that those Brethren had scrupled out of meer weakness; yet, if the taking of the Indulgence be not said to be a necessary duty, (as I suppose it will not be said to be) in this case, it should have been forborne, according to the Doctrine of Paul 1 Cor. 8:9.10, 11. But take heed lest by any meanes, this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak: for if any man see thee, which last knowledg▪ sit at meat in the Idols temple▪ shall not the Conscience of him, which is weak, be emboldened to eat those things, which are offered to Idols? And through thy knowledge, shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died.

2. They gave offence unto others, who had not this in their offer, yet Judged the accepting thereof unlawful, upon the ground last mentioned; and t [...]erefore should have hearkened unto the direction of Paul, in a like case 1 Cor. 10:28. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto Idols, eat not; for his sake that she­wed it, and for Conscience sake — vers 29. Conscience, I say, not thine own; But of the others. And accordingly have refused that Indulgence, seing there wanted not who told them of the evil, they conceived to lye therein.

3. They gave ground of offence unto the Godly Professours of the Land, who look­ed upon that course (as they do to this day) as homologating the Supremacy and as [Page 114] strengthening the Erastian Invasion, and so gave ground to them to think, that they had departed from their Principles, and to be grieved thereupon: The considera­tion of which should have prevailed with them, to have refused this pretended fa­voure, according to the direction of Paul Rom. 14:15, 16. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of.

4. It was a great ground of offence unto the whole suffering Church of Scotland, in them, thus to withdraw from their Brethren, and leave them in the furnace, con­trare to their former Engagements; not to mention the other Particulars, wherein we found their sacred Bondes hereby violated, which necessarily became a ground of great offence unto all: Nor to mention these Particulars, whereby we manifested above, that the accepting of this Indulgence, was injurious unto Christ's Headshipe, unto the Privileges of the Church, & to the Principles of Presbyterian Government, and others; from all which it is undeniably clear, that a palpable ground of stum­bling was laid before, and offence given unto all the honest party.

5. Great offence and matter of griefe was hereby given unto the few, that continu­ed at their Masters work, in preaching in Houses, or in Fields, as occasion offer­ed; for, hereby their hands were weakened, the number of the bearers of burden waxing smaller, even while the work was growing upon their hand; and they were made, out of a preposterous tenderness unto them, who had thus stepped off, to forbear preaching in such places, where these were Indulged unto, though former­ly they used to meet with some encouragment in those places.

6. Hereby was offence given unto the Prelates, and to their under Curates, when they were hereby confirmed in their Usurpation and Defection: That action is in­deed scandalous, that edifieth not (as the Apostles word is 1 Cor. 8:10.) or embold­eneth, or confirmeth any, in an evil course; the Particulars hereof were mentioned above, under that Head.

7. There was hereby a stone of stumbling laid before the Rulers, for they were hereby encouraged to proceed in their Encroachments upon Christ's Prerogatives, and on the Privileges of the Church, when they saw their contrivances for that end so sweetly complied with, and heard nothing of a Plaine, Direct, Apposite and In­telligible Testimony given against them, and their proceedings.

8. There is a stone of stumbling hereby laid, before the Posterity, in all time coming; for if the Rulers shall follow this course, & suffer no Minister to be setled any where, but as they please, & shall plant, & transplants as they please, without any regarde had either unto the free Call of the people, or the Trial or Examination & Ministerial Mis­sion of Church-Judicatories, & prescribe unto them what Rules & Instructions, they think good; what shall the Posterity do? Will nor Intrants, in that case, willingly sub­mit, and think themselves obliged to do so, having such a preparative before them?

9. Will not this be an Afflicting and stumbling Consideration to any, that shall read the History of our Church; when they shall there see, with what Courage, Faithfulness, and Heroick Resolution, the Faithful & Zealous Ministers of Christ, maintained by Petitions, Declarations, Protestations, Declinatures, and Suffer­ings of all sorts, the Power and Privileges of the Church, against all Incroach­ments and Invasions, made thereupon by King and Court; and now shall see such a company of Ministers, upon such small Temptations, at least, as to hazard, [Page 115] complying with & submitting to more grievous Usurpations, that ever King Iames did attempt? We no where read, that ever King Iames, notwithstanding of all the Supremacy, in Church affairs, and over Church-Persons and Officers, that was assumed by him, and attribute by Parliament to him, did exerte such a Suprema­cie over Church. Officers, or Ministers, as to plant them, & transplant them brevi manu, as he pleased. And is it not an heart-breaking thing to think, that now, when this Usurpation hath transcended all imaginable bounds, there should not only be no opposition made thereunto; but even a peacable compliance with, and quiet sub­mission unto the same, now in its exaltation?

10. What a stumbling thing is this unto all the Reformed Churches, when they shall hear, that so many Scotish Ministers, who refused to comply with Prelacie, have yet submitted to such an exercise of Erastianisme, as is no where else to be found, through the whole Christian world, for any thing I know? Where shall we finde the Magistrat, at his own hand Immediatly, planting and transplanting Ministers, as he will, fixing and limiting them, according to his minde? Nay I doubt, if even in the Pala [...]inat, where this wof [...]l weed of Erastianisme did first grow, such an ex­ercise thereof is to be found: or if it be, what a shameful thing is it, that the like should be found in the Church of Scotland, which the Lord hath honoured from the very beginning, to be tried and exercised, upon the point of Christ's Kingly Power, and Headship over his Church, beyond all other Reformed Churches?

Objections Answered.

HAving thus shown how sinful the accepting of this Indulgence was, upon many accounts, it remaineth, that we remove out of the way what we conceive can be said, in the defence thereof; to the end, we may give all Satisfa­ction possible.

Obj. 1. May not the Magistrate, for ends known to himself, discharge Ministers to preach, for a time; and thereafter permit them to preach? And seing the Busi­ness of the Indulgence was but of this Nature, why might it not be acquiesced unto? Answ. (1.) That the Indulgence was some far other thing, is manifest from what is said: And beside other Particulars, fully spoken to above, this one may manifest the disparity; That it is one thing to permit Ministers to exerce their Office without molestation; and it is a far other thing to Appoint and Order them, to take upon them such or such particular Charges; and to plant and transplant them, at their pleasure, and subject their Ministrie in its exercise unto themselves, by giving Injunctions, Rules and Prescriptions, to regulat them in the same. (2.) We heard above, how Mr Calderwood and Mr Rutherford did account even that discharge a degree of Suspen­sion, which is a Church-Censure, and consequently is to be inflicted only by those, who have the power of the Keyes. (3.) Worthie and learned Trochreg, in his Com­mentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians Chap. 6: V. 20. Pag. (mihi) 1122. proveth so­lidly, that this Power of discharging Ministers the exercise of their Function, doth neither agree to Heathen Magistrats; nor yet unto Christian Magistrats, who, by their Christianity, have received no new Power or Right over Christs Servants and Messengers; nor may discharge them from delivering their Message; nor depose them, whom they could not ordaine; nor stop their mouth, whose mouth they [Page 116] [...]ould not open; nor silence them, whom they could not send-forth to preach. (4.) When the Magistrate silenceth, it must either be for a Civil, or for an Ecclesia­stick Crime: If for a Civil Crime, he can only do this consequently and indirectly? as Salomon removed Abiathar from the Priesthood, by banishing and confineing him to Anathoth. But then (as Mr. Rutherfoord in his Due Right &c. Pag. 434. saith well) he no more removeth a Minister from his Ministrie, than a Master Fashioner, a Sailer, a Plower, a Souldier, a Father or an Husband, from their Work and Res­pective Imployments, when he causeth imprison, hang or behead them for some Crime; nor doth he at all remove him from the Ministrie directly, neither can he do it; for that is a Church-Censure, and the Keyes are not committed unto him. Nor can he do it for any Ecclesiastick Transgression, wherein he is no competent judge: Nay nor can he indirectly and consequentially, in this case, remove any Mini­ster from the exercise of his Ministery, where the Church is settled in her Power, except only Causatively, by Commanding the Church-Judicatories to do their Work first; that is, first to iudge; for in prima Instantia, he may not do it: or Corro­borativly, by backing the Sentence of the Church-Judicatory with his Civil San­ction and Authority.

Obj. 2. Though the Magistrate hath not Power to silence altogether, yet he hath Power to discharge the Publick Exercise of their Ministrie; and againe, when he thinketh fit, to grant that Liberty unto them. Ans. (1.) Though this were granted, it will not helpe, in the case of the Indulgence, wherein was some far other thing, than a meer grant of Freedome for the Publick Exercise of the Ministery, as is seen above. (2.) Illud tantum possumus, quod jure possumus: We can be said to have Power to do that only, which we have right to do. Now, I would enquire, how it can be proved, that the Magistrate hath Power granted of God, to discharge the Mes­sengers of Christ the free and publick exercise of their Ministrie, Directly, For­mally and Immediatly? (3.) The Practice of the Apostles tels us, that such Com­mands are not lawful, nor to be obeyed; for they preached publickly, where oc­casion offered, notwithstanding of the prohibition of the Magistrate. (4.) The Magistrates lawful Power reacheth privat places, as well as publick places; as D. Voetius maintaineth against the Arminians: If he may hinder an Heretick from preaching Heresie publickly; so may he hinder him from doing it from house to house. And therefore, by the same Argument that he may hinder publick preach­ing, he may hinder the whole exercise of the Ministrie.

Obj. 3. Our Second Book of Discipline Chap, 10. granteth, That Magistrates may place Ministers, when the Kirk is corrupted, and all things are out of Order: And so it is now with us. Answ. Yet it is added in that same place. [That where the Mi­nistery of the Kirk is once lawfully Constitute, and they that are placed do their Of­fice faithfully, all Godly Princes and Magistrates ought to heer and obey their voice, and reverence the Majestie of the Son of God, speaking in them.] And though our Divines grant, that when the Church is not Constituted, or is wholly corrupted, Godly Magistrates, after the example of some Godly Kings of Iudah, and diverse Godly Emperours and Kings also, in the Light of the New Testament (as the words run in the place cited, in the Second Book of Discipline) may do much more, than at other times: Yet I suppose, none, for shame, can make use of such a Concession now; seing our Church was a Constituted and well ordered Church, and had all her Rights [Page 117] and Privileges ratified and confirmed by Law; and all the Magistrates of the Land, from the highest to the lowest, were under Solemne Vowes and Covenants, to maintaine her Constitution and Order: And what could be more desired, in order to the settling of a Church? Whence then the Confusion, that now is, is come, we all know. And when the Magistrates with their own hand overturne all, shall this Objection be made use of, to countenance their After-practices? That were indeed to teach Magistrates a way, how to usurpe and take to themselves all Church-Power, Viz. Let them once, by Iniquity and Tyranny, break the Glorious Order of the Church, and bring all into Confusion; and then forsooth they may warrantably assume to themselves and exercise all Church Power, accord­ing to their minde.

Obj. 4. Hezekiah did apply his Regal Power to the Reformation of the Levites, and to the purging of the Temple 2 Chron. 29: v. 5. and did also appointe the Courses of the Priests and Levites, every man, according to his Service 2 Chron. 31. So like­wise did Iosia [...] 2 Chron. 35. Answ. Neither of these Kings did destroy the Order and Beauty of the Church, but reformed what their Predecessours had corrupted. Nei­ther of these did take away the just and legal Power of the Priests, (as our Rulers have taken away Presbyteries and their Power) that they might exerce it themselves, as our Rulers do immediatly what Presbyteries should do, in the matter of the In­dulgence. Neither of these Kings gave new Instructions, out of their own Heads, unto the Priests and Levites, that they might thereby formally subject the exercise of the Ecclesiastick Power unto themselves; as our Rulers have done. But beside what hath been said to this before, I shall only subjoine the Answer of Worthie Mr G. Gillespie in his Aarons Rod Blossoming Pag. 138.139. [Hezekiah (saith he) in exhorting the Levites to sanctifie themselves, and to cleanse the Temple, doth re­quire no other thing, than the Law of God did require Num. 8: v. 6, 11, 15. and 18: v. 32. Which Hezekiah pointeth at 2 Chron. 29:11. And why should nor the Ma­gistrat Command Ministers to do the duties of their Calling, according to the Word of God? As for his appointing of the Courses of the Priests and Levites, he did nothing therein but what the Lord had commanded by his Prophets 2 Chron. 29:25. The like I answere concerning King Iosiah; for it is recorded that what he did, was according to the writting of David and Salomon 2 Chron. 25:4. and according to the Commandement of David and Asaph and Heman and Ieduthun, the Kings Seer Ver. 15▪ as it is written in the Book of Moses Vers. 12.] thus he; and thus wi [...]hall we see, how impertinent this is to the present purpose.

Obj, 5. But what can be said of such of the Indulged, as were sent to their own Charges? Several of the Arguments adduced cannot strick against them. Answer, Though some of the Arguments will not militate against them directly, yet the most part will. And further, let these things be considered, (1.) That it was a meer ac­cidental thing that they were sent to their own Charges, viz. because at that time they were vacant; and so, had they not been vacant, these Ministers had been appointed and ordered either to go elsewhere, or not indulged at all. (2.) They were not barely permitted to go to their own Charges, by rescinding the Act of Glasgow, or taking off the Sentence of banishment, by vertue of which they were put from the Actual Exercise of their Ministrie, in their own Congregations, which might easily have been done, if the Council had intended no actual Invasion of the Power of the [Page 118] Church; nor had designed the Subjection of the Exercise of the Ministrie unto their own Authority. But (3.) They get the same immediat Right to the exercise of their Ministerial Function, which others gote, who were ordered to other places; and this Right is nothing but the Councils Order and Appointment. (4.) And thus in a manner, their case is worse, than the case of such, as were sent to new flocks; for upon the matter they did renounce their old right to the exercise of the Ministery, in those Congregations, where once they had been settled, according to the Order of the Gospel, and took a new Right from the Magistrate, and acted upon his Or­der. (5.) And why may they not also repaire to the Presbyteries and Synods, upon the Councils Order, as well as to these Congregations, seing they had a right for­merly, to exerce the Ministerial Function in the one, as well as in the other; and the Magistrats discharge can no more invalidate the right to the one, than to the other?

Obj. 6. If it be a ground sufficient to reject the benefite of this Indulgence, because it is supposed to flow from the Supremacy, then much more might we refuse to preach, if the Magistrat should command it expresly by vertue of his Supremacy: And if this be yeelded, then it is manifest, that the Magistrate, if he had a mind to banish all preaching out of his Dominions, needeth use no other medium than onely tell the Ministers, that he commanded them to preach by vertue of his Supremacy. Ans. (1.) We do not condemne the accepting of the Indulgence, upon a meer suppo­sal, that it floweth from the Supremacy, having seen and manifested, what a real rela­tion it hath thereunto, and dependance thereupon. (2,) Nor is its being a native re­sult and proper effect of that iniquous, and usurped Supremacy, the onely ground whereupon we go, in condemning the acceptance thereof, there being many other Heads of arguments adduced against it, and such as prove it unlawful, as it was circumstantiat, though wholly abstracted from all Consideration of the Supremacy, yea and though granted and enjoined by a Church-Judicatory; and though the Ma­gistrate, in granting of it had expresly said, that he did not grant it by vertue of the Supremacy. (3. Yet I shall say further, That the Command to preach simply, and without Limitations, Restrictions, or sinful Conditions, cannot properly be said to flow from, nor to have such a dependance upon that Usurped Supremacy, as this Indulgence hath: For, to command Ministers to do their duty, in preaching of the Gospel, according to the command of God, belongeth to the power, which God hath granted to the Magistrates; and so, natively floweth from his Office: But to set down Limitations, Restrictions and Conditions, regulating the exercise of the Ministrie, doth not so flow; and when [...]hey are such, as are opposite to the Rules of Christ, it must of necessity be by vertue of an Usurped and abused power: Whence it is apparent, that this Indulgence, containing such Limitations, Restri­ctions and Conditions, doth not, neither can natively flow from the Office of a Christian Magistrate, nor is an act of Lawful Magistratical Power; as all will con­fess, who are not taught in Erastus's school. Therefore, though in the case of simple preaching, the injunction ushered-in with an express mention of the Supre­macy, as its ground and rise, would be but a ridiculous scar-crow; yet in this other case (which is the case of the Indulgence) it would be an open spreading of the net in the sight of the bird, & more than a sufficient warning for wise men to beware (4.) Though a Command to preach, according to the Rules of Christ; cannot be account­ed [Page 119] to flow from this corrupt Supremacy, even though the Magistrate shall say so much, in plaine termes; Yet a command to preach in this place, and not in ano­ther place, and to preach so and so, according to such Limitations, Rules and Pre­scriptions, and according to no other (as it is in the case of the Indulgence) may be said to flow natively from the corrupt Supremacy, even though the Magistrate should say in express termes, that it did not; because it is done by an Usurped Power, viz. a power of judging Ministers Qualifications, of Ministerially sending them, of Re­gulating them in the exercise thereof &c. All which belong properly to the power of Church- [...]udicatories; not to mention the spoiling of the people of their power of free Election. Therefore preaching, when simply commanded, cannot be con­demned, even though the Magistrate should affirme, that the command is given by vertue of his Supremacy; when the accepting of the Indulgence cannot be justified, though in the granting of it no mention was made of the Supremacy; much less, if this were expresly prefixed. (5.) The visible ends of Magistrates giving forth of commands, which may be knowne by several Circumstances, may do much to cleare and determine Christians, to obey, or not obey, and so a command, materially the same, may in some cases be obeyed, in some cases not. So that, when the Ma­gistrate, manifesting his Intention to root-out the Gospel, shall command all Mini­sters by vertue of an Usurped Supremacy, to preach the Gospel, the material com­mand may be obeyed, and yet the Magistrate frustrate of his Intentions: But when he commandeth a few, and onely a few, by vertue of his Supremacy, to preach here or there, as he pleaseth; and upon such and such termes, as he is pleased to pre­scribe, and under such and such Limitations and Restrictions, as he is pleased to enjoyn, to the manifest hurt and detriment of the Kingdom of Christ, he is to be disobeyed, and frustrated of his pernicious ends. Whence we see, how different the cases are. (6.) When the thing enjoined, and that expresly by vertue of the Su­premacy, is not only Lawful, but Necessary by vertue of a command of God, as is the simple preaching of the Gospel; the prefixing of the express mention of the Su­premacy cannot alter the Nature of the duty, nor be any ground of laying aside the duty so injoyned. But when the thing injoyned is not only not necessary, but, as circumstantiat, is not Expedient nor Lawful, then the expressing of the Suprema­cy, as the ground of the command, is to be noticed, and may ex super abundante de­terre from Obedience: Now this is the case of the Indulgence, as is cleared above. (7.) If that supposed command of preaching the Gospel came forth to Ministers, al­ready setled in their Ministrie, the mention of the Supremacie might be sufficiently delete, by a Protestation or Declaration of their preaching, and purposing to continue in preaching by vertue of Christ's Supremacy; & silence as to this, I judge, would be dangerous: But if this command were given to such, who had been by violence ejected, and put from their work, and detained therefrom, until they should thus acknowledge the unlawful Supremacy of the Magistrate, I suppose there might be ground here for a demurre.

Obj. 7. It seemeth then, you would not be for Ministers returning to their own Charges. if the Magistrat should grant such an Order or Permission? Ans. (1.) Ei­ther this Order or Permission would be granted with an expresse mentioning of the Supremacy, as its ground, or not: If the Supremacy be laid down as the ground, and nothing else in the circumstances be observable, to creat a scruple; I judge it [Page 120] necessary, that even in that case a plaine and positive Protestation against that Supre­macy be given in, that it might appear, they would not so much as seem to homolo­gate that sinful Usurpation. (2.) If no mention were made of the Supremacy, but only a simple permission granted to returne each to their own Charges; than this liberty would either be granted to all without exception of any, or onely to some: If onely to some, I must needs say, that as matters now stand, I should think it should not be accepted, even though freed of many other clogs; and that be­cause, the wicked designe of further dividing the honest party, should hereby be made manifest and obvious, contrare to our Covenants; and hereby, though the Persons themselves should be freed of trouble, and the Particular Congregations might receive some advantage, if withal freed of the Curats; yet the publick good of the Church, which is preferable to any particular good, should be prejudged; & the Rulers should be also confirmed in their Usurpations & Encroachments; which by all meanes should be guarded against. (3.) If this liberty were granted to all, then it would either be granted with a confinement to these bounds, or without it; if the former were said, then the designe would be obvious, to stop the free course of the Gospel, and to prejudge other places of the Land of the benefite thereof; (for [...]hough all the outted Ministers, now on life, were restored to their former Char­ges, many places would remaine void of faithful Pastors) Now this should be guard­ed against, & that the more carefully at this time, when by Reason of the prevailing course of Apostasie, so great a part of the Land hath been drowned in Ignorance, and led away with a prejudice against the work of God: For every Minister of the Church of Scotland is bound before God, to do what in him lyeth to remedie this evil. If any should say, what can be more required of a Minister, at any time, than to be faithful in his particular station; seing he hath no oversight over the whole Church, and he is not to carry, as an Apostle. I Answere, Every Minister hath a p [...]ior relation to the Church universal, and a neer relation to the particular Natio­nal Church, whereof he is a Member; and this Relation is antecedent to his relation to a particular flock, in order of Nature. And as in a Church well ordered and con­sti [...]uted, the edification of the whole requireth, that each Minister be particularly fixed, in the ordinary exercise of his Ministrie, to a particular Charge, with a ca­pacitie to officiat elsewhere, as providence calleth: But in a time of general corrup­tion, the edification of the whole body requireth, that Ministers (when few) be not restricted or limited to particular places, to the manifest and inevitable preju­dice of the whole, or of the major part of the Church. Seing then providence hath n [...]w loosed these Ministers from the actual exercise of their Ministrie, in their res­pective paroches; I think they are called to consider, how and on what termes they b [...]come fixed againe; especially to see that their fixing be not to the undeniable pre­judice of the Church National, and be not a virtual denying of their relation to the [...]. Further, by this confinement they should be out of all capacitie to meet to­gether for the exercise of discipline in Presbyteries and Synods, conforme to our p [...]inciples; as also to ordaine a succeeding Ministery, and to provide for other va­can [...] places, which this time calleth for; as also they should be out of a capacity to help others at Communions, according to our laudable custome, and to preach­to such as are under Soul murderers, and Traitours to Christ and his Interest, in this day of de [...]ection. (4) If it be without this Confinement, then it will either be [Page 121] with some one or other of the Prescriptions, Rules, Instructions, and Conditions, with which the present Indulgence is clogged; or not: If it be, then the same reasons that militat against the present Indulgence, upon that account, will equally militate against this. 5. If it should be free of all these entanglements and grounds of scrupling, I leave it to Christian prudence to consider; Whether, as matters now stand, the Lord be not rather calling them to preach his name on the moun­taines, seeing this way hath been so signally blessed of the Lord, and is daily more countenanced of him, than their labouring in their respective Particular Charges usually hath been; and seing it is undeniable, that the Adversaries are not as yet re­ally repenting of their opposition to the work of God; and therefore, that any such permission (if granted) could not be supposed to flow from any love to the Pros­perous progress of the Gospel; but rather from the contrary, as is clear in the In­dulgence already granted; and to flow from a purpose to entangle and ensnare, yea and endanger both Soul and Body; if not from a purpose, or designe to destroy all at once.

Obj. 8. The benefite of freedome and liberty of preaching the Gospel, is so great, and the duty is so lawful and necessary, and of so great import to souls, that many things may be warrantably comported with, in order to the obtaining of it. Ans. I willingly grant the lawfulness and necessity of this important duty of prea­ching the Gospel: But I see not the strength of this Argument; for the Gospel was never in bondes, except by our timorousness and sinful relinquishing of duty, be­cause of a supposed Lion in the way. The Gospel might still have been preached, with no greater Inconvenience, than it was by the Apostles and others in the primi­tive times, and possibly with much more success, than it hath been done by the In­dulgence. And every one may see, that the Indulgence was granted by such, as did not designe the Gospels advancement, but the imprisoning of the same rather with the preachers there of, both by confineing the Persons Indulged, and by hinder­ing, so far as they could, the remarkable progress of the Gospel, in the blessed Assemblies, in Fields and Houses. This objection then can have no force, seing the Gospel was and might s [...]ill have been preached, without this Indulgence, though it is true, with less ease, peace, and quietness to the preachers and hear­ers; yet, I am sure, with more inward quietness of mind, and acceptance with God, and with more ground of hope of a rich blessing to follow their paines, as experience hath proven: Unless it be said, that the Gospel should not have been preached, without freedom and liberty granted by the Magistrat; and if this be said, not only shal all those, who have preached at Conventicles (as they are called) be condemned; but even Christ himself and his Apostles, who preached to few Assemblies, but such as might have been called Conventicles, shall be con­demned also.

Obj. 9. The outed Ministers having hitherto groaned under Edicts, which they no otherwayes acknowledged, than by a submission purely passive, the present li­cence, abstracted from its offensive circumstances, is such a relaxation, that if one­ly limited to its rigide measures by casual impossibility, it would not be rejected. Wherefore unless it be proven, that the use-making of this favour doth Homologate with these exorbitancies, the rest is nothing material. Ans. The outted Ministers groaning under, and no otherwayes acknowledging than by submission purely pas­sive [Page 122] such Edicts, as respected their Persons and Estates firstly, and Principally, can say nothing for an active submission unto such Edicts, as more neerly relate to their Of­fice and Function; or for acknowledgment of such Edicts, as are made and emitted by such, as act from a Principle of Usurpation, and in order to the strengthening of themselves in the same; seing the difference is vast betwixt an Active and a Passive Submission; and an acknowledgement herein, by an Active Submission, contri­buteth to the iniquous ends, proposed by the Supremacy, which is sufficiently con­firmed by the Magistrat's projecting, in this offer made and accepted, his further Establishment in the Usurpation. (2.) Hence we see, that this Licence, (as it is called) if not abstracted from its offensive circumstances, will be granted to be such a Relaxation, that though limited to its rigide measures, even by a casual impossi­bility, could hardly be accepted: And though in our imaginations, we may ab­stract Actions from their offensive circumstances; yet in point of Practice of moral Actions, such abstractions cannot be made, as will salve Conscience; seing it is con­fessed, that the morality of Actions doth much depend upon circumstances. (3.) Though a licence so abstracted, and limited to its rigide measures by a casual impos­sibility, may be accepted: Yet, a licence, which cannot be abstracted from all its offensive circumstances, ought to be rejected. And though a Relaxation, made ri­gide by casual Impossibility, may be accepted; yet that will say nothing in our case, where no casual Impossibility, but a moral transgression, cometh in consideration. A casual impossibility is such a restraint, as may quiet the Conscience, if so be it be not caused or occasioned by our sin; but such hath no place here. (4.) How the accepting of the Indulgence doth homologate with these exorbitancies, hath been seen above.

Obj. 10. The Rulers did not assigne the Ministers to particular Charges by express Deputation, but only appointed them to repaire to the Paroches designed, permitting and allowing them there to preach and exerce the other functions of the Ministrie. Answ. We saw above, that by the Indulgence, there was an express Deputation, and a particular assignment, and a plaine warrant and licence granted. Hereby it would seem that none of these Indulged do look upon themselves, as proper Pastors of those places; and so can take no Pastoral Charge of them: And if so, they cannot be offended, if the People owne them not as Pastors, but go and hear others, according to conve­niency, and look upon them, as such, as are allowed to preach by the Magistrate, without molestation; but not as having any Pastoral Charge over them; and yet forsooth they must enjoy the maintainance of a Lawful Pastor: Which things cannot well hang together.

Obj. 11. Though to yeeld to the Magistrat, onely appointing as in the Act, would be a sinful compliance, in a setled enjoyment of our Liberty; yet after the ruineing overthrow, given to all Church her Liberties, the acceptance of something, in effect a Relaxation, however sinful upon the Granters Part; yet on our part not burden­ed with sinful Conditions, cannot be condemned; for the real Opposition of things and determination of events set the periods, according to which, that, which in the beginning of an evil Course, may be duty, in its prevailing and establishment, through change of circumstances, whereon its morality depends, may be impertinent. An­swer (1.) Though I yeeld, that a change of events may, in some cases, call us to the use of other meanes, more effectual, as matters then stand, for gaining our point, or [Page 123] for keeping our Rights: Yet to assert in general, that the Determination of events set­teth the periods to moral Duties, seemeth to me dangerous, especially in our case, wherein the contest is not for our own Rights, Privileges, or Advantages; but for the Prerogatives of our Masters Crown, and the just Privileges of our Mother, the Church, wherein we have no liberty to come and go, as in our own Particulars. (2.) It is then confessed, that the Rulers, by this Indulgence, have made an Encroachment upon the Liberties of the Church; and that to yeeld unto this appointment had been a sinful compliance formerly, when the Church was in possession of her Liberties, even though the Appointment had not been so burdened with sinful Conditions, as now: Hence we also see, that even this Usurpation is inconsistent with the Churches Liberty, and that it is no maintainance of this to yeeld to the Usurpation. (3.) Then it must be said, that all our former Engagements, to maintaine the Prerogatives of Christs Crown, and the Privileges of the Church, are now so far annulled, by the overthrow given to both by the Rulers, that we may freely comply with them in that, which formerly had been a betraying of all: This, I confess, would open a door to a large compliance. When a ruineing overthrow was given to our Civil Rights and Government, by an Invading Enemie, the very acceptance of what in effect might have been accounted a Relaxation, was by men accounted a treasonable Compliance, and accordingly pu­nished, at the Kings return; and shal we carry thus in sublunary things, which are both alterable in themselves, and under mens Power; and yet be less Zealous and more In­different, in the Matters of Christ, which as Christians we are obliged to owne; and by the Supervenient Obligation of Vowes, Oaths and Covenants engaged to maintaine, as well against Erastians, as against Papists, Prelates and Malignants? (3.) This Asser­tion will condemne the Zeal of our Forefathers, as not being according to knowledge, nor morally good, according to the change of circumstances, and periods, set by the determination of Events. Yea if this be a fixed Rule, that such a change of circum­stances will make it impertinent, yea and sinful for us to refuse to do that, which, while matters were entire, had been a sinful compliance; how much more will it make it impertinent and unlawful for us to endeavoure a change: For if it alloweth a compli­ance, which in so far confirmeth the Usurper, in his unjust Possession, after the ruineing overthrow given, it will certainely not allow of any Opposition. (4.) I grant, when a Robber hath spoiled us, we may lawfully take part againe, rather than lose all; or when an Invader overrunneth the land, and spoileth us of all our former Privileges, we may receive some againe, though when matters were entire, it had been a compliance to have done so: But that will not answere our case; because we have more Power over our own Particulars, than overChrists Matters: we may in some cases voluntarily give all our own away; but we cannot do so, in the Matters of Christ, and of His Church: And therefore, what at any time would be a sinful compliance, or an unlawful giving away of Christs, and the Churches Rights, cannot be lawful, even after the Enemie hath overthrown all. (5.) I grant likewise, that after an Universal overthrow of the Privileges of the Church; we may lawfully accept of little, when more cannot be had; yet that little must be such, as was not unlawful, at any time, to be accepted of; and we must accept of it, in another manner, than could ever have been accounted a sinful compliance. (6.) Though what is said in the Objection might have some weight, when that thing can be had no other way, than such, as would formerly have been accounted a compliance: Yet it can have no weight, in the case of the Indul­gence; because liberty to preach (which is here called a Relaxation) may be had with­out [Page 124] this appointment of the Rulers, and that with no less countenance, and approbation of God: So that in the Accepting of the Indulgence, there is a needless compliance with the Usurper, and an unnecessary confirming of him in his wicked Usurpations.

Obj. 12. That, which in the case of standing Liberty, would be an insufferable Imposition, and its refusal, duty, may, as it is from God, in the case of lost Li­berty, be looked upon, as a little reviving in our bondage, and embraced with a sinless Submission; and he, who thus humbly and sincerely layeth hold on it, may be very assured of the Lords Approbation therein. Answ. When a people have been following their Duty, in defence of their Lands and Liberty, and are in Providence broken by an Enemie; their Posterity, or even they themselves, may willingly submit to, and lay hold on that, which formerly had been an insufferable Impositi­on, and might have been justly refused; but then they must have had no sinful hand, in the loseing of their Liberty, otherwise it shal be but a continued compliance; and we must suppose, that they are now out of case to owne and contend for their Liberty. Which holdeth not, as to the Indulgence; for as there was a sinful cedeing at the first, in not resisting unto bloud, striving against these Usurpers, by Prote­stations, Declarations and other Meanes called for, in the like case, whereby this acceptance becometh but a continued compliance, on the matter, in the same Persons: So the manifold Obligations we are under, binde unto a constant and perpetual contending for the Prerogatives of our Prince, and the Privileges of his Church, against all the Enemies thereof: And no case of lost liberty will warrant us, to submit, or accept of that, which formerly we were bound to have refused, and to have looked upon, as an insufferable Imposition. What may be said of the Poste­rity, born and brought up under that loss of Liberty, cannot advantage us in this Generation, who, when we can do no more, are obliged to transmit the Contro­versie of Zion, and the Cause, as in foro contradictorio, to the Posterity; that they may see the Cause, though not prevalent, yet not quite sold and given up; and so may serve themselves heirs to our Contendings for the Interest of our Lord. And for this cause, ought we to be tenacious of these Rights, and do nothing that may strengthen our Adversares, and weaken our Cause: and this, I suppose, would yeeld more peace, than the accepting of that, which is called a little reviving, but indeed is a weakning both of the Cause, and of our Party. It is laudable Constancy, in this Case, not to yeeld or grant one hoof: But what pusillanimity, yea and trea­chery will it be, by cedeing and accepting of such supposed revivings, to put our­selves and our Posterity out of all case to recover our Liberty, and to burie with our own hands the very memorie of the good old Cause, for which our Predecessours, and we sometime, have contended with Zeal and Earnestness; especially when, we may have the same thing, which is called a reviving in our bondage, another way, with Approbation of God, with less Scandal to others, with more Advantage to the Cause, and less Advantage to the Enemie, though with more trouble and less quiet to our selves?

Obj. 13. Though the Magistrats principal Designe, in this matter, be the Esta­blishment of his own Supremacie: Yet the accepting of this favour cannot be so much as an Interpretative yeelding thereunto, as may be clear by this Supposition, that the Magistrate, without any change of Principle or Designe, had ordered all Ministers to their own Churches. Answ. (1.) This being confessedly the Magi­strat's [Page 125] principal Designe, in granting this supposed favour, our acceptance cannot but be accounted by him a reall contributing of all, that is required of us, thereunto; and as it was circumstantiat, could not but be, on our part, even because of what the Magistrat did rationally account to be unto him, a virtual acknowledgment, and a reall Confirmation thereof. (2.) If the sending of the Ministers to their own Congregations, had been by a Civil annulling of the former Sentence of Banish­ment, as it could not have flowed from the Supremacy; so neither could it have con­tributed unto his Usurpation: But if the sending of them to their own Charges had been every way, after the manner of this Indulgence, it would not have altered the case to me; for as I said above, his re-entrie to his Former Charge, after this man­ner, would have been a virtual annulling of the Ground of his Former Call, and Interest in that place, and over that People, and not a returning with full Freedome and Liberty.

Obj. 14. The Magistrat proposing this Indulgence by way of Command, not at­tending my pleasure, my obedience to the Command cannot imply an engagement to the Prescriptions annexed; nor doth the Magistrat discover the least Intention, to oblige me thereunto by consent; nor is in this matter treating with us, expecting our formal consent for his security; and therefore I may accept the favour, without the prescriptions, there being no formal Compact here. Answ. (1.) Though the In­dulgence be propounded by way of Command, the Council thinking it below them to Act otherwayes: Yet both the Nature of the thing, and the concomitant Acts, made of purpose, to Limite, Restrict and Qualifie the thing proposed, and to Instruct and Oblige the receiver, saith, that the accepting of the First doth virtually engage to the Second, both making up one complex grant, or one Indulgence so qualified, limited & cautioned. (2.) Though the Councel did not call for any formal and express engage­ment from them, unto the performance of these Injunctions; yet their carriage to­wards Mr. Blair, upon hisPositive renounceing of these Injunctions, sheweth, that they meant these Injunctions for Conditions; & this also they expresly declared in their af­ter Proclamations & Edicts, as we saw above. (3.) Who accepteth a favour, offered with its burdens, must accept it cum onere, howbeit the offerer, being a Superiour, doth not expresly require an explicite Consent, but resteth satisfied with his own Intima­tion: As when a Father granteth to one of his Children such a portion of Land, and withall [...]ntimateth, that it is his will and pleasure, that he take on him the burden of so much d [...]t; though the Son should not be required to express his consent to the Con­dition of the Debt; yet his accepting of the benefite thus burthened, obligeth him to take on the Debt: So here, because Mr. Blair did disowne the Conditions, though his formal Consent was not required, he was denuded of the Benefite; and there­fore the rest took the Benefite with its burden; and could not, while accepting the favour, account themselves free of the Conditions, or not-obliged to performe them, seing in accepting the one, they accepted the other, both making up one complex business. Wherefore, though this Indulgence be given by Magistrates, who love to act imperiously, and by way of Edict; yet it being granted as a favour, the accepting of it, both as to the thing it self, and as to the sense and meaning of the Granters, includeth a virtual engagement to the Observation of the Rules and Con­ditions annexed.

[Page 126] Obj. 15. Although the Magistrate had expresly prefaced his Supremacy unto the grant of this licence; yet a Protestation on the accepters part against the same, would sufficiently have purged their use-making of the favour, of all sinful concurrence. Answ. (1.) Though this were granted (which yet cannot be) yet it cannot avail the accepters, who made no Protestation. (2.) Though no mention was made of the Supremacie; yet the accepting was so foule, upon many other accounts, that no Protestation against the Supremacie, if mentioned, could have salved the matter, as we saw above; and their after acceptance would but contradict their Protestation.

Obj. 16. Though the Magistrat hath carried his Supremacy above the highest, yet he never judged the power of Order worth the assuming; so that the allowing to preach mentioned in the Act, joined to permitting, and directed to none but to Mi­nisters, antecedently ordained, cannot be a just ground of scruple. If the Magi­strat had simply appointed every other Minister to his own Church, allowing him there to preach, to have offended at the word allowing, would have been an excessive niceness. Ans. Though the Magistrat never judged the power of Order (strictly so called) worth the assuming; yet it may be thought, that he judged that power worth the assuming, whereby the Authority of the Ministrie, and the Exercise thereof, should be looked upon as flowing, and as derived from him: And Mini­sters were, I think, called to be careful and circumspect, lest by doing and ac­cepting of any thing, they might interpretatively and virtually acknowledge and consent to this Power. (2.) Though this allowance was granted to such, as had been ordained Ministers before, yet the same, flowing from the Supremacy, and being more than a meer permission, could not but import their deriving of a power to exercise the function, in such a place, from him; and so prove a most just and weigh­ty ground of scruple. (3.) Nor will the supposition of his sending every Minister to his Church, wholly take away the scruple; for his simple annulling of the prior Act at Glasgow, would have been sufficient for that end; but when, instead of this, he not only did say, he permitted them to preach againe to their former flocks; but also that he allowed them, and that after he had invaded the Throne of Christ, and assumed to himself the Fountaine of all Church power; so that both as to the exercise of the Ministrie, and as to the exercise of it in such a place, they should depend on him, I think there should have some ground of scruple remained: For might it not be thought, that by their ready acceptance, without a previous, full, faithful, plaine and publick Declaration and Protestation, they had now derived their power from another Head, than formerly, and stood now upon some other new ground? And in this case, I should think, that offending at the word, allowing, were the kindly work of a tender Conscience, zealous for the Glory and Interests of Christ, and careful of the credite of the Ministrie; and no excessive niceness.

Obj. 17. The Ministers Indulged do above all things owne their Masters Ordi­nation, as the only proper foundation, whereupon the exercise of their Ministrie, by the permission of this licence, doth subsist. All the regarde they have to the Ma­gistrats allowance, is, that they look upon it, as the removal, de facto, of his unjust restraints, hitherto Invincible. And neither by forme of acceptance, nor by engagement, do they in any sort acknowledge any of the Magistrats wrongs; but are ready by a plaine declaration to purge themselves, even of the suspicion of a simple [Page 127] acquiescence. Ans. (1.) I shall willingly yeeld, that the Persons concerned do owne their Ordination; yet we must distinguish the Intention of the work, and the In­tention of the worker; though they may have no Intention of invalidating their prior Ordination; yet their accepting of the Indulgence may virtually include this; and so their Practice may contradict their Principles. (2.) Their Masters Mission is onely their proper, sure and solide Foundation, whereupon the exercise of their Ministrie should subsist; but is it not manifest, that the accepting of the Indulgence doth vir­tually say, that as to the Ministrie they depend upon the allowance of Men; yea of those, who assume to themselves an Headshipe over the Church, and a Fountaine-power, from which this Exercise must natively flow, and be derived. (3.) These restraints of preaching the Gospel were not invincible Physically, nor Moraly: Nei­ther were any such restraints, as such, formally removed, nor a pure permission grant­ed. But the Indulgence contained an Authoritative Enjoining and Warranding, as al­so a Qualifying, Restricting, and Regulating the exercise of the Ministrie; and all this in prosecution and confirmation of an Usurped Supremacie; and this was a far other thing, than a removal de facto of a former restraint. Now their Sub­jection unto this Incroachment, testified by their accepting of the Indulgence, so conveyed, is much more, than the acceptance of the benefite of a bare Per­mission: And all know, that they might have exercised their Ministerie, without this Indulgence, to the Glory of God, the Edification of the Body, the Confirma­tion of the Principles of Truth, concerning the Ministrie, the Defeating of the corrupt Erastian Designes of the injuriously incroaching Magistrates, and to the of­fence and scandal of no Person. (4.) Though they do not expresly and in terminis acknowledge any of these Wrongs; yet, by their accepting of the Indulgence, so conveyed, as is said, they may virtually and upon the matter acknowledge this: and their plaine Declaration to purge themselves, will be but a contradiction to, and a condemnation of their own deed, because the Imposer can only put a sense and gloss upon his own Injunctions; and the granter of a warrand and fa­vour, on the same; and in his sense it is, at least virtually, accepted by all, who ac­cept of it, if plaine dealing be owned; and I suppose Ministers, while dealing with the Council, should not walk upon fallacies, or mental reserves, or on what is equivalent.

Obj. 18. The accepting of the Indulgence did Import no subjecting of the Ministrie to mens arbitrary Disposal, but only a subjecting of the persons, or rather an acknow­ledgment, that the persons are already in subjection, which by our long silence & suf­ferings is too apparent: But if we have hitherto thus contentedly acknowledged this, to the restraint of our Ministrie, shall we now be so unhappy, as to wrangle about it, in prejudice of a relaxation? Ans. (1.) The act of Indulgence did not only mention Ministers repairing to such or such places; but spoke likewise of the exercise of their Ministrie, which it allowed them, and for which prescribed se­veral Rules and Injunctions, limiting and regulating them, in the same; & though this did comprehend a subjection of their persons also; yet it is by vertue of a prior Subjection of their Ministrie, as being made liable to punishment for not-observing the Rules and Injunctions prescribed. (2.) These sufferings indeed declared a subje­ction of their persons; but their silence shall be found (I feare) to have done more; And their former sin can be no ground to justifie their prese [...]t practice, in accepting [Page 128] of this Indulgence, which instead of being a relaxation, is a further wreething of the yoke about our necks.

A Vindication of such, as scruple to hear and owne the Indulged.

Considering what is said above, both in the Relation, and in the Reasons a­gainst the accepting of the Indulgence, whereby the manifold iniquity thereof is manifested, it might seem wholly unnecessary and superfluous to vindicat such, as, beginning to discover the evil thereof, do scruple to look upon those, who are set over them by the Council, as their Ministers, set over them by the Holy Ghost; seing it may rather seem strange, that any, who adhere to our former Principles, are of another judgement; and that Conscientious Persons did not from the beginn­ing withdraw from them Yet for satisfaction to all (so far as is possible) the grounds of our Vindication of such shall be proposed, in a few questions.

Only it would be premitted, in what sense we take the question: And therefore. (1.) I do not make this the question. Whether or not these Indulged Ministers, are true Ministers of the Gospel, or ought, in any case, to be acknowledged, & look­ed upon as such; for in order to our Vindication of such, who withdraw from them, it is not necessary to assert this; for in order to the Vindication of such, as withdraw from the Prelates Curates, as we do not, so we use not to say, That they are not Ministers, knowing that by saying this, we are engaged consequently to say, that all the Children, whom they have baptized, are yet unbaptized; and that all their Ministerial Acts are null. Nor (2.) Shall I make this the question: Is it not simply unlawful to hear them? For in order to Vindicat the withdrawers from the Curates, we need not assert this, knowing that much more is required to make an action sim­ply sinful, than to make it inexpedient, or unlawful; and if it were granted, that the hearing or owning of the Indulged, as matters now stand, were unlawful, or inexpedient, the With-drawers would be sufficiently vindicated. Nor (3.) Do I propose this question, whether or not, they may lawfully be heard, at any time, or in any circumstances; as for example, if there were no other to be heard, in all Scotland? For I judge, if no other were to be heard in all Scotland, except the Pre­lates Curats, many would not scruple to hear such of them, as were not openly fla­gicious and profane, or notoriously ignorant; who, as matters now stand, do, and that with Approbation. (4.) I do not think, that such, as are against this withdrawing, will say, that it is necessary, that these Indulged be heard and coun­tenanced, at all times and occasions; and that never, or in no case, such, as are under them, may go and hear others; seing this was alwayes allowed and permitted, in our best times.

But I shall simply propose the Question thus. Whether may not people lawfully, as the case now standeth, withdraw from those Indulged, whom the Council hath set over them by the Indulgence; or are they to owne them, and submit unto them, as over them in the Lord, and as set over them, to be their Pastors and Overseers, by the Holy Ghost; even when there are others, against whom such Exceptions cannot be made, as against them, and whom the Lord doth own and countenance in a remarkable and wonderful manner, to be heard? Or, whether are such to be condemned, or approven and vindicated, who look upon themselves, as called of [Page 129] God to bear witness against all the sinful Usurpations, manifest in the Indulgence; and the many evils, in the accepting of it, and in the now acting by vertue thereof, by withdrawing from such, that they may hear and countenance others, who preach upon Christs Call, and not according to Mans Order, but contrary thereto?

This being the Question, one might think it strange, that there should be any necessity to Vindicate such, as now withdraw, considering what is said above: Yet in Order hereunto, I shall but, in a few words, propose these following Questions, to the Consideration of any, who are of another judgment, in this matter, As.

1. Seing by what is said under our First Head of Arguments, it is manifest, that the Indulged, in and by the accepting of the Indulgence, have wronged our Lord Jesus Christ, who is only Head of the Church, and King in Zion; and that in Nine several Particulars: (every one of which might be made use of, as a several Argument, to our present purpose.) How can any blame such, as, out of ten­derness to the Royal Prerogatives of Jesus Christ, scruple to owne, and hear them, as formerly?

2. Seing by the accepting of this Indulgence, the Indulged have receded from our Presbyterian Principles, and wronged the Interest and Privileges of the Church, which Christ, her only King, hath granted to her; and that in five several Particu­lars, (out of which particular Arguments might be framed severally) as is clear by what is said under our 2 Head of Arguments. How unreasonable is it to condemne such, as, out of a tender care to adhere to their Presbyterian Principles, dat not owne and hear such, as formerly?

3. Seing in Ten Particulars, mentioned under our 3. Head of Arguments, it is made manifest, that the Indulged, by accepting of the Indulgence, have, upon the matter, homologated the wicked Supreamacy, in Church-affairs, whereby our Lord is virtually dethroned, and His Church utterly robbed of her Spiritual Po­wer and Privileges: How can we condemne such, who, in detestation of that Su­preamacy, and Usurped Power, withdraw from them?

4. Seing by our Principles, the Free Election and Call of the People, giveth ground to the relation, that a Pastor hath to a Flock, as his Charge, and is the way, how the Holy Ghost setteth men over Flocks, in ordinary: How can these be obliged to owne such for their Pastors, whom they never called, nor had freedom freely to Elect and Call? And this is the case of not a few, yea in reality the case of all, who had others, than such, as had been their Pastors before, set over them; for as for that image of a call, we have said enough above, and particularly, under our 4. Head of Arguments, to shew that it was of no force, and imported rather a prostituting of that Ordinance and Institution, to be subservient to the cor­rupt Designes of men, than savoured of true tenderness unto the Ordinance of Christ; which should have led the way, in an orderly settlement, and not have been trailed at the heels of the Councels Order, with which in all Common Sense, it was incompatible, except by way of acknowledging and homologating the Councils Usurpation.

5. Seing as is clear from the Seven Particulars, mentioned under our 5. Head of Arguments, the Indulged, in their accepting of the Indulgence, have fortified and established Erastianisme, and Erastian Tenets; how shall we condemne such, [Page 130] as withdraw from them, and rather hear and owne such, as adhere by their practice to former Principles?

6. When we consider the Twelve Particulars, mentioned under our 6. Head of Arguments, (several of which might be here made use of, as Distinct Arguments, if we designed not brevity) whereby it was made manifest, how the Indulged, in accepting of the Indulgence, have acted to the great prejudice of the Church; how can we imagine, that such are to be condemned, who withdraw from them, and coun­tenance such, as are seeking and promoving its good, in the way, countenanced and approven of God?

7. If we impartially consider the Twelve Particulars, mentioned under our 7. Head of Arguments, (several of which also might be adduced here, as distinct Arguments) whereby it appeared, how these Indulged, in their accepting of the Indulgence, have wronged our Cause, and departed from the grounds, upon which our Church is suffering; we will see cause of approving such, as withdraw from them, as matters now stand.

8. Seing by what is said, it is manifest, that the Entrie of the Indulged unto their present Places, and Stations, is not consonant, but repugnant to our Former Do­ctrine, Principles and Practices, owned since the Reformation, and confirmed by our Oathes, Vowes, Covenants and Solemne Engagments; besides the Testimonies given thereunto by the Sufferings of our Predecessours, and by our own Sufferings; can we blame and condemne such, who dar not owne them, as lawfully entered into these places?

9. Seing the Indulged have, by the accepting of the Indulgence, and acting by vertue thereof, in so far, departed from Former Principles and Practices; and a difference ought to be put betwixt them, and other Ministers, who, through grace, have hithertill been preserved from stepping aside, whether to Prelacy, or to Era­stianisme, in their Practices; who can condemne such, as withdraw from the one, and adhere to the other?

10. Is there not a great difference betwixt the ground, whereupon the Indulged do presently exercise their Ministerie; and the ground whereupon formerly, before they embraced the Indulgence, they did, and others to this day do, exercise it? Or shall we say, that it is all one, whether Ministers have the Ministerial Potestative Mission unto such or such places, over which they are set, from Presbyteries, authorized thereunto by Christ, which sometimes they had; or have it from the Ma­gistrat, no wayes thereunto authorized by Christ; as now they have it only? And if there be a difference, how can any condemne those, who cannot now owne them, as they did formerly?

11. Seing the difference betwixt these two wayes mentioned, is great, and seing they cannot be compounded in one, nor lawfully made subordinat, the one to the other; is it not undeniable, that these Indulged, betaking themselves now to the Magistrat's Mission, as they have done, have upon the matter, renounced their former Mission, which they had from Presbyteries, acting Ministerially un­der Christ? And if so, can people be condemned, who do not, nor cannot, owne, and countenance them, as formerly they did?

12. It being apparent from what is said above, on several occasions, that, as the Indulged did deliberatly shun to say, that they had their Ministrie onely of Christ, [Page 131] so they do now Act and Exerce the same, as receiving it not alone from Christ, by the Ministerial Conveyance of the Power and Authority to exerce it, which Christ hath ordained; but either as receiving it from the Magistrat alone; (and if so, they cannot be looked upon as Christ's Servants, but as the Magistrat's Servants;) or from Christ and the Magistrat, as Collateral Heads and Fountains of Church-power; (but thus to speak were blasphemie;) or from the Magistrate, as directly subor­dinat to Christ; (which is the ground of all Arminian-Erastianisme) How can Men be accounted transgressours, who in Conscience cannot owne them, as formerly they did, when they acted and exercised their Ministrie as receiving it alone from Christ, by the Ministerial conveyance of the Power & Authority thereto, through the hands of his Servants thereunto appointed?

13. Is there no difference to be put betwixt such, as exercise the Ministrie in sub­ordination unto, and in a dependance upon the Council, as being their Curats, & as accountable to them; and others, who, as they are subordinat unto, so they owne their dependance onely upon Christ, in the way He hath prescribed, receiving In­structions only from Him, in His appointed way, to regulate them, in the Exercise of their Ministrie, and hold themselves accountable only to Him, in that way? And seing it is manifest, that there is a very great difference; Who can condemne such as withdraw from the Indulged, who have their Instructions, to regulate them in the Exercise of the Ministrie, from the Council, (as was manifested above,) as accoun­table only to them, and to such, as they are directly subordinat unto; that is, the King; and not from Christ Jesus, as onely Head of the Kirk?

14. Seing by receiving the Indulgence, with their Instructions &c. the Indulged do, upon the matter, recognosce a Supream Head-Power over the Church, and Church-affairs, in the Magistrates, to the denying of Christ's sole Headshipe, and dethroning of Him (as hath been, on several occasions, cleared above;) how can such be condemned, who scruple to owne them, in that case, or to countenance them, while they act so?

15. Seing the Indulged, being set over the people, specially designed and ap­pointed them by the Council's order, and not in the way appointed by Christ, can not be said to be set over these people, as their Overseers, by the Holy Ghost; (as hath been evidenced above;) how can such be blamed, who cannot owne them, as their Overseers, and as made Overseers to them by the Holy Ghost?

16. Seing we have made it manifest above, that the entrie of the Indulged hath a manifold relation unto the Usurped Supremacie, in Church-affaires; and that, as it floweth therefrom, is secured thereby, and dependeth in its legal being therup­on, as its Charter; so it contributeth to the strengthening, securing and encourag­ing of the Usurpation and seing this Supremacy and Sacrilegious Usurpation of the Prerogatives Royal of our Lord Jesus, and Subversion of the Rights and Privi­leges of the Church, is the Top-point of all our Defection, and the Center, into which all the Lines of our Apostasie concurre and agree; can any, who would not joyne in this defection, and have a proportionable part of the guilt, charged upon them, give countenance and approbation unto those Indulged, whose entrie is so neer a kin unto that Supremacy? Or can any, who desire to be free of all compliance with this abominable evil, carry towards those, who are now set over them by vertue of the Supremacie, as formerly?

[Page 132]17. The Supremacy now regnant, and the grand National sin, being such an evil, as all, that would be keeped free of the plagues, that the same will bring upon the Land, must, in their places and stations, bear witness against the same: And seing Common people have no other way Patent or Practicable for them, to give this plaine and honest Testimony against this hainous Usurpation, in any pub­lick manner, but by withdrawing from such, as are set over them by vertue of this Usurped Power; can those be condemned, who, out of Conscience of their duty, zeal to Christ's Prerogatives, Care to keep their garments unspotted with publick regnant evils; and out of a desire to minde their duty, in this day of so ge­neral a Defection, do withdraw from the Indulged, in order to the giving of this publick Testimonie, in their Place and Station?

18. Seing by the Particulars, mentioned under our 8. Head of Argu. it is manifest, that the accepters of this Indulgence have thereby contributed to the strengthening of the hands of Prelates and Prelacie, which all are obliged by their Covenants, to endeavour, in their Places and Stations, to exstirpat; how can such be condemned, who withdraw from them, while standing thus in a contributing posture?

19. As upon the one hand, the disowning of the Curats is a disowning of the Prelates and their Power; and a countenancing of them by hearing them, and sub­mitting to their Ministrie is accounted by all (as indeed it is) a countenancing of Prelacy; is not also, upon the other hand, an owning of the Indulged, and a Submitting to them and their Ministrie, a submitting to the Supremacy; seing (as is above cleared and confirmed) the Curats (at least such as, were ordained Mini­sters before the re-establishment of Prelacy, and have submitted thereto) do no more depend upon Prelacy, as to the present exercise of their Ministrie, than the Indulged do depend upon the Supremacy, or on the Rulers, acting by vertue of the Supremacy?

20. Seing the Act of Glasgow, banishing Ministers from their own Charges, can­not dissolve the relation, that was betwixt the Ministers, and their Flocks; how can such, as stand still related unto their former Pastors, (which is the case of some) accept of others, set over them by the Council, & not withall homologat the Coun­cils deed, and declare the former relation utterly dissolved?

21. Seing the Indulged, in accepting of the Indulgence, have in several Particu­lars violated our Covenant-Obligations (as was shown in the 9 Head of Argu:) Can any be blamed for with drawing from those, who have so entered, in this day, when God is about to plead with the Land, for a broken Covenant?

22. If all be obliged to resist & withstand Erastianisme, by the Solemne Engagment to duties; what less can be expected of Common People, in their privat Stations, in order to an answerable walking unto this Engagment, than a with-drawing from such, as are set over them by a Power, purely Erastian? And can such be thought to minde their Engagment in this particular, who willingly comply with the Era­stian Command and Injunction, and accept of such, as are set over them by an Erasti­an-Order?

23. Seing the Indulged, in accepting of the Indulgence, have receded from our Principles, and wronged our Cause as is undeniable by the Twelve Particulars, mentioned under our 7. Head. of Arg.) can they be justly condemned, who now with­draw from them?

[Page 133]24. Seing by accepting of the Indulgence, the Indulged have highly prejudged the good of our Church (as is manifest from the Twelve Particulars, mentioned under our 6. Head of Arg.) How can such be condemned, who refuse to countenance them, while thus stated in and by the Indulgence?

25. Seing, as was cleared above, the Indulgence, was devised of purpose, to an­nul all Field-and House-meetings; and seing it cannot be denied, that these Field-and House-meetings, being so eminently countenanced of the Lord, are also to be countenanced of Men; can any say, that they, over whom the Indulged are set by the Council, are not obliged to withdraw from them; and not withall say, that they are not obliged to waite upon these blessed Meetings, though thereby the Minister and o­ther people, should be much discouraged? And would not this be a manifest homolo­gating and concurring with the Council, in carrying-on of this wicked Designe? And how can such be condemned, who withdraw from them, who have, in accepting of the Indulgence, acted so prejudicially unto these blessed Meetings, as is evidenced in our II. Head of Arguments?

26. Seing it is undeniable, and daily experience doth confirme it, that an admirably rich blessing attendeth the laboures of such, as preach contrary to Mans Law, upon Christs sole Warrant and Allowance; what cruelty to Souls were it to say, that they, who have none to preach to them, but such as the Council (none of the best discerners of Ministerial Gifts, nor endued with Power from Christ for that end, to try the Qualifications of Ministers) hath set over them, must not withdraw from these, to seek their food, where God is giving it largly, and is thereby encouraging and inviting all to come? We would, doubtless, think this hard dealing, were we, as to our temporal food, to be kept at a set sober diet, wherein we found little nourishment, and restrained from going to fattening and strengthening feasts. If it be said, That it is the peoples fault, that they grow not more under the preaching of such, as are set over them. I need not contradict it, for strengthening of my Argument; but only say, if the blessing be withheld at home, though justly, because of sin; let the people go where they may finde the blessing, of Gods free grace, notwithstanding of their Provocations, as others have found it: Let them go, I say, where free grace may prevent them. Nay, I think the Indulged themselves, upon this very account, if they desire (as I would hope they do) the Spiritual Edification of the people, should be [...]eech and obtest all their People, to go unto these richly blessed Conventiclers; and desire these Con­venticles to come and choise the most convenient place, in all their bounds, for a Field-meeting, that their people might partake of the good thereof; and this Course (if it had been taken) would have, I think, endeared them more unto all, that feared God; and had (no doubt) prevented much of this animosity that is, as I appre­hend, betwixt them, and the Field-Preachers; for it would have defeat the De­signe of the Council, and have contributed to the carrying on of the Work of the Lord.

27. Seing all Persons stand obliged by their Covenants, to maintaine the Prero­gatives of Christs Crown, the Rights of the Church, and Presbyterial Government; how can they, who would make conscience of the saids Covenants, owne such, as are set over them, not according to the Principles of Presbyterian Government, nor in compliance with the Prerogatives of Christ, nor so as the Rights of the Church are so much as pretended to be observed, but in a way rather repugnant unto all these; as hath been manifested above?

[Page 134]28. Seing many of these Indulged have a relation to their own Flocks, from which they were thrust by violence; and it will not be said, that what the Rulers did, in that matter, did utterly annul their relation; How can they be related as Pastors to these Congregations, over which they are set by the Council? We do not acknowledge or justifie Pluralities. And if they have not the relation of Pastors unto these new Char­ges, people are not bound to carry, as their flock; and so may lawfully withdraw, and hear others, as well as them.

29. Seing It is manifest from what is said, that the Indulged, by accepting of the Indulgence, have, upon the matter, condemned all the wrestlings of the Church of Scotland, from the very beginning of our Reformation, against the Erastian Usur­pations and Encroachments of King and Court, in the Dayes of King Iames, who yet, in the height of his Usurpations, and arrogate Supremacy, never did what the Council did, in the Matter of the Indulgence; He never took upon him, to plant and transplant Ministers by himself, or by his Council immediatly, and onely: yea and have condemned all their sufferings to bondes, banishment & bloud, for the Privileges of the Church, and the Crown-Rights of Christ, the only King in Zion; how can people, be pressed or urged, to look on such, as their lawfully settled Ministers, and be con­demned for withdrawing? Must not the compliers with them in this, be guilty of the same sin of spitting in the faces of all our ancient witnesses; and saying, their Sufferings were for triffles? Do not they, who do more, than ever these were tempted to do, and that without the least hesitancy, say, that these suffered as fools?

30. Seing the entry of the Indulged by the Councils Order is such, as hath not a Parallel, in all the Christian world, for any thing I know; for, no where shall we finde Ministers planted in Particular Charges, and transplanted from one to a­nother, immediatly by the Magistrate: Yea I doubt, if Ministers were thus plac­ed, in the Palatinate, (now laid waste and desolat, in the righteous judgment of God,) where the hemlock of Erastianisme first grew up; can any blame the re­formed Professours of the Church of Scotland, where that weed ha [...]h been cast over the hedge, with a solemne Vow and Covenant, never to owne it againe, in resent­ing this manner of Entry, by withdrawing from those, that are set over them, in such a singular and shameful manner?

31. Do we not make use of this Argument against the Prelates, that they are chosen, named and deputed solely by the King, notwithstanding of that mock-election, made by the Chapter of the See, which must fall upon the person, nomi­nated by the King, or be null? But where is the strength of it now, when we ad­mit of lesser Bishops, immediatly nominated, deputed, and impowered by the Council, notwithstanding of that mock-call by the people, and Election of the same singular person, which was said somewhere to be had?

32. How can any blame such, as withdraw from those, who, by entering in at the door of the Indulgence, have made way for the wreathing of an yoke upon the necks of the Ministrie of Scotland, in all time coming, to the utter subversion of all Ministerial liberty, and of the Freedom and Privilege of the Church: For, if hereafter no man shall be setled in a Church but by the King and his Council imme­diatly, and every Minister shall be wholly at the disposal of the King and Coun­cil, to be planted, or transplanted, as they please, where were we? And where [Page 135] should our Church-liberties then be? And whom had we to thank for breaking the ice?

33. If the Parliament, that carried on the Engagment Anno 1648. had thrust out a number of the Ministers, and thereafter their Committee had planted them elsewhere, up and down the Land, as they pleased; I would ask such as were Mi­nisters, in those dayes, and were against the Engagment, or were Members of the Assembly 1649. how such Ministers, as willingly would have obeyed the Orders of the Committee of Estates, and gone thither, where they were Ordered to re­maine, had been looked upon, when the Engagment to duties was drawn up? And whether or not lesser faults in Ministers, were not punished with simple Deposition? If then such a fault, as this, had been so abominable then, shall it be so lovely now, that none may discountenance or withdraw from such persons, as have carried so, at this time?

34. Is it not strange, that people shall not have liberty to withdraw from those, who by their way of entry, and carriage before the Council, have given such open and manifest Scandal unto the Church of God, and unto Strangers, unto Foes and unto Friends, at home and abroad, to the Rulers, to the Prelates and their Curat's, to Good and Bad; yea and unto all the Churches of Christ; and have laid such a stumbling block before all the Posteritie; as is manifested above, in the 12. Head of Argum.?

35. When poor people, who have been hitherto in the dark, as to the evils of this Indulgence, both as to its Ground, Rise, Conveyance, Tendency, and de­signed End, beginne now to get their eyes opened, and to see its connexion with, dependance upon, and confirmation of the fearful Usurpation of the Supremacy [...] what a griefe of heart is it to hear persons pleading against their withdrawing from such, when they see where they are, and how they cannot countenance such, and be free of all accession to the sinful strengthening and confirming of the Encroach­ments already made, and to the encouraging unto a further progress unto the same evil?

36. When there is such a combination for upholding of this evil of the Indulgence, and several (as is reported) banding or covenanting together, to keep the Indul­gence, in credite, or at least, not so speak against it; how can such, as are convin­ced of the dreadful evil thereof, not think themselves called of God, to do their best against it? And how can any be urged to hear and countenance them, who are In­dulged, when the controversie is thus stated and prosecuted, without being also urged to approve of the Indulgence, contrare to their light:

37. Seing the Indulged, by their accepting of this Indulgence, did fall from their former zeal and steadfastness, in choosing suffering rather than sin, and have, upon the matter, condemned what formerly they approved of, and have approved that, which formerly they condemned, as we saw above, in the Six Particulars, mention­ed and explained in our 10. Head of Argum. How can those be now condemned, who cannot owne them, as they did formerly?

38. Do we not say, that Countenancing and hearing of the Curats is an Homolo­gating and a virtual approving of their sinful way of Entry? And shall not now, the Countenancing and hearing of the Indulged, be an Homologating and a virtual ap­proving of their sinful way of En [...]y? How then can such be condemned, who, [Page 136] out of a desire to be kept free of this sin, dar not countenance or hear them, as formerly?

39. I would gladly know one Argument, that can be made use of to condemne now, as matters stand, withdrawing from and refusing to hear the Indulged, that either hath not been; or may not yet be, with equal force, made use of, to prove it unlawful to withdraw from, & to refuse to hear the Established Curats? And seing now none dar condemne such, as withdraw from the Curats; why shall these be con­demned, who withdraw from the Indulged?

40. When the question is now so stated, by and among the people, as that coun­tenancing and hearing of the Indulged, is looked upon, as an approving of the In­dulgence it self, the people not knowing the use and practice of Metaphysical distin­ctions; how can such be urged to hear and countenance them, who, by so doing, must look upon themselves, as approving what otherwise they condemne, contrare to Rom. 14:22, 23?

Many moe Arguments, may be gathered out of the several Particulars, we men­tioned above, under the several Heads of Arguments; but we shall satisfie our selves with these, at present, leaving the Understanding Reader to make his owne use of the rest, that are not made use of here.

For further satisfaction, in this matter, to such, as would have Formal Argu­ments, I shall only say, That by what Arguments, Principally, we vindicat the People, their withdrawing from the Curates, by the same, mutatis mutandis, by chang­ing or adding such words, as must be changed or added, we shall be able to vindi­cate the people their withdrawing from the Indulged. I saw lately a Vindication of the persecuted Ministers and Professours in Scotland, written by a faithful Minister of Christ, now in Glory; and found that the Chiefe of these Arguments, whereof he made use, to vindicate the people their withdrawing from the Curats, were appli­cable to the question now under debate, concerning the hearing or withdrawing from the Indulged, as I shall make appear by these Instances.

His first Argument Pag. 75. was this. They, who have no just Authority, nor Right to officiat fixedly, in this Church, as the proper Pastors of it, ought not to be received, but withdrawn from. But the Prelates and their adherents the Cu­rats (adde, for our case, the Indulged) have no just Authority or Right to officiat in this Church, as her proper Pastours. Therefore they ought not to be received, but withdrawn from. All the debate is about the Minor, which he thus maketh good. They, who have entered into, and do officiat fixedly in this Church without her Authority and Consent, have no just Authority or Right so to do. But the Prelats and their Curats (adde, the Indulged) have entered into this Church, and do Offici­at therein, without her Authority and Consent. Therefore they have no just Au­thority. The first Proposition (saith he, and we with him) is clear, and we suppose, will not be gainesaid by our Antagonists; seing the power of Mission, of Calling & of Sending of ordinarie fixed Pastours, is only in the Church, and not in any other, as all Divines do assert. The Second is evident from matters of fact; for there was no Church-Judicatory called, or convocated, for bringing of Prelats in to the Church; (adde, nor for setling of the Indulged over their respective charges) all was done imme­diatly by the King and Acts of Parliament (adde, Acts of the Coun [...]il) without the Church. A practice wanting a precedent in this, and (for any thing we know) in all other Churches.

[Page 157]He proposeth an Objection in behalf of the Curats Pag. 78. which I know the In­dulged will use for themselves, to wit. They have entered by the Church. And his answer will serve us, which is this. This we deny, the contrare is clear, from confiant Practice; for the Curats (adde, the Indulged) came in upon Congregations, on­ly by the Bishop and Patron (adde in our case, only by t [...]e Council and Patron) who are not the Church, nor have any power from her, for what they do, in this: All their right and power is founded upon, and derived from the Supremacy, and Acts of Parliament, and not from the Church; in which the Bishop (adde the Council) acts as the Kings Delegat and Substitute, only impowered there [...]o by his Law (adde Letter) So that the Curats (adde, the Indulged) having and deriving all their power from the Prelates (adde, the Council) cannot have the same from the Church; none gives what he hath not. But. 2. The Prelats (adde, the Council) not being the lawful Governing Church, any, that enter Congregations by them, cannot be said to enter by the Church. Read the rest there.

His second Argument is proposed Pag. 79.80. thus. Those that receive and derive their Church power from, and are subordinat, in its exercise▪ to another Head, then Christ Jesus, should not be received and subjected to, as the Ministers of Christ, in his Church. But the Prelates and their Curats (adde, the Indulged) do receive and derive their Church Power from, and are subordinat, in its exercise, to another Head, than Christ Jesus. The [...]efore they ought not to be received &c. The first Proposition will not be denied: He proveth the second thus. Those Officers in the Church, professing themselves such, that derive their Church-power from, and are subordinate, in its exercise, to a Power truely Architectonick and Supream in the Church, beside Christ, do derive their Power from, and are subordinat, in its exercise, to another Head, than Christ Jesus. But so it is, that Prelats and their Curats (adde, the Indulged) do derive their Church-Power from, and are subor­dinat, in its exercise, to a Power truely Architectonick and Supreme in the Church, beside Christ. Therefore &c. The Major is evident; for whoever hath a Supream Architectonick Power in and over the Church, must be an Head to the same, and the Fountaine of all Church-power. The Minor is clear from the Act of Restitution (adde, the Act Explicatory of the Supremacy.)

His third Arg. Pag. 8. is long, I shall cut it short thus, that it may serve our case. If Churches required by Law (or, Act of Council) to submit to Prelates, and to their Curats (or, to the Indulged) thus thrust in upon them, had their own P [...]stors set over them, conforme to Gods Word; then it is no sinful Separation, for Churches, in adhering to their Ministers, not to receive, or submit to the Prelats and their Curats (or, to the Indulged.) But the former is true. Therefore &c. The truth of the Major is founded on this, That the obligation betwixt Pastor & People standeth, notwithstanding of the Magistrat's Act. And the Minor is true, (I suppose) as to some Churches, over which the Indulged were placed by the Council.

His fourth Argument Pag. 90. will serve us; It is thus. The way of the Curats (In­dulged) entering into Congregations, puts a bar on our subjection to them, that we dar not owne them, for the lawful Pastors of the Church; for as their entry is without the Church, and the way that Christ hath setled in his House for that end; so they have come in on Congregations, in wayes, which we judge corrupt, and without all warrant from the Word of God, & the practice of the Primitive times. In [Page 158] search of Scripture and pure Antiquity, we finde, that Ordination (adde, and Po­testative Mission) by Ministers, the Election and Call of the people, was the way, by which Ministers entered into Congregations, and not the Institution and Colla­tion of the Bishop (adde, nor the Warrant and Allowance of the Magistrat) nor the Pre­sentation of Patrons. He addeth. 1. This way of their entry by the Bishops Insti­tution and Collation (adde, the Councels Warrant and Order) doth suppone that their Ordination (adde, Potestative Mission) doth not sufficiently impower them to the ex­ercise of the Ministrie, (adde, in that Particular Charge) without a further licence; which is contrare to the end of Ordination, and the Nature of the Ministerial Po­wer, that by vertue of its ends, and the command of Christ, doth binde the Per­son, invested therewith, to its Exercise &c. 2. The Patrons Presentation, as it takes away the Peoples right of Election, so it suppones Ordination to give no right to the maintainance, or at least suspends it &c.

His Fift Arg. is Pag. 91. thus framed, and may serve us, as to some. Many Congre­gations, into which the Curates (adde, the Indulged) are entred, are under a stand­ing Obligation to their former Pastours; not only on the account of the Pastoral Relation betwixt them, but for the Engagements they came under to such, in their call and reception of them; which is not dissolved by any thing, we have yet seen; Sure we are, the Magistrate cannot do it, &c. (I hope, I need nor, in reference to the Indulged, mention what followeth, in answering of the Objection, taken from Salomons removing of Abiathar.

His Sixt Arg. Pag. 94. is this. If Congregations have a just Right and Power of E­lecting and Calling of their Ministers; than those, that come in upon them without this, are not to be esteemed their Pastors, nor to be subjected to, as such, by Congre­gations, but to be withdrawn from. But here it is so, &c.

His Seventh Arg. Pag. 95. is this; Hearing of, submitting to and receiving of Ordinances from the Curats alone (adde, the Indulged) and not from others, is en­joined by Law, and required, as the signe of our compliance with and subjecting to the Present Lawes, bringing in and establishing of Prelacy (adde, Erastianisme and the Supremacie) and other Corruptions, which we dar not owne. Hearing and receiv­ing Ordinances from such, hath a twofold bar put upon it to us; an unqualified In­strument or Object; and the respect that by the Law it is made to have to the corrup­tions obtruded upon this Church, as the signe of our compliance with and subje­ction to these. The Command of God about hearing doth constitute the Object and Instrument (what and whom) we should hear: As we are not to hear all Doctrines, but these that are sound, so we are not to hear and receive all, that pretend to come in Christs Name, but those of whose Mission we have some rational evidence, at least, against which we have no just exceptions. This, as to to the Curats, (adde, the Indulged) is made out by the former Arguments. But beside this. the signe ap­pointed and determined by Law, and required of all in this Church, is, that they not only withdraw from, and do not hear the Ejected and Non-conforme Ministers; but that they hear and submit to Ministers, that comply with and enter into this Church, by Prelates (adde, or by the Council) which to us maketh [...]earing, and re­ceiving of Ordinances from them, a practical approbation of, and compliance with Prelacy (adde, Erastianisme and the Supremacy) and other corruptions contained in the Law, for such is the connexion betwixt the signe and the thing signified, that [Page 159] he that yeelds to give the signe, doth, in all rational construction, approve the thing signified.

These are his Principal Arguments, used in defence of such, as cannot, go to hear and subject to the Curats; and whether they will not as forcibly conclude against hearing of and subjecting to the Indulged, the Reader is free to judge.

Objections Answered.

If any should Object, whether in behalfe of the Curats, or in behalf of the Indulged. That they are Ministers of the Gospel, and therefore are to be heard, and Ordi­nances should be received from them; for the Ministerial power giveth to the Per­sons, invested therewith, not only a right to preach the word, and dispense Ordi­nances, and maketh their Acts valide; but it bindes them to the doing of those, and all others to submit to them, in the exercise of their Power; as is apparent in all relations, and the mutual duties, that the Persons under them owe to one another; So that if Ministers be bound to preach the Gospel, and dispense its Ordinances [...], the people must likewise be obliged to hear, and receive Ordinances from them. To this objection he answereth (and we with him, as to the case now in question) denying the Consequence: For (1.) The true state of the question is, whether we should receive and submit to them, as the lawfully Called and Appropriat Pastors of this Church; which for the former Reasons we deny; for although Intruders upon the Church be Ministers; yet their Intrusion puts a sufficient bar on Peoples reception of and submission to them: wherefore in so far as hearing, and receiving of Ordinan­ces from Prelatical Ministers (adde, Indulged) is, in our case, an acknowledgment of this, we refuse it. (2.) Peoples obligation to submission to Ministers, doth not immediatly flow from the being of the Ministerial Power and Authority, in those clothed therewith, there are beside this, other things that must concurre, to the caus­ing of this Obligation, which, if they be wanting, will make it void, or, at least, suspend it &c.

If it be further Objected, in favours of the Indulged, That Eminent and worthie Mr Livingstoun, though he saith much against the Indulgence, in his Letter to his Parishoners; yet he adviseth them sometime to hear Mr Iohn Scot, who was In­dulged. I Ans I shall readily grant, that several were in the dark, at the first, in the matter, either through want of full information concerning many circumstances, which, if known, would have given greater light in the matter; or through igno­rance of the real Designe & Intendment of the Rulers, which afterward came more & more to light; or through a fear, that Field-meetings should either cease, or be ut­terly suppressed; & therefore judged it more safe for people to hear the Indulged, than either to hear none, or none, but the Curats. And though I do not certainly know, which of these grounds moved that Eminent Seer and Servant of Christ, to advise so; yet, considering that in all that Letter (to my remembrance) he doth not speak of their going to the Field Meetings (which I suppose none, that knew him, will think, that he was an enemie unto,) I am apt to think, that the Apprehension he had of the ceasing of the Field-Meetings, at least, in that part of the Countrey (in which, I doubt, there had been any, or many, at least, before his writing of that Letter) did move him, to advise them sometimes to hear that Indulged Person, as [Page 160] judging that better, than that they should hear none, or none but that wretch, who was obtruded upon them; and as supposing, he would not pervert them by his Doc­trine, but would give free and faithful Testimonies unto the Truth, and aga [...]st all publick Corruptions. Further, I suppose, it is well enough known, tha [...] [...] the first, not a few Ministers were in the dark, as to the question of hearing of the Cu­rats, and upon one ground or other, did not perceive, that peop [...]e were called of God; to withdraw from the obtruded Hirelings, & so durst-not positi [...]ely advise there­unto; who now, I hope, will be as loath to advise people to forsake other occasions, and go hear the Curats, And what wonder if the matter was so, as to the Indulged, Seven or Eight yeers ago?

Obj. 3. But, till of late, that some few inconsiderat Persons, took this in their head, to preach against the Indulgence, and to cry-out against the unlawfulness of hearing of the Indulged, as if that had been the only thing necessary; for which ma­ny even of the Non-Indulged are offended with them, there was not so much as a mur­ter heard, but people heard the Indulged without scruple, and were edified by their Ministrie. Ans. The Curats might alleadge the same, as well as the Indulged; But, as it would not help them, so I suppose, It can not well help the Indulged. Whe­ther these Persons be considerat or inconsiderat, I am not fit to judge; to their own Master they stand, or fall; only I wish, that such, who call them Inconsiderat, would examine their grounds, & remember that, judge not lest ye be judged &c. If this be founded upon some expressions of theirs (whether true or false, I know not) I wish that the Expressions of others gave not ground for the same judgment. I know, not a few are offended with them; but considering what is said above, concerning the sinfulness of the Indulgence, &c. I dar not be offended with them; (& I would faine hope, that second thoughts of the matter shall worke a change on these Brethren) But must rather blesse the Lord on their behalfe, & judge them worthie of praise, who, over the belly of so many discouragments, did set the trumpet to their mouth, to shew Scotland, & the Ministerie, and People thereof, that great sin: and this, I know, is con [...]istent with their insisting upon the one thing necessary; which I hope also their practice declareth, and the fruits of their labour proclaime. But as to the long silence, that hath been, I shall say little; yet it is known, that at the very beginning, people were calling the In­dulged the Councils Curats & how it came, that this spark did not break forth into a general flame, I shall not enquire; acquiescing in this, That the Lord had a further discovery to make: For, had the first Ten, who were Indulged, been thus dis­countenanced, we had seen no moe accepting of that supposed favour; yea the first accepters had quickly shaken that onerous favour off their shoulders. It may be also, that some suppressed their judgment, concerning the not-hearing of these In­dulged, or did not countenance any such motion, when made, either out of a pre­posterous affection and tenderness to the Brethren, whom they honoured and much esteemed, and that deservedly, for their eminent Enduements, and sometimes Usefulness unto the Church; or out of a tender care of keeping up of Union, and guarding against all motions apparently tending to troublesome Distractions & Divi­sions, or upon some other account, best known to themselves. Neither is it un­like, that many were really in the dark, as to the thing: But however, light is light, whoever they be that bring it to us; and as God may Imploy whom He will, to this en [...], so; how inconsiderable so ever the Instruments be, who are imployed; and [Page 161] whether they come sooner or latter, the light, when it is come, should be wel­comed, because of Him, that sent it; yea and embraced with thankfulness, and with humble submission.

Obj. 4. All or most of the Non-Indulged, Faithful, and Zealous Ministers in the Land are for hearing of the Indulged; and only a few, and these of the younger sort, with the ignorant people, are against it. Answ. Though I would hope, few should lay any weight on this Objection: and it were enough to desire such, who did lay any weight thereon, to consider Iob. 7: v. 47, 38, 49. with Mr. Hutcheson's Notes there­upon, specially the 7. and 9. Yet I shall only say, That an Impartial Observer will finde, that for the most part, in all the steps of our trial, since this last overthrow came, God hath made use of the nothings to break the ice to others. Holy is our Soveraigne, who doth what He will. This might be made out by Instances; but I suppose, the matter is so manifest, that I need not insist thereupon, the matter about hearing of the Curats ▪ being a sufficient evidence of what I have said.

Obj. 5. Now when we are in hazard to be over-run with Popery, is it seasonnable, that such questions should be started, to breake the remnant in pieces; and thereby to make all a prey for the man of sin? Were it not better that we were all united as one, to withstand that Inundation? Answ. I grant, the apprehensions of the Man of sins's stretching out his wings, & filling the breadth of Immanuel's land, see­meth to me not altogether groundless; yea it is much to be feared, that by Popery and Bloud, the Lord shall avenge the quarrel of His Covenant, and the contempt of His Gospel: And therefore I judge, it were our duty this day, to be preparing our­selves to meet the Lord, thus coming to be avenged on a generation of His wrath, with ropes about our necks, giving Him the glory of His Righteousness, and ac­knowledging ourselves the basest of sinners; that so we may be in case, to say, in the day, when the small remnant of the glory, that is yet to be seen on the mountains, shall depart out of sight, Blessed be the Glory of the Lord from his place. Our Union, while the accursed thing is among us, will be but a conspiracy, and will really weaken us before the Lord. If we be not tender of Christ's Headship, and of what depends thereupon, and of the least pin of his Tabernacle, pitched among us; how can we expect His help, when we are to run with the horsemen? Will they not have most peace in that day, who have been Jealous for the Lord of hosts, and for his Crown Interest - And who knoweth, but they shall finde a shelter and a chamber of Protection in the day, when he overflowing scourge shall come, who are now following the Lord, and his Glory, through Mountains and Valleyes, and are, upon that account, suffering Tossings, Hardships and Harrassings? How little security, I pray, shall the wings of the Supremacie be able to give, in that day? our Union in Duty, and upon the old grounds of our received and sworne Prin­ciples and Maximes, would prove our strength, But if this shall not be had, as then every one may certainly conclude, that there is a dreadful stroke at the doores, and that this division, upon such an account, is a certaine fore-runner of a dark and dis­mal Dispensation; so, it will be every mans du [...]y, who would have peace, in the day of God's contending against a generation of Backsliders and Revolters, to be mourn­ing for the abominations of the Land and for this of the Indulgence, among the rest, and to be adhereing to the Lord, and unto our Principles▪ which the Lord hath owned and countenanced, though he should, in a manner, be left al [...]e. Will [Page 162] not, I pray, many of these, who have complied with Prelacie, and with the courses, that have been carried on, profess an abhorrence at Popery? And is this ground sufficient for us to think of uniting with them, notwithstanding of all they have done, that we may be the more fortified to withstand that torrent? Alas! this our strength will prove our weakness, Let us remember that Esai. 8: ver. 11, 12, 13, 14. For the Lord spoke thus to me, with a strong hand, and instructed me, that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say not a confederacy to all them, to whom this people shall say, a confederacy: Neither feare ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctifie the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear▪ and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a Sanctuary, &c. It were more sutable for us, to be considering that word Amos 4. v. 12.13. Therefore, thus will I do unto thee; and because I will do this unto thee, pre­pare to meet thy God, O Israel: for lo, he that formeth the Mountains, and createth the winde, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and [...]readeth upon the high places of the earth: The Lord, the God of hosts is his Name: And in order to a Christian compliance therewith, to be separating our selves from every sinful course, mourning for our former miscarriages, and utterly forsaking such way­es, whereby we have provoked the Lord to wrath. I shall close with that Zeph. 2: vers. 1, 2, 3. Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O Nation not desired. Befo­re the decree bring forth, before the day passe, as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment, seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be, ye shall be hid, in the day of the Lord's anger: And let us all pray, Thy King­dom come, and thy Will be done, AMEN.


Among the persons Indulged, Mr Anthony Shaw indulged to Loudown o [...] Newmile, and Mr Anthony Murray Indulged to Carmichall are omitted; and possibly some others, through want of full Information, or through the neglect of Transcribers.


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