AN ANSWER BY LETTER TO A WORTHY GENTLEMAN Who desired of a Divine some rea­sons by which it might appeare how Inconsistent PRESBYTERIALL GOVERNMENT IS WITH MONARCHY. In which the Platforme of that Go­vernment is briefly delineated, with the tenents and suitable practises thereof. And withall it is de­monstrated, that it is inconsistent with any govern­ment whatsoever; is full of Faction, Sedition and Treason; an enemy to all Peace, Domesticall, Neighbourly, Brotherly, &c. against Soveraigne authority, authority of all Iudges, and Iudicatories, entrenching upon all so farre, as there can be no li­berty of Person, Trade, Commerce or Propriety, but at their pleasure who bear sway therein.

Printed, Anno 1644.

Sir,

YEsterday you desired me to give you some proofes, by which it may ap­peare how inconsistent Presbyteri­all Government is with Monarchie. You were pleased to tell me that some good and worthy men doe desire to be satisfied in this point.

It seemeth these men doe not think that Presbyteriall Government is destructive of the true necessary and perpetuall Government of the Church, which is Episcopacie: instituted by Christ, propagated by his Apostles, and continued by uninterrupted Practice above 1500 yeares in the Church, and to this day retai­ned in the greatest part of the Christian world. We de­ceive our selves, to promise or expect to King or King­dome, Prince or Subject, Peace and safety, or deliverance from our troubles and distresses, if we subordinate Fun­damentalls in Religion, necessary truths, of faith, worship and government, to our publique or private civill good. Nor am I able to expresse how high an Impietie it is, at this time when God's hand is out against us justly for our sinnes, to be so disposed and fixed upon a resolution, that to redeem externall Peace, we will embrace any Govern­ment [Page 2] of the Church, provided it be consistent with Mo­narchy: and will not scruple, not onely to shake off the true and necessary government instituted by our Lord, but by Law, endeavor by highest authority to condemne it as Antichristian. If this be not to frame mischiefe by a Law, I know not what is. If this provoke not more wrath, more vengeance, make not the Land spew us all out, I am infinitely deceived. We may promise to our selves that by such a course we may say like to the man in the Gos­pell, Soule take thy rest for many dayes, but it feareth me the successe and event shall be much like to his case. Sir, I pray you consider what Peace hath King or Kingdome enjoyed here or in Ireland, since Episcopacy in Scotland by Law was damned, and the Presbyterian Anarchie (the Seminarie of all fude Faction and Rebellion as will ap­peare by what ensueth) by Law and Supreme authority established.

I cannot dissemble, but to a man of your worth and Integritie I must unfold my selfe: I admire to see too too many amongst us here (where is great plenty of able Gentlemen of excellent learning, worth, wit, and all other perfections & endowments, as in any Nation besides) to be so prepared that they are too too inclinable, if not actu­ally resolved, to admit and authorize in this Kingdom and Church what they know not: and to forsake that happy Native proper government of the Church, the sweet fruits of which they have reaped so many yeares to the admira­tion, if not envy, of other Kingdomes, States and Church­es. This is Samaritan-like to worship that we know not. Or Athenian-like to consecrate an Altar and to sacrifice to an Ioh. [...] unknowne God. Act. 17.

Your worth and noble favours oblige me so much to [Page 3] you, that I cannot chuse but obey your command. And for your satisfaction, I present you with a short view (as in a Mappe) of Presbyteriall Government: give you a little touch of their Maximes, and suitable Practices, and that with as much truth and honesty as your goodnesse expects from me. By which it will be more then appa­rent, that Presbyterie, as it is at this day somewhere with­in His Majesties Dominions, is not onely inconsistent but also destructive of Monarchie; And where it obtaineth, it disturbeth the quiet and peace publique and private of King and Kingdome. This is that you desire, and to sa­tisfie you, to this I confine my selfe.

This Presbyteriall government within it's verge hath foure Iudicatories. 1. A Parochiall Session. 2. A Pres­byteriall Consistorie. 3. A Provinciall Synod. 4. A Ge­nerall Assembly. The Parochiall Session moveth in the lowest Sphere. The Generall Assembly is the Primum mobile, the highest Orbe, which carrieth all with it's mo­tion, although the rest have their proper and specifick motions. The other two are in the middle, and interjected Orbes. I shall begin at the lowest Iudicatorie, and so shall orderly ascend to the Supreams.

Of the Parochiall Session.

EVery Parish hath one or more Ministers. If more, all 1. Of the Session, hovv and of vvhom constituted. of them are equall in all honour and jurisdiction, one­ly the Senior hath the precedencie. To the Minister, or Ministers of each Parish, to make up a Session, in which is fixed the Parochiall Iurisdiction, a competent number of Lay-Elders, (whom they call, presbyteri non docentes) and Deacons, proportionable to the precinct and extent of the [Page 4] Parish, are conjoyned: which associate body thus com­pacted, is the Spirituall-Parochiall-Sanhedrim.

This Session sits once a week, or oftner, pro re natâ: In which all Parochiall cases, which concerne externall or­der and censure, are determined and ordered.

If there be but one Minister in the Parish, he is constant The Minister is Moderator. Moderator; If there be more, they moderate by turnes, either weekly, or monthly, as they agree.

Whatsoever thing is ordered, determined, or decreed, He hath no Negative Voyce. is done by the joynt-consents of the Minister, Lay-Elders, and Deacons, or by the plurality of voyces. The Minister, who is the Moderator, hath no casting, no Negative Voyce.

The power of all Iurisdiction, is radically, and equally in all: for binding, for loosing, for all censures Ecclesiasti­call, The Iurisdi­ction spiritu­all is radically in the Lay-Elders. for orders which concerne externall order and wor­ship. So the Power of the Keyes is as much in the Lay-Elders, and Deacons, as in the Minister or Ministers. What sacrilegious intrusion upon sacred Orders this is, I need not informe one of your understanding.

To make this frame good, they maintaine that Iure divino there be foure orders of Ecclesiasticall offices, (al­low Their foure sacred Or­des. me to speake in this Epistle all along their dialect) or persons. 1. Preaching-Elders, whom they call Ministers. 2. Doctors, these are professors in the Chaire, such as are in Vniversities. 3. Lay, or ruling-Elders, who now have vocem deliberativam & decisivam in rebus fidei, Cul­tûs, politiae, and in foro exteriori Ecclesiae, in censuris Ec­clesiasticis are as much interessed and authorized, as Prea­ching-Elders. 4. Deacons, who have trust of the meanes, and monies destinated for pious and charitable uses.

This is very considerable too, that although they hold these foure orders and offices necessary for the Govern­ment [Page 5] of Christ's Church, de Iure divino, by divine Right and Institution; yet neither the Parochiall Conclave, nor any Presbyteriall Consistory (except it be where the Presbyteriall seat is in a City where an University is) have any Doctor or Doctors amongst them. Nay which is more, nor be any such in their generall Assemblies, or if they be, they appeare only in that capacity as Commissio­ners from, and for the Vniversity.

It is worth your notice taking, that their Lay-Elders This yeare they are sa­ered, the next yeare pro­phane. and Deacons are yearely elected. Here is truly verified of them, that, Hodie Clericus, cras Laïcus.

The things within the compasse of Session-jurisdiction, are, things meerly Parochiall, the ordering of the Parish-Church The compe­tent cases of this Session. and peculiar Service, the censure of lesser Scan­dalls (I must speak their words) as Fornication, Drun­kennesse, Scolding, Profanation of the Sabboth (they mean the Lords day) &c. Capitall Scandalous crimes, or Scandalls of Highest straine, are reserved as cases of pe­culiar jurisdiction for the Presbytery; as also lesser offences when they are attended with Obstinacy, and what is censu­rable or punishable by the greater Excommunication. If I mistake not, they know not much, at least use not much the Lesser Excommunication. In the cases above mentio­ned the Cognition, Examination, and Iudgement of the cause is proper to the Presbytery, the Minister with his Parochiall Conclave, are only the Executioners. If any pa­rochiall difficult case occurre, which this Parochiall Sanhe­drim cannot determine, the use is to consult with the Pres­bytery.

When the Session censureth any delinquent, or Scan­dalous They enjoyn civill punish­ments and sines. person, they order his publique and Solemne re­pentance (if by some superiour judicatorie it be not de­termined) [Page 6] as they think fit by plurality of voyces: after performance of which order, the penitent is received into the communion of the Church. But before the delin­quent be admitted to doe his Repentance, he is fined in a pecuniary mulct, at their discretion, proportioned to the demerit of the offence, and the ability of the Person, as he is poorer or richer. It is true, this mony is, for the most part, imployed to pious and charitable uses. As they pu­nish by Pecuniary fines, so corporally too, by imprisoning the persons of the Delinquents using them disgracefully, carting them through Cities, making them stand in Iogges, as they call them, Pillaries, (which in the Country Chur­ches are fixed to the two sides of the main doore of the Parish Church) cutting the halfe of their Haire, shaving their Beards, &c. and it is more then ordinary, by their Originall and Proper power, to banish them out of the bounds and limits of the Parish, or Presbytery, as they list to order it. Is not this potest as utrius (que) gladii? & would not a good Learned Iurist say, that this is not only intru­sion upon meeriy civill power, but upon the very Royall Rights themselves? The Imperiall Law, if I be not mista­ken, maketh banishment so peculiar to the Soveraign Au­thority, that without it's power and consent, it cannot be inflicted upon any civis, any Subject.

Their ordinary practice more in this is; that when a They will not baptise the child, if ei­ther of the pa­rents have not payed the fine or satisfied the Church. pecuniary mulct is inflicted, if the delinquent pay not the defined and determined summe, or at least give security for the payment of it, although he should testify all the contrition is requisite, by humble confession, and offer most willingly to doe all pennance, to give all satisfaction, he will not be admitted to satisfy publikely: nay he is pro­ceeded against for Contumacie, and they will threaten Excommunication.

[Page 7] Nor is that to be passed by, that if a Child be borne in Fornication, and either of the Parents hath not satisfied the Church; they will refuse to Baptise the poor infant, till the Church get satisfaction. This is consonant with Scripture, anima quae peccaverit, ipsa moriotur. It is fit now in the next place to speak of

The Presbyterie.

VVHich is the next Iudicatory, to which the Sessi­on is subordinate. It hath in it somewhere more, somewhere fewer Parish-Churches; as some are made up of Twenty, some of Twelve, some of fewer.

All persons within these Parishes, within the precinct of this Presbyterie, of what quality soever (the King, or His family herein are not exempted; nay nor from the ju­risdiction of His Parochiall Session) are under the power and jurisdiction of this grand Consistory.

The members Constituents of this Presbytery are all The membe [...] constituents of the Pres­byterie. the Parochiall Ministers within its compasse, and a Lay-Elder for each Parish. The Lay-Elders are in number e­quall to the Preaching Elders; and in power, voyce, Iuris­diction, in Haeresie, Idolatry, Worship, Censure, &c. are par [...] consortio honoris & potestatis praediti, are so equall and un [...]o [...]me, that a Plowman from the Plow, or a Tradesman from his shop, sitting there in the capacity of a Lay-Elder, his voyce is as good as the voyce of the most Reverend and Learned Divine, if any be there. They maintain a parity in all, only a little difference in this, that a Lay-Elder cannot be Moderator. Yet have they no Ca­non for it. And we are able to prove by their books, that men who were never in Sacred Orders of Priest or Bi­shop, have been Moderators, not only of their Presbyte­rie, [Page 8] but of their so much Idolized Generall Assembly. Mr Robert Yoole, who was never Priest, nor Deacon, onely Reader in St Andrews, was in one turne, for a yeare, or halfe a yeare, or some lasting time, Moderator of the Ptes­byterie of Saint Andrews, and Mr George Buchanan, who was never Church-man, and Mr Andrew Melvil who had never the Order of Deacon, both of them have been Mo­derators of their great Generall Assembly.

The cases proper to this Iudicatory, are first, such as The cases proper to it. are from every individuall Parish within its compasse re­ferred, or presented. 2. All crimes and scandalls of highest straine, namely such as are civilly punishable by death. 3. All crimes which come under the censure of Excommunication. 4. All appeales from Sessions. 5. All differences which cannot be composed or determined in the Parochiall Conclave. 6. The visitation and censure of all what is amisse in every Parish, either in Preacher or o­ther. 7. The appoynting of Readers, and Schoolemasters.

They meet once a week in some places, in other places only once a fort-night. All the ministers in their severall The time of meeting. turnes, at their meeting Exercise, as they call it; that is, there is appoynted by the Presbyterie, some one book of old, or new New Testament, which every one by turnes in his own course interpreteth in the Parish Church, where the Presbytery doth meet. Two alwaies speak, the first from the Readers Desk or Pew; the other, in some other place distant from him, but convenient for hearing. The first Analyseth, Interpreteth, and taketh away the doubts of his Text; and (as they enjoyne) he is bound to the do­ctorall part. The second, when the first hath done, addeth to what is said: hath a warrant to supply the defects, or correct the errors of the first speaker; but especially his [Page 9] charge is the Pastorall part, to apply the text, and bring it home to the affections.

There be Ingredients in this Exercise, such as God's Church before this late age never knew, a kind of Crea­tures Lay Prea­chers. whom they call Expectants. These are students in Divinity, or Country Schoole-masters, or such youths who are bred with some Gamaliel; who after that they have given their private trialls, by Preaching and dispute, are enrolled Expectants of such, or such a Presbyterie. These must keep their turnes in Exercising, and adding (as they call it) with the actuall Ministers, (so they call them) and once admitted to that Presbyterie, may, when­soever employed, Preach in any Parish Church within the bounds of that Presbyterie, doe all Ministeriall acts, except Baptize, or give the Sacrament of the Lords Sup­per, (for ought I know, there is no Consecration used by them in that holy action, but a meere thanksgiving) nay they may be constant helpers, and Copreachers with a Rabbie, if hee, the Parish, and Presbytery agree to it. I pray you shew me where ever you read of such a profa­nation, that a Lay-man without Orders, Imposition of hands, shall be a publique Preacher of God's word, and intrude upon this Sacred Function. These, for the most part, were the Beardlesse Boyes King Iames, of blessed me­mory, mentioneth in the conference at Hampton Court, Who would brave him to his face. pag. 4.

Within one County there may be two, or three, more or fewer Presbyteries, according as there be more or fewer Parish-Churches; and yet all these Presbyteries are independant one from another: only it is remarkable, that the Presbyterie of Edenburgh, because (as they speak) it is seated on the Watch-Tower, hath well nigh obtained [Page 10] by custome, and other meanes, a Superintending power, o­ver all other Presbyteries; and other Presbyteries many times send thither to have resolution of their difficult ca­ses. The reason is, besides the eminency of this City by its wealth, and the residence of all highest Courts of Iu­stice there; although this Allobrogicall brood maintaine Parity, there be notwithstanding some few Patriarchs, who rule and over-rule all, who Lord it, and Pope it o­ver the Lord's Inheritance, and in this City ordinarily are some of these Patriarches: and the Responsa prudentum from hence, are received as Oracles by remote Presbyte­ries, and reverenced as answeres by Vrim and Thummim.

There is none who liveth within the verge of a Presby­terie, but is answerable to this Classis and Iudicatorie, and must appeare whensoever, or for whatsoever cited. The King and His family are not exempted, nor priviledged: if He be cited, and appeare not, He may be excommuni­cated for His disobedience and contumacy: If He appeare, He must submit His earthly Scepter, to that their Scepter, which they terme the Scepter of Christ; He must doe what is enjoyned. The Presbyterie is independent from the Crowne of an earthly King, who is Gods and Christs Vicegerent in the generall Kingdome of His providence on­ly; But this Sanhedrim is Christs vicegerent in His oeco­nomicall Kingdome as Mediator, as they speake; and con­sequently to it He must vaile His Crowne, submit His Scepter, and from it receive Christs Law and Ordinan­ces.

King Iames of blessed memory knew this well, who therefore in that Conference at Hampton-Court, pag. 79. saith, ‘A Scottish Presbyterie, as well agreeth with a Mo­narchie, as God and the Divell, then Iack and Thom, and [Page 11] Will, and Dick, shall meet, and at their pleasures censure Me, and my Councell, and all My proceedings. Then Will shall stand up and say, it must be thus: Then Dick shall re­ply, and say, nay marry, but we will have it thus. And therefore here I must once reiterate my former speeches (the King is answering to D. Rainolds, who seemeth to begge of His Majesty a Presbyterie, or some thing like to it) Le Roy s' avisera: Stay J pray you for one seaven years before you demand that of me: and if you then find me pur­sey and fat, and my Wind pipes stuffed, I will perhaps hearken to you: for let that Government be once up, I am sure I shall be kept in breath, then shall we all of us have work enough, both our hands full. But D. Rainolds till you find that I grow Lazie, let that alone.’

It is more than notoriously knowne to many yet living, The Presby­terie hath kept state vvith King Iames. and is upon Record in the Presbytery Bookes of Eden­burgh, how King Iames, not once, but many times, hath sent men of Honour and good quality, demanding, or ra­ther requesting for some things at their hands; who have heard the Commissiones propose the King's mind; But they, to keep the power and place Christ hath given them in that dignity, suitable to so high a trust, have dismissed the Gentlemen sent by the King without answer, and by an Order of that Spirituall house, have appointed one, or two, as Commissioners of the Presbytery, to goe to the King with their will and pleasure, loosing no thing of Christ's authority, and carrying themselves with the King almost, as if two free Estates, or two free Kings had met, and were dealing together. All cases and crimes are vvithin the censure of the Presbyterie,

As no person is exempted from obedience and sub­mission to this power, so no crime or sinne whatsoever committed, or suspected to be committed, within the Seig­norie [Page 12] of this pettie Principalitie. And that sometimes is so extravagantly and transcendently too look't after, and called in question, (especeially if indiscreet zeale, or holy Spleen work and move by the Spirit on a holy Brother) that if there be a fact and fault committed, secret, or knowne to very few, it is brought forth to the light of the World: There is no care taken to reconcile the Lapsed to God in a private way, and to conceale his offence, but disgraced he is publiquely. What sound repentance this may worke, judge you. How consonant this is to the A­postolicall Canon, They that sinne publiquely, rebuke pub­liquely; and to the common Maxime of the Church, de occultis nonjudicat Ecclesia; he may easily see, who hath not divorced himselfe from common sense and reason. To cure these secret sinnes by the power of the Keyes in interiori foro conscientiae, and to cover them with the man­tle of Charitie, smelleth rankly of auricular Confession, Popish absolution, and Sigillum confessionis. See the confe­rence at Hampton-Court, pag. 93. It is certaine, a foolish man revealing foolishly his faults to his wife, the zealous wife, upon some quarrelling betwixt her and her Hus­band, hath gone to a good Minister, revealed what was told her, and the honest impartiall Minister hath conven­ted the man, charged him with his sinne, and made him confesse, satisfie, and doe pennance publiquely.

Nay upon a surmise, suggestion, suspition, or any misin­formation, Crimes sus­pected, are curiously here inquired af­ter. if the Minister, or Lay-Elder delate, (that is present) two persons to converse so familiarly, that it is to be feared that they are guilty of fornication, if they be unmarried, or of adultery, if both of them, or either of them be married, they shall be cited, and convented, exa­mined by all proofes, presumptions, interrogatories, &c. [Page 13] whether or not they have sinned. If that the presumpti­ons be pregnant, although no proofe be, they shall be put in close prison, fed on bread and water, kept that none may come at them, all Members Constituents of these Iu­dicatories, appointed to try what they know against the next Court day; when no proofe can be had, and all the presumptions doe not fasten guiltinesse upon the accused, and the Imprisonment and other hard usages cannot ex­tort a confession, they are dismissed: But an act is enacted, that if those two persons suspected of fornication, or adul­tery, shall be seen to meet, or be in company together, ex­cept they meet in Church or Market, it shall be holden pro confesso, as confessed, that they are guilty of what they are charged with.

Nay sometimes the parties, although innocent, and no reall evidence being produced against them, are brought on the Lord's day publiquely to the midle of the Church before the Pulpit, to declare, sometimes to confirme their Declaration by an Oath, that they are innocent and free of that crime wherewith they are charged. And sometimes they are forced to make their publique Repentance in the Church, upon a Pillarie, for their unchristian behaviour: because that although the parties charged be free, yet their conversation hath been suspitious and scandalous.

A whole Volume might be written of young women by these courses disgraced and defamed: of many Fami­lies divided and scattered, whereas before there was no jealousie betwixt the man and the wife.

This Iudicatorie of the Presbytery is so high, and of so vast a latitude, that as the Pope bringeth in all civill cau­ses to himselfe as a competent Iudge, sub formalitate pec­cati, so this Papall Conclave bringeth any thing, howsoe­ver [Page 14] meerly and purely civill, under it's lash, sub formalitate scandali, as scandalous to a Christian profession.

It is not forgotten by many yet living, how the Presby­tery Presbyteriall Government inconsistent vvith the li­berty of trade and com­merce. of Edenburgh attempted to censure Ecclesiastically the Merchants there, for carrying Wheat to Spaine in time of a Famine or dearth there, for this was to feed and main­taine God's enemies. But above all, that was a piaculum, an almost inexpiable sinne, to transport waxe to Spaine, for this was to be accessory to Idolatry, in respect the greatest part of this waxe was employed in making Ta­pers and Candles to the Virgin Mary, and other Saints.

In S. Andrewes. I. T. was endebted to P. T. a consi­derable Inconsistent vvith the au­thority of ci­vill Iudica­tories. summe of money, the greatest part of his stock. I. T. delaying, or shuffling, or not able to pay P. T. at the day of payment designed in the Bond, P. T. obtained before the Lords of Session a Iudgement against I. T. with power to demand payment in the King's Name, and up­on disobedience to be out lawed and fall into a Praemu­nire, or escheating of his moveable goods and Chattells. I. T. bemoanes himselfe to the Presbyterie. The Pres­byterie convents P. T. before them, threatens him with Excommunication, if he did persist to put in Execution the Iudgement of the highest Iudicatorie in the Kingdom: and for feare of this dreadfull Court and horrid sentence, he passes from his pursuit, continueth the demanding of repaying of his money. You see here what power this Presbytery hath over all, and the highest of civill Iudi­catories.

Infinite instances of this kind may be produced, give The Presby­tery at plea­sure repealeth Royall grants by Lavv con­firmed. me leave to adde one of a higher straine. The City of Edenburgh, by the Kings of Scotland, amongst other fa­vours and priviledges, hath a Royall grant of a weekly [Page 15] Market day on Monday. This Grant is confirmed by Letters Patents under the great Seale, and by the standing Lawes of the Kingdome; The Presbyterie here by their transcendent sole authority, discharged any Market to be kept on Monday, the reason was, because it occasioned the travelling of men and horse the Lord's day before, which profaned the Sabboth. If the Tradesmen, who found at home what losse they had by wanting their Market, had not with force and violence opposed their Soveraignty, and made them forsake it, it was like enough to have pas­sed, and obtained longer.

The most active in this case were the Shooe-makers, who were most prejudiced by the discharge of the Mon­day market. They threatned the Ministerie Right down, that if they persisted in that course, they would thrust them out of the gates of the City: which threats restored the Monday's market. When King Iames, that miracle of piety, learning, and Royall prudence, heard of this, he with uncovered head, and lifted up hands, said to this, or much about this sense, I thank God the Shooe-makers have more power to represse the insolency and violence of the Presbyterie, than I and my councell both.

It is knowne to many yet living, that they have cited be­fore The Presby­terie vvill not suffer Land­lords to sue for their Rents. them Noble men, and Gentlemen of good qualitie, who had intended civill actions against their owne Ten­ants before the ordinary Iudge, and discharged them to prosecute them any further, under the paine of Ecclesiasti­call censures. This was in re civili, in a civill businesse, but modus considerandi, as they took notice of it, it was spirituall. And why? because the holy Brethren preten­ded, this did withdraw People from their lawfull vocati­ons, bred strifes and contention amongst Brethren, and did hinder the progresse of the Gospell.

[Page 16] As the particular Ministers of individuall Parishes are un­der Some fevv of the Presbyte­rie tyrannize over the rest of their poore Brethren, re­move and transplant at pleasure. them, so they find the tyranny of their Archisynagog [...], their prime leading Ministers, in that measure, that their little finger is heavier then a Bishop's whole hand and loynes. Bishops are like to a paternall Government, cha­stising with Roddes; but the Presbyterians scourge them with Scorpions; any Lord, Knight, or Esquire, who is cun­ning, and can by faire carriage, or otherwise, gaine favour or credit with some few Patriarchall Presbyters, he is able at pleasure to turne out an honest man (who perhaps is too free in rebuking the Gentleman for his sinnes, or cannot, or will not condescend to grant his unlawfull and unjust demands) and to bring in one to his owne fansie and hu­mor, with whom, and by whom, he is able to worke and effectuate his owne bad intendments. This holy Sanhe­drim, although the Parochiall Minister for Intellectuall abilities, be sufficiently enabled, and for morall Integrity be blamelesse, yet they will find it fit he be transplanted from that Church, because the Congregation is not edi­fied by him, at a visitation the Landlord is able to make all say and witnes they are not edified by him: or if a Presby­ter who hath more power with the dominus Moderator, and his assistants, being in a Parish of a small stipend, and espying somewhere a better Parish, and an honest man in it, but not so much respected by the high Priests of the Sanhedrim, he will turne him out by the Presbytery, enter the charge, and reape the benefit of a better Parish, and place the other (it may be, and often proves so, the bet­ter and worthier man) in another Parish of lesse worth, and deterior his condition. There needs no other reason for this, but that this sacred Consistorie, directed and assi­sted with infallibility, doe find it e Re Ecclesiae, that it is for God's glory and the good of the Church.

[Page 17] I might instance a world of these Examples; onely let A honest man removed frō his place, and one by them brought in to make avvay Sacrilegiously the Church patrimonie. me tell you one of the Presbytery of Cooper in Fife. A no­ble man there having one Maister Weymis, an honest man, a Preacher and Parson at one of the Churches, the which whole parish belonged to the Noble-man, used all the en­treaties, all the threatnings he could, to perswade Master Weymis to make over to him, and his house, the Right of the benefice, which if I mistake not, was a Parsonage. The good man refused it: the Noble man finding the man im­moveable, having prepared the way with the Ring-lea­ders, accuseth the honest man before the Presbyterie, ob­taineth sentence of removing Maister Weymis from that Church and benefice, and bringeth in one M. Scrogie, who with the consent of the Presbyterie, sacrilegiously made over the Right of the Church to the Noble man and his Family. M. Weymis was transplanted to another Church. The Right made over by Scrogie was afterwards confir­med by Act of Parliament. King Iames, when this noble man came to him, spoke to him to this sense. My Lord, I wonder how you have so much power with the Presby­terie to obtain such a thing, and work so strange a matter, I pray you teach me the way, for I would gladly know it. The Noble man answered, to this sense or much about it, Sir, you take not the right way, I prepared my businesse, by gaining the prime men to my course, I sent to A. B's house so much Malt, and to C. D's house so much Meale, to N. a Carcasse of Beeffe; this got me the power to put a­way Weymis, to bring in Scrogie, and from him, with the consent of the Presbyterie, to have the right of the Parso­nage impropriate to me and my house: Sir, this course you must take, if you would work any thing by, or with these men.

[Page 18] The Testament of a Gentleman of Wit, and more then ordinary worth and esteeme, is to this day extant, (al­though he dyed many years agoe) wherein confessing his many Sinnes (he was much guilty of uncleannesse, and was of more then ordinary reach in Politicall and Subtile waies) abhorring himselfe for them, and earnestly begging pardon, professed, and protested, that no sinne did wound his conscience so much, as his deep Hypocri­sie, who without the true feare of God, made great shew of Religion where none, or little was, and to cover his sinnes from the World, to hide his shame, and the better to effectuate his private designes, he made much of some few prime leading Ministers: by doing of which, he was not challenged for his sinnes; and was enabled to worke his other ends. This hath been, and is this day a constant course kept by all of that cutte and coate.

It is known, that no Kingdom of the Kings was so much infested with Feuds, (as they call them) as that The Presby­tery the Semi­nary and nur­sery of Feuds. of Scotland: nor was there any thing more ordinary, then Neighbourly Feuds in Parishes, to be fought to the effu­sion of much blood, partly beginning sometimes within the Church, and ended in the Church-yard, where many times some were killed. And it was as ordinary to find each Presbyterie divided in their affection and course, ac­cording as they affected the one, or the other partie. Nor was Scotland ever free of Feuds, sheathing their Swords in their Neighbours bowells, murthering one another, till a little before King Iames came into England; nor did ever that Kingdom enjoy such Peace and Plenty, as during the time of Episcopacy.

Sir, by the few instances I have given you of many, you may see clearely, that Presbyterian Government is [Page 19] not only inconsistent with Monaichie, but destructive of the Liberty of the Subjects person, and trade; encroaching upon all Authority, Soveraigne, and delegate; restraining at pleasure Causes and Suits commenced before Iudges; forbidding Execution of Iudgements obtained before the ordinarie Iudges, repealing Grants, Letters-Patents, Rights and Priviledges authorized by Law: assuming to it selfe the Civill power, exacting Civill fines, pecuniary mulcts, inflicting corporall punishments, painfull and dis­gracefull; defaming young, disgracing married persons; & in briefe, is against the peace of the Kingdom, of Families and neighbours. And for their Clergy or fellow Pres­byters, they tyrannize over their Conscience, depose, or transplant them at pleasure, for reasons known to some few of the more active. It is proper now to speak next of

Provinciall Synods.

IN describing of which we need not to insist much: for except that the Iurisdiction is of greater extent and lati­tude, yet in its essentialls, constitution, and power, with the exercise of it, it is the very same.

A Provinciall Synod is the apish Imitation of a Pro­vinciall What it is. Councell, consisting of a Metropolitane, and the Suffragan Bishops of his Province. With them, it is an as­sociate body of the Commissioners chosen out of all the Individuall Presbyteries within the precinct of the Pro­vince. How many there be of them in the Kingdom of Scotland at this instant. I know not: but the Kingdom is divided into so many Provinces, as they in their prudence think it fittest for the Government of the Church.

If I remember right, by their platforme of Discipline, [Page 20] these Provinciall Synods are to meet twice a yeare, or oftner, pro re natâ.

These Synodall Assemblies have a superintending and The extent of their pow­er. overruling power over all the Presbyteries within the li­mits of that Province.

The cases proper to these Courts are, 1. All matters which doe appertain to the whole Province. 2. All [...] ­ferres The cases which fall within their Iurisdiction. from all Presbyteries within its verge. 3. All cases of every severall Presbyterie, which were difficult, and could not there be determined. 4. The due censure of all what is thought to be done amisse in any Presbyterie within its lash. 5. What is ordered and decreed in those Provinciall Synods, tyeth all within the particular Pres­byteries and Parishes, as well Lay as Clergy-men to obe­dience. Any Presbytery else, that moveth without the spheare of this Province, is not tyed to obey what this decrees, by virtue of any authority flowing from it.

The same course is holden in all things in the Provinciall Sanhedrim, which is kept in the Presbyteriall Consistory, The politick Stratagem of the great Gamaliels. so that I need not trouble you by resuming and repeating the like: only here is some peece and use of good Policy, which is this; In a Province, there may be some foure or five, or six, or more knowing leading Ministers, who over­rule different & distant Presbyteries, & so cannot formal­ly & fairely joyne their wits and power to compasse their common and private ends. The meeting of this Provin­ciall Synod occasioneth the meeting of those leading men in the same place; who after that they have communica­ted Counsells, and agreed upon the course, they are able to draw their brethren, their pupils of their Faction, as Sor­vum pecus, slavishly, yet with much zeale to dispute, de­bate, and voyce for what they in their wisdome think fit [Page 21] for their own ends: which course layed downe, will be so prevalent, that if it be against King, Country, Preacher, or Lay-men, in that concerneth the publike, or any pri­vate mans interest, to whom they stand engaged, it is to as little purpose to some good men to oppose, or moderate this course; as to a man to stop a current of a flood, after a great inundation of raine, with his foot.

There is another trick of policy too, whereby the A­postles of this province advance their own credit, that the wisest of the Nobility and Gentry see who are the active and doing men, and having their particular interest many times, both in the publike, and their own private, they make their addresse to these Popes, gaine them to their course, and strengthen themselves by the Spirituall Sword to distu [...]be the publike, or to gain their private ends, whe­ther right or wrong. When the Commissioners from hence returne to their severall Presbyteries, they intimate to them, to command the particular Ministers to Preach in their parishes Doctrine tending to the advancement of those designes: and this is so much obeyed, that the Mini­ster of the Kings family, or Parish, must sing the same song, although it concerne the King in His Honour, or in that is most deare to him, and be to the prejudice of his Person, Soveraignty and Government.

These [...], these prime men of God, are attended and The great honour which is given to the Patriarchall Presbyters. honored so by the subtle and cunning Nobles and Gen­tlemen, that they are well nigh deified; in their comming to and fro, to Assemblies, Presbyteries, or upon other oc­casions, the most eminent of the Province wait upon them, entreat them to come to their Houses, set them at the head of the Tables by my Lady, provide for them the best chambers. And that you may know, howsoever [Page 22] they pretend Parity, that it is protestatio contra factum, never Bishop in Scotland hath come into Cities with such Convoyes, been attended with such great personages, as some of this holy Brotherhood. It is to this day remem­bred, that when Mr Robert Bruce came from his visitation in the West, or South, returning to Edenburgh, and en­tring by the Canon-gate, King Iames looking out at His Window in His palace at Halyrude House, with indignati­on (which extorted from him an Oath) said, Mr Robert Bruce I am sure intends to be King, and declare himselfe heire to King Robert the Bruce.’

If you would allow me upon this to digresse, I beg to be The presum­ptuous carri­age of M. R. Bruce to­vvard K. Iames. bold to tell you a true story, & the most insolent I beleeve you ever read or heard. When Q. Elizabeth was waxed old K. Iames bethinking how to come at the peaceable pos­session of that Right God and nature had entitled him to after her death; & resolving to recall & pardon the Earles of Angus, Huntlie, and Erroll, (who at that time were banished and beyond Seas) feared, if by himselfe, and his Soveraignty, he should doe it, because they were profes­sed Papists, he feared the Church would except against it, and move his Subjects to Sedition and Rebellion: yet the Noble men were most able to strengthen him, and doe him best service in the Kingdom. To prevent this mis­chiefe, he sent one of his trusted and worthie Courtiers to Mr Robert Bruce, one of the Ministers of Edenburgh, who at that time had great sway in the Church, desiring him to come to His Majesty about some businesse of high concernment. Mr Robert did come. The good admirable King, welcomed him more then courteously, took him into his Retiring or Bed-chamber. Spoke powerfully to this sense; M. Robert, I have sent for you to have your ad­vice [Page 23] in a businesse of great weight concerning the Peace of Scotland and England, and which concernes me in Right and Honour most nearly. Q. Elizabeth, my Sister and Cousin, is sick and cannot live long, you know I have God's and Nature's Right to that Crowne; I cannot loose it in Honour or in Iustice, and yet my prayer to God is that I may come at my Right without any blood. I know there is some Faction in England against me, but my friends are more prevalent there. It concerneth me in the poynt of Prudence, to provide that there be no Faction and division in this my Kingdom of Scotland, for if this Kingdome be all one way for me in hearty obedience and Subjection, the disaffected party in England will be better advised, then to worke me trouble to their great disadvan­tage. Now, saith the best and wisest of Kings, I feare no­thing, but that these three Noble men beyond Seas, be­cause of their forfeiture, may be wrought upon by Pa­pists, encouraged and enabled by them there, and the English Papists, who are most against my comming to the Crowne of England, knowing I am a sound Protestant, to come hither and trouble Me and the Peace of this King­dom. Doe you not think it fit, that I give them a pardon, restore them to their Honour and Lands, and by so doing so gain them, that thus I may save the effusion of Chri­stian blood? To this demand so piously made, the answer was, Sir, you may pardon Angus and Arroll and recall them, but it is not fit, nor will you ever obtain my con­sent to pardon or recall Huntlie. To this the most gratious King sweetly replied: Mr Robert, it were better for me to pardon and recall him, and not the other two, then the o­ther two without him. 1. First, because you know he hath a greater command, and is more powerfull then both [Page 24] of them. 2. Next you know I am more assured of his af­fection to me, for he hath married my deare and neare Kinswoman, the Duke of Lenox his Sister. His rejoyn­der was, Sir, I cannot agree to it. The King out of the great depth of His wisdome and prudence, and His tran­scendent goodnesse, concluded thus; M. Robert I have im­parted my most secret thoughts to you first before any, and to you only; I am so confident of your zeale and good affection to Me and My Honour, that I entreat you to think upon this matter a day or two; and after your better thoughts and Prayers, returne to me, and tell me clearly what you think. Thus was he dismissed with as much re­spect as the King could give to any of His highest Sub­jects. The truth is, at this time this man had more power in Edenburgh then the King; and his credit there had a mighty influence upon all His Sect, and many in the King­dom; within a day or two he Returnes to His Majesty, yet, if I be informed right, not till he was called upon. When he entred the Kings Presence-chamber, the King took him in to a secret retiring roome as before, made the doore be shut, and speaketh to this sense: Now M. Robert, I hope you have thought more seriously upon that weighty busi­nesse I proposed to you the last day, and have prayed God to direct you and Me both, tell me then what you think of my purpose and resolution concerning those three Noble­men. He returneth this answer; Sir, the more I think of it, the more I am confirmed in the advice I gave to you the last day. I agree with all my heart that you recall An­gus and Arroll, but for Huntlie it cannot be. The King re­sumed and repeated his reasons before mentioned, and ad­ded some more. He obstinately opposed and contradicted it. All doe know, who knew any thing of these times, [Page 25] that Angus and Arroll were as bigot Papists, if not more, then Huntlie; there was no difference in Religion: the truth is, Master Bruce was a Lover of the Earle of Argyle, who loved not much the Earle of Huntlie. This was the Spirit inspired him, as it seemeth. King Iames desired his rea­sons: he gave none, but spoke Majestically. Then the King told him downeright, M. Robert I have told you my purpose; you see how nearely and highly it concerneth me; I have given you my reasons for my resolution, you give me your opinion, but you strengthen it not with rea­son; wherefore I will hold my own resolution, and doe as I first spoke to you. To the which, with Christian and Subject-like reverence, he returned this reply; well, Sir, you may doe as you list, but chuse you, yee shall not have me and the Earle of Huntlie both for you. Sir, Iudge by this in what case Monarchie is, in such a government, for that this is truth, I am as much assured of, as morall cer­tainty can assure any man of morall truth, which with his own eares he hath not heard. And yet this man was but Minister of Edenburgh.

To returne thither, from whence we digressed, that you may know, that this great Honour which is done to The Coun­trey honour not these A­postles in the name of a Disciple, as it appeareth by the disrespect all other Mi­nisters have from their Parishioners. those great ones, the Cabinet Councell of all Provinciall and Generall Assemblies, by these cunning and subtile Nobles and others, is not done in the name of a Disciple, in the name of a Prophet; reflect a little with your eyes, and consider how the same men respect and entertain their own Parish Minister; when the Gamaliels sits by my La­dy, the Parish Priest, will be below the Candlestick; and will be forced to come to his Lord, or Laird, and Crouch down for a morsell of Bread, and small peece of Money. Nay before the Gamaliel be gone, he must prompt and Cate­chise[Page 26] the poor stipendiarie how to carry himselfe with the Lord and Laird, not to exact too rigorously what is due in his competent Stipend, nor in Preaching, doctrine or discipline, to offend the Lord or Laird: such good Chri­stians, such Iehoshua's, Nehemia's, and Esdras's, are to be much made of for the cause of God. I dare to say, never Bishop or Archbishop in England or Scotland, hath used more authority, nor did ever carry themselves so arro­gantly towards the meanest of their Clergy, as these men doe over their simpler brethren. I come now at last to

The Generall Assembly.

THis is the Great and High Sanhedrim; the last resolu­tion The preroga­tive of this Court. of faith is almost in this associate body. Here Christ sits in the Highest glory and Dignity he can upon earth. Here is the ultimate decision of all controversies. Here you may find really that fancied infallibility of the Pope. The Iurisdiction in this is universall in all concern­eth Ecclesiastica, Ecclesiasticos, and what concerneth all Temporalia in ordine ad Spiritualia.

The authority of it is soveraigne, independent from a­ny, The indepen­dent Sove­raignty of it. derived to them by trust immediatly from Christ, to him alone they are accountable. Whosoever obeyeth not this Soveraignty, is to be Excommunicate; the Magistrate is at their Command, and as they prescribe, to punish in Estate, in Body, in Life and Death; If the King obey not, He is to be Excommunicated; and to strengthen this, the Nobility, Gentry, Collective body, nay euery individu­all person is to concurre to compell and censure him to the utmost of his power, to punish, to dethrone, to un-King, to kill &c. Let us come and see how this goodly Iudicatorie is made up.

[Page 27] It is composed, 1. First, of the Commissioners sent Of vvhom, and hovv it is composed. from all the Presbyteries of the Kingdom. Which (as I heare and am informed) is thus ordered. Every Presby­tery sendeth out two Preaching Elders, and a Lay-Elder. By this it seemeth that the Clergy hath the advantage. 2. Secondly, therefore consider, that besides the Commis­sioners from Presbyteries, there cometh from every Bor­row and Corporation one Commissioner, and Eden­burgh, for some spirituall prerogative no doubt, is honou­red and priviledged to send two. 3. Thirdly, the Vni­versities and Colledges send their Commissioners, which for the most part are not Doctors nor Ministers, but Lay-Men and Graduates in Liberall Arts and Sciences. This will goe neare to equall the number of Lay-Commissio­ners to that of Preaching Ministers.

4 The King is a member constituent to, and should be Hovv the King is a member of it, and of no povver above the meanest Ruling Elder. there either personally by himselfe, or virtually and repre­sentatively, in, or by his Commissioner. He hath one voyce too, and that affirmative only. In what Capacity they admit the King to be a member constituent of this Spirituall Court, I know not well if they be agreed upon it. Some hold, that he is there as Princeps membrum. By this I see he is the first gentleman there, and it may be, hath the right hand too. Some say, as a Representative of the Civill body of the Kingdome, & sits there in that ca­pacity. All of them agree in this, that he is bound by his own presence, or Commissioners, to see and provide that no disturbance or violence be offered.

The King, if present, and His Commissioner, if absent, have so much honour indulged to him, that He or His Commissioner may have foure, five, or six assistants for advice; but these Synodicall Fathers give their indulgen­ces [Page 28] with such circumspect prudence, that to preserve Christ's honour, and their owne entire, the King, or His Commissioner may debate and advise with His Councell, or Assistants, or desire any of them to speak, while matters are in debating; But when it commeth to the decision and determination by voyces, and plurality of voyces maketh the decree, the King has onely one voyce, and that affirma­tive onely, not Negative.

By this it is certaine, that if the greater part of voyces determine contrary to the King's voyce, nay to His mind The King must execute their com­mands al­though they be against His Conscience. and Conscience, He is bound to put it in Execution, for Potestas Iuris is radically in the whole Assembly, the King hath no more but Potestatem Facti, to be an Executioner Rei Iudicata, of the decrees; otherwise He is censurable; and if He be obstinately refractory, He is not worthy to hold His Crowne.

The King presides too, as they confesse; but so, that it is onely civilly, and in His civill capacity.

If I be not mistaken, yet I dare not avouch this confi­dently, the King hath not Power to propose any thing spi­rituall, or that concerneth the Church; but if He doe it, it must be done by the Right Father of the Assembly, the Moderator. This I dare to say, that neither the King, nor His Commissioner can hinder or oppose the proposing of any thing they think concerneth the Kingdome of Iesus Christ. For this were no free generall Assembly, and to li­mit the holy one of Israell. Nay if the thing proposed con­ceived by them to be Spirituall, be so twisted with the things civill, that the ordering or establishing of it may carry along with it a change and distemper in the State and Government, or import danger to the King and Crowne, The Moderator, or any Commissioner hath power to pro­pose [Page 29] it, determine it, and never to consider or reflect up­on the danger of King, State, or Kingdome, and that for God and Christ's glory.

The proper, naturall, and right President of this Sera­phicall The proper Moderator is a Preacher. Iudicatorie, is one of the Preaching Elders al­though we observed before, how Lay-men, as Buchanan, Melvil, Bruce, have been Moderators) a Lay-Elder now cannot be Moderator.

Here is the Legislative power, here is the Soveraignty of Christs Kingdome, here is the highest Tribunall and Iudicatory of Christ upon the Earth, from which no per­son, no office, no condition of creature is priviledged, from it lyeth no appeale.

The King hath no Power to appoint the time or place They indict the Assembly by their ovvne povver. of this Assembly, but once a yeare it must necessarily meet. And at the close of every Assembly, the Present ap­pointeth the day and place for the next. If any great Exi­gencie really, or in their fansie intervening, requireth the meeting of a generall Assembly before the time determi­ned, the Commissioners from the Assembly are to make remonstrance of it unto the King.

Whatsoever power the Pope unjustly usurpeth, The The vast povver of this Court. Catholick Church, or her virtuall and Representative, an oecumenicall councell, justly challengeth; this generall Assembly vindicateth to it selfe, onely Authoritativé, by way of authority, within the Church of the Kingdome and Nation; yet Consensivé, and Charitativé, to extend to all Neighbour Churches in the World; whatever it be that concerneth, fidem, cultum, Regimen. &c. credenda, agenda.

And yet if this infallible Supreame Iudicatorie would reserve to it selfe that jurisdiction is due to men in Sacred Orders, and which intrinsecally, radically, and originally [Page 30] is in them ex vi ordinis, although Presbyters intrude upon higher callings, and they place all Ecclesiasticall power, at least communicate it to Lay People, the Princes condi­tion were tolerable: Nay if they did onely trench upon what is due to Soveraignty, and with which He is inve­sted from God Almighty, which is restrained ad Exter­num hominem, and Externum Regimen, although Sove­raignty by it be brought into straiter & narrower bounds, a King might be in some poor condition, although Rob­bed of His Right. But when they come to this, that in ordine ad spiritualia, in order to spirituall things they will give the King Lawes, repeale His Lawes, command and expect performance and obedience, otherwise excommu­nicate, and if a King neglect that Excommunication, in­cite inferiour Magistrates, Nobles, and Commons, to bring Him in order, to compell and force him; He is in a worse condition under this Soveraignty, then under the Pope, by how much it is worse to a King to be subjected to an untamed furious Beast, the multitude, then to the ty­ranny of one.

All these Lay-Elders, all these Commissioners from Lay-men jud­ges in highest points of faith and worship, &c. Corporations and Burrowes, are de jure divino as fully Iudges in all matters of faith, worship, government; Iud­ges of haeresie, idolatry, superstition, of the highest points of Orthodox and Catholick mysteries, of the groslest and subtillest Haeresies, Arianisme, Arminianisme, Macedonia­nisme, Montanisme, Socianisme, Anabaptisme, &c. as any man in sacred Orders there, have vocem deliberativam, vocem decisivam, have a debating, discussive voyce, and concurre as much with the influence of their voyce to prescribe and give us Normam sidei, cultûs, politiae, a con­fession of faith, a prescript for worship, Canons for go­vernment [Page 31] and discipline, as ever Bishops had in lawfull Christian Councells. Bishops, limbes and members of Antichrist, are no part of it. Now is forgotten that of the Councell of Chalcedon, Concilium Episcoporum est; and that old Barbarous, but Christian enough verse,

Ite foras Laici, non est vobis locus yci.

I would gladly aske of one of these Rabbies and great Commissio­ners of Bur­rowes are there onely in a Lay-capa­city. Masters in Israell, how commeth it that the Commissio­ners of Burrowes sit there, voyce there? are they too de jure divino, by divine right? If they answer, that such are chosen as are, or have been Lay-Elders; I rejoyne; the Lay-Elders come in that capacity onely, as Commissio­ners of the particular Presbyteries: These are not mem­bers constituents of the Presbyterie in that capacity, that they are, or have been Lay-Elders, but have right and in­terest in this high Court in that capacity meerly, as Com­missioners of Burrowes. Look upon their acts of generall Assembly, and you will find, that it authorizes Commissi­oners from Burrowes to be parts constituent of this Iudi­catory, quâ tales, as sent from the Burrowes.

Againe I aske, seeing you make Doctors one of your We find Doctors no where. four holy Functions Ecclesiasticall, constituted by Christ, in what Iudicatorie find we them? In Sessions they are not; In few Presbyteries they be; and if there, in some other capacitie. In generall Assemblies, if any be, they ap­peare as Commissioners from the Vniversity, in this ca­pacity onely. And many times it is seen, that Professors of Philosophie have been Commissioners of Colledges in generall Assemblies.

Leaving these absurdities, which are monstrously The power which this Sanhedrim assumeth to it selfe, grosse, I come to consider next, what is the Soveraigne power of this high Sanhedrim. If they would in Christi­an [Page 32] moderation assume no more to themselves, but onely a directive power, and by humble Remonstrances and sup­plications, with that reverence is due to Soveraignty and Majesty, Petition the King to animate their Acts, Canons, and Constitutions with the influence of his legislative power, this were faire quarter. But by your favour, no sooner have they enacted it here, and so soon as it is so­lemnly intimated, which is, by returning to every Pres­bytery, with it's Commissioners, a Copie of the Acts, Orders and Ordinances, and by the Presbyterie's order e­very Minister hath published them in the Parish Church; all things so done are animated with a Potestative power, by the influence these orders receive from that Legislative power Christ hath entrusted them with in his oeconomicall Kingdome. All then are bound to obedience, if it be in the meanest indifferent thing, nay if this order crosse or repeale a standing Law, all disobedients are liable to all Ecclesiasticall censures, and may forth with be proceeded against even till they be delivered over into the hands of the Divell.

This Assembly is above the King, to them he ought to They are above the King, and all Soveraignty. give an account of his faith; to their Confession of faith he must conforme himselfe; to their orders he must give obedience; otherwise he is excommunicable, deposable. I feare you scarce beleeve me: yet truely non verenda re­tego, sed inverecunda confuto. I discover not the naked­nesse of Father, the shame of Brother, nor friend; would to God the tenets and practices were buried in hell, and the maintainers regained to God by true repentance, and forsaking their wayes: I discover onely things that are past all shame, and which our Church can never owne. Sir, if you will hardly beleeve me in this, let me give you their [Page 33] assertions in this case, and their conformable practice.

It is their constant Catholicke tenet, that if the King, If they can­not reforme by the King, they may by any other meanes else. Queene, Regent or Protector, or whosoever he or she is, in whose Person Soveraignty is fixed, or in whose Person it is representatively fixed, onely by a fiduciary trust, during the non-age of the Prince or Princesse; will not submit himselfe to this holy Scepter, will not according to it's prescript, reforme Religion, preserve it in it's inte­grity, any man or men are bound to doe it at their dire­ction. I spare Martin. Junior's faith in this, that there is no authority above the Brotherhood. ‘No Magistrate (saith he, Thes: 17. 18. 22.) may lawfully may me or de­forme the body of Christ, which is the Church; no lawfull Church Government is changeable, at the pleasure of the Magistrate; of necessity all Christian Magistrates are bound to receive this government.’Nor will I insist up­on Vigginton's assertion; That ‘what the Holy Brother­hood cannot obtaine by suite and dispute, the People must bring it to passe.’ You desire the tenets and practices of the Church of Scotland onely.

The Scot's maintaine, that if the King, or Queene, will Religion may be reformed or preserved by violence. not reforme Religion, they may take upon them by vio­lence and power to reforme it. This they have learned of their grand-father Knox, as you may read in an Epistle of his written from Deepe. Anno. 1557. and in Knox Histor. pag. 213. what is lawfull for Reformation, is lawfull for preservation of Religion.

1. And here they begin with the Nobles: and deter­mine right downe, If the King will not, the Nobles may. Noble men ought to Reforme Religion, if the King will not. Knox, app. 25. againe, that God hath appointed the Nobility to bridle the inordinate appetites of Princes, and in so doing, they cannot be accused, as resisters [Page 34] of authority. Knox, Hist. 343. and, that it is their duty to represse the rage and insolency of Princes. Knox, app. 33.

2. In the second place, if the Nobles will not doe, the If neither King nor Nobles, the people may. People and Commonaltie may reforme Religion, at the order and direction of the Brotherhood. Knox, to the Commonalty. fol. 49. 50. The Commonaltie, by their power, may bridle the cruell beasts; (They meane Priests and Prelates) Knox to the Commonalty. fol. 55. The Commonalty may lawfully re­quire of their Soveraigne to have true Preachers, and if he be negligent, they may themselves provide them, maintaine them, defend them, against all that doe persecute them, and may detaine the profits of the Church livings from the other sort; That is to say, Priests, Papists, Prelates, and Malig­nants. Knox to the Commonalty. fol. 55.

3. In the third place, if they come to the happinesse to If Nobles & Commons joyne, there is hope of some greater successe. have Nobles and Commons obedient to their comman­dements, for reformation, or preservation of true Religi­on (which must be so as they fansie) I am deceived, if they allow not more violence, and esteeme it more piety, zeale, and justice. Their tenets are. The Commonalty concurring with the Nobles, may compell the Bishops to cease from their tyranny. Knox to the Commonalty. fol. 47. againe, The Nobility and Comminalty, ought to reforme Religion, and in that case may remove from honours, and may punish such as God hath condemned, Deut. 13. Of what estate, condition, or honour soever. Knox, app. fol. 28. 30.

4. In the fourth place, if the Nobles will not joyne Inferiour Ma­gistrates and people may joyne. with the People or Commonalty in the reformation, or preservation of true Religion, at the direction of the Mi­nistery, the inferior Magistrates may, and should doe it. Knox, Hist. p. 217.

[Page 35] 5. In the fifth place, before so good a worke be not Every indivi­duall in this good worke, may, & ought to the utmost of his povver, to intend and endeavour re­formation. done, if Nobles, or the whole, or greatest part of the Com­monalty will not be obedient, assisting, and ayding to so good a work; Every individuall man and person is bound to advance this good work, to kill Papist, Priest, Prelate, Malignant, nay a King, if He stand out an Enemy to God, and Christ, and cannot otherwise be reclaimed, or remo­ved, nor by suite, or dispute gained to the right way, (I dare say their doctrine leads to this) see Knox app. fol. 30. where roundly he saith, The punishment of s [...]ch crimes as touch the Majesty of God, doth not appertaine to Kings and chiefe Rulers onely, but also to the whole body of the People, and to every member of the same, to revenge the injury done against God. Againe see him fol. 35. The People are bound by oath to God, to revenge, to the utmost of their power, the injury done against God's Majestie. To this purpose they alleadge the examples of Phineas, who in his zeale killed the adulterers: of Ehud, who in the same zeale killed Eg­lon in his private Chamber, (remember he was a King.) Of Iael, who killed Sisera: of Matathias, who in zeale kil­led a Iew for committing of Idolatry; and who in the same zeale at the same time killed the King's Commissio­ner. Sir, put these things together, and see where this So­veraigne supreame Ecclesiasticall Iudicatory hath such dominion and power over mens consciences, that being directed by their Ministerie, they are bound to doe to the utmost of their power for reformation and preservation of Religion, what sacred Person of any King can be secu­red? what man offending against the Majesty of God (which is as they fansie many times) may not be taken a­way by one like to a Ravilliack? what Commissioner or Counsellor of the King but in doing his best service to [Page 36] his Maister, he may be stoned like to Adoram, and all this goe in popular esteeme currant for good service and extra­ordinary zeale to God and his cause.

6. In the sixth place upon those grounds Covenants All, or as ma­ny as are well affected, may covenant and combine for doing this work. and Confederacies come in to strengthen all, to joyne purses, persons, wit, and strength, contra omnes mortales, Regiâ Majestate non exceptâ, against King and Bishop, Prince and Prelate, to the defence of the good cause; with a combination, every one to be ayding, assisting and main­taining one another in so good a cause.

7. In the last place commeth their Orders for refor­mation The Confe­derats may by themselves give Orders. or preservation, and that by themselves and the collective body, or any associates whatsoever, without re­spect, reverence or obedience to the Soveraign authority of the Prince.

The practice is cleerly seen in Mr Knox his procee­dings, for after that by his Letter, which we mentioned Practises up­on the tenets. before written to Scotland Anno, 1557. from Deepe, and otherwise he had infused the above named principles into many, an oath of confederacy was taken amongst them, and subscription under their hands to some agreement. This gave life to that tumultuary reformation, much strength being added to it, by the concurrence of the Sa­crilegious, hoping thus to swallow up the Church reve­news. which is more then certain was against Knox his mind, and the first reformers. As we deplore great losses the Church had by this reformation, and doe thank God heartily for his admirable bounty and mercy in the good of truth we got by it, yet we will never wrong Reformed Religion so much as to account of that as an orderly re­formation, we deny not but it was attended with much Sedition Faction and Rebellion.

[Page 37] Anno 1558. without the authority of Soveraignty, nay Orders of Re­formation prescribed without the authority of Soveraignty. without the knowledge of it, these confederates, at the di­rection of their Ministery prescribe orders for Reformati­on of Religion to be observed and practised throughout the whole Kingdom. See Knox storie pag. 217. 2 [...]8.

They goe farther, they writ an Imperious Letter to the They charge their adverse party to obey their Orders. Religious houses, in the name of the Congregation, com­manding all of them [...] remove from thence against such a day, or then they would eject them by force. Knox ib.

Within very short time after, a Parliament being hol­den by They protost against King and Parlia­ment. the Queen Regent, (Queen Maries mother, and great Grandmother to our gratious Soveraign) they make a Protestation, that except they had their desires, they would goe on in their intended course of Reformation, that neither they, nor any that joyned with them, should incurre therefore any danger in life, or lands, or other Ci­vill Penalties, and that if any violence hapned in pursuit of those matters, they should thank themselves. It is very observable they were all bound in that confederacie to as­sist and strengthen each other in that course. See Knox Hist. pag. 256. First, here you have the direction of the Ministery. Next, you have a confederacy and bond of mutuall defence. Thirdly, you have Orders and Decrees agreed upon in common. Fourthly, you have warrants is­sued out to make or force all to be put in execution. Fiftly, you have a Protestation, and that a threatning one too, a­gainst the Queen Regent and whole Parliament. Sir, are those things consistent with Monarchie? what Scripture? what Father? what practice of the Church doth warrant such a reformation? They con­temne Sove­raign autho­rity.

Come on, and you shall have them anon in open con­temning Soveraign Authority. The Queen Regent to [Page 38] suppresse these beginnings, and to nip them in the bud, cites them to appeare at Stirling. They appeare not. They are outlawed: all men under pain of Treason are inhibited to assist them. There is no obedience, but all in the con­federacie adhere to them. I cannot, for my part, justify this divinity.

From disobedience and contempt, they are guilty of They usurpe Royall povv­er. usurping the Royall power, for v [...]ry shortly after, anno 1559. Immediatly after a Sermon Preached by Knox in Saint-Iohnstowne, at his exhortation and direction, they fall to the pulling downe of the Religious Houses, and within two or three daies equall three of them to the ground. Sir, can it appeare that by Holy Writ or Reason such Popular tumultuary reformations are warrantable? Is it not intrinsecally inherent in the Crown or wheresoe­ver soveraignty is fixed? And so they proceeded in Fife, Angus, Mornis, Stirling, Lowthian &c. and through the whole Kingdom. See Knox Hist. p. 263. Here were many goodly and Rich Churches Spoyled, Robbed, and cast downe.

After this they disclaim Soveraign authority, except it be as they please, and have their desires. The Queen Re­gent They re­nounce their lavvfull Sove­raigne. threatned S. Iohnstowne where this disorder first was acted. They of the confederacy writ to her in plain termes,‘that except She stayed from that cruelty, they should be compelled to take the Sword of Iust defence, and protested, that without the reformation which they desired, they would never be Subject to any mortall man.’ See Knox pag. 265.

More followed. By a Letter they cite all their Bre­thren They com­mand all the Brotherhood to be assi­stants. to repaire unto them, and that you may know that their Letters were authoritative commands, and that all [Page 39] the authority is from the independent Soveraignty of the Church, consider how they write to the Nobility upon paine of Excommunication to joyne with them. Knox ibid. pag. 268, 269, 272.

How much this Ecclesiasticall Soveraignty did exalt They are o­beyed, the Queenes He­rald is abused. it selfe above the civill, is more then apparent in this, that when an Herald in his coat of armes, commanded all men under pain of Treason to returne to their houses, by pub­lique sound of Trumpet in Glasgow no man obeyed that charge, but went forward to their associates, Habes confi­tentem reum, Knox. pag. 274.

They denounce Warre too, which was ever judged to They de­nounce vvarre against their adversaries. be the peculiar specifick prerogative of Soveraignty, for they writ to the Bishops and Clergy, that except they de­sisted from dealing against them, They would, with all force and power, execute just vengeance and punishment upon them: and that they would begin the same warre, which God commanded Israell to execute against the Cana­nites. Which manner of proceeding, they termed a resi­sting of the Enemy. Knox. Hist. 275, 276.

The poor Queen Regent was brought to an Accommo­dation, They vvill heare of no Peace, but enter into a Combination for mutuall defence. and the Assembly at St-Iohnstowne was dismissed. But there parting they entered into a League by Oath, that if any one Member of their Congregation (this in the Scottish is Equivalent to Ecclesia) should be troubled, they should all concurre, assist and convene againe together, for the defence of the same. Knox. pag. 283.

The Queen Regent finding this Soveraignty overbeare Her's, and the Peace of the Kingdom shaken, by a Decla­ration published and proclaimed, testified her desire of Peace, and descended so much, that really it was onely a request. They scorned it, would none of it, confuted it by [Page 40] another, did exhort those of their Faction to encourage themselves in the Lord, to stand upon their guard like to the re-builders of Hierusalem and the Temple, with the Sword in one hand and the Bible in another, wherein they gave the Queen many times the Lye, and abused her with reproachfull and contumelious speeches. The Subjects that continue their obedience are honoured with no bet­ter tearme then to be called the Queenes Faction. You may read this at leisure and pleasure in Knox History. pag. 330, 333, 362, 364. Nay, they renounce their obedience unto Her, protested that whosoever should take Her part, should be punished as Traitors, whensoever God should put the Sword of Iustice into their hands. Knox Hist. p. 364.

At last they rise to the highest pitch of Rebellion, and They depose the Queene Regent. Anno. 1560. they depose the Queen Regent, the prede­termination being given, that it was lawfull for them to do so, by Mr Knox and Mr Wilcockes. This is upon re­cord yet in that Kingdome, and is set downe by M. Knox himselfe. Hist. pag. 372. 378. and it is observable, that the Queen, if I remember right, lived but a month, or little more, after this pious act.

Sir, you will now say, that I speak too hardly of our first The Author's modest opini­on of that is called the first reformation of Scotland. Reformers and Reformation, and would know what is my opinion of them and it. To deale clearly, God is my witnesse I am no Papist, but doe abhorre Popery as much as any, and that I am no Puritane the other party wil wit­nesse for me. I am bound to speak the truth in my heart, and to give some satisfaction, I say 1. First, as I am able, I blesse and praise God most heartily that we were delive­red from the Popes Tyranny, and that grosse Aegyptian darknesse we were under: which I ascribe to the admira­ble wisedome and infinitely transcendent goodnesse of [Page 41] God. 2. Next I leave the men to God's mercy, but for the manner of proceeding, the way they took, I dare not, I will not approve it: but will say with Iacob, in consilium eo­rum ne veniat anima mea. 3. Thirdly, I daily heartily be­waile that that too too much Idolised reformation in an excessive hatred against Popery, did runn too much to the other extreame, that the goodly order and government necessary of the Church was shouldered out; the publick service and worship of God with it's decency, reverence and comlinesse was much defaced, disgraced; That good­ly, stately and rich Churches, were abused, robbed and equalled to the ground; and that the Church Patrimonie was dilapidated: and yet this was not so much done by the first called Reformers, as by their Disciples, Aetas parentum pejor avis.

It feareth me, besides that God is punishing our present sinnes, that by this scourge, which is guilded with the spe­cious, but spurious compellation of a glorious thorow, se­cond Reformation, he is in the same justice punishing the sinnes of that first Reformation. For my part I judge ve­rily that Church had never an orderly and warrantable Reformation, till it was happily begun and advanced by King Iames when he took the government in his owne hands, and was like to come to a great perfection under the government of our most gratious Soveraigne King Charles. Although I deny not but the seeds of truth were sowen by Hamilton, Wiseheart, Mylne and others, who before Knox his time did Preach truth, cast downe the er­rors of Rome in the Peoples hearts, were farre from stur­ring up the Subjects against lawfull authority, and like the ancient Martyrs, did suffer patiently and seale the truth of the Gospell with their blood. If Knox and his Complices [Page 42] had kept in this way I am certaine that Church had been more happy: nor had we seen such Robbery and deformi­ty in the Church. Sure I am, great, many, and more then ordinary sinnes in them and us and our forefathers have brought us to be plunged in those almost inextricable miseries: And till we proportionably repent, we can­not look to see better dayes, what is disjoynted in state set aright, and the beauty of God's house restored; which God of his mercy grant to us for his onely Sonne Iesus Christ.

By what is said, it appeares sufficiently that this spiritu­all Soveraignty is farre above the King's Crowne, and what we undertook, to make their practices prove their tenets, is more then evident, onely one thing rests to be proved, that this Soveraignty may authorize any and eve­ry private man to doe to the utmost of their power for the Reformation of Religion, to plunder, kill, &c.

Sir, I referre you to Mr Knox history of the Church of Scotland, pag. 143, 144, 145. where relating how Cardinal Practice of mischief done by private men, & com­mended by them. Beaton Archbishop of Saint Andrew's, (a man whom I ju­stifie not neither commend much) was killed by Norman Lesley, Iohn Lesley, Peter Carmichael and Iames Melvil in his owne house the Castle of Saint Andrew's, who were all onely private Gentlemen, and if you will trust Bucha­nan, the cause was a jarre betwixt Norman Lesley and the Cardinal; upon Knox faith, the quarrell was the killing of M. George Wiseheart (a good man undoubtedly.) The Cardinal could have no mercy, although he cryed pittiful­ly for it, saying, I am a Priest ye will not slay me; Knox I say relating this history commends the fact of Iames Mel­vil killing him with grave and pious words in his mouth as a godly fact. The summe of the story is, when they en­tred [Page 43] the Cardinall's chamber with some sixteen or seven­teen more, Iohn Lesly and Peter Carmichaell fell violently and passionatly on him, but Iames Melvill with gravity and piety withdrew them, and said: ‘This work and judge­ment of God (although it be secret) ought to be done with great gravitie. And presenting unto him the poynt of the Sword, said, Repent thee of thy former wicked life, but e­specially of thy shedding of the blood of that notable instru­ment of God M. George Wiseheart, which albeit the flame of sire consumed before men, yet cries it a vengeance upon thee, and we from God are sent to revenge it. For here be­fore my God I protest, that neither the hatred of thy person, the love of thy Riches, nor the feare of any trouble, thou couldest have done to me in particular, moved, or moveth me to strike thee: but only because thou hast been and re­mainest an obstinate enemy against Christ Iesus and his ho­ly Gospell.’ And the meek man of God, as he is there ter­med, stroke him twise or thrise thorow with a stog-sword; and he fell. I give all this that Iames Melvill did this in revenge of M. George Wiseheart being slain by the Car­dinall. what Divinity will warrant this fact of Iames Mel­vil's to be a good and Godly fact (for so it is noted in the Margent) to a privat man to murther or kill thus a Priest an Archbishop of so high dignity? The result of all is, he did it gravely, in coldblood, told him so much, that he was sent from God, he had no private end, the motive sturred him up to this Godly fact, was, that he had been and re­mained at that time an enemy to Iesus Christ and his holy Gospell; he exhorted him to repentance and for all his great sinnes, as Knox writes the storie, he allowed him no more time, but so much as was spent in his Godly Har­ang: for immediatly after he was twise thrust thorow. But [Page 44] those Seraphicall Doctors know, Nescit tarda molimina Spiritus Sanctus; and the spirit can work suddenly, Inter os & offam; Inter Pontem & Fontem, especially where and when they are sent of God to doe such great good works. But this is protestatio contra factum. what ever M. Melvil said in his Protestation, Knox doth witnesse that the Car­dinall being murthered, they seized upon the Artillery and Ammunition, wherewith that fortresse was plentifully fur­nished, and likewise upon the rich hangings, houshold-stuffe of all sorts, apparell, Copes, Jewels, ornaments of Churches, great store of Gold and Silver Plate, besides no small quanti­ty of treasure in ready coyne.

I could instance some practices about the time of the Parliament in anno 1621. commonly called the Marquesse of Hamilton's Parliament, but because that will only reflect upon some particular persons, I passe it willingly and wit­tingly.

It is most certain when the pious and learned Doctors of Aberdene, did demand of the Patriarches of this late Co­venant, why they did not by Preaching, Printing, Censu­ring, or some reall deed expresse their detestation of that horrid fact done by the Rascally-rout of Edenburgh the 23. of Iuly 1637. where at the first reading of the service there, a great many Bishops being in the Cathedrall Church, the Serving-women rose barbarously within the Church, did throw their stooles at the Bishop of the place, and the Deane who was officiating, did cry out most horribly, that the Major, Aldermen, and others within could hardly compose it for a long time, and the worst and basest of the People, who were without, did throw in great stones at the glasse windowes, the doores being shut. After the arising of the commotion, to prevent [Page 45] more tumult and danger, and when Service and Sermon were done, the Bishops, Major and Aldermen going home with the Lord Chancellor and some BB. attending his Grace, the Bishop, and Deane of Edenburgh with o­thers were well nigh stoned in the streets: when I say it was demanded of these Apostles, why they did not con­demne this unchristian Barbarous outrage, voyd of Pietie and Reason, and without any example in the Christian Church, the summe of their answer was, and to this day is, that such a zealous people were to be left to their own warrand, they knew not by what Spirit they were gover­ned, God worketh great workes many times by basest means: and yet those Nobles, those zealous, those intel­ligent and knowing Christians (whereof many of them in Edenburgh were knowne Coale-stealers and Whores) were the first active instruments in this glorious reformati­on. I confesse this Divinity is so transcendent and Meta­physicall, that it exceeds my capacity, and is so fruitfull upon any occasion to work all or the greatest of mis­chiefes, that I doe not see how it can consist with peace or safety of King, Kingdome, Church, or of any entru­sted with greatest trust in Church or State. Sir, I believe any rationall man may see by this, how superlatively this spirituall Signorie is above King and Royall Soveraignty. I leave it to your own judgement and memory to recol­lect it, and to bring home the conclusion, that this go­vernment Ecclesiasticall is inconsistent with Monarchie, with the Peace of a Kingdome, and is or may be in time a Mother and Nurse of as much Rebellion and Treason as any Iesuitisme of the Highest dye, if not more. Cer­tainly Rome, although a Whore, and hath a cup of abomi­nation in her hand, is not so bad nor so abominable; [Page 46] I pray God to keep all good Christians cleane of both.

Let us goe on; In Faith, Worship, and all spirituall things they vindicate to themselves such a Soveraignty, that King, Councell, Parliament, nay all together, must not touch the Scepter of Christ, they are to determine, define, take cognisance, accuse, sentence, punish; neither King, nor King and Councell, nor King and Parliament, all must assume power here, for otherwise it is to intrude upon Christ and his Right.

This Soveraignty is of so high a straine, so large an ex­tent, that when they have decreed any thing in this su­pream When they demand the Royall con­formation of their decrees it is only an act of courte­sie. infallible Iudicatorie, that they may have the bet­ter obedience to demand the King and Parliament's ap­probation; This is not demanded as a thing arbitrary which the King and Parliament may doe or not doe; or leaving it to His Royall judgement with the advice of His Parliament to qualify or rectify their decrees, and orders: No, no truly; that is to betray the trust Christ hath given them, they need not supplicate or Petition for it, it is in them but an act of courtesie to shew dutifull obedience. And if the King and Parliament will not grant it, they are armed with as much power from Heaven as to force them to doe it, by Excommunication, and making all good Christians joyne with them in God's cause.

Sir, I feare you think I speake Liberally. God forbid I should doe it. I doubt not but you have read the Scotish Pope's Sermon Preached at Westminster, and Printed by Order of the House, since you have it I will not spend time and Paper to cite his Words which giveth to the King no more. But to make this appeare, I give you some unanswerable reasons. 1. It is certain in Scotland M. Knox and his complices set on their reformation without the [Page 47] Queen, or Queen Regents authority, or the authority of Parliament. For anno 1558. they made their confederacy: gave out their Orders for Reformation throughout the whole Kingdome. anno 1559. they acted their Reforma­tion, An instance. anno. 1559. by casting downe Churches, Abbyes, &c. casting out Priests, Friers, &c. and all this by their owne radicall and originall power. Queen Mary their true and lawfull So­veraigne did authorize them in nothing, she was then in France. The Queen Dowager, Queen Regent, King Iames the fifth's Widdow, having the Soveraignty by fiduciary trust, in regard of the absence of the Queen her daughter, did not authorize it, nay she did by her authority oppose it, contradict it, came in Armes against it. The Parliament was not till the yeare 1560. (how holden for the present I cannot tell) but in that Parliament they set out a confes­sion of faith, reformed Religion: but when they sent to King and Queen beyond Seas (Queen Mary was then Married to Francis the second in France) to confirme or ratifie the acts thereof, they denied. When intelligence was given to the Confederates, they professed they little regarded the deniall of King and Queene, for say they (Knox Hist. pag. 500.) all we did was rather to shew our du­tifull obedience, then to begge of them any strength to our Religion.

Another in this kind you have; In Anno 1571. King Another in­stance, anno. 1571. Iames then being King, and the Earle of Marre being Re­gent, an Assembly was holden at Leith, where by the Or­der of the Assembly, and Ordinance of the Regent and Councell, some Commissioners were appointed from the Regent and Councell, and some from the generall Assem­bly to condescend upon a platforme of discipline, which was agreed to on both sides. The platforme is that the Go­vernment [Page 48] of the Church shall be by Archbishops, Bi­shops, Deanes and Chapters, &c. the order and course of all their Nomination, Election, &c. is just conforme to this in England at this day, and as it was in Scotland before this new happy Reformation. This was enrolled in the Councell Books of that Kingdom, and stands there to this day, this I know certainly, and if I be not deceived, and almost I dare say it, except they have wronged their most famous and their most ancient Councells, the platforme is upon Record in the Generall Assembly Books.

Give me leave to tell you by the way one thing, that the Negative Faith, which is sine rugâ, sine maculâ, was fra­med, anno 1580. and it is believed, that in that Negative faith Episcopacy is abjured as Antichristian; yet anno 1581. this same Government is renewed, ratified and or­dained to continue constant, and not to be changed till His Majesty come to perfect age, and to be kept or changed then onely in what He and His great Councell, the Parli­ament, shall think fit, and not otherwise. Before this the King His Houshold and Councell had subscribed the Ne­gative Faith; can any man, not voyd of judgement and discretion, think, that the King, His Houshold and Coun­cell in subscribing it did judge Episcopacy Popish and Antichristian.

Next it is worth your notice taking, that as I honour the good parts which were in Knox and his fellow-labou­rers, I never accounted them as Apostles men secured from error; yet I will say so much for their justification, that they were greater Enemies to Sacriledge than their after-disciples; and were not against the Order of Episco­pacy as Popish and Antichristian, as M. Andrew Melvil and his disciples afterward maintained. Nor were they so [Page 49] foolish to seclude all Church-men from voyce in Parlia­ment, onely their desire was, that seeing the Popish Bi­shops were allowed to enjoy their Benefices and Rents during their life time (this was more then our charitable glorious Reformers allowed to their Protestant Bishops now) with all other Priviledges except spirituall jurisdi­ction, that they should not sit in Parliament as the repre­sentative of the Church, but in their places should sit the Superintendents and Commissioners of the Church. Which indeed were somewhat like to Bishops, but resembled more Arch-Presbyters then Bishops.

To returne againe thither from whence we digressed; They set on their Disci­pline by themselves. after that this platforme of discipline was so agreed and established, as we told before, M. Andrew Melvil comes to Scotland about the yeare 1574, or 75. ultra citra. This man a good Hebrecian and Linguist, and full of the Geneva Talmud which was now more refined, beginneth to set Presbyterian discipline higher, to make a second book of Policy, or devout Imaginations, acknowledgeth no more Orders in the Church, then the foure above named. A Bishop was no more in Scripture but the same identically with Presbyter; and where Abbots and Priors to his time were nominated and admitted to the Abbies and Priories as Church-men, gave their trialls and were collated (as they speake) by the superintendents: This great Doctor found out another Divinity, that there was no Bishop but a Parish Priest; Scripture, for Abbots and Priors there were none such in God's book. At this time, and from that they call Reformation to this time, there was no Bi­shoprick nor Abbie annexed to the Crowne, and conse­quently not impropriate to any Subject. It is true Lay-men held them in commendam by the King's gift, but as [Page 50] men able to doe the King and Church good service; and before their right could be completed or perfected, they were to returne to the King from the Superintendent a collation or certificate, that he was of that ability to doe good service to the King and Church. Men sacrilegiously disposed grasped greedily this doctrine, and thanked God that their names as Abbots & Priors were not in the book of God. And to have these Church livings and dignities with Bishopricks annexed to the Crowne, and from thence to impropriate them to them and their heires, they deified M. Melvil, and contributed their best wits and uttermost power to raise Presbyteriall government higher. And by the sole authority of that they call the Church, they began, without the King, Councell or Parliament's consent or authority, to distribute the whole Kingdome into so many Presbyteries, as they thought fit in their discretion and by the direction of the holy Spirit: and did procure private subscriptions to their new Book of Policie, and put it in practice. Sir, I hope you are the more apt to beleeve this, because you know in England the disciplinarians in Lon­don meetings debated and established their orders in secret and not warrantable Conventicles, and much about the same time; and great correspondence was entertained be­twixt the Scots and the English at that time. How that book of Discipline was practised without any authority in Surrey and Northamptonshire, and other places you know well enough.

Now I pray you, when without Authority, by their owne inherent radicall Right, they make Orders, reforme, establish a Discipline, doe these men imagine, that the con­currence of Christian authority Soveraigne is absolutely necessary, or that their demand is any thing else but an [Page 51] act of courtesie, when by themselves and assistants they may establish and practise it?

This Second book of Policie, Master Melvils refor­mation is the Epocha of our second Reformation. The fruits of which I will tell you were, the Annexation of all Bishopricks, Abbyes, Priories &c. to the Crown, which was effectuated anno 1587.

If you will cast your eyes upon the third glorious refor­mation, that makes the Popes knees shake like Belshazzars when he did see the handwriting on the Wall, (that is if we will speak truly, this deformation which is the disgrace of reformed Catholike Religion, and which threatneth Church and Religion, King and Kingdom with ruine) you will find these men have sung a note above Ela, have or­dered and practised more then all that went before them. Hanc movere nolo Camarinam. I hope a better wit and more elegant and eloquent pen, shall some time Anato­mise this Monster, and so lay it open to the view of the world, that it shall appeare to be no true brood of the Re­formed Catholike Protestant Religion.

2. Secondly, another argument to prove that this Su­perlative Soveraignty in spiritualibus, hath all its most na­turall All must Preach as they direct. Subjects at its devotion and obedience, is this, that what they command to be Preached, must sound alike in all their Synagogues. And whosoever he be that is the Minister of the Kings family he must Preach the same. There is no coequall, corrivall, or coordinate power that can doe so much as intercedere make the least sort of cros­sing, opposing or interposing. Is it not known that the Kings Minister in Scotland, at the direction of this Con­clave, when his Councell have been to meet frequently for Treaty with Ambassadors from forrain Kings; upon [Page 52] the Lord's day or Week-daies Sermon before the meet­ing, [...], in great freedom of the Spirit, hath told him all the Counsell of God from Heaven, with a de­nunciation of Iudgements if he swerve from it. And if the King had gone to the Church of Edenburgh, a Beardlesse boy had told him more sound wisdome from Heaven, how to article and conclude in matters of Highest con­cernment betwixt him and Spaine, or him and France, then all the wisest Councellors and greatest Nobles in the Land: and this forsooth must be the King and Councell's rule.

3. Thirdly, doe they not challenge to themselves the They ap­poynt publike Fasts. sole power to appoynt publike fasts, to give the reasons of it, which ordinarily are, that Gods judgements are in­cumbent and imminent upon Church and Kingdom, for the sinnes of the Governour and Governours, and that the Government is amisse. And the consequent or effect of these fasts is too too frequently and ordinarily some Commotion, Sedition, Rebellion, or at least, some change of Court, Councell, or Session.

I cannot here passe by a storie as true as strange. While King Iames was in Scotland, two French Ambassadors A strange af­front offered to King Iames. had remained some months there with Him: being ready to depart and take their leave of the King, the King for His own and the French Kings greater Honour, sent on a Satterday for the Major and Aldermen of Edenburgh, commanding them the very next Monday to Feast the French Ambassadors. The Ministers of Edenburgh to af­front the King, and the King of France too, on Sunday intervening indict a solemne fast to be kept to morrow on Monday, the day appoynted the Saterday before by His Majesty for the entertainment of the Ambassodors. [Page 53] The Magistrats of Edenburgh proudly contemne the com­mand of the supream spirituall powers, and out of carnall affection, feast the King & the French Ambassadors Roy­ally & Nobly on Monday; when the Ministers & the good Christians of Edenburgh fast, the King, the Ambassadors, and Magistrates of Edenburgh feast. ô facinus horrendum. But to avert Gods judgement from the Land, the Major and Aldermen were cited and convented (here was some favour that the King and Ambassadors were not, but I will tell you it was partiality and corruption, for some of the Ministers were the Kings Pensioners, and this kept the King free) to be censured for their high Scandall in con­temning so solemne a Fast. There was much work: but the King who was the chiefe and almost sole transgressor, with interposed delayes, and much sollicitation and pru­dence, took off the edge of their zeale, and the pursuit ceased.

4. That this Assembly is Soveraigne in all Spiritualls, None Preach­ing Treason is censurable by any but by them. admits no Coordinate or Coequall power, farre lesse a su­perior, is cleer in this; That if any Preacher be charged be­fore King or Councell for any offence to be punished, if they in any case can cloath it with a spirituall respect or circumstantiate it so, that it may be qualified for the Spirl­tuall High Sanhedrim, the party cited and convented, may and ought to appeale to the Generall Assembly, as to the Iudge competent. Mr Andrew Melvil, if I be not deceived, was the first Spirituall Councellor of Law, that taught this way. It is certain that what they Preach in Pulpit is not censurable by King, Parliament, nor Councell, or a­ny Iudge or Iudicatory else. There be two reasons for it, one is that, Spiritus Prophetarum subjecti prophetis, the spi­rit of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets onely, 1. [Page 54] Cor. 14. the t'other is, whilst men are there in that infal­lible pulpit, they are ruled by some superior good spirit and they dare not blame or condemne them, least they should offend and sinne against the Spirit, and so although a man Preach downright Treason, if it be in this place he is priviledged. It is known and, I hope, yet remembred that after King Iames of blessed memory anno 1584. made many good Lawes to curbe the Insolency of Ministers, did by Statute and Act of Parliament declare His Supre­macy over Ecclesiasticall Persons and causes; condemne all Iudicatories in use which were not by his own authori­ty established; (He meaned the Presbyteriall.) That the Ministers then did importune the King to repeale them: and when that would not doe, did they not fall at last into open railing against him in pulpit, as an enemy to Christ and his Kingdom; they dispersed through the Kingdom infa­mous libells against his Person and Royall Honour: they branded him as an Apostate from the truth, and reviled him as an ofspring of the cruell and bloody house of Guise. This forced the King to put out a Declaration anno 1585. in Print yet extant to vindicate himselfe and his Ho­nour from that unchristian and more then disloyall ca­lumnies. At or about the very same time some fugitive Ministers out of Scotland, pretending they were persecu­ted, did in the Pulpits of London, with their fowle mouths, raile against His Majesty, the wisest and learnedst of Kings: so that the Scottish Ambassador was forced to complaine to Queen Elizabeth of it; Her Majesty gave present order to the Lord Bishop of London then, to si­lence all the Scottish Preachersthere.

Now that this Sanhedrim is only competent Iudge in Spiritualibus, and that one convented before King and [Page 55] Councell, may decline his and the Councel's authority, although he hath Preached Treason, appeareth cleerly. 1. First, if this had not been an ordinary practice before this time, what needeth the making of that Act of Parlia­ment, anno 1584. declaring it Treason in all time to come to decline the Power and Iurisdiction of the King and His Councell. 2. Secondly, has not Iames Gibsonne Minister at Pencaitland witnessed for or against himselfe rather in this case in Print: who publiquely in his Preachings com­pared His Majesty unto Ieroboam, told him He should be the last of His Race, reproached him as a Persecutor; and much more of this zealous stuffe: who being convented before the King and Councell, and accused of those pi­ous crimes, He with that boldnesse becometh His Order, justified all, saying to His Majesty, As long as you main­tain these cursed acts of 1584. the tyranny of Bishops, you are a Persecutor. And addes, that as Jeroboam for the lead­ing of the people of Israell from the Lawes of the house of Iu­dah, and from the true worship of God, was rooted out, he and all his posterity: so should the King (if He continued in that wicked course, maintaining those wicked acts against God) be rooted out and conclude the race. much more to the like purpose was said, & if any look upon the Privy. Councell Books of the Kingdom of Scotland, he will find this a truth. He was convented 27. December, anno 1585. This man was an Oracle consulted, and gave his answer in Cop­pinger, Arthington, and Hacket's extraordinary motion, which storie you know better then I.

Mr Black, Minister of St Andrew's, was convented too before the King and Councell about the same time, who appealed from King and Councell to the Presbytery or Ge­nerall Assembly; this last had spoken against both King and [Page 56] Queen. There was a great businesse for the two mens ap­peales, their brethren sided so much with them that the King had too much to doe. At last out of more then war­rantable indulgence His Majesty was content to insist no farther against them before His Councell, but to remit their censure to the Generall Assembly it selfe: before which it was cleerly proved, that in pulpit they had spo­ken reproachfull and Treasonable speeches, yet could the King by no power or entreaty obtain of them to in­flict any punishment upon them, because said they, They knew not with what Spirit they were overruled.

I will shut up this poynt with one instance more then sufficient to make the truth of what I say to appeare. Be­fore King Iames came to the Crowne of England, it was ordinary in Scotland to have a Generall Assembly once a yeare, and oftner pro re natâ, upon any great exigent. The last which was kept during His Majesties abode there was Anno 1602. in the close of which the next ensuing was appoynted to be at Aberdine, Anno 1603. in the inte­rim the King succeeding to Q. Elizabeth, and being in England, He was so much taken up with the affaires of the Kingdom, that He was necessitated to lay aside those con­cerned Scotland; and for this reason His Majesty thought it fit to adjourne the Assembly (unto which he had a spe­ciall eye, knowing their turbulent disposition, and experi­enced in it whilest he was present amongst them) to the next Summer in Anno 1604. When the time appoynted was come His Majesties more weighty affaires not suf­fering him to think upon the Assemblies businesse, He gave order to Prorogate it to another and longer day; which was accordingly done by publike Proclamation, authori­zed by His Honourable Privy Councell of that Kingdom. [Page 57] Notwithstanding all which, some Thirteen or Fourteen Godly zealous brethren must needs meet at Aberdine at the day appoynted for the Assembly. They established and formalized the Iudicatorie, by constituting a Mode­rator, a Clerk, and other essentiall Members of the Court. The Lords of Councell understanding this contempt, sent a Gentleman of good qualitie and place, with an Herault at Armes, to discharge and dissolve the Holy meeting. The Commissioner and Herault were entertained with as much respect, as before they had given reverence to the Proclamation issued out by the Soveraigne authoritie of the King with the advice of His Honourable Privy-Coun­cell. The Holy Fathers in the great Sanhedrim protested and professed, that in Conscience and Duty to Almighty God, they were bound to preserve the Churches right, and could not, would not, give way to that power the King Sacrilegiously usurped, which properly and natively be­longed to the Church virtuall, the Assembly. They kept and continued the Assembly some dayes, and finding that no more of the holy Brotherhood came to joyne with them, they dissolved, and to preserve the holy right of the Church appoynted the time and place of meeting for the next Assembly. The King hearing this, gave order to His Privy-Councell to cite & convent them before them, and to punish this High contempt. The more zealous Cham­pions of the Lord of Hostes appeared, and with an undaun­ted courage gave in to the Lords of Councell a Protestati­on, a Declinator from the Kings Councell, and appealed to the next Generall Assembly, as the sole and competent judge in this case and cause. The Kings Atturney or Ad­vocate, by order from the Councell-Table, was ordained to pursue them criminally before the Lord Iustice Gene­rall, [Page 56] [...] [Page 57] [...] [Page 58] and that upon the Act of Parliament mentioned be­fore Anno 1584. upon which Order, the one halfe con­fessed their fault and easily made their Peace, and obtai­ned pardon. The zelots were convicted of Treason, ad Terrorem & exemplum, more then for any other end or respect: and only banished the Kingdom. Of whom the most part thereafter upon their confession and submission were pardoned, came home, lived and enjoyed their own, or at least as good, if not better Benefices. Sir, are these things consistent with Monarchie, or the obedience is due to Soveraignty and its Highest Courts?

So absolute and uncontroleable is this High Celestiall Court, that it commandeth, Conscience and Soule, di­sposeth The Sove­raignty Eccle­siasticall Ty­rannizeth o­ver consci­ence body & Estate. of body and estate in the poynt of Religion, that if you conforme not in all, neither Soule, nor Body, nor Estate can be in Peace, nay no toleration can be allowed where this soveraignty domineereth. And to make this power of the larger extent, it is certain, their faith and things necessary to Salvation are of greater latitude then that of the Councell of Trent.

If any doth not, after a little time granted for informa­tion, conforme and subscribe to their confession of Faith, (which is more in negatives and destructives, then affir­matives and positives) their rule of government, their manner of Worship, and what else in their opinion is ne­cessary to Salvation, (and in this I am sure they are more rigorous then ever God or Catholike Church was, for if you dissent but from them in a Theologicall tenet, it is He­resie) you are forthwith excommunicated, and given o­ver to the Divell: after which upon the remonstrance of a Commissioner from the Presbyterie to the Civill Iudge, there is a warrant from Supream authority given out to [Page 59] command you to conforme (this is different from the Writ De excommunicato capiendo) or then within few dayes to be put to the horne (that is outlawed.) Vpon dis­obedience the tender conscience not conforming, the out­lawed's estate moveable (Chattells we call it) become proper to the King. God knoweth, little of this benefit commeth to the King's Thesaurer, but a Donater to the escheit, which ordinarily is the Convicted's mortall Ene­my for a little composition hath the right made over, and hath the benefit of the escheit. If within yeare and day he give not obedience and conformity, His whole Revenues and Rents of immoveable goods forfeit to the King du­ring his life time. Some Enemy of His, or Favourite of the Thesaurer's, obtaineth the King's Right, and the King hath little or nothing of it. Here you have him stript of all his Estate moveable, immoveable. Yet here is not an end: but still upon Remonstrance of the Presbyteries or Church's Commissioner, another writ goeth out, which they call Letters of Caption (that is, if I mistake not, the tant'amount of the writ de Excommunicato capiendo) which is directed to all Sheriffes, Stuards, Provosts, Bai­lies, &c. to seize & secure his Person wheresoever it may be apprehended, and to commit him to close Prison as a Rebell. If he skulk and hide himselfe, then upon the same Remonstrance goeth out a writ, which there they call Letters of Intercommuning (I know no thing in the Law like this) the intent is that none of the Kings Subjects commune or conferre with him coram or personally, or by Letter or interposed Person keep intelligence or cor­respondence with him; otherwise the intercommuner is to be judged and reputed to be a Rebell of the same guil­tinesse. You will be pleased to remember this, when the [Page 60] Church requireth all these of the civill Magistrate (so they are pleased to terme Soveraignty) he is bound to grant them. Now, Sir, I pray you consider if this is not in many respects worse then the Inquisition; when an opini­on in a Theologicall tenet different from the assured faith of those Gamaliels may bring a man unto all those trou­bles. Onely to make amendes for this, remember this authoritative way preserveth a Church from Haeresie, Error, Superstition and Schisme.

There is another practice of the power of this Court, This Court is Iudge of Treason in relation to Religion, and of fit & wor­thy Councel­lors for a King. that for the glory of God, the honour of the King, the good and preservation of Church and Religion, it may assume to it selfe to be Iudge of what is Treason, what is not: who are fit Councellors for a King, who not.

Practice is the most sure infallible and clear proofe and demonstration of power. I will give you one in the case of Treason, that none dare to say it is a Lye, and which can be made good by the authentick and publique Records of Parliament and Councell of Scotland, and their owne No­ble acts of generall Assembly.

When King Iames, about the age of Iosias, (when in ho­ly writ it is recorded of him that he began to seeke the Lord with all his heart) had taken the Government of the Kingdome in his owne hand; and did Reigne and Rule with such prudence incomparable, admirable, that none could justly except against Him or His Government: yet such was the restlesse ambition of some, who could not with patience endure the trust of others, especially of that Noble worthy Esme Duke of Lennox, His Majesties nea­rest Kinsman and highest Favourite, and that justly for His most eminent Noble endowments. These disconten­ted Gentlemen layed downe a resolution to get the King [Page 61] into their hands and power, and to thrust out that Noble Prince. They watched an opportunity, when the King came to His sport of hunting neare to Saint-Iohnstowne, with an ordinary attendance, (the Noble Peere staying with others at Edenburgh for the King and Kingdomes better service) surprised him fearing no ill, seized his Per­son, carried him along to the Castle of Ruthen, kept him so that none could have accesse to him, till he was forced to command the Duke of Lennox to depart the Kingdome (which out of zeale and love to the King he did in Win­ter embarking at Dunbrittane, came to France and dyed shortly after) and to change all his servants they disliked, and to surround him with themselves and their owne. They kept their King in captivitie the space of nine monthes, suffering none to come at him, but such as they pleased. The wise King put a good face upon a foule bu­sinesse, seemed to like well of them and their courses. Ne­verthelesse the best and most knowing of Subjects grum­bled exceedingly to see their Prince so abused. The Con­spirators understanding it, did advise upon the best course to satisfie the people and to bring them to approve their way. They wrought with the chiefe Rulers of the Syna­gogue, and prevailed. At the next generall Assembly they give in a Remonstrance to them then sitting in Edenburgh, declaring the Extraordinary reasons that moved them to secure His Majesties Person in the Castle of Ruthen: their zeale to the Reformed Religion, which was in imminent and apparent danger by the practices of the Duke, who was sent from France to Scotland of purpose to corrupt the young King: their care to secure the King's Royall Person, whom the Duke intended to conveigh privately to France: their desire to free the Subjects from the bloo­dy [Page 62] tyranny and oppression both of their lives and goods by the malitious disposition, and insatiable avarice of those who were about him and overruled him; and a great many more specious pretences, (which are not much dif­ferent from these of this time;) upon this Narrative the humble Petition to this Superlative Soveraignty was that the holy Brother-hood would be pleased to give an ap­probation to this their Heroick and Christian fact, and whatsoever was their judgement they would obey it with this proviso, that it should be made knowne to all good Christians within the Realme. The demand was pious and just, the holy Assembly secured from erring and er­ror, and not encroaching upon any thing meerly civill, but in a case of so high concernment in ordine ad spiritua­lia, as competent Iudges doe take the case into their con­sideration, and after mature deliberation, being assisted with a fansied infallible direction give out their verdict, authorize and approve all in substance or circumstance to be holily and justly with much zeale and discretion done. In all this they exceeded not their power, and that because what was done, was for the advancement of God's glory, the honour and personall safety of the King, and publique good of the Kingdome: That all good People may rest content and be fully satisfied, it was further ordained, that all Ministers shall upon their returne to their Parishes in­timate so much to all their flockes; and withall exhort all People to esteem the actors as good Christians and Patri­ots, that for the causes above mentioned were necessitated to take this course, to preserve Religion, to rectifie the er­rors of Court, which were brought and wrought to that height that both Religion and Policie were in the greatest imaginable danger. The Ordinance was accordingly per­formed [Page 63] to no small griefe of honest Subjects and Christi­ans. Sir, if there were no more instances what doe you thinke of this?

It is worth your notice taking, that this Noble Duke dying in France, who before His comming to Scotland had been bred in Popery, became a Protestant when He came thither, and was King Iames his Convert. While he was a dying, Romish Priests were most earnest for accesse to reconcile him to that Church; but he adhering to truth, and protesting withall his Promise to his Cousine King Iames, would admit none and dyed in the Communion of the Protestant reformed Church.

This high Court, the generall Assembly, in ordine ad The Sove­raignty of the Assembly is above all Lavves, and may repeale them. spiritualia, challengeth and practiseth a Soveraigne power above all civill Lawes and Statutes and Acts of Parlia­ment. And that with that power that of it selfe it may re­peale and condemne standing Lawes, and Acts of Parlia­ment, which are in practice and observed within the Kingdome.

To give you a recent example and instance of this; Since this Assembly of late in this distemper hath reco­vered it's place and power, the generall Assemblies of Glasgow and Edenburgh have damned Bishops as Anti-christian and against their Reformation. I wave this. More, they have secluded Bishops or any Church-man from having any voyce in Parliament, Conventions, or Councell. Thus by their owne most proper Ecclesiasti­call authority they have made voyd many Acts of Parlia­ment there, which before were in force and practice. As that in anno 1584. declaring it Treason to call in question the power and authority of any of the three Estates (that is Bishops, Lords and Commons) or any one of them. This [Page 64] act was made onely to preserve the priviledges of the Ecclesiasticall estate inviolable. This is evident by the King's Declaration put forth the yeare following 1585. Again they have made voyd another Act of Parliament in anno 1597. Ordaining Ministers that should be provided by His Majesty to Prelacies to have Vote in Parliament, as being the third Estate. Another in anno 1606.

The same Assemblies, did declare the Acts of the As­semblies of Glasgow, Perth, &c. null, voyd and unlawfull: which notwithstanding were enacted as Municipall Laws, obedience commanded, and practised in the greatest part of the Kingdome. How much King Iames his happy me­mory is blasted, by these supercilious new Orders of those Assemblies, my Pen blusheth to expresse.

The same Assemblies have condemned the high Com­mission Court, declared by Act of Parliament. And this is done upon this ground which proveth their Sove­raignty in spiritualibus, because it was not consented to by the Church: That is, the vertuall Church, the gene­rall Assembly.

When I consider these things, I cannot sufficiently won­der how the high Court of Parliament of England, hath swallowed and sworne their Covenant, which in it's right sense doth establish a Court above King and Par­liament. Iudge you, Sir, if this Oath be in Iudicio, veri­tate & justitiâ.

If King and Parliament be subordinate to this Court in All Iudicato­ries are sub­ordinate to this Sanhe­drim. spiritualibus, or in temporalibus in ordine ad Ecclesiastica, all the reason in the World will plead, that it is most just, that all Iudicatories whatsoever, even the Supreamest from whom lyeth no appeale, submit and subject them­selves to it.

[Page 65] The holy Fathers of this Court have showen their Right in this point too. To confirme this, fearing I have weari­ed you, I will bring but one instance, and spare to trouble you with more.

This Story can be made good by Records which I am to tell you. And first, give me leave to informe you, That the Lords of Session (who by Act of Parliament are so) are in all Civill causes the Supreame Iudicatorie of the Kingdome under the King. No Iudgement passed there can be rectified or reduced by any Iudicatorie, under the King and Parliament, but by themselves, which is onely by suspension of Execution, of that is judged and decreed, or by action of Reduction: This is nothing but provocatio a Philippo malè edocto ad Philippum rectiùs edoctum. This thus premised I come home.

Mr Iohn Graham, one of the Iudges of that associate bo­dy, had commenced an ordinary and proper suit before the Lords of Session, obtained Decree and Iudgement according to his Libell. After which, a rumour was noy­sed abroad, that the Writs and Evidences, upon which his suit and the judgement upon it were founded, were forged and false. The generall Assembly took notice of this in­just decree, as they to whom the inspection of Religion and Iustice belongeth, and who were bound not to suffer such an unjust judgement to take place and be executed. They send for M. Iohn Graham commanding him by their authority to passe from his decree, to make no use of it a­gainst the Party against whom it was obtained, and that because it was purchased upon false grounds, and it gave occasion of great scandall, that he being a Iudge should make use of such writs. His answer was, if any would challenge his Decree or Iudgement upon any just ground, he might [Page 66] have his recourse to the ordinary Iudge, and take it away by way of reduction, but so long as it was not reduced, it concerned him to take the benefit of it. Then seeing that they could not prevaile by admonition, they threatned him with Excommunication, if he did not what they en­joyned. He appeales from them to the Lords of Session, as the onely Competent Iudges in such cases: notwithstanding they resolve to proceed against him. The Lords of Sessi­on finding themselves interessed, and the Assembly usurp­ing upon them and their power, in this proceeding against one of their owne number, who had appealed to them in a civill cause already judged by them, directed some of their number to the Assembly, and desired them not to meddle any more in that businesse, as being meerly civill, and no wayes belonging to their jurisdiction. This pro­duced no other effect, but incensed the holy Fathers to raile against the Iudges as wicked and corrupt men, who sided one with another whether it were right or wrong. The businesse at last came to this height, that the Lords of Session, (who would not suffer them to encroach upon their Priviledges) by vertue of that delegate power and authority they were invested with from the King, threat­ned to out-law them, and to proclaime them Rebells to the King, if they proceeded any further, and would not admit of the appeale. The Assembly finding themselves too weake and not able to make their part good by pow­er (in which case onely they will be Martyrs) fell from the pursuit and all was quieted.

Sir, I pray you to consider in what condition are they that live under such a government that is boundlesse and universall, will give Lawes to King, Councell and Parlia­ment; Repeale theirs at pleasures; reduce and make voyd [Page 67] Decrees and judgement of Highest Iudicatories &c. What Peace or Tranquillity can there be in such a State or Kingdom? Give me leave to tell you a true story. It is known and lamented by all good men this day, how King Iames His Soule was vexed with them, that many times they have made Him fall out in teares. A Noble man, a most wise man, then Chancellor, seeing the King extreamly troubled at the miscarriage of the Ministerie, said to Him: Sir, no man is to be blamed, that you are so much troubled with the Ministers, as yourselfe; for when they doe any thing amisse, you never cease till by Your Royall prudence and authority you set it aright againe: but would you leave them to themselves, the very body of the People would rise up against them, and stone them out of the Kingdome. His Majesty returned a most pious answer, worthie to be written in letters of Gold in Mar­ble, that all Kings may learne it: My Lord, saith He, your advice is shrewd Policie, but your Counsell is not good piety; If I had no more to doe but to serve my selfe of them for a Politick end, your advice is good, and I know it would prove so. But God hath appoynted me a Nurse or Father of his Church, it is my charge from my Lord and Master to preserve his Church, and not to ruinate it. Which if I doe, God will ruinate me and my posterity.

King Iames in the Conference at Hampton Court hath well observed, that this Ecclesiasticall Government pre­pareth way, and ushereth in a Democraticall government. And he telleth also, that in His Mother Queen Ma­ries absence, and in his own Minority and non-age, it was much thought upon and intended. Their Maxims of Di­vinity lead to it, for they say, Respublica est in Ecclesiâ: The Church and her Policy are the House, the Civill govern­ment [Page 68] is but the Hangings, which necessarily for decency and good order must be made conformable to the House. Monarchy is enmity against the Church. Catherwood in his book entitled Altare Damascenum, gives you it in down right termes, Naturâ insitum est omnibus Regibus in Chri­stum odium; and in his Preface, or Epistle (I have not the book by me) he calls K. Iames, Infens [...]ssimum & infe­stissimum purioris Religionis hostem. And that they may now exercise all their power, and bring the Kingdom to a Popular State, which was not so feisable before, it is more then probable, and much to be feared, and with great prudence to be prevented; because the Generall Assembly hath in it now the prime Noble men of the Kingdom, Dukes, Marquesses, Earles, Lords; the most active and knowing Knights of Counties and Esquires; the wisest Citizens and Corporations, and this in the Capacity of Ruling-Elders, who discontented are able here to make a Faction, call King, Session, Councell, or whom they please before them, because of their supreame, universall and in­dependent jurisdiction. And this Iudicatorie cannot ▪erre in its determinations, for it is undoubtedly secured from error, and assisted with infallibility.

This divine policy hath another sacred trick to pre­serve its A Holy trick vvhich hatch­eth all Sediti­on and Trea­son. Soveraignty and to continue it, which is this. The Generall Assembly ordinarily meets but once a year, yet at the end and close of every Generall Assembly, there is a choice made of some Commissioners, (a Committee) who are to reside, or at least upon any necessary occasion to be at Edenburgh. These are the virtuall Assembly, and their power continueth till the next Generall Assembly. They are in the first place, to intimate to the King the de­sire and demands of the Assembly, and to see all due civill [Page 69] Sanction and confirmation given to it. the King, His Coun­cell, His Parliament can change nothing of their sacred decrees without their consent. What ever new occurrence is in Church or State pro re natâ, these Commissioners are to give order and to see, ne quid detrimenti Ecolesia capi­at. It is true their orders bind only in the interim betwixt the two Assemblies, and the next plenarie Generall As­sembly may derogare, abrogare, obrogare &c, yet give me leave to tell you truth, these great Delegates with their power have so much influence upon the next Generall As­sembly, that their [...] precognitions and predeter­minations, are formally and Legally enacted. Nor is this to be wondred at, for the Achitophels and Ioabs of Church and Kingdom, the best head peeces of greatest depth, Preaching and Ruling Elders are in this Iunto.

Heere are all disturbing Seditions, and treasonable courses hatched and conceived; whether it be Treason a­gainst the King, Sedition in State or Kingdom, the change of Court, the removing of Courtiers from the King, the surrounding of him with others &c. The next Assem­blie ownes all their courses, decrees them under pretence of Piety, Reformation of abuses, removing of Malignants from the King and from His Counsell, from being Iudges in the supreamest Iudicatories of the Kingdom, &c. By this means at pleasure, when and where they will, they procure Parliaments to work for their own private ends. To facilitate the work, order is given to all Presbyteries, to command all the Ministers to Preach to their flocks, to make and keep Fasts, for the danger the Church is in, that the King is inclinable, nay inclining to Popery, that there are none in trust or power by Him, in Court, Councell, Exchequer or Session, but such as are Popish or Popishly [Page 70] affected: and such they must be, if they once determine it. And woefull experience hath confirmed it, that worthie, Innocent and deserving men have suffered, and the King hath been forced to abandon His best servants.

This close Committee hath all these prerogatives: 1. During the interim betwixt two Assemblies, they had trust to see that all the Orders and Decrees of the grand Consistory should be put in execution. 2. Next upon a­ny exigent intervening, they have the power by their in­fluence upon all the Presbyteriesin the Kingdom, to make them goe which way they thought fit for their own ends, both to make the Ministers Preach their sense, and to work with all the people to believe the posture of affaires in Church and State were as they informed and represen­ted them. 3. Thirdly, here were all things prepared for the next great meeting of the Generall Assembly.

By these means things projected were effected. This way the Queen Regent was put from Her Regencie. This way Queen Mary was expulsed Scotland. This way King Iames His captivity at Ruthen was found to be good ser­vice. This way that Noble Duke of Lennox Esme was made a Papist, and the King forced to abandon him, and he to depart the Kingdom in Winter being sick, and short­ly after dyed in France. By this means, if I be not decei­ved, was that infamous day the 17. of December, anno 1596. atro signanda lapillo, renowned for a most horrid insurrection in Edenburgh against King Iames and His prime Counsellors. I begge leave to give you a short ac­count of it.

King Iames whilest He was King of Scotland, by all forraigne Kings, Princes and States, was admired for His The Storie of 17. December 1596. extraordinary Royall endowments. Ambassadors from [Page 71] many beyond Seas at the same time, and almost constant­ly were with Him. The smallnesse of the Patrimony of that Crowne, was not able to maintain that Royall de­portment He kept. Besides being too too Royally liberall and magnificent, His coffers were empty, and at this time scarce was His Majesty able to maintain the necessary charge of His house in that measure which was suitable to so Royall a King. To rectify this, the King with the ad­vice of his Counsell, entrusted with all his Rents, Reve­nues and casualties, Eight prime men of good worth and integritie, Officers of State, Counsellors and Iudges. This was done that all might be rightly regulated, and be­fore all things His Tables at Court kept like a Kings, that forraign Ambassadors might not espy any want which might derogate from the Honour of King and Kingdome. The ordinary Tables of the Court were regulated; the Courtiers daily allowance was retrenched; which they could not away with. They and other discontented per­sons did reproachfully call these men, The Octavians. They who grumbled at this, and would right themselves, to gain their intendment, hit upon the ordinary and safest way, that was to beginne with the Church. They in­forme, the forraign Ambassadors did work upon the King to turn Papist: it was like they would prevaile, for these O­ctavians were all such in their hearts, and dissembled only in professing to keep a communion with the Protestant Church; if those were not removed from the King, and good men put about him, Religion, Kingdom, and all were undone. When this had been often informed and suggested, early in the morning on the 17th day of Decem­ber, three of the Kings Domestick Servants came to M. Walter Balcanqual's house; The Ministery of Edenburgh, [Page 72] and others Commissioners of the generall Assembly, with some of the best Christians of Edenburgh are sent for, they meet there. The Kings Servants informe that all was un­done, if they did not in time and speedily prevent; for the Marquesse of Huntlie, (this was the late Marquesse who came occasionally the night before to Court, and it is true he was Popish, but God knowes he was free of what he was charged with) say they was with the King till twelve a clock at night in his Bed-chamber yester-night; it is re­solved upon to re-erect Popery, and so many of your best Citizens and Christians are to be seized upon; some to be sent to Blacknes, some to Innernes, some to Dunbritton, &c. The case was apprehended in that zeale which became the cause. The resolution taken, was, that M. Walter Baelcan­quall being to Preach that very day in the Chancell of Saint Giles Church, which they call the little Church, af­ter Sermon and Prayer done, he should desire all good Brethren and Christians to meet immediatly forthwith there for the good of Church and Religion. Noblemen, Gentlemen, Preachers, Burgesses, all who affected the good cause did meet. M. Robert Bruce was appointed by common consent Moderator. It is laid open in what case Church and Religion, State and Kingdome are: the ur­gent instant necessity is made to appeare. The result of the determination was, that presently they goe to Armes, and by holy force, to pull from the King's side those Po­pish Octavians: That a Letter be written to Iohn L [...]d Marquesse of Hamilton to come to Edenburgh, to be Cap­taine of the Congregation; and in regard the King had made defection from the true Religion, He being the nea­rest of the blood should come and take the Government upon him. I know the just Copy of this Letter is extant [Page 73] to this day. They runne to Armes, the word is, The Sword of the Lord and Gideon. The good King was in the place of Iustice; the prime of the Octavians with him; hearing something of the uproare and tumult, by a secret passage, he and some other goe up to the Exchequer house over­head. A great Lord was head of the Congregation, he and some others came Commissioners to the King, were admitted, demanded those [...]tavians to justice. The King askes this Lord, how durst he against His authority, His Lawes, His Proclamation keep unlawfull meetings at E­denburgh (for the King before had discharged the meet­ing of those Commissioners of Assemblie, or any other meeting whatsoever without his Royall warrand.) The Lord, with courage in zeale to a good cause, told the King that he should see ere long they durst to doe more. The Lord, or some other, taketh hold of one of the Octavians Gowne, who was President of Session; but he pulleth his Gowne out of his hand, and conveyeth himselfe downe to the house where the Lords did sit in judgement. In fine, the King and Lords were forced, to shun the danger of this tumultuarie insurrection, to close up the doores, and some to stand with their swords drawne if any should offer vio­lence to break up the doores. Some good Subjects espe­cially Alexander Home of Northborvick for the time Pro­vost of Edenburgh, and Roger Mackmath (whom King Iames ordinarily called His Bailie) with others well di­sposed and Loyally affected Subjects, and namely the Hammer-men rise up in Armes for the King, who partly by smooth words, and partly by threats, husht and hou­sed the Factious and Seditious. The King came out of the place of Iudicatorie, and on foot, attended with many Nobles, Gentlemen, and other good Subjects, came to [Page 74] His Pallace at Halyrude-house in Peace: where immediat­ly in the afternoon, he convened his Privy-Councell, and by his Wisdome and Authority so repressed and punished that insolencie, that all the time of His Raigne, the like Barbarous treacherous course was never attempted. I hope you are the more apt to believe this, when you re­member what a Petition or Declaration was presented to Queen Elizabeth at Green [...]ch anno 1582. to remove from her Service and Trust such as they know were not well affected to the Religion and Church.

Sir, I could make it appeare how all Seditions almost and Rebellions in that Kingdom, have been set a foot or fomented by this Government Presbyterian: How neighbourly Feudes have been encreased and entertained: How Moneys collected for the reliefe and support of Ge­neva, were by the chiefe Gamaliels and Presbyters inter­verted, employed to raise and pay Souldiers to ayde and assist the Earle of Bothvell and his complices in Rebellion against the King. I feare I have wearied you already, the Subject is everlasting and I am weary of it.

If I should give account of the late practices and tenets of this late Covenant, it were possible to let you see that it hath farre exceeded all the mischiefe ever their forefa­thers did, although they tread in the same footsteps. The reason why I have spared it is not I feared it, I hope to dis­cover it sometime to the World by anatomising it fully. Next, I hope, you have espyed the Noble passages of it, and are sufficiently confirmed, that nothing can be more destructive of Monarchie, and the Peace of any govern­ment. To shut up all, give me leave, in the close, to give the Articles of their Apostaticall Creed inconsistent with Monarchie, which they hold as the twelve Articles of the [Page 75] Apostolicall Symbole. I will touch onely the prime of those; for for their other Articles, they are so many and of so vast an extent abounding in Negatives, that as King Iames saith well, he that would keep them is not able to keep them in his Braine, but must keep them in a Table Booke.

The Articles of the Dogmaticall Presbyterian Faith inconsistent with Monarchie.

1. AS I have said before; They Preach and main­taine that the Church is the house of God, the Their Dog­maticall Creed. civill Policy and Government are onely the hangings.

2. Next they beleeve, all Ministers are pari consortio honoris & potestatis praediti, that there must be a parity in the Church. Ioyne these two together, and you have a faire way for Democracie.

3. They vindicate to themselves and their Consistory, a soveraigne, complete, universall, independent power in all things spirituall that concerne Salvation, they have not onely the directive power but the Legislative also; and all temporall things in order to Salvation and Religion come within the verge of their Scepter. All soveraigne Power, (wheresoever you fixe it, (whether in one, as in a Monar­chie; or in few, as in an Aristocracie; or in many or all by vicissitudinarie turnes) have onely the Executive power to doe as they command; and is bound to preserve by it's Power, Lawes and Armes, their sacred and celestiall Pri­viledges and Soveraignty.

4. Whatsoever Lawes civilly enacted by King or Par­liament they conceive to be against the Lawes of the [Page 76] Kingdome of Christ, by their native proper intrinsecall right immediately derived from Christ, they may repeale and make voyd, discharge the Subject to obey them. They may decree not onely different Lawes of their owne from the standing Lawes of the Kingdome, but contrary, con­tradictory and destructive of them. And have withall so much coactive power, that if obedience be denyed to the Lawes of this Soveraignty, they can destroy the Soules of the Subjects, by delivering them over to Satan.

5. No Minister Preaching in Pulpit, Sedition or Trea­son, or railing at King, Councell, the prime Iudges, is ac­countable, or punishable by King, Parliament, Councell, or any Iudicatory whatsoever; But from all he may ap­peale to the Sanhedrim and Consistorie as the sole and pro­per competent Iudge.

6. What Corroboration or civill Confirmation, or Sanction they demand of the King, which he is able to doe civilly (for they will give him no formall interest in any sacred or religious thing) He is bound to Grant it, and to obey them as Christ's immediate Vice-gerents: otherwise they may Excommunicate him.

7. Reformation and preservation of Religion, especial­ly to prescribe the way and Orders for Reformation is solely theirs.

8. The King is bound to put their Orders in Executi­on; but if neither He, nor His Councell, nor His Parlia­ment will doe it, the Inferiour Iudges, the Nobles, the Commons, nay every individuall man to his utmost pow­er, at their direction, are bound to doe it.

9. That they may without warrant of supreame Au­thority, Assemble where and when they will, for God and Christ's cause, and for the Liberty and Peace of Subject [Page 77] and Kingdome in ordine ad spiritualia; and there they may Covenant together, sweare and subscribe for the glory of God, the advancement of Religion, and conspire and combine in a mutuall defence one of another in this holy Cause and League.

10. They teach and maintaine, that all Soveraignty and Majesty in a King is originally, immediately and pro­perly derived from the Communitie, and that onely by way of a fiduciary trust, so that it is habitually and radi­cally still in the People, and the King hath no greater por­tion or proportion then He hath by the first popular fun­damentall Constitution. And in case of deficiency, the collective body may supply in Church or State the de­fects of His Government. For mal-administration the King is censurable; For enormous errors He is deposable, and they may disinherite His Posteritie.

11. That a defensive Warre is lawfull against a bad King, or a weake King seduced by Malignant Councell.

12. They may oppose and resist all His Officers and Commissioners by force and violence, if they come to execute His illegall commands. And if He will be so ob­stinate that He will come in Armes against these good Christians, they resist not His Authority, but His Will: nor His Office, but His Person.

Besides their practice, upon these grounds, is to bring all cases all causes under their cognition and Iudgement, sub formalitate scandali, by which the King is robbed of His Sacred Prerogative; The Iudges of their authority; and all Subjects of their Right and quiet. The rest of their Extravagant Maximes inconsistent with Monarchy and the Peace of Government are reduceable to those heads. More then this you desired not.

[Page 78] Sir, being infinitely obliged to you, and honouring you much for your worth and Excellent parts, cursorily and hastily, I have written this answer to you. Not in­tending thereby to reproach any person particularly whatsoever, but to lay open to the World how dange­rous a Government this is, not onely for Monarchy, but for all Governments whatsoever: and that our eyes being opened we may chuse rather to endure any torment tem­porary, then to enter into this treacherous and damnable Covenant, destructive of Religion, King, Church, Peace of all, and the Liberty of the Subject. To sweare to these things as established de jure divino, and to put on poore People to act Treason and Rebellion, making them be­leeve they are Confessors and Martyrs. If this give you any satisfaction, I have what I desire: If you doubt of the truth of any thing, I hope I am able to make all here good by faithfull and authentick Records, or Testimony of such as are worthy of trust. I pray you keep it for your owne use onely, for I should be loath any but a Friend see it, it is so rudely done, but I dare say truly and faithfully.

God save his Church from this Scourge, and give us Peace and Truth, which shall be the dayly Prayer of

Your poore Friend and obli­ged Servant.

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