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thus yielding another practical proof, that and continuous, as to imprison for an hour civil and religious liberties perish or exist and a-half the parliament which had pertogether.
petrated this act of treason against the [1621.] Trusting that the spirit of the King of kings, by subjecting His Church nation was now subdued, after three years to an earthly monarch.
This dark and of High Commission tyranny, the parlia- disastrous day was long known in Scotment was summoned to meet in Edin- land by the designation of “ BLACK SATburgh on the 25th of July 1621, chiefly | URDAY, 6 black with man's guilt and for the ratification of the Five Articles with the frowns of heaven."* of Perth. The faithful ministers who We have now reached the close of still survived to watch over the welfare another period of the Church of Scotof the Church, endeavoured to move the land's eventful history,--a period full of parliament by earnest remonstrances, but instruction for the thoughtful Christian in vain ; the course was predetermined, reader. It is painful to peruse the records and the result prepared. * At length all of a crafty monarch's fraud and tyranny, preliminary arrangements being com- -of aristocratic selfishness and avarice, pleted, the parliament proceeded to vote of the perjury and deceit of ambitious for the ratification or rejection of the Five and sycophantic churchmen, longing Articles, without deliberation, and as if for prelatic pre-eminence in wealth and they had formed but one topic. Even power,--and of the sufferings to which then the opposition was very strong. the true-hearted and noble-minded deFifteen lords and fifty-four commission- fenders of the Church of Scotland were ers of shires and burghs voted; against exposed, as they strove faithfully, though the measure, and it was carried by a ineffectually, to maintain her principles small majority. On Saturday the 4th of and defend her rights. Yet it affords a August 1621, this vote, subversive of the signal illustration of the great truth, that Presbyterian Church of Scotland, was the Church of Christ and the world are thus carried, chiefly by means of men each other's natural antagonists, and that who had solemnly sworn to maintain the more closely a Church cleaves to its what they had thus conspired to over- Divine Head and King, obeying His throw. This day, sadly memorable in precepts and following His example, the the annals of the Church of Scotland, more certain is it to incur the hostility of was marked also by a singular coincident crafty, irreligious, and wordly-minded event, recorded by the historians of that men of every ránk and station. It shows time. The morning had been lowering also, that the greatest danger a Church and gloomy, and as the day advanced the has to encounter is that arising from gloom waxed deeper and deeper, as the internal corruption. King James could gathering clouds seemed to concentrate not overthrow the Church of Scotland their huge voluminous masses around till he had gained over some of its minisover the city. At the very moment when ters, and thereby succeeded in corrupting the Marquis of Hamilton and the Lord its courts, so as to obtain its own apparent High Commissioner rose to give the for- sanction to his successive invasions of its mal ratification to the acts, by touching rights and privileges. And it deserves them with the sceptre, a keen blue flash also to be remarked, that even when zealof forked lightning blazed through the ously working the ruin of the Church, murky gloom, followed instantaneously there was in all the crafty despot's meaby another and another, so dazzingly sures a strange tacit recognition of one of bright as to blind the startled and terri- the leading principles which he sought to fied parliament, in the act of consumma- overthrow,--the independent right of the ting its guilty deed. Three terrific peals Church to regulate its own procedure of thunder followed in quick succession, on its own authority. Every one of the appalling the trembling conclave, as if destructive acts by which Presbytery was the thunder-voice of heaven weré utter- overthrown and Prelacy introduced, was ing denouncements of vengeance against so contrived as to have its origin in some the insulters of the dread majesty on high court or commission of the Church, Then descended hailstones of prodigious never first in a civil court; thereby pracmagnitude, and sheeted rains so heavy
* Calderwood, p. 783; Spotswood, p. 542.
tically admitting, not only that the Church | ratification by the parliament of 1621, courts were possessed of complete co-ordi- there had been a continual struggle benate jurisdiction, but even that they were tween the prelates and the Presbyterian supreme in ecclesiastical matters. When
When ministers; the former endeavouring to the parliament even seemed to take the enforce obedience to these articles by the primary step, it was only in affairs mani- authority of the Court of High Commisfestly civil
, such as the restoration of the sion; the latter protesting, refusing obecivil emoluments and civil jurisdiction to dience, and resisting, notwithstanding the prelates; but the existence of the prelatic sufferings to which they were exposed. function itself, and the elevation of minis- But still something was wanting to comters to the prelacy, were matters with plete the power of the prelates, and to which the parliament did not interfere, give a more legal aspect to their aggrestill the Church had been induced to pass sions ; for the minds of men in general the acts which were competent alone revolted against the glaring tyranny of to her jurisdiction. The hatred shown the High Commission,-a court dependby the king to declinatures of civil juris- ing solely upon the arbitrary will and diction in matters ecclesiastical, may be command of the sovereign, but not recogregarded as a proof that he was aware nised by constitutional law. The act of how constitutionally sound and reli- parliament ratifying the Five Articles of giously just was the claim of the Presby- Perth supplied what had been wanting, terian Church; and that he, as a tyrant, and gave a constitutional sanction to the detested it the more, because of its consti- despotism and the treachery of these subtutional and sacred character.
It was not the intention of either the king or the prelates to allow this power to remain unemployed.
A short time after the passing of the act, CHAPTER V.
Spotswood, archbishop of St. Andrews,
received a letter from the king, not merely FROM THE RATIFICATION OF THE FIVE ARTI- giving full warrant to proceed to extremCLES OF PERTH, IN THE YEAR 1621, TO THE ity in the enforcement of the Five Arti
cles, but even urging forward men who
were already abundantly disposed to Despotic Letter from the King.-Conduct of his Ma
jesty and the Prelates.—John Welch.-Robert Bruce. tyrannize over and persecute their bre---Proceedings of the Court of High Commission thren. against the Ministers, Universities, Probationers,
“ The greatest matter," said the and People.-David Dickson.--Robert Boyd.--Rob king, in this remarkable letter, " the purert Blair. - The People and Magistrates of Edinburgh: itans had to object against the church -Death of King James. -Charles I.Despotic Temper and proceedings of Charles.-Changes in the
that Courts of Session and Justiciary.--Commission of
your proceedings Teinds.- Proposed Act of Revocation.-Intention to were warranted by no law, which now, assimilate the Church of Scotland to that of Eng: by this last parliament, is cutted short; so lates.- Revivals of Religion at frvine, Stewton, and that hereafter that rebellious, disobedient, latic Party.-- Visit of the King to Scotland. -- Act and seditious crew must either obey or anent the Royal Prerogative and the Apparel of resist God, their natural king, and the carried.-Edinburgh made a Bishopric.– Trial of law of the country: It resteth therefore lates.-- The Liturgy.-—Riot in Edinburgh at its In- by this happy occasion, and to lose no more
-Book of Canons.--Pride and Ambition of the Pre to you to be encouraged and comforted The Feelings of the Kingdom roused. - Alexander time to procure a settled obedience to God, Henderson. The Presbyterians crowd to Edinburgh. and to Us, by the good endeavours of clamations. Increased Agitation.-The Presbyteri: our commissioner, and our other trueall the National Troubles.-The Formation of the hearted subjects and servants. The Four Tables.-— Deceitful Proceedings of the Privy sword is now put into your hands: go on vice given to the King by Spotswood and Laud.- therefore to use it, and let it rust no longer, Conduct of the Earl of Iraquair-i-Skilful Manager till ye have perfected the service entrusted Council.-Injudicious Proclamation.-THE NATIONAL to you.
Such were the instructions of
the infatuated king to his not less infatuDURING the interval which elapsed beated prelatic minions, for the destruction tween the passing of the Five Articles of of a Church which he had termed “the Perth in the Assembly 1618, and their
Calderwood, p. 784.
NATIONAL COVENANT IN 1638.
sincerest Church in the world," and had | if in the act of receiving her husband's repeatedly sworn to defend. And the decolated and falling head, “I would enormity of these instructions is certainly rather kep [receive] his head there!"not diminished, if, as Calderwood sug- James would not even permit the dying gests, and other authors more distinctly man to preach, till, hearing that he was assert, this letter was actually a mere at the point of death, he in mockery sent transcript of one sent to the king by permission then, when he believed it Spotswood, to be copied and returned to could not be accepted. But Welch joyScotland, stamped with the royal author- fully hastened to embrace the opportunity ity,--a procedure which it appears, was of once more proclaiming the glad tidoften adopted by the treacherous and ings of salvation; and having preached tyrannical Scottish prelates.* A letter long and fervently, returned to his chamof a similar import was also sent to the ber, and within two hours rested from his prívy council, commanding all the offi- labours, and escaped from the cruel and cers of state to conform, under pain of insulting tyranny of his oppressors. dismission; and enjoining them to see About the same time Robert Bruce, that all persons filling any subordinate who had been residing for some years in official station, members of the Courts of his own house at Kinnaird, having been Session and Justiciary, advocates, sheriffs, permitted to return from Inverness, was magistrates of burghs, and even clerks accused of seditious conduct, and of transand sheriff-officers, should render im- gressing the bounds of his confinement. plicit obedience, or be declared incapable He was imprisoned for a time in the Casof holding office.
tle of Edinburgh, and then sentence The Court of High Commission was passed that he should again be sent to not composed of men likely to let the Inverness, and restricted to that town and sword of double despotism which had four miles around it during the king's been put into their hands rust for want of pleasure; this sentence being accompabeing used. Its freshly, whetted edge nied by the sneering expression, “ We was directed keenly against the faithful will have no more popish pilgrimages to ministers, and against all who refused to Kinnaird,”-in allusion to the frequent mould their faith according to acts of par- intercourse between Bruce and the most liament. And, as if for the very purpose pious people of the surrounding country, of proving that the cruelty of the king who resorted to Kinnaird to enjoy the and of the prelates was equally fierce and benefit of his instructive conversation. implacable, its effects were exhibited al. The prelatic party exulted in the oppormost simultaneously by his majesty and tunity of inflicting their mean malicious by them. The celebrated John Welch, vengeance upon a man whom the king, who had suffered a banishment of four- in an unwonted fit of truth and gratitude, teen years duration on account of the part had pronounced worth the quarter of his he took in the prorogued Assembly of kingdom. But what was meant as a Aberdeen in 1605, had fallen into such a punishment to him, became a precious state of ill health, that a return to his na- blessing to the people of Inverness and tive country was recommended, as the its vicinity, who acquired then a relish only means of saving his life. By great for the pure gospel, which there is reason solicitations he obtained permission to to believe, has never since been lost. return to London; but when his wife, a [1622.]—Not contented with these sedaughter of John Knox, obtained an vere proceedings against the venerable interview with the king, and requested fathers of the Church, the prelates directthat her dying husband might be allowed ed their attention to every minister of to breathe once more his native air, his eminence throughout the kingdorn, remajesty, with coarse oaths, refused, un- quiring from each submission to the Perth less she would persuade her husband to Articles. They had a twofold purpose submit to the bishops. “Please your in demanding urgently the compliance of majesty," replied the heroic matron, lift- such men : by far the majority of the ing up her apron, and holding it forth as people regarded these articles with ex
treme dislike ; and the prelates were well * Wodrow's Collection of Lives, particularly the
aware, that if they could prevail upon the
lives of Gladstanes and Spotswood.
best ministers to subscribe, those ministers was banished to Turriff
, in the synod of would either bring with them the people Aberdeen, where, however, he continued who were strongly attached to them, or to exercise his ministry, greatly to the adthey would lose that popular influence vantage of the inhabitants of that district, which they possessed. There was an- till he was afterwards permitted to return other alternative which they seem not to to Irvine. The other ministers, whose have taken into their calculation; they names were mentioned above, were also do not appear to have thought it probable subjected to similar penalties, some being that those ministers would continue to re- banished to one part of the country, others sist, braving the terrors of the Court of to another, and only one, so far as appears, High Commission, and by their suffer- permitted to remain in his own parish, ings increasing the popular detestation of but strictly prohibited from passing bethe prelatic system, much more than all yond its boundaries.* their arguments could have done. They The tyranny of the prelatic party fell were aware that they would themselves not less heavily on the people than on the have yielded to any measure, when, by ministers; for the people were every so yielding, they would both escape per- where as much opposed to compliance sonal suffering and obtain the prospect of with the Perth Articles as their pastors personal wealth, rank and power; and could be, and in some places much more they could not conceive nor credit the so; for in every parish where the minishigher principles of their antagonists. ter was prelatic the opposition was of But it has often been the lot of cunning course made by the people alone. In men to overreach themselves; and such such instances the prelatic ministers strove was the lot of the Scottish prelates. The to persuade, or to force, the people to comprelates held a Court of High Commis- ply with the Five Articles of Perth; and sion early in January 1622, and com- as the article which commanded kneeling menced their despotic course by sum- at the communion was that which was moning before them the Rev. Messrs. most exposed to public observation, it Dickson of Irvine, Dunbar of Ayr, Row gave rise to the greatest part of the conof Carnock, Murray of Dunfermline, and tentions by which the peace of the counJohnstone of. Ancrum. All these were try was destroyed. Many most disgracemen of great piety, much beloved by their ful scenes of strife and confusion took people, and highly respected in the dis- place, even at the communion-table, in tricts of the country where they respec- consequence of the prelatic party attempttively resided. Their submission was ing forcibly to compel the people to subtherefore earnestly desired by the prelates; mit to what they justly regarded as an ator, at least, their forcible removal to dis- titude not warranted by Scripture, and tant parts of the country, where, being bearing a close resemblance to the idolaunknowrı
, they would possess little influ- trous service of the Church of Rome. ence, and their oppressors would the more Notwithstanding all their exertions, they easily carry forward their pernicious de- could not prevail upon the people to comsigns.
ply. A few, and those in general the Of all these ministers, the case of Mr. least respectable in character, did gratify David Dickson of Irvine seems to have the prelates by adopting their superstitious excited the most attention. This eminent ceremonies ; but by far the greater numman was assailed by the prelates at one ber either ceased to communicate at all, time in the language of entreaty, at an
or resorted to the churches of those minother in that of fierce vituperative threats, isters who continued to follow the simple to induce him to submit. His own con- and scriptural customs of their fathers. gregation employed every effort for his The universities did not escape the protection; and the earl of Eglinton per- vigilance of the prelates, who were aware sonally entreated the prelates not to re- of the influence which the opinions of move him from his charge. But all.en eminent professors naturally exercise treaties were ineffectual; he had declined upon the minds of their students. The the jurisdiction of that despotic court, the celebrated Robert Boyd of Trochrigg was High Commission, and this was an first obliged to leave Glasgow College, offence which could not be forgiven. He
Calder wood; pp. 792-794:
in consequence of the hostility of Arch- / were opposed to all their proceedings, bishop Law; and having been appointed the prelatic party were well aware; but principal of Edinburgh College, the pre- considering themselves lords over God's latic party complained to the king, and heritage," they disregarded equally the obtained from his majesty a positive com- entreaties and the expressions of dissatismand to the magistrates to urge Mr. Boyd faction addressed to them by the poor to conform to the Perth Articles, on pain suffering congregations of the oppressed of being expelled from his office. "He Presbyterian Church. Spotswood and accordingly removed, to the joy of the his coadjutors thought that these popular prelatists, and to the great grief both of discontents would soon subside, when the students and of the religious part of they had succeeded in removing from the inhabitants. About the same time their parishes the most eminent of the Mr. Robert Blair was deprived of his pro- ministers who refused to conform to the fessorship in Glasgow, and obliged to re- Articles of Perth. And when they were tire to Ireland, where he became minister not startled by sudden outbursts of popular of Bangour, and was honoured in being indignation, they flattered themselves that made the instrument of much spiritual the kingdom was acquiescing in their good in that country. In addition to the measures, or at least passively submitting removal of true Presbyterians from the to what could not any longer be successprofessorships, the prelatic party did all fully opposed. They might have heard, in their power to corrupt the young as- from time to time, of private meetings for pirants to the ministry; proceeding even prayer, among the more pious ministers to the extent of exacting an oath from and their adherents; but they seem in these young students, before investing general to have despised those private them with the office of preaching, that meetings, being themselves ignorant of they would conform to the Perth Articles, the sacred might of prayer. They do and submit to the prelatic form of Church not seem to have marked the difference government. This ensnaring oath they between a ripple on the surface, and rigidly enforced; and if any conscientious a deep, calm under-current: the ripple young man expressed unwillingness to dies away with the breeze that produced bind himself by such an obligation, he it; but the under-current moves steadily was at once rejected. By this process it on, imperceptible to the eye, but irresistiwas hoped, that all the growth of the ble in its silent and viewless power. Church would be directed into the prelatic [1623.] The tyranny of the prelates channel, so that within the course of an- continued throughout the year 1623, disother generation it would become univer- placing non-conforming ministers, insultsal, and Episcopacy would be as firmly ing congregations, enforcing the oppressettled in Scotland as in England. sive enactments of previous years, and re
The prelates do not seem to have been laxing those only which had been made aware of some symptoms which even against papists. The intercourse at that then were beginning to appear, and time existing between his majesty and the speedily assumed a formidable aspect
. court of Spain, during the negotiations Of these, the two most important were, for the marriage of the prince to the Spanthe alienation of the nobility, and the in- ish infanta, may have been the cause of creasing direct hostility of the people. this toleration to the adherents of the PaEven so early as the Perth Assembly of pal Church; but certainly it had no ten1618, the prelates had given offence to dency to gratify the people of Scotland, the nobility by their haughty and over- who saw more favour shown to the corbearing manners; and as prosperity did rupt Church of Rome than to their own, not tend to abate their insolence, it soon although the one was prohibited, and the became intolerable to the proud Scottish other established, by the most solemn na barons. An ill-suppressed jealousy from tional enactments. that time prevailed, which waited but an [1624.] A contest arose in Edinburg! opportunity to rise into open strife,-80 in 1624, which excited considerable at soon, at least, as the selfish interests of tention, and had no slight effect in deep the rival parties should manifestly bear ening and confirming the popular feeling in opposite directions. That the people against the prelatic party. It had been