¶ Ane Answer to the Tractiue, set furth in the ȝeir of God. 1558. be Maister Quintine Kennedy, Commen­datar, Abbote of Crosraguell, for the establisching of ane Christiane man­nis conscience (as he alledgis) the Forth and strenth of his Papistrie, and all vthers of his Sect, as appea­ris well be his Epistle direct to the Pro­testantes, and Prentit in the last part of this Buik.

Maid be Maister Iohne Dauidsone, Maister of the Paedagog of Glasgw.

Colloss. 2.

Bewarre, lest thare be ony man that spuilȝe ȝow throw Phi­losophie, and vaine deceait, throw the traditionis of men, according to the Rudimentis of this warld, and nocht efter Christe.

¶ Imprentit at Edin­burgh by Robert Lekprewik.

Cum priuilegio. 1563.

To the Beneuolent Reader

BEneuolent Rearder, my labour in this lytlt Burk, hes bene principally to giue all men to vnderstand, quhat appertenis to the Spirit and worde of God, in all Councels that is conuenit in the Name of God, for to haue the interpre­tat [...]one of difficill places of the Scripture, and discretione betuix the rycht vnderstanding, and the wrang of the same, for the decisione of ony controuersie, in maters of Religione: And quhat appertenis to men to do in the same. Nocht forgetting to schaw the nerrest way, to thaim that is at controuersie, quhow thay may cum to reconciliation, gif thay wilbe contentit to haue thare opinione, or assertione, be ane infallible Iudge, without partialitie or fauour bearing, mair to ane part nor ane vther, Iudgit and decydit. To this effect, that nother the glorie of the godly decretis set furth in Councels, nor the dignitie of presidencie, pertening onely to the haly Spirit, be attribute to men in ony Councels. Nor ȝit that men, and specially the simple and Ignorant be diss [...]uit heirby. For thare is mony thingis requirit to ane godly coun­cell: and he quha vnder this terme generall, or prouinciall Councel, vnderstandis thaim all confusitly: Swa that he can put na difference betuix thaim, nor ȝit betuix thare offices, per­tening to thaim seuerally, may be easylie led be way of argu­mentatione, to confesse sindrie absurditeis: quharesore sic thin­gis war necessare to be knawin: be all thaim, quha wald haue ane ready answer, to the Papistes Sophisticall argumentis, or that wald haue ane reasone aganis thaim, that mantenis thare Religione (quhilk I may call rather Idolatrie, or super­stitione) be Councels and traditionis of men. And that thow may easylie perceaue my proceadingis, aganis this Tractiue of Maister Quintinis, I haue put in writ, First his sayings, and thairefter followis my Answer, with sum obiectionis, that I mak for the declaratione of my awin sayingis, and confutation [Page] of his Sophistical Reasonis. And alswa thare is addit heir­to ane Schort Table, quhareby the principall headis of this Tractiue salbe easylie found. As to the fautis, gif ony hes bene ouer [...]ene in the prenting, I wishe the gentle Reader to beare with the same, quhare thay may be borne with. Praying thee vse this tractiue to the glorie of God and c [...]nforte of thy self, and his Kirk. And sw [...] faire thow weill in the Lorde. At the Paedagog of Blasgw. 1562.

The principal Contentis of this Buik,

  • QVHOV is it to be vnderstand, that the Scripture hes aue rycht vnderstāding and ane wrang. le. 5. face. 2
  • 2. Nother Kirk nor Councels is appointit Iudges be God to the Scripturs, or to the opinionis conceauit heirof. l. 6. f. 2.
  • 3. Quha may be Iudges to controuerseis of religion. l. 7. f. 1.
  • 4. The worde of God may baith beare witnes and be Iudge, in controuerseis of Religione. l. 7. f. 2.
  • 5. The cause quhy men seikis thare controuerseis to be decydit be Councels, and quhow. l. 9. f. 2.
  • 6. The haly Spirit is President, Iudge, and decrete maker, in all godly Councels, and nocht men. l. 10. f. 2.
  • 7. The cause quhy Iudgement is attribute to men in Coun­cels. L. 11. f. 1.
  • 8. The cause quhy the Kirk of Rome was not ane able iudge, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang. l. 11. f. 2.
  • 9. Quhy the Papistes fearis examinatione of the Decretis, maid be thare Kirk. l. 13. f. 1.
  • 10. Na hereseis hes bene supprest be Councels, taking the Councels for the cheif Pastours. l. 14. f. 2.
  • 11. The worde of God is not ane deade thing, as the Papistes haldis it to be. l. 15. f. 1.
  • [Page]12. Baith Generall and Prouinciall Councels, may fall in erroure. l. 17. f. 2.
  • 13. Quhow the authoritie of the Kirk soulde be ioynit to the Iudgement of God, exprest in his worde. l. 19. f. 1.
  • 14. Quhow the Kirk receauit the Scripturs, callit Canonical, and Apocrypha. l. 20. f. 2.
  • 15. The Protestantes desyres to be iudgit, quha bearis disdane at the Councels, or thrawis the Scripturs. l. 21. f. 2
  • 16. The Leuitical Preist and Iudge was not appointit iudges be God, to stay doutis, quhilk rase for the vnderstanding of the Scripturs. l. 23. f. 1.
  • 17. The cheif Pastours Councell of the auld Law, schamfully errit l. 24. f. 1.
  • 18. Quhy the Iowes and the Papistes decernis not the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture fra the wrang. l. 24. f. 2.
  • 19. Paule ascendit to Ierusalem, to confer the Scripturs with the rest of the Apostles. l. 26. f. 1.
  • 20. Quha disputit in the Councel of the Apostles. Act. 15. l. 27. f. 1.
  • 21. Iames the Apostle, as Bischop of Ierusalem gaue not sentence. Act. 15. l. 28. f. 1.
  • 22. Quhy the Abbote pretermittit the Superscriptione of the Councels letter writtin. Act. 15. l. 30. f. 1.
  • 23. Quhow the Abbote ouersaw the haly Spirit for his aw in auantage. l. 30. f. 2.
  • 24. Quhow the Text of the Scripture, and the Abbots glose aggreis not together. l. 31 f. 1.
  • 25. Quhy the Decrete of the haly Spirit, is callit the Decrete of the Apostles. l. 31. f. 2.
  • 26. Quhow the haly Spirit speakis, Interpretis Scripturs, and pronounces sentences in maters of religion. l. 32. f. 1.

To the maist Noble and vertuous Lorde Alexander, Earle of Glencarden, Iohne Dauidsone wishit grace, and peace, be the Lorde Christe Iesus, frome God the Father.

SEN the beginning of the Reformatione of the Kirk of Scotland, in the trew Christiane Reli­gione, amangis all vther thingis that ȝour L. Tauellitan, for the furthsetting of the Religion of Christe, I hard nocht ȝour L [...]mair effectiusly desyre ony thing, than that I wald make ane Answer to the lytle Burk, set furth be Maister Quintine Kennedy Commendatare, Abbote of Crosraguell: (inseriuit ane Compendius [...]ractiue conferme to the Scrip­turs of Al [...]ychty God, reasone and authoritie, declaring the narrest and onely way, to establische the conscience of ane Chri­stiane man, in all maters quhilks ar in debait, concerning Faith and Religione) Quhareby thare hes bene mony mouit to continew still in thare auld superstitione and Idolatrie, throw the reasonis contenit in the same, quha had imbracit the sincere, and trew Religione of Christe, or thir davis, and it had bene supprest in it infancie, quhilk wald haue brocht baith qui­etnes to mony ane in thare conscience, and commone peace, with great amitie amangis the inhabitantes of this countrie. And quhowbeit my inhabilitie dissuadit me fra taking of sic ane interpryse on hand, ȝit ȝour L. earnestfull and godly desyre, was of sa great weicht, and efficacie in my mynde, for the great Actes ȝour L. tuik on hand, first and last, for the mante­nance of thaim that was able to haue bene opprest for the Re­ligione of Christe, but feare of ony warldly Creature, or losing of ȝour warldly gudis. And alswa for the great humanitie, that I haue found in ȝour L. at all tyme, monit me (quhen I saw na vther, haistely taking the confutatione heirof on hand) to schaw my labours heirin, that the people of God sould not be langer abusit with his captions Sophisticatione, sa [...]far as be [Page] my simple ingyne, thay mycht be supportit, to the auancem [...]nt of the Kingdome of God: and that the warld mycht manifestly knaw that it was no [...]ht of Rashnes, that the nobilitie of this Realme hasart thare liues and lan [...] is, for the Reformatione of Religione (as the Papistes alledgit) bot for the suppressing of thay things, quhilk was set vp aganis the glorie of the eternal God, and commone weill of this Realme.

And because this Buik of M. Q. contenit sa mony absurdi­teis, quhilk wald haue consumit great tyme, to haue confutit thaim all. It chancit weill, that ane lytle space before the be­ginning of the Reformation of the Religion, he excerptit furth of this hale Buik, ane Schort tractiue, contening the hale mater of his Buik, as the Coppy bearis that he send me, to pre­sent to Iames Betoune, Archebischop of Glasgw (quha was my gude Maister and liberall Freind, quhowbeit for religione we ar now seperatit in ane part, as mony Fathers and sonnes is, in thir our dayis) to quhom I pray God, send the trenth and knawledge of his worde: at, that may vnit vs in Spirit and mynde againe together, that hes seperatit vs (as apperis) in our warldly kyndenes. And sen of lait, that I fand this Tractiue, contening the hale substance of his Buik, amangis vther quaris of vther learuit mennis writingis that I haue. Aganis it I haue ttauellit be Scripturs, Reasonis, and An­cient Doctours sayingis, swa that heirby, I traist in God, the mouthes of the wickit, for the maist part salbe closit, that brag­gis with thare Councels, and Papisticall Decretis, and constitutionis, outdrawing the hartis of the simple people fra the trew Religione, and thay quha hes bene in dout, quhidder thay war obleist to obserue and keip the decretis of thare councels or not: In thare conscience salbe quiettit, assuritly knawing be the worde of God, quhat sould be keipit, and quhat nocht.

Praying ȝour L. to tak this my labours, quhilk I haue dedi­cate to ȝour L. in gude part. And that as ȝour L. hes begune to mantene the trew Faith, and sincere Religione, teachit vs be Christe: Swa I pray the leuing Lorde God, to mantene ȝour L. and all fauourers of the same, vnto the end, that we may altogether receaue the Croune of immortall lyfe, that is promisit to the faithfull, quha perseueris vnto the end. At the Paedagoge of Blasgw, the Firste of Marche. In the ȝeir of oure Lorde God, ane thousand fiue hundreth, thre Score and twa ȝeris,

❧ Heir followis ane Schort rehears, quhairin is contenit the hale substance and effect of the Trac­tiue set furth be M. Quintine Kennedy, Commendatoure of the Abbay of Cros­raguell. &c.

M. Quintine Ken. principall conclusion.

THE Kirk of God quhilk trewly is repre­sentit be the Generall Councels, dewly conuenit, is the onely appointit iudge be God, to deterne and interprete the right vnderstanding of the scriptur fra the wrāg, quhensum euer question or debait rysis for the vnderstanding of the samyn. Trenth it is, the Kirk is bound to interprete the Scriptures, and pronounce sentence, con­forme to the tryall and instruction had be the samyn, as the trew, euident, and faithfull witnes bearer, to the will and mynde of the Lorde, to the quhilk God is the onely iudge, and [...]a priuate nombre of men, quhom godly, or weill learnit that euer they be. Because and that thing be broght in disputation, quhilk is done be the hiare powers, conforme to thair vocatiō, at the desyre of priuate men: then sall the warld liue in perpe­tuall debait and controuersie.

¶ To cum till ane resolute vnderstanding of this conclusion abone rehearsit, we man vnderstand quhat is the Kirk, quhilk I beleue is sufficitiently declared in the beginning of our buke. Swa that heir prolixitly to rehears war superflouus, nottheles as salbe necessare, for the present we sall do.

¶ The Kirk sum tyme is tane generally in the Scriptures, for the vniuersal Congregation, quhairin ar contenit all Chri­stiane [Page] men. And efter that maner the general councels ar nocht the hale Kirk, for why? Euerie man quhilk is of the Kirk (generally tane) is nocht requirit, nor can be conuenit, to do that thing quhilk appertenis to the generall Councels.

¶ Sum-tyme the Kirk is tane mair specially, for the cheif Pastoures of the vniuersall Congregatione: and efter this speciall maner, the generall councels ar the trew Kirk of God, and representis the vniuersall Congregation, hauing autho­ritie to interprete the Scriptures, as may stand to the weill and quietnes of the hale Congregatione.

M. Ihone Dauidsonis Answer.

To mak this mater plainer to the Reader, quhairupon our hale disputation standis. I thoght best, or I reasonit aganis his conclusion: quhilk of it self is sumpart intricat, and difficil, throw sum wordis of it, that may haue dowble vnderstanding: quhilk he appearis to haue said plainely and simply, bot with ane dowble face (quhilk euery man perceauis nocht) that he may induce men the readiar to his purpose, saying. The Kirk of God is the onely appointit Iudge be God, to decerne and interprete the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang: for thir worhis (the rycht vnderstanding of the Scrip­tures and the wrang) may moue sum men to think that the Scripture hes ane wrang vnderstanding of it awm nature, quhairby they may be mouit the easyar, to beleue that God had appointit the Kirk, or sum vther Iudge, to decerne the ryght vnderstanding of it, fra the wrang: and that the Scripture could nocht be ane Iudge to decerne the samyn, for than it had bene ane Iudge to it self, in it awin cause. Or be thir wordis (the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, and the wrang) he vnderstandis the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, and the wrang, that men takkis of the Scripture, throw thair awin ignorance, other of the ordinarie meanes (quhairby God geuis the vnderstanding of his Scriptures) or of the difficill mater, contenit vnder the wordes of the Scripture, or of the interpretation of the Scriptures, out of ane language in ane other, or ony vther wayes.

And giue he vnderstandis in his conclusion, that the Scrip­ture of God hes ane rycht vnderstanding and ane wrang, be it awin nature, I say, that his conclusion (quhilk he haldis to be als sure as it war ane decrete of the haly Spirite) includis in the self; ane manifest falset, quhilk is, that the Scripture of God hes ane wrang vnderstanding, quhilk it hes nocht, for [Page 6] the Scripture giues nocht ane wrang vnderstanding, nor ane wrang interpretation of it self: bot men that is at controuersie for maters of Religione, throw ignorance, or sum vther pur­pose, to establische thair action, sum of thaim interpretis, and vnderstandis the Scripture wrang, and alledgis thair inter­pretation and vnderstanding to be rycht (be fit ordinarie mea­nis as God hes geuin to men to proue, or seik the vnderstan­ding of the Scripture to be rycht) that they cōceaue of it. As ar the sciences callit liberal artes, the knawledge of the thre prin­cipall languages, conference of Scriptures with Scripturs, the preceptis of the maist Ancient Doctors, and siclyke thingis that seruis men, to bring thaim to the knawledge of the Scrip­tures: quhilk notwithstanding, men oft tymes vses nocht rychtly, throw thair awin ignorance. Swa thay tak ane wrāg vnderstanding of the Scriptur, quhilk it geuis nocht to thaim, because thair is na thing wrang in it. As we may vnderstand be Peter, in the end of his Second Epistle, saying. In the Epistles of Paule, thair is sum thingis hard to be vnderstand, quhilk thay that ar vnlearnit, and vnstable peruertis, as thay do also vther Scriptures, vnto thair awin distruction. ȝe thairfore belouit (sayis he) seing ȝe knaw thir thingis before, be warre, inauentures ȝe be also plukit away with the error of the wickit, and fall fra all ȝour stedfastnes. Marke weill godly Reader, Peter sayis, the Scriptures is hard to be vn­derstand, and thairfore he exhortis the faithfull, that thay be nocht led away with the error of the wickit, quhilk cumis nocht of the Scripture, bot throw Ignorance of the vnlearnit, that peruertis the Scripture: or of the vnstable, men throw thair lycht Imaginations. For giue God had maid his Scripture of that nature, that it mycht haue had twa faces, and vnder­standingis, as the answers of the Gentile Gods had, men mycht haue bene dissauit be the Scriptures of God, as men was be the answers of the Gentile Gods, quhilk war vn­godly to be said. And alswa thay men that had fallin in error, wald haue had ane iuste excusation, that the wrang vnderstan­ding that the Scripture gaue thaim, was the cause of thair fal. Quhairby, now na man iustly can excuse him self, for it hes nocht ane wrang vnderstanding, bot sum men takis ane wrāg vnderstanding of it, quhilk takis away thair excusation, and layis thair error vpon thair awin ignorance, and vnstablenes. Quhairfore (sen the Scripture of God hes nocht ane wrang vnderstanding of it self) it is manifest that God hes not appointit his Kirk to be Iudge, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of [Page] the Scripture, fea the wrang, that it had of the awin nature, quhilk giue he had done, it war ane great absurditie, for that war als mekle to say, as God had appointit the Kirk to be Iudge, betuix the thing that is, and is not.

And giue he vnderstandis his conclusione on this maner, that the Kirk of God is the onely appointit Iudge be God, to decerne and interprete the rycht vnderstanding of the Scrip­tures, fea the wrang, that men takis thairof, throw thair awin Ignorance, or ony vther wayis, to stablishe thair part of the controuersie and debait, for maters of Religion, that is rysin betuix thaim, and ony vther, as he appearis to vnderstand it, be all his reasons and groundis, quhairby he intendis to proue his conclusion. I answer, that the Kirk of God, representit be the generall Councels, quhow dewly that euer thay be con­uenit, is not the onely Iudge appointit be God, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scriptures, fra the wrang, [...]then­sumeuer question or debait rysis, for the vnderstanding of the same. For in sa far, as M. Q. interpretis the Kirk, to be the cheif Pastors of the vniuersall Congregation. he sall not [...]inne, the hale, nor ane part of thaim appoint it be Go [...], [...] Iudge, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of [...], fra the wrang. For giue thay had bene appoi [...] o [...] God, to be Iudges, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scrip­ture, fra the wrang: Christe Iesus, or his Ap [...]tles had maid sum mention thairof, in thair office, that God hes appointit to thaim in the Scriptures, that men quhilk had bene at contro­uersie for maters of religiō, mycht haue had recourse to thaim. Bot thair is na mention maid, that thay ar appointit to sit iud­gement, for Paule speaking in the 4. Chap. to the Ephesians, of the Apostlis, Prophetis, Euangelistis, Pastors, and tea­chers, quhom God hes maid cheif Pastors of the vniuersall Congregation, testifeis, that thay ar appointit be God, for the gathering togither of the Sainctis, for the wark of the Ministerie, and the edification of the body of Christ. &c. Siclyke Christ Iesus, at his departing to his Apostles, the cheif Pastors of the vniuersall Congregatione, he gaue ane generall charge to thaim all, saying, pas throw the hale warld, and preache the Euangell to all Creature. Marck. 16. alswa in the Firste Chap. of the Actes of the Apostles, makand na mentione of sic Iudgement, he sayis vnto thaim, ȝe sall receaue the power of the haly Gaist, quhen he sall cum on ȝow, and ȝe sall beare wit­nes vnto me, baith in Ierusalem, and in all Iudea, and in Samaria, and vnto the vttermost part of the earth. Siclyke, [Page 7] will we read throw all the Scriptures, the dewetie of ane Bis­chope, or ane Elder, quha hes bene aye sen the Apostles dayis, haldin cheif Pastors of the vniuersall Congregatione: we sall neuer finde that thay ar appointit be God, as Iudges, to de­cerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang. Bot the maist thing, that thay ar requirit with, to do aganis thaim that takis of the Scripture ane wrang vnderstanding, is, to exhort with halsum doctrine, and improue thaim that sayis aganis it. Tit. 1.9. and that thay sall flee foulische ques­tiones, and Genealogeis, and contentions, and brawlingis about the Law. And siclyke, thay sould reiect him, that is ane heretyke, efter ane or twa admonitions. Tit. 3.10. In this, nor na vther Scriptures, sayis Christe Iesus, nor his Apost­les, that the cheif Pastors salbe Iudges, nor commandis he thaim to Iudge ony controuerseis, bot that thay flee contenti­ons, and the authors of contentions, as is heretykes. And without authoritie of Scripture, it is wrang and vngodly, to affirme ony thing to be done be God, that he hes not done.

¶ And giue the kirk be nocht Iudge, appointit be God in the Scri [...]res, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scrip­ture [...] [...]he wrang, quhen debait rysis for the same. I dout not b [...] men will desyre to knaw quhome God hes appointit Iudges, or quhom thay that is at controuersie, for the vnder­standing of ony Scripture, sal mak thair Iudge, for to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang, that men takis of it quhen ony questiō or debait rysis for the same: considering it is necessare, that thay haue ane Iudge that is at debait, for the vnderstanding of the Scripture. I answer, that God hes appointit na Iudge in this mater, for giue God had appointit ane Iudge, to haue decernit the rycht vnderstan­ding of the Scripture, fra the wrang, it wald haue bene thocht that thair had bene sum fals, or wrang thing in the Scripturs: and than quhatsumeuer interpretation had bene geuin of ony place thairof, quhidder it had bene manifest or obscure, sum men fould haue bene troublie in thair conscience, quhill thay had cum to that Iudge appointit be God, in all maters of re­ligione, quhilk had maid great perturbation in the Kirk.

For than neuer man wald haue credite the plaine Text of the Scripture, mait nor the obscure, quhil thay had hard the iudge, that God had appointit. And swa, that Iudge soulde haue gottin mair credite nor the worde of God, quhilk had bene ane great incōuenient. Bot thay that hes had ony controuersie in tymes bygaine, for the decerning of the rycht vnderstanding of [Page] the Scripture, fra the wrang, and for the opinions that men hes tane of the Scripture, hes chusit thair iudge as thay plesit. And because that Christe Iesus hes left na thing to his Kirk bot his Scriptures, to beare witnes of all thingis that is re­quirit for our Saluatione to be knawin of him. Ihon. 5. and his Spirite to teache vs all veritie be men (as his mouth) outwartly, and inwartly be him self, workand in our hartis: quhilk ar the onely thingis quhairby we haue knawledge of the veritie, and discretione, betuix the veritie and the falset, in maters concerning Religione: sum men thairfore hes referrit the Iudgement of thair controuersie, to the worde and Spirit of God, as thair iudges, Arbitraris. For this is the onely thingis, that thay quha hes bene at controuersie for maters of Religione, hes socht to haue thair action iudgit be: as we may see to haue bene done be Christe Iesus, and mony weil learnit and godly men. For Christe Iesus affirming him self to be the Sonne of God, and the Iowes affirming the contrarie, as is writtin in the .5. Chap. of Ihon, in sa far as thay wald haue slaine him, he appeillis thaim to the Scriptures, to be iudgit thairby, saying, search the Scriptures, for in thaim ȝe think to haue the Eternall lyfe: and thay ar thay quhilk testifeis of me. Thair culde nocht be ane greater controuersie, or question, for ony mater of Religione, nor this was, betuix Christe Iesus and the Iowes (quha than in earth was the onely Kirk of God) giue he was the Sonne of God, equale to the Father, or nocht? and he hes referrit him self, as to his awin godly maie­stie, manhead, and doctrine, to be Iudgit be the Scriptures in this controuersie and nocht vnto thaim quha had the power in the kirk, and the Iowes sayis na thing aganis the Scrip­tures in this place, quhy thay may not be iudge betuix thaim, And ȝit the Scriptures was nocht the appointit Iudge be God, betuix Christe Iesus and the Iowes.

¶ And giue ony man will obiect, that quhatsumeuer thing bearis witnes, it can nocht be ane Iudge in the same self cause, bot the Scripture bearis witnes of Christe, betuix him and the Iowes, giue he be the Sonne of God, or nocht: thairfore thay can nocht be Iudge, because thay beare witnes of him. I answer, that in warldly and mortall thingis, for vsing of parcialitie, ane thing can nocht gudlie be baith Iudge and witnes: bot in thay thingis that is euerlasting and immortal, quhilk can nocht vse parcialitie (as is the word of God) ane thing may baith beare witnes and be Iudge. Thairfore it is na inconuenient, that the Scriptures baith beare witnes and [Page 8] be Iudge in ony controuersie for maters of Religion, for and thair war twa that disaggreit vpon ane Artickle of our beleue (as for exemple) giue ane denyit that Christe Iesus was borne of ane Virgine, and ane vther affirmit that he was borne of ane Virgine, and thir twa wald referre thaim baith to the iudgement of the Scripture. And than thir sayingis of Esay the Prophet, that is spokin of Christe, war brocht to decyde the controuersie. Behald ane Virgine sall conceaue and beare ane Sonne. This Scripture of Esay is witnes to him, that his assertione was trew, quha said Christe was borne of ane Vir­gine, and alswa it iudges betuix thaim, that the assertione of the ane, is trew, and the vther is fals. As ane euin reule, is ane witnes to the thing that is euin, that it is euin. And it is a witnes to the thing that is cruikit, that it is cruikit. And alswa betuix the euin and the cruikit, it is a iudge, quhilk de­cernis the ane to be cruikit, and the vther to be euin. Siclyke the worde of God is, betuix twa that is at controuersie for ony mater of Religione.

Secondly, because the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture of God, could neuer be decernit fra the wrang vnderstanding, that men takis of it, nor na controuersie in maters concerning religion, could be aggreit, bot be the word and Spirit of God. Thair hes neuer bene ane herityke that hes bene of ony lear­ning, quhow wickit that euer he was (giue he was content to be iudgit, in the thing he mantenit) bot he hes bene content to referre the iudgement of his controuersie and assertion, to the Scripture of God: and that be reasone he coulde finde na vther thing, that could be ane infallible Iudge in sic maters, be the quhilk he micht be assurit to haue his controuersie iudgit and decydit trewly, without all suspitione of parcialitie, or fauoure bearing, mair to ane part nor to ane vther.

Thridly, besyde this that we haue daylie experience of, quhair­euer thair is ony controuersie betuix twa, for the vnderstan­ding of the Scripture of God, thay haue takin thaim to be Iudgit be the Spirit and vnfallible worde of God. Augustine teachis vs to chuse the worde and Spirite of God to be our Iudge, quhen ony controuersie for maters of Religione is amangis vs. Firste in the .29. Sermon of the wordis of the Apostle, saying, quhen betuix vs thair is sic ane controuersie resyn, that ane sayis to me, lat me vnderstand that I may be­leue. And I answer to him, ȝea, rather beleue that thow may vnderstand, with this controuersie we cum to the Iudge, lat nother of vs presume to haue the sentence for him, quhat iudge ar we able to finde? All being soche, I knaw nocht giue we [Page] can finde ane better Iudge, than ane man be quhom God spea­kis. Thairfore lat vs nocht g [...] [...] in this mater, and this con­trouersie, to warldly and humane letters. The Poete mat [...]or iudge betuix vs, bot the Prophet. And in the last part of the samyn Sermone (sayis he) lat the Prophet Iudge, ȝea, rather lat God Iudge be the Pro [...]het, lat vs baith hald oure p [...]a [...]e, quhat we haue said, it is hard. Lat me vnder [...]and sayis thow, that I may beleue: and I said, beleue that thow may vnderstand: lat the Prophet answer, without ȝe beleue, ȝe sall not vnderstand. Esay. 7. this sayis Augustine. Now Au­gustine, heir be the decisione of his controuersie, teachis vs in controuerseis, nocht to seik the Kirk to be our Iudge (quhilk as M. Q. allegis, is the onely appointit Iudge be God) or the generall Councels, or the Scriptures of men (as is the wrytingis of prophane Poetis to be Iudges) bot onely the Spirit and worde of God. For giue Augustine had knawin, that God had appointit his Kirk to be the onely Iudge, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the [...]rang: he had said, I knaw nocht giue God hes appointit ane better iudge than his kirk, quhilk he sayis not, bot I knaw not sayis he) giue we can finde ane better Iudge, than ane man be quhome God speakis. Quhairfore it is plaine, that Augustine and his aduersare knew thair Iudge, not to stand in Gods appointing, bot in thair awin finding and chusing, to Iudge thair controuersie: saying, lat the Prophet Iudge, ȝea, or rather, lat God Iudge be the Prophet. Giue the Pro­phet had bene appointit Iudge be God, or giue God walde haue had the Iudgeme [...]t referrit onely to him self. Augustine had not said, lat the Prophet Iudge, or rather God. Be the quhilk, all men may cleirly see, that he meanis not that he desy­rit the Prophet, be reasone of his manly wit or reasone, to be Iudge: or God to discend out of heauen to be Iudge: bot he d [...]syris the worde of God, spokin be man (as the mouth of God the haly Spirite) to Iudge thair controuersie. And thairfore, quhair he sayis heirefter, lat the Prophet answer. He meanis nocht that the Prophet Esay, quha was departit neirby, ane t [...]ousand ȝeir or Augustine was borne, sould tyse againe, and be thair Iudge: bot he desyris the word of God, quhilk the Prophet left ī writ to the kirk of God, to be Iudge, as may be plainely perceauit be Augustines wordis.

Siclyke Augustine in the .15. Sermon of the wordis of the Lorde, schawis quhow the rycht vnderstanding is Iudgit fra the wrang, be the word of God, of this twa places of scripture. [...] thy brother failȝeis aganis the, correct him betuix the, and him [Page 9] onely. Math. 18. And reproue sinnares oppenly, that vthers may haue feare. 1. Timot. 5. Quhat do we (sayis Augustine)? heir we this cōtrouersie, as iudges? God forbid. ȝea, rather be­ing cōstitute vnder the iudge, lat vs knok that we may īpetrat to haue it oppinit to vs, lat vs flee vnder the wyngis of oure Lord God, for he hes nocht spokin contrare to his Apostles, because in him he hes spokin, as he sayis, wyll ȝe tak experience of him that speakis in me Christe? 2. Corinth. 13. Christe in the Euangel, Christ in the Apostole, tharefore Christ said baith the ane, and the vther. Ane be his awin mouth, the vther be the mouth of his Herald. And this farre Augustine. Quha of this twa Scripturs, because he seis that mē may tak ane wrāg vnderstanding of thaim, as giue ane oppin Synnare wald say to ane Minister, because I am ȝour brother, ȝe sulde correct me secretlie, and siclyke ane Minister, giue he walde say to ane, quhom he knew to haue synnit secretlie, thow man be oppin­lie correctit, because Paule biddis correct synnars oppinlie.

Tharefore he wyll nocht tak on hand to be iudge, for to decerne the rycht vnderstanding fra the wrang of this twa Scripturs: bot as ane weill learnit man (be the oppinning of the Scrip­turs, that men may see quhow the Scripture iudgis the rycht vnderstāding of thaim self, fra the wrāg, that is takin of thaim) he vsis the ordinarie meanis on this maner, saying, take tent giue thy brother hes failȝeit aganis the, correct him betuix him and the onely. Quhy? because he hes synnit aganis the. Quhat is that, he hes synnit aganis the? thow knawis that he hes sin­nit, because it was secrete, quhen he Synnit aganis the, seik ane secreit betuix the & him, quhē thow correctis him, that hes failȝeit aganis the. For giue thow knawis onely that he hes sinnit aganis the, & thow before all men wald reproue him, thow ar nocht ane correctour, bot ane reuelare.

And efter this, it followis, bot giue he hes done to the iniurie in the audience of mony, he hes failȝeit aganis thaim, quhom he hes maid wytnes of his iniquitie: Tharefore thay thingis ar to be correctit oppinlie before all mē. This farre Augustine, Quha be thir sayings, seikis nocht the Iudgement of the Kirk, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of thir twa places fra the wrang, as may be planelie sein, bot is content to flee vnder the wyngis of the Lorde (that is his Scripture) & heir the iudge­mēt of Gods word, be the quhilk, he schawis quhow thir wor­dis (aganis the) geuis vs lycht to vnderstand, and conciliat baith thir places. And as ane faithfull iudge decernis to vs, quhom we sall correct secretlie, and quhom oppinlie, quhilk is the discretione of the rycht vnderstanding of this Scripturis, [Page] fra the wrang: for without thir wordis (aganis the) the kirk nor na man could haue iudgit, quhilk man sulde haue bene cor­rect secretlie, & quhilk oppinlie. As Augustine the Instrument of God makis manifest heir to the warld. Be thir twa sayings of Augustine all men may perfytlie see that Augustine, and his aduersoure hes chesit the spirit & Scripture of God, to be thare iudge, be the quhilk thare debait was fynissit, making na men­tione of the kirk, as ane iudge appoyntit to thaim be God.

And because the Scripture of God, on the quhilk the cōtro­uerseis of Religione is groundit, ar oft tymes obscure, and sum Scripturs appearis to be repugnant to vthers. And for diuers causis, thare is syndrie sensis collectit of thaim, farre different, thare hes bene mony weill learnit mē (because thay could nocht he satisfyit in thare controuersie be the plane text of Scripture) that hes socht ane lytle nombre, or ane great multytude, of the maist godly and weil learnit mē in the Scripturs, hauing gude vnderstanding of the ordinarie meanis, quhareby the spirit of God communicatis the rycht vnderstanding of his word to his Kirk: quha being conuenit together, hes sumtyme borne the name of ane generall, sumtyme of ane prouinciall councell.

And alswa because the spirit of God speakis to men in contro­uerseis cōcerning Religione, outwarlie, bot be men: thay haue referrit thare controuersie to the iudgement of the worde and spirit of God: and to men, as concerning the vsing and trea­tyng of the ordinarie meanis, quhareby the spirit of God com­moundlie geuis the vnderstanding of the Scripture, and the discretione of the rycht vnderstanding thareof fra the wrang: that thay mycht haue the decisione of thare controuersie, first be the infallible iudgement of the worde and spirit of God, as the solide and trew iudgement, ground of all iudgements con­cerning religion: and secondly, be the consenting or approuing iudgement, of godly & weil learnit mē (nocht that the iudgemēt of the word of God, mistars the consent or approbatione of mē, bot for the weaknes, and infirmitie of man, that can credit na thing without teachement, and instructione of vthers) safarre as thay ar mouit to consent with the worde of God, be the o­peratione of the haly spirit, brynging the Scripturs to thare remembrance, that makis for the decisione, of the controuersie: and geuing thaim grace of vsing, and vttering, of the ordina­rie meanis, quhilk seruis fo [...] the decisione of the controuersie: quhilk I can nocht call properlie ane iudgement, bot ane cōsent and approbatione of men, vtering and approuing the thing to the warld, be word or wryt, that is iudgit be the word of God. [Page 10] And this may be prouin manifestlie in the Primitiue Kirk, to haue bene obseruit in the 15. Cap. of the Actes, quhare the cō ­tentione being great betuix Paule & Barnabas, and thay that come fra Iowry, and teachit, that the Gentiles could nocht be saue, without thay had bene circumcisit, because thare was mo­ny Scripturs, that appearit to mak for baith the partis of the questione, and na religione was stablesit in thay dayis, bot be the plane word of God. The kirk of Antiochia that could nocht be content with the iudgement of Scripture, allegit als weill for the ane syde, as for the vther, ordanit that Paule, and Bar­nabas, and certane vthers of thaim, sulde go vp to Ierusalem vnto the Apostolis, and Elders (quhom thay knew to be illu­minat with the treuth of Gods worde) to haue the ordinarie meanis vsit (quhareby the spirit of God geuis the vnderstan­ding of his Scripturs to men) about this questione. Giue it was necessare, that the Gentiles that beleuit suld be circumci­sit, or nocht? we read nocht that the Apostles, and Eldars of the kirk of Ierusalem was appoyntit be God to be iudges to this, or siclyke questionis. Bot that the kirk of Antiochia, or­danit that Paule and Barnabas, (quha doutit nocht in the mater as salbe said heirefter) and vthers of thaim suld passe to the Apostles and Elders of Ierusalem, as men hauing the ordina­rie meanis, quhareby the spirit of God geuis the vnderstāding of his worde (as be his mouth) to the warld, that thay mycht haue be oppinning of the Scripturs, the iudgemēt of the word and spirit of God, be thaim, as he had geuin thaim vtterance, and vnderstanding, to satisfie thaim that was at controuersie for this questione. And thairfore this questione being mouit to the Congregatione, the Apostles & Elders, conuenit, nocht to iudge on the questione be thare naturall wysedome, or to de­fine thare vpon be ane lang consuetude, bot to vse the ordina­rie meanis, quhareby God geuis the vnderstāding of his scrip­ture, that be thaim, thay mycht haue the knawledge of thay Scripturs, that concernit the questione that was mouit in the congregatione: and quhen thay had done all thay could do, efter lang disputatione submittit thaim self to the iudgement of the haly spirit, and worde of God, quhilk he had spokin lang be­fore, be the mouth of the Prophetis, and at that conuentione of the kirk of Ierusalem, spak the same worde againe be the mo­uth of the Apostole: and because the spirit and worde of God, iudgit and decernit, that circumcisione was nocht necessare, to the Gentiles that beleuit: the controuersie was iudgit, and endit be all thare consentis, that was of the councel. And thare restit na mair to the kirk of Ierusalem to do, bot to schaw to [Page] the warld, that quhilk the worde of God iudgit, and the haly spirit dytit to thaim, & gaue thaim vtterance, to schaw be word or wryt, as his mouth and wryttars: quhilk m [...]y be clearlie perceauit be the decrete of the haly Spirit wryttin in the said Cap. It hes pleasit the haly spi [...]it & vs. &c. In the first part of the decreit, thay haue put the haly spirit thare iudge, gyde, and president, to signifie to the warld that thay haue iudgit na thing, bot subscriuit to the iudgement of the spirit and word of God: And alswa that thay haue put na thing in wryt, bot as he hes dytit vnto thaim, quhowbeit thay ar namit ī the wryttin decrete: nocht that I say this of my fantasie, bot efter the com­mone maner of the Scripturs speaking: quhilk is accustumit to put the name of the Ministers efter the name of God: nocht that thay attrybut thareby to the M [...]nisters that appertenes onely to God, bot to testifie vnto the warld that God is treu­lie with thaim, and that thay haue attemptit na thing bot that, of the quhilk God is the autor. And to conferme the same with authoritie of Scripture, it is wryttin Exod. 14. Thay beleuit the Lorde, & Moyses his seruand. The people of Israell coulde nocht beleue God, and be gydit be his gouernement without thay had beleuit Moyses quhome he constitute gouernoure to thaim: & ȝit suppose this scripture sayis thay beleuit Moyses, we attribut not that faith, with the quhilk thay beleuit God, to Moyses: bot that thay beleuit the doctryne, that he teachit thaim in the name of the Lorde. Siclyke in this decrete, it hes pleasit the haly spirit & vs. &c. efter the haly spirit, is namit the Apostles, Elders & brethren, the membris of the kirk vnder this worde (ws) nocht that thay could mak ony decrete of faith to thaim that was at controuersie, for the kirk can nocht make ane decrete or Article that may bind man to beleue ony thing, as this dois. Q tharefore to speak to the treuth, this decrete is the haly spiritis: and it appertenis no mair to the Apostles and kirk of Ierusalē, nor the Kingis Proclamatione pertenis to the wryttars and Heraldis, that wryttis and proclamis it.

And on lyke maner it hes pleasit the kirk quhen thare hes be­ne ony controuersie in maters of religione, to cōuene the maist godly and weill learnit men of the kirk, nocht to haue thare awin iudgement, bot be the ordinarie meanis vsing, to see and vnderstand the iudgement of the word of God, quhilk is nocht els, bot the iudgement of the haly spirit. For thay haue nocht diuers iudgemēts: quhilk the Scripturs attributis sumtyme to men (as Paule saying. The spirituall man iudgis all, and is iudgit be nane. 1. Corinth. 2. For the vnione that is be­tuix the spirit of God and the spirit of man, that adheris to the [Page 11] Lord God: nocht that the iudgement hes respect to mē, quhare Paule sayis the spiritual man iudgis al, bot to the spirit of God that reuelis and speakis be men, the iudgements contenit in his worde, as his mouth & ministeris, the quhilk efter the word, is the outwart, and declaring iudge of the wyll of God to the rest of the membris of the Kirk: quharefore Paule sayis nocht, that the man iudgis all, bot the spirituall man: In quhō thare is to be considerit the natural man, that can do na thing in spi­rituall effaris, and the spirit of God quha vsis the man (as his mouth) to declare his wyll & iudgemēt to the warld, quharefore Paule attributis iudgemēt to spirituall men. Conforme to this sayings, is alswa Augustine aganis Maximinus the Arriane, saying, nother I the councell of Nicene, nor thow the councell of Ariminence, sould bryng in to preiuge, nor I be the autori­tie of this, nor thou be the autoritie of it, sould be bound, bot he the autoritie of the Scripturs, nocht to ony mā proper, bot cō ­moune wytnes of baith, lat ane mater with ane vther, ane rea­sone with ane reasone, ane cause with ane cause, contend. Heir Augustine wyll nother grant to him self, nor vtheris sic priui­lege, that the councell of Nicene, or Ariminence sall preiuge ony mater, bot he wyll haue the veritie of the cause iudgit be the Scripture, quhilk he haldis of greatare autoritie nor the coun­cell. Q tharefore we may see plainelie that Augustine siclyke geuis na autoritie to men, that is conuenit in the councellis, or vtherwayis, to iudge controuerseis, bot to the Scripturs the Testimoneis of the haly Spirit.

Swa wyll we consider the mater of iudgement, in al contro­uerseis for religione perfytlie, we sall fynd the worde, & spirit of God to be the onely iudges, be the quhilk all controuersie con­cerning religione is iudgit, endit, & pacefyit: & nocht the kirk. For in all debait concerning religione, the kirk man first heare quhat the worde of God sayis, spokin be the spirit of God, for it is the lycht in all doutsum materis of religione, & with that part of the controuersie, that euer the word of God standis, and aggreis, the kirk man stand and consent with the same. For giue the kirk aggreit and consentit, with ane vther part of the controuersie, than the word of God consentis, & aggreis with, the kirk war aganis the Scripture, quhilk war ane great ab­surditie, and swa it walde cease in that part to be the Kirk of God. And sen it is swa, that the Kirk man stand and aggre to the delyuerance, and iudgement of the worde of God: the word of God man haue first iudgit and endit the controuersie, to the [...]uhilk the kirk man consent and aggre, or it can aggre thareto For na thing can aggre, nor cōsent to the thing it knawis nocht, [Page] Tharefore the controuersie man be first endit and iudgit be the worde of God, vtherwayis the kirk can nocht consent mair to ane part, nor to ane vther of the controuersie. As was done in the cōtrouersie, quhilk was brocht before the Apostles frathe Kirk of Antiochia, to Ierusalem: quhare the kirk culde Iudge na thing, quhill the worde of God was firste harde in thair assemble, quhat it Iudgit in the mater. And because the word of God, Iudgit that the Gentiles, quhilk beleuit, mistert nocht to be circumcisit for thair Saluatione. The Apostles, Elders, and brethren, followit the Iudgement of the worde of God, quhilk was confirmit be Miraclis, as Paule and Bar­nabas testifeis, and geuing of the haly Spirit to the Gentiles, as Peter schawis, swa the Kirk of Ierusalem culde ascribe na Iudgement of the controuersie to thaim self, for onely it ap­pertenit to thaim, to vtter to the warld, the iudgemēt of Gods worde, conforme to the discretione, geuin to thaim be the haly Spirite.

Fynally, gif the kirk had bene appoitit iudge be God, to deter­ne the rycht vnderstāding of the scripture fra the wrāg, quhen­sumeuer questione had rysen for the vnderstanding of the same: it had bene necessare, that the Latine Kirk, and the Greik, had bene firste appointit be God Iudges, to haue decernit, quhilk Text of Greik, and Latine, had bene faithfully, according to the originall translatit, and quhilk nocht, or thay had bene appointit Iudges, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang. Bot in na part of the Scripture, hes God appointit the Kirk as Iudge, to decerne, quhilk Text is trewly translatit, according to the Original, and quhilk nocht. And thairfore, he hes nocht appointit the Kirk to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang: for the decerning of the rycht Text, fra the wrang, man precede the rycht vnderstanding and interpretatione: be reasone thair was neuer men vnto this day, that culde be Iudges, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang, of ane Text, quhilk thay vnderstude nocht, or that war wrang in­terprete, as the commune translatione is, in diuers and sin­drie places, and notit be sindrie cūning men, as be Augustinus Eugubinus, Erasmus Roterodamus, Nicolaus Delyra, and sindrie vthers, quhair nother the Greik, nor the Latine Text aggreis with the originall Text of Hebrew, of the auld Testament, nor ȝit the Latine Text aggreis with the original Greik Text of the new Testament. And sen the Latine Kirk hes admittit ane Text to be red, and interprete neirby ane 1166. [Page 12] ȝeris, be thair Iudgement, that is notit to be wrang translatit, in sindrie and diuers places (of the quhilk kirk I beleue M. Q speakis) thair is na man that can think iustly, that God wald appoint thaim to be iudges, to decerne betuix the rycht vnder­standing of the Text of the Scripture and the wrang, that culd nocht iudge perfytlie on the translatione of the text. For than God had appoyntit vs ane blynd, and vncertane iudge, to de­cerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture fra the wrang.

For he that is vncertane in the text, of necessite he man be vn­certane to make ane glose on the text. And giue ony man thin­kis (because oure Forebears is departit at peace of the Lorde God, hauing na vther translatione nor the commune translati­one, that the kirk hes receauit) that it is ane great arrogāce, to desyre of the Scripture ane new translatione mair perfyte, or that ony vther interpretatione soulde be socht, nor hes bene v­sit before be the ancient Fatheris, quha was weill exercit in the Scripturs. I answer, that it is nocht alyke, to be ane inter­pretour, ane Prophet, or ane Euangelist. For the Prophete & Euangelist can nocht dissaue, nor be disseauit. Bot giue I say, that ane īterpretour hes errit fra the mynd of the author, throw obscurenes, or ignorance of the languagis, I do him na wrāg, giue the place of the Scripture be schawin, quharein he hes fail­ȝeit, quhilk was the mynde of Hierome in the Epistole ad fre­telam. And alswa of Augustine. Libr. 2. de doctrina Christi­ana: Quhen thay desyre vs to go to the Originale text, quhen ony questione happinnis in the Greik, or Latine text. For it is ane manlie office to interpret, quhilk of ane Prophete, or E­uangelist, I dar nocht say. Siclyke it is nocht wrang to saye, that thare is ane great difference betuixt the vnderstanding of the law of God, that is sufficient to be knawin for ane mannis saluatione, and the vnderstanding of the law of God, that is re­quirit in ane prechour, and in thaim, that sulde be membris of generale, or prouinciale councells, to quhom it appertenis to haue sa perfyte vnderstanding, that thay can giue ane compt of the leist poynt of the law. Tharefore it may stand weill that be the commune translatione men mycht be instructit sufficientlie to thair Saluatione. And that thay quha hes bene estemit cheif Pastors of the kirk, and men able to haue bene mem­bers of Generall, or Prouinciall Councels, coulde nocht be instructit sufficientlie, be the commune translatione in all controuerseis, that mycht happin, for maters of Religione. And gif it mycht be, that the Romane kirk hes receauit be it awin Iudgement the commune translatione, quhilk [Page] coulde nocht serue thaim for all controuerseis, concernyng Religione, throw the errors that is found in the translatione, thair is na man that can say than, that thay warre worthy to be Iudges, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang: or to interprete the Scriptures that vnderstude not perfitely the text. For he that is vncertane in the Text, of necessitie he man be vncertane in the exposition. Quhairfore I may weill conclude, be reasone, Doctors say­ingis, and Scripture, that the kirk is na wayis appointit Iudge be God, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang: bot the worde and Spirit of God, is chosin Iudges be thaim, quha is at cōtrouersie for Religion, for the causes before exprimit: for quhidder thay that is at con­trouersie for Religione, referris the Iudgement of thair con­trouersie to the worde of God, or to ane multitude of men, speaking be the Spirit of God. Alwayis it is force, that thay, and alswa the multitude, to quhom thay referre tha [...]r contro­uersie, man aye referre the controuersie, quhilk is referrit to thaim, to the Iudgement of the worde and Spirite of God. For the kirk, be it awin Iudgement, or warldly reasone, can nocht interprete the Scriptures, nor pronounce sentence, nor deceiue the rycht vnderstanding fra the wrang, of the Scrip­tures, as Iudges: bot as Ministers of Gods worde, the kirk may declare the difficill Scriptures, quhilk is in controuer­sie, as vther places of the Scripture, mair plaine geuis the trew interpretation of thaime, and to schaw the warlde, the thing that the worde Iuges to be done, and the sentence quhilk it geuis thaim to pronounce, be the ordinarie meanis: and that, as the Spirite of God, geuis thaim vtterance.

As to the cause, quhairfore he wald haue the kirk to be the onely appointit Iudge be God, to decerne the rycht vnderstan­ding of the Scripture, fra the wrang, in all debaitis cōcerning Religione. And the decreitis geuin be the Iudgement of his Romane kirk (as appearis) he wald haue vnchangeable, and Eternalle, as thay war the Law of God, saying: Because and that thing be brocht in disputatione againe, quhilk is done be the hiare powers, conforme to thair vocatione, at the desyre of priuate men, than sall the warld liue in perpetuall debait and controuersie. I answer, that he hes na les nor cause, to desire thay thingis that is Iudgit, and decretit be the Romane Kirk (quhilk I dout not, bot he callis the hiare powers) to be hal­din be the warld, vnchangeable, for and the Lawis and De­creits of the Romane Kirk, be br [...]cht to examinatione, to the [Page 13] tueche stare the worde of God, and thareby examinat, & Iud­git, thare salbe mony of thaim found still of superstitione, lat­ting be to speake of thare vngodlynes: quhilk giue thay hade bene groundit on the worde of God, thay wald neuer haue fea­rit quhow oft thay had bene examinat and brocht in disputatiō. For na examinatione can subuert the veritie, bot make it the mair strenthy, and the mair manifest to the warlde. Bot now, because thay knaw that thare constitutions can nocht byde ane tryall, as thay decretis may do, quhilk is groundit on Goddis worde: thay cry, that and the thing that is done be the hieare powers be brocht in disputatione againe be priuate men, the warlde sall leue in perpetuall debait. Thay walde faine stey vs with the wynde of the worde of perturbatione, as we suld ouer­see, & neglect the worke and wyll of God, for feare of ony warl­dlie perturbatione that may cum apon vs, or vthers, for gain­standing of thare vngodlie decretis: thay disseaue baith thaim selues and all vthers, quha lippi [...]s in thaim. For thare is na priuate man, that wyll desyre thare decretis callit to des­putatione for his pleasoure: bot because, the plaine worde of God mou [...]s thaim thareto, quhilk is the thing that thay gain­stand, & the onely cause of the perturbatione of the hale warld. And because thay can nocht sufficientlie proue thare decretis be Scripture to be godlie. Nor ȝit can thay deny, bot thay haue bene ane great part of the perturbatione of the warlde, & now because thay ar able al to sal throw wāting of ane gude ground: for the establesing of thaim, thay haue īuentit ane vther grond­les ground, alledgeing the cheif Pastours to be the Kirk, and without authoritie of Scripture, this kirk to be the onely ap­poyntit Iudge be God, to Iudge all cōtrouerseis, concerning Religione, hauing power of the hale vniuersall kirk, to make decretis, & gif sentences as thay please. And this decretis thay walde haue vnexaminable: quhilk in my mynde can, neuer want suspitione, of sum falset, superstione, Hypocrisie, Idola­trie, or singulare commoditie, quhilk walde cum to the lycht to thare schame, and thay tholit ane tryall to be tane of thare Decretis, that thay hade aneis setsurth. Bot this is farre by the simplicitie and consuclude of the Kirk of God, for nocht onely hes it bene content, that the Decretis, quhilk is groun­dit on the word of God, and dytit be the haly Spirit, and that it hes put in writ, thole iudgemēt, & triall of the word of God: Bot alswa the Apostles (quha brocht na thing in the kirk, bot that, quhilk the haly Spirite spak be thaim, as his mouth) was content, that thair doctrine sould be examinat, be the iud­gement of the Scripture: as Paule was content, that his [Page] doctrine, quhilk he teachit in Antiochia, sould be tryit be the Iudgement of Gods worde, before the Apostles, Elders, and brethren in Ierusalem: as is writtin in the .15. Chap. of the Actes. Siclyke, the Thessalonians ar commendit in the scrip­ture, because that thay searchit the Scriptures daylie, gif Pau­les doctrine was trew, or nocht. Acto. 17. Mairattoure, this maner of examinatione, appearis to bring na lytle profet to the Kirk of God, for the ofter that ony decrete or doctrine be tryit be the Scripturs, the mair sure it is, & thay that hes bene waik in the Faith, that thay haue had be the doctrine of man, or ony decrete groundit on the Scripture, the tryall hes geuin thaim occasione to be weill confirmit in thair Faith. For it is no meruall, bot ane man sall beleue that thing rather, quhilk hes oft tymes tholit tryal of Scriptures, nor it that hes neuer tho­lit. Now gif ony man thinkis heirfore, that I beare disdane at the generall Councels, because I wald haue thay decretis brocht againe in disputatione, quhilk had bene aneis decretit be thaim, quhairin thair was, or is, ony suspitione of disaggre­ance, betuix thaim and the worde of God. I answer, that thait is mony questions cum in disputatione thir dayis, that hes neuer bene iustly and sincerely discussit be the Councels, quhilk gif thay be brocht againe, at this tyme in controuersie, & all utterly abolisit, be the solide, and vnfallible testimoneis of the Scripture, thair is na godly mā, that can be iustly offendit. And quhowbeit, the decretis of sum Councell, had bene the decretis of the haly Spirite, and it had pleasit the Kirk to haue socht be the Iudgement of the worde of God, gif thay decretis had bene conforme to the worde of God, or nocht, it had done na iniurie to the haly Spirite, for it is nocht the will of the haly Spirite, that our Faith leane vpon the decretis of man, in place of Gods worde. And thairfore, gif ony decretis of the Ro [...]ane Kirk, be the Iudgement of Gods worde, had bene found, not to haue cum of the haly Spirite, and had bene haldin be the warld to haue bene the haly Spirites. The Kirk of God had do [...]e gude seruice to God, for the abolysing of thaim. For it is bot reasone, that the worde of God be knawin, fra the dec [...]etes of me [...], quhilk can nocht be, bot be tryall of the word of God. But at this tyme, I will say na mair of the councels: bot God willing I sall schaw M. Q. clerely, quhow thair hes bene verray few godly councels, sen Siluesters dayis (quhow dewely that euer thay appearit to the warl [...], thay war cōuenit) conforme to the Councell of the Apostles, q [...]hilk is maid men­tione of, in the .15. Chap. of the Actes of the Apostles: mak of [Page 14] thair decretis quhat he please: nocht that I beare disdaine at the generall, or prouinciall Councels, for I beleue that na godly man is of that mynde, bot he wald haue godly and weill learnit men (quhilk with the Spirit and worde of God, makis the trew Councels) conuening to reasone, to conserre and to vse all thay ordinarie meanis, quhairby the Spirite of God geuis vnderstanding of his Scriptures, and the Scriptures geuis trew Iudgement of all controuerseis to the Kirk, that thair may be peace, and tranquilitie aye thairin, quhairof presently I will nocht speak: bot leauis M.Q. conclusion with sic reasons, as my sohre wit could finde aganis the same, for the mātenance of the veritie, to the Iudgemēt of thayis, quha with brotherly, and godly lufe, wil support my imperfection, quh [...]ir I haue neglectit or ouersene ony thing, pertening to ane suffi­cient Confutatione of his Firste conclusione: and passis to the impugnatione of thay reasons, quhairwith he takis to proue and confirme his foresaid conclusione.

Heir followis M. Q. Firste Reasone, quhairby he thinkis that he confermis his foresaid conclu­sione, without Scripture.

WE proue the foresaidis on this maner. It is sure, that lyke as Almychty God hes appointit his Kirk and con­gregatione, necessarelie to be vnite together in ane Faith be Baptisme, hauing his worde and Law. Swa it is necessare, that prouisione be had, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture fra the wrang, specially, quhensumeuer question or debait rysis for the samyn, vtherwayis, the hauing of the Scriptures, without the vnderstanding of the samyn, war lytle or na thing profitable to the Congregatione. Bot swa it is, that all hereseis war supprest, and the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture fra the wrang, was decernit in all aiges, ȝeris and tymes, (sen the tyme of the Apostles) be the general coun­cels. Thairfore it followis weill, that the generall Councels war the speciall membre of the Congregatione, appointit be God, representing the hale Kirk to tak ordour in all maters of debait concerning Religione.

M. Ihone Dauidsonis Answer.

I wyll nocht stand to giue M. Q. the first part of this reasone grantit: bot I affirme the secund part heirof to be fals quha­re he sayis. Bot swa it is, that all hereseis war suppreste, & the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture fra the wrang was decer­nit in all aigis, ȝeris, & tymes, (sen the tyme of the Apostles) be Generall councels: and this I proue be diuers reasonis (he taking the generall councels, & the kirk, for the cheif Pastours, of the vniuersall Congregatione as his foresaid interpretion of of the kirk testifyis him to do) For the hereseis that rays in the kirk of God, sen the tyme of the Apostles, was not vther wayis supprest, nor be na vther lawfull meanis than thay war in the Apostles tyme. For God hes appoyntit na vther maner of way for the suppressing of thaim in his Scripturs, be command, or exemple. Bot in the Apostles tyme, sum was only supprest be the haly Spirit, and the worde of God properlie and trewlye spokin be the Apostlis & Elders (the mouth of the haly spirit) Actor. 15. as was thare heresie, quha teachit that the Gentiles that beleuit, could nocht be saue, without thay hade bene circū ­cisit. For tharefter that Peter had maid his exhortation, quhilk mycht haue bene collectit of the Scripturs for the maist parte: Iames cytit Amoz the Prophete to confute the heresie, quhilk is nocht els, bot ane testimonie of the haly Spirit, quha thare­fore is put first as president in the decrete of the councel, quhilk was send fra Ierusalem to Antiochia to conferme the brethren. F [...]r giue thay had wantit the haly Spirit, & the worde of God, it had nocht bene possible, to the Apostles to haue knawin quhidder thay sulde haue consentit with Paule and Barnabas: or with thaim, quha teachit circumcisione to be necessare to the Gentiles that beleuit. And farre mair is it vnpossible to ony generall councell that hes bene haldin sensyne, to knaw quhat part thay sulde consent to, or fra quhat part thay sall dissent, in cōtrouerseis of Religione, without the worde of God, and the haly Spirit. Quharefore sen in this Conuentione of the Apo­stles, this heresie was nocht supprest be thaim that was men of the councell, bot be the haly Spirit and worde of God: all he­reseis hes nocht bene supprest be Generall councels, that is to say, be the cheif pastours of the vniuersall Congregatione. For as na man walde haue geuin credence that the Apostles hade supprest this heresie, and thay had decernit ony thing concer­ning it, be thare awin fantasie and manly Iudgement, before [Page 15] the Iudgement of the worde of God had bene hard, siclyke na mair can we beleue, that other General or particulare councels that hes bene sensyne, hes supprest ony heresie, quhilk hes not hard first the Iudgement of the worde and Spirit of God, for all men is lears. Psalme. 115.

And quhowbeit na man can deny (as I beleue) bot the haly Spirit is principall suppressar of al hereseis, ȝit sum mā per­auenture wyll think that I haue said ouer farre of the word of God, that it suppressis hereseis with the haly Spirit: conside­ring the worde of God is bot as ane dead Instrument, be the Iudgement of man. Be the quhilk the cheif Pastours, the ly­uelie membris of the Kirk suppressis the hereseis. Tharefore mony wyll Iudge, that (as I buire hatred to the councels, and cheif pastours of the Kirk) I wranguslie attribute to the In­strumentis, that thing quhilk appertenis to the lyuelie wor­kare: as be exemple, commondlie it is spokin of the craftis mē and thare instrumentis, that the craiftis men is the principall workaris, and thare instrumentis, is the secund causis of thare workis, and is bot ane helpe to thaim, quhareby thay worke.

Quharefore it appearis that we sulde saye siclyke of the cheif Pastours, and the worde of God. That the cheif Pastours of the Congregation is the principal suppressours of the hereseis, and the worde of God is the instrument, quhareby thay sup­presse the hereseis: and swa thay wyll say, that the suppressing of the hereseis, is to be attribute to the cheif Pastours represen­ting the generall councels, as the principall workars, & gouer­nours of the councell, & not to the word of God. I answer.

The worde of God is nocht to be estemit, as ane deade thing without operatione, or strenth of it self, as the worde of mā is, quhilk peresis quhow sone it is spokin, bot it is to be estemit, as Paule estemis it, Hebreo. 4. lyuelie, and mychtye in ope­ratione, and scharpar than ane twa egged sworde, quhilk the Lorde God spekis to the warlde be men, as be his mouth.

Quharefore Pater sayis not in the 15. Cap. of the Actes, that amangs vs God chesit me out, that the Gentiles be me soulde heare the worde of the Euangell, and beleue: bot he sayis, be my mouth: as he walde say, the Euangel that I preache to the Gentiles, is nocht my wordis, bot Gods. Siclyke in the first Cha. of the Actes, Peter sayis, the Scripture man be fulfyllit, quhilk the haly Gaist be the mouth of Dauid spak before of Iu­das. Alswa Christ Iesꝰ, callis Paule his chosin weschel, Actor. 9. Quhairfore, sen the Apostles confessis thaim self, and the Prophetis to be bot as instrumentis, the mouth of the haly [Page] Spirite, and ane weschell to beare the Name of Christe, the cheif Pastors of the Congregatione, sen syne in na Councell can be comparit properly to the craftes men, and the worde to the instrumentis, bot be the contrare: for the worde of God, is the liuely thing, and mychty in operatione, the Saule of all gude Councels, and the Pastors, quhow cheif that euer thay be, is bot as deade Creatures (without the worde of God, the lyfe of the Saule) as all men ar that wātis it, quhowbeit thay liue corporally. Quhairfore, Paule speaking of the preaching of the Euangell, he sayis, we haue this treasure in earthen wes­chels, that the excellencie of that power mycht be of God, and nocht of vs. 2. Corinth. 4. Quhairby we may see, that all men is bot fragile, and vnworthy weschels, to contene sa great treasures, as is the worde of God, war nocht it war Gods pleasure, thairby to schaw his almichty power to the warld. And gif Paule estemit him self, as ane earthen weschell, that contenit bot the worde of God, and nocht as ane Creature, quha be him self, had power to speak the worde of God.

Quhat kynde of weschels mycht thay haue haldin thaim self than, quha hes estemit thaim felf the cheif Pastors of the Con­gregatione, sen Paules dayis? Had thay weill weyit thir wordis of Paule, I dout not, bot thay wald haue grantit thaim selues, nocht suppressors of hereseis bot vnworthy instrumen­tis to do sic thing, in ony Councell that euer hes bene: latting be to speak, that thay wald be sa bauld, as to preferre thaim self to the worde of God, in suppressing of hereseis, taking to thaim self the excellent power of Gods worde, quhilk Paule attributis onely to God. Quhairfore, I inferre of this com­parisone of Paules, quhair that he comparis him self to ane earthen weschell, that as the Leame Pote, that contenis the Medicine, dois na thing to the healing of the patient, na mair dois the generall Councels, that is to say, the cheif Pastors of the Kirk (that contenis, or sould contene the worde of God, quhowheit mony of thaim hes contenit verray lytle, or na thing of it) to the suppressing of hereseis: for as the Leame Pot, quhilk can do na thing of it self, seruis the Medicinars of thair Medicine, powring it out, or receauing it in, quhen euer thay please to vse it: Siclyke the faithfull Ministers, quha can do na mair in godly maters be thair awin nature, nor the Leame Pot can, thay serue the haly Spirite quhen it pleasis him to speak his worde be thaim (as his mouth) in all Councels, for the suppressing of hereseis. And thairfore the suppressing of he­reseis, can nocht be attribute to the Kirk, that is to say, the [Page 16] cheif Pastors, bot to the haly Spirit, and the worde of God. Secondly, the naturall man perceauis nocht the thingis of the Spirit of God; for thay ar foulishnes vnto him. As sayis Paule. 1. Corinth. 2.14. Bot M. Q. Kirk, that is to say, the cheif Pastors of the vniuersall Congregatione, quhilk is re­presentit be the generall Councels, hes nocht bene onely natu­rall men: bot alswa sa fleshly, that for the maist part, nocht onely misknew thay the thingis contenit in the Scriptures: bot alswa thair lyfe hes bene sa detestable, that it was nocht lesum to ony Christiane man to eat with thaim. And thir Pa­stors (quhome he wald haue to be ane generall Councell) hes bene swa, for the maist part (as testifeis sindrie Famous Histo­riographeurs) sen the tyme of Siluester, Bischope of Rome, before quhom, efter the Apostles dayis, thare was haldin few godly Councels. Bot sic men hes nocht bene, nor ȝit can nocht be participant of the haly Spirit, without quhom, na heresie can be supprest. For thare is na societie betuix God, an [...] the Deuill. Quhairfore (suppose thay appearit ane general coun­cell to thaim, quha knew nocht quhat ane generall Councell was) thay being bot naturall, and fleshly men, thay could suppresse na hereseis, nor ȝit decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang, quhilk cumis alswa of the haly Spirite.

Thridly, the same thing that principally gainstandis the Heretykes, in maters of Religione, suppressis thare hereseis: bot principally the Spirite, and worde of God, gainstandis the heretykes: for Augustine sayis, with the plaine testimoneis of the haly Scripture, that thing is to be prouin, that we wald haue beleuit: and aganis the enimeis of the kirk, thay ar to be vsit, Contra Epistol. Pe [...]sli. Donatist. de vnitate Eccle. Ca. 19. In the quhilk sayingis, he makis na mentione of the cheif Pastors of the kirk, or Councell, to be vsit aganis the Here­tykes, enimeis to the kirk of Christe, bot onely of the plaine testimoneis of the Scripture, the sworde of the Spirit of God. Ephe. 6. Quhairfore the Spirit of God, and his word onely suppressis the hereseis, and nocht the kirk, representit be the generall Councels. Siclyke, Augustine teaching vs, to haue the surest maner of interpretatione, of the Scriptures, he sendis vs nocht to the Doctours, nor to the Councels, nor to the Decretis of the Papis, bot to the Scriptures.

For the best maner of interpretatione of Scripturs (sayis he) is to expone ane place be ane vther of the same, that is mair manifest. Lib: 3. de Doctrina Christiana. Cap. 26. Quhilk is not [Page] els, bot that ane part of the Scripturs decernis the rycht vn­derstanding of ane vther Scripture fra the wrang. And sen the discretion of the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture and the wrang, is na vther thing, bot the discretione of the rycht inter­pretatione of the Scripturs and the wrang: the rycht vnder­standing of the Scripturs fra the wrang, may be hade be vther meanis, than be the generall councels: Tharefore the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripturs fra the wrang, hes nocht bene ay decernit be generall councels. And als giue the hereseis hes bene supprest onely, be the generall councels, Augustine hes nocht had ane rycht Iudgement, to schaw quhow the hereseis sulde be supprest, and the Scripturs rycht exponit and vnder­stand: bot in his sayings foresaid, he hes bene contrarius to God, insafar he sendis vs to the Scriputrs, quhare Christ hes send vs, (as M. Q. alledgis) to the generall councels, for to seik the suppressing of hereseis, and rycht vnderstanding of the Scripturs: quhilk I beleue M. Q. wyl nocht grant, bot Au­gustine had ane rycht vnderstanding, baith of the suppressing of hereseis, and of the exponing and interpreting of the Scrip­turs.

Feardlie betuix the Apostles dayis, and the first councell ge­nerall, callit Niceane, that was haldin in the ȝeir of our Lorde 328. thare rang mony hereseis, as testefeis syndrie Hystorio­grapheurs. Than giue M. Q. wyl sustene that all hereseis, hes bene, be ane generall councell, or vther onely supprest, ta­king tryall, and instructione be the Scripturs. Than say I, that the haly Spirit be all the godlie Doctours, and wrytars, baith before the first generall councell, & efter, traualit inuaine. And alswa thay Doctours tynt thare tyme: To quhom, is at­tribute, (because thay be argumentatione, and vther wayis in thare preaching, or wryting schew to the warld the Iudgemēt, of the Spirit and worde of God, betuix his treuth and thay he­reseis,) the thing that appertenit onely to the Spirit & worde of God, (nocht efter the veritie, bot efter the commond maner of speache) as to Dionisius Origenis disciple, the Confutati­one of Sabellius, and Nepos, Chiliastes, to Archelaus, Bis­chope of Mesopotamia, the Confutatione of all the arguments of Manicheus, the cheif heretyke, and to Origene, the confu­tatione of diuers heretykes, before that thare was ony gene­rall councell, vther nor the councell of the Apostles maid men­tione of in the 15. Cap. of the Actes. And efter the councell of N [...]cene, was attribute to Epiphanius, the confutatione of 80. hereseis. To Augustine and Hierome, the confutatione of syn­drie [Page 17] hereseis: as testifeis Trithemius, Pantaleo in his Croni­cles, and Hierome in the Catologe of the Ecclesiasticall wryt­tars. Quha tuke nocht tryall and instructione onelie be the Scripturs to confute, conuict, or suppresse thay hereseis, bot rather be the Scripturs, and the ordinarie meanis (quhareby the Spirit of God geuis the vnderstanding of the Scripture) thay oppinnit the Scripturs, that be the oppinning of thaim, the warld mycht als manifestlie and surelie see, quhow that the Spirit and worde of God supprest thay hereseis, as ony mā vnderstandis the nature of the thing that is oppinnit to him be the essentiall and maist proper definitione of the same. Or as he seis his awin face in ane Myrrour, giue thare be ony spot on it, or nocht: Swa that na man for the cōtrouerseis of thay dayis, that be the Scripturs was rychtuouslie and sufficiētlie decydit, mystart the Iudgement or sentence, of other generall or pro­uinciall councels, mair nor the man that hes ane fair Myrrour before him, mystaris to byde quhill ane cum fra Rome, or Ie­rusalem to tell him, giue he be fair or nocht: And alswa thay doctours be the ordinarie meanis, and Scripturs soluit the he­retykis reasons, that appearit to make for thay hereseis, scha­wing to the warld that thay war of na effect. Swa na man of gude reasone can say, that the haly Spirit, and al the weill lear­nit, and godlie men traualit muame, baith in thare wryting, Preaching, and reasoning aganes the hereseis of thair dayis: bot sū of thaim did als mekle in vsing of the ordinarie meanis, (quhareby the warld mycht perceaue, and vnderstand thay he­reseis be the Spirit and worde of God supprest) as ony coun­cell of thaim all did, for fardare the councels could do nocht.

Quharefore I conclude, that na hereseis hes bene supprest be generall Councels (as M. Q. allegis) bot be the Spirit and worde of God, for giue he wyll attribute confutatione, suppre­ssing, conuicting of the hereseis to the councels, he sall fynde the same things attribute to the Doctours, be diuers godlye wryttars in thare bukis, and swa giue he attributis sic things to the councels, lat him attribute the same things to the Doc­tours, for the suppressing, conuicting, and confuting is attri­bute to the councels, bot for the same self cause, that thay ar at­tribute to the doctours, quhilk is nocht els, bot for vsing of the ordinarie meanis, to oppin the Scripturs, and for schawing of the iudgement & wyll of God, contenit tharin to the warld, as the spirit of God geuis thaim vnderstanding, & vtterance.

Fyftlie giue M. Q. wyll say, that all hereseis is supprest onelye be Generall Councels, it is na better to the People, [Page] quhen ony Hereseis ringes, to be vnder ane weill learnit Pastoure, than vnder ane Ignorant: because ane gude and weill learnit Pastor, can do na mair to quiet the conscience of his people (as to the hereseis) nor ane ignorant: gif it be trew, that hereseis onely be general Councels is supprest (as M. Q. alledges) for thay man baith abyde the cūming of ane generall Councel (as all the simple, and thrawart papistes dois) quhilk gif it cummis nocht in thare lyfe tyme, nother of thaim can lu [...]k for quietnes in thare conscience, bot with troublit consci­ence man depart, quhare God pleasis, quhilk war ane great absurditie.

Sextly, the councels hes oft tymes cōsentit with the heretykes, as the Councel callit Ariminense, haldin in the ȝeir of God, 362 fauorit the Arrians: quha held ane Councel in Antiochia, of Syria, and confirmit thare awin erroure, sa far as Councell could conferme it, in the ȝeir of God. 346. Hystoria Tripar. 2. Ca. 10. The Second Councel of Ephesꝰ, fauourit the errour of Entites. The councel haldin be Cypriane, & the Bischoppes of Affrick, cōcludit the heretykes to be rebaptsit, in the ȝeir of our Lord 260. And Steuin the Bischope of Rome, not only decernit he thaim, that thay sould not be Rebaptisit, bot thay, quha bap­tisit thaim, or decernit thaim to be Rebaptisit, he thocht worthy to be curst. Augustinus de vnico Baptismo, Contra Petili. Cap. 14. And in the Councell of Nicene, thare was seuintent that fauourit Arrius: of the quhilk aleuin subscriuit efterwart with thare handis, and nocht with thare hart, to the Councel. And Ser was ban [...]ist with Arrius, that wald nocht consent to the Councel. Quhairfore, thair being sa mony erroures mātenit be [...]ouncel [...], a [...]d sa great controuersie amangis thaim, that was of the Councels: I may surely conclude, that all Hereseis hes nocht bene supprest be generall Councels: nor ȝit the rycht vnderstanding of the Scriptures, fra the wrang, hes bene decernit be thaim, bot rather the contrare be mony of thaim. And gif M. Q. will say, that thay war prouinciall Councels, that fell in erroure, and nocht generall. I answer, that ane generall Councell may fall in errour, or heresie, als weill as ane prouinciall Councell: for God hes nocht promisit mair to ane generall, nor to ane prouinciall Councell, that it sall nocht fall in erroure. For it is bot ane dreame deuoitly dreamit, that euer thare was ane vniuersall Councel, sen the Apostles dayis, representing the kirk of God. For siclyke Councell hes nother exemple, nor command in the worde of God, nor ȝit hes it the [...]mes of God, mair of his assistance, nor ane particulare [Page 18] Councell, godly conuenit: for the Councell of the Apostles, sal nocht be easely prouin, to be ane vniuersal Councel. Siclyke, gif the generall Councels, had supprest all hereseis sufficiently (as M. Q. alledges was done be thaim) than (say I) that thay maters had nocht rysen againe, that had bene aneis sup­prest: bot thay thingis quhilk thay supp [...]est for heresie (as was the forbidding of meatis on certane dayis, & at certane tymes, forbidding of baith the kyndis geuin in the Supper of the Lorde, to the commune people, forbidding of the Ministers Mariages of the Kirk, and siclyke, vther thingis) is now rysen againe, and godly authorizit be the Scripture, in the Kirk of God. And be the contrare, thay thingis, quhilk thay esta­blishit for the treuth and veritie (as was Purgatorie, transub­stantiatione, the Sacrifice of the Masse, worschipping of Ima­gerie, and siclyke, vther thingis) without general, or prouin­cial councel of mē: be the worde of God, thay ar sa far supprest, that thay ar neuer able to ryse againe. Quhairfore as we see, that na thing standis sure, concerning Religione, bot it that is groundit vpon Gods worde. Siclyke, thare is na thing, that suppressis thay thingis, quhilk is aganis the trew Religione, bot the Spirite and worde of God.

Quharefore, leauing this part sufficiently prouin, be the reasonis foresaid, that all hereseis hes nocht bene supprest be generall Councels: nor ȝit, that the rycht vnderstanding of the Scriptures, fra the wrang, hes bene decernit be thaim: I say, be na strenth of argumentatione, inferris he weill his conclu­sione, that the generall Councels was the speciall membre of the Congregatione, appointit be God, representing the hal [...] Kirk, to tak ordoure in maters of debait concerning Faith.

Heir followis M. Q. Second Reasone, quhairby he laboures to confirme his Firste Conclusione, without Scripture.

GIF thare be sum (as I think thare be mony) quhilkꝭ ar stif neckit, bearing perpetuall disdaine aganis the generall Councels, specially, sic as wald haue libertie to thraw the Scripture to thare appetite, desyrous of vaine glorie, and [Page] to be thocht singulare in thare awin opinione. I will ask thaim of ane questione, quhilk is verray easy till answer to, that is, gif euer thare was ony Hereseis sen the tyme of Christe, or nocht? I am sure thare is na man sa schameles, and he war neuer sa drownit in Heresie, bot he will grant thare hes bene mony great hereseis. For quhy? thare is nocht ane ar­ticle of our faith, bot it hes bene impugnit, and brocht in dout againe be Heretykis, affermand thare hereseis, for the maist part all be Scripturs, falslie alledgit, and interprete. Than wyll I speir, giue thare was ane ordour tane to suppresse the hereseis, or nocht? I am sure thare is na man wyll thynk that God neglectit the Congregatione, that it sulde lyue in perpe­tuall debait, for the faith, and na ordour to be tane thairupon.

Than wyll I inquire, quhat was the ordour (giue it was nocht be the generall councels) quhilk was tane? treuly I be­leue, thare wyll na man schaw ane vther meane, quhareby he­resie was supprest, bot be the general councels, specialie quhilk rays of the wrang vnderstanding of the Scripture of God, as all hereseis commonlie dois.

Than sen we ar assurit that thare hes bene mony abhomina­ble hereseis in contrare our faith, and the ordour, quhilk was tane for the samyn, was euir onelie be the Generall councels dewly conuenit, it may be iustlie inferrit, that the general councels was the membre of the congregatione, sterit vp be God, representing the vniuersal kirk of God, hauing denomination, strenth, and effect of all the membris of the Congregatione.

I beleue thare is na man of reasonable Iudgement, bot he wyll thynk that thir twa argumētis aboue rehearsit sufficient­lie perswadis, ȝea, and conuictis the general councels to be the member of the Congregatione, representing the vniuersal kirk of God.

M. Ihone Dauidsonis Answer.

I Grant that thare hes bene mony hereseis sen the tyme of Christ, and that we haue exemple in the Scripturs, quhare­by we may vnderstand, that be the worde, and Spirit of God, thay war supprest. Acto. 15. Bot quhare he sayis, treuly I be­leue, thare wyll na man schaw ane vther meane, quhareby he­resie was supprest, bot be the generall councels, quhilk rays of the wrang vnderstanding of the Scripture of God, I am not trewly of this beleue: bot affermis that na hereseis sen the Apostles dayis, nor in thare dayis, nor before thare dayis, hes bene sup [...]r [...]st be generall councels, quhidder thay hereseis hes rysin [Page 19] of the wrang vnderstanding of the Scripturs, or nocht. Bot all hereseis hes bene supprest be the haly Spirit, and worde of God. For nother councell nor Kirk, quhow vniuersall or par­ticulare that euir it was, can say (as he interpretis the kirk or councell) that the greatast heresie that euir was, was heresie: nor ȝit can it say, that the rytht vnderstanding of ony hard & di­fficile place of the Scripture, setfurth be the greatast Doctor that euir was, is the rycht vnderstanding thareof: nor the wrang vnderstanding of the same Scripture, setfurth be the greatast heretyke that euir was, is the wrang vnderstanding thareof, without the haly Spirit, and the worde of God. For it is only thay, that may assure vs in our conscience, of the trew vnder­standing of the Scripturs. For giue we mycht say, of twa in­terpretations of ane harde place of Scripture, that the ane war heresie, and the vther nocht: or of ony difficile place, that this war the rycht vnderstanding thareof, and this nocht, at oure pleasour: than we mycht leid men to ony faith we pleasit, as we war Lords ouer thare faith, quhilk war ane arrogant thing.

Tharefore, quhen the Kirk of God, or ony priuate membre thareof, hes ane doutsum questione, or cōtrouersie in ony mater of religione, as is all hereseis, it aperteanis to thaim be sic ordinarie meanis, and gracis, as the haly Spirit hes īdewit thaim with, to see, quhilk of the partis of thare doutsum questione, aggreis with the Scripture of God, and quhilk nocht, as the Apostles did. Acto. 15. And that the vnderstanding, quhilk is found of the difficile scripture, that is socht for ony cōtrouersie, consent, and aggre with all vther places of the Scripture, pre­ceding and following, and disaggre with nanc: quhilk is to be socht, as Augustine teachis vs saying, be the things following of the same text, and that quhilk is adioynit thareto, the dout, or the repugnance, is to be tane away. Libro. 3. de Doctrina Christiana Cap. 2. et contra Faustum Manicheum, Libro. 9. Cap. 67. He sayis nocht that the dout is to be tane away be the general councel, or be the Doctours, bot be the thingis fol­lowing of the same text, and that, quhilk is adioynit thareto. Quhilk being tane away (nocht be the Kirk, or ony membre thairof, bot be the worde of God) it apertenis to the Kirk, and euery membre thareof, to consent with that part of ony dout­sum questione, in maters of Religione, that the Scripture of God aggreis with: & disassent fra that part, that the Scripture disaggreis with, as the Apostles did, in the councel of Ierusalē. And efter that the heresie be supprest, be the Spirit, and word of God: it pertenis to the hale kirk, to adioyne that authoritie, [Page] quhilk God hes geuin to it, to the part aggreing with the Scriptures. As for exemple, and this dout, or questione war mouit in the kirk of God. Is it lesum to ony man, to make to him self ony grauin Image, to bow doune thareto, in the Temples? Than quhat can the kirk, or Councell say thareto? na thing: quhill thay luik quhat the Scripture of God, the testimoneis of the haly Spirit, hes Iudgit and determinat. And because the kirk, or Councell, in the Scripture findis, that Images is forbiddin, and condamnit be God, all the godly members of the kirk, and Councel consentis to the haly spirit, and Scriptures spokin be the members of the kirk (as his mouth) and be the authoritie that God hes geuin to the kirk, it commandis, that thay that makis Images to thaim self, to bow doune to thaim, & worschip thaim, be haldin as Ethnikis, and Publicanis: or efter ane admonitione, or twa, that all men flee fra thaim, and as Idolaters, that na man tak meat with thaim. Siclyke, thare is ane great controuersie, betuix the Protestantes, and the Papistes, vpon the vnderstanding of thir wordis, that Christe Iesus said in his Supper. This is my body, ilk ane thinking thaim self to haue the rycht vnderstāding heirof. Than quhat sall the kirk of God do in this mater? Sall it stand onely to the determinatione of the Councels, without farder tryall taking in the mater? Or to the determi­natione of the best learnit men? nother. Bot the kirk, and the best learnit men, that euer was, sould luik first be the ordi­darie meanis, and Scriptures, quhilk is the vnderstanding heirof. And because the Sacramentall speachis of the Scrip­tures, seruis best to oppin this place of the Scripture, for the quhilk the controuersie is. Tharefore the Protestantes, seing the Scripture of God, in the Sacramentall speachis, to gif the Name of the thing, that is signifeit be the Sacramentall signe, to the signe: as in the .12. Chap. of Exod. Quhare it is writtin: This is the Pasouer of the Lorde: and quhare sall we prepare to thee, the Pasouer? Math. 26. This is my Co­uenant, Gene. 17. Quhilk is als mekle to say, as this is the signe of the Pasouer. This is the signe of my Couenant. Swa the Protestantes seing, that this is the vnderstanding of this Sacramentall speachis, to the quhilk, this Sacramentall speach (this is my body) is alyke. The Protestantes is assurit be the worde of God, to haue the rycht vnderstanding of this place, this is my body. For as the kirk of God, and the mēbers thareof, consentit in all aiges, this to be the vnderstanding of this Sacramentall speach, this is the Pasouer of the Lorde, [Page 20] this is the signe of the Pasouer. Siclyke it sould consent, that of this Sacramentall speach (this is my body) this is the richt vnderstanding thareof, this is the signe of my body. Not that I meane, thare to be onely ane baire signe, bot ane Sacramen­tall signe, with the quhilk. God exhebitis to the receauer wor­thely, that thing quhilk is signifeit be the same signe. And not onely sould the Kirk consent thareto, bot alswa, be the autho­ritie it hes of God, it sould command it awin members, to hald all thaim, quha beleuit the bread and the wyne, to be transubstā ciat, in the body and blude of Christe: or Christe Iesus body to be inclosit within the formes of bread and wyne, as Ethnikis, and publicanis (as all Papistes sould be haldin amangis trew Christianis) and to flee fra thare company, as Heretykes, and Idolaters, quha be the determinatione of thare Councels, without Scripture of God, hes commandit, as Lordes ouer Christiane mennis Faith, that all men beleue the bread and wyne to be transubstantiat in the body & blude of Christ Iesus, als lang and braid, as he was borne of the Virgine Marie, and crucifeit on the Croce, vnder the formes of bread and wyne, quhilk altogether is wickit. For thare is na Councel, that can moue ony man to beleue ony thing concerning Religione, be ony authoritie, that euer thay may alledge thaim self to haue, without Gods worde. For Augustine sayis, that it is necessare to be prouin, be the manifest testimoneis of the haly Scripturs, that we wald war beleuit. Contra Epist. Petili. Donatist. de vnitate Eccle. Cap. 19. Siclyke he sayis, he wald nocht haue beleuit the Eua [...]gell, without the authoritie of the Kirk had commouit him. Contra Epist. Manichei, quam vocant fun­damenti. Marke weill his worde, commouit, and nocht mouit: for be this worde commouit, he meanis, that the autho­ritie of the Kirk, or decretis thareof, is nocht sufficient be thair self, to moue ony man to beleue the Euangell, bot with the Spirite and worde of God, to commoue the myndes of Gods chosin people to beleue. Quharefore, sen nother the scripture of God, nor the Doctoures sayingis, nor ȝit na gude reasone, teaches vs to seik the suppressing of Hereseis, or the rycht vn­derstanding of the Scriptures, fra the wrang, bot at the haly Spirite, and the worde of God: I beleue M. Q. nor na godly man will attribute to the generall Councels, that thing quhilk appertenis onely to the haly Spirite, and the worde of God: as is the suppressing of Hereseis, and the discretione of the rycht vnderstanding of the Scriptures, fra the wrang, vtherwayis the warld wald liue in perpetuall debait, and con­tentione, [Page] without the hereseis war supprest, be infallible and eternall things (as is the haly spirit, and the worde of God) and nocht be generall, or particulare councels, that may baith dissaue the warld, and be dissauit.

And giue ony man wald obiect, that the Kirk of God hes receauit sum Scripturs, as Canonicall, and hes refusit vthers, as Apocripha: Quharefore it appearis to be sure, that the kirk hes power onely to decerne, and Iudge the Scripturs: and ha­uing power to Iudge the Scripturs, farre mair sulde it haue power (as appearis) to Iudge, quhilk is the rycht vnderstā ­ding, and quhilk is the wrang of the Scripturs, and swa per­auenture to sum men, al wyl appeare to be wrang, that we ha­ue said. I answer, that the Kirk receauit the Scripturs, na v­ther wayis, than thay war offerit, and delyuerit be thaim, that wrat thaim to the Kirk: quha was knawin surely be the rest of the Kirk, to be full of the haly Spirit: bot thay war nocht of­ferit, nor delyuerit to the Kirk to be Iudgit, or to be receauit be the Kirkis Iudgement. Bot of thay Scripturs that was delyuerit, as Canonical be the Apostles, and the Euangelistis: the Kirk fra tyme to tyme, hes borne faithfull wytnes thareof to the Posteritie, that thay war Canonicall, of the quhlk the Kirk could neuer take on it to Iudge. For the Apostles & E­uangelistis of thare awin wyll chesit not, to bryng in the Kirk ony thing, bot that, quhilk thay receauit fra Christe, faithfully thay schew it to the Nations, as sayis Tertuliane. For as the Scripturs of the auld Testamēt, was not Iudgit be the preist­is, nor Ministers, nor be the Synagog to be Canonicall, or A­pocrypha: bot was kepit (as sayis Augustine) in the Temple of the Hebrew people, be the deligence of the succeding preistis Deut. 31. Iosue vltimo. Hebr. 9. Swa the Kirk, nother recea­uit, nor refusit, nor ȝit Iudgit it ony Scripture, be it awin auto­ritie, bot thay buikis, quhilk it receauit fra the Apostles, and Euangelistis: sen the Apostles, and Euangelistis dayis, with­out interruptione of tyme, hes brocht thaim on to this tyme. Contra Faustum Manicheum, Lib. 28. Cap. 2. e. And in the same buke he sayis. Cap. 4. quhen the Apostle Paule, efter the Ascensione of the Lorde, was callit of the Heauin: giue he had nocht found the Apostles lyuing, with quhom he mycht haue appearit, to haue bene of the same fallowschipe be communica­tione, and conferrning of the Euāgell with thaim, (Galat. 2.) the Kirk on na wayis had beleuit him. Be this sayngs of Au­gustine, it may be clearlie sene, that the Kirk of God, nother admittit, nor refusit the Scripturs, he it awin autoritie. Bot [Page 21] because the kirk of the Apostles dayis, had cōmunicatione and conferring of the Scripturs with the Apostles, and Euange­listis: and thay Scripturs that the primitiue kirk receauit of thare handis, the kirk succeding, as ane faithfull wytnes, hes brocht thay scripturs to be beleuit on to our dayis. And thare­fore nother kirk, nor councels had power to Iudge the Scrip­turs, nor to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripturs fra the wrang, be thare Iudgement & pleasour. For Augustine sayis Lib. 13. confession. Cap. 23. it is nocht lesum of sa hie autoritie to Iudge, nor ȝit of thy buike: ȝea, suppose thare be sum thing thare nocht manifest, because we submitt to it oure vnderstanding, and we halde it sure, ȝea, and it that is hid to our sycht, rychteouslie & trewly to be said. Ane man quhow­beit he be now spiritual, and renewit in the knawlege of God, according to his Image, quha hes creatit him, nochtheles, he sulde be ane doar of the law, and nocht ane Iudge. Tharefore the Apostles being in the primitiue kirk, quha be the inspirati­one of the haly Spirit, wrat the Scripturs: & delyuerit thaim to the kirk (manifestlie contening all thingis, that conce [...]nit faith, & gude maners) the kirk hes borne witnes of thay Scri­pturs to the warld, that thay war Canonicall. Bot efter that this was done, it was nocht lesum to the kirk succeding, to in­terprete thay Scripturs at thare pleasoure: bot the Spirite of Christ, first was to be hard: and the mutuall consent of all the places of the Scripture, was diligentlie to be cōsidderit, of the quhilk, we haue this familiare exemple. As quhen the kingis letters cummis to ony Citie, the Rewlars and gouernours of the Citie, of ane custome may take tryall, giue thay letters be seuzeit or nocht, that is present it to thaim in the kyngis name. Bot quhen thay vnderstand, thay letters not to be seuzeit, nor corruptit, it is nocht lesum, at thare pleasour, to alter, or change thaim, nor to mak expositione, or glose on thaim, bot obey the kyngis cōmand, as it is setfurth tharein. And na vther wayis can we iudge of the Kirk: for quhowbeit it is ane faithful keipar of the Scripturs, ȝit it is nocht lesum to it, to constitute ony v­ther thing of thaim, vtherwayis than God hes determinat.

Quharefore, sen the councels (as he interpretis thaim, the cheif Pastours of the Vniuersall Congregatione) is men for com­mounlie blynde, affectionat, & dull of spirit, and takis on thaim to decerne, and determine thay thingis that is proponit in thare councels, quhilk appertenis onely to the Halye Spirit, & word of God: I say na man is oblest to subscriue, or cōsent to the sentence of thay Councels, mair nor to the sentence of ane [Page] priuate man, be reasone of the Councels. Bot because, thay aggre with the worde of God (quharein is contenit the mynde and will of the haly Spirit) approuing it to be trew, be the quhilk it takis the strenth, efficacie, and denominatione. For gif Peter (quha appearit to be ane Pillare of the kirk (Gal. 2) and was sa great Apostle) had errit, and Paule had nocht re­sistit vnto him, quhat sall we say than of the Congregatione of men, that is led vp and doune with affectionis, blyndnes, and errour, as hes bene mony of the Councels, sen the Apostles dayis, in the quhilk, thare hes nocht bene sa mekle, as ane schaddow of the haly Spirit. Tharefore, lat all thingis con­cerning Religione, be brocht to the Scripturs of God, the testimoneis of the haly Spirit, the twiche staine, and equale Iudge, that be thay things that is certane, and stable, ordoure mat be tane in doutsum maters. And not to lat doutsū maters be Iudgit be vncertane, and mutable things. For as the spirit, and worde of God is solide, and immortall, and full of veritie, swa is thare decretis, and sentences eternall, and immortall: and as men (quhow great nombre that euer thay be) is mortal, mutable, and be nature geuin to lie: Swa thare decretis, and sentences, is vncertane, changeable, and neuer wanting suspitione of falset.

Bot ȝit I wald not, that ony man thocht me of that mynde, that I wald haue all things drawin to the tryall of the Scrip­turs: as that I wald haue godly, and weill learnit men, not hard in godly councels, quha hes the ordinarie meanis, quhars by the spirit of God geuis the vnderstanding of his Scripturs: or that I laboure to euacuat the authoritie of the Kirk, or Councels, and to haue the godly Fathers, and members thare­of neglectit. Bot I wald haue the Kirk, the Councels, and Fathers thareof, quhow godly that euer thay war, acknawled­geing the things, that properly appertenit to the haly Spirit, and the worde of God (as is suppressing of Hereseis) nocht to apperteane to thaim: And that thay war bot as instrumentis, mouit and vsit be God, to mak manifest vnto the warld (as his month) the treuth and veritie of all controuerseis: as thay ar determinat, and decretit be his Spirit, and liuely worde.

And tharefore, quhare he sayis, in the beginning of his argu­ment. Gif thare be sum (as he thinkis thare be mony) quhilkꝭ ar stifnecki [...], bearing perpetuall disdaine aganis the generall Councels, specially, sic as walde haue libertie to thraw the Scripturs, to thare appetite, desyrous of vaine glorie, and to be thocht singulare in thare awin opinione. I submit my self [Page 22] to the Iudg [...]ment of the R [...]a [...]er q [...]hido [...]e [...] be [...]ort [...]y to [...]e callit stifneckit, and bearers o [...] [...] [...]is the [...]oun [...], that wald haue the iudgement of Counc [...]ls, and all [...]e [...], q [...]hat sumeuer thay war subiect, to the Iudg [...]ment of the Spi [...], [...] worde of God: or thay, quha will nocht subdew thare vnder­standing in the seruice of Christe, bot wil haue his word iudgit be the vncertane, and arrogant Iudgement of men. And gif we seik ane libertie, that contenis vs within the word of God, and is content that we, and all our actionis be iudgit thareby, or thay, quha wald haue the Scripturs, and thare interpretati­onis, quhow godly that euer thay war, subiect to thare coun­cels, that is, to thare awin Iudgementis, and to haue na grea­ter strenth, nor be thare Councels, be thare Doctours sayings, ȝea, and thare Papis decretis thay receaue. That quhen ane of thir seruit thaim nocht to thare libertie, that thay mycht loup to ane vther, fra the Scripturs to the Councels, fra the Coun­cels to the Doctours, fra the Doctours to the Papis decretis, as it war ane Fox, loupynd fra hole to hole, seiking ane strēth. And I wald we war iudgit, quhidder we be thrawers of the Scripturs, that desyris Scripturs, to interprete Scripturs, or thay, quha wald haue thaim īterprete be the Councels, thrawīg thaim to the Iudgement of men. Or quhidder we be desyrous of vaine glorie, and singulare in our awin opinione, that refer­ris the glorie of all gude Councell, the decretis, the suppressing of Hereseis, and the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripturs, to God, and his worde, or thay, quha attributis the halding of Councels to thaim self, and furth setting thare decretis to the warld, as the decretis of men, to be obeyit as the decretis of God, vsurping to thaim self, the suppressing of Hereseis, and vnderstanding of the Scripturs, quharein thay schaw thaim self, mair nor singulare in thare awin opinione.

Heir followis M. Q. Thride Argument, groundit vpon the Scripture, quhare with he confermis his Conclusione principall, as he alledgis.

NOchttheles, perchance thare is sum sa Religions, and clene Fingerit, that thare wyll na thing perswade [Page] thaim without Testimoneis of the Scripture, we wyll schaw gude wyll to satisfie thare curiositie sumpart. and on this ma­ner. it is wryttin be the Prophete Aggee.

Great salbe the glore of this laitter housse, mair nor the first, I wyll aske at the, quhat is signifeit be the laitter housse, bot Christis Congregatione, and Kick vnite together in ane faith, be Baptime? Quhat is signifeit be this first housse, bot the cho­sin people of God, quhilk war before the law of the Euangell? haue we nocht expreslie in Deuteronomie, that prouisione was had in the auld Law, quhensumeuir questione or debait rays amangs the chosin people of God, for the vnderstanding of the Law, recours was hade onely to the Preistis of the Trybe of Leui, and the Iudge, to be pacifeit in all thare doutis, and that the people suld na way is make questione, vnder the paine of death. Bot to receaue the Iugemēt of the Ministers, quhilks war for the tyme, Art thow nocht than be the wordis of the Prophete, aboue rehearsit, compellit to say, that the Ministers of the new Law, (quha occupyis the place of the Preistis of the Trybe of Leui, ȝea, and hieare place) hes the samyn place, ȝea, and ane greater place, to stay all doutis, quhilk rysis amangis the rest of the membris of the Congregatione, for the vnderstā ­ding of the Scripturs, and Law of God. And vtherwayis, quhow sall the wordis of the Prophete be of veritie? saying, that the glore of this laitter housse sulde be mair nor the firste, giue thare be nocht als sufficient ordour prouidit be God, to stay all doutis, quhilk rysis amangs thaim of this laitter house, and giue the Ministers of the samyn hes nocht als great place, to take ordoure in all maters of debait concerning the faith of thaim, quhilkꝭ ar of the laitter housse, as had the Ministers of the first house.

Thane we sall (conforme to Gods worde, and vther gude reasone) conclude the generall councels dewly cōuenit (quha­rein ar the Ministers of the new Law) to represent the Vni­uersall Kirk of God, hauing full power, and autoritie of God to take ordour in al maters, quhilk ar in debait (special­lie to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of Gods worde fra the wrang) as hade the Ministers of the auld Law, and rather greater.

M. Iohne Dauidsonis Answer.

AS to this thrid Argumēt, that he groundis on the Scrip­turs alledging Aggee. 2. and the 17. Cap. of Deutero­nomie, I wyll lat his interpretatione of the first and lait­ter [Page 23] housse gang with him: because it makis lytle to the purpose. Bot as to the Second part, in the quhilk, because he is far wan­derit by the rycht way, I man answer: quhare he sayis, haue we not expreslie in Deuteronomie that prouisione was had in the auld Law, quhē euir questione, or debait raise amangs the chosin people of God, for vnderstanding of the Law, recours was had only to the Preistis of the Trybe of Leui, & the iudge, in the quhilk he is far dissauit, thynking hereby, that God send Thaim to the Preistis, and Iudge, for the vnderstanding of the Law of God, for gif he had luikit to the text, he sall fynde, that it speakis of na siclyke thing, bot it sayis giue ony difficil & dout­sum thing to the (that is Iudge of ony Citie) in Iudgement ryse, betuix blude and blude, pley and pley, plaig, and plaig, in the maters of controuersie within thy gates. &c. and thow sall cū on to the Preistis of the Leuitis, and on to the Iudge (pre­sident, or gouernour) that salbe in thay dayis. &c. First it may be here clerelie sene, quhow that this place seruis na thing to his purpose, that he walde be at, for the thing, that the Scrip­ture speakis of first heir in generall (as commonlie it dois in mony vther places) it exponis the same beirefter in special, be membris, in the Chaptours following of the same buike, as be­tuix the slaucter of the Innocent, and nocent, betuix slauchter of sett purpose, and be chance, betuix byars, and sellars, Con­tractars in Ciuile actions, and betuix plaig, and nocht plaig, and siclyke vther Ciuile maters, vnderstand be this three ter­mis. blude, pley, and plaig: vnder the quhilk, na mentione is maid of the vnderstanding of the Scripturs: bot thare is com­prehendit, the hale Ciuile cōtrouerseis of the auld Law, quhare in the Leuiticale Iudge or president, sulde haue schawin to the Inferior Gouernours of the Citeis of Israell, the sentence of Iudgement, as the Leuitical Preistis, keipars of the Law, had geuin him counsell, be the law of God: At quhome thare was na Iudgement socht for the vnderstanding of the law, nor ȝit this text makis na mentione of ony power thay had to iuge, bot to schaw be the Law, to the Inferior Iudgis, quhow thay sulde pronunce the sentence and Iudgement of God, contenit in his law, of ony difficile thing that happinnit within the Ci­teis: quha in this place of Scripture, is nocht properlie callit ane Iudge, bot ane president, or Ciuile Gouernour (efter the significatione of the Hebrew terme) because, he was Executor of Gods Iudgement (as God desyrit Salomon, to be, nocht ane Iudge, bot ane Executor of his Iudgemētis. 1. Reg. 6.12.) Quha is heir in this Scripture, conioynit together, with the [Page] Preistis, to figure the Kingly Preisthead of Christ Iesus, quha baith was Preist and king. And tharefore this President, that is heir commonly callit ane Iudge, he was not ane Iudge, be­cause he Iudgit ony thing be his awin warldly reasone, or wit: bot because he was executoure of Gods Iudgement, and pronouncit (as the mouth of God) betuix God and the inferior Iudgis, the thing that was determinat be God, and Iudgit be his Law. For quha pleasis to consider the Text, that may plainely see, the Iudgement is referrit to the Law of God, and the schawing of the sentence of Iudgement, the telling, the in­forming, or teaching, is referrit to the Preistis, and the hic President, suppose it was onely, bot for Ciuile actions amangs the people, that he was constitute President be God: Thare­fore in this place of Scripture, it was nocht the mynd of God, to teach ony ordoure for the vnderstanding of the Scripturs, bot for the Ciuile controuerseis, amangs the people, he schawis quhom at the inferior Iudges sould seik the Iudgement, as he hes determinat, and defynit in his Lawis, for doutsum and difficill maters. For in the auld Law, thay Iudges followit onely the literall sense of the Scripture, for the quhilk, thay had na controuersie, bot thay keipit the ordinance of God, as he requirit thaim be his writtin word. Quharefore his argu­ment of similitude, betuix the Ministers of the new Law, and the Leuiticall Preistis, and Iudges, be the wordis of the Pro­phet Aggee, that he alledgis, compellis me, nor na vther mā to say, that the Ministers of the new Law, hes the place of the Preistis of the Trybe of Leui, to stay all doutis, quhilk rysis amangs the rest of the members of the Congregatione, for the vnderstanding of the Scripture, and Law of God. Bot dissua­dis me allutterly, for be the cumming of Christe Iesus, the Le­uiticall Preisthead endit. And tharefore, it hauing na mair place, the Ministers of the new Law, occupyis nocht the same place. Bot Christe Iesus, raise vp efter ane vther similitude, to wit, the similitude of Melchisedec, and occupyit his place in the hie Preisthead, and because this Preisthead of Christe, was nocht carnall, and changeable, as the Leuiticall was, bot spirituall, and Eternall, he hes maid vs all Preistis, baith men and wemen, to offer vp, na carnall, nor fleschly things, bot our selues, ane liuely and haly Sacrifice, quhilk standis in the refusing of our selues: before the quhilk, thare is nane of our Sacrifices (as is our Prayers, our Almons, and all vther godly workis, that he requiris of vs in his Law) acceptable vnto him. Quharefore, nother the Ministers of the new, nor auld [Page 24] Law, had sit power grātit to thaim be God, to stay ony doutis, or to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture fra she wrang, bot only the haly Spirit, and the worde of God: quhilk may be easily persauit be the Scriptures, and reasonis foresaid, quhilk war tedeous againe to repete. And this makis na dero­gatione, to the wordis of the Prophet, to be of veritie, suppose, nother the ane, nor the vther house, ascribe to thaim the staying of doutis, in the Scripturs. For the glorie of the Second house standis nocht in the staying of doutis, bot in the excellencie of the Spirituall giftis, that was exhibit to vs in the cumming of Christe. For thare could na greater glorie be grantit to the Second house, than quhen the maiestie of God the Father appe­rit, in the presence of his Sonne Christe, be the quhilk, the Second house, had all thing that was requirit to ane solide, and perfyte glorie.

And granting to M. Q. for Disputationis cause, that the Ministers of the new Law, occupyit the place of the Ministers of the auld Law, ȝea, or ane greater place, as he alledgis, it sall mak na thing to his purpose, bot rather contrare to the same: for we see, that thay Preistis, quha succedit linealy to Aaron, held ane Councell in the Apostles dayis, as is writtin. Actor. 4. quhilk was mair dewely conuenit, nor was the Councell of the Apostles (of the quhilk, mentione is maid in the .15. Chap. of the Actes) gif we will hald the conuentione of the cheif Pastours, and Bischoppis, ane dewely cōuenit coun­cell, of the vniuersall Congregatione: for the Text bearis this words. It come to pas on the morne, that the Princes, El­ders, and Scribes, was gatherit together at Ierusalem, and Annas the cheif Preist, and Caiphas, and Ihon, and Alexander, and als mony, as wat of the Kinred of the hie Priestis. First, heir we finde the Romane Princes, quha had the gouernance of Ierusalem at that tyme, conuenit with thaim, the Elders, and Scribes, quha had the knawledge of the Law: for na man was admittit to be Preist, or Scribe, without knawledge of the Scripturs. Siclyke, thare is heir namit, specially the hie Preistis that conuenit, with all thare Kinred: quha was insti­tute hie Preistis, as God had ordanit in his Law, and approuit be the people, as our Preistis hes nocht bene this mony hun­dreth ȝeris bygaine. And thay mycht haue said, that thay suc­cedit to Aaron, Eleazar, Abiathar, and sic vthers, aboue ane thousand, fiue hundreth ȝeris, gif we wyll compt fra Aaron, to the Apostles dayis.

Now I beleue na mā can deny, bot this was ane general coun­cell [Page] dewly conuenit (taking ane generall councell for the cheif Pastours of the vniuersall congregatione) [...]ȝit, because thay wannt the president of all gude councell, the haly spirit & ink [...] nocht to the Iudgement of Gods word, quhat it Iudgit in the mater thay conuenit for, thay could nocht haue decernit the rycht vnderstanding of Gods word fra the wrang, nor ȝit could thay suppresse one hereseis, bot thay stable it the ground of all hereseis, quhilk was, that the Apostles sulde nocht preache, in the name of Christe Iesus. And as we haue schawin, this ge­nerall councell of the Ministers of the auld Law, to haue done w [...]ckedlie, & schamefullie errit, we can conclude na vther thing of the Ministers of the new law, and thare councels, quha in thare councell hearis nocht first the Iudgement of the Spirit, and worde of God. Alswa because the Iowis hes the Scripturs of God of the auld Testament, conteyning the effect of the new Testament, and mony styfneckit and obstinat papistis hes baith the new, and auld Testaments. And alswa sum of thaim hes the ordinarie meanis, quhareby God vsis commonlie to giue the vnderstanding of his Scripture. Notwithstanding thay can nocht decerne the rycht vnderstāding of the Scripture fra the wrang: & that only, because thay want the haly Spirit. the onely Spirit of al solide and sure discretione. Quharefore the Ministers of the auld or new Law, hes nocht be thare suc­cessione, or places occupying, the discretione of the rycht vn­derstanding of the Scripture fra the wrang, bot of the Spirit, and worde of God. And tharefore nother conforme to Gods worde, nor gude reasone sall M. Q. conclude (as he alledgis he dois) that the Generall Councels (quhow dewlie that euir thay be conuenit) has be ony way full powre and autoritie of God, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of Gods word fra the wrang, as the Ministers of the auld Law had, for the Min [...]sters of the auld Law, had na siclyke power, that can be schawin be Gods worde.

Heir followis M. Q. Confirmatione of his conclusione, groundit (as he alledgis) on the Fyftene Chapter of the Actes: as efter followis. &c.
For fardar confirmatione of our purpose thow sall marke it that is wryttin in the 15. of the Acres of the Apostles, as after followis.

AND Certane men quhilks come fra Iowrie, and teachit the brethern, except ȝe be Circumcisit efter the maner of Moyses, ȝe can nocht be sauit. Nocht ane lytle seditione being mouit to Paule & Barnabas, aganis thaim, than thay decern [...], that Paule and Barnabas, and certane vthers of thaim sulde passe to Ierusalem vnto the Apostles, and Eldars, about this questione. Quhen thay war cumin to Ierusalem, thay war re­ceauit with the Congregatione, and Apostles, and Eldars.

Than raise certane of the Sect of the Phareseis, quhilkꝭ did be­leue saying, that it was neidfull to Circumcide thaim, and to command thaim to keip the Law of Moyses: and the Apostles and Eldars, come together to reasone vpon this mater. Quhē thare was mekle disputatione, Peter raise vp & said vnto thaim ȝe men & brethren, ȝe knaw quhow lang quhyle syne, God che­sit amangs vs, that the Gentiles be my mouth, soulde heare the worde of the Euangel, and beleue. (And efter followes the same Text,) and quhen thay held thare peace, Iames answerit say­ing, ȝe men and brethren harkin on to me, Symon tauld ȝow, quhow God at the beginning viseit the Gentiles, to receaue thaim, ane peple in his name: to this aggreis the words of the Prophete, as is wryttin: efter this wyll I returne againe, and big the Tabernacle of Dauid, quhilk is fallin doun (and ef­ter that Iames had cytit, & conferrit the Scriptures, it follow­is in the Text.) Quharefore I Iudge that we trouble nocht thaim, quha fra amangs the Gentiles, ar turnit to God, bot that we writ to thaim, that thay abstene fra fylthines of Idols, fra Fornicatione, fra it that is wyrreit, and blude.

Beneuolent Reader, giue thow diligentlie wyll marke & con­sidder the wordis aboue rehearsit. Thow sall fynde & perceaue diuers godlie and proper Lessons aggreable for the establesing of our purpose. First thow sall mark and considder, that albeit Paule, and Barnabas (as the Scripture teachis vs) war twa Apostles appoyntit be God to be Prechours, to the Gentiles, and that thay had the Spirit of God, to preache she treuth and veritie (as Paule him self testifeis ī mony places) ȝit wald thay nocht be sa bauld, as priuatly to decerne vpone the questione mouit in the Congregatione, vnto the tyme thay com to Ieru­salem, quhare Peter the cheif Apostle, was with the rest of the Apostles, and Seniors. Be this example of Scripture, we ar sufficiently instructit, na priuate nomber (quhow godly or weill learnit that euer thay be) to be sufficient, or ganand to take ordoure in maters concerning Faith, and Religione.

And als we may perceaue, quhow vaine and vncertane is the [Page] Iudgemēt of mony ī thir dayis, that foulishly followis and ad­dicris thaim self to the wickit opinione, of sum priuate factious men, towart the interpretatione of the Ancient generall Cou­ncels, to quhom it appertenis (be the ordinance of Almichty God) till interpret Scripturs. &c.

M. Iohne Dauidsonis Answer, to M. Q. Firste Lessone, that he hes collectit of the Text foresaid.

OF M. Q. Lessone and exemple, quhilk he inferris of the foresaid Text, I haue learnit twa Lessonis, quhilk being schawin, I sall heirefter declare God willing, that he hes nocht markit, and gatherit sa well of this Text his lessone, as he beleuis. And my Firste Lessone, is this, quhare he sayis, that the Apostles, Paule and Barnabas, appointit be God, hauing the Spirit of God, wald nocht tak on thaim to decerne priuatly vpon the questione monit in the Congregatione, vnto the tyme thay come to Ierusalem. I learne than, that the Papis, quha is na Apostles, bot men wanting the Spirite of God, hes bene in the wrang, this mony hundreth ȝeris, taking on thaim to decerne maters of Faith, and all controuerseis in Religione: quhom I beleue M. Q. will hald to be na general Councell. ¶ My Second Lessone is, quhare he hes learnit be this example of Scripture, that na priuate nomber, quhow godly and weill learnit that euer thay be, to be sufficient to tak ordour, in maters concerning Religione, and Faith. I learne gif his Lessone be trew, that all the Doctours hes labourit in vaine, quhais labours was principally, to haue had the trew vnderstanding of the Scriptures, and Heresies supprest, quhilk was nocht els, bot to tak ordour in maters concerning Faith, and Religione. ȝea, and I am assurit, that thare was neuer ane Councell, that disputit sa quickly, be the ordinarie meanis (quhareby God geuis the vnderstanding of his word) aganis sa mony errours and Hereseis, as ane Doctour Augustine hes done, and vther priuate men. Quharefor, gif M. Q. will accuse men of foulishnes, for following of priuate writars, efter his warldly Iudgement, I beleue thare warldly folishn­nes, salbe wisdome before God. And quhare he callis thaim factious men, because thay will not subscriue to Scripturles Councels, as he do is. I wald he conferrit the new writars, [Page 26] with the auld writars, and Councels: and I dont, not, bot he sall finde als quick declaratione of Scripturs in the new w [...] tars workis, as in the auld writars, or thare Councels: A [...] for the veritie of this mater. I app [...]ill to his awin conscience, Read, and conferre thaim together, quhen he list. Now [...] he hes nocht markit well his Lessone, I proue on this man [...].

Paule writing to the Galathianis. 2. Cap. sayis. Efter fourtene ȝeir, I went vp to Ierusalem with Barnabas, and tuik with me Titus also. And I went vp be Reuelatione, and conferrit with thaim the Euangeli, quhilk I preach amangis the Gentiles. Hierome wryting on this Text, affirmes this Iournay of Paules to Ierusalem, to haue bene, quhen the dis­putatione, for the abolishing of the Ceremoneis of the auld Law was had, betuix the beleuers of Antiochia and the Iowes And swa being as Hierome affirmes, quhais saying I beleue M. Q. will nocht put in dout. Than be this foresaid Text, we may cleirly see, that Paule and Barnabas, went not vp to Ierusalem, as doutsum of the thing, quhilk he had preachit ane lang tyme, to the Antiochianis that beleuit, quhilk was, that it was nocht necessare, to thaim to be circumcisit for thare Saluatione. Bot because thare was sum of the Brethren in Antiochia, that doutit gif that Paulis doctrine was trew or nocht.

Thay hearing sum fals brethren, aduersours to Paule, quha vnder the culloure and name of the Apostles, that was in Ie­rusalem, preachit that it was necessare that the Gentiles that beleuit in Antiochia, sould be circumcisit, and that the doctrine of Paule, was contrare to the doctrine of the Apostles in Ie­rusalem, quhilk mycht haue causit men of ane sincere Faith, to haue doutit, hearing the doctrine of the principall Doctours disaggre: he ascendit to Ierusalem. And I conferrit (sayis Paule) the Euangel with thaim, that I preach to the Gentiles, quhlk as Hierome notes on this worde, is, quhen thay things that we knaw, we conferre with ane frend. And, as in his bosum, we lay it, that thay things that we knaw, with ane vniforme Councell may be approuit. Tharefore, be Hieromes sayings we may vnderstand, that he ascendit nocht, that the rest of the Apostles sould haue teachit him: For it is ane vther thing to conferre, and ane vther thing to be teachit, for betuix thaim that conferris, thare is equalitie, and betuix the Teacher, and him that is teachit, thare is inequalitie.

Quharefore he ascendit to rehears, that quhilk he had teachit: to the effect, that thay of Ierusalem mycht subscrine to the [Page] treuth with him. Nocht that his preaching, quhilk was the veritie of Gods worde, nedit the consent or witnessing of men, (for he schawis, it already to be confermit be God: in sa far, as he ascendit be Reuelatione) bot that he mycht haue ane testimoniall of the haly Spirit, and Apostles, that was thare, to make it manifest to the warld, that it was na vther thing that he teachit in Antiochta, bot that the haly Spirit and the rest of the Apostles, had approuit be thare testimoniall, be the quhilk, gif that Paules aduersours had obiectit efterwart, circumcisi­one to haue bene necessare to the Gentiles that beleuit, be rea­sone thay mycht haue said againe, that the Apostles had swa teachit in Ierusalem, that this testimoniall of the Kirk of Ie­rusalem, quhilk was in sindrie places deuulgate, mycht haue conuictit thaim of falset. And be the same testimoniall, that thay quha beleuit, sould haue na dout of thare Saluatione, suppose thay had not bene circumcisit, cōsiddering in the Apo­stles Epistle is contenit, the decrete of the haly Spirit, in the quhilk is decretit, that the ȝok of the Law, be nocht put vpon thaim that beleuit in Christe. And tharefore it was send to Antiochia, be the hand of Iudas, callit Barsabas, and Silas, to stanch the disputatione, betuix the Iowes and the Gentiles: Quhidder gif circumcisione to the Gentiles that beleuit, was necessare or nocht? Quharefore be the Scripture, and als be Hieromes sayingis, for the causes foresaid, I may iustly con­clude aganis M. Q. First Lessone, that Paule went nocht vp to Ierusalem, to decerne vpon ony questione, monit in the Congregatione. Nor ȝit to moue ony questione, as douting in him self, for he had preachit aganis the fals Teathers, that come fra Ierusalem to Antiochia. That circumcisione was nocht necessare to the Gentiles. And tharefore the Scripture, of the .15. Chap. of the Actes, makis na thing for his Firste Lessone, that he gathers thareon.

Heir follows M. Q. Second Lessone, collectit of the .15. Chap. aof the Actes, for Confirmatione of his Firste Conclusione.

SECondly, it is to be markit of this Text, that efter that Paule and Barnabas was receauit be the Congregation. The Apostles and Elders onely conuenit to dispute, and [Page 27] decerne vpon the questione mouit in the Cōgregatione, betuix the Iowis and the Gentiles. Quhareby we are learnit, that it apertenit to the Apostles and Elders, dewlie conuenit toge­ther to dispute, reasone, & pronunce sentence, of maters broch in debait, concerning the trew vnderstanding of the worde of God, as the speciall membre of the Congregatione, appoyntit be God, to that office. And thare deliberatione in maters con­cerning faith, and Religione, & interpretatione of Scripturs, to haue the samyn denominatione, strenth & effect, as the hale rest of the membris of the Congregatione had concurrit thare­with.

M. Iohne Dauidsons answer to M. Q. secund Lessone.

THIS Text foresaid, bearis record that the Apostles, and Elders, conuenit to dispute vpon the mater: bot it sayis nocht, thay onely conuenit to disput. Quharefore this argu­ment is na worthe, the text makis mentione of na vthers, bot of the Apostles, and Elders that conuenit to dispute, tharefore al vthers fra the disputatione was secludit. For be the same text in twa diuers places, it may be perfytelie prouin, that thare was far ma at that disputatione, than the apostels, & elders. For betuix Peter & Iames reasonīg, it is wryttin that the hale mul­titude held thare peace. And efter that Iames had schawin his reasone, quhy the Gentiles that beleuit sulde nocht be circum­cisit, it is wryttin, that it pleasit the Apostles, and the Elders, with all the kirk, to cheis men amangs thaim, and send to An­tiochia. Mairattouer he can nocht deny, bot the brethren ar ex­presly namit in the Superscriptione of the Apostles letter, and vnderstand onder this worde (ws) in the wryttin decrete of the haly Spirit. Quharefore it being verray lyke, that the mul­titude had bene speakyng before, because the Spirit of God sayis, the multitude held thare peace, efter Peters reasoning, and siclyke the brethren is mentionat in the decrete, and is lyk to haue reasonit, he can not inferre tharefore, the Apostles and Elders, to haue onelie dispute. And quhowbeit thay had only dispute the mater, as it is nocht lyke, that thay did, for it can nocht be prouin be the text, ȝit the rest of his lessone, quhilk he sayis he hes learnit, is on ane boddomles ground. For the Scripture foresaid of the 15. Cap. of the Actes, makis na mentione, that it apertenit to the Apostles, and Elders to ꝓnunce sentence, in maters brocht [...] debait, concerning the trew vnder­stāding of the worde of God, nor ȝit that thare deliberatione, in [Page 27] maters concerning faith, Religione, and interpretatione of the Scripturs sould haue the same denominatione, strenth, and effect, as the hale rest of the members of the Congregatione, had concurrit thareto, as salbe schawin heirefter, in the Confutatione of the Confirmatione of his Thride Lessone.

Heir followis M. Q. Thride Lessone, collectit of the Text foresaid, for Confirmatione of his Conclusione.

THridly, it is to be notit, that efter Paule and Barnabas, had oppinnit and declarit to the Apostles, and Elders, the questione and debait, that rase in the Congregation, betuix the Iowes and the Gentiles: the Iowes being indurit, persuading circumcisione to be necessare with Baptisme, the Gentiles, be the contrare, disdaning the ȝok of circumcisione, thinking Baptisme onely sufficient. Rase vp Peter, and efter conferring of Scripturs, declarit Baptisme sufficient without circumcisione. And als Iames cytit the Scripturs, to beare witnessing, and approuit the sayingis of Peter, quhilk being done. Iames in the Name of the rest of the Apostles (because he was Pastor and Bishop of Ierusalem, quhare the Apostles conuenit for the tyme) pronouncit sentence, and said, I Iudge. Marke gude Reader, Peter and Iames, to call to remēbrance: the testimoneis of the Scripture, as witnes bearer, of the will and mynde of the Lorde. And the Apostles to occupy the place of the Iudge, to the questione mouit in the Congregatione. For quhy? The Apostle, Iames said nocht, the Scripture Iudges, decernis, nor geuis sentence, bot he takis the place of the Iudge (in the Name of the rest of the Apostles) vpone him self, saying, I Iudge.

M. Iohne Dauidsonis Answer to M. Q. Thride Lessone.

QVhare. M. Q. heir sayis, that Iames in the Name of the rest of the Apostles (because he was Bischop of Ierusalem, quhare the apostles was conuenit for the [Page 28] tyme) pronouncit sentence. I say his sayingis hes na ground, and that I tak to proue be diuers reasonis. Firste we may see in the disputatione, that Peters reasone is, quhy the Gentiles that beleuit sould nocht be circumcisit: for God (sayis he) wald haue thaim hearing the worde of the Euangell, be my mouth, and beleue. And he hes put na difference, betuix vs that is Iowes, and thaim that is Gentiles, in geuing thaim the haly Spirit, and be faith hes purifeit thare hartis. Tharefore now, quhy tempt ȝe God, to lay ane ȝok on the Disciples neckis. And thir last wordis is rehearsit againe, in the Decrete of the haly Spirit, put in writ be the Councell, placing this worde burdene, for ȝok, quhilk signifeis heir baith ane thing. Iames heirefter, to approue Peters reasone, he alledges Amoz the Prophet, and vp one him he groundis his reasone, quhy the Gentiles that beleuit sould nocht be circumcisit, making his exhortatione to the Congregatione on this maner: saying.

Quharefore I think best, that we trouble thaim nocht of the Gentiles, that ar turnit to God, bot that we write to thaim, that thay abstene thaim selues fra filthynes of Idoles, and Fornicatione, and that is wirreit, and fra blude: and of Iames wordis thare is sum put in the decrete Siclyke.

Than I say, gif this had bene the sentence that Iames had geuin in the Name of the hale Apostles, as M. Q. alledgis, Iames failȝeit to Peter, that maid na mentione of his wordis, of the quhilk, the hale Councell in the writtin decrete makis mentione. And mairattoure, the Councell had failȝeit to Ia­mes, that wald nocht write the sentence of the Councell, as it was pronouncit be him, gif he pronouncit the sentence in the Name of the hale Apostles: for in the writtin decrete of the hale Councell, thare is mekle left out, that Iames spak in his exhortatione, quhilk M. Q. callis Iames sentence: Bot thare was na sic variance amangs thaim. Quharefore in the decrete of the Councel, nother Pethers nor Iames sayings is followit, bot the effect of baith thare sayings (as members of the councel, geuing thare reasonis as vthers did, in the disputatione that was thare) was concludit: saying, it hes pleasit the haly gaist and vs. &c. To lay na vther burdene vpone ȝow, as Peter sayis. Bot that ȝe abstene ȝour selues fra filthynes of Idoles, and Fornicatione, and that is wirreit and, from blude, as Ia­mes sayis.

Secondly, that Iames gaue sentence in this Councell, it can nocht be prouin be this worde Iudico in Latine, for the Greik terme ( [...] ) of the originall Text, it sig­nifeis [Page] nocht onely Iudico, bot arbitror, censeo.

Quharefore Erasmus, and Sanctes Pagninus men, weil sene baith in the three languagis, interpretis the Greik terme ( [...] ) be the Latine Verbe censeo, quhilk properlie is nocht to Iudge, or to giue sentence, bot to think to be gude, or best. Mairattoure Ireneus in the 12. Chap. of his thrid buke read­is this place of Scripture on this maner. Propterea ego secū ­dum me Iudico. Eiking to this verbe,

Quhilk wordis restrykis the significatione of this verbe [...] to ane speciall man, forsamekle as he spak at that tyme, bot for him self. For insafar he readis, secundum me, he schawis that Iames was nocht sa arrogant, and Lordlie ouer his brethren, as that he tuke on him to pronunce sentence in the name of the rest, or that he walde haue al vthers addictit to his sayings in the councell. Bot schawing his Iudgement be it self, quhat he thocht best to be done, according to the Scripturs in the controuersie, proponit before thaim: he leauis place to all vthers that ws thare present, quhat thay thoct best to be done in the mater. Nor it is nocht lyke, that Iames wald ha­ue bene sa rasche, as to haue geuin sentence, quhill his reasone first had bene hard, & appreuit be the councell, or that he walde haue said, I Iudge, bot we Iudge, giue he gaue the sentence in the name of the rest, for thay had all, bot ane commissione of God.

As to the cause, quharefore he alledgis Iames sulde haue tane vpon him to pronunce sentence, in the name of the rest of the Apostles: because he was Byschope of Ierusalem. This cause soundis verray neir, to the ambitione of the Papistrie, quhilk I beleue na godlie man wyl think to haue bene amang­is the Apostles. For in lykewayis, Paule mycht haue said, that he was, Apostle, and Byschope constitute be God, to the hale Gentiles, of the hale warlde, and to thay Gentiles, quha had the gouernement of Ierusalem, at that tyme, that he sulde haue pronuncit sentence, in maters perteyning to thaim, to quhome he was Apostle. And Peter alswa mycht haue said, that he sulde haue pronuncit sentence, because he was cheif A­postle (as M. Q. stylis him) quhilk was mair than to be byschope of ane toun, and alswa Peter was Apostle to all the circumcisit, nocht onely in Ierusalem, bot throuthour the hale warlde: quhilk was ane greater thing to be, than to haue bene Byschope of ane Citie of Ierusalem, vpon the quhilk Peter, and Paule was alswa constitute Apostles: became thay war constitute be God, Apostles, baith of Iow and Gentile. [Page 29] Gal. 2. bot Iames was chosin be the Apostles, Byschope of Ierusalem: as testifeis Hierome in the Prologe of the Ecclesi­asticall wryttars: and that, as Egesippus wryttis tsayis Hie­rome. Quharefore it hes na appearance, that he, quha was chosin be the Apostles, walde take on him in thare presence, as ane Byschope to ꝓnunce sent̄ce, quhilk is the office of the beast powar. And besyde this, giue Iames was not Byschope of Ie­rusalem, at the tyme of this councell, bot was chosin efter the Councell: the cause quharefore M. Q. alledgis him to pro­nūce sentence, is fals. Mairattoure I say (with ꝑdone of Hie­rome and Egesippus his autor) it is nocht lyke, that ony of the Apostles, quha was chosin be Christe to be Preach [...] is to the hale warlde, that thay walde addict thaim self (bot giue it war for ane schorte tyme, to ony special Kirk) [...]ot follow thare Maister Christis command: quha commandit nocht Peter to be Byschope of Rome, nor Paule Byschope of Antiochia, nor ȝit commandit he, the Apostles to make Iames Byschope of Ierusalem; to haue autoritie amangis thaim be reasone of the place that he occupyit: bot he gaue thaim all ane cōmon charge, saying, pas in to the hale warld, & preache the Euāgel to euery Creature. Marke 16. Quharefore it is nocht weil inferrit that Iames gaue sentence, because he was Byschope of Ierusalem, suppose he had said as the vulgare translation bearis, I iudge.

Thridlye, this cause quharefore M. Q. alledgis, that Ia­mes sulde haue pronuncit sentence, is of na effect: for it saw­ris of twa vngodlie things, first of Papistrie, for the principall thing, the Paip hes, for his vsurpit autoritie of Iudgemēt, and sentence geuing ouer the hale warlde: is, because he is byschop of ane toun callit Rome, and successour vnto Peter, noine ie­nus. Secundlie, if sauoris of ambitione, giue thay regardit ony of the apostles amangs thaim self, be reasone of the place thay war chosin to, and that ambitioye was croppin in amāgs thaim, quhilk I beleue na man wyll saye.

Ferdlie, giue thir wordis of Iames had bene the sentence, geuin in the name of the test of the councell, quhart he sayis, I Iudge nocht to trouble the brether, bot wreit to thaim, to ab­stene thaim self. &c. this words (bot wreit to thaim) had bene imperimēt to haue bene put in the myddis of ane sentēce. And giue he wyll say, that the sentence follow is thir wordis (bot wreit to thaim). Than I say, that the sentence (as he callis it) that Iames gaue, and the decrete that was wryttin in the Councell to the Gentiles of Antiochia aggreis nocht, as ony Man may see, quhilk ware ane greate Inconuenient.

Quharefore be thir reasonis I conclude, that nother Iames (because he was Bischope of Ierusalem) pronouncit sentence, in the Name of the rest of the Apostles: nor ȝit inferris he weill of this place, that the Scripturs was nocht Iudge: bot that the Apostles was Iudge. As salbe shawin plainely heirefter, in the Confutatione of his Confirmatione, that Iames gaue sentence (as he alledgis) quhilk heirefter followis. &.

Heir followis M. Q. Confirmatione, of this Thride Lessone.

AND to the effect, that thow sall mair cleirly perceaue the Apostles, till occupy the place of ane Iudge, to the interpretatione of the worde of God, and the Scripture to be as witnes berare, of the will and mynede of the Lrde. Quare by the Apostles tuik instructione. Thow sal marke the sentence put in writ, and send away with Paule and Barnabas, and sum vther of the rest of the Congregatione, saying thir wordis.

It hes pleasit the haly Baist and vs, to put na vther burdene vpone ȝow, bot till abstene fra filthynes of Idoles, and blude, it that is wirreit, and Fornicatione, fra the quhilkꝭ ȝe keiping ȝow, ȝe do weill: and weill fair ȝe.

Marke gude Reader, the wordis of the sentence: saying, it hes pleasit the haly Gaist and vs, as the Scripture wald say, and vs, as Iudges appointit be God, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of Gods worde fra the wrang Als it may be notit, that thae is na testimonie of the Scripture put in the sentence; be the quhilk, it may be perceaiut, the Iudgement onely referrit to the Apostles, and the Scripture na wayis to occupy the place of ane Iudge, toward the īterpretatione of the Scripture.

M. Iohne Dauisonis Answer.

ANE Bairne may Iudge on this interpretatione of M. Q. that other he speakis effectionatly, that grounds his argument sa weakly, to proue the Apostles to be Iudges, or els be hes nocht vnderstand his Texte, that he reasonis vpone. For quhare he sayis, marke gude Readers, the wordis of the sentence: saying. It hes pleasit the haly Gaist and vs, as the scripture wald say, and vs as Iudges appointit [Page 30] be God, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang. This maner of interpretatione, the hale warld may see, that it is na worth: For in it, thare is manifest wrang done to the haly Spirit, in sa far as M. Q. sa slychely ouerseis him (quhom it hes pleasit the Apostles, the Elders, and Bre­thren, to put principall, and Firste, as the onely trew Iudge in the decrete) and geuis onely the dignitie of Iudgement, and presidencie to the Apostles, quhilk thay wald neuer haue tanc on thaim selues. And mairattour, I meruell quhow he hes dreamit this interpretatione, and vs as Iudges: considdering thare is na mentione maid of Iudgement, before thir wordis, nor behinde. Except that Iames sayis I think best, quhilk I haue sufficiently schawin before, that thir wordis meanit of na Iudgement geuing.

Secondly, vnder this worde (vs) is contenit nocht onely the Apostles, bot alswa the Elders and Brethren, as may be easylie perceauit be the letter writtin in the Councell of the haly Spirit, be the Apostles. For the Inscriptione of the letter contenis the Apostles, Elders, and Brethren, quhilk he hes pretermittit in his tractiue, that he mycht interprete this terme (vs) as he pleasit, quhilk he could not haue done, and he had lukit to the Superscriptione of the letter. Quhareby we may cleirly see, that it is the Scripturs, quhilk geuis the rycht vnderstanding of the difficill places of the Scripture, and the discretione betuix the rycht vnderstanding of thaim, and the wrang, for the quhilk thare is ony controuersie, for the super­scriptione of this letter of the Councell, geuis to thaim that luikis on this matter, the rycht interpretatione of this worde (vs.) And alswa discretione betuix the rycht vnderstanding heirof, and the wrang, without the quhilk, na warldly Crea­ture could interprete it, nor ȝit could thay decerne, quhidder M. Q. hes interprete it rycht or wrang. And tharefore I haue put in writ the Epistle of the Councell, that all men that hes ony Iudgement, may perfytely see, quhow M. Q. hes cloikit the mater, gif he hes pretermittit the Superscriptione of the Apostles Epistle, of set purpose: and gif he hes done it of ignorance, I haue put the same Epistle in writ, that the warld may haue petie of his ignoraunce, and be war in tymes cumming, that thay be not dissauit be his writings. And alswa that the warld may see, quhom this worde (vs) rehearsis, and to quhom it hes respect.

The Superscriptione of the Councels Epistle.

The Apostles and the Elders, and the Bre­thren, to the Brethren of the Gentiles, of Antiochia, Syria, and Celicia, Greating. &c.

The Narratione of the Councels Epistle.

FOrsamekle as we haue harde that certane, quha departit fra vs, hes troublit ȝow with wordis, and combret ȝour myndis, saying, ȝe man be circumcisit and keip the law, to quhom we gaue na command: It semit to vs tharefore gude quhen we com together with ane accorde to send chosin men on to ȝow, with our belouit Barnabas and Paule, men quha hes Ieoperdit thare lyues for the name of our Lord Iesus Christe, we haue send tharefore Iudas and Sylas, quhilk sall also tell ȝow, the same thyngis be mouth.

The decrete of this Councell, and conclusione of the Epistle.

¶ For it hes pleasit the haly Gaist, and vs, to put na vther burdene on ȝow, than this necessare thingis: that ȝe abstene fra fylthines of Idols, and blude, it that is wyrreit, and Fornica­tione, fra the quhilks ȝe keipyng ȝow, ȝe do weill: and weill fair ȝe.

¶ Heir it may be planelie sene, that this worde (ws) hes not onely respect to the Apostles, bot alswa to the Elders, & Bre­thren cōtenit in the superscriptione of the letter. And tharefore this worde (ws) in the decrete, is als mekle to say, as the A­postles, Elders, and brethren. Quharefore it is euill inter­prete, and ws, as Iudges: quhilk he referris onely before, to the Apostles. Bot it happinnit weill, that he was not all hale blynde that happinnit on the Apostles, quha is put in the first part of the Superscriptione, and neglectit nocht the hale mem­bris of the Councell. Bot it is nocht maruell that he ouersaw the Elders, and Brethren, that was vnderstande vnder this worde (ws) and last in the Superscriptione of the councels letter: considering he ouer saw the haly Spirit, for his awin [Page 31] auantage, quha is president of the Councell. Quhilk come (as I think) bot of ane kyndlie kirkmānis head, quha walde nother haue the haly Spirit, quha knawis all, nor ȝit the El­ders, and Brethren, quha knawis part, vnderstanding, that ony thing sulde be done in Councels, bot be the Apostles, to quhom, M. Q. and his cheif Pastours, haldis thaim self succes­sours, that thay may ryng ouer all mēnis conscience onely, as thay please. Tharefore all men that consideris the ordoure of this councell, may clerelie see, that he hes ouersene him self, in the expositione of this terme (ws) for vnder this terme (ws) is comprehendit, the Apostles, Elders, and Brethren. Onder the quhilk namis is comprehendit the hale Congregatione of Christ Iesus Kirk. For thare is na gude trew Christiane mā, bot he is other ane Apostle, or ane Eldere, or ane brother, and nane of this ordours of men, sulde be secludit fra generall, pro­uinciall, or synodale councels, Swas thay be qualifeit thare­fore, suppose thay war nocht admittit in the papistrie.

Thridlie, quha pleasis lay the Text of this Scripture toge­ther, and his glose, I beleue thare salbe found na man, bot he sall hald him war nor blynd, and he see nocht, quhow M. Q. is marualouslie wanderit be the way in this mater: for quhat affinitie hes this text, it hes pleasit that ha [...]y spirit & ws, to put na vther burdene on ȝow bot to abstene fra filthines of Idols, and it that is wy [...]reit, and Fornicatione: and this his glose, it hes pleasit the haly Spirit & ws, as iudges appoyntit be God to decerne the rycht vnderstāding of Gods word fra the wrāg. This text and glose, is lyke the vulgare interrogatione, and the deif mannis answer, that is commonlie rehearsit, quhen twa thingis is alledgit to haue aggreance together that hes na ne. Quhow mony myle to Montrois? R. ane poikful of plo­mbes. Siclyke ȝe may se, quhow vncraftelie be makis be his secunde Notatiōe, the iudgement to be referrit onely to the A­postles, and the Scripture na wayis to occupie the place of ane iudge. Lat ony man considder that please, this is ane weake maner of reasoning: thare is na testimonie of the Scripture, put in the sentence, ergo the iudgement is onely referrit to the Apostles. For giue he wyl haue the iudgemēt referrit to thaim, that is put in the sentene (as he callis it) the iudgement sall nocht onely be referrit to the Apostles, bot to the haly Spirit, as principall president, and iudge of the Councell, and to the Elders and brethren, quha is put als weill in the sentence, as the Apostles, & contenit vnder this worde (ws) in the decrete: Quharefore the Iugement is nocht to be referrit to the Apost­les, [Page] ȝea, I will say mair, that the Apostles hes na mair ado to be Iudges in this mater, nor thay haue to be Iudges ouer the hale Scripture: for this decrete is nocht to be esteamit, as the decrete of man, bot as the decrete of the haly Spirit, quha with his word hes Iudgit, that the Gentiles that beleuis, is exemit fra the Law of Moyses, and nocht the Apostles: for quhowbeit the Apostles, Elders, and Brethren, is namit in the decrete, ȝit the decrete is nocht to be callit thare decrete, bot the haly Spirites: And quhowbeit it be callit the decrete of the Apost­les, it is bot efter the Iudgement of the warld, and efter the cōmone maner of speaking of the Scripture, because the warld Iudges be the thing that it seis, and hearis. And tharefore quhen men hearis the Apostles, Elders, and Brethren, adioy­nit with the haly Spirit, in the making of this decrete, because the haly Spirit is nocht corporall, nor visible, that thay may see him, and haue communicatione with him visibly: thay ha­ui [...]g thare communicatione with the Apostles, Elders, and Brethren, quha was corporal and visible men, lyke vnto thaim self, appointit be God to reule and teach his Kirk (as his in­strumentis, quhareby he furth settis his Lawis, decretis, and Iudgementis, to the warld: quhilk mouit Paule to call him self Gods labourare: not that he wrocht sic things be his awin strenth, or be ony vertew of his awin ī him, mair nor the deade instrumentis workis with warldly craftis men: bot be his grace and power. 1. Cor. 3.) thay call the decretis of the haly Spirit, the decretis of his Ministers, as Paule callis the Law of God, the law of Moyses: and that efter ane familiare maner of speach, vsit in the worde of God: quhilk communicatis and attributis vnto men that thing, quhilk appertenis onely to God: as Paule callis him self, Father of the Corinthianis. 1. Cor. 4. be the Euangell. Quhowbeit God is all our onely Father, baith of body and Saule: ȝit as he communicatis the dignitie of ane carnall Fatherhead to men, Siclyke, suppose God be onely our spiritual Father, ȝit the Scripturs attributis the spiritual fatherhead to mē, be quhom the wor [...]e & Sacramē tis is distributit to vs, be the quhilk we ar regeneratit. And cō forme to this: Hierome sayis, that thare is mony thingis spo­kin of in the Scripture, conforme to the opinione of the tyme, that thay thingis is done: and nocht according to that, quhilk the veritie contenit. Hierome in Ieremi. 28. et in Math. Cap. 14. as the Virgine Marie said to hir Sonne Iesus Christe of Ioseph, behauld thy Father, and I murning socht the. Luk. 2. Alswa the wonderfull Actes that was done in the primitiue [Page 32] Kirk, be the haly Spirit, and the Name of Christe Iesus, thay ar callit the Actes of the Apostles, quhilk was done be God, and be men, as his instrumentis. Quharefore as thay Actes that was done be God, was attribute to men, siclyke this de­crete, is callit the decrete of the Apostles, because it was put in writ, and maid manifest to the Kirk be the Apostles, quhowbe­it it was onely the haly Spirits.

¶ Mairattoure, in sa far as the haly Spirit is put Firste in this decrete, he can nocht say, that it was the Apostles decrete, or that thay ar namit heirin as Iudges, without he will attri­bute to thaim, that appertenis onely to the haly Spirit: or els to say that the decretis of the haly Spirit, is the decretis baith of God and man, quha will haue na companȝone with him, in making of his decretis. And in sa far as, he attributis be the notatione he makis in the confirmatione of his Thrid Lessone, and be this sentence or decrete foresaid (call it as he please) the Iudgement onely to the Apostles, he dois great iniurie to the haly Spirit, for quhatsumeuer thing he attributis to the Apo­steles, he sould attribute the same, and mair to the haly Spirit, because he is put in the writtin letter, before the Apostles, to quhom he geuis the hale Iudgement, making na mentione of the haly Spirit.

Bot happin sum men will ask perchance, quhow can the haly Spirit be ane iudge, in maters of debait concerning Religione, or quhow can he decerne the rycht interpretation of the Scrip­ture, fra the wrang, in the earth? I answer, it is sure, that the haly Spirit was send to the Apostles in the earth, as Chri [...]te Iesus promisit. Iohn. 14. To teach thaim, and the Kirk of God, to the end of the warld all veritie. And tharefore sen he was, and is ane Doctour of the veritie, send to thaim, and the Kirk in earth: quhateuer thay be, that wald tak the Iudgemēt of his awin doctrine (that is the Scripturs, and the interpre­tatione of thaim) fra him, or the Iudgement of that thing that is contrare to his doctrine (as he war ane Creature that vnderstude nocht, gif it war rycht or wrang he teachit) or gif thay wald not, grant that he had the properteis conuenient for ane Doctour, as is Iudgement of the mater he teachis, and that he hes, dytit & delyuerit be his ministers, to the Kirk of God, thay wald haue him haldin war nor ane dum Doctour, quhilk war ane blasphemous thing to be harde.

And gif ony man wil obiect, because the haly Spirit hes not ane mouth, as man to pronounce sentence, to interprete Scrip­turs, and to haue communicatione with men, as earthly [Page] Iudges hes, he sulde nocht be properlie haldin ane Iudge, or ane interpretoure of the Scripturs.

I answer that the mouth of the haly Spirit was the Apostles, quha spak nocht the Scripturs, nor decernit na thing of thaim, be thaim self: bot the haly Spirit spake and decernit be thaim. Tharefore Christe Iesus said to thaim, it is nocht ȝe that spea­kis, bot the Spirit of your Father that speakis in ȝow. Mat 16. Siclyke quhen Stenin held disputatione aganis the Liberti­nes and Syrenitis (as it writtin Actor: 6.) Quhilk coulde not be without cytatione, interpretatione of the Scripturs, and di­scretione betuix the rycht vnderstanding of thaim fra the wrāg: ȝit of this disputatiōe, the scripture attributis na thing to Ste­uin, bot to the wysedome and Spirit that spake in him, quha was na vther Spirit, bot the Spirit of God: quha spake be his Prophetis, Apostles, and Ministers (as his mouth) before this tyme. And siclyke ay sall speake be his Ministers in the earth (as his mouth) all Godlie maters, and specialie concer­ning Scripturs to the end of the warlde, according to his pro­mes.

Mairattoure, the Scripturs schawis planelie, that the Deuils spake on to Christe saying, giue thow castis ws oute of this, send ws in the heird of swyne. Math. 8. Siclyke thay cryit saying, thow is the Sonne of God. Mark. 3. Now thay that wyll grant the Deuyll to speak, I way thay wyll nocht denye speache to the haly Spirit. Quharefore sen the haly Spirit, be the scripturs is perfytlie knawin to be ane doctour in earth, and hes communicatione with the warlde, be his Ministers (as be his mouth), and thay haue na Godlie thing, bot be him:

Nocht only may I collectt, that in this councel of the Apostles, the haly Spirit is the onely speaking. Iudge, and sentence geuar be his worde: and the Apostles, Eldars, and brethren, is bot men, be the quhilk (as Instruments) God the haly Spirit speakis his worde. And siclyke the secunde part of his nota­tione, quhilk he makis on the Text, (as he alledgis) is verray slycht saying, thare is na Testimonie of the Scripture put in the sentence. Tharefore the Scripture na wayis occupyis the place of ane Iudge. I answer, the haly spirit is first put in the wryttin decrete, quha is neuer seperat fra his Scripturs, nor Iudgis na vther wayis, nor thay do, nor the Scripturs Iud­gis na vther wayis nor he dois. And tharefore he being in the decrete, quha be the mouth of Iames, and Peter pronuncit the Scripturs conteyning the sentence (as his mouth) it was nocht neidfull that the Scripturs, his Testimoneis, quhilk be­fore [Page 33] was rytit be Pater & Iames, sulde haue bene repetit aga­ine in the decrete. Mairattour and the decrete had bene maid on this maner, it hes pleasit the haly Spirit, & vs: or it hes plea­sit the worde of God and vs, it was necessare that the warlde hade obeyit the decrete. Tharefore it was sufficient, that ane of thaim was exprimit in the Decrete, and had nother of thaim bene exprimit in the Decrete, it had gottin credit, bot as the Decrete of men. Quharefore be the autoritie of the Scripturs, and reasons foresaid, I conclude, that the Kirk of God, (inter­prete the Kirk as he pleasis, and geuing him for disputations cause, that is is representit, other be general or particulare councels, quhow dewlie that euer thay haue bene conuenit) is on na wayis appoyntit Iudge be God to decerne, and interprete the rycht vnderstāding of the Scripture fra the wrang, quhen­sumeuer questione or debait rysis for the vnderstanding of the same, nor ȝit na mortall thing. Bot men that hes bene at con­trouersie for maters of Religione, hes chosin the worde, and Spirit of God to be thare Iudges, be thaim to haue the trew interpretatione of the difficile places of the Scripture, and dis­cretione of the rycht vnderstanding of the same fra the wrang.

And alswa pronunciatione of the sentence in thare controuer­sie, that hes bene at debait for ony mater of religione: and thay haue nocht chosin men, to be thare Iudges in controuerseis, Bot giue it war, for the vsing of the ordinarie meanis, quhare­by all men, quhilk was of sound Iudgement, mycht perfytlie see, quhen ony men was at controuersie, quhat was the Iud­gement, and sentence of the worde & Spirit of God, that God walde haue schawin to the warlde for thaim baith. Because & thay, quhom M. Q. haldis presently the cheif Pastours (quhilk he callis the Kirk) war appointit Iudges be God, to decerne and interprete the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripturs, fra the wrang, throw thare ambitione, and warldly affectionis, the warld sould liue in perpetuall debait and controuersie.

For not onely wald thay interprete the Scripture at thare pleasure, bot alswa decerne the rycht vnderstandīg of the Scripturs to be wrang, and the wrang to be rycht, and the pronounce sentence without the word of God (as thare antecessours hes done before, in sundrie maters of Religione) or thay losit ane vnce ofthare leuingis, or ane grane of thare vaine honours. And swa leane I my Conclusione, direct contrare for the maist part to M. Q. confirmit be Scripturs, Reasonis, and Docto­urs sayingis, trewly alledgit (as he alledgis his Conclusione to be) to the Iudgement of the godly and indifferent Reader. [Page] Praying the Almychty God to communicat to him, and to all thais quha is of his factione, samekle of his wonderful graces, as he thinkis expedient for thaim, to acknawledge thaim self, laying all warldly affectionis asyde, and to do that thing, quhilk is rycht in his sycht, quha is blissit for euer.

Maister Quintine Kennedeis Epistle, directit to the Brethren Protestantes.

DEIRLY belouit Freindis and Nychbours, I am aduertisit that thare is sum learnit men of ȝour sect, and opinione, quhilk hes promisit Schortly ane confutatione of the hale Tractiue, quhilk I haue laitly set furth. In fauour of ȝow, I will do him (quhatsumeuer he be) sum ease and plea­sour. And to that effect I haue drawin, and collectit the hale substance and effect of my buik, in lytle boundis. And gif he, and all the rest, quhilk fauours his sect and opinione, wyll confute ony part of this breue rehears of our buik, be scripture, Reasone, and authoritie, conforme to the doctrine of Ancient Fathers, sic as Hierome, Augustine, Ambrose, Gregore, Chrysostome, Damascene, Tertuliane, Cypriane, Theophilact, Origenes, or Ireneus, or ony of the rest of the Ancient Fa­thers, being trewly alledgit; and applyit in contrare my pur­pose. It salbe all alyke as he had confutit all our hale work. And als I obleis my self, be this my hand writt, to renounce my Religione, and subiect my self to ȝour factione: quhilk I rekin na les, nor to renunce the assurit treuth, and subiect my self to great Confusione and incertitude. &c.

To Maister Quintine Kennedy Commendatore Abbote of Crosraguel, M. Iohne Dauidsone wishit grace, health, and peace, frome God the Father, throw Iesus Christe oure Lorde. &c.

I dout not, bot ȝour lordschip remembers, ȝe send me ane Schort Tractiue, a lytle before the beginning of the Reformatione of the Religione in the Kirk of this Realme, contening the hale substance, and effect of ȝour lytle buik, quhilk is, that the Kirk representit be the generall Councels, dewely conuenit, is (as ȝe alledge) the onely Iudge appoyntit be God, to decerne the rycht vnderstanding of the Scripture, fra the wrang, quhen questione is for the vnderstanding of the same, to haue bene presentit in that troublus tyme to Iames Betoune Archebischope of Glasgo, our gude Lorde and Maister, to haue had his Iudgement and mynde of ȝour said buik, before that tyme laitly Prentit: quhilk for that present tyme, we approuit baith to be gude and godly, bot sen syne, I finding the Scripturs sa weill oppinnit, be the ordinarie mea­nis, quhareby God communicatis vnto men, the vnderstan­ding of his Scripturs, that I could nocht be langer of ȝour opinione, without I wald haue mantenit, as ane shameles man, that thing quhilk had nother ground of Scripture, gude reasone, nor approbatione of the Ancient Doctours. Quhare fore, for the brotherly luife I beare to all men in Christe, and for the auld Parisiane kyndnes, that was betuix vs, to bryng ȝour L. and the people of this Countrie, fra the errour and blyndnes that this lytle buik of ȝours, hes haldin ȝow and thaim baith in. Be sindrie Scripturs and reasonis I haue trauellit, vsing me heirin, efter the commone maner of Reaso­ning, without dispyte, or reproche, and on the maist gentile maner I could, I haue schawin ȝow, quhow ȝe haue far ouer­sene ȝour self in this buik, of the quhilk, in my hart trewly I am sorie. Praying ȝour L. heirfore, gif ȝe finde the Reasonis I bring in aganis ȝours, to haue euacuat the reasonis of ȝour buik in ony sorte: vnderstand my labours not to be, that I [Page] desyre ȝour L. (quha excedis me far in vnderstanding, and in all kynde of subtile reasoning) to acknawledge ȝour self to be ouercum be me, bot lat the veritie beare away the victorie for vs baith. And be ȝour acknawledgeing of thay things, ȝe haue ouersene in ȝour buik, lat als mony people cum to the lycht of the Euangell, as ȝe haue haldin fra it, be the same, for God will require thare blude of ȝour handis, and ȝe perseueir in ane wilfull obstinacie, without knawledge. And gif ȝour con­science dytis ȝow to fauld, and aggre to our sentence, as ȝe promes in ȝour Bill, heirbefore writtin, gif ony part of ȝour Tractiue be confutit.

Think nocht that ony man of Christis Religione, luikis for the glorie of ȝour cumming, to the trew Religione teachit vs be Christe, as that ȝe come for wryting, or reasoning of man: For we vnderstand all, that thare can cum na man to Christe Iesus, bot he quhom his Father drawis to him: quha is draw­ing ȝow, and all men daylie. And tharefore, as ȝour freind, I wishe ȝow to subdew ȝour vnderstanding, in the seruice of Christe, and of ȝour cumming, gif it please God, that ȝe cum to Christe Iesus Religione, we sall attribute na glore thareof to our self, bot with ȝow of all our cumming and calling, we sall giue God the glorie and thankis: quha oft tymes suffers ane Pharo or vther, to ring amangis his chosin people, be quhom he may baith declare his Name throuchout the earth, and ex­ercise his people. And because, he will haue mercy on quhom he will, and quhom he will, he will hardene. Roma. 9. of quhais will na man can giue ane reasone. Tharefore tak head to ȝour self, quhat ȝe write, that ȝe be not as ane Pharo halding the people in Egypt of Idolatrie and errour, fra the trew worshipping of thare God, as he hes appointit in his Law: Bot cry for his mercy and grace (as I sall do with ȝow) to illuminat ȝour hart with the trew knawledge of his worde, that ȝe may leaue ȝour Religion inuentit be man, and embrace that Religione, quhilk is set furth in the liuely worde of God: quhareby onely ȝe may cum to the Porte of Saluatione. And swa fair ȝe weill, as ȝe luife the Lorde Iesus, and auancement of his Kingdome. At the Paedagoge of Glasgw, the Firste of Marche. 1562.

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