ABJURATION OF POPE∣RIE, BY THOMAS ABERNETHIE: Sometime Jesuite, but now penitent Sinner, and an unworthie Member of the true reformed Church of God in Scotland, at Edinburgh, in the Gray∣frier Church, the 24. of August, 1638.
EXOD. 23. 2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude, to do evill.
Matth. 7. 13, 14. Enter yee in at the strait gate, for wide is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which goe in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there bee that finde it.
VERITAS. JINCET. TANDEM.
Printed at Edinburgh, in King James his College, by George Anderson. 1638.
To the courteous Reader.
COurteous Reader, in these sub∣sequent pages, excuse I pray thee, the shortnesse of the matter, and the rudenesse of the style, and attribute that to my cal∣ling, being long a Souldiour; and this to my education, which hath beene more out of my native Countrie than in it, and make thy use of the matter which I have set downe for thy well, rather than to censure the defect of my language. Farewell.Page [unnumbered]
THis day (right Honourable, Reverend, and Welbeloved, in our common Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus) is keeped very so∣lemne and holy, by these who equalize; yea prefer some of their fabulous saincts dayes, to the Lords owne day, in respect of the relation they* say it hath to the Apostle Bartholomew, who being excoriat, should have suffered martyrdome on such a day; but of You is solemnized, to the end Yee may behold a poore wretched sinner, pull off and* throw away his old skin of Popish Idolatrie and su∣perstition, that he may compeare in the sight of God and men, with a new garment of righteous∣nesse, dyeed in the blood of that immaculat Lambe, who taketh away the sins of the world.
I know that my presence for this action will be no small subject of admiration to you all that heare and see me this day, for truelie, I finde it to my self, so that I may justly say with the Apostle,*I am made a spectacle unto the world, and to Angels, and to men. To the wicked world a spectacle of in∣dignation and hatred, for quiting it, and taking me to the precious blood of my Saviour Christ, To the good Angels, at the conversion of a sinner: To men,* of compassion and admriation. In you, I perceave Page 4 this admiration to be joined with joy and gladnesse, considering the diligent care of your sweet LORD, and loving Master, in bringing home your lost bro∣ther upon the shoulders of His mercie, to His owne sheepfold: in me poore Publican with shame* and confusion of face, beholding my long suffering God, and you from whom I have gone, alace, too long astray. In you with pitie and compassion, to view me thus cruelly tormented with so many rave∣ning wolfes, in me with indignation, for suffering my self to be deceaved so long with these infer∣nall theeves: In you, with praise and thanksgiving, to see me brought home againe alive, in me, with feare and trembling of my Saviours wrath for go∣ing and straying so long astray.
Now to give satisfaction in some measure to your admiration, I will let you understand the cause thereof, that is, my cursed life in Poperie, and how it hath pleased my gratious God to convert me from it, exponing these few words of the roy∣all Prophet, Lord be mercifull unto me, heale my*soul, for I have sinned against thee. In which words yee may perceave, that the Prophet having gone astray, touched with remorse of conscience, first he returneth to his God with unfeined repentance, and beggeth pardon for his sins, Lord be mercifull unto me: Next, because his soul was deadlie woun∣ded, he prayeth earnestlie for the health of it, heal my soul; And thirdlie, he gives the reason of his petition, for I have sinned against thee. In imitation of this mightie King, now turned a humble sup∣plicant, I minde, Godwilling, to show you these Page 5 things following. 1. How I have wounded my soule, and sinned, by following of Poperie, I have sinned against thee. 2. How it hath pleased God of his only mercie to heale my soul in his own time: Heale my soul 3. I shall crave pardon first of God, then of my deare Countrey-men, in Scotland, of you that bee heere present, and of all these who professe with sinceritie the reformed Religion, ac∣cording to Gods written word, saying, LORD be mercifull unto me: 4. And lastlie, I shall answere to some idle objections against this my sincere con∣fession, and heartie resolution.
Concerning the first point, the words containe foure things worthie of consideration; 1. The per∣son that hath sinned, in the word (I) 2. The per∣son against whom the sin is committed, in the word (thee) 3. The sin it self, in the word (sinned) and 4. the madnesse of a sinner, to oppose himselfe a∣goinst so strong a partie as GOD, in the word (against) Neither will I insist upon the word (have) supponing this confession of the Prophets, and mine to be of bygone sins, whereof remorse of conscience draweth us to a confession; nor minde I to be cu∣rious, exponing the literall, anagogicall, tropolo∣gicall, or other senses of the words; because I in∣tend only to make a relation of my life in Poperie, with an abjuration of the same, and not a preaching, knowing that no man should take that calling upon him, but he who was called of God, as was Aaron.*
But to come to the words, this particle (I) first showeth the qualitie of the person that sins, I that am a King, quoth the Prophet, have sinned against Page 6 thee, which consideration doeth likewise aggravate my sin; for I may say, I who was brought up of honourable parents, with a most religious Minister of Gods word, for the space of six years have sin∣ned, renouncing that Heavenly doctrine which I learned of them; I who had exponed my life in the wars, to all hazards whereto that calling is sub∣ject, sundrie years in Germanie, for the overthrow of Poperie; was not a year out of the wars, till in my travels passing through Italie, I was made a prey in Florence, by an English Jesuite, called Thom∣son or Gerard, both to his religion and profession. This word may likewise serve for reproof to those who delight more in descriving their neighbours sins, than confessing their owne, forgetfull of our Saviours words, Judge not; that yee be not judged,*for with what judgement yee judge, yee shall be judged. And thereafter, Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beame out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clear lie: to east out the moat out of thy brothers eye.
The second thing considerable heere, is the per∣son offended, against whom I have sinned, and this is God Almightie, for against GOD are all sinnes which are committed either mediatly or immedi∣atly; against thee only have I sinned; and done thïs evill*in thy fight. The words may serve for confutation and admonition; confutation of the Papists errour, who confesse their sins to earthly men, and not to God, receiving forgivenesse of their Priest. I said (and not to God) whereat I know they will take exceptions, but they need not, for millions of them confesse, who scarcelie know any other God but Page 7 the Priest, who hath his stile booke of interroga∣tories, where to they answere, and thereafter are absolved; moreover, although they know GOD, yet I am perswaded, that confessing to the Priest, they confesse not to GOD, because GOD desires not the Priests help, for he sayeth Come unto me all ye*that labour, and are heavie loaden, and I will give you rest, &c. and yee shall finde rest unto your soules. And the Royall Prophet sayeth, I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquitie have I not hid, I said I will confesse my transgressions unto the LORD, and*thou forgavest the iniquitie of my sin. The •poore Publican said not, Ghostlie father, but GOD be*mercifull unto me a sinner: And John giveth us this assurance, that, if we confesse our sins, he is faith∣full, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousnesse. Thirdlie, all the Jesuits that ever have written scholastick divinitie, agree in one voice, that the remission of the confessed sins to the Priest, is done by the contrition of the heart, which con∣trition must preceed (as they confesse) the Priests absolution, either by prioritie of time, or of nature▪ and therefore, absolution, and confession of, and to Priests are altogether unnecessarie, except it be to informe that Man of Sin of all his clients intenti∣ons of heart, and actions whatsoever; for they must confesse to their Parish Priest all their thoughts, words, and deeds, once at least in the yeere, un∣der the paine of eternall condemnation; or else to gather in moneyes by restitution, almes; penance for great sins to the Cloisters, and such like ends: but heere I will not insist upon the knaverie of Page 8 auriculare confession, hoping in GOD to let it be better known heereafter to the world.
They serve for admonition of my ingratitude to∣wards my good GOD, and gratious Lord, against the Lord I have sinned, who elected me to glory, before the foundation of the world; who created me in time, to thy owne similitude and likenesse,* who by withdrawing of thy helping hand, might have redacted me to nothing againe, and yet by thy Divine providence, thou hast conserved me, so long from many perils and dangers, and given me so large time of repentance; who furnished me with good education, and bestowed severall good gifts of nature upon me: O more than brutish in∣gratitude! Thou gave thy only begotten Son for my sins, when I was thine enemie; and I have gone about to destroy thy glory, and his kingdome▪ but yet my comfort is, that, If when we were ene∣mies,*we were reconcealed to GOD, by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Thirdly, I must relate the sins themselves which I have committed against this gratious GOD. Alace LORD, I have sinned against thee, neglecting that precious time of my youth, wherein I imployed more my understanding to learning, then my will to pietie, attending rather to become a good scholler then a good Christian, conferring more with Ari∣stotle, and his followers, than with Christ and his Apostles; I have sinned by curiositie, exposing my self in forraine Countries, especiallie in Italie, to occasions in conference, and disputing with the Page 9 Jefuits, who knew cunninglie how to circumveene me, and can worke their owne ends; I have sinned by weake and inconstant facilitic, yeelding too soone to their alluring delusions; I have sinned using too much diligence in drinking the cup of their pesti∣ferous doctrine, the space of nine yeeres, both in Italie and France, where I studied three yeeres to their deceitfull philosophie, foure yeeres to their sophisticall divinitie▪ and two yeeres to their hy∣pocriticall superstition, or superstitious hypocrisie, in their Novitiate at Rome; I have sinned, desiring so earnestlie after my studies to returne to my coun∣trey, for seducing of others, as I had beene sedu∣ced my self, using all the tricks and conceats which the wit of man, or hell could affoord me, to de∣ceave the Godly: True it is, that I had rare ma∣sters in this calling, and good help to performe my duetie, to wit, an ample power to difpense with all things both to my self and others: I have sinned, imploying my wits and travels to se∣duce GODS elect, the space of two or three years, for the most part, in the North, amongst my friends, in, and about Aberdeene, Elgin▪ and Ban•ff; as likewise in Cathnes, where I lived more as an yeare Chamerlane and Baillie to my Lord of Berriedail; (this office I made choice of, that by the frequent varietie of people I might worke my owne ends, without suspicion.) I have sinned by wresting of Scriptures, perswading others to be∣lieve that whereof I had no evidence in GODS word, I have sinned, distilling my braines to finde out meanes, make great journeyes to obtaine them, and Page 10 propone them to high personages, for the extirpa∣tion of GODS true religion in Scotland; I have sin∣ned; by not living so duerifully to my GOD these three yeeres bygone, (for so long time have I beene a seeming member of the true reformed Church of God) as became a true and sincere reformed Chri∣stian These, and many more are the grievous sins wherewith loaden, with the Publican, I stand afar of, not worthie so much as to lift up mine eyes unto heaven, but smitting my breast, say, GOD be*mercifull unto me a sinner.
Fourth, and lastly, the word (against) drawes me to a consideration of my madnesse, opposing my self against so strong a partie as God. What! knew I not that it were hard for me to kicke against the pricks? Knew I not poore Nadab, and Abibu,* notwithstanding they were the sons of Aaron, were destroyed for offering strange fire? And there went*out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Knew I not, that Vzzah was smote to death, for laying his hand of good inten∣tion to uphold the Ark from falling, being shaken with the oxen that drew it? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and GOD smote him*there for his errour, aud there he died, before the ark of GOD. Knew I not that Corah, Dathan, and Abi∣ram, although they were Levits, were swallowed up quicke for murmuring against Moses? And the*earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that pertained unto Co∣rah,*and all their goods. Knew I not thy almigh∣tie power, by the Prophet speaking this of thee? Page 11And I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land? Knew I not that thou art the GOD of hosts, having infinite multitude of Angels for thy souldiours, with all the rest of thy creatures, as instruments of thy just wrath, and in∣dignation against sinners? O intolerable madnesse of mine! This all, and much more I knew, and yet per∣sisted in my wickednesse against so strong a partie. O infinite Ocean, and superaboundant treasure of mercie! What shall I say? I poore naughtie worme, yea, dust, opposed my self to that great GOD of heaven and earth, by such kinde of grievous sins, and hainous crimes; as idolatrie, taking away of his glorie, spoiling him of his offices, taking upon me his authoritie, by forgiving of sins, and such like; and yet he out of his Fatherly love desisted not to do me good, preserving me from many perils and dan∣gers, both in pest, wars, and travels: roborating my memorie to receave, and keep great diversitie of languages, and strengthning my understanding to learne the experience, and government of di∣verse kingdomes, and Countreys. Lord, I conti∣nued to offend thee, and thou continued to blesse me; Deare Saviour, who will consider these won∣derfull works of thine on mee, and not likewise confesse with me, that thou art, a father of mercie*and GOD of all comfort? That not only by nature, but also by miscariage I was a childe of wrath, but*GOD, who is rich in mercie, for his great love where∣with he loved me, even when I was dead in sins, bath quickned me. Now truely I see most loving Father,*〈◊〉〈◊〉 wilt have 〈◊〉. on whom thou wilt havePage 12mercie, and wilt have compassion on whom thou wilt have compassion: And consequentlie, I may proclame*the Lord, the Lord God mercifull, and gratious, long suffering, and abundant in goodnesse and truth: and* conclude this first point with the Prophet David, that thy tender mercies are over all thy works. For most meeke father, although I have most grie∣vouslie sinned against thee, yet thou hast beene most mercifull unto me, Glory, Honour, and Praise, be unto thy holy Name therefore.
This my Confession and acknowledgement of the mercies of GOD towards me, are not done by me to courage others, in the continuance of their sins: For that same GOD, who out of his free mer∣cie, spared me for a time, he destroyed with thun∣der* from heaven that tyrannous apostate Julian in the heat of his sin, crying out with despare, Thou hast overcome O Gililean: and suffered Judas to enter into desperation, at the sight of the greatnesse of* his sin, and cut off his miserable life with his own hands. I know that the Prophet sayeth, though your sins be as skarlet they shall be as white as snow, though*they be red as crimsone, they shall be as woole; Yet Christ Jesus, the master of all Prophets sayeth thereafter, but except yee repent, yee shall all likewise pe∣rish;* for as GOD, is mercifull, so is He likewise just.
That worthie Doctor Austine sayeth, Humanum est peccare, Diabolicum perseverare, & Angelicum re∣surgere: It is a humane thing to fall in sin, a devi∣lish to persevere therein, and an angelick, or super∣naturall, to rise from it. Therefore, having in the Page 13 first point of this discourse showne you, how it hath pleased God to suffer me to fall by humane fragilitie, and devilish perseverance in that monstru∣ous sin of Poperie: In this second I will, Godwil∣ling, let you understand, how it hath pleased God to raise me up, from that Lithargie of superstitious idolatrie, and heale my soul wounded with Pope∣rie, which was the second thing proponed by mee in the beginning.
Upon these words, Heale my soule, I might ex∣patiat my self, and amplifie this discourse largely, with two considerations▪ First, inquiring wherein consisteth the health and perfection of mans poore wounded soule; and secondly, considering the na∣ture and properties of the soule which is healed, touching the first, I might have to doe with three sorts of persons, morale Philosophers, scholastick Di∣vines, and erroneous Papists. Showing the first, that the perfection, health, and happinesse of our soul doth not consist in worldly pleasures, riches, sensuall lusts, carnall concupiscences, adoption of morall vertues, speculation, or contemplation of Gods cre∣atures, or in the dominion of the soule of man o∣ver his owne passions, as many of them have had these severall opinions.
Discoursing with the second, and trying, whether or not that eternall felicitie, and happinesse of our soules, doeth consist in the actions of the under∣standing, or of the will, or of both, and in what kinde: And refuting the third in four points; first, Letting them see their errour, when they imploy their Saints at Rome, Loret, Galatia, and where they Page 14 think expedient for health to their soule, besides Christ, or betweene them and Christ: 2. Showing them, that the Sacrament of Baptisme is not so ab∣solute a salve, but it leaveth behinde it the root and seed of sin, fomitem peccati. 3. Demonstrating to them, that mans good works, although they be to∣kens or symptomes, yet are they not the cure and salve of the health of mans poore wounded soule: And 4. That, that true meane of the health of our soule, Repentance, is not to be defiled by their au∣ricular confession, and execrable satisfaction, but is to be understood of a broken and contrite heart, applying by faith the deare merits of that precious blood of Jesus Christ, to our poore wounded souls. But all these points of doctrine, with their severall spirituall observations and uses, I remit to an other time and place, giving them Augustines resolution for all their questions, Creasti nos Domine propter*te, & inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te•: Thou hast created us (O Lord) for thee, and our soule is restlesse till it repose on thee. O thou car∣nall minded, and sensuall man! look if thou hast this restlesnesse or not in thy soule; Thou drunk∣ard, glutton, adulterer, fornicator usurer, oppressoui, invyer, backbiter, liar, ambitious, proud, presum∣ptuous, angrie, politick or atheist man, and the rest of you, whose end is destruction, whose god is your bel∣ly;*and whose glory is in your shame, who minde earth∣ly things, looke and consider neerely (for it con∣cerneth eternitie) if yee expect the health of your soules, from these your particular gods and idols, or whence the Apostle expecteth it, when hee say∣eth, Page 15For our conversation is in Heaven, whence also we*look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: And the Prophet in my text, LORD be mercifull unto me, heale my soul. Take heed I say, take heed, least it be said to you sometime, as the Apostle said to the Ro∣mans; what fruit had yee then in those things, where∣of*yee are now ashamed? for the end of these things is death: Or as Christ our blessed Saviour said, what*shall it profite a man, if he shall gaine the whole world, and losse his own soul? or what shall a man give in ex∣change for his soul?
That which I might have spoken of the nature and properties of the soul, I passe for the present, remitting the courteous Reader to the commenta∣ries upon Aristotles books of the soul; And coming to my particular, I will show you how it hath pleased God, in his owne appointed time, to heale my soule from the pest of Poperie.
And therein I finde two things to be remarked, the time, and the causes of this my restored health. As for the first, it is evidently known, that the Lord hath his owne time in calling of soules, Calling*some about the third, some about the sixt, some about the ninth, aud some about the eleventh houre. Peter, and some other of his Apostles he called, when they were busied mending, and dressing their nets: Others, as Matthew waiting upon their customes,* greedie gaine, and drosse of the world: Some as*Paul when they were persecuting his flocke: Others* by reading of holy Scriptures, as was Augustine: Some by publicke preaching, as the most part of all Christians, and others by private discourses, as Page 16 the Queene of the Ethiopians Eunuch: Neither can* there be given any other reason of this, but the good pleasure of GOD; For it is not of him that willeth, nor, of him that runneth, but of GOD that sheweth mercie: Who in his owne time, without any of* my deservings did call upon me, when I was plun∣ged in idolatrie my self, and drawing others dayly to that same precipice, taking up the dueties and customes of Caithnes as Chamerlaine; where it is to be remarked, that this dissimulation of apparels, offices, &c. is a common policie of the Jesuits, to the end, some of them may be intelligencers in Kings Courts, as I know two; One as a Noble man, and another as a Knight in London: the first lives in Clarkenwall, the second in Drurie-laine; the one is provinciall and superiour of some five hundreth Je∣suits in England, the other a prime Scholler, and Courteour. Others go thus, for perverting of Kings and kingdomes, as with Sigismund, late King of Pole, they went as Hyducks, or infantrie, into Swe∣den, for the perversion of that people, which be∣ing detected, the King and they were thurst out of* his own righteous Kingdome for ever: or as De∣metrius Emperours of Musco, who taking them in after that same manner, lost his life and his empire, as his wifes brother in law, Constantine Koribut Duke of Visniovits in Pole related to my self, and that hee had suffered three yeeres imprisonment for it in Musco, which maketh him detest the Jesu∣its ever since. Some of them go for their own re∣establishment as P. Peter Cotton, to get themselves in again in France, after they were banished, for attemp∣ting Page 17 to kill, and for wounding King Henry the fourth: This is no calumnie, for one was execute in Paris, and all banished out of France, and a pyra∣mide of ignominie erected against them, where the treature was execute, for this businesse. Some go day∣ly thorow Venice, dealing with ambassadours, and making friends to get in there againe; others to ac∣quite by indirect wayes the favour of Kings, for they seeke no more but presence and accesse to per∣vert* Kings and Princes. Or if they can not pre∣vaile, they cut them off, and are worse then the devill▪ for resist the Devill, and he will flee from you,* but they will not quite their point, till they worke the mischiefe. Beware therfore Kings and Princes, beware kingdomes and common-wealths. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps cloathing,*but inwardly are ravening woolves. And thou Bri∣taine especially Scotland, my deare countrey, the purest portion of Christs Church in the world this day, assure thy self, and I assure thee, for I know it, that thy good people are as sheepe in the mids of woolves, be yee therefore (heads and members thereof) wise as serpents Casting out this bound wo∣man*and her Son, by the execution of the Law, of* the kingdome, ad amussim, punctually, not granting them a pecuniall libertie of conscience, or any to∣leration whatsoever, and GOD will help you, yet notwithstanding yonr imminent dangers, whereof I shall advertise you in the end of this discourse; otherwise your liberties and kingdomes are lost, and Antichrist hath prevailed. Concerning the time like∣wise, it is to bee considered that which an ancient Page 18 remarks of Paul, to wit that God did call him being a persecuter, brought up among the learned at Gamaliels fleet, knowing all their plots and conspiracies against Gods elect, he might better being converted give antidots again their poyson; for it he had done so∣much out of blinde zeile, for the defence of his Fa∣thers*traditions, much more would he for the true service of GOD, wish that he were an accursed from Christ for his brethren. Even so thinke I truelie that my deare Saviour have dealt with me, not calling me when I entred to their errours, nor when I was drinking in their pernicious doctrine, neither when I was imployed to worke the mysterie of iniquitie against the true Church of God: but when I had learned all their tricks, plots, conspiracies, devices, and inventions, for the extirpation of Gods true re∣ligion; that being brought up at Vrbanus feet, and knowing their malice, I might the better with Gods grace provide remedics against their pernicious de∣signes; and as I had taken great paines for the at∣chieving of their malitious ends, much more should I labour now in Christs vineyeard, for the edifi∣cation of Christs mysticall body the Church. The* Lord of his infinite mercie grant me his favourable assistance, and powerfull grace thereto.
The second thing that I proposed, was, the causes of the health of my Soul; and these are four, mate∣riall, formall, finall, and efficient; the first is the soul it self taken specificative, the second is the same soul taken reduplicative, ut sanata, as healed; the third or finall, is that eternall joy and felicitie, for the which before time God hath elected, and in Page 19 time created, not only me, but all these likewise who serve him with true sinceritie; which felicitie the Apostle thus describeth: the eye hath not scene,*nor eare heard, neither hath entred into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. The fourth and last is threefold, princi∣pall, meritorious, and instrumentall. The princi∣pall efficient cause of the health of my soul was the blessed and holy Trinitie, it being an action ad ex∣tra, and all such are common to the three persons of the Trinitie, as Divines teach. The meritorious was, the pretious blood of my sweet and loving Saviour Christ Jesus, for it is through this only oblation that we are made holy, and have eternall redemption. By*His will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all. For by one offering hee hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,*and their sins and iniquities will hee remember no more; now where remission of these are, there is no more offering for sin. And the Apostle Peter say∣eth, Nei her is there salvation in any other, for there*is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. The whole new Testa∣ment proveth this trueth; and yet the force of er∣rour is so great, that they who live in that Sodomi∣tish Babylon, do not perceave it, but run headlong to other cures for their wounded soules, than to the meritorious blood of that immaculate Lambe,*who taketh away the sins of the world. Away then, a∣way, depart from me all yee workers of iniquitie; away yee that flee for cure of your Souls, to your La∣dies,* Saints, good works, reiterat false sacrifices in Page 20 the Masse, relicts, crosses, holy water, pilgrama∣ges, processions, works of supererogation, indul∣gences and pardons, working of true and false sa∣craments ex opere operato, and to an infinite num∣ber of idolatrous rites and ceremonies, forged by the ancient Pagans and Popes ancient and moderne; a∣way I say, for I tell you, except yee repent (of these* your idolatrous courses) yee shall all likewise perish.* Away, and see that with Paul, yee rejoice in nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Remember that it is momentanie which delighteth, and eternall which tormenteth. Take heed, that when yee shall compeere at that great day, with your souls ulce∣rat, by your idolatrous superstition, crying for cure, that Christ the only Physitian of souls answer you not, I never knew you, depart from me yee that worke*iniquitie: Or as hee sayeth in another place, De∣part from me yee cursed into everlasting fire, prepared*for the devil and his angels. Now God of his good∣nesse open your eyes, and let you understand the intolerable wrongs which yee doe to his divine Ma∣jestie, his Church, and your owne souls, that doing unfeined repentance, yee may efchew his fearfull judgements.
I come now to the third efficient cause, calledinstru∣mentall or second cause, whereby God wrought this wonderfull cure in me. If any man expect here of me the decision of that philosophicall question of Gods concourse with the second causes, for the producti∣on of their effects, being necessare for the under∣standing of that contraversie, de authore peccati, of the author of sin: I pray him excuse my brevitie, Page 21 and addresse himself to the interpreters of Aristo∣tles treatise, de causa efficiente: But to our purpose.
No man can doubt, but the Lord as he is infinitely mercifull in the conversion of sinners; so is he infi∣nitely wise and rich, in the externall meanes which he imployeth for that use: I speak not of the internall▪ meane of the conversion of a sinner, which according to Divines is gratia praeveniens, and gratia excitans, a preveening and stirring up grace, quae operatur in nobis sine nobis, which worketh in us, without our help, as Augu∣stine* affirmeth: Of these externall meanes wee have many in sacred records. Christ healing some with a look only, the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter, &c.*and Peter went out and wept bitterly: Others as the wo∣man diseased with the issue of blood, by touching his gar∣ment, receaved present health both of body and soule.* Some by his divine conference, as the Samarit an wo∣man▪* Others by the example of his wonderfull pati∣ence,*and miraculous passion, as the thief upon the crosse, Some by touching and feeling his pretious wounds, as the Apostle Thomas: Others by extraordinarie courses, as* the Apostle Paul: Neither need we enquire for any reason of these proceedings of Christ, but that that* the Apostle giveth, when he cryeth out, O the depth*of the riches, both of the wisdome and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgements, and his wayes past finding out, for who hath beene his counsellour.
As for the externall meane, or instrumentall cause of my conversion to GOD, and recovered health of my soul, it was truely the reading of holy Scri∣pture, after this forme, It fell out some three yeers ago (or thereabout) in Cathnes, that after I had Page 22 ended my ordinarie superstitions, as Breviarie, Masse, Beeds, and suchlike trash, I used commonly to read a chapter of the Bible; and one day reading these words of Paul, Beware least any man spoile you tho∣row*philosophie, and vaine deceat, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ; and so foorth to the end of the chapter, I was presentlie seazed with a doubt against Pope∣rie; that the Apostles admonition was, that Gods children should beware of them; and that the same time I was illuminate with an extraordinary light, whereby comparing the words of the Apostle with their doctrine and actions, I was convicted in my minde to define Poperie to bee a superstitious masse of policie, under pretext of religion: And exami∣ning more narowlie I found these foure points, philosophie, vaine deceat, or sophistrie, traditions of men, and the rudiments of the world, to be the foure pillers wherupon that Babylonish tower of Rome doth stand; or else the foure wheeles whereupon that fyrie cart of superstitious masses and heathnish ido∣latrie is drawn thorow the world and will be drawn, till it please God, to consume that Man of Sin with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy him with the bright∣nesse*of his coming.
I might (and minde Godwilling heereafter) demonstrate, that all the contraversies betweene papists and us, may bee easily brought to these foure monstruous heads of poperie, but for the pre∣sent I will only indicat some few; Their transub∣stantiation is grounded upon that Logicall treatise of the Quantitie, where they destroy the nature of Page 23 quantitie, to build their breadie god, their justifica∣tion by works, and their free will are built upon that physicall question of Gods concourse with the second causes in Aristotles treatise of the efficient cause. That high question of predestination, upon the foreknowledge of good works, standeth upon the decision of that Logicall question, de futuris contingentibus, of contingent things to come; their fundamentall ground of all papistrie, the popes hie∣rarchie is built upon Aristotles politicks, and taught in the Jesuits morall philosophie. Moreover, their popes infallibilitie is but vaine deceit and sophistrie, as likewise, their absolute necessitie of baptisme▪ dispensation with solemne vowes, judging of Gods word, and the like; In a word, their five bastard sacraments, with all their superstitious rites and ce∣remonies, sacrifice of the masse for the quicke and the dead, canonization of saints, invocation of angels and saints departed, worshiping of images, relicts, and crosses, dedication and consecration of churches, altars, and dayes, baptizing of bels, and ships, bles∣sing of holy water, and sprinkling of it upon men and beasts, to gaine moneyes (as at Rome on S. Antonies day, is done to all the horse and beasts in the countrey whereby the monks get that day to entertaine them well in their leacherous idlenesse, till that time twelve month) All these I say, and the rest of that stinking tr•sh, depend and hang u∣pon these three pillars, vained ceit or sophistrie, trae∣ditions of men, and the rudiments of the world, which to blinde poore soules, maketh them bring in that new found distinction of Gods word, written and un∣written. Page 24 And as for their philosophie, for by that which I have above-mentioned, their owne great pillar Albertin, a Jesuite, hath set out three volumes in folio, where he showeth all their scholastick Di∣vinitie, and controversies of religion to be ground∣ed upon the principles of humane philosophie. O base and sandie ground, for articles of faith, and matters of salvation! O wise philosophers, or rather* foolish ignorants! Know yee not that other founda∣tion can no man lay, then that is laide, which is Jesus Christ? And that the wisdome of the world is foolishnesse with GOD: for it is written, He taketh the wise in their owne craftinesse. And againe the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise that they are vaine.
Now if any man ask me, wherefore I left Papi∣strie? I answere before my GOD, as the Lord shall save me in that great day, when all secret thoughts shall be revealed, that no carnall thought, or worldly rentation did move me to take this resolution; but on∣ly, that after serious examination, and reading of Gods word, by conference with Jesuits in Pole, and Mini∣sters in diverse countries, although neither of them knew me to have beene a Jesuite, I found that Papi∣strie was built upon this sandie foundation of Phi∣losophie,*sophistrie, traditions, and the rudiments of the world, and not upon that invincible rock Christ*Jesus, And therefore I resolved to come out of Ba∣bylon, that I should not be partaker of her sins, and that I should not receave of her plagues: And hid my self in the clift of this rocke, that is in the wounds of my deare and only Saviour Christ Jesus, denying all other meane of salvation, but that which is writ∣ten Page 25 in his holy word, adjoining my self to the true reformed Church of God, in Scotland. Whereof if any man aske the reason of adjoining my selfe to the Church of God in Scotland, rather then to another church, as England or Germanie: I answere them, that I minde to use a part of the Physitians counsell, who give for a singular antidote, against the pest of the body three things to observe, that is, citò, longè, tardè; which is somuch, as whosoever will bee free of the bodily pest, let him go soone away from the place infected, next go far away; and thirdly, to stay long away, that the place be well cleansed before he returne: so say I, whosoe∣ver will be free of that spirituall pest of Antichrist let him use three things, citò, longè nunquam, that is, let him go soone away from it, next far away; and thirdly never to return back againe to it: And because the Church of God in Scotland observeth best this infallible rule of any of them all, being far∣rest from all popish superstition, and neerest to a∣postolicall puritie, therefore I have adhered there∣to, and not to any of the rest. And because read∣ing of the Scripture was the occasion, and instru∣mentall▪cause of this my recovered health; I ex∣hort, by the tender mercies of Christ, that every man take some paines every day to read a portion of Scripture; especially yee blinded papists, to whom it is a mortall sin to read it, more than the Alco∣ran, except yee have a dispensation, for both are alike forbidden, read the Scriptures often, and yee shall surely finde comfort to your souls, so that yee read them with prayer and humilitie, and not Page 26 for contention, as wee used to read them: For all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profi∣table*for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for in∣struction in righteousnesse, that the man of God may be perfect, througly furnished unto all good works.
An other reason which did confirme me in this my godly resolution, was, I could finde no warrand in Scripture for poperie; and yet I preased to strain the Scripture, and throw it to my purpose, but could never satisfie mine owne conscience: As for exam∣ple, that fundamentall point of their tyrannous hie∣rarchie, of Peters being at Rome, by what right the popes serve themselves heire to Peter, more than the Churches of Antioch and Alexandria, which are more ancient Churches then that of Rome, that Pe∣ters succession is tyed to the towne of Rome, jure divino, as I was taught by them, that of the popes infallibilitie, notwithstanding their contradictions one to another in fundamentall things, his usurped authoritie upon Gods Scriptures, and mens consci∣ences, and all their traditionall trash, have no true warrand in Gods word: Yea, I wonder that lear∣ned men, who know this silence of their opinions in Gods word, should remaine in Babylon any lon∣ger; for we are commanded to search the Scriptures,*as they which testifie of Christ. The Apostle Peter sayeth, That we have a more sure word of prophecie, whereunto yee do well that yee take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, untill the day dawne, and*the Day-star arise in your hearts. O poore soules that ly caught in these snares (and you conformists who run post to them) know yee not, that praestatPage 27obedire Deo quàm hominibus, Wee ought to obey GOD*rather then man: And Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God*to hearken unto you then unto God, judge yee: That is as much to say, as when the obedience towards God, and that towards man, not altogether conforme to that of Gods, are put in ballance against other, that there is no question which of them we should make choice of. God commands thee to search the Scri∣ptures, and the pope commands thee not to read them, under the paine of mortall sin: God ordain∣eth thee to take the cup at the Communion; the pope commands the contrarie: GOD commands thee that thou shalt not make any graven images, &c. the pope commands thee to have, use, and worship them. GOD sets thee at Christian libertie, from the ceremoniall law, and rudiments of the world, the pope binds thee with that infinite number of his tyrannous lawes: For they (the pope and his coun∣cel) binde heavie burdens, and grievous to be born, and*lay them on mens shoulders but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Look about thee, and consider the miserable estate thou art in; be not terrified with boasting, to declare thee an heretick or a rebell; resolve thy self constantly, and say with* the Apostle, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth: And in another place, But this I con∣fesse unto thee, that after the way which they call he∣resie, so worship I the GOD of my Fathers, believing*all things which are written in the Law and the Pro∣phets: And heerein do I exercise my self; to have al∣wayesPage 28a conscience void of offence towards GOD, and towards men.
I speak nothing of their brutish and Sodomitish life, worse then that of the Pagans, described by the Apostle, which although it▪ be not universall tho∣row all the popes dominions; yet it is common and notorious in the privie chamber (that is Italie) of that Babylonish whoore, as is known to the world by relation, and to me by auricular confession. Neither touch I that superstitious and hypocriticall life in publick of their ghostly Fathers, and their odious li∣centious lives in their private cloisters and chambers.
I know my old fellowes, the Jesuits will exime themselves from this my censure, casting it upon the bellygod friers, pretending puritie from such things in themselves; but let a judicious man consider their day∣ly good entertainment, weekly feasts in their houses of pleasure in the fields, and their frequent banquets upon their saincts dayes thorow the year, the good∣nesse of their wines; that they are young, noble, and gentle, quick witted youths for the most part, having thereafter great notice of sins by auricular confessions and almost hourely familiar conference with women of all conditions, both publickly and privately, and then judge what they are, or what they may bee.
The third point which I proponed in the begin∣ning, was to crave pardon of these my rehearsed er∣rours. What then shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation, and*call upon the name of the Lord, I will pay my vowes unto the Lord, now in presence of all his people. My vowes are first to crave humble pardon at God almightie, as Page 29 I do from the bottome of my heart, crying with the Prophet David, Lord be mercifull unto me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee: And with the forlorne childe, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before*thee, and am no more worthie to be called thy son, make me as one of thy hired servants. Againe, O Lord, truely*I am thy servant, I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid▪ thou hast loosed my bonds, I will pay my vowes▪ unto the Lord, now in the presence of all his people, Cra∣ving pardon at my Countreymen in Scotland in gene∣rall, at You, right Honourable, Reverend, and Wel∣beloved in Christ Jesus, that be here present, and all these wheresoever they be, that professe the true re∣formed religion, according to Gods word, for the scandall which I have given you and them, by living so long in poperie, requesting you to pray my sweete Saviour for the remission of these my enorm sins, and that as his divine Majestie hath begun this good work in me, likewise he will be pleased to perfect it, and I shall never cease to cry, Lord be mercifull unto me, heal*my soul, for I have sinned against thee. And with the same Prophets saying I will conclude this point, Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given me as a prey to, their teeth, my soul is escaped, as a bird out of the snare of▪*the fowlers the snare is broken, & I am escaped: my help is▪ in the name of the Lord, who made the heaven and earth.
Fourth and lastly, against thus my sincere con∣fession, and cordiall resolution, there bee three sorts of persons who oppose themselves, some friends, e∣nemies some, and some adiaphorists. The first pro∣ceede out of love and zeale, the second out of ma∣lice and rage; the third out of policie and crafti∣nesse, Page 30 to every one of these three classes must I an∣swere, before I closse this my abjuration.
The first sort then may say, that it is heard to believe, than I, who was so fullie possessed with poperie, can be truely converted in my heart, ha∣ving so many allurements and occasions of tentati∣ons to continue slave to the purpurat whoore, and therefore it were good to try me, before I be trusted.
My answere is first, that I had many snares to hold me fast in poperie; one was that I was ob∣liged by their tyrannous Lawes, to reject and cast away any doubt that came unto my minde against the Romish profession, under no lesse paine than mor∣tall sin, and eternall condemnation, no lesse than the thoughts of murther, treason, filthinesse, leacherie, &c. Where it is to be remarked that the Turks do only forbid hearing, or disputing of any other religion but their own, under the paine of death, which they and we thinke very heard; but these Ro∣manists are much worse, condemning both body and soul to hell eternally, for a thought only against their profession; This snare is the strongest wall of Poperie: Another snare is, that which intangleth the Doctors and learned men, who examining the doctrine of their church, and finding their consci∣ence touched with the evidencie and trueth of Gods word, resolve that these tentations proceed of weak∣nesse of their understanding; and therefore conclude, seeing their church can not (as they alleadge) erre that the resolution of the church is only true, and Gods true light inspired in them, but only tenta∣tion Page 31 of Sathan, and so preoccupied with a prejudged minde, continue in their errour, This is the second∣wall of that babylonish tower, I speak nothing of riches, and pleasure, contentment of minde for worldly things, for it is knowne that the Jesuits (whereof I was one) have the most contented life in this world of any men whosoever, and therefore if I had looked to my particular commodities more than to the light of Gods word, and my own con∣science which did presse me, I had never come out of poperie.
Secondlie, I answere, that it is no wonder if they do not give me full trust as yet, because Paul,* after his conversion, although he was a chosen ves∣sell to beare Christs name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel, was not trusted in the be∣ginning, yea, neither did Ananias believe Christs* own testimonie of him; then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evill he hath done to thy Saints at Jerusalem. What reason then should they have to trust me poore sinner, a stranger in a manner to them, untill they try me: In the meane time I request these my friends to sus∣pend their judgements for a time, seeing exitus acta probat, the event prooves the deeds, And take* Christs way a tryall, by their fruits yee shall know them: And pray for me, that as I was a persecuting Saul, so I may bee a preaching Paul.
The second, my deadlie enemies for rage and despight that I have left them, will (I know) spew out all the venemous poyson that malicious hearts can invent, especiallie that I have not left the Jesuits, Page 32 but that for my odious and detestable life I have beene cast out from among them.
To these I answere, first, that benifaciend• ne•l∣nem timeo, doing well I am feared for no man: Se∣condly, their evill speeches and misreports, are an evident token, that Christ my loving master favour∣eth me, giving me occasion (although innocent) to suffer calumnies as he did; he was both God and Man, and yet he was said to cast out Devils in Beelzebubs name. And that he had a devill. That he*was a eater and drinker and keeper of companie with pub∣licanes and sinners; What then should I expect, poor sinfull wretch, from viperous tongues, but all what hell can devise against me? Thirdlie, I answere, that they wrong themselves much more than me, objecting thus, for either they must make me vi∣tious, and casten out before I came into the coun∣trey, or when I was in it or else since I went out of the countrey. Not the first, because it were great imputation to their own order, to send vitious men to be Apostles (as they call them) and convert souls amongst their enemies, who could, and would spy all their actions. Moreover, it is known by all these who know them, that the first thing they looke for in a missioner (such as I was) is a godly life and conversation, otherwise the Generall doeth not give them their Letters patent; which I receaved, and did let not only them, but many others in Scotland, see; neither without it had I beene re∣ceaved and imployed by the superiour in Scotland, as I was; which he cannot deny, so many of all con∣ditions, both, in and out of Scotland knowing it. Page 33 Secondly, for the time that I was in the countrey, concerning my life and conversation, I submit my self to the censure of these, both Protestants and Papists, with whom I lived at that time, and to the Letters which the Superiour receaved in my fa∣vour from the noble man with whom I lived; nei∣ther suppose I had beene vitious, could the Supe∣riour in Scotland, cast me out of his order, for as the reception into their order, is proper actions to their Generall; so likewise is the dismission, for he only can absolve from their vowes these that are dismis∣sed. Moreover, if I had beene such as I know out of malice they will call me, they had surely ad∣monished me as their custome is; but before my God I say it, I was never reproved of the superi∣our; or any other, all the time I was in the coun∣trey, but for going to the churches, in Scotland; and exposing my self and them to danger, by go∣ing openlie thorow the countrie.
Finallie, if they had cast me out, they had not entertained me so kindlie at my departure out of Scotland, as they did, for then the Superiour gave me Letters to go for Doway, and there teach the youths of the College their controversies, and heare their confessions, moneyes to carrie me there, and three of his Jesuits after kinde entertainment in this Town convoyed me a myle off my journey: These all were signes of love, and not of outcasting from their Societie, and they and I know them to be of veritie: Wherefore I remit all to God, let Him be Judge betwixt mee and them. As for their misre∣ports, I care no more for them than for the winde Page 34 that bloweth, I being known both in Scotland and abroad, as well as any of them, both great and small. Thirdly, since I went out of Scotland last, they could not cast me out of their order, because since, I was never in any house of theirs, nor keeped companie with them; And as for my life and conversation ever since, I am sorrie, it was not so good as became a reformed Christian; yet whatsoever it was, they had nothing to doe with it; and there be ma∣ny worthie Cavaliers, both at home and abroad, in whose companie I have lived this time bygone, who know that my life was neither scandalous to my profession, shamefull to my Nation, or any wayes disgracefull to my particular calling of a Souldiour.
The third sort that is adiaphorists, or CONE-for∣mists, out of their craftinesse and policie, say, that they know not what to judge of me, for charitie urgeth them to believe me, and prudencie forceth them to beware of me; and there they stand in doubt, as that father whom they paint betweene Christ* and Marie, knew not what side to turn himself •o, Positus in medio, quò me vertam nescio; hinc pascor à vulnere hinc lactor ab ubere. On the one side I per∣ceive Christs wounds, on the other Maries paps; heere I am nourished with the milk of a virgine, there I am fed with the bloud of a Saviour. Charitie bids them judge not, and they shall not be judged; Prudencie commands them not to trust before they try. All this is good, but what tryall can they bring in a∣gainst mee? Have they any thing to object or say against this my resolution and declaration? Yes, say they, because in respect of the extreme policie Page 35 of Jesuits, it may be that out of policie I have beene sent out by them, to the end I may set Reformists and CONE-formists by the ears together, whereby the Papists and Jesuits may the more easily over∣come both, and I received in againe with them, may be thought to have done great service to the church of Rome: The reason which moveth them to judge thus is, because (say they) these who are converted, and come out of the Romish church, use commonly to take them to a church, which endea∣vours to draw Protestants and papists to a confor∣mitie, selecting out the best of both; because not in extremitie, but in mediocritie consisteth vertue.
This discourse formed by a not reformed Mini∣ster of this Town, and related to me by a sufficient Gentleman, to whom it was spoken, containeth three things in it: 1. The Jesuits policie, whom they su∣spect might have sent me out: 2. The end of my out-coming, that is, to stir up dissention betweene Reformists and CONE-formists: And thirdly, a que∣stion of my adjoining my self rather to the refor∣med Church of Scotland, than to that of England or Germanie. These bee their politick arguments, to which I must answere, and then finish this dis∣course.
To the first then I answer, that I have touched something alreadie of the Jesuits policie, in sending out their sect▪mates like grashoppers through the world; And now I answer againe, that these who argue thus, know not the Jesuits policie well; for surely they never send out any of policie, to detect their owne policie, neither doeth their policie reach Page 36 that far, as to permit and dispense with these whom they send out, to renounce and abjure the Romish doctrine, and professe the direct opposite thereto, as I have done. It is true, that they have dispen∣sation among Protestants, to live as Protestants; a∣mong Lutherians, Arrians, Henricians, and the like, as they do, for life and conversation that they may seduce them, but not for their doctrine. They ground this forme of dissimulation upon the words of the Apostle, I am made all things to all men, that*by all meanes I might save some: A specious pretext indeed, which blinds the eyes of many poore souls; but if they would look neerer, they could easily discover the nakednesse of it, and see clearly they pretend one thing▪ and intend another: Wherefore (I pray you) doe the Jesuits flocke so thicke to Mexico and Peru, that new Spanish treasure, but not so to Scythia or Tartarie and Volinia, to Eng∣land and Holland in droves, to Scotland and Sweden but scattered ones; to great townes where they onlie dwell, and not to dorps and villages where ignorance abounds? The reason is, that they pretend zeale, and intend gold; they pretend to gaine soules, and intend to gaine riches. It is true, they are cunning tradsmen, and can worke well according to their owne wayes, but they must have a good fat Subject to worke upon; and this for the Jesuits policie. The second shall bee answered after the third.
To the third then I have likewise answered be∣fore, and now answere againe; First, because I finde the reformed Church of GOD in ScotlandPage 37 to bee furthest from Popish idolatrie, and neer∣est to Apostolicall puritie. Secondlie, because that I was never, am not, neither ever (God∣willing) shall bee a lukewarme Laodicean; especi∣ally* seeing that my Saviour Jesus Christ promiseth, To him that overcommeth, will I grant to sit with*mee in my Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set downe with my Father in His Throne. What madnesse (I pray you) were it in a Mariner, for to come out of a sunken ship, to enter into an∣other which is sinking, and may have a tight one? In a prisoner relieved out of a low pit, to cast himselfe into free ward, having his libertie in his option? In a sensible man fled from a pestiferous towne, to reteere himselfe to another where the same sicknesse hath taken encrease, when hee may have with great ease a palace of pleasure, voide of all kinde of suspicion of any infection what∣soever? None truely (I thinke) would bee so madde, and destitute of judgement, but he, who going out of this valley of miserie, to the hea∣venly mansions, would stay, and take in purgato∣rie for his winter quarters.
Yet they say, that it were well done to conforme to a middle religion between Protestants and Pa∣pists, because extremeties are to be avoided, and mediocritie embraced, To these I answere, that if they had studied their Logick as well as their Po∣liticks, they had known, that of the four logicall, oppositions, there is one called Contradictoria, which will admit no middes, Inter propositiones contradicto∣ria• non datur medium; such is the state of the mat∣ter Page 38 between us and Rome, they say that we are he∣reticks, we deny it, they can not prove it, seeing we believe the Scriptures which are given by divine iuspiration, and are able to make the man of God per∣fect unto all good workes. We say that the Pope is Antichrist, they deny it, but we can prove it, out of the prophet Daniel the Apostles Paul, and John, and so foorth in all the rest of controversies, be∣twixt them and us, so that there can be no composi∣tion, no more than betwixt light and darknesse, God and Beliall; For Christ saith plainlie, He that is not with me, is against me, and he that gathereth*not with me, scattereth abroad. Therefore there is no mediocritie heere. And the reason of this is, because as the Apostle averreth, there is but One*Faith, in respect of its formall object, Gods writ∣ten word, the authoritie whereof is from the Au∣thor, God himself and so is divine, and what is contradictorie to it, is not divine, nor to be belie∣ved to salvation: And therefore no meeting nor trysting with Rome. If it be said that the Papists believe many points common with us, as the Tri∣nitie, Incarnation, &c. and therefore that they must have faith, and so faith will not be indivisible: I an∣swere, that they have a materiall faith, as Turks and Jewes likewise have, but not a formall faith; which depending upon the authoritie of God, revealed un∣to us in his word only; and no other faith can be profitable for salvation.
The second branch of this politick objection is, their doubt of my out coming from Rome, to wit, that it was to stir up diffension betwixt. ReformistsPage 39 and CONE-formists, for the Papists and Jesuits pro∣fite, To these I answere, first, that their Critick spirits proceed more out of Philosophicall, and Ma∣thematicall, than out of Christian or Thologicall grounds, in this their censure of my sincere pro∣ceedings; Philosophie teacheth them that, Quic quid reciptur, ad modum recipientis recipitur, whatsoever is receaved, it is receaved according to the measure of the receaver? And Mathematicians in their Opticks teach that the visible speces passing from the object to the organe which receaveth them, take upon them the colour of the mids where through they passe, which daylie experience confirmeth; and therefore, ac∣cording to their dispositions and affections they judge of me, as their passions transport them, but not as Christian charitie exhorteth them, for the Scripture teacheth that it is Christ that justifieth, who*is he that condemneth. Secondlie, I answere, that as God is my witnesse, they wrong me pitifully, for, as the Lord knoweth, I desire one Lord, one Faith, one Baptisme, not only in Britaine, but likewise tho∣row the whole world, and that we think alwayes the same, till we all come in the unitie of faith, and*of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ; That we hencefoorth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every winde of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftinesse whereby they ly in wait to deceave.
Now to let you see that my conversion is not to make dissension betwixt you, I will brieflie let you understand how the Papists ly in wait to deceave Page 40 you: And that it may be seene that I am not par∣tiall, I speake to all the three Kingdomes of Scotland, England, and Ireland; minding to show you all three that Papists ly in wait to deceave you by two meanes, seminaries, and pensions; yet it is first to be remarked that the ground of both is that Coun∣cell in Rome, called, Congregatio de propaganda, or rather extirpanda fide, a congregation of propagating (or rather) extirpating of Faith. This Congrega∣tion hath a most sumptuous Palace in Rome, and extreme rich; the members of it, are the Pope, as head of the Church, his nephew Cardinall, Fran∣cis Barbarine as his Lieutennant, diverse others Car∣dinals, the Generals of severall Orders, the great Master of the inquisition, and some Doctors all as judges; they conveene every fryday, or ofter as they please, the end of their meetings is to finde out meanes to bring all people and Nations under the popes dominion, for thus end they have sun∣dry meanes, such as their Seminaries of diverse na∣tions, and their pensions. The Semenaries are fur∣nished with youths out of their severall Countries, by Jesuits, who have the care of them; These youths are of two sorts, the one called Convictores, be∣cause they pay for their entertainment, and these are Noble, Barons, and Gentlemen Sons, sent thither by their popish parents, to be brought up for di∣verse ends: The other are called Seminarists, and these have their food, raiment, studies, books, &c. all the time of their studies out of these colleges; with condition, that after they have stayed three moneths in one of these Colleges, they must make Page 41 a vow to take priesthood upon them, and to returne to their severall Countries, when they shall be found fit, by the Jesuits their Masters; to the end they may se∣duce others as they were seduced themselves; And therefore after their studies, they are sent into the countrie, furnished with all things necessarie, as appa∣rels, moneyes, masse-graith, and the like, as they are thought of, and have moyen at Court▪ Of their semi∣naries, there be five of our nation out of the countrie, at Rome, Paris, Madrid, Doway, and Brounsberg; and one promised by the Emperour in Osnabruck, which the Swedens keepe for them; of Irish some, and many and great of English. These Seminarists Jesuits, and other Priests, send their relation every year of all what passe in the countrie, spirituall or temporall, to the foresaid congregation, wherein all treasons, massa∣cres, and other bloudie mischiefs are hatched, as the the histories of England, France and Spaine can testifie.
This presupposed as an assured truth, I spake first to thee Scotland, my dear countrie, that thou wrongest thy self mightily, to suffer these scismes and di∣visions in thee, which are now with great pitie to bee seene, and shame to be heard: That every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollo, &c. Is Christ divi∣ded,*was Paul crucified for you, or were yee baptized in the name of Paul? One sayeth, I am a Covenanter, ano∣ther, I am not. What meanest thou, not covenanter? wilt thou not subscribe the contract which thy Parents Godfathers, and Godmothers, as thy spirituall tutors made for thee at baptisme, and promised to make thee subscribe the same, being of perfect age, seing it is for God and his truth only. God is partie contracter, the Page 42 angels were witnesses, and hell fire the penaltie; take heed, and fight not against God, for as he is Al-seeing, so is Hee Almightie; and as Mercifull, to have spared thee so long, so is Hee Just, to punish thy inexcu∣sable wilfulnesse.
But some will say, that there be great doctors not Co∣venanters, and wherefore may they not likewise stand out as well as these learned men. I answer first, that they are but few, and to my judgement (for I have discour∣sed with some of them) not the learnedest of the king∣dome, brought up in a town which was never yet cleansed from poperie, and where I have seene an hun∣dreth at Masse in one time within this few yeeres: Se∣condly, these Doctors suppose they be both good and learned, (as I know some of them are) shall not answer for thee in that great day, wherein there shall be had no respect of persons; for assure thy self, that Anima quae peccaverit, ipsa punietur, The soul that sinneth, it shall be*punished. Thirdly, what if these Doctors would main∣taine poperie, and hinder a reformation, as their prede∣cessors have done, would thou follow? God forbid: that the doctors of that same town proceeded after this kinde in the time of the reformation, it is manifest by* our historie, the words are these; And shortlie after the Lords summoned the principall learned men of the re∣alme foorth of the univesities of S. Andrewes, Aber∣deene, Glasgow, and other parts, to give a reason of their faith; and among other, these of Aberdeene tooke upon them to dispute with John Knox, John Willock, and M. Goodman. Neither is it to be thought, that the historian a stranger, wrote any thing out of par∣tialitie in this point against that town, more as against Page 43 any other of the kingdome, hee being alike stran∣ger unto all.
My counsell now to you that are Covenanters, is,* that, Qui stat, videat ne cadat, Let him that thinke hee standeth, take heed least he fall; for the crown of glory is only for him that overcometh, Qui perseveraverit usque in finem, hic salvus erit, He that shall endure to the*end, the same shall be saved. Yeeld not in a word, a syl∣lab, a jote, least thou scandalize thy weak brother, and give occasion to Rome to stand and expect thy returne, she not so much as beginning a motion towards thee: For they seeing your novations of Bishops, Deanes, Do∣ctors, kneeling at Sacrament, crosse in Baptisme, and the rest of these articles, were in assured confidence, that yee were turning to them againe, and used common∣ly to say, See so faine as they are to creep in to us again, which did confirme all our people, and made sundrie of yours to follow us. If these points, which some∣time by the most part were thought allowable, did so much harm to Gods church, what their English masse, canonicall inquisition, and the rest of that, almost bani∣shed, trash had done, if they had not beene preveened by that Al-seeing God, judge yee. And finally, grant thou nothing that Rome desireth of thee, for it hath no warrand from God, and thou knowest no conformitie to be admitted betweene God and Dagon; hold fast then*that which thou hast least another take thy crown from thee.
And to you not Covenanters I say, that of your Bi∣shops I never saw any but one; neither would I mourn, albeit I never saw more of them in Scotland; and I am their friend or enemie, as they are Christs: yea, more I say, if yee knew as vvell as they and I know; even Page 44 the draughts that are drawn against you, the strength and policie of your enemies without, and your inward enemies, against this poor church of God, I am cer∣certainly perswaded that yee would all subscribe that worthie Covenant, before that yee went out of this Church, or else I would hold you as internall papists; for there bee both internall and externall.
I perceive you all curious to demand me a questi∣on, if modestie could permit you to speak, to wit, what is this that I know more than other men, let us (say ye) understand it, and we will yeeld to reason.
To this lawfull question I answer, that I know more than any Protestant in Scotland of this businesse; for I was imployed in it, the year of God 1632. and gave in (among other points of my commission) a petition to the foresaid Congregation at Rome▪ and else where, desiring them to advise upon the meanes, for the redu∣ction of Scotland to Rome; diverse were proponed by these politick heads, who studie only to destroy Kings and pervert kingdomes; of many, these few were most considerable: First, that they should all imploy their wits for the perversion of his Majestie, our Soveraigne Lord, and contribute for the levying of an armie, un∣der pretext of giving assistance to some confederate Prince, and therewith to force libertie of conscience: This opinion was rejected as dangerous, till all things were surer, and their faction stronger: 2. That if they could not attaine to their purpose with his Maje∣stie, they should endeavour to get two Jesuits in our Prince his service, for his Graces instruction, and edu∣cation in poperie: 3. That pensions should be given by mediate wayes, through the Vniversities, and other Page 45 parts where they might work their ends: 4. Yet this was all thought little of, by one of our Countriemen, who advised them to set their whole mindes for the perversion of England; which being neerer to them in points of doctrine, forme of service, worship, and ec∣clesiasticall government, they might work surer, and with greater hope of prevailing, then with his Coun∣triemen, whom he assured to be of a stubborn nature, dangerous to be dealt with, and great Puritans, dire∣ctly opposite to the church of Rome: And therefore nothing more should be desired of them, but confor∣mitie in matters of religion with England, which the English church would gladly wish, as if she were a mo∣ther church whereof others did flow; neither could his Countriemen deny it, in respect of his Majesties Supre∣macie, and of the union of the two Crowns and King∣domes, that they both might have but one Lord, one faith, one baptisme, & one King. For the execution of his counsell, he proponed mutuall intelligence to be pro∣cured betwixt England and Rome, which shortly after was begun by an Italian priest, a great politician, well versed in the French tongue, called Il Signor Gregorio, who stayed more as an year and an half in London for that effect, and with whom I conferred in his owne ludging, in the Convent garden at London, and with two great men of our nation, and now continueth there himself, with great grudge to both the kingdomes, seeing this mutuall intelligence was never heard of be∣twixt Rome and us, since the Cardinals Wolsey and Polus dayes▪ neither is it necessarie, as Statesmen may see. Now, not Covenanter, is thy curiositie satisfied? This I know, and more, looke thou to it in time; and bee Page 46 not one of these, who for vanitie or other ends vvill bee thought singulare against Gods cause, and thy ovvne promise in baptisme.
And I will end this discourse, that my enemies say not that I minde to put dissension betwixt Protestants and CONE-formists, letting our neighbours England and Ireland see some of the dangers wherein they stand of that Romane antichrist, and his congregation de ex∣tirpanda fide. First then, yee stand both in danger as well as we, of these our related dangers; especially of that mutuall intelligence between Rome and England. 2. Of your Countrie mens affection to Rome, if they be papists, for alleadged rights of the popes upon you both, the one called Peters pennie, the other called Pe∣ters patrimonie. 3. Your extreame great number of Jesuits and other Priests, extending in England to five or six thousand, so that they are striving among them∣selves, and writing books against other (which I my self carried to Rome) for Bishopricks in your Church. As for Ireland it hath fifteene papists bishops alone. This is a great danger. 4. Your populous multitude of Papists in you both, extending to many thousands, so that I am of that minde, that in England the people (if not alreadie) may shortlie desire a Generall Assemblie, for libertie of conscience. 5. The education of your Nobilitie at schooles in forraine countries, who having drunke in the doctrine of iniquitie from their tender age, are both more perverse in themselves, and more dangerous, bringing in their friends and neighbours, by their Priests to perdition with them. 6. That which is to be lamented of all, that you have good lawes, both of you, against Papists, and very good reason to Page 47 execute them▪ but alace, money break them, granting to all Papists a pecuniall libertie of conscience▪ and present banishment to all these poore reformed Chri∣stians, who will not conforme with you, and that which is to be laughen, or rather weeped at, that yee would blinde peoples eyes with your searchers, going on the one side to apprehend priests, and punish pa∣pists; and on the other side; to have your customers to receave moneyes, and give discharges for libertie of papistrie, O God! who doth not evidentlie perceave these monstruous dangers, and not oppose himself with all his power to them, if there remaine but a sponk of true Christianitie in him? Truelie, who doth it not, I must of necessitie think him an internall papist.
The last danger of all the three kingdomes is Pensi∣ons, whereof we may consider four things. 1. The giver▪ 2. The persons to whom they are given. 3. The quantitie of the summes. 4. And the end wherefore they are given. There is certainlie pensions given in the Countrie, for priests and intelligencers, and out of the Countrie, for Semenaries and correspondents of these intelligencers; but to come to the particulars. 1. The givers are the house of Austria, and the foresaid Congregation, de extirpanda fide. 2. The persons to whom it is given in Scotland, to my knowledge are the Priests (whereof I vvas one) the man that goeth for it, and the thesaurer or keeper, I knovv the names and residences of the rest; and had set them dovvn heere, if I had not declared them sufficiently by vvrit alreadie: And if there be given pensions to a∣ny other as to these, the superiour vvith his counsellours and the Treasurer knovv it, for me I knovv not; but Page 48 this I am assured of, that there was more sent into the country, than was bestowed upon the foresaid persons. 3 The quantitie in cumulo is best known to them, I being none of the Superiours counsellours, in respect of my travels for the mission, the quantitie that we who were Priests gote, was an hundred crowns in the yeer from Rome, and eighteene pence every day from Spaine, be∣sides our purchase by our Masses, Confessions, and Par∣dons, which was more or lesse, conforme to out imploy∣ment, and the persons with whom we dealt. 4. Lastly, in a word the end of these gifts is pretended zeal and piety, but truely intended Hierarchie of Rome, and Mo∣narchie of Spaine, which may appear by the depositi∣on of M. George Ker, and the Jesuits Abercrumbie, Crigh∣ton, and Gordoun, with three Noblemens letters inter∣cepted with him, and registrat in this town, the year of God 1592. by his pensions given to us, and his pretend∣ed rights over our native countries. If this be not an evident danger to suffer so many forraine Princes pen∣sioners in your bosome, God see to it in his own time; and give me grace that I may follow my sincere and heartie resolution, that at the houre of my death, I may say wirh the Apostle, I have fought a good fight; I have*finished my course, I have keept the faith, hence foorth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousnesse which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day, &c. And I shall be surely one of these, to who my blessed Saviour shall say in that day, Come yee blessed of my Father; inherit*the kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the world. To this gratious Father, vvith his blessed Son▪ and the holy Ghost, be all povver praise, and glory, honour, and dominion, for ever. Amen.