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revenues could not be drawn in his own to the civil power, but in other respects name, it was necessary to revive the tul- would discharge their duty. Soon after, chan system, and procure some hireling a messenger-at-arms entered the house, to hold the title, and hand over to Lennox and charged the moderator and members the greater portion of the revenues. The of Assembly, on the pain of rebellion, to transaction was so base, and so directly desist entirely from the prosecution. After opposed to the whole acts of the Assem- serious deliberation, they agreed to adbly, especially the more recent ones con- dress a respectful letter to his Majesty ; demning and wholly abolishing the epis- resolved that it was their duty to proceed copal name and office, that Lennox had with the trial ; ratified the sentence of the some difficulty in finding a person at presbytery of Stirling, suspending him once sufficiently knavish and reckless to from the exercise of the ministry; and enter into what even Spotswood_terms having found eight articles of the charge this “ vile bargain.” At length, Robert against him proved, declared that he had Montgomery, minister of Stirling, “a incurred the censures of deposition and man," says Robertson, vain, feeble, pre- excommunication. Overawed by this sumptuous, and more apt, by the blem- calm and resolute conduct, Montgomery ishes of his character, to have alienated hastened to the house, and like a self-con the people from an order already beloved, victed culprit, humbly crouching before than to reconcile them to one which was them, acknowledged that he had heavily the object of their hatred,"—this worth-offended God and His Church, craved less man consented to make himself the that the sentence might not be pronounced, base instrument of a licentious courtier's and solemnly promised to interfere no sacrilegious avarice.
farther with the bishopric. The AssemThe Assembly which met in October bly accepted his submission, and delayed entered promptly into the consideration pronouncing the sentence; but, aware of this simoniacal transaction, and called of his character, gave instructions to the Montgomery to the bar. After proceed- presbytery of Glasgow to watch his coning a certain length, the matter was re- duct, and in case he violated his engagemitted to the presbytery of Stirling, to ment, to inform the presbytery of Edindeal farther in it as necessity might re- burgh, who were authorized to appoint quire; and Montgomery was prohibited one of their number to pronounce the from accepting the condemned prelatic sentence of excommunication against office, and from leaving his charge at him. Stirling. The members of the synod of The event showed the wisdom of these Lothian were summoned to appear before precautions. Instigated by Lennox, who the privy council, on account of having longed to realize the fruits of his á vile. interfered with Montgomery in obedience bargain," Montgomery revived his claim to the orders of the Assembly. They to the prelacy; and when the presbytery appeared ; and Robert Pont, who was at of Glasgow met to do as they had been that time one of the Lords of Justiciary, directed by the Assembly, he procured an in their name, after protesting their readi- order from the king to stay their proceness to yield all lawful obedience, de- dure, and, at the head of an armed force, clined the judgment of the council, as in- entered the house where they were sitcompetent, according to the laws of the ting, and presented the order. They land, to take cognizance of a cause which refused compliance; and the moderator was purely ecclesiastical.
was dragged from the chair, insulted, [1582.] The Assembly met in April beaten, and cast into prison. The pres1532 at St. Andrews, and immediately bytery, nevertheless, discharged their proceeded to take up the case of Mont-duty, found him guilty, and transmitted gomery, which had been referred to them the result to the presbytery of Edinburgh, by the presbytery of Stirling. The king who appointed one of their own number sent a letter to the Assembly, requesting to pronounce the sentence. In spite of them not to proceed against Montgomery the rage and the threatenings of the for any thing connected with the arch- court
, the sentence was pronounced, and bishopric. The answer was, that they intimated publicly in all the surrounding would touch nothing so far as belonged churches. A proclamation was immediately issued by the privy council, declar-access to the king in council, he preing the excommunication of Montgomery sented the remonstrance. When it had null and void. The ministers of Edin- been read, Arran, looking around the burgh were repeatedly called before the assembly with a threatening countenance, council and insulted; and John Dury exclaimed, “Who dares subscribe these was banished from the capital, and pro- treasonable articles ?''
66 WE DARE," rehibited from preaching,
plied: Melville; and advancing to the But if the king and the courtiers were table, he took the pen from the clerk, and furious, the Church was roused and reso- subscribed. The other commissioners lute, and its councils were guided by men immediately followed his example. Even equal to the emergency. An extraordi- the unprincipled and daring Arran was nary meeting of Assembly was convened, overawed by the native supremacy of and a spirited remonstrance was drawn religious principle and true moral courup, to be presented to the king and coun- age, and sunk from his look of domineercil, complaining of the late proceedings, ing sternness into the sullen scowl of imand craving a redress of grievances. In potent and baffled malice. Lennox adthis very remarkable document they com- dressed the commissioners in a conciliamence the statement of grievances by tory tone; and they were peaceably thus addressing the king :-“That your dismissed. Certain Englishmen who majesty, by device of some councillors, is happened to be present expressed their caused to take upon you a spiritual power astonishment at the bold carriage of the and authority, which properly belongeth ministers, and could scarcely be perunto Christ, as only King and Head of suaded that they had not an armed force the Church, the ministry and execution at hand to support them.* whereof is only given unto such as bear But though the deputation escaped peroffice in the ecclesiastical government in sonal violence, the king and his favourthe same.
So that in your highness's iteś were not disposed thus to relinquish person some men press to erect a new the contest. A warrant was given to the popedom, as though your majesty could Duke of Lennox to hold what was called not be full king and head of this common- a chamberlain's court, to inquire into the wealth, unless as well the spiritual as late sedition, and have its authors and temporal sword be put into your high- abetters duly punished. This court was ness's hands,-unless Christ be bereft of to be held in Edinburgh on the 27th his authority, and the two jurisdictions of August; but before the arrival of that confounded which God hath divided, day, an event took place which comwhich directly tendeth to the wreck of all pletely changed the aspect of public true religion."
affairs. The haughty and tyrannical A deputation, at the head of which was conduct of Lennox and Arran had exAndrew Melville, was appointed to go to cited the hostility of the greater part of Perth, where the king was then resid- the nobility; and, roused from their leing, and to present this remonstrance. thargy by witnessing the free and enerWhen information of these proceedings getic behaviour of the Church, they reached the court, the favourites expressed resolved to rescue the country from the the highest indignation; and an appre- disgraceful servitude under which it hension generally prevailed, that if the groaned. A combination for effecting ministers ventured to approach the court, this purpose was formed; the person of their lives would be sacrificed on the the king was seized, and restrained for a spot. Their more timid and wary friends time to Ruthven castle, whence this enterentreated them not to appear; but Mel- prise obtained the name of the Raid of ville answered, “I am not afraid, thank Ruthven. The Duke of Lennox was God, nor feeble-spirited in the cause and compelled to retire to France, where he message of Christ ; come what God soon after died ; Arran was removed from pleases to send, our commission shall be all intercourse with the king; and a executed." Having next day obtained proclamation was issued, recalling all the
* Booke of the Universall Kirk, p. 256 ; Calderwood,
Calderwood, p. 128; Melville's Diary, p. 95 ; M'Crie's Life of Melville, pp. 182, 183.
late despotic measures, and putting an certain articles were proposed for their end to all hostile procedure against the consideration by the king and council, Church.
with a request that a commission might When the Assembly met in the month be appointed with powers to deliberate of October, the lords connected with the and conclude, the Assembly, rememberRaid of Ruthven sent a deputation to ex- ing well the convention of Leith, answerplain the grounds of the late proceedings. ed significantly, "that they had found by They declared, that the causes which experience, commission given to brethren moved them were, the dangers to which with power to conclude, to have done they perceived the Church and religion, great hurt to the Church." the king and his estate, were exposed, But the period of peace and prosperity and the confusion and disorder of the was near its close, and a storm was ready commonwealth; requesting the Assem- to burst forth with increased violence. bly to give the sanction of their public The king, whose mind and morals had approval to the enterprise. The Assem- been deeply corrupted by his former bly acted with becoming caution in the licentious favourites, became itterly im
Ministers were required to state patient of the restraint in which he was whether it was consistent with their own kept by the new administration. Conknowledge that such grievances were triving to elude the vigilance of the lords, prevalent in the kingdom; and a deputa- he hastened to St. Andrews, summoned tion was sent to the king, to receive his his former courtly flatterers, and cast own account of the transaction, and his himself once more into the arms of the own feelings regarding it. The king's unprincipled Earl of Arran. Immedianswer agreeing with the declaration of ately the hostile proceedings against the the lords, and the statements of the min- Church were resumed, although for a isters from all parts of the country, the time the royal and courtly displeasure Assembly then expressed their approba- was directed chiefly against individuals
, tion of the reformation of the common- John Dury was banished from Edin. wealth intended and begun.
burgh, and restricted to the neighbour The same Assembly proceeded to the hood of Montrose; and severe threatentrial and deposition of the corrupt pre- ings were uttered against all who had lates; and commission was given to frame expressed approbation of the Raid of articles to be presented to the king, coun- Kuthven. cil, and estates, for the farther removal of
[1584.] The year 1584, black in the abuses, and maintenance of the liberty annals of the Church of Scotland, was and purity of the Church. The notori- ushered in by the commencement of that ous Montgomery, seeing little prospect of storm which was soon to shake and deaccomplishing his base designs, offered vastate the kingdom. On the. 15th of to submit to the discipline of the Church, February, Andrew Melville was sumand begged to be again received into her moned to appear before the privy council,
to answer for seditious and treasonable [1583.] While the king remained un- speeches, alleged to have been uttered by der the care of the new administration, him in his sermon and prayers on a fast peace and contentment prevailed through- which had been kept during the precedout the kingdom. He publicly declared ing month. He appeared, gave an achis satisfaction with what had taken count of what he had really said, and place; and, lest any suspicion might re proved his innocence; but the council main, emitted an act of indemnity to all resolved to proceed with his trial. He in any way connected with the Raid of then stated objections, which he subseRuthven. The Church was not only quently put into the form of a protest, permitted, but even encouraged, to ad- the chief point of which was, that his trial vance in her course of reformation : and should be remitted, in the first instance, a confidential intercourse was commenced to the ecclesiastical courts, as the ordinabetween the court and the Assembly, ry and proper judges of his ministeria) which seemed to indicate the opening of conduct, according to Scripture, the law a more propitious era. Yet the Assem- of the kingdom, and an agreement lately bly was not lulled into security; for when made between certain commissioners of
the privy council and of the Church. apprehended without the formality of a This modified declinature of the direct legal charge. This contradictory proand primary jurisdiction of the privy cedure tended still more to increase the council over the conduct of ministers in public dissatisfaction, and to deepen the the discharge of the pastoral functions, general alarm. gave dire offence to the king, who was This contest between the court and jealous to excess of every limitation of Andrew Melville it has been thought nehis absolute prerogative; and roused the cessary to state with some minuteness, despotic heart of Arran to a degree of because it brings before the reader plainungovernable fury. Nothing could appal ly one of the chief subjects on account the dauntless spirit of Melville. Un- of which the Church of Scotland has clasping his Hebrew Bible from his gir- been often exposed to peril, and almost dle, and throwing it on the table, he said, always to misrepresentation and calumny. “ These are my instructions: see if any of The claim that a minister should be tried, you can judge of them, or show that I in the first instance, by an ecclesiastical have passed my injunctions." Entrea- court, for every accusation brought ties and menaces were in vain employed against him in regard to doctrine and the to induce him to withdraw his protest; discharge of his pastoral functions, has he steadily refused, unless his cause were been attempted to be identified with the remitted to the proper judges. He was claim maintained by the popish clergy, then formally accused, and the deposition of entire immunity from the civil jurisof a number of witnesses taken. But al- diction, even in matters civil, and in though most of them were his enemies, crimes of every kind.
That the two nothing could be extracted from their evi- claims are essentially different, must be dence that tended in the slightest degree obvious to every clear and unprejudiced to criminate him. Notwithstanding this, mind. Even the bare statement of them he was found guilty of declining the judg- as above, makes it evident that they are ment of the council
, and behaving, as totally dissimilar. But it has ever been they said, irreverently before them; and the policy of the enemies of the Church was condemned to be imprisoned in the of Scotland, first to misrepresent her castle of Edinburgh, and to 'be farther principles, and then to condemn their punished in his person and goods at his own misrepresentation and to punish majesty's pleasure. Having learned that their slandered victims, as if they were his place of confinement was changed to indeed convicted criminals. It is easy Blackness Castle, kept by a creature of to brand a good cause with a bad name, Arran's, and that if once there, he would and then to assume the plausible aspect either never leave his dungeon alive, or of preventers of evil, or aver.gers of only to ascend the scaffold, he fled to wrong, when, in reality, those who so Berwick, which he reached in safety, act
, are themselves the calumniators of while Arran was preparing a troop of good and the assailants of right. The cavalry to convey him to Blackness. * Church of Scotland has never denied the
This harsh and unjustifiable conduct right of the civil magistrate to take cogat once roused and alarmed the king- nizance of every crime by which the pubdom. The ministers of Edinburgh pray- lic morality and peace were or might be ed publicly for Melville; and the univer- injured; but as the liberty of the pulpit sal lament was, that the king, under the is essential to the free and fearless deliinfluence of evil council, had driven into very of the gospel message, and as that exile the most learned man in the king- liberty would be but a name, were the dom, and the ablest defender of religion minister to be dragged before a civil triand the liberties of the Church. The bunal upon the accusation of every ignoprivy council issued a proclamation, de- rant, spiteful, or malicious informer, she claring that his exile was voluntary; has always asserted the right of the but at the same time an act of council minister to be tried, in the first instance, was passed, ordaining that such preach- by an ecclesiastical court Should the ers as were accused should henceforth be partiality of such a court shelter a delin
quent from condign punishment, it is still Calder wood, pp. 144-147; M'Crie's Life of Melville,
competent for the civil magistrate to proceed against him in the exercise of that quence of the conduct of the court, they authority which the antecedent judgment were peremptorily commanded by the of the Church could neither supersede king's commissioner to rescind the former nor invalidate. And, if accurately ex- act expressing approval of the Raid of amined, this liberty will be found to be Ruthven, and to pass another condemnthe very palladium of civil liberty itself. ing that transaction as treasonable. The freedom of opinion has never exist- This the Assembly declined to do; but ed in any country where religious free- | instead of taking a determined stand dom was unknown; indeed, free public against such an encroachment on their opinion had no existence till the Refor- liberties, they broke up their meeting, and mation broke the fetters of religious des- withdrew from the scene of immediate potism and made men free indeed. And danger. in the time of the Scottish Reformation, A parliament was held in May, in the press, with its mighty influences, had which the proceedings were of a most exnot sprung into being, -parliamentary traordinary character. Tre Lords of the proceedings were the records of tyranny Articles were sworn to secrecy while or faction, the courts of justice obeyed they were preparing the business of the too generally the arbitrary will of the parliament; and the meetings of the parsovereign, or exhibited the one-sided re- liament were held with closed doors. In sults of partizanship,--and it was from spite of these precautions, it became the teachers of religion that the people known that measures subversive of the first learned to know that they were Presbyterian form of church government something more than the slaves of their were intended. One minister was feudal lords or regal despots--that being seized, when entering the palace-gate to rational, responsible, and immortal crea- supplicate the king in behalf of the tures, they were entitled to think, and Church, and sent to Blackness. And reason, and act, as conscious of their when, on the 25th of May, the acts of mysterious nature, and worthy of their parliament were proclaimed, Pont and high destinies. Despotism," says Balcanquhall protested formally at the M'Crie, “has rarely been established in market-cross of Edinburgh, and immeany nation without the subserviency of diately fled to Berwick. Adamson and the ministers of religion. And it nearly Montgomery sat in this infamous parliaconcerns the cause of public liberty, that ment as bishops, directing the despotic those who ought to be the common in measures against the church and the structors and the faithful monitors of all kingdom. classes, should not be converted into the The acts passed by this parliament, trained sycophants of a corrupt, or the known as “the Black Acts of 1584," trembliny slave of a tyrannical, adminis- were to the following effect :- That to tration."
decline the judgment of his majesty or Soon after the flight of Melville, a of the privy council in any matter was proclamation was issued against all who treason: That those were guilty of the had been concerned in the Raid of Ruth- same crime who should impugn or seek ven, who were commanded to leave the the diminution of the power and authority kingdom within a given time. An abor- of the three estates of parliament: [By tive attempt was made by the threatened this, all that the Church had done in the party to defend themselves; but the Earl abolition of Prelacy was declared trcaof Gowrie having been seized, the sonable). That all subjects were prohiothers fled to England, and Arran ob- bited from convening any assembly, extained the uncontrolled management of cept the ordinary courts, to consult or dethe king and the government. Gowrie termine on any matter of state, civil or was executed notwithstanding the act of ecclesiastical, without the special comindemnity, and the express forgiveness of mandment and license of his majesty: the king to him personally. Arran [This was intended for the suppression urged impetuously forward his schemes of Presbyteries, Synods, and General at once of tyranny and revenge. When Assemblies.) That commissions should the Assembly met at St. Andrews in April, be given to the bishops, along with such few in number, and dispirited in conse- others as the king might appoint to pu