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terpretation of the Holy Scrip-tors and old writers I can get, to tures, but should yield his con- the effect that every man's asserscience and belief to the explanation may be seen.” And aftertions which were given by the ward, in the course of the corancient fathers, and by the infal- respondence, he mentioned the lible decrees of famous eccle- dames of twelve doctors, to whose siastical councils.
writings he was particularly to The abbot readily complied refer. with the request of the arch On his arrival at Ayr, a Probishop. He left Maybole, where testant gentleman, George Crawhe seems to have occasionally furd, of Loffnorys, told him, that resided, and came to Ayr, which in the opinion of the Protestants, was at the distance of about two he was not a fit person to conmiles, on Easter-Eve, viz. March tend with Mr. Willock, for that 25, 1559.
they had chosen bim to be the In this his short journey, he" Primate” of their religion in was accompanied by some of his this realm, whereas he, the abmonks, and other “religious bot, was only in a mean or subormen;" and in his retinue there dinate station in the Popish was conveyed, what may be sup- Church; and that therefore no posed to have been a cart-load of other but the archbishop of St. books, consisting of the large and Andrews was the proper person numerous volumes which were to enter the lists. But the abbot written by at least twelve of the was far from considering himself, ancient fathers.
as either mean or unqualified. For thus be afterward wrote On Easter-Sunday, March 26th, in a letter to the archbishop : he sent this defiance to Mr. Wil“ Before my coming to Ayr, lock, written in the usual style of Willock had preached with intole- a literary combatant : “ Whosorable exclamations, crying out ever shall maintain, abide at, and against the mass, and persuading say, that the mass is idolatry, I the people that he expounded will prove him an heretic by the certain parts of Scripture exactly express word of God, conformaconformable to the judgment of ble to the doctrine, judgment, and the doctors. T'he doctors to understanding of the most ancient whom he referred were five in and godly writers and doctors, number. This being showed to who have been since the time of me, I perceived the craft of the Jesus Christ unto these days." knave ; for he did not think of Monday, March 27th, Mr. meeting with
any rencounter, but Willock sent a reply, which was believed that the works of these also written in due form.
“ Prodoctors were not in this country, voked by the writing I have reand, therefore, that he might ceived, my answer at present is speak of them as he pleased. But this : Whosoever affirms that he it fortunately happened, that 1 is able to prove by the word of had all these doctors, and many God, that the Pope's mass is the more.” In the challenge which supper of the Lord, or that it is he afterward wrote to Mr. Wil- the institution of our Lord Jesus lock, he said, “ I am to bring with Christ, affirms that thing which me to the conference all the doc- he shall not be able by the word
God to prove. I do affirm the on which they were to meet, Pope's mass is neither the one should be committed to writing. nor the other, but is plain idola Wben the friends wbom Mr. try, and vain superstition.” Willock had expected were ar
The abbot, in bis letter to the rived, be wrote to the abbot, archbishop, says, “ Truly, my March 29th, “ We have thought Lord, Willock never wrote one it good that the disputation should word to me, without his having be on Sunday next, (April 2.) at twenty, or twenty-four landed ten o'clock before doon, in St. men and gentlemen of his coun- John's kirk of Ayr, openly, becil.” But it is evident, that it cause I do there openly teach my was necessary for Mr. Willock doctrine to the people.” to advise with his protectors in In this same letter he mentionevery step he would take towards ed sixteen noblemen and gentlea public dispute with Quiptin men, whom he wished should be Kennedy. The abbot bad pow- considered as special witnesses erful friends; and what was on his part. Their being selectspoken or maiotained by Mr. ed for such a purpose, was Willock at the conference, would honourable to their character as probably be adduced against him Protestants ; and as it may serve, at his trial, which might after- in some degree to show who the ward take place at Stirling. zealous Protestants in the west
The abbot had desired him to of Scotland then were, it may not fix the time and place of their be improper to insert their names meeting. But he delayed doing and designations in the manner so, on account of the absence of following: some noblemen and gentlemen of 1. Alexander Cunningham, Earl the shire, but who were to be in of Glencairn. 2. Robert Boyd, town shortly. “ After their com- Lord Boyd. 3. John Stewart, ing,” said he, “
you shall be ad- Lord Ochiltree. 4. Sir Hugh vertised."
Campbell, of Loudon, Sheriff of In the mean time, Mr. Willock Ayr. 5. Jobo Wallace, of Craiwas advised to ask a private con- gie. 6. Campbell, of Cesference. “ Please your Lord-nock. 7. Jobn Lockhart, of Barr. ship to know," said the abbot in 8. Hugh Wallace, of Carnel. his letter to the archbishop, 9. David Crawfurd, of Keris. " that within two days after I had 10. John Muir, of Rowallan. given in my writing against Wil- 11. John Dunbar, of Blantyre. lock, came one of the brether”| 12. Joho Fullarton, of Dreghorn. (viz. Protestant brethren) “ to 13. Robert Campbell, of Kinme, and said, If I pleased, Willock ningcleuch. 14. Allan Cathcart, would come himself, and only one of Carleton. 15. The Laird of boy with him, to speak with me Sornebeg. 16. David Currie, of in my own chamber. But this I Kelwood. absolutely refused.” The abbot In another part of the manuwas determined that there should script, it appears, that “ Matthew be a considerable number of wit. Campbell, son and heir apparent nesses called to the disputation, of Hugh Campbell, of Loudon, and that even the previous cor- Knight,” was also at this time an respondence for settling the terms ordinary hearer of Mr. Willock.
But the abbot did not approve to be understood, according to of the proposed place of meeting, the meaning in which it appeared nor of the number of special with to the ancient fathers; wbich nesses mentioned by Mr. Wil-was the same thing as to make lock. His reply seems to have the opinions of the fathers, howbeen addressed to the Protestant ever variable, and often contraparty in general. “My answer,” | dictory to each other, the ultisaid be, “ to a writing of John mate test of truth in any religious Willock, delivered to me in the controversy. Gray Friars" (viz. Franciscan) Mr. Willock had desired the “kirk of Ayr, the 29th day of abbot" to proceed in the dispuMarch instant, by the Laird of tation, beginning with the word Keris, is this: I am content on of God," and added, “ by which Sunday next before noon, at ten also I am content to be judged." hours of the clock, to come to For though he might argue upon any lodging within the town of what the fathers had written, yet Ayr, and to bring with me twelve it was his intention and desire, to reasonable and honest men to be submit himself only to the inauditors for my part, he bringing spired writings. with him the like number: pro The abbot, March 30th, wrote, viding always that there be no “ you desire that our reasoning more than these twenty-four per- should begin with the word of sons, neither in the house where God, whereof I am very heartily we reason, nor yet in the back- content. But whereas you desire stairs, lofts, nor back-doors, the to be judged by the Scripture, that number being suflicient to be au- would be to make an endless ditors ; for I desire neither tu-play : for you will say, it is for multation, cumber, nor strife, but you, and I will say it is for me. only the just trial of God's word, The most competent judges and quietness of the congrega- which we can presently have, in tion.”
case we differ in understanding It was afterward agreed, that the Scripture, are the ancient the meeting should be held in the fathers and doctors, such as," house of the Laird of Carnel ; (here he mentioned twelve,) and Mr. Willock consented that " whose writings are now a thouthe number of witnesses should sand years old, and of whom a be restricted to twelve on each great part suffered martyrdom for side.
Christ's sake.” But a more difficult point re Mr. Willock the same day remained to be settled. The Replied, “ My mind is, and ever formers always contended, that was, to attend to the judgment of though the writings of the ancient the word of God only, by which fathers were bighly respectable, all heresies must be tried, as they and generally worthy of being have always bitherto been. Tbe quoted, yet as they were merely mind of the doctors you mention, human writings, they were to be and of other doctors, I will gladly judged of, according to their de- admit, so long as they do not gree of conformity to the holy speak contrary thereto : kmean, Scriptures. The Papists con- that I will allow them, so far as tended, that the word of God was their sayings and judgments agree
with the word of God expressly judging the writings of the doccontained in the Holy Scriptures; tors, so I must refuse the same otherwise not.”
unto you, because your learning The proud abbot evidently lost and good life are likewise to me his temper. He immediately, on unknown. Whereas you burthen the same day, wrote a letter, in me with circumvention, and with which he said, “ what you write, false and ungodly preachings, I is as much as to say, that you answer, you have said that which will be judge to the ancient doc- you are not able to prove, for I tors. Truly, in my conscience, supported my pablic doctrine I cannot give you that pre-emi. with good arguments, grounded nence and place, unless I knew on the Scripture, without collusome godly learning and good sion. Take this for my last anlife in you, more than in all the swer, not being minded to trouble ancient doctors, which as yet is you with any further writing, concealed from me. All the no- until the day of our reasoning be ble gentlemen of this shire shall past. perfectly know you, how you go The abbot immediately reabout to circumvent and abuse plied, “ If you will say that the them by your preaching, espe- mass is idolatry, I will prove you cially this day (March 30th) an beretic by the word of God, wherein you have openly cried conform to the doctrine and inout, without either Scripture or terpretation of godly and ancient doctor, falsely and in an ungodly doctors and writers. I am conmanner affirming, that it is an tent to begin my reasoning at false idol which is used in the God's word, providing always mass."
that, if we differ, the determinaMr. Willock seems to have felt tion shall be referred to the dochimself affected, by the haughty tors.” strain of this letter. The next Mr. Willock sent a short anday, March 31st, he thus wrote swer, exactly in the following to the abbot: “ I answer, that words : “ These are to advertise the judgment of the old authors, you, that I will keep the day, the as well as new, is, and ever was, hour, and the place, with the referred to the godly readers. number of persons, God willing, The old authors did not wish to as is appointed. Choose you be otherwise treated, as may ap- whether you will keep” (tryst) pear from their own words."" or not.–At Ayr, the last day (Here he directed the abbot to a of March, at nine bours at night, considerable number of passages 1559.” in the writings of St. Augustine, The whole affair ended, sooner St. Jerome, Tertullian, Justin than the literary correspondents Martyr, and Ambrose.) “ All had seemed to expect. What which doctors appeal to the Scrip- passed on Sunday, April 2d, aptures as their judge, and exhort pears to me to have been as folmen to do the same. They seek lows. Mr. Willock's friends, and no farther credit than as they the friends and retainers of the shall be found to agree with the twelve noblemen and gentlemen Holy Scriptures. As you refuse who were to assemble with him to let me have the liberty oflin a private lodging, the back en
tries to which the abbot had sti-men to fortify him.” (viz. to pulated no person should ap- guard Mr. Willock.) "Truly, proach, thought it most proper my lord, if I had pleased, I could that a strong guard should attend have brought twice as many; for them. Perhaps they suspected my brother's son, and my Lord that some treachery would be Eglinton, and all their friends and made use of, especially as it was servants, were in readiness as I known that the young Earl of should please to charge them. Cassilis, and the Earl of Eglinton, But I would not suffer them, nor with a numerous train of their yet their servants, to come ; for friends and servants, were wait- if I had done otherwise, there ing in the town and neighbour- would not have failed cumber. I hood, ready to obey the abbot's was therefore only accompanied call.
with religious men, and with so In the morning, about four or many gentlemen, as I had caused five hundred Protestant men, well to bear witness to the matter. I arrayed, drew up in front of the took documents both at the merLaird of Carnel's house. The cat-cross, and in the parish kirk abbot, on his seeing, or hearing openly, he being at his preaching, of such a multitude of persons, of which the principals of the most probably hesitated with bis brether were marvellously miscompany, or did not venture to content. I assure your lordship come forward. After the hour of that my Lord of Glencairn did not ten was past, it was not reckoned his part to me, as the bearer will necessary that Mr. Willock should show your lordship at full length." continue long in the house, and A copy of the instrument of therefore, with his select friends protest taken by the potary puband their guard, he proceeded to lic, “ in the name of a venerable the parish Church, where he be- father, Quintin, commendator of gan, as usual, the public exercises Crosraguel," in which are inof religion.
serted the words of the challenge The abbot artfully availed him- which bad been given “ by my self of Mr. Willock's secession. Lord of Crosraguel to John WilHe employed a public notary, to lock ;” and the names of several protest, in legal form, at the witnesses whom the notary had house of the Laird of Carnel, and adduced, is, in the manuscript, anat the market-cross, “ that the nexed to the epistolary corres. cause of the reasoning's ceasing poodence. Among the witnesses was in John Willock;" afterward, some gentlemen are mentioned of at twelve o'clock noon, the no. the surname of Kennedy, viz. tary renewed the same protest in Walter Kennedy, of Knockthe parish church, where Mr. downe; Fergus Kennedy, his Willock, at the time, was preach-brother-german ; John Kennedy, ing.
in Greenline ; John Kennedy, bis In the letter to the archbishop, son : Hugh Kennedy. the abbot says, “ your lordship If the proposed conference had will understand, that when the taken place, it is more than proday of our reasoning was come, bable that acts of violence would which was Sunday last, there con have been committed. Neither tened above four or five hundred the one disputant, nor the other,