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ingly necessary for the accommodation as a subordinate court, erected by the of the people; crystallizing, as it were, State, receiving directions from it, and the Church of Scotland into a state of necessarily subservient to it in the disrigid immobility, and rendering her una charge of all its functions. And the fatal ble to adapt her arrangements to the facility which the Prelatic form of church changing necessities of the country. government has always shown of adaptHow strangely ignorant, to say the least, ing itself to the capricious designs of statesmen and legislators have always statesmen, and submitting to their baneful been of what is most conducive to the control, has necessarily given it a recomtrue welfare of a nation, and especially, emendation in their eyes, which the Preshow ready to employ every practical byterian form cannot possibly obtain, mode of hampering the movements and without first becoming unfaithful to its obstructing the exercise of the native er own principles. ergies of the Christian Church, and, in The danger to which the Church of particular, of the Church of Scotland. Scotland was exposed by the Union was But this, and all such hostile or jealous very greatly increased by the admission measures, may be fairly viewed as the of so many of the Prelatic curates, in instinctive testimony given by worldly weak compliance with the pernicious men to the spirituality of her character, policy of William. It would have rewith which they cannot sympathize; and quired the united energy and determined which they regard with the natural en- front of the entire Presbyterian Church mity of the fallen mind.
to have promptly met, and triumphantly By the Treaty of Union the Church resisted, every attempted encroachment of of Scotland was placed in a new position, the British parliament upon her secured fitted to try severely the vitality and the rights and privileges. But this, with power of her constitutional principles. such a numerous band of cold friends and The Act of Security had indeed preclu- treacherous mercenaries within her own ded the British parliament from interfer- camp, was impossible. From this time ing with her doctrine, government, and forward, accordingly, the Church of Scotdiscipline, as they existed before the pas- land presents the melancholy aspect of a sing of that act; but the removal of the declining and unfaithful Church, assailed seat of civil government from Edinburgh by enemies without, and corrupted and 10 London was certain to have an injuri- betrayed by worse and more deadly foes ous effect upon the Scottish nobility and within her own communion. To trace gentry, in alienating them from the faithfully the sad steps of her defection Church of their native land, and accus- must be now our painful and unwelcome toming them to the forms, ceremonies, task; with the perfect certainty of being want of discipline, and Erastian subser- compelled to record deeds and give exviency, of the Church of England. It pression to sentiments which will rouse was, therefore, to be expected, that early the fierce rage of many, but with the deand persevering attempts would be made, liberate determination to state the truth, both by the British Legislature and by be offended who may, and whatever our own Anglicized countrymen, if not amount of hostility may be thereby proto alter the government of the Church of voked. Let the intelligent and thoughtScotland, at least to reduce it to that con- ful man mark well the course of the dition of political thraldom in which the Church of Scotland's procedure, as well Church of England was held. That as that of the British parliament, from this should be desired by mere politicians, the period of the Union till now, with as need excite no wonder ; for it is not polit- much fairness and candour as he can; ical sagacity, but spiritual enlightenment, and especially let him trace accurately, which enables men to perceive and un- and with unprejudiced mind, the conduct derstand what are the true and essential of the faithful minority, testing it as rigidprinciples of the Christian Church. They ly as he will by reference to the fundaare naturally incapable of understanding mental principles and avowed standards on what terrns alone a true Church can of the Presbyterian Church ; and he will enter into an alliance with the State ; and have little difficulty in deciding who have they therefore always regard the Church been the defenders, and who the betrayers
SECESSION IN 1752.
and the foes of civil and religious liberty, pledged. The Jacobites, who wished the -by whom the cause of vital religion restoration of the exiled Stuart race, knew and national welfare has been promoted, well that the establishment of the Presand by whom retarded, -by whose ill-rebyterian Church was the main obstacle quited exertions the interests of the Re- to their resumption of power in Scotland; deemer's spiritual kingdom within our and the not unnatural sympathy which land have been maintained, and by whom the English Episcopalians felt for their they have been betrayed and violated, Scottish brethren of that persuasion, in through the influence of secular motives, duced them to take every measure in their and in the spirit of a base subserviency to power for the discouragement and depresnarrow-minded and worldly politicians. sion of the rival Church. Of this char
acter was the jealous and intolerant policy of the English High-Church party, requiring the sacramental test, according
to the forms of Episcopacy, before any CHAPTER IX.
man could be eligible to a place of public
trust in civil affairs, while no such limitaFROM THE UNION TO THE RISE OF THE SECOND tion was applied to them in Scotland.
This was manifestly contrary to the spirit
of the Union, and a grievance to every Position of the Church of Scotland at the Union Me true Presbyterian. But it had still more ment of the Church-Political Movements in Eng: pernicious tendencies. It was calculated Jacobite Intrigues; Case of Greenshields-Hostility by degrading it to the character of a civil erroneous Opinions in the Church of Scotland to cause disregard to that sacred ordinance, of Harley and Bolingbroke-Act of Toleration–Oath qualification; and it tended to allure the tual Attempt of the Church to prevent its Enactment Scottish nobility and gentry to conform to --Examination of the Spirit, Tendency, and Intention Prelacy, to which they were already
Assertions in its Preamble refuted-Conduct of the sufficiently prone. This effect was, in all General Assembly-Remarks-Causes of the Weak: probability, what Prelatists expected and Abjuration Oath-Case of Burntisland-Commence- desired; but it was evident that it could ment of the Process against Professor Simson for not be otherwise than offensive to PresAnne-Memorial against Patronage-The Rebellion byterians, especially when contrasted with " Riding Committee" --Progress of unsound Opin. the repeated and pressing applications ions, how caused-Act restricting Patronage-Origin made to the Church of Scotland to receive bly-The Representers-first Case of Intrusion into its bosom the Prelatic curates, and to Acceptance of a Presentation-Origin of the First give them an equal share in the governSecession--Partial Change in the Conduct of the ment of the Church which they had so completed-Revivals at Cambuslang and Kilsyth-| long persecuted, and were still seeking to Violent Settlements-Opinions of the Court of Session subvert. In the circumstances and arverkeithing -- Deposition of Mr Gillespie Origin of rangements of the Union itself, and notthe Second Secession, the Relief, in 1752–Moderate withstanding the Act of Security, there
was reason for the Church of Scotland to By the Act of Security, which was the be jealous of her rights and privileges, so basis of the Union, the Church of Scot- far as it was in the power of the Church land obtained the clearest recognition of of England to impair and obstruct them. her own principles, and the strongest rati- The bitter hostility of the Scottish Jacofication of her rights and privileges, which bites and Prelatists was even increased could be conveyed by legislative enact- by the Union, which opposed a mighty ments and secured by the solemn pledge obstacle to their hopes, and which, they of national faith. Yet were those prin
Yet were those prin- well knew, could not have been accomciples as much disliked by statesmen as plished if the Church of Scotland had they had ever been; and at the very time offered a strong and determined resistance. when the ratification was given, a power- Placed thus in a position surrounded ful party was secretly plotting the viola- with danger, the Presbyterian Church tion of those rights and privileges for the had a very difficult part to act. To act security of which the faith of the sove that part aright demanded the union of reign and the united kingdom was high-principled religious integrity, and
consummate prudence. From the rul- these hostile influences prevailed, wheing powers of the empire she had little ther by external force or by internal corfavour to expect, beyond what they might ruption, and to what degree Presbyterian deem it for their own interest to give. principles were repressed or allowed to If she could succeed in retaining and fall into abeyance, remains now to be wielding the compact energies of the briefly but faithfully traced. Scottish community, politicians would [1708.] The period immediately sucnot dare to tamper with her rights and ceeding the Union had been employed privileges; but if in that she failed, to be by the Jacobites in making the most scorned and trampled upon by insulting strenuous exertions to produce a counteradversaries was her certain doom. And revolution, by means of an attempted inunfortunately her prospect of obtaining surrection at home, supported by an invathat element of security was greatly sion from France. In this time of pubdiminished by recent events. The great lic danger the loyalty and zeal of the mass of the Scottish people were hostile Scottish Presbyterians had been signally to the Union, for various causes; and displayed, both ministers and people exthe conduct of the Church in not oppos- erting themselves to the utmost in preparing that great Treaty had alienated to a ing to defend the constitution and governvery considerable degree the minds of a ment of the country. When the Aslarge proportion of the most conscientious sembly met in April 1708, her majesty, Presbyterians. Nothing but the most both by letter and through the commisdetermined adherence to strict Presby- sioner, expressed her entire satisfaction terian principles, and their exhibition in with the conduct of the Scottish Church, all her proceedings, could have regained and her renewed assurance of her unalthe affection and the confidence of the terable resolution to maintain to it unimpeople; and such a line of conduct it was paired all its rights and privileges. The now scarcely possible for her to follow. answer of the Assembly expressed the The baneful policy of William, which most unswerving loyalty, and at the same had caused the reception of so many of time not obscurely indicated to her mathe Prelatic curates, had vitiated the mi- jesty in what manner that loyalty could nisterial body to such a degree, that in- be best recompensed, and the peace and stead of a faithful assertion and bold de- welfare of the country maintained. fence of Presbyterian principles, in They plainly declared, that a "pious, government, doctrine, and discipline, the learned, and faithful ministry” was the utmost that could be obtained from the greatest support, under God, of true reliGeneral Assembly was a faint remon- gion and national welfare; trusting that strance, or a half apologetic statement of her majesty would discourage the opposirights and privileges, or a feeble and tion made to the planting of such a mitame petition for redress, even when nistry in several places, " by some that much aggrieved. This increasing un- are not more disaffected to our church soundness of doctrine, tame and compro- constitution than to your majesty's royal mising spirit
, and moderate policy, how- person and government."* Had her ever much lauded by wily politicians, majesty and her government appreciated was not calculated to reinstate the Church and acted upon the spirit of this suggesin the affections of a people distinguished tion, the Church and the nation must soon for national pride, intellectual strength, have entered upon a career of public tranand inflexible adherence to religious quillity and religious purity very different principle. On the contrary, it was from that which the historian hašto record. sure to alienate them more and more, Two acts of this Assembly deserve atand at the same time to encourage the attention. , One was for the suppression foes of Presbytery to fresh aggressions. of schism and disorders in the Church : Such was the character and condition of the other, recommending ministerial visithe Church of Scotland, and such the tation of families.f 'The first arose from nature of the hostile influences by which the cause already specified,--the disagreeit was surrounded, and to a considerable ment which could not but exist between extent interpenetrated, at the momentous the true Presbyterian ministers and the period of the Union.' To what extent
* Acts of Assembly, year 1708.
admitted Prelatic curates, and also be presented by the queen's commissioner to tween the Established Church and the her majesty, concerning the interfering inflexible Cameronians. The second of justices of the peace with the offices of was expressly designed to promote the church deacons.
The full purport of progress of vital and personal religion this memorial, and the object accomthroughout the community, by giving to plished by it, require to be explained, ministers well digested and authorative and merit attention. At the period of the directions respecting the discharge of Reformation, it will be remembered, the that very important part of their duty, so Church of Scotland proposed to take that it might not be in the power of any upon itself the care of the poor, and to to neglect it, without being immediately support them out of its own patrimony. called to account, and censured accord- The avaricious nobility frustrated this ing to their demerits. Such a process | benevolent design to the utmosi of their was more certain to secure the stability power, by seizing forcibly upon the paof the Church, by resting it on the affec- trimony of the Church, regardless alike ion and respect of the poeple, than could of justice and humanity. But the Church, pe done by mere acts of the legislature. nevertheless, following the example of
unhappily it was an act which the the Apostolic Church, appointed collecPrelatic conformists could not possibly tions to be made for the support of the discharge in a suitable manner. Too
and instituted the order of deacons many of them had been known to their for the proper management of the funds parishioners as spies and informers during so raised.. This method of supporting the persecution, for their visits to be re- the poor was almost immediately crowned ceived with a ready and affectionate wel- with the most remarkable success. Pocome; so that, when the Assembly en- verty and its dire attendants, degradation joined the discharge of a duty which the and immorality, almost disappeared, and previous misconduct of a large section peace, intelligence, comfort, and purity, rendered it impracticable for them to at- spread their blessings over the land. tempt, this injunction, however excellent But when Charles II., in 1661, abolished in itself
, and fitted to produce the best re- the Presbyterian Church, and established sults when adequately performed, tended Prelacy on its ruins,—as attention to the to increase the disagreement between the religious and intellectual instruction of faithful ministers and their less zealous the poor, and the alleviation of their perbrethren, who disliked directions which sonal wants, formed no part of the instithey could not cordially and successfully tutions, nor had ever been regarded in obey.
the practice of the Prelatic Church,-the [1709.] Several important transactions whole matter was intrusted to the charge took place in the Assembly which met in of the justices of the peace, who were em1709; one of which was the maturing of powed to appoint overseers in every the Society for Propagating Christian parish for the management of matters Knowledge, which obtained the approba-connected with the maintenance of the tion of the queen in council
, and has ever poor. The utter inefficiency of this syssince continued in the discharge of its tem, attempted as it was in a time of perimportant duties, on which a large mea- secution which destroyed a large proporsure of the Divine favour has manifestly tion of the middle class, which has rested. An act was passed also for erect- always been the most charitable, was deing public libraries, one in each presby- monstrated with dreadful precision, when tery throughout the kingdom; a measure at the Revolution it appeared that about well adapted to promote the knowledge the fifth part of the population were in a and the usefulness of the ministers, by state of utter beggary and homelessness, placing within their reach the means of and so fearfully degraded and demoralprosecuting their own studies, which their ized as to startle and appal the most inremote situations and scanty maintenance different. But the Presbyterian Church must have greatly impeded.
was again established, and immediately Among the unprinted acts of this As- resumed its hallowed labours and its sembly is one of great national impor- charitable cares. Again was its un
It is entitled, “ A memorial to be rivalled excellence, as a national institu
tion for promoting the moral and religious, and to sustain persecution,—to advance welfare of the community, most signally the welfare of all, and to be generally displayed. The faithful and earnest calumniated,--has been more the fate of preaching of the gospel arrested the the Church of Scotland than of any attention of the people; schools were pro- Christian Church since the days of the vided for the instruction of the young: apostles. But this is no equivocal proof the charitable donations of the congrega- that she is indeed a true Church of Christ, tions relieved the truly necessitous, and reviled and persecuted by the world, bethe sacred and moral atmosphere of cause she is not of the world. The sucChristianity diffused itself over the king cess with which the exertions of the dom, checking and repressing vice, re- Church of Scotland had been blessed in buking open crime, and imparting a repressing vice and irrerigion, and promore pure, healthful, and lofty tone to moting pure and personal Christianity, the feelings and desires of the renovated may be stated in the language of an acute community: So manifestly was this the and impartial observer, a native of Engcase, that the commissioner, the Earl of land, who came to Scotland to aid in Glasgow, readily undertook to present promoting the Union :-“You may pass the memorial, and enforced it with such through twenty towns in Scotland withstatements respecting the efficiency of the out seeing any broil, or hearing an oath Scottish system, on his own knowledge, sworn in the streets : whereas, if a blind that the justices of the peace were in- man was to come from thence into Engstructed to abstain from interfering with land, he shall know the first town he sets the management of the poor, leaving that his foot in within the English border, by matter to the care of the kirk-sessions, by hearing the name of God blasphemed and whose judicious superintendence the profanely used, even by the very little country had been rescued from poverty children in the streets."* and crime. Had it not been for this (1710.] Before the General Assembly prompt and decisive conduct on the part met in 1710, a movement had taken place of the Church, Scotland would have been in England which fell little short of a respeedily subjected to the pressure of an volution. This was occasioned by the intolerable burden of poor-laws, similar notorious Sacheveral, who, by the plentito that under which England, notwith- ful use of a strange mixture of blind standing its superior national wealth, and bigotry, fierce invective, and the hardy in spite of, not to say in consequence of, assertions of intolerant ignorance, roused its hierarchical church, has so long the prejudices of the High-Church party groaned
and the rude populace to such a degree This incident would of itself convince as to overthrow the Whig government of any unprejudiced and intelligent person the Revolution and the Union, and to how much Scotland owes to its National place a Tory administration in office, Church, proving, at the same time, how nominally headed by Harley, soon aftermuch superior that Church is to any wards Earl of Oxford, and really by the other in Christendom, in the efficient philosophic, yet unprincipled infidel Boaccomplishment of one great object for lingbroke. Strange as it might at first which a National Church is established sight appear, this triumph of High
the promotion of the moral and reli- Church Episcopacy and Tory state poligious welfare of the community. And tics tended directly to the restoration of yet, at the very time when the Church Popery, and of the exiled claimant of the was thus generously taking upon herself crown, the Popish Pretender. Yet every the care of the poor, she had been recently thinking person will easily perceive the deprived of the remains of her patrimony, natural connection which subsists between the third part of the teinds, which had the principles of High-Church bigotry, been given back to the patrons as a com- strenuously inculcating passive obedience pensation for the loss of those patronages and non-resistance to the right divine which they had obtained by conduct of of kings to govern wrong," and those on the most flagrantly illegal, unjust, and which Popery itself is founded. Nor wrongful character. Surely, to do good were the Scottish Jacobites inattentive and to suffer injury,--to promote peace
* De Foe's Memoirs, p. 428.