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pose the doctrine which had just been urgent necessities of the case, another received, they should be entitled to no expedient was devised. It was resolved credit, seeing, after full knowledge of it, to divide the counties into departments, and ample time for deliberation, they and appoint one of the Protestant party had allowed it to pass without the small- to take the general charge of religious est opposition or contradiction. On the matters throughout each of these depart24th of August, the parliament abolished ments, and to bear the name of Superinthe papal jurisdiction, prohibited, under tendents, as indicative of the general certain penalties the celebration of mass, charge which they were to take of the and rescinded all the laws formerly made interests of religion in their respective in support of the Roman Catholic Church, districts. These superintendents were, and against the Reformed faith."* John Spotswod for the Lothians ; John
With these acts Sir James Sandilands Winram for Fife ; John Willock for of Torphichen was sent to France, in Glasgow; John Erskine of Dun for order to obtain, if possible, their ratifica- Angus and Mearns; and John Carsewell tion by the king and queen. This, how- for Argyle. * It was intended by the reever, they refused to give, trusting to the formers to have divided Scotland into ten possibility of yet restoring the Romish districts, and to have appointed a superChurch in Scotland ; but as their hostil- intendent for each; but the difficulty of ity was known, their refusal gave little obtaining suitable persons prevented the disturbance to the reformers, by whom appointment of any more than the aboveindeed it seems to have been expected. named five. As in the treaty of Edinburgh it had From the fact of the appointment of been expressly agreed that, in the parlia- these superintendents, Episcopalian wri ment which was to be held in August, ters have striven to represent the Scottish the religious matters in dispute should be reformers as favourable to diocesan Pre. considered and grievances redressed, the lacy. The utter absurdity of this notion reformers held themselves entitled to re- has been demonstrated so conclusively by gard all the decisions of that parliament many authors, that we need not expend as in reality ratified by anticipation; and our time in its refutation ; it is enough to accordingly their next care was to devise refer to Calderwood, Stevenson, and what steps should now be taken for the M'Crie, or to the First Book of Discicomplete diffusion and establishment of pline, in which it manifestly appears that the Reformation throughout the kingdom. the superintendents had no one thing in
Previous to the meeting of parliament, common with prelates, except the charge and during the calm which'intervened of religious matters in an extensive disbetween the treaty of Edinburgh and the trict,--a charge by the one class of men later period, a temporary arrangement laboriously executed, and by the other had been made, by which the chief of made a source of honour and emolument; the reformed ministers were appointed to thus, even in this apparent similarity, reside in the most populous and impor- proving their inherent and essential diftant towns. John Knox was appointed ference. It may be added, that not only to Edinburgh; Christopher Goodman was there no essential difference between (who had been Knox's colleague at Ge- the ordination of the superintendent and neva, and had of late come to Scotland) the minister, but Erskine of Dun filled was appointed to St. Andrews; Adam the office of a superintendent before he Heriot to Aberdeen; John Row to Perth; was ordained at all; and farther, that Paul Methven to 'Jedburgh ; William when it was proposed to make the bishop Christison to Dundee; David Ferguson of Galloway superintendent over Galloto Dumferline; and David Lindsay to way, the proposal was rejected, lest the Leith. But as the country parts of the appointment of one who had been a kingdom were at least equally in need of bishop should give some colour to the ministers and instruction, and there were idea that the office was Prelacy under a not yet any thing like a sufficient num- different name.f ber of reformed ministers to supply the Soon after the parliament had finished
* M'Crie's Life of Knox, p. 203; see also Knox p. 263; Spotswood, p. 150. Calderwood, p. 14.
* Knox, p. 236 ; Spotswood, p. 149.
TER OF THE CHURCH.
its labours and been dissolved, the civil rulers, preventing the vitiating influreformed ministers and the leading Pro-ence of worldly policy from interfering testants determined to meet and deliber- with and warping the views of our re ate respecting the measures to be next formers, who were thus not only left, adopted. On the 20th day of December but even constrained, to follow the guid1560, they met accordingly, in Edinance of the sacred Word of God alone; burgh, “ To consult upon those things while in almost every other country, which are to forward God's glory, and England for example, the Reformation the weil of his Kirk, in this realme.” was either biassed in its course, or arAnd this was the first meeting of the rested at that stage of its progress in FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH which worldly statesmen conceived it OF SCOTLAND.
could be rendered more subservient to We have thus briefly traced the pro- their own designs. But this, which is gress of the Reformation in Scotland, the glory and excellency of the Church from its first scarcely perceptible begin- of Scotland, we shall find to have been ning, struggling against the opposition of the cause of nearly all the perils wherepowerful, treacherous, and merciless an- with she has been encompassed, and the tagonists, until, “strong only in the Lord sufferings through which she has passed, and in the power of His might," it sur- from the Reformation to the present day. mounted all obstacles, and the ministers and elders of the Church of Scotland convened and held their General Assembly, in the name and by the sole authority of Him by whom they had been
CHAPTER III. so mightily upheld, and whom alone they recognized as Head and King of the From THE FIRST GENERAL ASSEMLLY, in 1560, Church of Scotland. We have seen how
TO THE YEAR 1592, AND THE GREAT CHARlong the early Church of Scotland, the Culdees, resisted the encroachments and First Book of Discipline-Opposition of the Nobility to the corruptions of Prelacy and Popery;
its Regulations-Queen Mary's Return to Scotland
Contests respecting the Mass, and respecting the with what difficulty these adherents of Liberty of the Assembly, and the Patrimony of the
Church--Proceedings against the Popish Bishopsprimitive Christianity were overborne;
Trial of Knox for convening the Ministers--Defence how pertinaciously the people of Scot- by Knox of the Freedom of the Pulpit-Marriage of
the Queen to Darnley-Patronage-Death of Rizzioland Clung to their early belief; and how First National Fast-Murder of Darnley-Marriage of
the Queen to Both well-Flight of Bothwell, and readily the tenets of Wickliffe and other
Mary's Imprisonment-Act of Parliament 1567, re. early reformers were received in those cognising the Church-Powers and Jurisdiction of districts where the Culdee system had
the Church, and its Condition at this time-The Re
gent Murray-his Assassination-The Regent Morton most prevailed. The dying declarations Attempts for the Restoration of Prelacy-Conven
tion of Leith, 1572-Tulchan Bishops-Death of John of the Scottish martyrs have called forth Knox-Continued Struggles of the Church against
the Tulchan Bishops-Andrew Melville comes to our admiration, and touched our sympa- Scotland-Commission to draw up a System of thies; and we have traced the steady un- Ecclesiastical Polity and Jurisdiction-Patrick Adam
son-Opposition of Melville-Morton resigns the swerving course of the undaunted Knox, Regency, and King James assumes the Government as he bore right onward to the accom
The Second Book of Discipline-Conference re
specting it-Its Ratification evaded-Condemnation plishment of his one great aim,--the es- of Episcopacy by the Assembly-Erection of Pres
byteries, and Engrossment of the Second Book of tablishment of the blessed gospel of Discipline in the Records of the Assembly-First Christ in his native land. And we must National Covenant subscribed by the King-Robert
Montgomery-Proceedings of the Church in his case have traced the course of these great -The Raid of Ruthven-Proceedings of the King events with unperceiving eye indeed, if
against Melville- The Black Acts of 1584–Sufferings
of the Church --Change of Measures for the better-we have not marked the hand of Prov- Act of Annexation--Alarm on account of the Span
ish Armada- The King sails to Norway-Peaceful idence guiding them all in a most pecu- State of the Church and Kingdom--The King reliar manner. Even circumstances the
turns and eulogizes the Church--Collision between
the Court of Session and the Church-Act of Parlia. most seemingly adverse were so over- ment of 1592, called the Great Charter of the Church ruled as to contribute to the purity and completeness of the Scottish Reforma- The act of the Scottish parliament, pastion. The alternating direct hostility sed on the 24th August 1560, in accordand alien intrigues of the court and the ance with the petition of the Scottish re
formers, abrogated and annulled the pa
Booke of the Universall Kirk of Scotland.
pal jurisdiction, and all authority flowing whom the Confession of Faith had been therefrom; but it enacted no ecclesias- composed were appointed to undertake tical jurisdiction whatever in its stead. the new and scarcely less important task. This it left the reformed Church to de- This, indeed, they had been previously termine upon and effect by its own in- desired to do by the privy council
, as aptrinsic
powers. And this is a fact of the pears from the preamble of their producutmost importance, which cannot be too tion. They applied themselves to their well known and kept in remembrance. task in the same spirit as before, having It is, indeed, one of the distinctive char- respect, indeed, to the circumstances and acteristics of the Church of Scotland, the exigencies of the time, but looking to that it owes its origin, its form, its juris- Divine direction and authority alone. diction, and its discipline, to no earthly “They took not their example," says power. And when the ministers and Row, “ from any Kirk in the world ; no, elders of the Church of Scotland resolved not from Geneva ;" but their plan from to meet in a General Assembly, to delib- the sacred Scriptures. Having arranged erate on matters which might tend to the the subject under different heads, they promotion of God's glory and the wel- divided these among them; and, after fare of the Church, they did so in virtue they had finished their several parts, they of the authority which they believed the met together and examined them with Lord Jesus Christ had given to His great attention, spending much time in Church. The parliament which abol- reading and meditation on the subject, ished the papal jurisdiction made not the and in earnest prayers for Divine direcslightest mention of a General Assembly: tion. When they had drawn up the In that time of comparatively simple and whole in form, they laid it before the Genhonest faith, even statesmen seem instinc-eral Assembly, by whom it was approved, tively to have perceived, that to interfere after they had caused some of its articles in matters of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, to be abridged. At the close of the brief so as to appoint ecclesiastical tribunals, records of the first General Assembly, specify their nature, and assign their there is an intimation that the next meetlimits, was not within their province. It ing was to be held on the 15th day had been well for the kingdom if states- of January following;* but no record apmen of succeeding times, certainly not pears to have been kept of that meeting; their superiors in talent and in judgment, yet, as we find the Book of Discipline rehad been wise enough to follow their ferred to in the next meeting of May the example.
same year, we may conclude that it was The first meeting of the General in January that it was approved and ratiAssembly of the Church of Scotland was fied by the Assembly. It was also subheld, as has been already stated, on the mitted to the privy council; but although 20th of December 1560. The number many of the members highly approved that convened was but small,-it con- of the plan, it was keenly opposed by sisted of forty members, only six of whom others. “ Everything," says Knox, were ministers; but they were men of " that repugned to their corrupt affecgreat abilities, of deep piety, and of emi- tions was termed, in their mockery, denent personal' worth, fitted and qualified vout imaginations. The cause we have by their Creator for the work which he before declared : some were licentious, had given them to do. The very next some had greedily gripped the possesstep which was taken proved both their sions of the Church, and others thought qualifications and their zeal. It was very that they would not lack their part of clearly seen by the reformers, that the Christ's coat.” This points out clearly power of discipline was essential to the enough the cause of the opposition made well-being of a Church, since without it to the Book of Discipline,--partly averpurity could not be maintained, either sion to the strict discipline which it apamong the people or the ministers them- pointed to be exercised against vice, and selves. They determined, therefore, to partly from reluctance to comply with its draw up a book in which there should be requisition for the appropriation of the a complete system of ecclesiastical government; and the same eminent men by
Booke of the Universall Kirk, p. 5.
t Knox, p. 256.
revenues of the Popish Church to the doctor or teacher, whose province it was support of the new religious and literary to interpret Scripture and confute
errors, establishments. But though not formally including those who taught theology in ratified by the privy council, it was sub- schools and universities; the ruling elder, scribed by the greater part of the nobility who assisted the minister in exercising and barons, members of the council, and ecclesiastical discipline and government; thereby virtually ratified. The docu- and the deacon, who had the special ment deserves to be recorded :
charge of the revenues of the Church “At Edinburgh, 17th January 1561.
and the poor. To these permanent office“ We, who have subscribed these pres- bearers there were added two others, of ents, having advised with the articles a temporary character. It has been herein specified, as is above mentioned, already stated, that, in the arrangement from the beginning of this book, think entered into previous to the first General the same good, and conform to God's Assembly, there were only twelve reWord in all points,--conform to the notes formed ministers to preach the gospel and additions hereto eiked; and promise throughout the whole kingdom; and to set the same forward to the uttermost that, to accomplish the utmost possible of our powers. Providing that the amount of duty by so small a number, bishops, abbots, priors, and other prelates seven were placed in the chief towns, and beneficed men which else have ad- and large country districts were assigned joined themselves to us, bruik [enjoy) to each of the remaining five. These the revenues of their benefices during five were called superintendents; and their lifetimes; they sustaining and up- their duty was, to travel from place to holding the ministry and ministers, as place throughout their districts, for the herein is specified, for the preaching of purpose of preaching, planting churches, the Word, and ministering of the sacra- and inspecting the conduct of the coun. ments."
try ministers, where there were any, To this,--termed by several writers and of another temporary class of men 66 An act of the secret council,” which in termed Exhorters and Readers. This deed it was, being subscribed by a large latter class consisted of the most pious majority,--there were affixed the names persons that could be found, who, having of the Duke of Chatelherault, the Earls received a common education, were able of Arran, Argyle, Glencairn, Rothes, to read to their more ignorant neighMarischal, Monteith, and Morton, Lords bours, though not qualified for the minisJames Stewart, Boyd, Yester, Ochiltree, try. When the readers were found to Lindsay, Sanquhar, St. John of Torphi- have discharged their duty well, and to chen, the Master of Maxwell, the Master have increased in their own knowledge, of Lindsay, Drumlanrig, Lochinvar, they were encouraged to add a few plain Garlies, Balgarnie, Cunninghamhead, exhortations to the reading of the ScripAlexander Gordon, bishop of Galloway, tures; and then they were termed ExAlexander Campbell, dean of Murray, horters. If they still continued to imand others of less note.
prove, they might finally be admitted to As the Book of Discipline contains the the ministry. To search out, employ, deliberate opinions of the Scottish reform- and watch over the conduct of such men, ers respecting what they regarded as the giving them instruction from time to time, fundamental principles of the Church was the chief duty of the superintendent, which they were labouring to establish from which, indeed, he derived his name, in Scotland, it seems necessary to give a so naturally expressive of his duty,-brief abstract of those principles, that the a duty the very nature of which shows it reader may the better know what the to have been temporary, and intended to Church of Scotland, from its beginning, expire whenever the necessities which has either been or striven to be.
called it into being should have been reThe ordinary and permanent office moved by a sufficiency of qualified minbearers of the Church were of four kinds: isters. the minister or pastor, to whom the No person was allowed to preach, or preaching of the gospel and administra- to administer the sacraments, till he was tion of the sacraments belonged; the regularly called to his emp wyment. "Ordinary vocation [calling] consisteth | In towns a sermon was regularly preachin election, examination, and admission." ed on one day of the week besides the “It appertaineth to the people, and to Sabbath: and on almost every day the every several congregation, to elect their people had an opportunity of hearing minister.” “For altogether this is to be public prayers and the reading of the avoided, that any man be violently in- Scriptures. Baptism was never dispensed truded or thrust in upon any congrega- unless it was accompanied with preachtion ; but this liberty, with all care, must ing or catechising. The Lord's Supper be reserved to every several church, to was administered four times a-year in have their votes and suffrages in election towns; the sign of the cross in baptizing, of their ministers." The examination and kneeling at the Lord's table, were was appointed to take place " in open forbidden; and anniversary holidays were assembly, and before the congregation," abolished. to satisfy the church as to his soundness Education was very justly regarded as in the faith; his gifts, utterance, and of the utmost importance, and deserving knowledge;" his willingness to under- every possible encouragement. It was take the charge; the purity of his mo- stated as imperatively necessary, that tives; and his resolution to discharge the there should be a school in every parish, duties of his office with diligence and for the instruction of youth in the princifidelity. Admission then took place by ples of religion, grammar, and the Latin the person being solemnly set apart by tongue; and it was farther proposed, that prayer, at first without imposition of a college should be erected in every “nohands, which, however, was afterwards table town," in which logic and rhetoric appointed to be done. Superintendents should be taught, along with the learned were admitted in the same way as other languages. It was even suggested that ministers, were tried by the same church parents should not be permitted to neg. courts, liable to the same censures, and lect the education of their children ; but might be deposed for the same crimes. that the nobility and gentry should be
The affairs of each congregation were obliged to do so at their own expense; and managed by the minister, elders, and that a fund should be provided for the deacons, who constituted the kirk-session, education of the children of the poor, which met regularly once a week, and who discovered talents and aptitude for oftener if business required. There was learning. also a meeting, called the weekly exer- To carry these important measures cise, or prophesying, held in every con- into effect, permanent funds were requi. siderable town, consisting of the ministers, site; and for these they naturally looked exhorters, and educated men in the vicini- to the patrimony of the Church. The ty, for expounding the Scriptures. This hierarchy had been abolished, and the was afterwards converted into the pres- popish clergy excluded from all religious bytery, or classical assembly. The su- services, by the alterations which the parperintendent met with the ministers and liament had introduced ; and wisaiever delegated elders of his district twice a- provision it was proper to allot for the disyear, in the provincial Synod, which took missed incumbents during life, it was un cognizance of ecclesiastical affairs within reasonable that they should continue to its bounds. And the General Assembly, enjoy those emoluments which were atwhich was composed of ministers and tached to offices for which they had been elders commissioned from the different found totally unfit. No successors could parts of the kingdom, met twice, some- be appointed to them; and there was not times thrice, in a year, and attended to the any individual or class of men in the nainterests of the National Church.
tion, who could justly claim a title to the Public worship was attended to in such rents of their benefices. The compilers a manner, as to show the estimation in of the Book of Discipline, therefore, pro which it was held by our reformers. On posed that the patrimony of the Church Sabbath days the people assembled twice should be appropriated, in the first infor public worship; and, the better to instance, to the support of the new ecclesistruct the ignorant, catechising was sub- astical establishment. Under this desigstituted for preaching in the afternoon. nation they included the ministry, the