Come, Let Us Reason – Isaiah 1:18 in the Spanish Versions

When I witness to someone concerning their need for salvation, there is a verse that I like to use as it is very applicable to rational Westerners (which we in America are — like it or not). That verse is Isaiah 1:18, which states:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

The verse contains much in the way of doctrine. Primarily, I like to point out that the LORD God desires to reason with every one of us. I want the person I am witnessing to, to understand that believing in Christ Jesus for one’s salvation is not an issue of superstition or blind belief. Rather, what I emphasize is that the Lord is not pleased by someone coming to Christ for salvation without actually knowing the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that He is real, a real person who you can know through the operation of faith.  Using blind belief to trust in either the Father or the Son is neither sufficient nor acceptable. No, the LORD God desires that we are fully persuaded by knowledge and reason. To be certain, this reasoning is not reasoning with the mind, although that does occur in the process. Instead, it is a reasoning with the soul. The reasoning primarily focuses on the state of that person’s soul as the LORD God sees it and knows that it is. The reasoning is about God’s righteousness versus man’s ability to become righteous by his own effort. And further, this reasoning also brings the person to consider who Christ is, why He died on the cross, and why Christ is qualified to pay the price for that individual’s sin, and conversely, why that individual is not qualified to stand on their own merit. In all the reasoning which the Holy Ghost does with the individual, there is not an agreement between them until that person yields on each particular point. It is rather an adversarial process that can take months or years with the person denying the truth of their state, and/or the truth of who God is, and how and why Christ came, along with who Christ actually is. This last point is a very critical point that must be thoroughly understood and agreed to willingly before the LORD will accept the profession of that person. Why? Because the LORD is not pleased by blind belief, nor is He pleased by superstition as they who engage in such practices have no sure knowledge of who and what they are trusting. Instead, the LORD God desires that everyone come to know, not guess, but know Him personally. And, to know and fully understand that they can indeed trust Him and the provision He has made for us in Christ Jesus. This is what glorifies the LORD God, whereas blind belief doesn’t glorify at all. To persuade an individual, and have them come to the knowledge of their Creator and His love for them, and for that individual to be sure and certain of it, is indeed a glory and honor to God. After all, that soul turned to the truth willingly, and became obedient to the truth willingly; and all because the Holy Ghost persuaded them in their heart. Any fool will believe blindly and without proof, and that is no glory to God. Thus, there is extreme importance attached to the phrase in Isaiah 1:18 which states “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:” However, that phrase suffers when we decide to use the Spanish Bible. Now, for those who are not familiar with this issue, we in the English-speaking world are not the only ones to suffer from a proliferation of Bible versions. However, we at least do have a right Bible that we can turn to as the need arises. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the Spanish world. I wish I could state differently, but based upon dealing with translating English into Spanish over the last several years, I cannot. I work with a translator that is qualified to translate, and normally does medical interpretation and translation. She, along with a brother in my home church, have translated the Reproach of Men site into Spanish. In so doing, the Statement of Faith was also translated, in which each and every supporting verse of each article was checked to see that it properly supported the statement made. The variation of the Spanish verses from the English is simply astounding. Now, to be sure, the Spanish Bible used was not the RV 1960, rather the Bible used was the Reina-Valera 1602, which is supposed to be the most like the KJV. However, considering all that was discussed above about the LORD God reasoning with individuals (through the instrument of faith) and what the LORD God requires of them in the way of belief, what is one to make of the following rendering of Isaiah 1:18:

Venid luego, dirá el SEÑOR, y estemos a cuenta: si vuestros pecados fueren como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; si fueren rojos como el carmesí, serán tornados como la lana.

And now, the literal translation of that passage:

The Lord will say come and let’s agree: if your sins are as scarlet, like the snow, they shall be made white; if the are red like crimson they shall be as wool.

I don’t know about you, but I do not like what I read in the translation above. If, . . .? If . . . ? If your sins are as scarlet. . . Uh . . . no, — I don’t think so. Our sins “are,” . . . not “if,” but are, as scarlet. The price of our sin is blood, and the shedding of it to cover them. Moreover, (and I asked specifically about this) since when is the snow, scarlet? No, that cannot be right either. It must mean that some punctuation is incorrect.

The Lord will say come and let’s agree: if your sins are as scarlet; like the snow, they shall be made white;

Which, with the replacing of the comma with a semicolon, is better, but it still does not resolve the first clause and all the attendant problems of using the word “if” rather than the Spanish equivalent of the word “though.” In Spanish, the word for “if” is “si” and the word for “though” is “aun.” Thus it is not a “mistake” in the sense of a typographical error. Rather, the word “si” was deliberately chosen when the word “aun” was a clear and unambiguous rendering of the underlying Hebrew (at least in the Masoretic). Moreover, the word “aun” would give the Spanish reader the plain sense and understanding that they are sinners in need of salvation. As this passage stands, the reader is given to option of questioning the validity of the LORD’s charge laid against them. Of course, the error was repeated in the last phrase as well. Again, the question “if” our sins are red. No. Sorry . . . . . . They ARE red like crimson. Beside the use of the word “if” in place of “though” there is serious concern for the statement “The Lord will say come and let’s agree:” and what it means with its attendant implications for the doctrine of salvation. Now, I am certain that in the minds of many, the question will be raised: ‘What’s wrong with that statement, isn’t the Lord still seeking to call man to agree that man is a sinner?’ Yes, He is. But the problem lies not in the fact that the LORD is seeking to bring man to the understanding that each and every person is a sinner, as that is very much the case. Rather, the problem lies in the fact that this statement is placed in the future. Instead of “saith the LORD, ” which is present perfect tense. What is given in the Spanish is “The Lord will say” which is future tense. Why is this an issue, and what real difference does it make? Well, of you are an ultra-dispensationalist, or are one that holds that salvation is different in the different periods of man’s history, I guess it doesn’t really make that much difference. However, if you believe that God has never changed, and that since the fall, man has never changed, and you understand that the LORD God knew in eternity past that man would need a Savior, then it is a destructive rendering of the underlying Hebrew text, and inconsistent with the rest of the Scripture. How so? Consider the following passages:

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: . . . (Luke 1:67-70)

But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. (Acts 3:18)

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. (Hebrews 11:4)

Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. (Isaiah 48:12-16)

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 12:8)

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:24-26)

Now, I won’t quote all of Isaiah, chapter 59 as it is lengthy, but well worth reading as it details the condition of man. However, the last part of the chapter states:

Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. (Isaiah 59:15-17)

Just when did the LORD see the condition of man? In Revelation chapter 13, quoted above, it plainly states that “the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world.” Please note this places the sacrifice of Christ to have occurred before the creation of man. Clearly, the Scripture details that the LORD created man on the sixth day, which is after the foundation of the world. So then, the LORD saw the fallen state of man before He made the heavens and the earth, before man was ever created, and already had a resolution to the problem of man being justified in the sight of the LORD God. But, it is argued, how could the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, be slain on the cross before the world was ever made, and long before the Gospels detail His crucifixion? Isn’t that a contradiction, and doesn’t that cause problems in the Scripture? Only if one’s understanding of God is incomplete or flawed. Consider the following passage and its implications as touching what the LORD tells us in Scripture:

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (Romans 4:16-17)

When God “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” what He is telling us is the following:

The LORD God sees all time all at once and differentiates every point in time from every other point in time.

Hence, in eternity past, when the LORD God made a covenant with Himself for the salvation of man, the outcome of Christ’s earthly ministry was never in doubt. The fact that the Word would become flesh, live perfectly before the Father, and go to the cross to pay for our sins, was a sure and certain thing:

It was impossible for the Lord Jesus Christ to fail.

Hence, the gospel, and means of salvation for man, throughout the entire history of man from the fall has NEVER changed. In Ephesians, chapter 2 it is expressly stated:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8)

And just so men know that grace and works for salvation don’t mix, we are told in Romans:

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6)

So then, when it states in Hebrews, chapter 11 that “by faith Abel” and in Genesis, chapter 6 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8) we know that both Abel and Noah believed in Christ to come and were justified in the sight of God based upon that belief and trust in God’s promise of a Savior. (Of course, one could read Job 19:23-27 or Hebrews 3:15-4:2) Hence — the gospel has always been the same. Therefore, it is reasonable to pose the question: Is it “the Lord will say . . .” concerning our sin, or is it far more accurate to understand that it has always been “ . . .saith the LORD” in addressing the wicked and sinful condition of man? Plainly, the LORD God has always stated, and continues to state that we, individually are sinners in need of salvation. He has made it clear that there exists no other means of salvation outside the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the Word, long before the world ever was, chose to take on the form of a man and become our next of kin so that He would pay the price of our sin. The statement and declaration of God is present perfect, not future tense. It is not ‘He will say.’ He has said and continues to say what He knew in eternity past. Thus instead of:

Venid luego, dirá el SEÑOR, y estemos a cuenta: si vuestros pecados fueren como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; si fueren rojos como el carmesí, serán tornados como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

To be accurate it must state:

Venid ahora, y razonamos dice el SEÑOR: aun vuestros pecados son como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; aun son rojos como el carmesí, serán como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

Sadly, this is not the only passage in the Spanish Bible(s) which is flawed in this way. In the Statement of Faith, many verses from the 1602 (and it is worse in the 1960 RV) had to modified to match what is stated in the King James Version. And yes, this verse was rewritten to match the KJV:

Venid ahora, y razonamos dice el SEÑOR: aun vuestros pecados son como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; aun son rojos como el carmesí, serán como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

And there’s not a problem with the Spanish Bibles? Is it any wonder that the Bible seems to have no significant impact upon the Hispanic world?

Verse Comparison – John 1:18

King James Version No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. William Tyndale’s 1534 New Testament (Modern Spelling Edition) No man hath seen God at any time.  The only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

New American Bible (the Catholic bible) No one has ever seen God.  The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him. Revised Standard Version No one has ever seen God:  the only Son,b who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known. New Revised Standard Version No one has ever seen God.  It is God the only Son,e who is close to the Father’s heart,f who has made him known. New International Version No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,a,b who is at the Father’s side has made him known The Amplified New Testament No man has ever seen God at any time; the only eunique Son, fthe only-begotten God, Who is in the bosom [that is, in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him—He has revealed Him, brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him, and He has made Him known. [Prov. 8:30.] The Adventures in Odyssey Bible (From the International Children’s Bible, New Century Version Distributed by Focus on the Family) No man has ever seen God.  But God the only Son is very close to the Father.n  And the Son has shown us what God is like.

Margin Notes New American Bible 1, 18: The only Son, God: while the vast majority of later textual witnesses have another reading, “the son, the only one” or “the Only Son,” the translation above follows the best and earliest manuscripts, monogenes theos, but takes the first term to mean not just “Only One” but to include a filial relationship with the Father, as at Lk 9, 38 (“only child”) or Heb 11, 17 (“only son”) and as translated at Jn 1, 14. The Logos is thus “only Son” and God but not Father/God.

Margin Notes Revised Standard Version b Other ancient authorities read God

Margin Notes New Revised Standard Version e Other ancient authorities read It is an only Son, God, or It is the only Son f Greek bosom

Margin Notes New International Version a18 or the Only Begotten b18 some manuscripts but the only (or only begotten) Son

Margin Notes The Amplified New Testament e) Moulton and Milligan’s “Vocabulary of the Greek Testament” f) Supported by “a great mass of ancient evidence” (Vincent)

Margin Notes The Adventures in Odyssey Bible n But. . . Father This could be translated, “But the only God is very close to the Father.”  Also, some Greek copies say, “But the only Son is very close to the Father.

Amplified New Testament Preface Notes BRACKETS [ ]: contain justified clarifying words or comments, whether implied or not, which are not actually expressed in the immediate original text.  However, when the identification of a person or thing represented by a pronoun is certain, the noun may be substituted for the pronoun without brackets. ITALICS:  point out certain familiar passages now recognized as not adequately supported by the original manuscripts, or italics may be substituted for brackets.  Also “and,” “or” and other connectives in italics indicate that the portions so connected are to be found in the same original word or expression.

Commentary It is likely that this verse provides one greatest contrasts in verses between the modern versions and the KJV.  If we were to examine the bibles that existed between the Tyndale’s and the King James 1611 we would find that all, including the Douay-Rheims (the Catholic translated version of 1590 designed to compete with the Received Text bibles) read the same: The Douay-Rheims Bible No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. The reason for this is the fact that the Douay-Rheims, for all its corruption (it is Jerome’s Latin Vulgate), was taken from the same source text as William Tyndale’s New Testament, and the King James Version and not from the corrupted Gnostic texts. Thus, it is very interesting as to where the modern versions get their reading of this verse.  The modern version’s new readings did not appear in English until after the Hort-Wescott Greek New Testament and the subsequent translation which is the Revised Standard Version.  In the Revised Standard version several changes are evident.  They are: “no man” to “no one”, “only begotten Son” to “the only Son”, and “declared him” to “revealed him”.  In the New Revised Standard Version they went one step further and changed the spiritual context of “who is in the bosom of the Father” to the strictly physical context of “who is close to the Father’s heart,”. All these changes are at a minimum, quite dangerous, but more correctly, for the context of the verse, they are blasphemous.  Let us consider: when the term “no man” is used the context it is clearly referring to mankind.  To now change this to make it “no one” means that the verse becomes all-inclusive.  The use of the word “one” means anyone period, not just man, as there are no qualifiers put on the term.  Fully considered, this must necessarily mean everyone, which creates a contradiction.  By saying “no man” this means those that are only of the race of man, are included.  The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man.  He is both the Son of God, and the Son of man.  Therefore, he is necessarily excluded from this statement.  By stating “no one,” potentially this means that not even the Son has seen God.  This may not be what they meant, but it can easily be construed from what they wrote.  If someone understands that there is a spiritual world, and that beings live in it as well, those beings would necessarily be included in the description of “one” as well. Additionally, it is evident that there is error in the modern versions in the statement “the only Son.” In the proper text this is “the only begotten Son”, which in the underlying Received Text Greek is “monogenes huios”.  In the underlying Hort-Westcott text of the modern versions it is “monogenes theos” which the translation committees render “the only Son”.  If we read the New American Bible (which is also translated from the Hort-Westcott (now Nestle-Aland text)) margin notes above, it is apparent that they mistranslate in an effort to maintain the principles that are plainly stated in the Scripture: God is not begotten.  The Son is begotten, but not God.  God has always existed and will always exist.  This, of course, matches what is written in Hebrews 1:5, 10:5 and in Philippians 2:7-8.  It is clear that some of the new translations do translate this passage exactly as written.  Most notably the Jehovah’s Witness translation, which is the New World Translation.  This corrupted  text and translation (with additions) can also be seen in the Lockman Foundation’s Amplified Bible as quoted above.  It should be quite clear that translating this passage as “the only begotten God” is blatant blasphemy as it states that God did not exist from the beginning.  This would be consistent with the Gnostic understanding of the scriptures.  The Gnostics held (and hold today) the view that the Son of God had to be the firstborn (the first created creature) because there could be no equality in trinity. It was impossible for the Gnostics to understand how it is possible for three distinct persons could be totally and completely equal. Hence, they altered the Greek text to reflect a purely carnal (and blasphemous) point of view. It is unfortunate that Bible Scholars cannot discern a corrupted text and reject it out of hand. Instead, what we see is a wholesale rush to accept the most corrupted of texts, texts which would have been quickly rejected by virtually everyone 400 years ago – even by the Catholics, as their Douay-Rheims Bible demonstrates.

Concerning the Doctrine of the Nature of Man

The King James Version & The New Revised Standard Version

Copyright 2000; All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition except where otherwise noted. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety

Note to the Reader The following verses were selected for comparison as they are commonly used to teach the doctrine concerning the nature of man. This comparison is for the purposes of demonstrating the fact that the ‘modern’ versions do not state the same thing as the King James Version, contrary to what many who support them claim. Briefly stated, the issue is not one of merely updating the language, nor is it an issue of ‘better’ texts. Rather, it is an issue of teaching an entirely different doctrine concerning the things of God. If we understand the import of this, then we will understand that they also teach a distortion of the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, if we do not understand our true nature, then we will assuredly not understand our real need for a Saviour, and will not turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in true repentance and faith. The sad and terrible part of this is that one will end up in Hell and not truly understand why until the day of Judgment at the Great White Throne. — Paul W. Davis

Verses Compared:  

  • Isaiah 64:6
  • Psalms 51:5
  • Deuteronomy 1:39
  • Romans 7:8-11

King James Version

Psalm 51:5

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Deuteronomy 1:39

Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

Romans 7:8-11

But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

Isaiah 64:6

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

New Revised Standard Version

Psalms 51:5

Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

Deuteronomy 1:39

And as for your little ones, who you thought would become booty, your children, who today do not yet know right from wrong, they shall enter there; to them will I give it, and they shall take possession of it.

Romans 7:8-11

But sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died, and the very commandment that promised life, proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

Isaiah 64:6

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Definitions Ordained — past tense of ordain: (1) To put in order, arrange. (4) To set up (something) to continue in a certain order; to establish or found by ordinance; to institute. Promised — past tense of promise: (1) To make promise of; to give verbal assurance of; to undertake or engage, by word or writing to another person, to do or refrain from (some specified act), or to give or bestow (some specified thing: usually to the benefit or advantage of the person concerned. Very — (1) Really or truly entitled to the name or designation; possessing the true character of the person or thing named; properly so called or designated; = True (2) With limitation(usually expressed by the or a possessive) to particular instances: The true or real; that is truly or properly entitled to the name. II(8) Used as an intensive, either to denote the inclusion or something regarded as extreme or exceptional, or to emphasize the exceptional prominence or some ordinary thing or feature. (9) Neither more nor less than (that expressed by the subject qualified); exactly that specified without qualification; = Sheer (d) The very thing, the thing exactly suitable or requisite. Commentary One of the concepts, or Scriptural principles and truths that must be understood for one to be born again is the nature of man. It is our nature to sin, and our subsequent actions that are in accordance with that nature, that is the cause of our guilt before God prior to salvation. Proper Scriptural doctrine plainly states that we have the problem of who we are; and who we are causes us to do what we do. In other words, we are born with a sin nature (Psalm 51:5). The Bible also teaches that children are not charged with sin because of their ignorance (Deut. 1:39 & Romans 7:8-11) and, that as soon as one becomes aware of the commandments (the age of accountability — Romans 7:8-11) that person immediately (because of the sin nature) rebels and transgresses and are now accounted sinners before the LORD God. Now the King James Version is very consistent in the above verses to the point of Isaiah 64:6 where we are all as an unclean thing (child or adult). This is not as it is in the New Revised Standard Version where it is written that we become like one who is unclean. To say that we “become” unclean is to ignore the fact of our inherited sin nature. This is just one of the many inconsistencies in this version. Further, if you examine Psalm 51:5 and Romans 7:8-11 it is apparent they are contradictory. When you look at these verses, look at them with an eye towards a doctrine and the verse support for it. I believe you will find it very difficult to use the verses in the NRSV for much of anything, let alone teaching about our nature and the results of it. Two additional items I would like to draw your attention to are the verb tense changes between the KJV and the NRSV, and the use of the word “very” in Romans 7:10 in the NRSV. As the verb tense changes are plain I will address the word ‘very’. The use of the word ‘very’ is quite strange in this context; for the whole passage speaks of the commandment in the general sense and not any particular commandment. The word ‘very’, when used directly with a subject such as the commandment denotes it as a singular, or specific thing. Furthermore, ‘ordained’ and ‘promised’ do not mean the same thing. This being the case, Romans 7:10 has a most different interpretation in the NRSV.


The Kingly Gift


This is a modern spelling edition of Basilicon Doron taken from the book King James VI and I: Political Writings, published by Cambridge University Press. The book was published with the original spelling and punctuation. I have changed the punctuation and spelling to the modern standard for the purposes of readability.

It is sad that many today cannot appreciate the blessing of having a right and proper king. Though King James VI & I was not a Baptist, nor a fundamentalist, he was a ruler that understood that he was personally accountable to Almighty God. I wish I could say the same for all of America’s Presidents. Sadly, I cannot. Most of the Presidents of the United States have not known the LORD God, and certainly did not write about Scriptural things — King James VI & I did.
Even though King James VI & I was not a Baptist, Baptists owe him a great debt — for it was this king that God moved to authorize and order the translating of the Scriptures with the primary goal of accuracy and adherence to the true word of God. It is astounding to consider that King James knew which Greek and Hebrew texts were the word of God. These things alone make his writings valuable reading. It is hoped that the advice that King James VI & I gave his son Henry would be of value to the modern reader. Please read and rejoice in the writings of a good and godly king. — Editor

Editor’s Notes

There are some words in the books that I have yet to find a suitable modern equivalent. Thus, they remain in the document until I find an equivalent. It should also be noted that King James used Latin and Greek words and phrases for emphasis. I have attempted to duplicate them here as closely as possible. In so doing, I make use of certain Greek fonts such as SPIonic. If you wish to view the words properly, you must have SPIonic Truetype font on your system. This font, and other free fonts can be obtained here.

Basilicon Doron: The First Book
A Kings’ Christian Duty Towards God
Basilicon Doron: The Second Book
Of a King’s Duty in His Office
Basilicon Doron: The Third Book
Of a King’s Behavior in Indifferent Things
Addresses what a King’s attitude and relationship to God and His word (the Scriptures) ought to be. Acknowledges the fact that God is the one who elevates an individual to kingship over a country, and that the king is accountable to God. This portion of Basilicon Doron reveals much about King James’ views concerning the Scripture and his relationship with God. Addresses how to govern properly with a proper concern for the law. Instructs on the execution of laws and that calling Parliament into session for the making of laws ought to be seldom. Particularly instructs on the make-up of the king’s court and what sort of individuals the king ought to have around him.
This section reveals that King James did not like Puritans at all, as they questioned his rule over the Church of England. He reveals at length his views on the institution of marriage and its purpose and effect upon the individual and particularly the office of King.
Addresses the fact that the king lives in a ‘fishbowl’ in which every action, no matter how slight, is examined to death by friend and foe alike. Here he speaks of all the little things that can destroy a king and his ability to rule effectively. He addresses what things to be involved in, and what not to be involved in. He reveals that certain sports are conducive to building proper character, while others are actually destructive to proper character.



IT is a true old saying, That a King is as one set on a stage, whose smallest actions and gestures, all the people gazingly do behold: and therefore although a King be never so precise in the discharging of his Office, the people, who seeth but the outward part, will ever judge of the substance, by the circumstances; and according to the outward appearance, if his behavior be light or dissolute, will conceive pre-occupied conceits of the Kings inward intention: which although with time, (the trier of all truth,) it will evanish, by the evidence of the contrary effects, yet interim patitur iustus; and prejudged conceits will, in the mean time, breed contempt, the mother of rebellion and disorder. And besides that, it is certain, that all the indifferent actions and behavior of a man, have a certain holding and dependance, either upon virtue or vice, according as they are used or ruled: for there is not a middle betwixt them, no more than betwixt their rewards, heaven and hell.

Be careful then, my Son, so to frame all your indifferent actions and outward behavior, as they may serve for the furtherance and forth-setting of your inward virtuous disposition.

The whole indifferent actions of a man, I divide in two sorts; in his behavior in things necessary, as food, sleeping, raiment, speaking, writing, and gesture; and in things not necessary, though convenient and lawful, as pastimes or exercises, and using of company for recreation.

As to the indifferent things necessary, although that of themselves they cannot bee wanted, and so in that case are not indifferent; as likewise in-case they bee not used with moderation, declining so to the extremity, which is vice; yet the quality and form of using them, may smell of virtue or vice, and be great furtherers to any of them.

To begin then at the things necessary; one of the most public indifferent actions of a King, and that many, especially strangers, will narrowly take heed to; is his manner of refection at his Table, and his behavior thereat. Therefore, as Kings use oft to eat publicly, it is meet and honourable that ye also do as well to eschew the opinion that ye love not to haunt company, which is one of the marks of a Tyrant; as likewise, that your delight to eat privately, be not thought to be for private satisfying of your gluttony; which ye would be ashamed should be publicly seen. Let your Table be honourably served; but serve your appetite with few dishes, as yong Cyrus did: which both is the most wholesome, and freest from the vice of delicacy, which is a degree of gluttony. And use most to eat of reasonably-gross, and common-meats; as well for making your body strong and durable for travel at all occasions, either in peace or in war: as that ye may be the heartier received by your mean Subjects in their houses, when their cheer may suffice you: which otherwise would be imputed to you for pride and daintiness, and breed coldness and disdain in them. Let all your food be simple, without composition or sauces; which are more like medicines than meat. The using of them was counted amongst the ancient Romans a filthy vice of delicacy; because they serve only for pleasing of the taste, and not for satisfying of the necessity of nature; abhorring Apicius their own citizen, for his vice of delicacy and monestrous gluttony. Like as both the Grecians and Romans had in detestation the very name of Philoxenus, for his filthy wish of a Crane-craig. And therefore was that sentence used amongst them, against these artificial false appetites, optimum condimentum fames. But beware with using excess of meat and drink; and chiefly, beware of drunkenness, which is a beastly vice, namely in a King: but specially beware with it, because it is one of those vices that increaseth with age. In the form of your meat-eating, be neither uncivil, like a gross Cynic; nor affectedly dainty, like a dainty dame; but eat in a manly, round, and honest fashion. It is no ways comely to dispatch affairs, or to be pensive at meat: but keep then an open and cheerful countenance, causing to read pleasant histories unto you, that profit may be mixed with pleasure: and when ye are not disposed, entertain pleasant, quick, but honest discourses.

And because meat provoketh sleeping, be also moderate in your sleep; for it goeth much by use: and remember that if your whole life were divided in four parts, three of them would be found to be consumed on meat, drink, sleep, and unnecessary occupations.

But albeit ordinary times would commonly be kept in meat and sleep; yet use your self some-times so, that any time in the four and twenty hours may be alike to you for any of them; that thereby your diet may be accommodate to your affairs, and not your affairs to your diet: not therefore using your self to over great softness and delicacy in your sleep, more than in your meat; and specially in-case ye have ado with the wars.

Let not your Chamber be throng and common in the time of your rest, as well for comeliness as for eschewing of carrying reports out of the same. Let them that have the credit to serve in your Chamber, be trusty and secret; for a King will have need to use secrecy in many things: but yet behave your self so in your greatest secrets, as ye need not be ashamed, suppose they were all proclaimed at the market cross: But specially see that those of your Chamber be of a sound fame, and without blemish.

Take no heed to any of your dreams, for all prophecies, visions, and prophetic dreams are accomplished and ceased in Christ: And therefore take no heed to fret either in dreams, or any other things; for that error proceedeth of ignorance, and is unworthy of a Christian, who should be assured, Omnia esse pura Puns, as Paul saith; all days and meats being alike to Christians.

Next followeth to speak of the on-putting whereof is the ordinary action that followeth next to sleep. Be also moderate in your raiment, neither over superfluous, like a debauched waster; nor yet over base, like a miserable wretch; not artificially trimmed and decked, like a Courtesan, nor yet over sluggishly clothed, like a country clown; not over lightly like a Candy soldier or a vain young Courtier; nor yet over gravely, like a Minister: but in your garments be proper, cleanly, comely and honest, wearing your clothes in a careless, yet comely form: keeping in them a middle form, ituer Togatos & Paludatos, betwixt the gravity of the one and lightness of the other: thereby to signifie, that by your calling ye are mixed of both the professions; Togatus, as a Judge making and pronouncing the Law; Paludatus, by the power of the sword: as your office is likewise mixed, betwixt the Ecclesiastical and civil estate: For a King is not mere laicus, as both the Papists and Anabaptists would have him, to the which error also the Puritans incline over far. But to return to the purpose of garments, they ought to be used according to their first institution by God, which was for three causes: first to hide our nakedness and shame; next and consequently, to make us more comely; and thirdly, to preserve us from the injuries of heat and cold. If to hide our nakedness and shame-full parts, then these natural parts ordained to be hid, should not be represented by any indecent forms in the clothes: and if they should help our comeliness, they should not then by their painted preened fashion, serve for baits to filthy lechery, as false hair and cosmetics does amongst unchaste women: and if they should preserve vs from the injuries of heat and cold, men should not, like senseless stones, contemn God, in making light the seasons, glorying to conquer honour on heat and cold. And although it be praise-worthy and necessary in a Prince, to be patiens algoris & cestus, when he shall have ado with wars won the fields; yet I think it more meet that ye go both clothed and armed, than naked to the battle, except you would make you light for away-running: and yet for cowards, metus addit alas. And shortly, in your clothes keep a proportion, as well with the seasons of the year, as of your age: in the fashions of them being careless, using them according to the common form of the time, some-times more richly, some-times more meanly clothed, as occasion serveth, without keeping any precise rule therein: For if your mind be found occupied won them, it will be thought idle otherwise, and ye shall be accounted in the number of one of these compti iuuenes; which will make your spirit and judgment to be less thought of. But specially eschew to be effeminate in your clothes, in perfuming, preening, or such like: and fail never in time of wars to be most spruce and bravest, both in clothes and countenance. And make not a fool of yourself in disguising or wearing long hair or nails, which are but excrements of nature, and bewray such mis-users of them, to be either of a vindictive, or a vain light natural. Especially, make no vows in such vain and outward things, as concern either meat or clothes.

Let your self and all your Court wear no ordinary armor with your clothes, but such as is knightly and honourable; I mean rapier-swords, and daggers: For quarrelsome weapons in the Court, betokens confusion in the country. And therefore banish not only from your Court, all traitorous offensive weapons, forbidden by the Laws, as guns and such like (whereof I spake already) but also all traitorous defensive arms, as secrets, plate-sleeves, and such like unseen armor: For, besides that the wearers thereof, may be presupposed to have a secret evil intention, they want both the uses that defensive armor is ordained for; which is, to be able to hold out violence, and by their outward glancing in their enemies eyes, to strike a terror in their hearts: Where by the contrary, they can serve for neither, being not only unable to resist, but dangerous for shots, and giving no outward show against the enemy; being only ordained, for betraying under trust, whereof honest men should be ashamed to bear the outward badge, not resembling the thing they are not. And for answer against these arguments, I know none but the old Scots fashion; which if it be wrong, is no more to be allowed for ancientness, than the old Masse is, which also our forefathers used.

The next thing that ye have to take heed to, is your speaking and language; whereunto I join your gesture, since action is one of the chiefest qualities, that is required in an orator: for as the tongue speaketh to the ears, so doeth the gesture speak to the eyes of the auditor. In both your speaking and your gesture, use a natural and plain form, not painted over with artifice: for (as the French-men say) Rien contre-faict fin: but eschew all affected forms in both.

In your language be plain, honest, natural, comely, clean, short, and sententious, eschewing both the extremities, as well in not Using any rustical corrupt type of speech, as book-language, and pen and ink-horn terms: and least of all dainty and effeminate terms. But let the greatest part of your eloquence consist in a natural, clear, and sensible form of the delivery of your mind, built ever upon certain and good grounds; tempering it with gravity, quickness, or merriness, according to the subject, and occasion of the time; not taunting in Theology, nor alleging and profaning the Scripture in drinking purposes, as over many do.

Use also the like form in your gesture; neither looking silly, like a stupid pedant; nor unsettled, with an uncouth morgue, like a new-come-over Cavalier: but let your behavior be natural, grave, and according to the fashion of the country. Be not over-sparing in your courtesies, for that will be imputed to incivility and arrogance: nor yet over prodigal in joking or nodding at every step: for that form of being popular, becometh better aspiring Absaloms, than lawful Kings: framing ever your gesture according to your present actions: looking gravely and with a majesty when ye sit in judgment, or give audience to Ambassadors, homely, when ye are in private with your own servants: merrily, when ye are at any pastime or merry discourse; and let your countenance smell of courage and magnanimity when ye are at the wars. And remember (I say over again) to be plain and sensible in your language: for besides that it is the tongue’s office, to be the messenger of the mind, it may be thought a point of imbecility of spirit in a King, to speak obscurely, much more untruly; as if he stood in awe of any in uttering his thoughts.

Remember also, to put a difference betwixt your form of language in reasoning, and your pronouncing of sentences, or declaring of your will in judgement, or any other ways in the points of your office: For in the former case, ye must reason pleasantly and patiently, not like a king, but like a private man and a scholar; otherwise, your impatience of contradiction will be interpreted to be for lack of reason on your part. Where in the points of your office, ye should ripely advise indeed, before ye give forth your sentence: but from the time it be given forth, the suffering of any contradiction diminisheth the majesty of your authority, and maketh the processes endless. The like form would also be observed by all your inferior judges and Magistrates.

Now as to your writing, which is nothing else, but a form of en-registrate speech; use a plain, short, but stately style, both in your Proclamations and missives, especially to foreign Princes. And if your engine spur you to write any works, either in verse or in prose, I cannot but allow you to practice it: but take no longsome works in hand, for distracting you from your calling.

Flatter not your self in your labors, but before they be set forth, let them first be privily censured by some of the best skilled men in that craft, that in these works ye meddle with. And because your writes will remain as true pictures of your mind, to all posterities; let them be free of all uncomeliness and un-honesty: and according to Horace his counsel

Nonumque premantur in annum.

I mean both your verse and your prose; letting first that fury and heat, wherewith they were written, cool at leisure; and then as an uncouth judge and censor, revising them over again, before they be published,

quia nescit vox missa reuerti

If ye would write worthily, choose subjects worthy of you, that be not full of vanity, but of virtue; eschewing obscurity, and delighting ever to be plain and sensible. And if ye write in verse, remember that it is not the principal part of a Poem to rhyme right, and flow well with many pretty words: but the chief commendation of a Poem is, that when the verse shall be shaken sundry in prose, it shall be found so rich in quick inventions, and poetic flowers, and in fair and pertinent comparisons; as it shall retain the luster of a Poem, although in prose. And I would also advise you to write in your own language: for there is nothing left to be said in Greek and Latin already; and enough of poor scholars would match you in these languages; and besides that, it best becometh a King to purify and make famous his own tongue; wherein he may go before all his subjects; as it setteth him well to do in all honest and lawful things.

And amongst all unnecessary things that are lawful and expedient, I think exercises of the body most commendable to be used by a young Prince, in such honest games or pastimes, as may further ability and maintain health: For albeit I grant it to be most requisite for a King to exercise his engine, which surely with idleness will rust and become blunt; yet certainly bodily exercises and games are very commendable; as well for banishing of idleness (the mother of all vice) as for making his body able and durable for travel, which is very necessary for a King. But from this count I debar all rough and violent exercises, as the football; more meet for laming, than making able the users thereof: As likewise such tumbling tricks as only serve for Comedians and Balladines, to win their bread with. But the exercises that I would have you to use (although but moderately, not making a craft of them) are running, leaping, wresting, fencing, dancing, and playing at the catch or tennis, archery, pall mall and such like other fair and pleasant field-games. And the most honourable and most commendable games that ye can use, are on horseback: for it becometh a Prince best of any man, to be a fair and good horse-man. Use therefore to ride and control great and courageous horses; that I may say of you, as Philip said of great Alexander his son, Maxedoui/a ou’ se xwrei~. And specially use such games on horse-back, as may teach you to handle your arms thereon; such as the tilt, the ring, and low-riding for handling of your sword.

I cannot omit here the hunting, namely with running hounds; which is the most honourable and noblest sort thereof: for it is a thievish form of hunting to shoot with guns and bows; and greyhound hunting is not so martial a game: But because I would not be thought a partial praiser of this sport, I remit you to Xenophon, an old and famous writer, who had no mind of flattering you or me in this purpose: and who also setteth down a fair pattern, for the education of a young king, under the supposed name of Cyrus.

As for hawking I condemn it not, but I must praise it more sparingly, because it neither resembleth the wars so near as hunting doth, in making a man hardy, and skillfully ridden in all grounds, and is more uncertain and subject to mischances; and (which is worst of all) is there-through an extreme stirrer up of passions: But in using either of these games, observe that moderation, that ye slip not therewith the hours appointed for your affairs, which ye ought ever precisely to keep; remembering that these games are but ordained for you, in enabling you for your office, for the which ye are ordained.

And as for sitting house-pastimes, wherewith men by driving time, spur a free and fast enough running horse (as the proverb is) although they are not profitable for the exercise either of mind or body, yet can I not utterly condemn them; since they may at times supply the room, which being empty, would be patent to pernicious idleness, quia nihil potest esse vacuum. I will not therefore agree with the curiosity of some learned men in our age, in forbidding cards, dice, and other such like games of hazard; although otherwise surely I reverence them as notable and godly men: For they are deceived therein, in founding their argument upon a mistaken ground, which is, that the playing at such games, is a kind of casting of lot, and therefore unlawful; wherein they deceive themselves: For the casting of lot was used for trial of the truth in any obscure thing, that otherwise could not be gotten cleared; and therefore was a sort of prophecy: where by the contrary, no man goeth to any of these plays, to clear any obscure truth, but only to gage so much of his own money, as he pleaseth, upon the hazard of the running of the cards or dice, as well as he would do upon the speed of a horse or a dog, or any such like wager: And so, if they be unlawful, all wagers upon uncertainties must likewise be condemned: Not that thereby I take the defence of vain carders and dicers, that waste their money, and their time (whereof few consider the preciousness) upon prodigal and continual playing: no, I would rather allow it to be discharged, where such corruption cannot be eschewed. But only I cannot condemn you at some times, when ye have no other thing to do (as a good King will be seldom) and are weary of reading, or evil disposed in your person, and when it is foul and stormy weather; then, I say, may ye lawfully play at the cards or tables: For as to dicing, I think it becometh best debauched soldiers to play at, on the head of their drums, being only ruled by hazard, and subject to knavish cheating. And as for the chess, I think it over fond, because it is over-wise and Philosophic a folly: For where all such light plays, are ordained to free men’s heads for a time, from the fashious thoughts on their affairs; it by the contrary filleth and troubleth men’s heads, with as many fashious toys of the play, as before it was filled with thoughts on his affairs.

But in your playing, I would have you to keep three rules: first, or ye play, consider ye do it only for your recreation, and resolve to hazard the loss of all that ye play; and next, for that cause play no more than ye care to cast among Pages: and last, play always fair play precisely, that ye come not in use of tricking and lying in least: otherwise, if ye cannot keep these rules, my counsel is that ye all utterly abstain from these plays: For neither a mad passion for loss, nor falsehood used for desire of game, can be called a play.

Now, it is not only lawful, but necessary, that ye have company meet for every thing ye take on hand, as well in your games and exercises, as in your grave and earnest affairs: But learn to distinguish time according to the occasion choosing your company accordingly. Confer not with hunters at your counsel, nor in your counsel affairs: nor dispatch not affairs at hunting or other games. And have the like respect to the seasons of your age, using your sorts of recreation and company therefore, agreeing thereunto: For it becometh best, as kindliest, every age to smell of their own quality, insolence and unlawful things being always eschewed: and not that a colt should draw the plough, and an old horse run away with the harrows. But take heed specially, that your company for recreation, be chosen of honest persons, not defamed or vicious, mixing filthy talk with merriness,

Corrumpunt bonos mores colloquia prauai

And chiefly abstain from haunting before your manage, the idle company of dames, which are nothing else, but irritamenta libidinis. Be ware likewise to abuse your self, in making your sporters your counselors: and delight not to keep ordinarily in your company, Comedians or Balladines: for the Tyrants delighted most in them, glorying to be both authors and actors of Comedies and Tragedies themselves: Whereupon the answer that the poet Philoxenus disdainfully gave to the Tyrant of Syracuse there-about, is now come in a proverb, reduc me in latomias. And all the ruse that Nero made of himself when he died, was Qualis artifex pereo? meaning of his skill in minstrelsy, and playing of Tragedies: as indeed his whole life and death, was all but one Tragedy.

Delight not also to be in your own person a player upon instruments; especially on such as commonly men win their living with: nor yet to be fine of any mechanic craft: Leur esprit s ‘en fuit au bout des doigts, saith Du Bartas: whose works, as they are all most worthy to be read by any Prince, or other good Christian; so would I especially wish you to be well versed in them. But spare not sometimes by merry company, to be free from importunity; for ye should be ever moved with reason, which is the only quality whereby men differ from beasts; and not with importunity: For the which cause (as also for augmenting your Majesty) ye shall not be so facile of access-giving at all times, as I have been; and yet not altogether retired or locked up, like the Kings of Persia; appointing also certain hours for public audience.

And since my trust is, that God hath ordained you for more Kingdoms than this (as I have oft already said) press by the outward behavior as well of your own person, as of your court, in all indifferent things, to allure piece and piece, the rest of your kingdoms, to follow the fashions of that kingdom of yours, that ye find most civil, easiest to be ruled, and most obedient to the Laws: for these outward and indifferent things will serve greatly for allurements to the people, to embrace and follow virtue. But beware of extorting or constraining them thereto; letting it be brought on with time, and at leisure; specially by so mixing through alliance and daily conversation, the inhabitants of every kingdom with other, as may with time make them to grow and weld all in one: Which may easily be done betwixt these two nations, being both but one isle of Britain, and already joined in unity of Religion and language. So that even as in the times of our ancestors, the long wars and many bloody battles betwixt these two countries, bred a natural and hereditary hatred in every of them, against the other: the uniting and welding of them hereafter in one, by all sort of friendship, commerce, and alliance, will by the contrary produce and maintain a natural and inseparable unity of love amongst them. As we have already (praise be to God) a great experience of the good beginning hereof, and of the quenching of the old hate in the hearts of both the people; procured by the means of this long and happy amity, between the Queen my dearest sister and me; which during the whole time of both our Reigns, hath ever been inviolably observed.

And for conclusion of this my whole Treatise, remember my Son, by your true and constant depending upon God, to look for a blessing to all your actions in your office: by the outward using thereof, to testify the inward uprightness of your heart; and by your behavior in all indifferent things, to set forth the lively image of your virtuous disposition; and in respect of the greatness and weight of your burden, to be patient in hearing, keeping your heart free from preoccupation, ripe in concluding, and constant in your resolve

For better it is to bide at your resolution, although there were some defect in it, than by daily changing, to effectuate nothing: taking the pattern thereof from the microcosm of your own body; wherein ye have two eyes, signifying great foresight and providence, with a narrow looking in all things; and also two ears, signifying patient hearing, and that of both the parties: but ye have but one tongue, for pronouncing a plain, sensible, and uniform sentence; and but one head, and one heart, for keeping a constant & uniform resolution, according to your apprehension: having two hands and two feet, with many fingers and toes for quick execution, in employing all instruments meet for effectuating your deliberations.

But forget not to digest ever your passion, before ye determine upon anything, since Ira furor breuis est uttering only your anger according to the Apostles rule, Irascimini, sed ne peccetis: taking pleasure, not only to reward, but to advance the good, which is a chief point of a King’s glory (but make none over-great, but according as the power of the country may bear) and punishing the evil; but every man according to his own offence: punishing nor blaming the father for the son, nor the brother for the brother; much less generally to hate a whole race for the fault of one: for noxa caput sequitur.

And above all, let the measure of your love to every one, be according to the measure of his virtue; letting your favor to be no longer tied to any, than the continuance of his virtuous disposition shall deserve: not admitting the excuse upon a just revenge, to procure oversight to an injury: For the first injury is committed against the party; but the parties revenging thereof at his own hand, is a wrong committed against you, in usurping your office, whom-to only the sword belongeth, for revenging of all the injuries committed against any of your people.

Thus hoping in the goodness of God, that your natural inclination shall have a happy sympathy with these precepts, making the wise-man’s school-master, which is the example of others, to be your teacher, according to that old verse, Foelix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum; eschewing so the over-late repentance by your own experience, which is the school-master of fools; I will for end of all, require you my Son, as ever ye think to deserve my fatherly blessing, to keep continually before the eyes of your mind, the greatness of your charge: making the faithful and due discharge thereof, the principal but ye shoot at in all your actions: counting it ever the principal, and all your other actions but as accessories, to be employed as means for the furthering of that principal. And being content to let others excel in other things, let it be your chiefest earthly glory, to excel in your own craft: according to the worthy counsel and charge of Anchises to his posterity, in that sublime and heroical Poet, wherein also my diction is included;

Excudent alij spirantia mollius æra,
Credo equidem, & viuos ducent de marmore vultus,
Orabunt causas melius, coelique meatus
Describent radio, & surgentia sydera dicent.
Tu, regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
(Hæ tibi erunt artes) pacique imponere morem,
‘Parcere subiectis, & debellare superbos.

The End



BUT as ye are clothed with two callings, so must ye be alike careful for the discharge of them both: that as ye are a good Christian, so ye may be a good King, discharging your Office (as I showed before) in the points of justice and Equity: which in two sundry ways ye must do: the one, in establishing and executing, (which is the life of the Law) good Laws among your people: the other, by your behavior in your own person, and with your servants, to teach your people by your example: for people are naturally inclined to counterfeit (like apes) their Prince’s manners, according to the notable saying of Plato, expressed by the Poet

Componitur orbis
Regis ad exemplum, nec sic inflectere sensus
Humanos edicta valent, quam vita regentis.

For the part of making, and executing of Laws, consider first the true difference betwixt a lawful good King, and an usurping Tyrant, and ye shall the more easily understand your duty herein: for contraria iuxta seposita magis elucescunt. The one acknowledgeth himself ordained for his people, having received from God a burden of government, whereof he must be countable: the other thinketh his people ordained for him, a prey to his passions and inordinate appetites, as the fruits of his magnanimity: And therefore, as their ends are directly contrary, so are their whole actions, as means, whereby they press to attain to their ends. A good King, thinking his highest honor to consist in the due discharge of his calling, employeth all his study and pains, to procure and maintain, by the making and execution of good Laws, the welfare and peace of his people; and as their natural father and kindly Master, thinketh his greatest contentment standeth in their prosperity, and his greatest surety in having their hearts, subjecting his own private affections and appetites to the weale and standing of his Subjects, ever thinking the common interest his chiefest particular: where by the contrary, an usurping Tyrant, thinking his greatest honor and felicity to consist in attaining per fas, vel nefas to his ambitious pretenses, thinketh never himself sure, but by the dissension and factions among his people, and counterfeiting the Saint while he once creep in credit, will then (by inverting all good Laws to serve only for his unruly private affections) frame the common-weale ever to advance his particular: building his surety upon his peoples misery: and in the end (as a step-father and an uncouth hireling) make up his own hand upon the ruins of the Republic. And according to their actions, so receive they their reward: For a good King (after a happy and famous reign) dieth in peace, lamented by his subjects, and admired by his neighbors; and leaving a reverent renown behind him in earth, obtaineth the Crown of eternal felicity in heaven. And although some of them (which falleth out very rarely) may be cut off by the treason of some unnatural subjects, yet liveth their fame after them, and some notable plague faileth never to overtake the committers in this life, besides their infamy to all posterity hereafter: Where by the contrary, a Tyrant’s miserable and infamous life, armeth in end his own Subjects to become his burreaux: and although that rebellion be ever unlawful on their part, yet is the world so wearied of him, that his fall is little lamented by the rest of his Subjects, and but smiled at by his neighbors. And besides the infamous memory he leaveth behind him here, and the endless pain he sustaineth hereafter, it oft falleth out, that the committers not only escape unpunished, but farther, the fact will remain as allowed by the Law in divers ages thereafter. It is easy then for you (my Son) to make a choice of one of these two sorts of rulers, by following the way of virtue to establish your standing; yea, in case ye fell in the high way, yet should it be with the honorable report, and just regret of all honest men.

And therefore to return to my purpose regarding the government of your Subjects, by making and putting good Laws to execution; I remit the making of them to your own discretion, as ye shall find the necessity of new-rising corruptions to require them: for, ex mais moribus bona leges nata sunt: besides, that in this country, we have already more good Laws than are well executed, and am only to insist in your form of government concerning their execution. Only remember, that as Parliaments have been ordained for making of Laws, so ye abuse not their institution, in holding them for any men’s particulars: For as a Parliament is the most honorable and highest judgement in the land (as being the King’s head Court) if it be well used, which is by making of good Laws in it; so is it the most unjust judgement-seat that may be, being abused to men’s particulars: irrevocable decreits against particular parties, being given therein under color of general Laws, and oft-times the Estates not knowing themselves whom thereby they hurt. And therefore hold no Parliaments, but for necessity of new Laws, which would be but seldom: for few Laws and well put in execution, are best in a well ruled common-weale. As for the matter of forfeitures, which also are done in Parliament, it is not good meddling with these things; but my advice is, ye forfeit none but for such odious crimes as may make them unworthy ever to be restored again: And for smaller offences, ye have other penalties sharp enough to be used against them.

And as for the execution of good Laws, whereat I left, remember that among the differences that I put betwixt the forms of the government of a good King, and an usurping Tyrant; I shew how a Tyrant would enter like a Saint while he found himself fast underfoot, and then would suffer his unruly affections to burst forth. Therefore be ye contrary at your first entry to your Kingdom, to that Quinquennium Neronis, with his tender hearted wish, Vellem nescirem literas, in giving the Law full execution against all breakers thereof but exception. For since ye come not to your reign precario, nor by conquest, but by right and due descent; fear no uproars for doing of justice, since ye may assure your self, the most part of your people will ever naturally favor Justice: providing always, that ye do it only for love to Justice, and not for satisfying any particular passions of yours, under color thereof: otherwise, how justly that ever the offender deserve it, ye are guilty of murder before God: For ye must consider, that God ever looketh to your inward intention in all your actions.

And when ye have by the severity of Justice once settled your countries, and made them know that ye can strike, then may ye thereafter all the days of your life mix Justice with Mercy, punishing or sparing, as ye shall find the crime to have been wilfully or rashly committed, and according to the by-past behavior of the committer. For if otherwise ye declare your clemency at the first, the offences would soon come to such heaps, and the contempt of you grow so great, that when ye would fall to punish, the number of them to be punished, would exceed the innocent; and ye would be troubled to resolve whom-at to begin: and against your nature would be compelled then to wrack many, whom the chastisement of few in the beginning might have preserved. But in this, my over-dear bought experience may serve you for a sufficient lesson: For I confess, where I thought (by being gracious at the beginning) to win all men’s hearts to a loving and willing obedience, I by the contrary found, the disorder of the country, and the loss of my thanks to be all my reward.

But as this severe justice of yours upon all offences would be but for a time, (as I have already said) so is there some horrible crimes that ye are bound in conscience never to forgive: such as Witchcraft, wilful murder, Incest, (especially within the degrees of consanguinity) Sodomy, poisoning, and false coin. As for offences against your own person and authority, since the fault concerneth your self, I remit to your own choice to punish or pardon therein, as your heart serveth you, and according to the circumstances of the turn, and the quality of the committer.

Here would I also add another crime to be unpardonable, if I should not be thought partial: but the fatherly love I bear you, will make me break the bounds of shame in opening it unto you. It is then, the false and irreverent writing or speaking of malicious men against your Parents and Predecessors: ye know the command in God’s law, “Honour your Father and Mother:” and consequently, since ye are the lawful magistrate, suffer not both your Princes and your Parents to be dishonored by any; especially, since the example also toucheth your self, in leaving thereby to your successors, the measure of that which they shall mete out again to you in your like behalf. I grant we have all our faults, which, privately betwixt you and God, should serve you for examples to meditate upon, and mend in your person; but should not be a matter of discourse to others whatsoever. And since ye are come of as honorable Predecessors as any Prince living, repress the insolence of such, as under pretense to tax a vice in the person, seek craftily to stain the race, and to steal the affection of the people from their posterity: For how can they love you, that hated them whom-of ye are come? Wherefore destroy men innocent young sucking Wolves and Foxes, but for the hatred they bear to their race? and why will a colt of a Courser of Naples, give a greater price in a market, than an Ass-colt, but for love of the race? It is therefore a thing monstrous, to see a man love the child, and hate the Parents: as on the other part, the infaming and making odious of the parent, is the readiest way to bring the son in contempt. And for conclusion of this point, I may also allege my own experience: For besides the judgments of God, that with my eyes I have seen fall upon all them that were chief traitors to my parents, I may justly affirm, I never found yet a constant biding by me in all my straits, by any that were of perfect age in my parents days, but only by such as constantly bode by them; I mean specially by them that served the Queen my mother: for so that I discharge my conscience to you, my Son, in revealing to you the truth, I care not, what any traitor or treason-allower think of it.

And although the crime of oppression be not in this rank of unpardonable crimes, yet the over-common use of it in this nation, as if it were a virtue, especially by the greatest rank of subjects in the land, requireth the King to be a sharp censurer thereof. Be diligent therefore to try, and awful to beat down the homes of proud oppressors: embrace the quarrel of the poor and distressed, as your own particular, thinking it your greatest honor to repress the oppressors: care for the pleasure of none, neither spare ye any pains in your own person, to see their wrongs redressed: and remember of the honorable style given to my grand-father of worthy memory, in being called the poor man’s King. And as the most part of a King’s office, standeth in deciding that question of Meum and Tuum, among his subjects; so remember when ye sit in judgement, that the Throne ye sit on is God’s, as Moses saith, and sway neither to the right hand nor to the left; either loving the rich, or pitying the poor. justice should be blind and friendless: it is not there ye should reward your friends, or seek to cross your enemies.

Here now speaking of oppressors and of justice, the purpose leadeth me to speak of Highland and Border oppressions. As for the Highlands, I shortly comprehend them all in two sorts of people: the one, that dwelleth in our main land, that are barbarous for the most part, and yet mixed with some shew of civility: the other, that dwelleth in the isles, and are wholly barbarous, without any sort or shew of civility. For the first sort, put straitly to execution the Laws made already by me against their Over-lords, and the chiefest of their Clans, and it will be no difficulty to subdue them. As for the other sort, follow forth the course that I have intended, in planting Colonies among them of answerable In-lands subjects, that within short time may reform and civilize the best inclined among them; rooting out or transporting the barbarous and stubborn sort, and planting civility in their rooms.

But as for the Borders, because I know, if ye enjoy not this whole Lie, according to God’s right and your lineal descent, ye will never get leave to brook this North and barrenest part thereof; no, not your own head whereon the Crown should stand; I need not in that case trouble you with them: for then they will be the middest of the isle, and so as easily ruled as any part thereof.

And that ye may the readier with wisdom and justice govern your subjects, by knowing what vices they are naturally most inclined to, as a good Physician, who must first know what peccant humours his Patient naturally is most subject unto, before he can begin his cure: I shall therefore shortly note unto you, the principal faults that every rank of the people of this country is most affected unto. And as for England, I will not speak before of them, never having been among them, although I hope in that God, who ever favoureth the right, before I die, to be as well acquainted with their fashions.

As the whole Subjects of our country (by the ancient and fundamental policy of our Kingdom) are divided into three estates, so is every estate hereof generally subject to some special vices; which in a manner by long habitude, are thought rather virtue than vice among them; not that every particular man in any of these ranks of men, is subject unto them, for there is good and evil of all sorts; but that I mean, I have found by experience, these vices to have taken greatest hold with these ranks of men.

And first, that I prejudge not the Church of her ancient privileges, reason would she should have the first place for orders sake, in this catalogue.

The natural sickness that hath ever troubled, and been the decay of all the Churches, since the beginning of the world, changing the candlestick from one to another, as John saith, hath been Pride, Ambition, and Avarice: and now last, these same infirmities wrought the overthrow of the Popish Church, in this country and divers others. But the reformation of Religion in Scotland, being extraordinarily wrought by God, wherein many things were inordinately done by a popular tumult and rebellion, of such as blindly were doing the work of God, but clogged with their own passions and particular respects, as well appeared by the destruction of our themselves and not proceeding from the Princes never as it did in our neighbour country of England, as likewise in Denmark, and sundry parts of Germany; some fiery spirited men in the ministry, got such a guiding of the people at that time of confusion, as finding the gust of government sweet, they began to fantasy to themselves a Democratic form of government: and having (by the iniquity of time) been over well baited upon the wrack, first of my Grandmother, and next of mine own mother, and after usurping the liberty of the time in my long minority, settled themselves so fast upon that imagined as they fed themselves with the hope to become Tribuni plebis: and so in a popular government by leading the people by the nose, to bear the sway of all the rule. And for this cause, there never rose faction in the time of my minority, nor trouble since, but they that were upon that factious part, were ever careful to persuade and allure these unruly spirits among the ministry, to spouse that quarrel as their own: where-through I was ofttimes calumniated in their popular Sermons, not for any evil or vice in me, but because I was a King, which they thought the highest evil. And because they were ashamed to profess this quarrel, they were busy to look narrowly in all my actions; and I warrant you a mote in my eye, yea a false report, was matter enough for them to work upon: and yet for all their cunning, whereby they pretended to distinguish the lawfulness of the office, from the vice of the person, some of them would sometimes snapper out well grossly with the truth of their intentions, informing the people, that all Kings and Princes were naturally enemies to the liberty of the Church, and could never patiently bear the yoke of Christ: with such sound doctrine fed they their flocks. And because the learned, grave, and honest men of the ministry, were ever ashamed and offended with their temerity and presumption, pressing by all good means by their authority and example, to reduce them to a greater moderation; there could be no way found out so meet in their conceit, that were turbulent spirits among them, for maintaining their plots, as parity in the Church: whereby the ignorants were emboldened (as bards) to cry the learned, godly, and modest out of it: parity the mother of confusion, and enemy to Unity, which is the mother of order: For if by the example thereof, once established in the Ecclesiastical government, the Politic and civil estate should be drawn to the like, the great confusion that thereupon would arise may easily be discerned. Take heed therefore (my Son) to such Puritans, very pests in the Church and Common-wealth, whom no deserts can oblige, neither oaths or promises bind, breathing nothing but sedition and calumnies, aspiring without measure, railing without reason, and making their own imaginations (without any warrant of the word) the square of their conscience. I protest before the great God, and since I am here as upon my Testament, it is no place for me to lie in, that ye shall never find with any Highland or Border-thieves greater ingratitude, and more lies and vile perjuries, than with these fanatic spirits: And suffer not the principals of them to brook your land, if ye like to sit at rest; except ye would keep them from trying your patience, as Socrates did an evil wife. And for preservative against their poison, entertain and advance the godly, learned and modest men of the ministry, whom-of (God be praised) there lacketh not a sufficient number: and by their provision to Bishoprics and Benefices (annulling that vile act of Annexation, if ye find it not done to your hand) ye shall not only banish their conceited parity, whereof I have spoken, and their other imaginary grounds; which can neither stand with the order of the Church, nor the peace of a Commonwealth and well ruled Monarchy: but ye shall also re-establish the old institution of three Estates in Parliament, which can no otherwise be done: But in this I hope (if God spare me days) to make you a fair entry, always where I leave, follow ye my steps.

And to end my advice concerning the Church estate, cherish no man more than a good Pastor, hate no man more than a proud Puritan; thinking it one of your fairest styles, to be called a loving nourish-father to the Church, seeing all the Churches within your dominions planted with good Pastors, the Schools (the seminary of the Church) maintained, the doctrine and discipline preserved in purity, according to God’s word, a sufficient provision for their sustentation, a comely order in their policy, pride punished, humility advanced, and they so to reverence their superiors, and their flocks them, as the flourishing of your Church in piety, peace, and learning, may be one of the chief points of your earthly glory, being ever alike ware with both the extremities; as well as ye repress the vain Puritan, so not to suffer proud Papal Bishops: but as some for their qualities will deserve to be preferred before others, so chain them with such bonds as may preserve that estate from creeping to corruption.

The next estate now that by order cometh in purpose, according to their ranks in Parliament, is the Nobility, although second in rank, yet over far first in greatness and power, either to do good or evil, as they are inclined.

The natural sickness that I have perceived this estate subject to in my time, hath been, a feckless arrogant conceit of their greatness and power; drinking in with their very nourish-milk, that their honor stood in committing three points of iniquity: to thrall by oppression, the meaner sort that dwelleth near them, to their service and following, although they hold nothing of them: to maintain their servants and dependents in any wrong, although they be not answerable to the laws (for any body will maintain his man in a right cause) and for any displeasure, that they apprehend to be done unto them by their neighbour, to take up a plain feud against him; and (without respect to God, King, or common-weale) to bang it out bravely, he and all his kin, against him and all his: yea they will think the King farre in their common, in-case they agree to grant an assurance to a short day, for keeping of the peace: where, by their natural duty, they are obliged to obey the law, and keep the peace all the days of their life, upon the peril of their very necks.

For remedy to these evils in their estate, teach your Nobility to keep your laws as precisely as the meanest: fear not their muttering or being discontented, as long as ye rule well; for their pretended reformation of Princes taketh never effect, but where evil government precedeth. Acquaint your self so with all the honest men of your Barons and Gentlemen, and be in your giving access so open and affable to every rank of honest persons, as may make them ready without scarring at you, to make their own suites to you themselves, and not to employ the great Lords their intercessors; for intercession to Saints is Papistry: so shall ye bring to a measure their monstrous backs. And for their barbarous feuds, put the laws to due execution made by me there-anent; beginning ever soonest at him that ye love best, and is most obliged unto you; to make him an example to the rest. For ye shall make all your reformations to begin at your elbow, and so by degrees to flow to the extremities of the land. And rest not, until ye root out these barbarous feuds; that their effects may be as well smothered down, as their barbarous name is unknown to any other nation: For if this Treatise were written either in French or Latin, I could not get them named unto you but by circumlocution. And for your easier abolishing of them, put sharply to execution my laws made against Guns and traitorous Pistolets; thinking in your heart, tearming in your speech, and using by your punishments, all such as wear and use them, as brigands and cut-throats.

On the other part, eschew the other extremity, in lightlying and contemning your Nobility. Remember how that error brake the King my grand-father’s heart. But consider that virtue followeth oftest noble blood: the worthiness of their ancestors craveth a reverent regard to be had unto them: honour them therefore that are obedient to the law among them, as Peers and Fathers of your land: the more frequently that your Court can be garnished with them, think it the more your honour; acquainting and employing them in all your greatest affaires; sen it is, they must be your arms and executers of your laws: and so use your self lovingly to the obedient, and rigorously to the stubborn, as may make the greatest of them to think, that the chiefest point of their honour, standeth in striving with the meanest of the land in humility towards you, and obedience to your Laws: beating ever in their ears, that one of the principal points of service that ye crave of them, is, in their persons to practice, and by their power to procure due obedience to the Law, without the which, no service they can make, can be agreeable unto you.

But the greatest hindrance to the execution of our Laws in this country, are these heritable Sheriffdoms and Regalities, which being in the hands of the great men, do wrack the whole country:

For which I know no present remedy, but by taking the sharper account of them in their Offices; using all punishment against the slothful, that the Law will permit: and ever as they vaike, for any offences committed by them, dispose them never heritably again: pressing, with time, to draw it to the laudable custom of England: which ye may the easier do, being King of both, as I hope in God ye shall.

And as to the third and last estate, which is our Burghers (for the small Barons are but an inferior part of the Nobility and of their estate) they are composed of two sorts of men; Merchants and Crafts-men: either of these sorts being subject to their own infirmities.

The Merchants think the whole common-wealth ordained for making them up; and accounting it their lawful game and trade, to enrich themselves upon the loss of all the rest of the people, they transport from us things necessary; bringing back sometimes unnecessary things, and at other times nothing at all. They buy for us the worst wares, and sell them at the dearest prices: and albeit the victuals fall or rise of their prices, according to the abundance or scantness thereof; yet the prices of their wares ever rise, but never fall: being as constant in that their evil custom, as if it were a settled Law for them. They are also the special cause of the corruption of the coin, transporting all our own, and bringing in foreign, upon what price they please to set on it: For order putting to them, put the good Laws in execution that are already made concerning these abuses; but especially do three things: Establish honest, diligent, but few Searchers, for many hands make slight work; and have an honest and diligent Treasurer to take count of them: Permit and allure foreign Merchants to trade here: so shall ye have best and best cheap wares, not buying them at the third hand: And set every year down a certain price of all things; considering first, how it is in other countries: and the price being set reasonably down, if the Merchants will not bring them home on the price, cry foreigners free to bring them.

And because I have made mention here of the coin, make your money of fine Gold and Silver; causing the people be payed with substance, and not abused with number: so shall ye enrich the common-wealth, and have a great treasure laid up in store, if ye fall in wars or in any straits: For the making it baser, will breed your commodity; but it is not to be used, but at a great necessity.

And the Craftsmen think, we should be content with their work, how bad and dear soever it be: and if they in any thing be controlled, up goeth the blew-blanket (it is perceived as an attack upon their privileges; Ed. note): But for their part, take example by ENGLAND, how it hath flourished both in wealth and policy, since the strangers Crafts-men came in among them: Therefore not only permit, but allure strangers to come near also; taking as strait order for repressing the mutinying of ours at them, as was done in ENGLAND, at their first in-bringing there.

But unto one fault is all the common people of this Kingdom subject, as well burgh as land; which is, to judge and speak rashly of their Prince, setting the Common-wealth upon four props, as we call it; ever wearying of the present estate, and desirous of novelties. For remedy whereof (besides the execution of Laws that are to be used against irreverent speakers) I know no better mean, than so to rule, as may justly stop their mouths from all such idle and irreverent speeches; and so to prop the weale of your people, with provident care for their good government, that justly, Momus himself may have no ground to grudge at: and yet so to temper and mix your severity with mildness, that as the unjust railers may be restrained with a reverent awe; so the good and loving Subjects, may not only hue in surety and wealth, but be stirred up and invited by your benign courtesies, to open their mouths in the just praise of your so well moderated regiment. In respect whereof, and therewith also the more to allure them to a common amity among themselves, certain days in the year would be appointed, for delighting the people with public spectacles of all honest games, and exercise of arms: as also for convening of neighbours, for entertaining friendship and hearthiness, by honest feasting and merriness: For I cannot see what greater superstition can be in making plays and lawful games in May, and good cheer at Christmas, than in eating fish in Lent, and upon Fridays, the Papists as well using the one as the other: so that always the Sabbaths be kept holy, and no unlawful pastime be used: And as this form of contenting the peoples minds, hath been used in all well governed Republics: so will it make you to perform in your government that old good sentence,

Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit vtile dulci.

Ye see now (my Son) how for the zeal I bear to acquaint you with the plain and single verity of all things, I have not spared to be something Satyric, in touching well quickly the faults in all the estates of my kingdom: But I protest before God, I do it with the fatherly love that I owe to them all; only hating their vices, whereof there is a good number of honest men free in every estate.

And because, for the better reformation of all these abuses among your estates, it will be a great help unto you, to be well acquainted with the nature and humours of all your Subjects, and to know particularly the estate of every part of your dominions; would therefore counsel you, once in the year to visit the principal parts of the country, ye shall be in for the time: and because I hope ye shall be King of more countries than this; once in the three years to visit all your Kingdoms; not trusting to Viceroys, but hearing your self their complaints; and having ordinary Counsels and justice-seats in every Kingdom, of their own countrymen: and the principal matters ever to be decided by your self when ye come in those parts.

Ye have also to consider, that ye must not only be careful to keep your subjects, from receiving any wrong of others within; but also ye must be careful to keep them from the wrong of any foreign Prince without: since the sword is given you by God not only to revenge upon your own subjects, the wrongs committed amongst themselves; but further, to revenge and free them of foreign injures done unto them: And therefore wars upon just quarrels are lawful: but above all, let not the wrong cause be on your side.

Use all other Princes, as your brethren, honestly and kindly: Keep precisely your promise unto them, although to your hurt: Strive with every one of them in courtesy and thankfulness: and as with all men, so especially with them, be plain and truthful; keeping ever that Christian rule, to do as ye would be done to: especially in counting rebellion against any other Prince, a crime against your own self, because of the preparative. Supply not therefore, nor trust not other Princes rebels; but pity and succor all lawful Princes in their troubles. But if any of them will not notwithstanding whatsoever your good deserts, to wrong you or your subjects, crave redress at leisure; hear and do all reason: and if no offer that is lawful or honourable, can make him to abstain, nor repair his wrong doing; then for last refuge, commit the justness of your cause to God, giving first honestly up with him, and in a public and honourable form.

But omitting now to teach you the form of making wars, because that art is largely treated of by many, and is better learned by practice than speculation; I will only set down to you near a few precepts therein. Let first the justness of your cause be your greatest strength; and then omit not to use all lawful means for backing of the same. Consult therefore with no Necromancer nor false Prophet, upon the success of your wars, remembering on king Saul’s miserable end: but keep your land clean of all South-sayers, according to the command in the Law of God, dictated by Jeremiah. Neither commit your quarrel to be tried by a Duel: for beside that generally all Duel appeareth to be unlawful, committing the quarrel, as it were, to a lot; whereof there is no warrant in the Scripture, since the abrogating of the old Law: it is specially most unlawful in the person of a King; who being a public person hath no power therefore to dispose of himself, in respect, that to his preservation or fall, the safety or wrack of the whole commonweal is necessarily coupled, as the body is to the head.

Before ye take on war, play the wise Kings part described by Christ; fore-seeing how ye may bear it out with all necessary provision especially remember, that money is Neruus belli. Choose old experimented Captains, and young able soldiers. Be extremely strait and severe in martial Discipline, as well for keeping of order, which is as requisite as hardiness in the wars, and punishing of sloth, which at a time may put the whole army in hazard; as likewise for repressing of mutinies, which in wars are wonderful dangerous. And look to the Spaniard, whose great success in all his wars, hath only come through straitness of Discipline and order: for such errors may be committed in the wars, as cannot be gotten mended again.

Be in your own person wakeful, diligent, and painful; using the advice of such as are skilfulness in the craft, as ye must also do in all other. Be homely with your soldiers as your companions, for winning their hearts; and extremely liberal, for then is no time of sparing. Be cold and foreseeing in devising, constant in your resolutions, and forward and quick in your executions. Fortify well your Camp, and assail not rashly without an advantage: neither fear not lightly your enemy. Be curious in devising stratagems, but always honestly: for of any thing they work greatest effects in the wars, if secrecy be joined to invention. And once or twice in your own person hazard your self fairly; but, having acquired so the fame of courage and magnanimity, make not a daily soldier of your self, exposing rashly your person to every peril: but conserve your self thereafter for the weale of your people, for whose sake ye must more care for your self, than for your own.

And as I have counseled you to be slow in taking on a war, so advise I you to be slow in peace-making. Before ye agree, look that the ground of your wars be satisfied in your peace; and that ye see a good surety for you and your people: otherwise a honourable and just war is more tolerable, than a dishonorable and dis-advantageous peace.

But it is not enough to a good King, by the scepter of good Laws well execute to govern, and by force of arms to protect his people; if he join not therewith his virtuous life in his own person, and in the person of his Court and company; by good example alluring his Subjects to the love of virtue, and hatred of vice. And therefore (my Son) since all people are naturally inclined to follow their Princes example (as I shewed you before) let it not be said, that ye command others to keep the contrary course to that, which in your own person ye practice, making so your words and deeds to fight together: but by the contrary, let your own life be a law-book and a mirror to your people; that therein they may read the practice of their own Laws; and therein they may see, by your image, what life they should lead.

And this example in your own life and person, I likewise divide in two parts: The first, in the government of your Court and followers, in all godliness and virtue: the next, in having your own mind decked and enriched so with all virtuous qualifies, that therewith ye may worthily rule your people: For it is not enough that ye have and retain (as prisoners) within your self never so many good qualities and virtues, except ye employ them, and set them on work, for the weale of them that are committed to your charge:

Virtutis enim laus omnis in actione consistit.

First then, as to the government of your Court and followers, King David sets down the best precepts, that any wise and Christian King can practice in that point: For as ye ought to have a great care for the ruling well of all your Subjects, so ought ye to have a double care for the ruling well of your own servants; since unto them ye are both a Politic and Economic governor. And as every one of the people will delight to follow the example of any of the Courtiers, as well in evil as in good; so what crime so horrible can there be committed and over-seen in a Courtier, that will not be an exemplary excuse for any other boldly to commit the like? And therefore in two points have ye to take good heed concerning your Court and household: first, in choosing them wisely; next, in carefully ruling them whom ye have chosen.

It is an old and true saying, That a kindly cart-horse will never become a good horse: for albeit good education and company be great helps to Nature, and education be therefore most justly called altera natura, yet is it evil to get out of the flesh, that is bred in the bone, as the old proverb saith. Be very ware then in making choice of your servants and company; Nam Turpius eiicitur quam non admittitur hospes: and many respects may lawfully let an admission, that will not be sufficient causes of deprivation.

All your servants and Court must be composed partly of minors, such as young Lords, to be brought up in your company, or Pages and such like; and partly of men of perfect age, for serving you in such rooms, as ought to be filled with men of wisdom and discretion. For the first sort, ye can do no more, but choose them within age, that are come of a good and virtuous kind, In fide parentum, as Baptism is used: For though anima non venit ex traduce, but is immediately created by God, and infused from above; yet it is most certain, that virtue or vice will oftentimes, with the heritage, be transferred from the parents to the posterity, and run on a blood (as the Proverb is) the sickness of the mind becoming as kindly to some races, as these sicknesses of the body, that infect in the seed: Especially choose such minors as are come of a true and honest race, and have not had the house whereof they are descended, infected with falsehood.

And as for the other sort of your company and servants, that ought to be of perfect age; first see that they be of a good fame and without blemish; otherwise, what can the people think, but that ye have chosen a company unto you, according to your own humour, and so have preferred these men, for the love of their vices and crimes, that ye knew them to be guilty of? For the people that see you not within, cannot judge of you, but according to the outward appearance of your actions and company, which only is subject to their sight: And next, see that they be indued with such honest qualities, as are meet for such offices, as ye ordain them to serve in; that your judgement may be known in employing every man according to his gifts: And shortly, follow good king David’s counsel in the choice of your servants, by setting your eyes upon the faithful and upright of the land to dwell with you.

But here I must not forget to remember, and according to my fatherly authority, to charge you to prefer specially to your service, so many as have truly served me, and are able for it: the rest, honourably to reward them, preferring their posterity before others, as kindliest: so shall ye not only be best served, (for if the haters of your parents cannot love you, as I shewed before, it followeth of necessity their lovers must love you) but further, ye shall make known your thankful memory of your father, and procure the blessing of these old servants, in not missing their old master in you; which otherwise would be turned in a prayer for me, and a curse for you. Use them therefore when God shall call me, as the testimonies of your affection towards me; trusting and advancing those farthest, whom I found most faithful: which ye must not discern by their rewards at my hand (for rewards, as they are called Bona fortunce, so are they subject unto fortune) but according to the trust I gave them; having oft-times had better heart than hap to the rewarding of sundry; And on the other part, as I wish you to declare your constant love towards them that I loved, so desire I you to make known in the same measure, your constant hatred to them that I hated: I mean, bring not home, nor restore not such, as ye find standing banished or fore-faulted by me. The contrary would indicate in you over great a contempt of me, and lightness in your own nature: for how can they be true to the Son, that were false to the Father?

But to return to the purpose concerning the choice of your servants, ye shall by this wise form of doing, eschew the inconvenients, that in my minority I fell in, concerning the choice of my servants: For by them that had the command where I was brought up, were my servants put unto me; not choosing them that were most meet to serve me, but whom they thought most meet to serve their turn about me, as declared well in many of them at the first rebellion raised against me, which compelled me to make a great alteration among my servants. And yet the example of that corruption made me to be long troubled there-after with solicitors, recommending servants unto me, more for serving in effect, their friends that put them in, than their master that admitted them. Let my example then teach you to follow the rules here set down, choosing your servants for your own use, and not for the use of others; And since ye must be communis parens to all your people, so choose your servants indifferently out of all quarters; not respecting other mens appetites, but their own qualities: For as ye must command all, so reason would, ye should be served out of all, as ye please to make choice.

But specially take good heed to the choice of your servants, that ye prefer to the offices of the Crown and estate: for in other offices ye have only to take heed to your own weale; but these concern likewise the weale of your people, for the which ye must be answerable to God. Choose then for all these Offices, men of known wisdom, honesty, and good conscience; well practiced in the points of the craft, that ye ordain them for, and free of all factions and partialities; but specially free of that filthy vice of Flattery, the pest of all Princes, and wrack of Republics: For since in the first part of this Treatise, I fore-warned you to be at war with your own inward flatterer filautiva, how much more should ye be at war with outward flatterers, who are nothing so sib to you, as your self is; by the selling of such counterfeit wares, only pressing to ground their greatness upon your ruins? And therefore be careful to prefer none, as ye will be answerable to God but only for their worthiness: But specially choose honest, diligent, mean, but responsible men, to be your receivers in money matters: mean I say, that ye may when ye please, take a sharp account of their intromission, without peril of their breeding any trouble to your estate: for this oversight hath been the greatest cause of my misthriving in money matters. Especially, put never a foreigner, in any principal office of estate: for that will never fail to stir up sedition and envy in the country-men’s hearts, both against you and him: But (as I said before) if God provide you with more countries than this; choose the born-men of every country, to be your chief counselors therein.

And for conclusion of my advice addressing the choice of your servants, delight to be served with men of the noblest blood that may be had: for besides that their service shall breed you great good-will and least envy, contrary to that of start-ups; ye shall oft find virtue follow noble races, as I have said before speaking of the Nobility.

Now, as to the other point, concerning your governing of your servants when ye have chosen them; make your Court and company to be a pattern of godliness and all honest virtues, to all the rest of the people. Be a daily watch-man over your servants, that they obey your laws precisely: For how can your laws be kept in the country, if they be broken at your ear? Punishing the breach thereof in a Courtier, more severely, than in the person of any other of your subjects: and above all, suffer none of them (by abusing their credit with you) to oppress or wrong any of your subjects. Be homely or strange with them, as ye think their behavior deserveth, and their nature may bear with. Think a quarrellous man a pest in your company. Be careful ever to prefer the gentlest natured and trustiest, to the most close Offices about you, especially in your chamber. Suffer none about you to meddle in any men’s particulars, but like the Turks Janissaries, let them know no father but you, nor particular but yours. And if any will meddle in their kin or friends quarrels, give them their leave: for since ye must be of no surname nor kin, but equal to all honest men; it becometh you not to be followed with partial or factious servants. Teach obedience to your servants, and not to think themselves over-wise: and, as when any of them deserveth it, ye must not spare to put them away, so, without a seen cause, change none of them. Pay them, as all others your subjects, with præmium or poena as they deserve, which is the very ground-stone of good government. Employ every man as ye think him qualified, but use not one in all things, lest he wax proud, and be envied of his fellows. Love them best, that are plainest with you, and disguise not the truth for all their kin: suffer none to be evil tongued, nor backbiters of them they hate: command a heartily and brotherly love among all them that serve you. And shortly, maintain peace in your Court, banish envy, cherish modesty, banish debased insolence, foster humility, and repress pride: setting down such a comely and honourable order in all the points of your service; that when strangers shall visit your Court, they may with the Queen of Sheba, admire your wisdom in the glory of your house; and comely order among your servants.

But the principal blessing that ye can get of good company, will stand in your marrying of a godly and virtuous wife: for she must be nearer unto you, than any other company, being Flesh of your flesh, and bone of your bone, as Adam said of Eve. And because I know not but God may call me, before ye be ready for Marriage; I will shortly set down to you here my advice therein.

First of all consider, that Marriage is the greatest earthly felicity or misery, that can come to a man, according as it pleaseth God to bless or curse the same. Since then without the blessing of GOD, ye cannot look for a happy success in Marriage, ye must be careful both in your preparation for it, and in the choice and usage of your wife, to procure the same. By your preparation, I mean, that ye must keep your body clean and unpolluted, till ye give it to your wife, whom-to only it belongeth. For how can ye justly crave to be joined with a pure virgin, if your body be polluted? why should the one half be clean, and the other defiled? And although I know, fornication is thought but a light and venial sin, by the most part of the world, yet remember well what I said to you in my first Book concerning conscience; and count every sin and breach of God’s law, not according as the vain world esteemeth of it, but as God the judge and maker of the law accounteth of the same. Hear God commanding by the mouth of Paul, to abstain from fornication, declaring that the fornicator shall not inherit the Kingdom of heaven: and by the mouth of John, reckoning out fornication amongst other grievous sins, that debarre the committers amongst dogs and swine, from entry in that spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem. And consider, if a man shall once take upon him, to count that light, which God calleth heavy; and venial that, which God calleth grievous; beginning first to measure any one sin by the rule of his lust and appetites, and not of his conscience; what shall let him to do so with the next, that his affections shall stir him to, the like reason serving for all: and so to go forward till he place his whole corrupted affections in God’s room? And then what shall come of him; but, as a man given over to his own filthy affections, shall perish into them? And because we are all of that nature, that closely related examples touch us nearest, consider the difference of success that God granted in the Marriages of the King my grand-father, and me your own father: the reward of his incontinence, (proceeding from his evil education) being the sudden death at one time of two pleasant yong Princes; and a daughter only born to succeed to him, whom he had never the chance, so much as once to see or bless before his death: leaving a double curse behind him to the land, both a Woman of sex, and a newborn babe of age to reign over them. And as for the blessing God hath bestowed on me, in granting me both a greater continence, and the fruits following there-upon, your self, and kin folks to you, are (praise be to God) sufficient witnesses: which, I hope the same God of his infinite mercy, shall continue and increase, without repentance to me and my posterity. Be not ashamed then, to keep clean your body, which is the Temple of the holy Spirit, notwithstanding all vain allurements to the contrary, discerning truly and wisely of every virtue and vice, according to the true qualities thereof, and not according to the vain conceits of men.

As for your choice in Marriage, respect chiefly the three causes, wherefore Marriage was first ordained by God; and then join three accessories, so far as they may be obtained, not derogating to the principles.

The three causes it was ordained for, are, for staying of lust, for procreation of children, and that man should by his Wife, get a helper like himself. Defer not then to Marry till your age: for it is ordained for quenching the lust of your youth: Especially a King must in good time Marry for the weale of his people. Neither Marry ye, for any accessory cause or worldly respects, a woman unable, either through age, nature, or accident, for procreation of children: for in a King that were a double fault, as well against his own weale, as against the weale of his people. Neither also Marry one of known evil conditions, or vicious education: for the woman is ordained to be a helper, and not a hinderer to man.

The three accessories, which as I have said, ought also to be respected, without derogating to the principal causes, are beauty, riches, and friendship by alliance, which are all blessings of God. For beauty increaseth your love to your Wife, contenting you the better with her, without caring for others: and riches and great alliance, do both make her the abler to be a helper unto you. But if over great respect being had to these accessories, the principal causes be over-seen (which is over oft practiced in the world) as of themselves they are a blessing being well used; so the abuse of them will turn them in a curse. For what can all these worldly respects avail, when a man shall find himself coupled with a devil, to be one flesh with him, and the half marrow in his bed? Then (though too late) shall he find that beauty without bounty, wealth without wisdom, and great friendship without grace and honesty; are but fair shows, and the deceitful masques of infinite miseries.

But have ye respect, my Son, to these three special causes in your Marriage, which flow from the first institution thereof, & cætera omnia adijcientur vobis. And therefore I would soonest have you to Marry one that were fully of your own Religion; her rank and other qualities being agreeable to your estate. For although that to my great regret, the number of any Princes of power and account, professing our Religion, be but very small; and that therefore this advice seems to be the more strait and difficult: yet ye have deeply to weigh, and consider upon these doubts, how ye and your wife can be of one flesh, and keep unity betwixt you, being members of two opposite Churches: disagreement in Religion bringeth ever with it, disagreement in manners; and the dissension betwixt your Preachers and her’s, will breed and foster a dissension among your subjects, taking their example from your family; besides the peril of the evil education of your children. Neither pride you that ye will be able to frame and make her as ye please: that deceived Solomon the wisest King that ever was; the grace of Perseverance, not being a flower that groweth in our garden.

Remember also that Marriage is one of the greatest actions that a man doeth in all his time, especially in taking of his first Wife: and if he Marry first basely beneath his rank, he will ever be the less accounted of thereafter. And lastly, remember to choose your Wife as I advised you to choose your servants: that she be of a whole and clean race, not subject to the hereditary sicknesses, either of the soul or the body: For if a man will be careful to breed horses and dogs of good kinds, how much more careful should he be, for the breed of his own loins? So shall ye in your Marriage have respect to your conscience, honour, and natural weale in your successors.

When ye are Married, keep inviolably your promise made to God in your Manage; which standeth all in doing of one thing, and abstaining from another: to treat her in all things as your wife, and the half of your self; and to make your body (which then is no more yours, but properly hers) common with none other. I trust I need not to insist here to dissuade you from the filthy vice of adultery: remember only what solemn promise ye make to God at your Marriage: and since it is only by the force of that promise that your children succeed to you, which otherwise they could not do; equity and reason would, ye should keep your part thereof. God is ever a severe avenger of all perjuries; and it is no oath made in jest, that giveth power to children to succeed to great kingdoms.

Have the King my grand-father’s example before your eyes, who by his adultery, bred the wrack of his lawful daughter and heir; in begetting that bastard, who unnaturally rebelled, and procured the ruin of his own Sovereign and sister. And what good her posterity hath gotten since, of some of that unlawful generation, Bothuell his treacherous attempts can bear witness. Keep precisely then your promise made at Marriage, as ye would wish to be partaker of the blessing therein.

And for your behavior to your Wife, the Scripture can best give you counsel therein: Treat her as your own flesh, command her as her Lord, cherish her as your helper, rule her as your pupil, and please her in all things reasonable; but teach her not to be curious in things that belong her not: Ye are the head, she is your body; It is your office to command, and hers to obey; but yet with such a sweet harmony, as she should be as ready to obey, as ye to command; as willing to follow, as ye to go before; your love being wholly knit unto her, and all her affections lovingly bent to follow your will.

And to conclude, keep specially three rules with your Wife: first, suffer her never to meddle with the Political government of the Commonweal, but hold her at the Economic rule of the house: and yet all to be subject to your direction: keep carefully good and chaste company about her, for women are the frailest sex; and be never both angry at once, but when ye see her in passion, ye should with reason subdue yours: for both when ye are settled, ye are meetest to judge of her errors; and when she is come to her self, she may be best made to apprehend her offence, and reverence your rebuke.

If God send you succession, be careful for their virtuous education: love them as ye ought, but let them know as much of it, as the gentleness of their nature will deserve; containing them ever in a reverent love and fear of you. And in case it please God to provide you to all these three Kingdoms, make your eldest son Isaac, leaving him all your kingdoms; and provide the rest with private possessions: Otherwise by dividing your kingdoms, ye shall leave the seed of division and discord among your posterity; as befell to this Ile, by the division and assignment thereof, to the three sons of Brutus, Locrine, Albanact, and Camber. But if God give you not succession, defraud never the nearest by right, whatsoever conceit ye have of the person: For Kingdoms are ever at God’s disposition, and in that case we are but live-renters, lying no more in the King’s, nor people’s hands to dispossess the righteous heir.

And as your company should be a pattern to the rest of the people, so should your person be a lamp and mirror to your company: giving light to your servants to walk in the path of virtue, and representing unto them such worthy qualities, as they should press to imitate.

I need not to trouble you with the particular discourse of the four Cardinal virtues, it is so trodden a path: but I will shortly say unto you; make one of them, which is Temperance, Queen of all the rest within you. I mean not by the vulgar interpretation of Temperance, which only consists in gustu & tactu, by the moderating of these two senses: but, I mean of that wise moderation, that first commanding your self, shall as a Queen, command all the affections and passions of your mind, and as a Physician, wisely mix all your actions according thereto. Therefore, not only in all your affections and passions, but even in your most virtuous actions, make ever moderation to be the chief ruler: For although holiness be the first and most requisite quality of a Christian, as proceeding from a feeling fear and true knowledge of God: yet ye remember how in the conclusion of my first book, I advised you to moderate all your outward actions flowing there-from. The like say I now of justice, which is the greatest virtue that properly belongeth to a Kings office.

Use Justice, but with such moderation, as it turn not in Tyranny : otherwise summum Jus, is summa iniuria. As for example:
If a man of a known honest life, be invaded by brigands or thieves for his purse, and in his own defence slay one of them, they being both more in number, and also known to be debased and insolent livers; where by the contrary, he was single alone, being a man of sound reputation: yet because they were not at the home, or there was no eye-witnesses present that could verify their first invading of him, shall he therefore lose his head? And likewise, by the lawburrows in our laws, men are prohibited under great pecunial pains, from any wise invading or molesting their neighbours person or bounds: if then his horse break the halter, and pasture in his neighbours meadow, shall he pay two or three thousand pounds for the wantonness of his horse, or the weakness of his halter? Surely no: for laws are ordained as rules of virtuous and social living, and not to be snares to trap your good subjects: and therefore the law must be interpreted according to the meaning, and not to the literal sense thereof: Nam ratio est anima legis.

And as I said of justice, so say I of Clemency, Magnanimity, Liberality, Constancy, Humility, and all other Princely virtues; Nam in medjo stat virtus. And it is but the craft of the Devil that falsely coloureth the two vices that are on either side thereof with the borrowed titles of it, albeit in very deed they have no affinity therewith and the two extremities themselves, although they seem contrary, yet growing to the height, run ever both in one: For in infinitis omnia concurrunt; and what difference is betwixt extreme tyranny, delighting to destroy all mankind; and extreme slackness of punishment, permitting every man to tyrannize over his companion? Or what differeth extreme prodigality, by wasting of all to possess nothing; from extreme niggardness, by hoarding up all to enjoy nothing; like the Ass that carrying victual on her back, is like to starve for hunger, and will be glad of thistles for her part? And what is betwixt the pride of a glorious Nebuchadnezzar, and the preposterous humility of one of the proud Puritans, claiming to their Parity, and crying, We are all but vile worms, and yet will judge and give Law to their King, but will be judged nor controlled by none? Surely there is more pride under such a one’s black bonnet, than under Alexander the great his Diadem, as was said of Diogenes in the like case.

But above all virtues, study to know well your own craft, which is to rule your people. And when I say this, I bid you know all crafts: For except ye know every one, how can ye control every one, which is your proper office? Therefore besides your education, it is necessary ye delight in reading, and seeking the knowledge of all lawful things; but with these two restrictions: first, that ye choose idle hours for it, not interrupting therewith the discharge of your office: and next, that ye study not for knowledge nakedly, but that your principal end be, to make you able thereby to use your office; practicing according to your knowledge in all the points of your calling: not like these vain Astrologians, that study night and day on the course of the stars, only that they may, for satisfying their curiosity, know their course. But since all Arts and sciences are linked every one with other, their greatest principles agreeing in one (which moved the Poets to fame the nine Muses to be all sisters) study them, that out of their harmony, ye may suck the knowledge of all faculties; and consequently be on the counsel of all crafts, that ye may be able to contain them all in order, as I have already said: For knowledge and learning is a light burden, the weight whereof will never press your shoulders.

First of all then, study to be well seen in the Scriptures, as I remembered you in the first book; as well for the knowledge of your own salvation, as that ye may be able to contain your Church in their calling, as Custos vtriusque Tabuke. For the ruling them well, is no small point of your office; taking specially heed, that they vague not from their text in the Pulpit: and if ever ye would have peace in your land, suffer them not to meddle in that place with the estate or policy; but punish severely the first that presumeth to it. Do nothing towards them without a good ground and warrant, but reason not much with them: for I have over-much surfeited them with that, and it is not their fashion to yield. And suffer no conventions nor meetings among Church-men, but by your knowledge and permission.

Next the Scriptures, study well your own Laws: for how can ye discern by the thing ye know not? But press to draw all your Laws and processes, to be as short and plain as ye can: assure your self the longsomeness both of rights and processes, breedeth their unsure looseness and obscurity, the shortest being ever both the surest and plainest form, and the longsomeness serving only for the enriching of the Advocates and Clerks, with the spoil of the whole country: And therefore delight to haunt your Session, and spy carefully their proceedings; taking good heed, if any bribery may be tried among them, which cannot over severely be punished. Spare not to go there, for gracing that far any that ye favor, by your presence to procure them expedition of Justice; although that should be specially done, for the poor that cannot wait on, or are debarred by mightier parties. But when ye are there, remember the throne is God’s and not yours, that ye sit in, and let no favor, nor whatsoever respects move you from the right. Ye sit not there, as I shew before, for rewarding of friends or servants, nor for crossing of contemners, but only for doing of Justice. Learn also wisely to discern between Justice and equity; and for pity of the poor, rob not the rich, because he may better spare it, but give the little man the larger coat if it be his; eschewing the error of young Cyrus therein: For Justice, by the Law, giveth every man his own; and equity in things judged, giveth every one that which is meetest for him.

Be an ordinary sitter in your secret Counsel: that judicature is only ordained for matters of estate, and repressing of insolent oppressions. Make that judgement as compendious and plain as ye can; and suffer no Advocates to be heard there with their delayers, but let every party tell his own tale himself: and weary not to hear the complaints of the oppressed, aut ne Rex sis. Remit every thing to the ordinary judicature, for eschewing of confusion: but let it be your own craft, to take a sharp account of every man in his office.

And next the Laws, I would have you to be well versed in authentic histories, and in the Chronicles of all nations, but specially in our own histories (Ne sis peregrinus domi) the example whereof most nearly concerns you: I mean not of such infamous invectives, as Buchanan’s or Knox’s Chronicles: and if any of these infamous libels remain until your days, use the Law upon the keepers thereof: For in that point I would have you a Pythagorist, to think that the very spirits of these leading inciters of rebellion, have made transition in them that hoards their books, or maintains their opinions; punishing them, even as it were their authors risen again. But by reading of authentic histories and Chronicles, ye shall learn experience by Theoricke, applying the bypast things to the present estate, quia nihil nouum sub sole: such is the continual volubility of things earthly, according to the roundness of the world, and revolution of the heavenly circles: which is expressed by the wheels in Ezekiel’s visions, and counterfeited by the Poets in rota Fortunae. And likewise by the knowledge of histories, ye shall know how to behave your self to all Ambassadors and strangers; being able to discourse with them upon the estate of their own country. And among all profane histories, I must not omit most specially to recommend unto you, the Commentaries of Caesar; both for the sweet flowing of the stile, as also for the worthiness of the matter it self: For I have ever been of that opinion, that of all the Ethnic Emperors, or great Captains that ever were, he hath farthest excelled, both in his practice, and in his precepts in martial affairs.

For the study of other liberal arts and sciences, I would have you reasonably versed in them, but not pressing to be a passe-master in any of them: for that cannot but distract you from the points of your calling, as I shewed you before: and when, by the enemy winning the town, ye shall be interrupted in your demonstration, as Archimedes was; your people (I think) will look very bluntly upon it. I grant it is meet ye have some entrance, specially in the Mathematics; for the knowledge of the art military, in situation of Camps, ordering of battles, making Fortifications, placing of batteries, or such like. And let not this your knowledge be dead without fruits, as Saint James speaketh of Faith: but let it appear in your daily conversation, and in all the actions of your life.

Embrace true magnanimity, not in being vindictive, which the corrupted judgements of the world think to be true Magnanimity; but by the contrary, in thinking your offender not worthy of your wrath, ruling absolutely over your own passion, and triumphing in the commanding your self to forgive: husbanding the effects of your courage and wrath, to be rightly employed upon repelling of injuries within, by revenge taking upon the oppressors; and in revenging injuries without, by just wars upon foreign enemies. And so, where ye find a notable injury, spare not to give course to the torrents of your wrath. The wrath of a King, is like to the roaring of a Lion.

Foster true Humility, in banishing pride, not only towards God (considering ye differ not in stuff, but in use, and that only by his ordinance, from the basest of your people) but also towards your Parents. And if it fall out that my Wife shall out-live me, as ever ye think to purchase my blessing, honour your mother: set Beersheba in a throne on your right hand: offend her for nothing, much less wrong her: remember her

Quce longa decem talent fastidia menses;

and that your flesh and blood is made of her’s: and begin not, like the young lords and Scottish landowners, your first wars upon your Mother; but press earnestly to deserve her blessing. Neither deceive your self with many that say, they care not for their Parents curse, so they deserve it not. O invert not the order of nature, by judging your superiors, chiefly in your own particular! But assure your self, the blessing or curse of the Parents, hath almost ever a Prophetic power joined with it: and if there were no more, honour your Parents, for the lengthening of your own days, as GOD in his Law promiseth. Honour also them that are in loco Parentum unto you, such as your governors, up-bringers, and Preceptors: be thankful unto them and reward them, which is your duty and honour.

But on the other part, let not this true humility stay your high indignation to appear, when any great oppressors shall presume to come in your presence; then frown as ye ought: And in-case they use a color of Law in oppressing their poor ones, as over-many do; that which ye cannot mend by Law, mend by the withdrawing of your countenance from them: and once in the year cross them, when their errands come in your way, recompensing the oppressor, according to Christ’s parable of the two debtors.

Keep true not only in your kindness towards honest men; but being also inuicti animi against all adversities: not with that Stoic insensible stupidity, wherewith many in our days, pressing to win honour, in imitating that ancient sect, by their inconstant behavior in their own lives, belie their profession. But although ye are not a stoic, not to feel calamities; yet let not the feeling of them, so over-rule and stupefy your reason, as may stay you from taking and using the best resolution for remedy, that can be found out.

Use true Liberality in rewarding the good, and bestowing frankly for your honour and weale: but with that proportional discretion, that every man may be served according to his measure, wherein respect must be had to his rank, deserts, and necessity: And provide how to have, but cast not away without cause. In special, rule not by your Liberality the ordinary rents of your crown; whereby the estate Royal of you, and your successors, must be maintained, ne exhaurias fontem liberalitatis: for that would ever be kept sacrosanctum & extra commercium: otherwise, your Liberality would decline to Prodigality, in helping others with your, and your successors hurt. And above all, enrich not your self with exactions won your subjects; but think the riches of your people your best treasure, by the sins of offenders, where no prevention can avail, making justly your commodity. And in-case necessity of wars, or other extraordinaries compel you to lift Subsidies, do it as rarely as ye can: employing it only to the use it was ordained for; and using your self in that case, as fidus depositarius to your people.

And principally, exercise true Wisdom; in discerning wisely betwixt true and false reports; First, considering the nature of the person reporter; Next, what interest he can have in the good or evil of him, of whom he maketh the report; Thirdly, the likelihood of the purpose it self; And last, the nature and by-past life of the dilated person: and where ye find a tattler, away with him. And although it be true, that a Prince can never without secrecy do great things, yet it is better ofttimes to try reports, than by credulity to foster suspicion upon an honest man. For since suspicion is the Tyrants sickness, as the fruits of an evil Conscience, potius in alteram partem peccato; I mean, in not mistrusting one, whom-to no such dishonesty was known before. But as for such as have slipped before, former experience may justly breed prevention by fore-sight.

And to conclude my advice concerning your behavior in your person; consider that GOD is the author of all virtue, having imprinted in men’s minds by the very light of nature, the love of all moral virtues; as was seen by the virtuous hues of the old Romans: and press then to shine as far before your people, in all virtue and honesty; as in greatness of rank: that the use thereof in all your actions, may turn, with time, to a natural habitude in you; and as by their hearing of your Laws, so by their sight of your person, both their eyes and their ears, may lead and allure them to the love of virtue, and hatred of vice.

End of the Second Book



As he cannot be thought worthy to rule and command others, that cannot rule and subdue his own proper affections and unreasonable appetites, so can he not be thought worthy to govern a Christian people, knowing and fearing God, that in his own person and heart, feareth not and loveth not the Divine Majesty. Neither can any thing in his government succeed well with him, (devise and labor as he list) as coming from a filthy spring, if his person be unsanctified: for (as that royal Prophet saith) Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the City, the keepers watch it in vain; in respect the blessing of God hath only power to give the success thereunto: and as Paul saith, he planteth, Apollos watereth; but it is God only that giveth the increase. Therefore (my Son) first of all things, learn to know and love that God, whom-to ye have a double obligation; first, for that he made you a man; and next, for that he made you a little GOD to sit on his Throne, and rule over other men. Remember, that as in dignity he hath erected you above others, so ought ye in thankfulness towards him, go as far beyond all others. A moat in another’s eye, is a beam into yours: a blemish in another, is a leprous bile into you: and a venial sin (as the Papists call it) in another, is a great crime unto you. Think not therefore, that the highness of your dignity, diminisheth your faults (much less giveth you a licence to sin) but by the contrary your fault shall be aggravated, according to the height of your dignity; any sin that ye commit, not being a single sin procuring but the fall of one; but being an exemplar sin, and therefore drawing with it the whole multitude to be guilty of the same. Remember then, that this glistering worldly glory of Kings, is given them by God, to teach them to press so to glister and shine before their people, in all works of sanctification and righteousness, that their persons as bright lamps of godliness and virtue, may, going in and out before their people, give light to all their steps. Remember also, that by the right knowledge, and fear of God (which is the beginning of Wisdom, as Salomon saith), ye shall know all the things necessary for the discharge of your duty, both as a Christian, and as a King; seeing in him, as in a mirror, the course of all earthly things, whereof he is the spring and only mover.

Now, the only way to bring you to this knowledge, is diligently to read his word, and earnestly to pray for the right understanding thereof. Search the Scriptures, saith Christ, for they bear testimony of me: and, the whole Scripture, saith Paul, is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to convince, to correct, and to instruct in righteousness; that the man of God may be absolute, being made perfect unto all good works. And most properly of any other, belongeth the reading thereof unto Kings, since in that part of Scripture, where the godly Kings are first made mention of, that were ordained to rule over the people of God, there is an express and most notable exhortation and commandment given them, to read and meditate in the Law of God. I join to this, the careful hearing of the doctrine with attendance and reverence: for, faith cometh by hearing, saith the same Apostle. But above all, beware ye wrest not the word to your own appetite, as over many do, making it like a bell to sound as ye please to interpret: but by the contrary, frame all your affections, to follow precisely the rule there set down.

The whole Scripture chiefly containeth two things: a command, and a prohibition, to do such things, and to abstain from the contrary. Obey in both; neither think it enough to abstain from evil, and do no good; nor think not that if ye do many good things, it may serve you for a cloak to mix evil turns therewith. And as in these two points, the whole Scripture principally consisteth, so in two degrees standeth the whole service of God by man: interior, or upward; exterior, or downward: the first, by prayer in faith towards God; the next, by works flowing therefrom before the world: which is nothing else, but the exercise of Religion towards God, and of equity towards your neighbor.

As for the particular points of Religion, I need not to dilate them; I am no hypocrite, follow my footsteps, and your own present education therein. I thank God, I was never ashamed to give account of my profession, howsoever the malicious lying tongues of some have traduced me: and if my conscience had not resolved me, that all my Religion presently professed by me and my kingdom, was grounded upon the plain words of the Scripture, without the which all points of Religion are superfluous, as any thing contrary to the same is abomination, I had never outwardly avowed it, for pleasure or awe of any flesh.

And as for the points of equity towards your neighbor (because that will fall in properly, upon the second part concerning a King’s office) I leave it to the own room.

For the first part then of man’s service to his God, which is Religion, that is, the worship of God according to his revealed will, it is wholly grounded upon the Scripture, as I have already said, quickened by faith, and conserved by conscience: For the Scripture, I have now spoken of it in general, but that ye may the more readily make choice of any part thereof, for your instruction or comfort, remember shortly this method.

The whole Scripture is dictated by God’s Spirit, thereby, as by his lively word, to instruct and rule the whole Church militant to the end of the world: It is composed of two parts, the Old and New Testament: The ground of the former is the Law, which sheweth our sin, and containeth justice: the ground of the other is Christ, who pardoning sin containeth grace. The sum of the Law is the ten Commandments, more largely related in the books of Moses, interpreted and applied by the Prophets; and by the histories, are the examples shewed of obedience or disobedience thereto, and with the history of the infancy and first progress of the Church is contained in their Acts.

Would ye then know your sin by the Law? Read the books of Moses containing it. Would ye have a commentary thereupon? Read the Prophets, and likewise the books of the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, written by that great pattern of wisdom Solomon, which will not only serve you for instruction, how to walk in the obedience of the Law of God, but is also so full of golden sentences, and moral precepts, in all things that can concern your conversation in the world, as among all the profane Philosophers and Poets, ye shall not find so rich a storehouse of precepts of natural wisdom, agreeing with the will and divine wisdom of God. Would ye see how good men are rewarded, and wicked punished? look the historical parts of these same books of Moses, together with the histories of Joshua, the Judges, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Job: but especially the books of the Kings and Chronicles, wherewith ye ought to be familiarly acquainted: for there shall ye see your self, as in a mirror, in the catalogue either of the good or the evil Kings.

Would ye know the doctrine, life, and death of our Saviour Christ? Read the Evangelists. Would ye be more particularly trained up in his School? Meditate upon the Epistles of the Apostles. And would ye be acquainted with the practices of that doctrine in the persons of the primitive Church? Cast up the Apostles Acts. And as to the Apocrypha books, I omit them, because I am no Papist, as I said before; and indeed some of them are no ways like the dictation of the Spirit of God.

But when ye read the Scripture, read it with a sanctified and chaste heart: Admire reverently such obscure places as ye understand not, blaming only your own capacity: read with delight the plain places, and study carefully to understand those that are somewhat difficult: press to be a good textualist; for the Scripture is ever the best interpreter of it self; but press not curiously to seek out farther than is contained therein; for that were over unmannerly a presumption, to strive to be further upon God’s secrets, than he hath will ye be; for what he thought needful for us to know, that hath he revealed there: And delight most in reading such parts of the Scripture, as may best serve for your instruction in your calling; rejecting foolish curiosities upon genealogies and contentions, which are but vain, and profit not, as Paul saith.

Now, as to Faith, which is the nourisher and quickner of Religion, as I have already said, It is a sure persuasion and apprehension of the promises of God, applying them to your soul: and therefore may it justly be called, the golden chain that linketh the faithful soul to Christ: And because it groweth not in our garden, but is the free gift of God, as the same Apostle saith, it must be nourished by prayer, Which is nothing else, but a friendly talking with God.

As for teaching you the form of your prayers, the Psalms of David are the most proper school-master that ye can be acquainted with (next the prayer of our Saviour, which is the only rule of prayer) where out of, as of most rich and pure fountains, ye may learn all forms of prayer necessary for your comfort at all occasions: And so much the fitter are they for you, than for the common sort, in respect the composer thereof was a King: and therefore best behooved to know a King’s wants, and what things were most proper to be required by a King at God’s hand for remedy thereof.

Use often to pray when ye are quietest, especially forget it not in your bed how oft soever ye do it at other times: for public prayer serveth as much for example, as for any particular comfort to the supplicant.

In your prayer, be neither over strange with God, like the ignorant common sort, that prayeth nothing but out of books, nor yet over homely with him, like some of the vain Pharisaical puritans, that think they rule him upon their fingers: The former way will breed an uncouth coldness in you towards him, the other will breed in you a contempt of him. But in your prayer to God speak with all reverence: for if a subject will not speak but reverently to a King, much less should any flesh presume to talk with God as with his companion.

Crave in your prayer, not only things spiritual, but also things temporal, sometimes of greater, and sometimes of less consequence; that ye may lay up in store his grant of these things, for confirmation of your faith, and to be an earnest unto you of his love. Pray, as ye find your heart moveth you, pro re nata: but see that ye ask no unlawful things, as revenge, lust, or such like: for that prayer can not come of faith: and whatsoever is done without faith, is sin, as the Apostle saith.

When ye obtain your prayer, thank him joyfully therefore: if otherwise, bear patiently, pressing to win him with importunity, as the widow did the unrighteous Judge: and if notwithstanding thereof ye be not heard, assure your self, God foreseeth that which ye ask is not for your good: and learn in time, so to interpret all the adversities that God shall send unto you; so shall ye in the midst of them, not only be armed with patience, but joyfully lift up your eyes from the present trouble, to the happy end that God will turn it to. And when ye find it once so fall out by proof, arm your self with the experience thereof against the next trouble, assuring your self, though ye cannot in time of the shower see through the cloud, yet in the end shall ye find; God sent it for your good, as ye found in the former.

And as for conscience, which I called the conserver of Religion, It is nothing else, but the light of knowledge that God hath planted in man, which ever watching over all his actions, as it beareth him a joyful testimony when he does right, so choppeth it him with a feeling that he hath done wrong, when ever he committeth any sin. And surely, although this conscience be a great torture to the wicked, yet is it as great a comfort to the godly, if we will consider it rightly. For have we not a great advantage, that have within ourselves while we live here, a Count-book and Inventory of all the crimes that we shall be accused of, either at the hour of our death, or at the Great day of judgement; which when we please (yea though we forget) will strike, and remember us to look upon it; that while we have leisure and are here, we may remember to amend; and so at the day of our trial, compare with new and white garments washed in the blood of the Lamb, as S. John saith. Above all then, my Son, labor to keep sound this conscience, which many prattle of, but over few feel: especially be careful to keep it free from two diseases, wherewith it useth oft to be infected; to wit, Leprosy, and Superstition; the former is the mother of Atheism, the other of Heresies. By a leprous conscience, I mean a cauterized conscience, as Paul calleth it, being become senseless of sin, through sleeping in a careless security as King David’s was after his murder and adultery, ever til he was wakened by the Prophet Nathan’s similitude. And by superstition, I mean, when one restrains himself to any other rule in the service of God, than is warranted by the word, the only true square of God’s service.

As for a preservative against this Leprosy, remember every once in the four and twenty hours, either in the night, or when ye are at greatest quiet, to call yourself to account of all your last day’s actions, either wherein ye have committed things ye should not, or omitted the things ye should do, either in your Christian or Kingly calling: and in that account, let not your self be smoothed over with that flattering ~tXcuyutcL, which is overkindly a sickness to all mankind: but censure your self as sharply, as if ye were your own enemy: For if ye judge yourself, ye shall not be judged, as the Apostle saith: and then according to your censure, reform your actions as far as ye may, eschewing ever wilfully and wittingly to contrary your conscience: For a small sin wilfully committed, with a deliberate resolution to break the bridle of conscience therein, is far more grievous before God, than a greater sin committed in a sudden passion, when conscience is asleep. Remember therefore in all your actions, of the great account that ye are one day to make: in all the days of your life, ever learning to die, and living every day as it were your last;

Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum.

And therefore, I would not have you to pray with the Papists, to be preserved from sudden death, but that God would give you grace so to hue, as ye may every hour of your life be ready for death: so shall ye attain to the virtue of true fortitude, never being afraid for the horror of death, come when he list: And especially, beware to offend your conscience with use of swearing or lying, suppose but in jest; for others are but a vice, and a sin clothed with no delight nor gain, and therefore the more inexcusable even in the sight of men: and lying cometh also much of a vile use, which will banish shame: Therefore beware even to deny the truth, which is a sort of lie, that may best be eschewed by a person of your rank. For if any thing be asked at you that ye think not meet to reveal, if ye say, that question is not pertinent for them to ask, who dare examine you further? and using sometimes this answer both in true and false things that shall be asked at you, such unmannerly people will never be the wiser thereof.

And for keeping your conscience sound from that sickness of superstition, ye must neither lay the safety of your conscience upon the credit of your own conceits, nor yet of other men’s humors, how great doctors of Divinity that ever they be; but ye must only ground it upon the express Scripture: for conscience not grounded upon sure knowledge, is either an ignorant fantasy, or an arrogant vanity. Beware therefore in this case with two extremities: the one, to believe with the Papists, the Churches authority, better than your own knowledge; the other, to lean with the Anabaptists, to your own conceits and dreamed revelations.

But learn wisely to discern betwixt points of salvation and indifferent things, betwixt substance and ceremonies; and betwixt the express commandment and will of God in his word, and the invention or ordinance of man; since all that is necessary for salvation is contained in the Scripture: For in any thing that is expressly commanded or prohibited in the book of God, ye cannot be over precise, even in the least thing; counting every sin, not according to the light estimation and common use of it in the world, but as the book of God counteth of it. But as for all other things not contained in the Scripture, spare not to use or alter them, as the necessity of the time shall require. And when any of the spiritual office-bearers in the Church, speak unto you any thing that is well warranted by the word, reverence and obey them as the heralds of the most high God: but, if passing that bounds, they urge you to embrace any of their fantasies in the place of God’s word, or would color their particulars with a pretended zeal, acknowledge them for no other than vain men, exceeding the bounds of their calling; and according to your office, gravely and with authority redact them in order again.

To conclude then, both this purpose of conscience, and the first part of this book, keep God more sparingly in your mouth, but abundantly in your heart; be precise in effect, but social in show: declare more by your deeds than by your words, the love of virtue and hatred of vice: and delight more to be godly and virtuous indeed, than to be thought and called so; expecting more for your praise and reward in heaven, than here: and apply to all your outward actions Christ’s command, to pray and give your alms secretly: So shall ye on the one part be inwardly garnished with true Christian humility, not outwardly (with the proud Pharisee) glorying in your godliness; but saying, as Christ commandeth us all, when we have done all that we can, Inutiles serui sumus: And on the other part, ye shall eschew outwardly before the world, the suspicion of filthy proud hypocrisy, and deceitful dissimulation.

End of the First Book

Just How Important is a Single Letter?

There are those who will tell you that the changes in the wording of the Bible text in the new versions does not change the meaning, and that we should not be concerned about how the words are changed.  However, this is to ignore the fact that even if we change a word to a different word that has “the same meaning” it nonetheless changes the contextual relationship of the words in the sentence.  In fact, any deviation at all from the words of the author will, of necessity, change the meaning to some degree.  It is not difficult to see how this would be, given the following example of what was a simple typing error when writing a letter. What happened was that I mistyped the word “not” and ended up typing the word “now” quite by accident. However, there is only one letter difference between the two words, but it changed everything about the sentence:

With this, we determined that it was now feasible to change certain doctrines concerning the church and the Scripture that we had found lacking.

So I just stated we CAN make the change, . . . or did I?

With this, we determined that it was not feasible to change certain doctrines concerning the church and the Scripture that we had found lacking.

No, what I intended to say was that we CANNOT make the changes. By changing only one letter, (the letter “w” to the letter “t”) there is a change in the meaning of the sentence to two diametrically opposing ideas and actions. Next time someone claims that a “few, minor changes” in the words don’t make any real difference in the meaning, don’t believe them . . . THEY’RE LYING!

The Consistency of Scripture: The 75th Psalm

The Consistency of Scripture One of the most profitable things that can be done in Scripture is to find other passages of Scripture that support the passage you are currently reading. This is one of the ways that the Lord demonstrates the consistency of His word. The following psalm is very good for doing just that. Although it is short, it provides an excellent example of just how consistent the Authorized King James Version is. It is essential that one have implicit trust in the Bible that they read, so that there exists no question regarding the validity of the underlying text, or the translation when a passage is not understood. Rather, that one understands that the Lord has not yet revealed the meaning of that passage to them. This does not mean that one is to “give up” on trying to understand a verse, or passage of Scripture. Instead, it means that one is to ask the the Lord for understanding — and be patient in awaiting His giving of understanding. After all, there exist numerous reasons why a particular passage may not be revealed to a particular individual, and only the LORD God knows what they are. Therefore, having trust in Him and His word, we ought to be respectfully patient after we ask, for He is under no obligation to reveal anything to anyone, except that He chooses to do so. — Sincerely in Christ: Paul W. Davis

Psalm 75

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. (Psalm 19:1-5)

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:22-28)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:18-21)

When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.

For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (Hebrews 2:11-13)

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)

The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4)

I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)

All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. (Daniel 4:28-32)

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:34-35)

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:26-30)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastics 12:13-14)

For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over. (Isaiah 51:21-23)

And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. (Revelation 16:17-19)

But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:15-18)

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. (Psalm 22:22-25)

All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:1-3)

What Psalm 75 declares: This psalm is about the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is He that speaks throughout. Though the psalm was penned by Asaph, it is impossible that anyone on this earth (outside of Christ) should receive the congregation spoken of in this psalm. In addition, the very next verse declares that the author of this psalm bears up the support (pillars) of the earth. It is also manifestly impossible that this is Asaph, or any other ordinary man. Rather, it is the Son of God that does this as Hebrews, chapter 1 states. Thus, the whole of this psalm is about the work of the Lord Jesus Christ to come. He, being fully God, and equal with the Father, willingly subordinated Himself to the Father to accomplish the work of man’s redemption. In accomplishing this, He also is fully qualified to judge every man’s work and mete out every man’s just due. What this psalm does not tell us is the qualifications of the righteous and the wicked. Rather, that is left to other passages to make that clarification. Now, there are some that will not understand the use of the terms LORD and God in this psalm. If one holds to the doctrine that God is not a tri-unity of persons, but is only one person manifesting in three different forms, then this psalm does become confusing and problematic. The reason for this is plain: One cannot speak of oneself in a way that plainly indicates that one is someone else. This would be a logical impossibility. However, if one does understand the doctrine of the Trinity, then this psalm is wonderful testimony of the tri-unity of God. In Hebrews, chapter 1, we find a excellent confirmation of the wording of this psalm.

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (Hebrews 1:8-12)

Therefore we find that the persons of the Godhead address each other as both God and LORD. This also confirms the disputed (among some) verse of I John 5:7 which states:

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (I John 5:7)

Thus, this one short psalm confirms several of the doctrines and passages of the New Testament as being entirely valid. In this, the wonderful consistency of the Authorized King James Bible bears out that it is indeed God’s word for the English-speaking people.


The Deity of Christ

Testing the Bible Versions

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I had a gentleman ask me one morning how it was that I knew the King James Version was the word of God, and the New International Version, New American Standard Bible (Version), and other modern English versions were not. I replied that there were tests that could be done using the translation itself, but was not able due to time constraints, to demonstrate my point. The following is a very brief discussion of one of the points presented.

There are only two ‘modern’ versions used in this comparison. Both of these versions are considered to be the most conservative and accurate of the new versions utilizing a specific underlying text and method of translation that have been produced in the last 50 years. The New King James Version which is also considered to be conservative, is not used here as it has a different underlying source text and must be evaluated separately.

Both the New International Version (NIV) and the New American Standard Version (Bible) (NASV(B)) have many adherents among those who claim to be fundamental. Thus, the particular doctrine selected for evaluation purposes should be very familiar and critical to those who state they are fundamental.

NOTE: Differences in the text are emphasized by the use of underlining. Quotes from the different bible versions are a different font from the body text. Additional emphasis utilizes italics when the quote is placed in the body text. Additional comments are placed in footnotes.

Consistency of the Scripture

One of the hallmarks of canon (true scripture) is consistency. Does the text treat the subject under discussion the same as in the rest of scripture? In other words, in a same subject, same context writing, are the subject’s characteristics and attributes consistent with other scripture addressing that same subject? For example: Who is Christ? More specifically: Is the Lord Jesus Christ — God?

There are some tests we can apply that would determine that Jesus Christ is indeed God. First, does he claim to be God? Second, does He have the attributes of God? Specifically, is He infinite in being? Is He from everlasting past? Is He self-existent, or was He created? (God is self-existent, creatures are created) These are just a few of the questions that can be asked in determining whether the Bible one is using speaks of God and Christ correctly.

In this brief discussion and comparison only a couple of the above questions will be asked and answered. This is in light of the consistency of scripture. Which Bible is consistent in how it presents the Lord Jesus Christ and some of the hallmarks of deity?

The Evidence

In Matthew 2:5-6 one of the Old Testament prophets is referenced and quoted concerning the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 2:5-6
King James Version

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

New International Version
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “`But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”

New American Standard Bible
5 They said to him, ” In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

This is a reference to Micah 5:2 in the Old Testament.

Micah 5:2
King James Version

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

New International Version
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

New American Standard Bible
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

Please note that there is a distinct difference between “goings forth” and “origins”, and “everlasting” and “ancient times.” One cannot be self-existent and eternally present and have an origin. It is a logical impossibility. However, one can go forth from “of old” and do so from everlasting past. If the Lord Jesus Christ is God, (and thus able to pay for our sins) he would have to be eternally present from everlasting past to everlasting future.

Even though at this point the NASB has not invalidated the eternal existence of the Lord Jesus Christ, it has used the questionable statement “days of eternity,” which, as we will see later, will throw question upon the nature of God and His creation. The NASB will also weaken this statement in Micah 5:2 by not reinforcing it in the more familiar passage of Revelation 1.

To then determine which bible is consistent in its treatment of the deity of Christ we need to find a clear statement in scripture concerning the deity of Christ. In the Gospel of St. John this is done several times, as the focus of John is the deity of Christ.

John 8:58
King James Version

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

New International Version
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born ((There is a distinct difference between “was” and “was born.” The difference is in time. One exists prior to birth. One cannot exist prior to conception (save Christ), but one easily exists several months in the womb. Since the LORD knows everyone and the moment of their existence, the more accurate and precise statement is to say “was” with reference to Abraham’s existence.)) , I am!”

New American Standard Bible
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born ((Ibid)) , I am.”

This is a direct reference to what the LORD God told Moses at the burning bush in Exodus. If one reads the next verse in John 8, one finds that the Jews took up stones to stone Jesus for the blasphemy of making Himself God. The Jews clearly knew the reference Jesus made. So then, let’s look at Exodus.

Exodus 3:14
King James Version

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

New International Version
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.'”

New American Standard Bible
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

So it is plain by both versions that Jesus is God. Except, in the NIV and NASB the first statement of God is very weak. In fact, anyone could make the statement “I AM WHO I AM.” This is entirely true of everyone, including Satan. After all, are you someone else? However, none save God can state “I AM THAT I AM” which speaks of self-existence.

Does another place in the scripture state the eternally present, self-existence of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God? In Revelation, the Lord states clearly this truth. It is interesting how both of the “modern” versions handle the passage stating the infinity of God in contrast to the King James Version.

Revelation 1:8, 10-13
King James Version

8 I am Alpha and Omega, ((Please note the difference here between the ‘modern’ versions and the KJV: In the KJV the statement is “I am Alpha and Omega”, in the ‘modern’ versions the statement reads “I am the Alpha and the Omega”. The difference here is subtle and dangerous as a certain idea is implied by the insertion of the word “the”. One can be Alpha and Omega, which would state that there is only one beginning and only one ending and that person is it. However, if the word “the” is used, then there is an implied beginning of beginnings and an implied ending of endings. In other words, it leaves open the possibility of either precedent creations and antecedent endings, or that there will be subsequent creations and subsequent endings of the type which we experience now. In either case, it lends credence to both the “old earth” creationist, and to the “New Age” adherent in their argument for creation cycles. However, the rest of the true Scripture does not and cannot support this. There will be only one earth like this one, and when it is gone, what will replace it cannot be corrupted at all. (Ref. Isaiah 65:17, II Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1))) the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

New International Version
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.

New American Standard Bible
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,
11 saying,
“Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.

Something should now be plain. It appears that the NIV and NASB are both very inconsistent in their treatment of the deity of Christ. Did you note what phrases are missing in the NIV and NASB in the Revelation passage? All those things that speak plainly of the self-existent, eternally present, everlasting God that Christ is, are missing. Notice also that the title “the Son of man” is changed to “a son of man”. It almost sounds as if John the Apostle did not know who he was looking at.

There is a final passage to be examined, which ought to be very clear as to who the Lord Jesus Christ is. After all, this passage teaches that believers ought to have a certain mind, and in so doing, plainly instructs that Christ is God.

Philippians 2:5-7
King James Version

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

New International Version
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

New American Standard Bible
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men

Before looking at the obvious difference in how the deity of Christ is treated, it should to be noticed that there are differences between the terms “mind” and “attitude.” Even though some may claim that the two are the same, they are not. Where “attitude” is defined as “a manner of acting, feeling, or thinking that shows one’s disposition, opinion, etc.”, or “the posture or position of a person showing or meant to show a mental state, emotion, or mood.” ((Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary )); a “mind” as it is meant here is defined as “way, state, or direction of thinking and feeling;” which includes the definition “what one intends, wishes, or wills; purpose or desire;”

As can be easily seen in the above definitions, having an “attitude” about something is necessarily less deep than having a “mind” of something. Attitudes can be affected, meaning that they can be a put on, or a facade, so to speak. When one has a certain mind, that is how they think, and subsequently, who they become in their way of thinking.

All that being said, the real issue here is the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and how that is presented in the modern versions. In the above cited passage from Philippians 2, we find in verse 6 in the King James Version the following “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” which is to state that Christ took nothing away from God by being God. This then teaches the equality of the Trinity where the three persons of the Godhead are one in will, intent and purpose, and that all are omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Thus the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, took nothing away from the Father, or the Holy Ghost by being God.

However, in the NIV and NASB the statements are made “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,” and “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,”. Whether the term “very nature of God” is used, or “in the form of God”, both deny that Christ is, or was equal to God by stating “did not consider/regard equality with God something/a thing to be grasped,”. In the context used here, the word “grasped” means “attained” or “reached” which is plainly stating that Christ was not, and did not consider himself equal with God. In other words, Christ was not an equal member of the Trinity.

This in itself, is a very serious matter. There are religious systems (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses) that hold to Christ being “a god” but not equal to God the Father. The following two passages from the Jehovah’s Witness bible, the New World Translation (NWT) demonstrate this:

New World Translation
John 1:1
In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

Philippians 2:6
who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.

This now sheds further light on the Micah 5:2 passage in the NASB where it states that Christ went forth “From the days of eternity.” It can be easily understood that “From the days of eternity.” is not equal in time to “from everlasting.” If they had stated simply “from eternity” then there would be no question of equality in time to “from everlasting.” The addition of the words “the days of” seriously weakens the doctrine of Christ being “the beginning.” One can exist from the “days of eternity” yet not be there at the beginning. This indicates a bias towards the Gnostic belief that Christ is a created god.


For Scripture to be believed and taken seriously, it cannot contradict. The true scripture records faithfully the words of the God that authored it. It indeed was God that told Paul to write in his letter to Titus the following: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2) As He also did in Hebrews wherein it is stated “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie,” (Hebrews 6:18) By this we should be assured that the word of God can be depended upon absolutely and totally; so that we have no question as to Who it is that has made the promise, and His ability to keep that promise. This is how Peter, in his second general epistle could make the following statement:

2 Peter 1:16-21
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

It can only be a “more sure word” if you have the right Bible.