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it for the support of a priest, to perform / who had attained a degree of illuminamasses, obits, and dirges, procured. a re- tion amidst the general darkness, began laxation of the pains of purgatory for to hint dissatisfaction with the conduct themselves or their relations, in propor- of churchmen, and to propose the cortion to the extent of their liberality. It is rection of abuses, he was immediately difficult for us to conceive how empty, stigmatized as a heretic, and if he did not ridiculous, and wretched those harangues secure his safety by flight, was immured were which the monks delivered for ser- in a dungeon, or committed to the flames.
Legendary tales concerning the And when at last, in spite of all their perfounder of some religious order, his won- secutions, the light which was shining derful sanctity, the miracles which he around did break in and spread through performed, his combats with the devil, the nation, the clergy prepared to adopt his watchings, fastings, flagellations; the the most desperate and bloody measures virtues of holy water, chrism, crossing, for its extinction. and exorcism; the horrors of purgatory, "From this imperfect sketch of the and the numbers released from it by the state of religion in this country, we may intercession of some powerful saint - see how false the representation is which these, with low jests, table-talk, and fire- some persons would impose on us; as if side scandal, formed the favourite topics Popery were a system, erroneous, indeed, of the preachers, and were served up to but purely speculative,-superstitious, but the people instead of the pure, salutary, harmless, provided it had not been acciand sublime doctrines of the Bible. dentally accompanied with intolerance
“The beds of the dying were besieged, and cruelty. The very reverse is the and their last moments disturbed, by ava- truth. It may be safely said, that there ricious priests, who laboured to extort be- is not one of its erroneous tenets, or of its quests to themselves or to the Church. superstitious practices, which was not Not satisfied with exacting tithes from the either originally contrived, or afterwards living, a demand was made upon the accommodated, to advance and support dead: no sooner had the poor husband some practical abuse, to aggrandize the man breathed his last, than the rapacious ecclesiastical order, secure to them imvicar came and carried off his corpse-munity from civil jurisdiction, sanctify present, which he repeated as often as their encroachments upon secular authordeath visited the family. Ecclesiastical ities, vindicate their usurpations upon the censures were fulminated against those consciences of men, cherish implicit obewho were reluctant in making these pay-dience to the decisions of the Church, ments, or who showed themselves diso- and extinguish free inquiry and liberal bedient to the clergy; and for a little science."'* money they were prostituted on the most To this very masterly summary of trifling occasions. Divine service was the state of religion in Scotland before neglected; and, except on festival days, the Reformation nothing need be added; the churches, in many parts of the coun- and it must convince every reflecting try were no longer employed for sacred reader, that such a state of matters could purposes, but served as sanctuaries for not be much longer endured by a people malefactors, places of traffic, or resorts for like the Scottish, who, though held in pastime.
deep ignorance, were naturally shrewd “ Persecution, and the suppression of and sagacious, despisers of idleness and free inquiry, were the only weapons by luxury, and filled with an indestructable which its interested supporters were able love of liberty, which even their civil to defend this system of corruption and feuds and public wars served in no inconimposture. Every avenue by which siderable degree to stimulate and contruth might enter was carefully guarded. firm. And the more protracted and seLearning was branded as the parent of vere that the burden of spiritual despotheresy. The most frightful pictures were ism had been, it was to be expected that drawn of those who had separated from it would be followed by a correspondthe Romish Church, and held up before ingly mighty and extensive revulsion the eyes of the people, to deter them from and recoil. Nor should it be forgotten, imitating their example. l'any person,
M'Crie's Life of Knox, pp. 9-15, 6th edit.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE REFORMATION
TO THE MEETING OF THE FIRST GENERAL AS
that widely as Popery had shed its bale- | trine of the Culdees continued to survive ful influence, it had not been able wholly long after the suppression of their forms to exterminate the purer faith and simpler of church government. Sir James Dalsystem of the ancient Culdees, especially rymple refers us to a clause in the bull in Ayrshire, and perhaps also in Fife, — of Pope John XXII. in 1324, concedthe districts adjacent to St. Andrews and ing to Robert Bruce the title of King Iona,--the earliest abodes and the latest of Scotland, and removing the retreats of primitive Christianity in Scot- communication; in which clause that land.
pontiff makes mention of many heretics, whom he enjoins the king to suppress. There is every reason to believe that
these were the adherents of the Culdees, CHAPTER II.
against whom some of the Scottish Romanized clergy had complained to the pope. .
The great schism which happened in the Church of Rome, through the con
tentions of rival popes, gave occasion, as From the Beginning of the Reformation to the Meeting is well known, to those who had secretly in Rome-Introduction of Wickliffe's Opinions disapproved of papal corruption, of asEdinburgh, and Glasgow-Cardinal Beaton--Barba: and more boldly demanding some meafirst Scottish Martyr—Persecutions in St. Andrews, sailing Popery more openly than before, Preaching, and Martyrdom-Death of Cardinal Bea- sure of reformation. Wickliffe, the Confinement in the Galleys–Returns to Scotland, morning star of the Reformation, began Proceedings of the Queen Regent and the Reformers then openly both to censure the abuses tion-Martyrdom of Walter Mill - Political Intrigues of the Church of Rome, and to proclaim --Final Reiurn of Knox-Destruction of the Monas: those great doctrines of Christianity Strength of the Reformers-Conventions of Estates which it had been the policy of that corFirst Confession of Faith--First General Assembly been expected that his doctrines would Meeting of Parliament and Treaty of Peace- rupt Church to conceal
. It might have
find a ready reception among the adheIn the preceding chapter a brief sketch rents of the Culdees of Scotland, if any has been presented to the reader of the were still remaining; and accordingly usurpations of the prelatic and corrupt we find, that John Resby, an EnglishChurch of Rome, and the final suppres- man, and a scholar of Wickliffe's, was sion of the Culdees, which we may re- condemned for maintaining that the pope gard as having been accomplished in the was not the vicar of Christ, and that no year 1297, that being the date of the last man of a wicked life ought to be acdocuments signed by them as a public knowledged pope. For holding and body. But though from that time the teaching these opinions, with certain Culdee form of church government and others deemed also heretical, he was discipline may be regarded as extinct, burned to death in the year 1407. It there is no reason to believe that their re-would appear that this cruel deed had for ligious tenets were consigned to oblivion a time prevented at least the open at the same instant. Indeed, such a re- avowal of similar doctrines in Scotland ; sult may be regarded as absolutely im- as the next victim of popish tyranny was possible. All forcible attempts to sup- found at the distance of twenty-five years. press religion but compel it to burn with This victim was Paul Craw, a Boheincreased intensity, and to be retained mian, and a follower of John Huss. It with increased pertinacity, within the se- does not appear on what account he had cret heart; unless, indeed, such attempts come to Scotland; but having begun to be carried to the extreme of utterly ex- disseminate the opinions of the Bohemian terminating the adherents of the perse- reformer, he was laid hold of by the incuted faith,--à dire result which has stigation of Henry Wardlaw, bishop of been several times produced in different St. Andrews, convicted of denying tha nations. There is, besides, evidence, al
Sir J. Dalrymple's Historical Collections, p. 52. though but slight, to prove that the doc
† Spotswood, p. 56,
doctrines of transubstantiation, auricular proportion of the wealth of the kingdom confession, and praying to saints, then into their own possession, these crafty handed over to the secular powers, and churchmen became anxious to resume by them committed to the flames, at St. the patronages into their own hands; Andrews, in the year 1432. That he and putting the same machinery of supermight not at the stake promulgate his stition again to work, they prevailed on opinions among the spectators by his last the lay patrons to resign the right of dying declaration, his destroyers adopted presentation to the Church, by annexing the barbarous policy of forcing a ball of it
, as it was called, to bishoprics, abbacies, brass into his mouth, then gazing, as priories, and other religious houses. they thought, in safety, on the agonies of The benefices thus annexed or approthe voiceless sufferer.
priated were termed patrimonial, and The popish clergy seem to have were not longer subject to the patronage thought their triumph complete, and them- of laymen. The civil power became at selves at liberty to prosecute with even length alarmed at the prospect of the increased energy their schemes of ag- lands and wealth of the kingdom being grandisement. One method in which thus placed in the hands of a body of men this was prosecuted deserves to be par- who were not only beyond the control ticularly noticed, as intimately connected of the civil law, but were in fact the subwith a subject to which we shall have jects of a foreign power. An attempt repeated occasion to refer in the course was therefore made to check this practice of this work, viz., the subject of patron- of annexation, by a statute in the reign age. It has not been exactly ascertained of James III., in the year 1471; but so at what time the system of lay patronage effectual had the schemes of the clergy was introduced in Scotland.
been, that at the period of the ReformaThe Late Dr. Mc'Crie, whose opinions tion there were in Scotland only two on all matters of church history are of hundred and sixty-two non-appropriated the very highest authority, held that it benefices out of the whole number, concould not have been introduced before sisting of about nine hundred and forty. the tenth century. The first mention of Even of these two hundred and sixty-two Scottish patronages and presentations a considerable number, though not annexwith which we are acquainted occurs in ed, were in the hands of bishops, abbots, the Book of Laws of Malcolm II., and the heads of other religious houses who ascended the throne in the year so that the crafty and avaricious popish 1004;* and although the critical acu- clergy might deem themselves secure, men of Lord Hailes has succeeded in being possessed of more than half the casting considerable doubt upon the wealth of the kingdom, and that, too, genuine antiquity of these laws, this placed beyond the power of any control, much may at least be said, that no claim except that of an appeal to Rome,--a more ancient can be pretended for the danger which they might well regard as asumed right of patronage in Scotland, at not very formidable. the same time that by these laws the [1494.] But while the priesthood right of deciding respecting “the advo- were, thus strenuously endeavouring to cation of kirks and the right of patron- consolidate their power, and to increase age," pertains to the jurisdiction of the their splendour, obtaining the erection of Church. For a time, it would appear, an archbishopric, first at St. Andrews, the Scottish clergy followed the usual and then at Glasgow, they did not seem policy of the papal Church, holding out to be aware that the spirit of religious reevery inducement to men to bequeath formation was diffusing itself silently but large sums for the erection and endow- rapidly throughout the kingdom, especialment of churches, monasteries, &c., as ly in the western districts of Kyle, Carthe best mode of securing their salvation; rick, and Cunningham. At length they and allowing to such donors and subse- began to take alarm, and shaking off quently to their heirs, the right of pre- their golden dreams, they prepared to senting to the benefices thus bequeathed. crush their hated antagonists. Robert But when they had obtained a very large Blacater, the first archbishop of Glasgow, Regiam Majestatem, pp. 2, 11.
prevailed on James IV, to summon be
fore the great council about thirty per-| result was, that they were dismissed, sons, male and female, natives mostly of with an admonition to beware of new the above-named western districts; the doctrines, and to content themselves with chief of whom was George Campbell of the faith of the Church. Cessnock, Adam Reid of Barskimming, No new persecutions for heresy ocJohn Campbell of New-mills, Andrew curred during the reign of James IV., Schaw of Polkemmet, and the Ladies of and after his death on the fatal field of Stair and Polkellie. *' This memorable Flodden, the attention of the nobility and trial of the Lollards of Kyle, as they the clerical dignitaries was too much ocwere opprobiously termed, took place in cupied with the prosecution of their own the year 1594. The articles which selfish and factious designs, to bestow they were accused of holding have been much regard upon the progress of relirecorded both by Knox and Spotswood gious opinions. James Beaton had been with little variation, except that Knox's translated from Glasgow to the archaccount is rather more full than the other. bishopric of St. Andrews, and, in conTheir main tenor is chiefly in condem- junction with the Douglas faction, ruled nation of the worship of the Virgin Mary, the kingdom with considerable ability of saints, reliques, images, and the mass ; during the minority of the young king, and also of the various arrogant preten- James V. According to Spotswood, Beasions and licentious abuses of the pre- ton“ was neither violently set, nor much lates and the priesthood, without any solicitous, as it was thought, how matters very clear statement of the leading doc- went in the Church.” Still, notwithtrines of pure Christianity. It appears, standing their political cares, the clergy indeed, exceedingly probable, that the were aware that the writings of the ConLollards of Kyle did little more than re- tinental Protestant divines were beginvive the old contest between the Culdees ning to be introduced, as appears from and the prelates; and that the designa- an act of parliament passed in 1525, tion given to them by their popish ene strictly prohibiting the importation of all mies was not in consequence of their hav. such writings, and also forbidding all ing actually imbibed the tenets of Lollard public “ disputations about the heresies the Waldensian, but that it was applied of Luther, except it be to the confusion to them partly as a term of reproach, and thereof, and that by clerks in the schools partly with a view to prejudge their alenarlie” [alone.]* Nor was their anxicause. For it has always been the policy ety unfounded. There is great reason of those who were engaged in persecut to think that some of these Protestant ing religion, to slander, misrepresent, writings had about this time fallen into and asfix to it a calumnious name, and the hands of a youth whose rank and then to assail it under this maliciously- talents shed lustre on the cause which he imposed disguise. Few men have ever espoused. persecuted religion avowedly as such; Patrick Hamilton, a youth of royal but how often have they called religion lineage, and not less distinguished by the fanaticism, and then persecuted its ad- possession of high mental endowments, herents under the calumnious designation was the chosen instrument by means of of fanatics !
whom “ the Father of lightsă rekindled Providentially for the Lollards of in Scotland the smouldering beacon of Kyle, James IV. himself presided at the eternal truth. trial,-a monarch who, with all his Being designed by his relations for the faults, had yet too much of manliness Church, there had been conferred on him, and candour to permit his judgment to even in infancy, the abbacy of Ferne, be greatly swayed by the malignity of a foretaste of the wealth and honours to the prelates. Adam Reid appears to which he might aspire, and a stimulus to have taken the chief part in the defence, quicken his ambition. But while his and to have answered with such spirit
, friends were anticipating for him a splenpoint, and humour, as to amuse James, did career of worldly pomp and power, a and baffle the bishop completely. The very different path was preparing for him. priesthood, by whom he was surrounded, caused him to be apprehended under began to mark with jealous eye his al night, and committed to the Castle. tered manner, to note suspiciously the The very next day he was brought bepraise he gave to the study of ancient lit- fore the archbishop, and a large convenerature in preference to the dry logic of tion of bishops, abbots, priors, and other the schools, and the severe terms in which dignitaries and doctors of the Church, and he condemned the abounding corruptions there charged with maintaining and proof the Church. Partly, perhaps, to avoid pagating certain heretical opinions. Johr the danger to which he was thus expos- Knox declares, that the articles for which ing himself
The ambitious and worldly, yet ignorant * Knox's History of the Reformation, p. 2; Spots
M'Crie's Life of Knox, p. 23, 6th edit.
wood, p. 60.
, but chiefly to obtain a more he was condemned were merely those of complete knowledge of the doctrines of " pilgrimage, purgatory, prayers to the Reformation, he resolved to visit the saints, and prayers for the dead," alContinent in 1526. With this view he though matters of greater importance had naturally directed his course to Wittem- been in question. Spotswood, on the berg; where he was speedily honoured other hand, specifies thirteen distinct artiwith the friendship and esteem of Luther cles, of much graver character, which and Melancthon. After enjoying the bene- were condemned as heretical, and he confit of their society for a short time, he pro- demned for holding them. The probaceeded to the University of Marbourg, bility is, that both statements are true; where he obtained the instructions of the that the articles specified by Spotswood celebrated Francis Lambert. But the are those “matters of greater importance" more that his own mind acquired of the to which Knox alludes; but that in deknowledge of divine truth, the more ear-claring the sentence publicly, no mention nestly did he long to return and commu- was made of any but the four topics stated nicate that knowledge to his beloved coun- by Knox, because for his accusers to have trymen
done otherwise would have been to have The return to Scotland of this noble published tenets themselves, which they youth at once attracted all eyes, as if a wished to consign to oblivion. Such, innew star had appeared in the heavens. deed, has been the policy of persecutors His instructions were listened to with the in all ages,--to fix the attention of the deepest attention, and the doctrines which public, as far as possible, on the external he taught began to spread rapidly through- aspect and the nonessentials of the subout the kingdom. His high birth, repu- ject in dispute, thereby to conceal the tation for learning, the attractive elegance truth, while they are destroying its deof his youthful aspect, and the persuasive fenders. So acted the Romanized Enggraces of his courteous demeanour, ren- lish prelates towards the Culdees, as we dered his influence almost irresistible; have already seen; and so, as we shall and the popish clergy saw no safety to afterwards see, acted the persecutors of their cause but in his destruction. They the Church of Scotland in different periframed their murderous plans with fiend-ods of her history. like ingenuity. Being apprehensive that [1528.] The sentence of condemnathe young king might not readily be per- tion was pronounced ; and, to give it all suaded to sanction the death of one who the weight of authority, every person of stood to him in the near relationship of name and rank, civil and ecclesiastical, cousin, they contrived to send him on a was induced to sign it; amongst whom pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Dothess, was the Earl of Čassilis, a boy of thiror Duthack, in Ross-shire. They next teen years of age. Arrangements were decoyed Patrick Hamilton to St. An- then made to carry it into effect, that very drews, on the pretence of wishing to have day. The pile was erected in front of a free conference with him on religious the College of St. Salvador, and the youthsubjects. Pursuing their perfidious plot, ful martyr hurried to the stake. Before they caused Alexander Campbell
, prior being bound to the stake, he divested of the Blackfriars, to hold several inter- himself of his outer garments, and views with him, and even to seem to con- gave them to his servant, who had attendcede to his opinions so far as to draw from ed him faithfully and affectionately for a him a full avowal of them. Their meas- number of years, accompanying the gift ures being now ripe for execution, they with these tender and pathetic words :