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. VI.

It grieves the Praelats that Presbyterians are faithfull Watch∣men, to admonish Princes of their duty.

THE sixth Chapter is spent on an other crime of the Pres∣bytery; * it makes the Presbiters cry to the Magistrat for ju∣stice upon capitall offenders. Ans. What hes Presbytery to doe with this matter were it never so great an offence: will the Warner have all the faults of the praelaticall faction, flow from the fountaine of Episcopacy? this unconsequentiall reasoning will not be permitted to men below the degrees of Doctors. But was it a very great crime indeed for Ministers to plead the cause of the fatherlesse and widowes, yea the cause of God their Master and to preach unto Magistrats, that according to Scriptures murtherers ought to die, and the Land bee purged from the staine of innocent blood? when the shamefull impunity of murther made Scotland by Page  33deadly fends, in time of peace a feild of warre and blood, was it not time for the faithfull servants of God to exhort the King toexecute justice, and to declare the danger of most frequent pardons drawne from his hand often against his heart by the importunity and deceitfull information of powerfull solicitors, to the great offence of God against the whole land, to the unexpressible griefe and wrong of the suffering party, to the opening also of a new floodgate of more blood which by a legall revenge in time easily might have been stopped? Too much pitty in sparing the wilfull shedders of innocent blood ordinarlie proves a great cruel∣ty, not only to wards the disconsolat oppressed who cry to the vicegerents of God the avenger, for justice in vaine, but also towards the soule of him who is spared and the life of many more who are friends either to the oppressor or op∣pressed.

As for the named case of Huntly let the world judge, * whether the Ministers had reason often to give Warning a∣gainst that wicked man and his complices. Beside his apos∣tacy and after-seeming-repentance his frequent relapses into avowed popery, in the eighty eight he banded with the King of Spaine to overthrow the religion and government of the whole Iland and after pardon, from time to time did renew his treasonable plots for the ruine of Britain: hee did commit many murders, he did invade under the nose of the King, the house of his Cousin the Earle of Murray, and most cruelly murdered that gallant Nobleman, hee appea∣red with displayed Banner against the King in person, he killed thereafter many hundreds of the Kings good people, when these multiplyed outrages did cry up to the God of heaven, was is not time for the men of God to cry to the jud∣ges of the earth to doe their duty, according to the war∣rant of many Scriptures? what a dangerous humour of flat∣tery Page  34is this in our Praelats, not only to lull asleep a Prince in a most sinfull neglect of his charge, but also to cry out upon others more faithfull then themselves for assaying to breake of their slumber by their wholesome and seasonable admo∣nitions from the word of God?

The nixt challenge of the Scotes Presbyters is that they spoile the King of his Tythes, * first fruits, patronage and dependence of his subjects. Ans. The Warner understands not what he writes, the Kings Majestie in Scotland never had, never craved any first fruits: the Church never spoi∣led the King of any Tythes, some other men indeed, by the wickednesse most of Praelats and their followers, did cou∣sin both the King and the Church of many Tythes: but his Majestie and the Church had never any controversie in Scot∣land about the Tythes: for the King, so far as concerned himselfe, was ever willing that the Church should enjoy that which the very act of Parliament acknowledgeth to bee her patrimony. Nor for the patronages had the Church any plea with the King: the Church declared often their minde of the iniquity of patronages, wherein they never had from the King any considerable opposition, but from the Nobi∣lity and gentry the opposition was so great, that for peace∣sake the Church was content to let patronages alone, till God should make a Parliament lay to heart what was incum∣bent for gracious men to doe, for liberating congregations from their slavery of having Ministers intruded upon them by the violence of Patrones. Which now at last (blessed be God) according to our mind is performed. As for the de∣pendence of any vassals upon the King, * it was never que∣stioned by any Presbyterian in Scotland.

What is added in the rest of the Chapter, is but a repeti∣tion of that which went before, to wit, the Presbyters deny∣ing to the King the spirituall government of the Church, Page  35and the power of the keyes of the Kingdome of heaven: such an usurpation upon the Church, King James declared un∣der his hand (as at length may be seen in the Historicall vin∣dication) to be a sinne against the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which puts in the hand of the Magistrat the power of preaching and celebrating the Sacraments: a power which since that time no Magistrat in Britaine did assume, and if any would have claimed it, none would have more opposed, then the most zealous patrones of Episcopacy. The injurious invectives, which the Warner builds upon this his Erastian assertion, wee passe them as Castles in their aire, which must fall and evanish for want of a foundation. Only before I leave this Chapter, let the Warner take a good Sentence out of the mouth of that wyse Prince King James, to testifie yet farther his minde against Erastianisme. His Majestie in the yeare 1617 having come in progresse to visit his auncient Kingdome of Scotland, and being present in persone at a publick disputation in Theologie in the Universitie of St. Andrews, whereof also many both Nobles and Church-men of both Kingdomes were auditors; when one of those that acted a part in the disputation, had affirmed and went about to maintaine this assertion that the King had power to depose Ministers from their Ministeriall function. The King him∣self as abhorring such flatterie, cried out with a loud voice, Ego possum deponere Ministri caput, sed non possum deponere ejus officium.