Exam Before Council - Index
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PAGE 216

of any turbulancy or sedition. There are some things anent the officers and government of the Church wherein I confess my judgment and principles differ from what is presently maintained; but I have laboured to carry myself with all moderation and peaceableness with due respect to authority, and have lived so obscurely, that I wonder how I am taken notice of.

L. Ch. You have transgressed two acts of Parliament, one appointing the 29th day of May a day of commemoration of his Majestie's happie restoring, and ane other appointing the synods to be keeped. Did you preach on the 29th day of May?

Mr Liv. There are witnesses in toun who will testifie that I preached the last 29th of May.

L. Ch. [But] did you keep the day as is appointed in obedience to the act of Parliament?

Mr Liv. I dare not say that I did soe: it was my ordinar lecture-day; yet the place of Scripture that was my ordinary gave occasion to speak somewhat of the benefite of magistracy.

L. Ch. But will [not] you publickly, as others doe, acknowledge the Lord's mercy in restoring the king?

Mr Liv. I have (my Lord) done so, both at the first, and sometime since.

L. Ch. But what is the reason that you doe not keep the day appointed by the Parhament?

Mr Liv. My Lord, I have not that promptness of judgement or expression that were requisite for surprising questions, and would beg, if your Lordship please, to be1 forborn.

L. Ch. Can you not give a reason why you keep it not?

Mr Liv. My Lord, even [in] the laws of God there is a great difference betwixt a man's doing of that which God hath forbidden, and the not doing at a time, for want of clearness, the thing that God hath commanded, and much more this holds in the laws of men.

L. Ch. But what reason can you show why you scruple to keep that day?


1    "That I may be."

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Mr Liv. My Lord, there may be some expression that may furnish a scruple to a man who conceives that God only can appoint a holy day.

L. Ch. But you keeped dayes of your own. You keeped a day of thanksgiving for the battle of Langmarstonmoore, and severall dayes of fasting in the time of the engadgement. Did you not keep the day for Langmarstonmoore?

Mr Liv. So far as I know, I did; but these dayes were not, nor were not called holy dayes, but only appointed on special occasions; and besyde, one may scruple if any have power to appoint anniversary holy dayes.

L. Ch. But will you keep that day thereafter?1

Mr Liv. My Lord, I would desyre first to see ane issue of this wherein I am engadged by this citation, before I be urged to answer for the time to come.

L. Ch. Well, because of your disobedience to these two acts, the Councill looks on you as a suspect person, and, therefore, thinks it fitting to require you to take the oath of alleadgeance. You know it, and have considered it?

Mr Liv. Yes, my Lord.

L. Ch. The clerk shall read it to you. (He reads it.) Now that you have heard it read, are you free2 to take the oath?

Mr Liv. My Lord, I doe acknowledge the king's Majesty (whose person and government I wish3 God to bless) to be the only lawfull supreame magistrate of this and all other of his Majesty's dominions, and that his Majesty is the supreme civill governour over all persons, and in all causes, as well ecclesiastick as civill; but for the oath as it stands in terms, I am not free to take it.

L. Ch. I think you and we agree as to the oath?

Lord Advocat. My Lord Chancellor, your Lordship doth not observe that he useth a distinction, that the king is the supream civil governour, that he may make way for the co-ordinate power of the4 Presbytrie.


1    "Hereafter."

2    "Clear."

3    "Pray."

4    "The" omitted.


Rev. John Livingston,
great-great grandfather of Henry Livingston

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