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order in all ecclesiastical matters in their the Church was at once rescued from didioceses; and, That none should pre- rect persecution ; but the lords were more sume, in private or public, in sermons, intent on securing their own interests with or familiar conferences, to censure the the capricious and yet obstinate monarch, conduct of the king, his council, and pro- than on restoring the rights and priviceedings, under the penalties of treason- leges of which the Church had been deable offences, to be executed with all prived by Arran's infamous parliament. rigour. These BLACK ACTS, containing They excused themselves by the comthe very essence of despotism, were pas- mon plea of temporising insincerity, that sed on the 22d of May, publicly pro- it was not expedient yet to annoy the claimed on the 25th, and basely submit- king by pressing the abolition of Prelacy, ted to by the nobility, barons, and gentry, to which he was so much attached. being opposed alone by the ministers, And, at the same time, the Church was the dauntless guardians of civil and reli- somewhat divided, in conséquence of gious liberty.

66 There was

a spirit some ministers having been induced to awakened in Scotland, mightier far than subscribe the servile bond of the Black acts of parliament or the influence of the Acts. Animadversions, supplications,

The spirit of her ministers was and declarations, passed between the king not crushed: they fought on steadily to and the Assembly, which met in Decemthe end."*

ber; but nothing of a definite nature was Great was the sufferings and protract- concluded. ed the struggle of the Church. Up- [1586.] In April, 1586, the synod of wards of twenty ministers were compel. Fife excommunicated Adamson, pretendled to save their lives by a flight to Eng. ed archbishop of St. Andrews; and Adland. A bond was drawn up by Adam- amson retaliated by excommunicating son, to be subscribed by all ministers Andrew Melville, his nephew James, within forty days, obliging themselves to and some other ministers.' This matter submit to the king's power over all es- was brought before the Assembly in May, tates, spiritual and temporal, and to the and after long and sharp controversy, bishops, under the pain of losing their the king used every method to gain his stipends; with certification, that they purpose, by intimidation, by flattery of who did not submit within the given individuals, and by deceptive promises, time shoud not be received afterwards, the sentence was held to be regarded as but underlie the penalty without relief. not pronounced, many protesting against The most of them refused to subscribe; this deliverance.

The king was pecubut an ambigious and deceptive clause liarly urgent with the Assembly to have was introduced by Adamson, by which the pre-eminence of bishops over their several were beguiled into subscription. brethren recognized, if not on the ground

[1585.) But as the arrogance and ty- of jurisdiction, yet on that of order ; ranny of Arran were boundless, and as but the utmost he could obtain was the the kingdom in general sympathized answer, “ That it could not stand with with the suffering ministers, and as even the word of God; only they must tolerJames himself began to grow weary of ate it, if it be forced upon them by the his domineering favourite, it became evi- civil authority.* dent that a change of administration must [1587.] Scarcely anything of marked speedily ensue. The banished lords re- importance occurred during the year turned from England in October 1585; 1587. Some slight contests there were, incrowds of supporters flocked to them from deed, between the king and the ministers, all quarters; they advanced towards Stir- respecting praying for Queen Mary, who ling, where the king and Arran then was still alive, but her life placed in the were; and entering the town, Arran fled, most imminent peril

, in consequence of and the king received them into favour, the jealousy of Elizabeth and the plots and deprived his unworthy minion of all of the Papists. By a parliament held in his previous ill-got power and honours. July, such lands of the Church as had By this new change of administration not been already bestowed inalienably

upon the nobles or landed gentry, were * Dean of Faculty Hope-Speech, Auchterarder

;

Case, p. 205.

Calder wood, p. 512. .

Mackenzie says,

annexed to the crown. This act, detach- picion respecting his own stability on the ing the Church lands from all connec- Scottish throne, in case of his mother's tion with ecclesiastical persons, was a liberation, induced him to desire to keep fatal blow to the order of bishops, ren-on favourable terms with the popish dering the subsequent endeavours of sovereigns, and that party in his own James and his successors to restore them realm. While the death of Mary relieved to their pristine dignity and authority ut- him from one cause of his embarrassterly hopeless. It might have proved a ment, it tended to throw him into another fertile source of revenue to the crown, line of policy scarcely more favourable had not the facile disposition of James to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. led him to bestow the titles to these lands Keeping in view his succession to the lavishly on almost any one who requested English throne, he thought it necessary them; as, being generally held at that to conciliate the English Church as far time by annuitants, he could not himself as possible, by making known his deciimmediately obtain possession, and little ded preference to a prelatical form of valued property in prospect. But he ac- church government. To this, indeed, companied his own prodigal act with one his own despotic principles naturally inof injustice, in conferring, along with clined him, having found by experience these Church lands, the patronages which how much more easily a bench of bishops, had formerly belonged to their ecclesias- seated among the temporal lords, might tical proprietors, and which he thus ar- be brow-beaten or cajolled, than a free bitrarily converted into lay patronages. Assembly of high principled and fearOf this arbitrary conduct even Sir George (less Presbyterian ministers.

66 There could be no- The same considerations led him to thing so unjust as these patronages.” concur readily in the political schemes of Against them the Church promptly and Elizabeth. And as Philip of Spain, after strongly protested, in the Assembly long preparation, was now putting in mowhich met in August the following year.* tion the whole power of his vast empire

[1588.] The year 1588 was one of for the dethronement of the English great importance for Scotland and for queen, the Scottish monarch consented to Europe. We have had occasion to refer make common cause with her against to the leagues of the popish sovereigns the common enemy of the Protestant for the utter destruction of Protestantism, faith. Nobly did the Scottish Church in which both the queen-regerit and exert herself in this dark and threatening Queen Mary were deeply implicated, and period. An extraordinary meeting of on account of which they were continu- the Assembly was called, to deliberate ally the objects of jealousy and distrust what steps ought to be taken in this omito their Protestant subjects. Nor did nous aspect of public affairs. A deputaKing James escape similar suspicion and tion was sent to the king, to rouse him to distrust

. In the early part of his reign, due activity ; and though he at first when guided by his favourites Lennox seemed inclined to resent this, as an inand Arran, it was currently believed terference with his administration, yet that the former was in correspondence the formidable nature of the impending with the popish sovereigns on the Conti- danger induced him to name a cornmittee nent, and that the proceedings of James of the privy council, to co-operate with against the Church were chiefly intended the commissioners of the Church in proeither to overthrow the Church of Scot- viding for the public safety. A solemn land, and reintroduce Popery, or at least bond of allegiance and mutual defence to secure the support of the great Conti- was framed, approved by his majesty, nental powers in his pretensions to the zealously promoted by the ministers of throne of England on the death of Eliz- the Church, and sworn by all ranks, abeth. And although there is no rea- knitting the kingdom together by a sason to suppose that James did really in- cred and patriotic tie. The Spanish artend the overthrow of the reformed re-mada, fondly termed invincible, was soon ligion in this country, yet a certain sus- after checked and baffled by the deter

mined courage and persevering energy Calder wood, p 227 ; Booke of the Universall Kirk, / of the English fleet, then smitten and

ز

P 335.

scattered over the stormy ocean by the | What have they for them? they have no avenging hand of Omnipotence. institution. As for our neighbour Kirk

[1589.) This signal deliverance, and in England, their service is an evil-said the zeal and energy displayed by the mass in English; they want nothing of Church in the hour of danger, produced the mass but the listings. I charge you, a beneficial influence upon both the king my good people, ministers, doctors, elders, and the nation. An insurrection attempt- nobles, gentlemen, and barons, to stand to ed by the popish party, of whom the your purity; and I, forsooth, so long as I Earls of Huntly, Èrrol, and Crawford brook my life and crown, shall maintain were the leaders, was speedily put down; the same against all deadly.” This and the king was earnestly urged to sup- speech was received by the Assembly press Popery, and especially to expel with a transport of joy, there was nofrom the kingdom the jesuit emissaries thing heard for a quarter of an hour, but of the king of Spain. And the Church, praising God, and praying for the king.' "* putting forth its own powers, excommu- [1591.] Nothing of public importance nicated Patrick Adamson, for performing occurred in the year 1591, except the rethe ceremony of marriage, uniting the cantation of Patrick Adamson, whose popish Earl of Huntly to a lady of the dissolute life had at length so disgusted Lennox family.

the king, that he ceased to protect and On the 22d of October, the same year, support him; and the miserable victim of the king set sail for Norway, to meet the ambition was reduced to such extremities, princess of Denmark, to whom he had as to be supported by the charity of Anbeen previously contracted; and their drew Melville, the man whom he had so marriage was solemnized at Upsal, on often maligned and persekuted ; and who, the 24th of November. Before he de- in his time of distress, pitied, relieved, and parted he had appointed a provisional forgave him. The unhappy man, torgovernment to conduct public affairs dur-tured by remorse, and wasted by iming his absence; nominating Robert morality, sunk into dotage, and died early Bruce, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, in the following year.t an extraordinary member of the privy An incident took place the same year, council; and declaring that he reposed which we should not have deemed of more confidence in him and his brethren, sufficient importance to mention, had it for preserving the country in peace, than not been for the reflex value given to it he did in all his nobility. Nor was he by the occurrence of modern times. It disappointed. During the six months was a collision between the judicatories that the king was absent, the kingdom of the Church and the Court of Session. exhibited a scene of unwonted tranquillity; The transaction was of a somewhat comand the king was so sensible of the valu- plicated nature.

Graham of Hallyards, able services of the Church, that in his it appears, had corrupted a notary public letters to Bruce, he declared that he was to authenticate by his signature a forged " worth the quarter of his kingdom." instrument, by means of which Graham

[1590.) When the king returned in intended to defraud the feuars of some May 1590, he took the earliest opportu- property belonging to his wife. The nity of acknowledging his grateful sense matter becoming suspected, the notary of the valuable services rendered to him was imprisoned, and during his confineby the Church, and gave promise of re- ment confessed to Patrick Simpson of moving all remaining grievances, and Stirling, the minister by whom he was providing better measures for the future. visited, that he had been guilty of the In the Assembly which met in August, crime. Graham accused Simpson of he pronounced his celebrated panegyric having suborned the poor notary; and on the purity of the Church of Scotland. the Assembly took up the case, as impli“He praised God that he was born in cating the character of the minister. The such a time as in the time of the light of Lord President, and two other Lords of the Gospel, and in such a place as to be Session, appeared before the Assembly, king in such a Kirk, the sincerest Kirk requiring them not to proceed with a in the world." 6 The Kirk of Geneva," cause which was within the jurisdiction continued he, "keepeth Pash and Yule.

Calderwood, p. 286.

† Ibid., pp. 259-264. is specifically mentioned in the act itself, and that * Spotswood, p. 384 ; Booke of the Universall Kirk, be held to have been rejected. The true reason of this pp. 354, 355; Baillie, Vindication, pp. 62, 63.

of the Court of Session, and already being them, with the jurisdiction and disfore that court. The Assembly declared cipline belonging to them, to be in all that they had no intention to interfere time coming most just, good, and godly, with any civil matter; but that, as the notwithstanding whatsoever statutes, acts, case in question related to the character and laws, canon, civil

, or municipal, of a minister, and to his discharge of his made to the contrary. It ratified and empastoral functions, it was ecclesiastical, bodied also some of the leading proposiand belonged primario to the jurisdiction tions in the Second Book of Discipline, of the Church. Another attempt was relating to the power of these judicatories. made by the Court of Session to set aside It appointed General Assemblies to be this determination ; but the Lord Justice held once every year, or oftener, pro re naClerk being demanded if he acknow- ta, as occasion should require; the time and ledged the judgment and jurisdiction of place of next meeting to be appointed by the Kirk or not ?" he answered, “ that he his majesty or his commissoner, or, proacknowledged with reverence the judg- v ded neither of them should be present, ment of the Assembly in all causes ap- by the Assembly itself. It declared that pertaining to them; objecting, however, the act of the parliament 1584, respecting that this was a civil cause, and that there- the royal supremacy, should be in nowise fore the Lords were primario judices." prejudicial to the privileges of the office The Assembly repelled the objection, bearers of the Church concerning heads found themselves judges in the first in- of religion, matters of heresy, excommustance, and, notwithstanding the protest nication, the appointment or deprivation of the Lord Justice Clerk, proceeded to of ministers, or any such essential centry and determine the case. The civil sures, warranted by the Word of God. court thought proper to relinquish any And it declared the act of the same parfarther direct interference, but tried the liament, granting commission to bishops cause in their own way, and left the and other judges appointed by his majesChurch to do the same; which seems, ty in ecclesiastical causes, to be null, and indeed, to be the proper mode of avoiding of no avail, force, or effect in time comcollisions between co-ordinate jurisdic- ing; and ordained presentations to be ditions. *

rected to presbyteries, who should have [1592.) On the 22d of May 1592, the full power to give collation to benefices, General Assembly met at Edinburgh, and to manage all ecclesiastical causes Robert Bruce, moderator. As the king within their bounds, provided they adhad appeared more favourable to the mitted such qualified ministers as were Church ever since he had experienced its presented by his majesty or other lay papower to promote the peace of the coun-trons. In another part of the same act it try during his absence in Norway, this was provided, that in case a presbytery was thought a fitting time to procure an should refuse to admit a qualified minisamicable settlement of the protracted con- ter presented by the patron, it should be flicts between the Church and the court. lawful to the patron to retain the whole Articles, embodying the chief requests of fruits of that benefice in his own hands. the Church, were accordingly drawn up Such were the main provisions of the and presented to the king. When the celebrated act 1592; and, notwithstanding parliament met in June, the same year, several imperfections, both in what it enthese articles were taken into considera- acts and in what it omits, it was then, and tion, and an act was passed, greatly has ever since been regarded, as THE through the influence of the Chancellor GREAT CHARTER OF THE CHURCHOF SCOTMaitland, not, indeed, granting all that LAND. the Church desired, but of a much more complete and satisfactory nature than any of the peculiarities of the act 1592, c, 116, are directly previous legislative enactment.

The act 1592 ratified the General As- mention is made of the Second Book of Discipline, but semblies, Synods, Presbyteries, and par- apparently passed over. ticular Sessions of the Church ; declar- that nothing has been ratified to the Church but what

* It deserves to be peculiarly remarked, that some

favourable to the Church in that very respect in which they have been thought unfavourable. No express

peculiarity in the act appears to be the following:

certain of its main topics are ratified, while others are

Hence it has been argued,

every other proposition in the Book of Discipline must

of the National Covenant-Fresh Alarms from the

By this act of parliament the Church would be, to secure to a spiritual Church of Scotland was placed in a much better the freest and fullest possible developeposition for promoting the public welfare, ment of its own sacred laws and disciwhich is the great end of any Church, pline, assured that they would thereby than she had previously occupied. Not best promote that which ought to be their that she regarded any parliamentary en-chief object--the true welfare of the actment as the basis of her religious con- nation. stitution, but as merely a legal recognition of those sacred and intrinsic powers, which she had always claimed as belonging to her by scriptural institution, and the gift of her Divine Head and King;

CHAPTER IV. and which she had already, in her Books of Discipline, stated, proved, and put into FROM THE GREAT CHARTER OF THE CHURCH, execution on the sole authority of the IN 1592, TO THE RATIFICATION OF THE FIVE Word of God. The attentive reader

ARTICLES OF PERTH, IN THE YEAR 1621. must have perceived how. steadily the Remarks on the Act 1592–-Detection of the Conspiracy Church pursued her course, amidst the

of the Popish Lords--Duplicity of the King-Ex.

communication of the Popish Lords by the Synod of ever-shifting phases of the political world; Fife--Act of Abolition--Secret Motives of the King

Ratification of the Synod's Sentence by the Assemat one time countenanced and supported;

bly--Support given to the King by the Church-Proat another, opposed, calumniated, and posal of a regular arrangement for fixed and local

Stipends-Reforming Assembly of 1596—Renewal persecuted, according to the varying character and aims of successive civil ad- Popish Lords--Deceitful conduct of the King-Inter

view between the King and Andrew Melville-Jealministrations. But while politicians in- ousy between the Court and the Church-Proceed.

ings against David Black-He declines the Jurisdictrigued, rose into power, plunged into

tion of the Civil Court, in the first instance--The criminal excesses, fell, and perished, the Church addresses the King-A Tumult in Edinburgh

- Proceedings of the Court-The Ministers of EdChurch displayed the calm grandeur of inburgh expelled-First Corrupt General Assembly

held at Perth-Commissioners of the Church &pan institution resting upon the fixed

pointed to deliberate with the King--Proposal to adprinciples of eternal truth, and, whether mit Representatives from the Church into Parliament,

1697-Partially carried in 1598—Completed in 1600suffering or triumphant, maintaining her

Three Ministers secretly appointed to Bishoprics integrity, and following with firm,

The Basilicon Doron—The Gowrie Conspiracy-In

jurious Consequences to the Church-Robert Bruce though bleeding steps, the path of right, banished by the King--The Covenant virtually, re.

newed by the King-Assembly of 1602, the last free of mercy, and of love to God and man.

Assembly-Case of Semple-The Accession of James From this statesmen might have learned to the Throne of England-Hampton Court Confer

ence-Proposals for a Union of Scotland and Eng--will they yėt learn ?--that the Church land--Alarm of the Church-Arbitrary Prorogation may be cast down, but cannot be destroy

of the Assembly-Held at Aberdeen in 1605, notwith.

standing the Royal Prorogation-Banishment of the ed ; that their own devices against her Ministers-Parliament restores the Temporalities of

Bishops in 1606--Andrew Melville summoned to Lonwill but issue, sooner or later, in their

don, imprisoned, and banished-Constant Moderators own ruin; that even sound political sa

appointed-Parliament restores the Civil Jurisdic

tion to Bishops in 1609--Court of High Commission in gacity might warn them not to incur the 1610—The Assembly restores the Ecclesiastical Juris.

diction of Bishops in 1610—This Act ratified by Parhazard of shattering into fragments their own frail schemes of human expediency

Calderwood banished-Five Articles of Perth in 1618

--Ratified by Parliament in 1621–Reflections. against the adamantine strength of sacred principles; and that their wisest measure ALTHOUGH the act of parliament passed

in the year 1592, and commonly known When the Second Book of Discipline was laid before as the Great Charter of the Church of the privy council, certain articles, chiefly those relating Scotland, was then, and must always be, and Presbyteries, were referred to farther considera? regarded as a very important measure, wood. where the marginal comments of the privy chief principles of the government and comparing the copy of the Book of Discipline in Spots giving legislative sanction to most of the that none of those marked “ agreed" are contained in discipline of the Church, yet it was not having already agreed to these in the privy council, it It was evasive in its recognition of the are. From this the conclusion seems inevitable, that without several decidedly serious defects. had been left for future consideration, and, conse Book of Discipline, as if leaving it open quently, that partly by the concurrence of the privy to dispute whether the engrossing of some ratified, and became the law of the land, as well as the “ referred," was to be regarded as an imbined, the whole of the Second Book of Discipline

was of the provisions of that book, formerly

[graphic]
[graphic]

liament in 1612-New Confession of Faith in 1616

law of the Church.

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