A review of Doctor Bramble, late Bishop of Londenderry, his Faire warning against the Scotes disciplin by R.B.G.
Baillie, Robert, 1599-1662.


The Common-wealth is no monster, when God is made So∣veraigne, and their commands of men are subordina∣ted to the clear will of God.

HAving cleered the vanity of these calumnious challenges, where with the Warner did animate the King and all Magistrates against the Presbyterians, let us try if his skill be any greater, to inflame the people against it. Hee would make the World beleeve that the Presbyterians are great transsubstantiators of whole Common-wealths into beasts, Page  56and Metamorphosers of whole Kingdomes of men, into Ser∣pents with two heads; how great and monstrous a Serpent must the Presbytery be, when shee is the Mother of a Dragon with two heads. But it is good, that she has nothing to doe with the procreation of the Dragon with seven heads, the great Antichrist, the Pope of Rome: this honour must bee left to Episcopacy: the Presbytery must not pretend to any share in it.

The Warners ground for his pretty similitude is, * that the Presbyterians make two Soveraignities in every Christian State, whose commands are contrary. Ans. All the evill lyeth in the contrariety of the commands: as for the double Soveraignity, ther is no shew of truth in it: for the Pres∣byterians cannot bee guilty of coordinating two Soveraigni∣ties in one State, though the Praelats may wel be guilty of that fault; since they with there Masters of Rome mantaine a true hierarchie, a Spirituall Lord-ship, a domination and principality in their Bishops above all the members of the Church, but the Presbyterians know no 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, no dominion, no Soveranity in Church officers, but a meer ministry un∣der Christ. As for the contrariety of commands, its true: Christs Ministers must publish all the commands of their So∣veraigne Lord, whereunto no command of any temporall Prince needs or ought to be contrary; but if it fall out to bee so, it is not the Presbytery; but the holy Scriptures, which command rather to obey God then man. Dare the Warner heere oppose the Presbyterians? dare he mantaine a subordi∣nation of the Church to the State in such a fashion, that the cleer commands of God published by the Church ought to give place to the contrary commands of the State? if the Warner must needs invert and contradict Christ ruling of this case, let him goe on to preach doctrine point blank to the Apostles, that it is better to obey men then God. It falls Page  57out as rarely in Scotland as any where in the world, that the Church and State run contrary wayes; but if so it happen, the commune rules of humane direction towards right and wrong judgement must be followed: if a man find either the Church or the State or both command what he knowes to be wrong (for neither the one nor the other hath any infallibi∣lity) their is no doubt but either or both may be disobeyed, yet with this difference, that for disobedience to the Churches most just commands, a man can not fall under the smallest temporall inconvenient without the States good pleasure, but for his disobedience to the most unjust commands of the State he must suffer what ever punishment the law does in∣flict without any releefe from the Church.

Two instances are brought by the Warner, of the Church and States contrary commands: the first the King comman∣ded Edenburgh to feast the frensh Ambassadours, but the Church commanded Edenburgh to fast that day when the King desired them to feast. Ans. Heer were no so contra∣ry commands, but both were obeyed, the people did kepe the humiliation, and some of the Magistrats that same day did give the banquet to the frensh Ambassadours as the King commanded; that for this any Church censure was inten∣ded against them it is a malitious calumny, according to the author of this fable his owne confession, as at length may be seen in the unloading of Issachars burden.

As for his second instance, * the difference of the Church and State about the late ingagement we have spoken to it in the former chapter at length: the furthest the Church went was by humble petitions and remonstrances to set before the Parliament the great danger, which that ingagement (as it was stated and mannaged) did portent to religion, the Kings Person & whole Kingdom, when contrary to their whole some advices the ingagement went on, they medled not to oppose Page  58the act of State further then to declare their judgement of its unlawfulnesse, according to the duty of faithfull watch∣men Ezek. 33. It is very false that the Church has chased any man out of the country, or excommunicated any for fol∣lowing that engagement, or have put any man to sack∣cloath for it, unto his day. Neither did ever any man call the freedome of the late Parliament in question, how unsa∣tisfied soever many were with its proceedings.

When the Warner heapes up so many untruths in a few lines, in things done but yesterday before the eyes of thou∣sands, we shall not wonder of his venturing to lye consident∣ly in things past long before any now living were borne: but there are a generation of men who are bold to speake what makes for their end upon the hope that few wil be at the pains, to bring back what hes flowne from their teeth to the touch∣stone of any solide tryall.