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

The praelaticall faction continue resolute, that the King and all his people shall perish, rather then the praelats, be not restored to their former places of power, for to set up Popery, Profani∣ty, and Tirranny, in all the three Kingdomes.

WHile the Comissioners of the Church and Kingdome of Scotland, * were on their way to make their first addresses to his Maje∣stie, for to condole his most lamentable af∣flictions, and to make offer of their best af∣fections and services for his comfort, in this time of his great distresse; it was the wisedome and charity of the praelaticall party, to send out Doctor Bramble, to meet them with his Faire Warning. For what else? but to discou∣rage them in the very entry from tendering their propositi∣ons, and before ever they were heard, to stop his Majesties eares with grievous praejudice, against all that possibly they could speake; though the world sees that the only apparent fountaine of hope upon earth, for recovery of the wofully confounded affaires of the King, is in the hands of that Anti∣praelaticall nation: but it is the hope of these who love the welfaire of the King and his people, of the Churches and Kingdomes of Britain, that the hand of God, which hath bro∣ken all the former devices of the Praelats, shall crush this their engine also. *

Our warner undertaketh to oppugne the Scotes discipline in a way of his owne, none of the most rational. He does not Page  [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page  1〈1 page duplicate〉Page  2so much as pretend to state a question, nor in his whole book to bring against any maine position of his opposites, either Scripture, father or reason, nor so much as assay to answer any one of their arguments against Episcopacy; onely hee culs out some of their by-tenets, belonging little or nothing to the maine questions, and from them takes occasion to gather together in a heape all the calumnies which of old, or of late their knowne enemies out of the forge of their ma∣lice and fraud, did obtrude on the credulity of simple peo∣ple: also some detorted passages from the bookes of their friends, to bring the way of that Church in detestation with∣out any just reason.

These practises in our warner, * are the less pardonable, that though he knowes the chiefe of his allegations, to bee but borrowed from his late much beloved Comerads Master Corbet in his Lysimachus Nicanor, and Master Maxewell in his Issachars Burden, yet he was neither deterred by the strange punishments, which God from heaven inflicted vi∣sibly on both these calumniatores of their mother Church, nor was pleased in his repeating of their calumnious argu∣ments, to releeve any of them from the exceptions under the which they stand publickly confuted, I suppose to his own distinct knowledge, I know certainly, to the open view of thousands in Scotland, England and Ireland; but it makes for the warners designe to dissemble here in Holland, that ever he heard of such books as Lysimachus Nicanor, and Is∣sachars Burden, much lesse of Master Baylies answer to both, printed some yeares agoe at London, Edinburgh and Amsterdam, without a rejoinder from any of that faction to this day. *

How ever let our warner be heard. In the very first page of his first chapter, wee may tast the sweetnes of his meek Spirit: at the verie entrie, he concludeth but without any Page  3pretence to an argument there or else where, the discipline of the Church of Scotland to be their owne invention, where∣on they dote, the Diana, which themselves have canonized, their own dreams, the counterfeyt image which they faine hath fallen down from Iupiter, which they so much adore, the very quintessence of refined popery, not only most injurious to the civill Magistrat, most oppressive to the subject, most perni∣cious to both; but also inconsistent with all formes of civill governement, destructive to all sorts of Policy, a rack to the conscience, the heaviest pressure that can fall on a people. So much truth and sobernes doth the warner breath out in his very first page.

Though he had no regard at all to the cleare passages of Holy Scripture, whereupon the Scotes doe build their Anti-Episcopall tenets; nor any reverence to the harmony of the reformed Churches, which unanimously joyne with the Scotes in the maine of their discipline, especially in that which the Doctor hates most therein, the rejection of Fpiscopacy: yet me thinks some little respect might have appeared in the man to the authority of the Magistrat, and civil Lawes, which are much more ingeminated by this worthy divine o∣ver all his book, then the holy Scriptures.

Can hee so soon forget that the whole discipline of the Church of Scotland, as it is there taught and practised, * is established by acts of Parliament, and hath all the strength which the King and State can give to a civil Law? the war∣ner may wel be grieved, but hardly can he be ignorant, that the Kings Majestie this day does not at all question the ju∣stice of these sanctions: what ever therefore be the Doctors thoughts, yet so long as hee pretends to keep upon his face the maske of loyalty, he must be content to eat his former words, yea, to burne his whole book: otherwise hee layes, against his own professions, a slander upon the King, and Page  4His Royal Father, of great ignorance, or huge unjustice, the one having established, the other offring to establish by their civill lawes, a Church discipline for the whole nation of Scotland, which truly is the quintessence of Popery, per∣nicious and destructive to all formes of civill governement, and the heaviest pressure that can fall on a people.

All the cause of this choler which the warner is pleased to speake out; * is the attempt of the Scotes, to obtrude their discipline upon the King, contrary to the dictars of his own conscience, and to compell forraigne Churches to embrace the same. Ans. Is it not presumption in our warner, so soone to tell the world in print what are the dictats of the Kings conscience, as yet he is not his Majesties confessor, and if the Clerk of the Closet had whispered some what in his eare, what he heard in secret, hee ought not to have proclaimed it without a warrant; but we doe altogether mistrust his re∣ports of the Kings conscience: for who will beleeve him, that a knowing and a just King will ever be content, to command and impose on a whole Nation by his Lawes, a discipline contrary to the dictats of his owne conscience. This great stumble upon the Kings conscience in the first page, must be an ominous cespitation on the threshold.

The other imputation had no just ground: * the Scotes did never medle, to impose any thing upon forraigne Churches, there is question of none, but the English; and the Scotes were never so presumptuous, as to impose any thing of theirs upon that Church. It was the assembly of divines at West∣minster, convocat by the King and Parliament of England, which after long deliberation, and much debate, unani∣mously concluded the Presbiterian discipline in all the parts thereof, to be agreable to the word of God: it was the two Houses of the Parliament of England without a contrary voice, who did ordaine the abolition of Episcopacy, and Page  5the setting up of Presbyteryes and Synods in England and Ireland. Can heere the Scotes be said to compell the English to dance after their pype, when their own assembly of di∣vines begins the song, when the Lords and Commons as∣sembled in the Parliament of England concurre without a discording opinion, when the King himselfe for perfecting the harmony offers, to adde his voice for three whole yeares together?

In the remainder of the chapter the warner layes upon the Scotes three other crimes: first, * That they count it Erastia∣nisme to put the governement of the Church in the hand of the Magistrat. Answ. The Doctors knowledge is greater then to bee ignorant, that all these goe under the name of Erastians, who walking in Erastus ways of flattering the Magistrat, to the prejudice of the just rights of the Church, run yet out much beyond Erastus personall tenets; I doubt if that man went so far as the Doctor heere and else where, to make all Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, but a part of the Magistrats civill power, which for its execution, the su∣preame Governours of any state may derive out of the foun∣taine of their supremacy to what ever hands civill or Ec∣clesiastick themselfes think fit to commit it. Let the Doc∣tor adde to this much knowledge, but a little ingenuity, and he shall confes that his Brethren the Later Bishops, who claime Episcopacy by divine right, are all as much against this E∣rastian Caesaro-papisme, as any Presbiterian in Scotland. The elder Bishops indeed of England and all the Lawes there for Episcopacy seeme to be point blank according to the Erastian errours: for they make the crowne and royall supremacy the originall, root and fountaine whence all the discipline of the Church doth flow: as before the days of Henry the eight it did out of the Popes head-ship of the Church under Christ. How ever let the Doctor ingenuously Page  6speake out his sence, and I am deceived, if he shall not ac∣knowledge, that how grosse an Erastian so ever himselfe and the elder Bishops of England might have been, yet that long agoe, the most of his praelatical friends have become as much opposit to Erastianisme, as the most rigid of the Presbiterians.

The other crime he layes to the charge of the Scotes is, * that they admit no latitude in Religion, but will have every opinion afundamentall article of faith, and are averse from the reconciliation of the Protestant Churches: Ans. If the warner had found it seasonable to vent a little more of his true sence in this point, he had charged this great crime far more home upon the heade of the Scotes: for indeed though they were ever far from denying the true degrees of impor∣tance which doe cleerly appeare among the multitude of Christian truthes, yet the great quarrell heer of the warner and his freinds against them, is that they spoiled the Canter∣burian designe of reconcealing the Protestant Churches not among themselfes, but with the Church of Rome. When these good men were with all earnestnes proclaming the greatest controversies of Papists and Protestants, to be up∣on no fundamentalls but only disputable opinions, wherein beleefe on either side was safe enough, and when they found that the Papists did stand punctually to the Tenets of the Church of Rome, and were obstinately unwilling to come over to England, their great labour was that the English and the rest of the Protestants, casting aside their needlesse be∣leefe of problematick truths, in piety, charity and zeale, to make up the breach and take away the shisme, should be at all the paines to make the journey to Rome. While this de∣signe is far advanced and furiously driven on in all the three Kingdomes, and by none more in Yreland then the Bishop of Derry, behold the rude and plaine blewcapes step in to Page  7the play and marre all the game: by no arte, by no terrour can these be gotten alongs to such a reconciliation. This was the first and greatest crime of the Scotes, which the Doctor here glances at, but is so wyse and modest a man as not to bring it above board.

The last charge of the chapter is, * that the Scotes keep not still that respect to the Bishops of England, which they were wont of old in the beginning of Queen Elizabeths reigne. Ans. In that letter cited by the warner from the generall assembly of Scotland. 1566. Sess. 3. there is no word of ap∣probation to the office of Episcopacy: they speake to the Bi∣shops of England in no other quality or relation, but as Mi∣nisters of the word, the highest stile they give them is, re∣verend Pastors and Brethren; the tenour of the whole Epistle is a grave and brotherly admonition to beware of that fatall concomitant of the most moderat Episcopacy, the trou∣bling of the best and most zealous servants of Christ for idle & fruitles Ceremonies. How great a reverence the Church of Scotland at that time carried to praelacy, may be seen in their supplication to the secret counsell of Scotland, in that same assembly the very day and Session wherein they write the letter in hand to the Bishops of England. The Arch-Bishop of S. Andrews being then usurping jurisdiction over the ministry by some warrant from the state, the Assembly was grieved, not only with the popery of that Bishop, but with his auncient jurisdiction, which in all Bishops, Popish and protestant, is one and the same: That jurisdiction was the only matter of their present complaint; and in relation there∣to they assure the counsel in distinct tearmes, that they would never be more subject unto that usurped tiranny thē they would be to the devill himselfe: So reverend an opinion had the Church of Scotland at that time of Episcopall jurisdiction.

But suppone that some fourscore yeares agoe, the Scotes Page  8before they had tasted the fruits of Protestant Bishops, * had judged them tolerable in England, yet since that time by the long tract of mischiefes, which constantly has accompanied the order of praelacy, they have been put upon a more ac∣curat inspection of its nature, and have found it not only a needles, but a noxious and poysonous weed, necessare to be plucked up by the root, and cast over the hedge. Beside al its former malefices, it hath been deprehēded of late in the very act of everting the foundations, both of Religion and governement, of bringing in Popery and Tiranny, in the Churches and States of all the three Kingdomes, (Canter∣burian self conviction cap. 1.)

And for these crimes, it was condemned, killed, and buried in Scotland, by the unanimous consent of King, Church and Kingdom: when England thereafter both in their Assembly and Parliament, without a discording voice had found it necessary, to root out that unhappy plant, as long agoe with great wisedome, it had been cast out of all the rest of the reformed Churches, had not the Scotes all the reason in the World, to applaud such pious just and ne∣cessary resolutions of their English Brethren, though the warner should call it the greatest crime?