« السابقةمتابعة »
to flee to Christ for salvation. This very child had been brought to Miss Laing by an old woman, who said it would die if it were not taken in. From some reason Miss Laing hesitated to do so; but some time after, finding the woman still sitting on the steps, she took the child, the woman disappeared, and the little child entered into the kingdom of God. Miss Laing says it is quite useless to send fancy articles for sale here; the only things that sell are good baby and children's clothes, such as the rich would buy. Calico prints are very useful for clothing the orphans, or any old clothes of a simple kind that could be adapted for their use. Ready-made things should be fashioned like night-gowns, with a band round the waist. We are to have a little orphan of our own at the school."
DR. CANDLISH'S TRANSLATION SPEECH. WE took the liberty in last "Messenger" of criticising the usual style of speeches on the occasion of the translation of a minister from one charge to another; such speeches being long and oracular, darkening counsel by words without meaning, and affording little help to the brethren who desire to have the mind of the minister as an element in enabling them to come to a judgment. In
contrast to the instances then referred to, we here present the speech of Dr. Candlish, on the occasion of his being translated from the pastoral charge of Free St. George's Church to the Chair of Theology in the New College, Edinburgh. It is a manly and straight-forward expression of his opinion, and a model of what a translation speech ought to be:
The Moderator having asked Dr. Candlish if he wished to make any statement to the Commission,
Dr. Candlish said, "I did not intend to speak at this stage of the proceedings; however, I have no objection to take upon me the responsibility of answering your call; and, addressing a few words to the Commission, as to what I think is right, I shall frankly repeat what I stated to the Committee last night. My judgment is this, that on general grounds, and this is not an opinion formed of yesterday, but it is an opinion which I have entertained during my whole professional life, there cannot be a shadow of doubt as to the pre-eminent importance of a theological chair over any charge in the Church. (Hear.) I cannot entertain a doubt as to the right of the Church to call for the service of any man to fill a theological chair. This is not an opinion which I have formed in consequence of any conversation in regard to this particular vacancy; and the members of my own congregation will do me the justice to remember that I have publicly expressed that conviction on a former occasion. (Hear, hear.) I feel as strongly as any man can do the responsibility involved in severing the pastoral tie in the circumstances in which I am placed. I may say that if I had anything like the apology which Dr. Gordon had, arising from gray hairs, it would have been the greatest possible relief to put a stop to this proposal; but while I will gain nothing in the way of personal comfort in the proposed change,-while I will perhaps lose the attachment of a congregation which no man ever enjoyed to a greater extent for a long period,-I have not the apology of gray hairs, and I am therefore willing to Spend and be spent in any office to which the Church may call me. With all my leanings in favour of my congregation, I cannot, for a moment, on general grounds, hesitate, if it is the mind of the Church that I ought to take
the chair. (Applause.) I take leave further to say, that I cannot answer for the fate of the congregation; the issue of events are in the hands of the great Head of the Church, but I give them the assurance of my utmost aid and assistance; and I do not believe that they will scatter. If I thought so, I would leave them to-morrow. (Applause.) If I thought my congregation would be actuated by any such feelings, it would materially lighten the pain of separation; but I will not believe this of a congregation that has enjoyed so many tokens of God's favour, and received so much credit from this Church."
PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL IN 1687.
THE following is an extract from a work entitled, "The Elevation of the People, Moral, Instructional, and Social," by the Rev. Thomas Milner, M.A., published last year by Mr. Snow::
of the poor.
BISHOPS AND PRESBYTERS.
DR. BANCROFT, Chaplain to Archbishop Whitgift, and his successor in the See of Canterbury, was the first who asserted in England the divine right of Prelacy, and the superiority of the order of Bishops over Presbyters. It was in a sermon preached at Paul's Cross, January 12, 1588. Hitherto, even among highest Churchmen, the difference had been ascribed solely to human appointment. Sir Francis Knollys told the Archbishop that Dr. Bancroft's opinion was contrary to the command of Christ, who prohibited all superiority among the apostles. He requested Dr. Reynolds, of Oxford, to give his opinion of this new doctrine; in his letter, Dr. Reynolds observes, "that all who have laboured in reforming the Church for five hundred years, have taught that all pastors, whether they are entitled Bishops or Priests, have equal authority and power by God's Word: as the Waldenses, next Marsilius Patavinus, then Wycliffe and his followers, afterwards Huss and the Hussites; and Luther, Calvin, Brentius, Bullinger, and Musculus. Among ourselves, we Bishops, the Queen's Professors of Divinity, and other learned men, as Bradford, Lambert, Jewel, Pilkington, Humphrey, Fulke, and others. But why do I speak of particular persons? It is the opinion of the Reformed Churches of Helvetia, Savoy, France, Scotland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Low Countries, and our own. I hope Dr. Bancroft will not say, that all these have approved that for sound doctrine, which was condemned by the general consent of the whole Church as heresy, in the most flourishing time. I hope he will acknowledge he was overseen when he avouched the superiority of Bishops over the rest of the clergy, to be God's own ordinance.' zeal-Strype's Whitgift.
The year preceding the landing of William III. witnessed the first special effort made in modern times to improve the mental and moral condition of the poorer classes. The Committee of the National Society, in an Appendix to their Report for the year 1832, give an account of the rise and progress of schools for the education of the children The first English charity school,' they remark, 'was opened in Westminster in 1698, as an antidote to the Jesuits' charity grammar schools.' This is a mistake of several years. The effort commenced in 1687, under the auspices of members of the Non-conforming body. In that year, Poulton, a Jesuit, taking the benefit of James's indulgence, gave public notice that he would instruct the children of the poor gratis, and opened a school in Gravel-lane, Southwark, for that purpose. This stimulated the of the Protestant party to a corresponding scheme; and, accordingly, three lay gentlemen, connected with the Presbyterian congregation in St. Thomas's, Southwark, immediately commenced a school. They started with forty scholars, but the number was soon increased to a hundred and thirty, who were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and the principles of religion according to the Assembly's Catechism. The school was supported by voluntary subscriptions, bequests, and two annual collections: one of its annual sermons, preached on New-year's days, was printed for more than a century; and the liberal foundation on which it was based appears from the fact, that the children were simply required to attend a place of worship under the direction of their parents. This effort, anticipating that made by the Establishment by eleven years, deserves a record, as the first of the kind in England."Pp. 26.
In a foot-note the Author adds:-"The founders of this school were Mr. Ferdinando Holland, Arthur Shallet, and Samuel Warburton. Matthew Henry observes, in his private MS.:-'I went early, Jan. 1, 1712-13, to Gravel-lane, in Southwark, Mr. Marriott's meeting-place, where there has been a charity school for twenty-five years. There I preached an anniversary sermon from Prov. iii. 9. A collection was made, amounting to 357. The National Society's account was reprinted by the compilers of the educational abstract of the Parliamentary returns in 1833, in their report. The substance of it also appeared in the 'Christian Observer,' 1834. This journal has given great prominence to the Church origin of modern movements for general education. (See Sept. number, 1841.) The truth is as stated above."
WHERE can talents the most brilliant, and piety the most fervent, find a nobler field for their exercise than on these "fields white unto the harvest?" If the vastness of the
work, the amount of difficulty, the mighty results to be expected, and the encouragements which mingle in the prospect, can stamp on any work the impress of true glory, then that undertaking is the attempt to diffuse the Gospel among the three hundred and sixty millions of China. The attempt itself knows nothing to equal it in past undertakings. The great wall of China-the pyramids of Egypt the discovery of a new hemispheresink into insignificance in the comparison with the attempt to demolish the speculative atheism and debasing idolatry of China, and to build up in their stead, lively and spiritual stones into the temple of the true God. Such an object, so vast in conception, and so stupendous in results, must not be taken in hand sparingly or hesitatingly. Numerous labourers must enter on this work. Far better that China had never been opened to Christianity, than that with an imperial edict of universal toleration beckoning us forward, Protestants should decline entering the breach with an adequate force. Popery is already sending its agents with redoubled activity. The impostor of Mecca also, for 600 years, has had his numerous followers scattered over the neighbouring islands, and on the forbidden soil of China itself; where Islam, triumphing, not by the usual methods of fire and sword, but by the milder arts of proselytism, has shamed the puny efforts of Christians in a holier cause. The moral evils of our past intercourse lend an additional power to the voice of China, crying to British Christians, by the
depth of her moral degradation, though not by her consciousness of it, "Come over and help us."-Narrative of visit to China, 18441846, by Rev. George Smith, M.A., Oxon.
THE POWER, PERMANENCE, AND PERPETUITY OF HABIT.
THE following is an extract of a Sermon, by the Rev. D. Munro, North Sunderland, Northumberland, on Rev. xxii. 11,-" He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still :”
"Eternity, so far from being an entirely new or original state of moral existence, is, in fact, only an advanced stage of our moral existence,
in the soul on earth arrive at maturity, and in which the principles which are implanted proceed unto perfection. He who now soweth to the flesh, shall there of the flesh reap corruption; while he who now soweth to the Spirit, shall there of the Spirit reap life everlasting. In the world to come, we merely make progress in the very same kind of life which is commenced on earth, for they are only the principles which are engendered here which can bring forth fruit hereafter. Eternity may be a new state of existence in respect of locality and condition, which are but outward circumstances; but, in respect of predominant habits and propensities and affections-in respect either of love to God, or enmity against Him, as the reigning and ascendant principle in the soul-in respect of the pursuit of holiness, or a desire after sinful and sensual indulgence, in short, in respect of all that is essential to the moral character of every individual, it is but the extended duration of the very same generic existence which was begun on earth. The moral constitution is the same in kind, though assuredly heightened in degree, whilst the physical condition may be widely different. Death is merely a change of condition not of character, and it simply transmits the spirit to its everlasting abode without effecting any moral alteration-and, therefore, when this great event occurs, he who has been unjust, must
be unjust still and he who has been filthy, must be filthy still: but, on the other hand, he who is then found to be holy, shall be hloy still and he who is righteous, shall be righteous still. The embryo of our future heaven or of our future hell is not fully developed in a present life; nevertheless, it is the very same embryo, whether of moral excellence or of moral worthlessness, which is now concealed within us, that shall rise up from the slumbers of the sepulchre on the last day in the form of a re-animated body, and be either advancing throughout endless ages to the highest degree of glory in the paradise of God, or sinking deeper and deeper in the dark and unfathomable pit of condemnation. The elementary principles of everlasting life are implanted in the soul on earth, and it is not an extirpation of these principles, but a continuation of them that will follow the change we call death. The very same principles which are now at work within us, will take up their eternal residence in the disembodied spirit at the hour of death; and in the embodied spirit on the morning of the resurrection, and throughout all immortality, will produce either the fruits of holiness or the fruits of corruption. Though the circumstances in which these principles may hereafter operate may be widely different from the circumstances in which they operate present, the principles themselves will be
essentially and permanently and perpetually the same. Though death makes a material change, it makes no moral change on the state of man. It separates the soul from the body; but, except this, we know not of any other change which death of itself is calculated to produce. It can neither originate nor consummate any moral or spiritual alteration. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness; but it is not death which makes them perfect in holiness. It is a solemn and most momentous truth, that the character of the heart and the affections is unchangeable by any physical cause-and therefore death can only be the means of introducing wickedness into the abodes of desperation, or purity into the abodes of angelic sacredness. And oh! how fearfully are multitudes deceived who trust to a death
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when flesh and heart faint and fail, a rapid the Rev. ANDREW A. BONAR, of Collace. bed repentance, and who fondly imagine that REDEMPTION DRAWING NIGH: & Premillennial Advent. By revolution of their affections may take place from the things that are seen and temporal to the things that are unseen and eternal. This may be most thoroughly impracticable, for JA death will in all probability find them pre-approved works :— cisely in the same state in which they have habitually and inveterately lived. This decisive event in our moral history cannot create or call into being in the soul a single principle which did not previously exist there. It may, indeed, produce terror and alarm and awful apprehension at the prospect of im- The RETROSPECT. By the late Rev. R. pending punishment, but it cannot produce MARKS. Twenty-first Edition. 5s. cloth. preparation for heaven. It may even excite a desire for holiness as the means of escaping from eternal torment, but it cannot make the sinner holy. It is not death that can turn the current of the affections from the world and the things that are in the world. The truth is, that the prevalence of a particular moral tendency in the soul on earth, prompting either to the pursuit of holiness or to the indulgence of corruption, is as certain and infallible a criterion of character, and consequently of our future condition, as is the sentence that will be given when the great white throne shall be erected in the air, and the multitudes of all generations shall be assembled around it. If the love of God be not now shed abroad in our hearts by the
Holy Ghost, assuredly it is not death which can slay the enmity of the carnal mind, or so transform us that we shall be qualified to enter into heaven. The habits which are acquired on earth will be the habits of the man throughout all eternity. The desires and affections which are here ascendant in the soul, will be its ascendant desires and affections for ever. There is a continuity in the habits of our moral existence which is indissoluble and everlasting; and if we are not now as anxious to be freed from sin as from the torments of the second death, we are still far from the strait and narrow way which leadeth unto life. The imagination may luxuriate in a scene of ideal happiness which lies beyond the grave; but, unless the heart be attuned to the service of the upper sanctuary, by a delight in the exercises of religion here below-that heaven in which the servants of God shall serve Him in all the beauty of immaculate holiness, is a heaven which we will never enter, a pure and lofty region into which we can never be admitted."
GUILT upon the conscience will make a feather-bed hard; peace of mind will make a
straw bed soft and easy.
DOING God's will is food to a healthy soul. THE root of contentment is humility. BETTER suffer wrong than do wrong.
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conviction and choice.
THE great thing in the Church is Christ, the eternal deity of Christ, the blood of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, the presence of Christ among us. The great thing is Christ, but there is also advantage in a certain government of the Church. I am a Presbyterian, not only of situation, but of Our Presbyterian way is the good middle way between Episcopacy on the one side, and Congregationalism on the other. We combine the two great principles that must be maintained in the Church-Order and Liberty: the order of government, and the liberty of the people.--MERLE D'AUBIGNE.
COMMISSION OF SYNOD.
WE beg to call the attention of the members of the Commission of Synod, to the advertisement on the last page, relative to the meeting to be held at Liverpool, on Wednesday, the 6th of the present month. It is of great importance that there should be a full attendance of members.
HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN
authority of their official sanction to the most illegal and unconstitutional acts of the Crown. England was governed at this time more by (Continued from page 483.) Royal proclamations than by laws, and The King governs without Parliament-Arch- orders of council took the place of Acts of Parliament. For the raising of money, in bishop Laud's Primacy-Persecution of the Puritans-Trial of John Hampden for room of the ordinary ways of supplies being Ship-money-Attempts to enforce Prelacy granted by the Commons, every variety of in Scotland-The Renewal of the Covenant device was had recourse to. By taxes and -General Assembly at Glasgow, 1638--imposts, by the sale of rights and monopolies, by fines and compositions, the necessary funds The Bishops' War-The English Army under the King, and the Covenanters und er were procured. Writs were also issued to Leslie, meet at Dunse Larr-Negotiation the magistrates of towns and sheriffs of for Peace-A New Parliament summon ed counties to assess and levy rates on all subat Westminster-Second Scottish War jects able to contribute. These rates had different names, according to the uses for which they were raised; that for the navy, for instance, being called "Ship money." In this way for a time sufficient supplies were obtained.
Treaty at Ripon The Long Parliament
meets November, 1640 Character and
IN consequence of the disappointment again sustained this summer in obtaining a permanent professor of Systematic Theology for the College, recourse has been had to temporary arrangements for the conduct of that department during the ensuing session; and the Rev. Patrick Fairbairn, of Salton, and the Rev. W. Wilson, of Carmylie, have underProceedings of the House---Influence of the taken to render a similar service to the Presbyterians in the Cause of Liberty and institution, next winter, to that which Dr. Reformation-The Et Cetera Oath--ImThe same systern of oppression and tyranny Henderson and Dr. Hanna performed on a peachment of Strafford and Laud-The was carried into the government of the former occasion with so much acceptance to Absolute Power of the Crown broken by the Church. Not only was strict conformity its students and supporters. Mr. Fairbairn Firm Resistance of the Parliament-The will deliver a two-months' course of lectures King's Visit to Scotland in 1641-The Irish required, beyond all that former times of during the earlier half of the session; and Massacre-The King's Attempt to seize persecution had witnessed., but new enactMr. Wilson will commence a course of the the Fire Members of the Commons--Comments were introduced by a rbitrary command. same extent at the re-opening of the classes mencement of the Civil War-The Calling council were issued bey on d and often opposed As in the State, proclamations and orders in after the Christmas holidays. The tried and of the Westminster Assembly of Divines. to the laws of the la id, so in the Church known ability of these gentlemen as divines, CHARLES having thus got rid of the restraints instructions were issued, reaching in the and the generous cordiality with which they of Parliament, determined to govern hence- direction of Popery far beyond the most obhave entered into the present arrangement, forth with the aid of his Council only. Since jectionable of the existing canons. afford to the friends of the institution the the death of Buckingham, I aud and Went-when the clergy refused to comply they were best guarantee that the important work which worth possessed the chief influence at the liable to be brought before the Court of they have undertaken will be done with the Court. Wentworth had been bought off from High Commission, and punished with ungreatest efficiency and success. We are con- the popular side during the last Parliament, relenting severity. fident that under the superintendence of these and was now an active pro moter of every gentlemen, along with the able and assiduous oppressive measure. Finch, the Lord Keeper, instructions of the present professors, Camp- Noy, Attorney-General, and the other officers bell and Lorimer, our students will have of State, were all submissive and obsequious every advantage that under existing circum-tools of Royalty. The majority of the Judges stances can be obtained.-(See Adv.) were corrupt and venal me: a, and gave the
Laud had knowledge enough and honesty enough not to be a downr ight Papist while at the head of a Reformed Church, yet his hatred of everything truly Protestant made him far nearer to the F 'apists than to the Puritans. "I would I k new" (says Bishop
Hall to him in one of his letters) where to find you; to-day you are with the Romanists, to-morrow with us; our adversaries think you ours, and we theirs; your conscience finds you with both and neither; how long will you halt in this indifferency?" To unite the Anglican and Roman Churches was the great design of Laud; and in the absence of this union it was his policy to keep as close in worship and discipline and all outward things as possible. His refusal of a Cardinal's hat was accompanied with the remark, that he could not accept it as Rome then was. It was the supreme authority and metro-political influence of the Pope that was mainly objected to. If, like the Gallican Church, the Anglican Church had stood up for the supremacy of councils over the Pope, there was nothing either in the doctrines or practices of the Church of Rome which presented insuperable obstacles to the return of the English Establishment, under Laud, to the so-called Catholic Church.
In order to pave the way for this, instructions were from time to time issued, bringing the rites and service of the English Church nearer to Catholic usage. Churches also were to be repaired and decorated with pictures and ornaments. The communion-table was to be removed from the central part of the church, and placed in the chancel, and called the altar. Round the altar a railing was to be placed, before which the people, reverently kneeling, were to receive the consecrated elements. At the public services various innovations were introduced, such as the consecration of churches by outward ceremonies. The descriptions left on record of the opening of St. Catherine Creed Church, the first that was consecrated in the new way, are exactly such as might have suited the opening of a Popish cathedral by a prelate of the Church of Rome. The ministers who refused to comply, or, still more, who ventured to preach against doctrinal or outward innovations, were silenced either by deprivation or imprisonment. The re-publication of the "Book of Sports," in 1633, was an occasion of increased violence of persecution. Nor did the clergy alone suffer. Towards the end of that year, Prynne, a barrister of Lincoln's-inn, having published a book entitled, "Histrio-mastix; or, the Play's Scourge," shewing the evil of plays and masques, was sentenced to be turned out of the Society of Lincoln's-inn, to be degraded from his profession, to stand in the pillory, to lose both his ears, to pay a fine of 5,000l., and to suffer perpetual imprisonment. Dr. Bastwick, a physician of Colchester, for having, in a book published about the same time, "Elenchus religionis Papisticæ," denied the divine right of bishops. above presbyters, was discarded his profession, excommunicated, fined, and imprisoned. The case of Dr. Alexander Leighton was one of the worst. Having been brought before Laud, he was sent to Newgate, and treated there for a long period most cruelly. When brought for trial before the Court of High Commission, Laud desired that the heaviest sentence might be passed which the Court could inflict. He was condemned to be degraded from the ministry, to have his ears cut, his nose slit, and to be branded in the face, to be pilloried, to pay 10,000l., or to suffer perpetual imprisonment. When the sentence was pronounced, Laud pulled off his hat, and, holding up his hands, gave God thanks, who had given him the victory over his enemies.
In the curious old diary of Adam Martindale,* a Presbyterian minister, of Lancashire,
* Reprinted by the Claetham Society, of Manchester.
the following entry occurs, briefly, but expressively, referring to these times :-"Great animosities were set on foot regarding monopolies and ship-money; chief ministers of State, such as the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland (Wentworth, now Lord Strafford), Lord Keeper Finch, and Secretary Windabanke, almost everywhere spoken against. Archbishop Laud, and several bishops, and their chaplains, taxed with innovations, licensing Popish and Socinian bookes, and persecuting many godly ministers to deprivation itself. The censures also, and deep sufferings of Prynne, Bastwick, Burton, Leighton, Lilbourne, and others, were much ventilated." This notice gives us a glimpse into the state of feeling throughout England, and shews how the civil and religious discontents were working which soon were to break forth in civil
An occurrence that happened about this time evinces what spirit Laud manifested toward Protestantism, and also illustrates the relation in which the Reformed Churches abroad stood to the Prelatic and the Presbyterian parties in England respectively. The Queen of Bohemia, the King's sister, solicited the King, in the most pressing manner, to admit of a public collection over England for the poor persecuted ministers of the Palatinate, who were banished their country for their religion. Accordingly, the King granted them a brief to go through the kingdom, but when it was brought to the Archbishop he excepted against the following clause:-" whose cases are the more to be deplored, because this extremity is fallen upon them for their sincerity and constancy in the true religion which we together with them professed, and which we are bound in conscience to maintain to the utmost of our powers. Whereas these religious and godly persons being involved amongst others their countrymen, might have enjoyed their estates and fortunes, if with other backsliders in the times of trial they would have submitted themselves to the antichristian yoke, and have renounced or dissembled the profession of their religion." His Grace had two exceptions to this passage. 1. The religion of the Palatinate Churches is affirmed to be the same with ours, which he denied, because they were Calvinists, and because their ministers had not Episcopal ordination. 2. He objected to the Church of Rome being called an antichristian yoke, because it would then follow that she was in no capacity to convey sacerdotal power in ordinations, and consequently the benefit of the priesthood and the force of holy ministrations would be lost in the English Church, forasmuch as she has no orders but what she derives from the Church of Rome. Laud having acquainted the King with his exceptions, they were expunged in another draught. But the collection not succeeding in this way, Drs. Sibbes, Gouge, and other divines of the Presbyterian party, signed a private recommendatory letter, desiring their friends to enlarge their charity, as to men of the same faith and profession with themselves, and promising to see the right distribution of the money; but as soon as Laud heard of it he cited the divines before the High Commission, and put a stop to the collection.*
In the year 1637 an attempt was made, by a legal process with the Crown, to defend the constitutional rights of the people. John Hampden had been rated at twenty shillings, of ship-money, for his estate in Buckinghamshire. Having obtained two eminent lawyers, Mr. St. John and Mr. Holbourn, as his
*Neale's "History of the Puritans."-- Vol. I., 475.
counsel, the cause was pleaded before all the Judges of the Exchequer Chamber. The trial lasted several weeks, when seven Judges gave sentence in favour of the Crown, and four for Mr. Hampden. By this judgment all men were forced into acquiescence with the illegal exactions of the Council, and every hope of redress from courts of law was extinguished. It appeared that not only the Crown, but the Judges were now also above Parliament, and could overbear the principles of the constitution. Great numbers prepared to seek in other lands that liberty of which every vestige was being destroyed in England. Even this sad privilege was however grudged to them. His Majesty issued an order prohibiting all masters and owners of ships from permitting passengers to leave England without special license from the Privy Council. Eight ships lying in the Thames, and ready to sail for America, were stayed by command of the Council. On board of these were Hampden and Cromwell!
How the English people bore so much and endured so long as they did, is to us justly matter of surprise. By what means at length the suppressed and smouldering flame was made to burst forth we must now briefly relate.
In June 1633 Charles went to Scotland, where, with much ceremony, he received the crown of that kingdom. The general tone of public feeling on this occasion may be gathered from the words of the Lord Loudon to his Majesty:-"Sire, the people of Scotland will obey you in everything with the utmost cheerfulness, provided you do not touch their religion and conscience." But Charles had resolved to carry out the ecclesiastical changes begun by his father, James I. Having now, as he thought, firmly established his power in the State, it was time to bring the three kingdoms into perfect conformity in that form of religion which he deemed most agreeable to absolute monarchy. During the preceding thirty years a succession of encroachments had been made by the Crown on the privileges of the Scottish Kirk, and innovations had been introduced, so that the Episcopal worship and government was fully restored before the accession of Charles in 1625. The leading Presbyterian ministers were either banished or silenced. Free Synods or Assemblies were no longer permitted to sit. Mock Assemblies were occasionally held for form's sake; the last of which, at Perth. in August, 1618, is thus described in Row's History:-" This Assembly was not made up of commissioners sent from Presbyteries, but of bishops, doctors, deans, and such ministers as were the bishops' followers; then the King had his commissioners, and there were sundry noblemen and gentlemen who were written for by the King and bishops to keep the said Assembly; and sundry commissioners, sent from Presbyteries, were not called upon, nor got any vote there, the Moderator knowing what they would say." In such an Assembly it is not surprising that a majority was found willing to vote for sanctioning various articles of conformity with the English Church, which are usually known by the name of "the Five Articles of Perth." From this time the bishops maintained complete ascendancy, and no General Assembly was held for twenty years afterwards.
Such was the position of ecclesiastical affairs when Charles, accompanied by Land, came to Scotland in 1633. Not satisfied with the comparatively moderate Episcopacy and diluted Calvinism then prevalent, they deter mined to enforce a more rigid Anglo-Catholic and Arminian system. On returning to Eng
services, the Earl of Loudon made an impres- |
obstructing the work and freedom of the House, Hamilton, at length seeing that they were resolved to proceed, rose up, and in the name of the King, as head of the Church, dissolved the Assembly, and discharged their further proceedings. While he was in the By this solemn and decisive act, performed act of retiring, the Earl of Rothes rose, and at such a juncture of public affairs, more was presented a protest, which had been prepared done for the safety of the laws and liberty of that morning in anticipation of this result, in England, as well as for the protection of the which the Assembly declared, "in the name Protestant religion, than all the political agi- of THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY tations in the southern part of the island HEAD AND MONARCH OF HIS CHURCH, from could have effected. The greatest consterna- a consciousness of our duty to God and his tion prevailed when the tidings spread that truth, the King and his honour, this kingdom the Covenant had been renewed. The Primate and her peace, this Assembly and her freeof Scotland, Archbishop of St. Andrew's, ex- dom, and the safety of ourselves and our posclaimed,-"All we have been doing these terity, in our persons and estates, we profess thirty years is at once thrown down!" The with sorrowful and heavy, but loyal hearts, King immediately despatched the Marquis of we cannot dissolve this Assembly." After an Hamilton, in whose diplomatic skill he had address from the Moderator on their present confidence, to try to conciliate THE COVE- position, the question being put, "If they NANTERS. With what sincerity Charles pro- would abide the whole time of the Assembly, posed to make terms may be gathered from a and adhere to the protestation?" the whole caution which he inserted in his instructions rose, and as one man decided in the affirmato Hamilton, where, after telling him that he tive. And lest in the confusion any diswas preparing to raise war on the Scots, he sentient vote should have been unheard, the says, "Thus you may see that I intend not roll was called, and one by one they declared to yield to the demands of these traitors, the their resolution to remain till the business of Covenanters. And, as concerning the expla- the Assembly was finished. The first act of nation of their damnable Covenant, I will the Free Assembly was to disannul the six only say, that so long as this Covenant is in pretended assemblies, which had been held force, whether it be with or without explana- since the accession of James to the English tion, I have no more power of Scotland than throne. They next proceeded to the trial as a Duke of Venice, which I will rather die of the prelates, against whom sentence was than suffer." On Hamilton's arrival in Scot- passed; most of them being either excomland many attempts were made to gain over municated or deposed, and two permitted to the Covenanters, and long negotiations were officiate in the Church as Presbyters. Many entered into, wherein concessions were made other Acts were passed; such as condemning to the popular cause, and every artifice used the Articles of Perth; abjuring and abolishto conceal the King's plans, until his prepara- ing Prelacy; condemning the Book of Canons, tions for war should be matured. The firm- Laud's Liturgy, and Book of Ordination; and ness, however, of most of the Covenanting restoring the power and jurisdiction of Presleaders, and the discovery of the Royal Com- byterian Church government to its former inmissioner's duplicity, having rendered all tegrity. The Assembly did not break up till arrangements for reconciliation hopeless, the the 20th of December, having first drawn up King at length found himself under the a letter to the King, complaining of the connecessity of complying with the wishes of the duct of his Majesty's Commissioner, and also people, and summoning "a Free General As- a declaration to the people of England, vinsembly," indicted by Royal proclamation, to dicating their proceedings. This latter the be held at Glasgow, Nov. 21, 1638. The King took care to suppress, and substituted Marquis of Hamilton was appointed his for it a proclamation against the seditious Majesty's Commissioner. This Assembly was behaviour of the Covenanters, which he comappointed to inquire into the evils that dis-manded to be read in all the churches tressed the country, and to provide suitable throughout England. remedies; and the bishops being generally accused as the authors of these disturbances, were subjected by the Royal proclamation to the censure of the Assembly.
land the King left in charge with the bishops to compile a new Liturgy and a Book of Canons, in which they were to be aided by Juxon, Bishop of London, and Wren, Bishop of Norwich. The Scottish prelates warned Laud of the danger that might attend these changes, and the impossibility of enforcing the new Service-book on the people. The only reply that Laud gave was the procural of a warrant from the King, commanding the Scottish bishops to go forward at all events, threatening that if they moved heavily, or threw in unnecessary delay, they would be removed, and their sees filled with Churchmen of more zeal and resolution. At length a Royal ordinance was sent down, intimating that on Sabbath, the 23d July, the new Service-book would be read in all the churches. This was too much for the Scottish people to stand. On the day appointed great crowds attended the churches, and soon gave unequivocal expression of their feelings. At St. Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh, where the archbishops and bishops, with the Lords of Session, the magistrates of the city, and other public functionaries, had assembled in great state, no sooner was the fatal book opened than noises and interruptions commenced; and an old woman, Janet Geddes, throwing her stool at the desk, with abuse of the dean who was officiating, the tumult became general and the service was interrupted. The dean threw off his surplice and fled, to escape being torn in pieces by the crowd, and the Bishop of Edinburgh had to retire under protection of the magistrates' guard. Similar scenes took place throughout the country, At Glasgow the officiating minister was pelted with peats, and being seized by the women was beaten by them till he was glad to escape with no deadly damage. These tumultuous riots shew the popular mind, but the feeling of determined resistance was no longer confined to the common people. A great many of the Protestant noblemen and gentlemen, with their retainers, came to Edinburgh from all parts of the country, and having sent a supplication to the King for the suppression of the Service-book, determined to wait till the reply came down. A slight concession at this juncture might have prevented the civil war. But a new proclamation came from the infatuated monarch, enjoining strict obedience to the Canons, instant reception of the Service-book, and forbidding the supplicants to hold public meetings on pain of treason. The magistrates of Edinburgh, alarmed at the large masses of people collecting in the town, proposed to the Commis- The Assembly met at Glasgow on the day sioners of the popular party, that if the crowd appointed. There appeared 140 ministers, were dispersed, delegates might remain to freely elected by their different Presbyteries, represent the rest, and attend to their interests. and ninety-eight ruling elders, of whom sevenTo this the leading Presbyterians agreed, and teen were noblemen of the highest rank, the four Tables, or Boards of Council, were rest being knights, landed proprietors, and formed; one for the nobles, another for the burgesses. The nation was fairly represented barons, a third for the boroughs, and a fourth by so grave and influential a body of men. for the Church. But before separating to Some of the noblemen and gentlemen hearing return to their homes, the Commissioners, that the King's Commissioner intended to considering the critical state both of Church overawe the deliberations by force, brought and nation, agreed to renew THE NATIONAL with them their usual retainers in arins. COVENANT, with a bond applicable to the Alexander Henderson was chosen Moderator present conjuncture, binding themselves "to of the Assembly, and it required all his great adhere to and defend the true religion, and tact, firmness, and wisdom, to guide its arduous forbearing the practice of all innovations proceedings. It was soon found that the Comal ready introduced into the worship of God; missioner had received directions to throw and to labour by all means lawful to recover every obstruction in the way; and after the purity and liberty of the Gospel as it was seven days' disputing and protesting concernprofessed and established before the aforesaid ing the constitution of the Court, its cominnovations." This Covenant was sworn and petency to try the bishops, and other matters subscribed, with great solemnity, in the Grey- of form, the Commissioner declared his resofriar's Church-yard, at Edinburgh, on the 1st lution of withdrawing and dissolving the of March, 1638. After prayer and solemn Assembly. The Moderator and various mem* See M'Crie's "Sketches of Scottish History," Chap. vii.bers having entreated him to remain, without
It was easy to foresee that these proceedings in Scotland must hasten on the crisis of public affairs. The King no longer attempted to conceal his hostile intentions, and in his rage against the Covenanters resolved to go in person against them at the head of an army. On the 26th of January the declaration of war was published, and while he summoned an army to meet him at York, a fleet was despatched to the Firth of Forth with another army under the Marquis of Hamilton. The Papists, both in England and Ireland, gladly contributed funds; while Laud and the Anglican prelates excited the Church to contribute to what the Bishop of Bath and Wells, in a diocesan letter to his clergy, called, "a war for the support of Episcopacy." This popish and prelatic zeal served to deter Engglish Protestants, however loyal, from joining the King, whom in ridicule they termed "the Archbishop of Canterbury's Knight;" and the war was spoken of as "the bishops' war." The King, nevertheless, found himself at the head of an army of upwards of 20,000 men, and a strong detachment had arrived before Leith under Hamilton, with sixteen ships of war.
Meanwhile the Presbyterians in Scotland. were not idle. The castles of Edinburgh,