| Teacher—Whereof cometh this thy bentness to actuall
sinne, and breaking of God's commandements?
Disciple—Of the corruption of nature, from my first
parents, Adam and Eve, called originall sinne.
Teacher— Howe were they corrupted, seing they were
made gude at the beginning?
Disciple—By the deceit of Sattan, in the serpent making
them brake God's commandement.
Teacher—What was the commandement they brake?
Disciple—They ate of the frute of the tree in Paridise,
whairof God forbad them to eate.
Teacher—Brought this their fault condemnation on them
and their haill posteritie?
Disciple—Yes: for in them wee all sinned, and who can
bring ane cleane thing out of filthiness? sa having sinne
fra them we have also death and damnation, the reward of sinne
Teacher—Then all being sinners by nature, we are all
by nature the children of wrath and condemnation?
Disciple, —It is so; for as by ane man sinne entered
into the warld, and death by sinne; sa death went over all
men, because all men have sinned. "
There are other three parts of the Catechism, about equal
in length to the foregoing, and the whole is finished up with
" Note to the author, touching the Short Catechisme immediatlie
" I thank God for your precious pearles, little in quantitie,
but infinite in waight. I allow and approve the perspecuitie,
ardour, and substantious comprising of so great mysteries
in little bounds.
" The judgement of another learned man: —
" There is not an idle word heir.
" N. (B. )—If anything be wrang heir, it is of weaknesse
and not of wilfulnes, and therfore is humbly submitted to
the loving and advised correction of the Godlie learned by
God's word. "
A couple of prayers, also by Davidson, follow, and the following
note is in reference thereto: —
"These formes of praier and thanksgiving following are
onely for thankful persons to God for His benefites, and not
for profane abusers and gracelesse devourers thereof: wha
the mair wealth they have by God's gift, and the better cheere
they make, the mair forgetfull of God they are, and swell
in pride and disdaine against all true thankfulnesse, swashing
downe to the table like swyne, and starting up like dogs when
they ar filled: thinking the true praising of God (namely,
at table) to bee but monkish hypocrisie, or Popish ceremonie,
or loste time, " etc., etc.
In March 1603 James succeeded to the English throne. On the
suggestion of the Presbytery of Edinburgh Mr Davidson approached
His Majesty with congratulations on his advancement, and an
expression of earnest desire for his spiritual welfare. He
sought permission to kiss the King's hand. The occasion was
opportune for the exercise of clemency, but His Majesty had
no favour to bestow on his reprover.
In his progress southward the King passed through the parish
of Prestonpans, and the " Provincial Synod " met
in the neighbourhood and despatched a deputation to the King,
praying that Davidson might be pardoned and admitted to homage.
To the deputists James said angrily, "I may be gracious,
but I will be also righteous, and until he suitably confesses
his fault, he may lie and rot there. "
Davidson at this period was sick and infirm, and confined
within the bounds of his parish; but the end was near, and
he died between the 16th of August and the 5th of September
of that same year 1603, at the age of about fifty-six years.
A little before his death he penned a treatise, " De
Hortibus Ecclesia Christi, " wherein he affirms "that
the erecting of bishops in the kirk is the most subtle thing
to destroy religion that ever could be devised. "
" His papers after his death, " says Calderwood,
"came into the hands of John Johnstone, Melville's colleague.
" Item, I leave the trunk that lyes under the buirde,
wt Mr Johne Davidsone's papers thairin, to Mr Robt. Wallace
and Mr Alexr. Hoome at Prestounpannes. "—(Johnstone's
At Johnstone's death an order was issued by the Lords of Privy
Council (21stNovember 16n) to the Rector of the University
and Provost and Bailies of St Andrews to " cause his
coffers to be closed, " as it is understood "that
he had sundrie paperis, writtis, and books, pairtlie written
be himself and pairtlie be uthers, qlk contenis sum purposs
and mater whairin his majestie may have verry just cause of
offens, gif the same be sufferit to come to licht. "—(Collection
of Letters in the possession of the Earl of Haddington. )
Rowe, the historian, who knew Davidson personally, describes
him as "a learned man and a worthie preacher: yea, a
verie prophet of God; for, " he adds, "he foretald