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

CHAP. X.

The Nature of the Presbytrie is very concordant with Par∣liaments.

IN the tenth chapter the Warner undertakes to shew the antipathy of Presbyteries to Parliaments; albeit there bee no greater harmony possible betwixt any two bodies, then betwixt a generall assembly and Parliament, a Presbyterie and an inferior civill court, if either the constitution or end or dayly practise of these judicatories be looked upon: but the praelaticall learning is of so high a flight, that it dare un∣dertake to prove any conclusion: yet these men are not the first, that have offered to force men to beleeve upon unan∣swerable Page  59arguments though contrary to common sence and and reason that snow is black and the fire cold and the light dark. *

For the proofe of his conclusion he brings backe yet a∣gaine the late engagement: how often shall this insipide col∣wort be set upon our table? Will the Warner never be filled with this unsavory dish? The first crime that here the War∣ner marks in our Church against the late Parliament in the matter of the ingagement is, their paper of the eight desires: upon this he unpoureth out all his good pleasure, not willing to know that all these desires were drawne from the Church by the Parliaments owne messages, and that well neare all these desires were counted by the Parliament it self to be very just and necessary: Especially these two which the wise Warner pitches upon as most absurd for the first a security to religion from the King upon oath under his hand and seale: where the question among us was not for the thing it self, but only about the time, the order and some part of the matter of that security. And for the second, the quali∣fication of the persons to be imployed, that all should be such who had given no just cause of Jealousy; no man did question, but all who were to have the managing of that warre should be free of all just causes of Jealousy, which could be made appeare not to halfe a dossen of Ministers, but to any competent judicatory according to the lawes of the Kingdome. The Warner has not been carefull to informe himselfe, where the knot of the difference lay, and so gives out his owne groundlesse conjectures for true Historicall narrations, which he might easily have helped by a more attentive reading of our publick declarations.

The second fault he finds with our Church is, that they proclaime in print their dissatisfaction with that ingagement as favourable to the malignant party, &c. Ans. The Page  60Warner knows not that it is one of the liberties of the Church of Scotland established by law and long custome to keep the people by publick declarations in their duty to God, * when men are like to draw them away to sin according to that of Esay. 8. v. 12.13. What in great humility piety and wise∣dome was spoken to the world in the declaration of the Church concerning that undertaking, was visible enough for the time to any who were not peremptor to follow their owne wayes: and the lamentable event since has opened the eyes of many, who before would not see, to acknow∣ledge their former errours: but if God should speake never so loud from Heaven, the Warner and his party will stoppe their eares: for they are men of such gallant Spirits, as scorne to submit either to God or men, but in a Romane constan∣cy they will be ever the same though their counsels & wayes be found never so palpably pernicious.

The third thing the Warner layes to the charge of our Church is, * that they retarded the leavies. Ans. In this also the Warner shewes his ignorance or malice: for how sore soever the Levy (as then stated & mannaged) was against the hearts of the Church, yet their opposition to it, was so cold-rife and small, that no complaint needs bee made of any retardment from them. So soone as the commanders thought it expedient, there was an Army gotten up so nu∣merous and strong, that with the ordinary blessing of God was aboundantly able to have done all the professed ser∣vice: but where the aversion of the hearts of the Church and the want of their prayers is superciliously contemned, * what mervaile, that the strongest arme of flesh bee quickly bro∣ken in peeces?

The fourth charge is most calumnious, that the Church gathered the country together in armes at Mauchline moor to oppose the expedition. Ans. No Church man was the Page  61cause of that meeting a number of yeomen being frighted from their houses, did flee away to that corner of the Land, that they might not be forced against their conscience to goe as souldiers to England: while their number did grow, and they did abide in a body for the security of their persons, up∣on a sudden a part of the Army came upon them: some Mi∣nisters being neare (by occasion of the communion at Mau∣chlin the day before) were good instruments with the peo∣ple to goe away in peace. And when the matter was tryed to the bottom by the most Eagle-eyed of the Parliament, no∣thing could be found contrary to the Ministers protestation, that they were no wayes the cause of the peoples convening or fighting at Mauchlin.

The paralell that the Warner makes betwixt the generall assembly and Parliament is malicious in all its parts. * For the first, though the one Court be civill, and the other Spiritu∣all, yet the Presbyterians lay the authority of both upon a divine fundation, that for conscience sake the Courts civil must be obeyed in all their Lawfull commands, alsewell as the assemblyes of the Church; God being the author of the politick order as well as the Ecclesiastick, and the revenger of the contempt of the one alswell as of the other. But what doth the Warner meane, to mock at Ministers for carrying themselves as the Ambassadors of Christ, for judging accor∣ding to the rule of Scripture, for caring for life eternall? is he become so shamefullie impious, as to perswade Ministers to give over the care of life eternall, to lay aside the holy Scrip∣ture, and deny their ambassage from Jesus Christ? behold what Spirit leads our praelats, while they jeere the World out of all Religion, and chase away Ministers from Christ, from Scripture, from eternall life.

Of the second part of the parallell, that people are more ready to obey their Ministers then their Magistrats what shall Page  62be made? all the power which Ministers have with the people is builded on their love to God and religion: how much so ever it is, a good Statseman will not envy it: for he knowes that God and conscience constraine Ministers to imploy all the power they have with the people to the good of the Ma∣gistrat, as the deputy and servant of God for the peoples true good. The Warner heer understands best his owne meaning, while he scoffes at Ministers for their threatning of men with hells fire. Are our Praelats come to such open proclamations of their Atheisme, as to printe their desires to banish out of the hearts of people all feare not only of Church-censures, but even of hell it selfe? whither may not Satan drive at last the instruments of his Kingdome?

The third parte of the paralell consists of a number of unjust and false imputations before particularly refuted.

What he subjoines of the power of the generall Assembly to name Comittees to sit in the intervalls of Assemblies, * it is but a poore charge: is it not the dayly practise of the Parliaments of Scotland to nominat their Comittees of State for the intervalls of Parliament? Is it not ane inhaerent right to every Court to name some of their number to cognosce upon things within their owne spheare at what ever times the court it selfe finds expedient; how ever the judicatories of the Church by the lawes of the Kingdome being authorized to meet when themselves think fit both ordinarly and pro re nata, their power of appointing Comittees for their owne affaires was never questioned: and truely these Comittees in the times of our late troubles when many were lying in waite to disturbe both Church and State, have been for∣ced to meet oftner then otherwise any of their members did desire: whose diversion from their particular charges (though for attendance on the publick) is joyned with so great fashery and expence, that with all their heart they could Page  63be glade to decline it, if feare of detriment to the Church made not these meetings very necessary.