Mr. James Mitchel was educated at the university of Edinburgh, and was, with some other of his fellow-students, made master of arts anno
1656. Mr. Robert Leighton (afterwards bishop Leighton), being then principal of that college, before the degree was conferred upon them, tendered to them the national and solemn league and covenant; which covenants, upon mature deliberation, he took, finding nothing in them but a short compend of the moral law, binding to our duty towards God and towards man in their several stations, and taking the king's interest to be therein included, when others were taking the tender to Oliver Cromwel, he subscribed the oath of allegiance to the king; but how he was repaid for this, after the restoration, the following account will more fully discover.
Mr. Mitchel, having received a licence to preach the gospel, very soon after the restoration, was, with the rest of his faithful brethren, reduced to many hardships and difficulties. I find (says a historian) Mr. Trail minister at Edinburgh anno 1661, recommending him to some ministers in Galloway as a good youth, that had not much to subsist upon, and as fit for a school, or teaching gentlemen's children. There being no door of access then to the ministry for him, or any such, when prelacy was on such an advance in Scotland.
But whether he employed himself in this manner, or if he preached on some occasions, where he could have the best opportunity, we have no certain account; only we find he joined with that faithful handful who rose in 1666, but was not at the engagement at Pentland, being sent in by captain Arnot to Edinburgh the day before, upon some necessary business, on such an emergent occasion. -- However, he was excepted from the indemnity in the several lists for that purpose.
After Pentland affair, in the space of six weeks, Mr. Mitchel went abroad, in the trading way, to Flanders, and was for some time upon the borders of Germany, after which he, in the space of three quarters of a year, returned home (with some Dutchmen of Amsterdam), having a cargo of different sorts of goods, which took some time up before he got them all sold off.
Mr. Mitchel, being now excluded from all mercy or favour from the government, and having not yet laid down arms, and taking the arch-bishop of St. Andrews to be the main instigator of all the oppression and bloodshed of his faithful brethren, took up a resolution anno 1668, to dispatch him, and for that purpose, upon the 11th of July, he waited the bishop's coming down in the afternoon to his coach, at the head of black friar's wynd in Edinburgh, and with him was Honeyman bishop of Orkney. -- -- When the arch-bishop had entered, and taken his seat in the coach, Mr. Mitchel stepped straight to the north side of the coach, and discharged a pistol (loaded with three balls) in at the door thereof; that moment Honeyman set his foot in the boot of the coach, and reaching up his hand to step in, received the shot designed for Sharp in the wrist of his hand, and the primate escaped. Upon this, Mr. Mitchel crossed the street with much composure, till he came to Niddry's wynd-head, where a man offered to stop him, to whom he presented a pistol, upon which he let him go; he stepped down the wynd, and up Steven Law's closs, went into a house, changed his cloaths, and came straight to the street, as being the place where, indeed, he would be least suspected. The cry arose, that a man was killed; upon which some replied, It was only a bishop, and all was very soon calmed. Upon Monday the 13, the council issued out a proclamation offering a reward of five thousand merks to any that would discover the actor, and pardon to accessories; but nothing more at that time ensued.
The managers, and those of the prelatical persuasion, made a mighty noise and handle of this against the presbyterians, whereas this deed was his only, without the knowledge or pre-concert of any, as he himself in a letter declares; yea, with a design to bespatter the Presbyterian church of Scotland, a most scurrilous pamphlet was published at London, not only reflecting on our excellent reformers from popery, publishing arrant lies anent Mr. Alexander Henderson, abusing Mr. David Dickson, and breaking jests upon the remonstrators and presbyterians (as they called them), but also, in a most malicious and groundless kind of rhapsody, slandering Mr. Mitchel.
After this Mr. Mitchel shifted the best way he could, until the beginning of the year 1674.; he was discovered by Sir William Sharp, the bishop's brother, and ere ever Mr. Mitchel was aware, he caused a certain number of his servants (armed for that purpose) lay hold on him, and apprehend and commit him to prison; and on the 10th of February was examined by the lord chancellor, lord register and lord Halton; he denied the assassination of the arch-bishop, but being taken apart by the chancellor, he confessed (that it was he who shot the bishop of Orkney while aiming at the arch-bishop), upon assurance of his life, given by the chancellor in these words, |Upon my great oath and reputation, if I be chancellor, I shall save your life.| On the 12th he was examined before the council, and said nothing but what he had said before the committee. He was remitted to the justice-court to receive his indictment and sentence, which was, To have his right hand struck off at the cross of Edinburgh, and his goods forfeited; which last part was not to be executed, till his majesty had got notice; because, says lord Halton, in a letter to earl Kincardine, assurance of life was given him upon his confession.
However, he was, on the second of March, brought before the lords judiciary, and indicted for being concerned at Pentland, and for the attempt on the arch-bishop of St Andrews; but he pleaded not guilty, and insisted that the things alledged against him should be proved: The lords postponed the affair till the 25th; meanwhile, the council made an act March 12, specifying that Mr. James Mitchel confessed his firing the pistol at the arch-bishop of St. Andrews, upon assurance given him of life by one of the committee, who had a warrant from the lord commissioner and secret council to give the same, and therefore did freely confess, &c. In the said act it was declared, That, on account of his refusing to adhere to his confession, the promises made to him were void, and that the lords of justiciary and jury ought to proceed against him, without any regard to these. About the 25, he was brought before the justiciary; but as there was no proof against him, they with consent of the advocate protracted the affair, and he was again remanded to prison.
Thus he continued until Jan.6th, 1676, that he was ordered to be examined before the council by torture, concerning his being in the rebellion (as they formed it) in the year 1666. Accordingly he was brought before them upon the 18th, about six o'clock at night; -- Linlithgow, being preses, told him, He was brought before them to see whether he would adhere to his former confession. -- He answered, |My lord, it is not unknown to your lordship, and others here present, that, by the council's order, I was remitted to the lords of justiciary, before whom I received an indictment at my lord advocate's instance, &c. to which indictment I answered at three several diets, and at the last diet, being deserted by my lord advocate, I humbly conceive, that, both by the law of the nation, and the practice of this court, I ought to have been set at liberty; yet notwithstanding, I was, contrary to law, equity and justice, returned to prison; And upon what account I am this night before you, I am ignorant.| The preses told him, He was only called to see if he would own his former confession. -- He replied, |He knew no crime he was guilty of, and therefore made no such confession as he alledged.| Upon this, the treasurer depute said, The pannel was one of the most arrogant liars and rogues he had known. -- Mr. Mitchel replied, |My lord, if there were fewer of these persons, you have been speaking of, in the nation, I should not be standing this night at the bar; but my lord advocate knoweth, that what is alledged against me is not my confession.| The preses said, Sir, we will cause a sharper thing make you confess. -- He answered, |My lord, I hope you are Christians and not pagans.| Then he was returned to prison.
On the 22d, he was again called before them, to see if he would own his former confession, and a paper produced, alledged to be subscribed by him; but he would not acknowledge the same. The preses said, You see what is upon the table (meaning the boots), I will see if that will make you do it. Mr. Mitchel answered, |My lord, I confess, that, by torture, you may cause me to blaspheme God, as Saul did compel the saints; you may compel me to speak amiss of your lordships; to call myself a thief, a murderer, &c. and then pannel me on it: But if you shall here put me to it, I protest before God and your lordships, that nothing extorted from me by torture, shall be made use of against me in judgment, nor have any force in law against me, or any other person. But to be plain with you, my lords, I am so much of a Christian, that whatever your lordships shall legally prove against me, if it be truth, I shall not deny it; -- but, on the contrary, I am so much of a man, and a Scotsman, that I never held myself obliged, by the law of God, nature and nations, to be my own accuser.| The treasurer-depute said, He had the devil's logic, and sophisticated like him: ask him whether that be his subscription. Mr. Mitchel replied, I acknowledge no such thing; and he was sent back to prison.
Upon the 24th, they assembled in their robes in the inner parliament house, and the boots and executioner were presented. Mr. Mitchel was again interrogated, as above, but still persisting, he was ordered to the torture. And he, knowing that, after the manner of the Spanish inquisition, the more he confessed, either concerning himself or others, the more severe the torture would be, to make him confess the more, delivered himself in this manner: -- |My lord, I have been now these two full years in prison, and more than one of them in bolts and fetters, which hath been more intolerable to me than many deaths, if I had been capable thereof; and it is well known, that some in a shorter time have been tempted to make away with themselves; but respect and obedience to the express law and command of God hath made me to undergo all these hardships, and I hope this torture with patience also, viz. that for the preservation of my own life and the life of others, as far as lies in my power; and to keep innocent blood off your lordships persons and families, which, by shedding of mine, you would doubtless bring upon yourselves and posterity, and wrath from the Lord to the consuming thereof, till there should be no escaping; and now again I protest, &c. as above: When you please, call for the man appointed for the work.| The executioner being called, he was tied in a two armed chair, and the boot brought; the executioner asked which of the legs he should take; the lords bade him take any of them; the executioner laying the left in the boot, Mr. Mitchel, lifting it out again, said, |Since the judges have not determined, take the best of the two, for I freely bestow it in the cause;| and so laid his right leg into the engine. After which the advocate asked leave to speak but one word, but notwithstanding, insisted at a great length; to which Mr. Mitchel answered, |The advocate's word or two hath multiplied to so many, that my memory cannot serve, in the condition wherein I am (the torture being begun) to resume them in particular; but I shall essay to answer the scope of his discourse; whereas he hath been speaking of the sovereignty of the magistrate, I shall go somewhat further than he hath done, and own that the magistrate whom God hath appointed, is God's depute; both the throne and the judgment are the Lord's, when he judgeth for God and according to his law; and a part of his office is to deliver the poor oppressed out of the hand of the oppressor, and shed no innocent blood, Jerem. xxii.3, &c. And whereas the advocate hath been hinting at the sinfulness of lying on any account; it is answered, that not only lying is sinful, but also a pernicious speaking of the truth, is a horrid sin before the Lord, when it tendeth to the shedding of innocent blood; witness the case of Doeg, Psalm lii. compared with 2 Sam. xxii.9. But what my lord advocate hath forged against me is false, so that I am standing upon my former ground, viz. the preservation of my own life, and the life of others, as far as lies in my power, the which I am expressly commanded by the Lord of hosts.|
Then the clerk's servant, being called, interrogated him in the torture, in upwards of thirty questions, which were all in write, of which the following are of the most importance.
Are you that Mr. James Mitchel who was excepted out of the king's grace and favour?
A. I never committed any crime deserving to be excluded.
Q. Were you at Pentland?
Q. Were you at Ayr, and did you join with the rebels there?
A. I never joined with any such.
Q. Where was you at the time of Pentland?
A. In Edinburgh.
Q. When did you know of their rising in arms?
A. When the rest of the city knew of it.
Q. Where did you meet with James Wallace?
A. I knew him not at that time.
Q. Did you go out of town with captain Arnot?
The other questions were anent his going abroad, &c. He perceived that they intended to catch him in a contradiction, or to find any who would witness against him. -- At the beginning of the torture he said, |My lords, not knowing that I shall escape this torture with my life, therefore, I beseech you to remember what Solomon saith, He who sheweth no mercy, shall have judgment without mercy, &c. -- And now, my lords, I do freely, from my heart, forgive you, who are sitting judges upon the bench, and the men who are appointed to be about this horrible piece of work, and also those who are vitiating their eyes in beholding the same; and I intreat that God may never lay it to the charge of any of you, as I beg God may be pleased for Christ's sake to blot out my sins and iniquities, and never to lay them to my charge here nor hereafter.|
All this being over, the executioner took down his leg from a chest whereon it was lying all the time in the boot, and set both on the ground; and thrusting in the shelves to drive the wedges, began his strokes; at every one of which, enquiring if he had any more to say, or would say any more; Mr. Mitchel answered no; and they continued to nine strokes upon the head of the wedges; at length he fainted, through the extremity of pain at which the executioner cried, Alas! my lords, he is gone! then they stopped the torture and went off; and in a little time, when recovered, he was carried, in the same chair, to the tolbooth.
It is indeed true that Mr. Mitchel made a confession, upon the promise of his life; but the managers, having revoked their promise, because he would not adhere to his confession before the justiciary, (being advised by some friends not to trust too much to that promise) and be his own accuser. |The reader must determine (says a very impartial historian) how far he was to blame now, in not owning his confession judicially, as they had judicially revoked the condition upon which the confession was made, and to put a man to torture for finding out things, for which they had not the least proof, seems to be unprecedented and cruel, and to bring him to a farther trial appears to be unjust.| For as another author has well observed, |That when a confession or promise is made upon a condition, and that condition is judicially rescinded, the obligation of the promise or confession is taken away, and both parties are statu quo, Josh. ii.14, &c. That, in many cases it is lawful to conceal and obscure a necessary duty, and divert enemies from a pursuit of it for a time.1 Sam. xvi.1, 2. xx.5, 6. Jer. xxxviii.24, &c. That when an open enemy perverts and overturns the very nature and matter of a discourse or confession, by leaving out the most material truths, and putting in untruths and circumstances in their room, it no longer is the former discourse or confession, &c. That when a person is brought before a limited judicatory, &c. before whom nothing was ever confessed or proven, the person may justly stand to his defence, and put his enemies to bring in proof against him, &c.|
After this Mr. Mitchel continued in prison till the beginning of next year, when he and Mr. Frazer of Brae were with a party of twelve horse and thirty foot, sent to the Bass, where he remained till about the 6th of Dec. when he was again brought to Edinburgh, in order for his trial and execution; which came on upon the 7th of Jan.1678. On the third of the month Sir George Lockhart and Mr. John Ellis were appointed to plead for the pannel; but Sharp would have his life, and Lauderdale gave way to it. Sir Archibald Primrose, lately turned out of the register's place, took a copy of the council's act anent Mr. Mitchel, and sent it to this council; and a day or two before the trial, went to Lauderdale, who, together with lord Rothes, lord Halton and Sharp, was summoned: The prisoner's witness, Primrose, told Lauderdale, That he thought a promise of life had been given -- -- The latter denied it -- -- The former wished that that act of the council might be looked into -- -- Lauderdale said, He would not give himself the trouble to look over the book of council.
When his trial came on, the great proof was, his confession, Feb.16.1674.; many and long were the reasons upon the points of the indictment. Sir George Lockhart argued in behalf of the prisoner with great learning, to the admiration of the audience, That no extra-judicial confession could be allowed in court, and that his confession was extorted from him by hopes and promises of life. The debates were so tedious that the court adjourned to the 9th of January; the replies and duplies are too tedious to be inserted here: The reader will find them at large elsewhere.
The witnesses being examined, lord Rothes (being shewn Mr. Mitchel's confession) swore that he was present, and saw him subscribe that paper, and heard him make that confession, but that he did not at all give any assurance to the prisoner for his life; nor did he remember that there was any warrant given by the council to his lordship for that effect, &c. Halton and Lauderdale swore much to the same purpose; but the arch-bishop swore, that he knew him, at the very first sight at the bar, to be the person who shot at him, &c. But that he either gave him assurance or a warrant to any to give it, was a false and malicious calumny. That his grace gave no promise to Nichol Somerville, other than that it was his interest to make a free confession. This Nichol Somerville, Mr. Mitchel's brother-in-law, offered, in court, to depone, That the arch-bishop promised to him to secure his life, if he would prevail with him to confess. The arch-bishop denied this, and called it a villainous lie. Several other depositions were taken; such as Sir William Paterson, Mr. John Vanse, and the bishop of Galloway, who all swore in Sharp's favour, it being dangerous for them, at this juncture, to do otherwise.
After the witnesses were examined, the advocate declared he had closed the probation; whereupon Mr Mitchel produced a copy of an act of council March 12th, 1674, praying that the register might be produced, or the clerk obliged to give extracts; but this they refused to do. -- -- |Lockhart (says Burnet) pleaded for this, but Lauderdale, who was only a witness, and had no right to speak, refused, and so it was neglected.|
The assize was inclosed, and ordered to return their verdict to-morrow afternoon, which being done, the sentence was pronounced, |That the said Mr. James Mitchel should be taken to the grass-market of Edinburgh, upon Friday the 18th of Jan. instant, betwixt two and four o'clock, in the afternoon, and there to be hanged on a gibbet till he be dead, and all his moveables, goods and gear escheat, and in-brought to his majesty's use, &c.| No sooner did the court break up, than the lords, being upstairs found the act recorded, and signed by lord Rothes the president of the council. 'This action' says the last-cited historian, 'and all concerned in it, were looked on by all the people with horror, and it was such a complication of treachery, perjury and cruelty, as the like had not perhaps been known.'
Two days after the sentence, orders came from court, for placing Mr. Mitchel's head and hands on some public place of the city; but the sentence being passed, no alteration could be made; and if Sharp had any hand in this, he missed his end and design. About the same time, his wife petitioned the council, that her husband might be reprieved for some time, that she might be in case to see and take her last farewel of him, especially as it was not above twelve days since she was delivered of a child, and presently affected with a fever; but no regard was paid to this: The sentence must be executed.
While he was in prison, he emitted a most faithful and large testimony. In the first place, testifying against all profanity. Then he gives the cause of his suffering, in the words of Elijah, 1 Kings xix.14. I have been very zealous for the Lord of hosts, &c. He adheres to the covenanted work of reformation and the covenant; approves of lex rex, the causes of God's wrath, apologetical relation, Naphtali, jus populi, &c. Afterwards he speaks of magistracy in these words, |I believe magistracy to be an ordinance and appointment of God, as well under the new Testament as it was under the old; and that whosoever resisteth the lawful magistrate in the exercise of his lawful power, resisteth the ordinance and appointment of God, Rom. xiii.1. &c.1 Pet. ii.13. Deut. xvii.15, &c. The lawful magistrate must he a man qualified according to God's appointment, and not according to the people's lust and pleasure, lest in the end he should prove to them a prince of Sodom and governor of Gomorrah, whom God, in his righteousness, should appoint for their judgment, and establish for their correction, &c.| Then he comes to be most explicit in testifying against the givers and receivers of the indulgence, as an incroachment on Christ's crown and prerogative royal, &c.; protests before God, angels and men, against all acts made anywise derogative to the work of God and reformation; likewise protests against all banishments, imprisoning, finings and confinements that the people of God had been put to these years by-past; describing the woful state and condition of malignants, and all the enemies of Jesus Christ. And in the last place speaks very fervently anent his own sufferings, state and condition, which he begins to express in these words, |Now if the Lord, in his wise and over-ruling providence, bring me to the close of my pilgrimage, to the full enjoyment of my long-looked for and desired happiness, let him take his own way and time in bringing me to it. And in the mean time, O thou my soul I sing thou this song, Spring thou up, O well of thy happiness and salvation, of thy eternal hope and consolation; and whilst thou art burdened with this clogg of clay and tabernacle, dig thou deep in it by faith, hope and charity, and with all the instruments that God hath given thee; dig in it by precepts and promises; dig carefully, and dig continually; ay and until thou come to the source and head of the Fountain himself, from whence the water of life floweth: Dig until thou come to the assembly of the first-born, where this song is most suitably sung, to the praise and glory of the rich grace and mercy of the Fountain of life, &c.| And a little farther, when speaking of his mortification to the world, and other sweet experiences, he says, |And although, O Lord, thou shouldst send me in the back track and tenor of my life, to seek my soul's comfort and encouragement from them, yet I have no cause to complain of hard dealing from thy hand, seeing it is thy ordinary way with some of thy people, Psalm xlii.6. O God, my soul is cast down in me, from the land of Jordan and the hill Hermon, &c. Yea, though last, he brought me to the banquetting house, and made love his banner over me, among the cold highland hills beside Kippen Nov.1673. He remembered his former loving kindness towards me; but withal he spoke in mine ear, that there was a tempestuous storm to meet me in the face, which I behoved to go through, in the strength of that provision, 1 Kings xix.7.| Then, after the reciting of several scriptures, as comforting to him in his sufferings, he comes at last to conclude with these words, |And seeing I have not preferred nor sought after mine own things, but thy honour and glory, the good liberty and safety of thy church and people; although it be now misconstructed by many, yet I hope that thou, Lord, wilt make thy light to break forth as the morning, and my righteousness as the noon-day and that shame and darkness shall cover all who are enemies to my righteous cause: For thou, O Lord, art the shield of my head, and sword of my excellency; and mine enemies shall be found liars, and shall be subdued. Amen, yea and Amen.
Sic subscribitur, JAMES MITCHEL.|
Accordingly, upon the 18th of Jan. he was taken to the grass-market of Edinburgh, and the sentence put in execution. In the morning he delivered some copies of what he had to say, if permitted, at his death; but not having liberty to deliver this part of his vindicatory speech to the people, he threw it over the scaffold, the substance of which was as follows.
|It being rumoured abroad, immediately after I received my sentence, that I would not have liberty to speak in this place, I have not troubled myself to prepare any formal discourse, on account of the pretended crime for which I am accused and sentenced; neither did I think it very necessary, the same of the process having gone so much abroad, what by a former indictment given me near four years ago, the diet of which was suffered to desert, in respect the late advocate could not find a just way to reach me with the extra-judicial confession they opponed to me; all knew he was zealous in it, yet my charity to him is such, that he would not suffer that unwarrantable zeal so far to blind him, as to overstretch the laws of the land beyond their due limits, in prejudice of the life of a native subject; next by an extreme inquiry of torture, and then by exiling me to the bass; and then, after all by giving me a new indictment at the instance of the new advocate, who, before, was one of mine, when I received the first indictment; to which new indictment and debate in the process, I refer you; and particularly to these two defences of an extra-judicial confession, and the promise of life given to me by the chancellor, upon his own and the public faith of the kingdom; upon the verity thereof I am content to die, and ready to lay down my life, and hope your charity to me a dying man will be such as not to mistrust me therein; especially since it is notoriously adminiculate by an act of secret council, and yet denied upon oath by the principal officers of state present in council at the making of said act, and whom the act bears to have been present: the duke of Lauderdale, being then his majesty's commissioner, was likewise present; -- -- and which act of council was, by the lords of justiciary, most unjustly repelled, &c. Thus much for a short account of the affair for which I am unjustly brought to this place; but I acknowledge my private and particular sins have been such as have deserved a worse death to me; but I hope in the merits of Jesus Christ to be freed from the eternal punishment due to me for sin. I am confident that God doth not plead with me in this place, for my private and particular sins, but I am brought here that the work of God may be made manifest, and for the trial of faith, John ix.3, 1 Pet. i.7. That I might be a witness for his despised truths and interest in this land, where I am called to seal the same with my blood; and I wish heartily that this my poor life may put an end to the persecution of the true members of Christ in this place, so much actuated by these perfidious prelates, in opposition to whom, and testimony to the cause of Christ, I at this time lay down my life, and bless God that he hath thought me so much worthy as to do the same, for his glory and interest. Finally, Concerning a christian duty, in a singular and extraordinary case, and anent my particular judgment, concerning both church and state, it is evidently declared and manifested elsewhere. Farewell all earthly enjoyments, and welcome Father, Son and Holy Ghost, into whose hands I commit my spirit.
Here we have heard the end of the zealous and faithful Mr. James Mitchel, who, beyond all doubt, was a most pious man, notwithstanding all the foul aspersions that have been, or will be cast upon him (not only by malignant prelates, but even by the high fliers, or more corrupted part of the presbyterian persuasion) namely, on account of his firing at bishop Sharp; which, they think, is enough to explode, affront or bespatter all the faithful contendings of the true reformed and covenanted church of Scotland. But in this Mr. Mitchel stands in need of little or no vindication; for by this time the reader may perceive, that he looked upon himself as in a state of war, and that, as Sharp was doubtless one of the chief instigators of the tyranny, bloodshed and oppression in that dismal period, he therefore, no doubt, thought he had a right to take every opportunity of cutting him off, especially as all the ways of common justice were blocked up; yet all this opens no door for every private person, at their own hand, to execute justice on an open offender, where there is access to a lawful magistrate appointed for that end. Yea what he himself saith anent this affair, in a letter dated Feb.1674. may be sufficient to stop the mouths of all that have or may oppose the same, a few words of which may be subjoined to this narrative; where, after he has resumed what passed betwixt him and the chancellor, he says, that as to his design against Sharp, |He looked up him to be the main instigator of all the oppression and bloodshed of his brethren, that followed thereupon, and of the continual pursuing of his life; and he being a soldier, not having laid down arms, but being still upon his own defence, and having no other end or quarrel at any man but what (according to his apprehension of him) may be understood by the many thousands of the faithful, besides the prosecution of the ends of the same covenant, which was and is in that point, the overthrow of prelates and prelacy, and he being a declared enemy to him on that account, and he to him in like manner; and as he was always to take his advantage, as it appeared, so he took of him any opportunity that offered -- -- For,| says he, |I, by his instigation, being excluded from all grace and favour, thought it my duty to pursue him at all occasions, &c.| And a little farther he instances in Deut. xiii.19. where the seducer or inticer to a false worship is to be put to death, and that by the hand of the witness, whereof he was one; takes notice of Phinehas, Elijah, &c.; and then observes, that the bishops would say, what they did was by law and authority, but what he did was contrary to both; but he answers, The king himself and all the estates of the land, &c. both were and are obliged by the oath of God upon them, to extirpate the perjured prelates and prelacy, and, in doing thereof, to have defended one another with their lives and fortunes, &c.