A review of Doctor Bramble, late Bishop of Londenderry, his Faire warning against the Scotes disciplin by R.B.G.
Baillie, Robert, 1599-1662.
Page  23

CHAP. III.

The Lawes and customes of Scotland admitte of no appeal from the generall assembly.

IN this chapter the challenge is, * that there are no appeales from the generall Assembly to the King, as in England from the Bishops Courts to the King in Chauncery, where a Commission uses to be given to delegats, who discusse the appeales. Ans. The warner considers not the difference of the Government of the Church of Scotland from that which was in England. what the Parliament is in the State, that the generall assembly is in the Church of Scotland: both are the highest courts in their owne kind. There is no appeale any where in moderat Monarchies to the Kings person, but to the King in certaine legall courts; as the Warner here con∣fesseth the appeale from Bishops lyes not, to the King in his person, but to the King in his court of Chauncery. As no man in Scotland is permitted to appeale in a civil cause from the Lords of Session; much lesse from the Parliament; so no man in an Ecclesiastick cause is permitted by the verie civil Law of Scotland to appeale from the general assembly. According to the Scots order & practise, the King in person or else by his high Commissioner sits als usually in the generall assembly, as in Parliament. But though it were not so, yet an appeale from a generall assembly to be discussed in a Court of delegats, were unbeseeming and unreasonable, the one Court consisting of above two hundred, all chosen men the best and most able of the Kingdome; the other but of two or three, often of very small either abilities or integrity, who yet may be more fitt to decerne in an Ecclesiastick cause then a single Bishop over his officiall, the ordinary trusted in Page  24all acts of jurisdiction for the whole dioces. But the Scots way of managing Ecclesiastick causes is a great deale more just, safe and Satisfactory to any rationall man then that old popish order of the English, where all the spirituall juris∣diction of the whole dioces was in the hand of one merce∣nary officiall without all reliefe from his sentence, except by an appeale, as of old to the pope and his delegats, so therafter to the King, though never to be cognosced-upon by himselfe, but as it was of old by two or three delegats, * the weakest of all courts, often for the quality and ever for the number of the judges.

Two instances are brought by the Warner to prove the Church of Scotlands stopping of appeals from the generall Assembly to the King, the cases of Montgomery and A∣damson: if the causes and events of the named cases had been wel knowne to the Warner, as he made this chapter disproportionally short, so readily he might have deleted it al together. Both these men were infamous not only in their Ministeriall charges but in their life & conversation; both became so insolent that contrary to the established order of the Church & Kingdome, being suborned by wicked states∣men, who in that day of darknes had wel neer brought ruine both to King and country, would needs take upon them the office of Arch-Bishops. While the assembly was in proces with them for their manifold and high misdeameanors, the King was moved by them and their evill patrons, to shew his high displeasure against the assemblyes of the Church. they for his Majesties satisfaction sent their Commissioners and had many conferences; whereby the pride and contempt of these prelats did so encrease, that at last they drew the sen∣tence of excommunication upon their own heads: the King after some time did acknowledge the equity of the Church proceedings, and professed his contentment their with: Page  25both these unhappy men were brought to a humble confessi∣on of their crimes, and such signes of repentance, that both after a renunciation of their titulare Bishopriks were read∣mitted to the function of the ministry, which they had deser∣ted. Never any other before or after in Scotland did appeale from the generall assembly to the King: the late excommu∣nicat praelats in their declinatour against the assembly of Glasgow, did not appeale as (I remember) to the King, but to another generall assembly to bee constitute, according to their own Popish and Tyrannical principles.