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people exceed in their reliance, and resolve their faith into this principle ?
“ Henderson's second and third considerations, that Scripture ought to be interpreted by Scripture, hath been answered already.
“ To the fourth his majesty replies, that to charge the practice of the universal Church with error, is a very bold undertaking : and, unless the article can be made good by clear places of Scripture, Henderson is much to be blamed for this freedom: that this divine mistakes matter of fact, and that the controversy touching free-will was never yet decided by any general council; that, to call the customs and discipline of the Catholic Church errors, is an unpardonable presumption, unless the charge can be proved from Holy Scripture; and that it is not sufficient to say such rites in baptism, forms of prayer, observation of festivals, &c., are not expressly warranted by the apostles. This is no good exception. Those who object to these ancient rites and customs must prove such usages are plainly unlawful by the apostles' doctrine : otherwise, if the objections come short of this evidence, the practice of the Church is enough in all reason to warrant the custom. And, upon this ground of the Church's tradition, his majesty will believe the Apostles' Creed was formed by those inspired writers, till other unquestionable authors can be assigned.
" To Henderson's sixth consideration his majesty opposes the axiom of “A posse ad esse, non valet consequentia,' or that there is no good reasoning from possibility to matter of fact; that the instances of defection, brought both from the Old and New Testament, were marked at their rise, and complained of when they appeared.
“ Farther : his majesty denies it is impossible to discover the universal consent and understand the practice of the primitive Church ; and that all the reasons advanced to the contrary prove no farther than caution, and are only motives against over-forward belief. His majesty concludes with repeating this remarkable sentence, that, notwithstanding he never esteemed any authority equal to the Scriptures, yet he believes the unanimous consent of the Fathers, and the universal practice of the primitive Church, the best and most
authentic interpreters of God's Word“; and, by consequence, CHARLES the best qualified judges between himself and Henderson."
Reliquiæ Thus I have reported the substance of the debate; and, on rolinæ,
p. 309, et which side the victory lies, shall be left to the reader. By his deinc. majesty's manner, one would almost have thought he had lain under no mortification ; that the rebellion had been crushed; and that his affairs had been in the easiest posture imaginable. He discovers no marks of dejection or disturbance. He lays down solid principles, looks through Henderson's discourse with great penetration, attacks him in his main strength, and argues with force and perspicuity; and all this without being furnished with common convenience, without books or divines to assist him. Besides, his majesty engaged no ordinary champion : for, to give Henderson his due, he was a person of learning, elocution, and judgment; he made the best of his way, and seems to have been the top of his party. It was credibly reported, as the learned Heylin relates, that Hender- Henderson son's being worsted in the controversy, threw him into a deep Edinburgh, melancholy, which ended in a mortal distemper. Some say he and dies. died a convert to his majesty, and that he did him the justice p. 477. of an extraordinary character in managing a debate of this nature. The English commissioners being informed how well his majesty had performed against Henderson, declined engaging in any dispute, and only desired his answer to their propositions ; but these were so unreasonable, the king could give them no satisfaction.
In October following, the two houses at Westminster made An ordian ordinance for abolishing the name, dignity, and function of abolishing all archbishops and bishops, alienating their lands, and settling Wishops, ana them in trustees; and, not long after, ordered them to be selling their sold for the payment of debts, and discharging the public faith. And thus the Presbyterian preachers, who had mis- Scobell's reported the king in their pulpits, given thanks for sham fol. 99, 100, victories, and encouraged the people in their rebellion, gained 101. little at the foot of the account. They expected, it is likely, to have raised their fortunes upon the ruins of episcopacy, and have had their livings augmented with deans and chapters lands; but now they found themselves disappointed, the alienations transferred to secular uses, and the plunder lodged in
Hist. Presb. June 1,
other men's coffers. Besides, the two houses had bought the king of the covenanting Scots for 200,0001., and wanted
to be furnished for paying the purchase-money'. 849. After the rendition of Oxford to the rebels, a set of visitors May 1,
were empowered by an ordinance, to inquire into the maligA.D. 1647.
nancy of the university. Before these Reformers came down, a convocation was held, and the occasion opened by Dr. Fell,
the vice-chancellor. At this meeting it was unanimously A.D. 1647. agreed, that the sense of the university, touching the solemn
league and covenant, the negative oath, and the Directory, should be drawn
I shall translate an account of this matter from Wood's History, revised by bishop Fell. The covenant sworn by all degrees in the three kingdoms, is branched into
six articles, and omitting the preamble, begins thus : The sense of
“ That according to our respective places and offices, we sity of Po.con will sincerely, seriously, and constantly, endeavour to maintain touching the the reformed religion established in the Church of Scotland, covenant, the negative with regard to doctrine, worship, discipline, and ecclesiastical the Di
government, against the common enemies thereof: and to rerectory. form religion in the kingdoms of England and Ireland, in
doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, pursuant to the word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches. We will likewise endeavour to bring the Churches of God in these three kingdoms to the closest union, agreement, and uniformity, possible; in the confession of faith, in the form of ecclesiastical government, in the Directory, Catechism, and worship: that ourselves, and our posterity, may live in the same profession of faith, and maintain a friendly and Christian correspondence, and that the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of us."
The remaining articles shall be transcribed in the Covenanters' words :
We shall in like manner, without respect of persons, endeavour the extirpation of popery and prelacy; that is, Church government by archbishops, bishops, their chancellors and commissaries, deans, deans and chapters, archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical officers depending on the hierarchy, super
1 The keenness of this remark has excited considerable resentment among our northern neighbours.
stition, heresy, schism, profaneness, and whatsoever shall be CHARLES found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness, lest we partake in other men's sins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues; and that the Lord
be one, and his name one, in these three kingdoms.
“ We shall, with the same sincerity, reality, and constancy, in our several vocations, endeavour, with our estates and lives, mutually to preserve the rights and privileges of the parliaments, and the due liberties of the kingdoms, and to preserve and defend the king's majesty, his person and authority, in the preservation and defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdoms, that the world may bear witness with our consciences of our loyalty, and that we have no thoughts or intentions to diminish his majesty's just power and goodness.
“ We shall also, with all faithfulness, endeavour the discovery of all such as have been, or shall be, incendiaries, malignants, or evil instruments, by hindering the reformation of religion, dividing the king from his people, or one of the kingdoms from another, or making any faction or parties amongst the people, contrary to this league and covenant, that they may be brought to public trial, and receive condign punishment, as the degree of their offences shall require or deserve, or the supreme judicatories of both kingdoms respectively, or others having power from them, for that effect, shall judge convenient.
“ And whereas the happiness of a blessed peace between these kingdoms, denied in former times to our progenitors, is by the good providence of God granted unto us, and hath been lately concluded and settled by both parliaments, we shall each one of us, according to our place and interest, endeavour that they remain conjoined in a firm peace and union to all posterity, and that justice may be done to the wilful opposers thereof, in the manner expressed in the preceding article.
“ We shall also, according to our places and callings, in this common cause of religion, liberty, and peace of the kingdoms, assist and defend all those that enter into this league and covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof, and shall not suffer ourselves, directly or indirectly, by whatsoever combination, persuasion, or terror, to be divided, and withdrawn from this blessed conjunction and union, whether to make defection to the contrary part, or to give ourselves to a detestable indifferency, or neutrality, in this cause, which so much
concerneth the glory of God, the good of the kingdoms, and honour of the king, but shall all the days of our lives zealously and constantly endeavour to continue therein, against all opposition, and promote the same according to our power, against all lets and impediments whatsoever ; and what we are not able of ourselves to suppress and overcome, we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented, or removed. All which we shall do as in the sight of God.
" And because these kingdoms are guilty of many sins and provocations against God, and his Son Jesus Christ, as is too manifest by our present distresses and dangers, the fruits thereof; we profess and declare before God and the world, our unfeigned desire to be humbled for our own sins, and for the sins of these kingdoms, &c. And this covenant we make in the presence of Almighty God, the Searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same, as we shall answer it at the great day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, most humbly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by his Holy Spirit to this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with such success, as may be deliverance and safety to his people, and encouragement to other Christian Churches groaning under, or in danger of the yoke of antichristian tyranny, to join in the same, or like association and covenant, to the glory of God, the enlargement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and the peace and tranquillity of Christian kingdoms and commonwealths.”
The university begin their answer, by objecting to the prejection to the amble of the covenant; wherein, amongst other things, it is preamble. affirmed, that the person swearing had offered several petitions
and remonstrances for removing the grievances pretended. But the university deny they had ever petitioned for that purpose. It is likewise suggested in the preamble, that this covenant was formed upon the laudable custom of these kingdoms in former ages. And that it was no more than a copy of a solemn engagement made by the people of God in foreign countries. The university can by no means agree to this
assertion : they positively declare, there was never any resemPhil. Nye. blance of any such combination amongst the English subjects: Withe narra neither do they know of any laudable precedent (as the pretive, p. 12. amble speaks) for such a practice beyond sea : on the other