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not by words. Such terror did the name of the gallant Graham carry in it to Argyle and the other rebel chiefs, that large rewards were offered to any assassin who would undertake to dispatch him; and several infamous wretches were permitted to take commissions in his army for the facility it afforded of accomplishing their detestable design-—“but providence disappointed that plot?.”
The comMISSION of Assembly excommunicated colonel Nathaniel Gordon, and appointed a fast to be observed throughout the kingdom, and in their armies both at home and in England, on the last Sunday of October, and the Wednesday following, for success against Montrose-the slowness of ongoing in the work of our reformation-the grievous sins of our army under the marquis of Argyle—the rupture betwixt the king and his subjects-some miscontentment among the ministers themselvesand the innocent blood and grievous oppression of the land. But, says honest Spalding, “there was no word of fasting and praying (as most justly we should) for inbringing of change and alteration both in church and policy against established law and the king's royal authority, and compelling him, by force of arms, to yield to our Scottish opinions 2.” This hypocritical fast was made the more joyful, by the news, received a little before, of the success of the rebels in the north of England, and the capture of Newcastle, in which were found the earl of Crawford, the lords Maxwell and Rae, Mr. Oglevie, of Powry, and Dr. Wishart, Montrose's biographer, who were all sent to Edin. burgh, and lodged in the common jail. The presbyterian ministers urged the committee with great vehemence to behead Crawford immediately; but a plurality of voices carried his respite against the covenanted brethren, who, true to the covenant, were clamorous for his blood 3.
The GALLANTRY and successes of Montrose created a reaction in the minds of many of the ministers, and some who had been most fiery and zealous became lukewarm and indifferent. The commission were mightily alarmed at this defection amongst the brethren, and, in order to terrify others, they formally deposed MR. HALLIBURTON, minister of Perth, and Mr. Graham, of Auchterarder, for the crime of having conversed with Montrose. At the same time they again ordained a fast to be universally observed upon the first Sunday of January in the ensuing year. The commission also issued summonses to the several presbyteries to send representatives to Edinburgh to a
i Guthry's Memoirs, 132. 2 Spalding's Troubles, ü. 279.
3 Guthry's Memoirs, 133.
General Assembly, which they appointed to meet on the 22d of January, concerning the state of the reformation.
THROUGHOUT ALL HISTORY we invariably find that rebellions and revolutions have been more frequently occasioned by the unreasonable licentiousness of the people than by the tyranny or mal-administration of the prince. And this is remarkably verified in the mild family of the Stuarts, but in particular in Charles I. He courted the presbyterians, indulged them in England, and established them in Scotland; and he conceded his whole power and prerogative to them, to conciliate and satisfy their jealousies; but they were never satisfied so long as the crown sat on his head, and his head on his shoulders. Out of a mistaken clemency, Charles suffered faction to grow and expand till it embraced the whole government, and really and truly exercised that tyranny over the people which they only pretended to be afraid that the king would practice. Concession was like the letting out of water; the more he conceded the higher the puritans and covenanters rose in their demands, and he went on still conceding, till at last they left him nothing farther to concede but his head. If princes would be taught by the errors of their predecessors, they could not adopt a precedent more pregnant with example than that of this mild and gentle prince; for he had no sooner conceded away his whole power to Argyle and the faction, against whose treachery his own father warned him, and had, as “a contented king left a contented people," than they used that power which they had wrung from him, and in his own name, too, against himself. Hypocrisy was one of the reigning sins of the time; and while the covenanters wielded the whole powers of the government against the king, they ever protested that it was to support his crown and dignity, and spoke the language of ultra-loyalty, and with the utmost effrontery even called God to witness the sincerity of their hearts and the falsehoods which they were constantly uttering,
Public men were guilty of betraying the king in secret whilst they pretended to serve him outwardly; and it was Charles's unfortunate disposition to shut his eyes to that treachery which was in every department of his government, and even in his household. None were more deeply implicated in the treachery and ingratitude of the time than the duke of Hamilton, and his brother the earl of Lanerk. Hamilton would be great, and was ambitious, but was deficient of that personal courage and ability which attend ambition, and consequently he allowed Argyle, the abler villain, to secure and enjoy the whole real power of the government, whilst he solaced himself with future visions of royalty. It is instructive to observe the contrast betwixt the mild, conciliating, and conceding government of Charles, and the vigorous, severe, and grasping tyranny of the committee of estates; the paternal government of the bishops, with the inquisitorial and arbitrary despotism of the commission of the Assembly. The commission of Assembly was erected for a political convenience, of which Argyle's name always appears as one of the members; its adaptation to his purpose was admirable, for he could thereby wield the power of both the church and state. Whilst he exercised a tyrannical power over the people through the committee of estates, he backed all their temporal proceedings by the terrors, the pains, and the penalties of excommunication, through the commission, which were not to be relaxed, no not even in the hour of death.
It was the universal murmur in the beginning of Charles's reign that he attempted to impose the rites and ceremonies of the church of England upon the church of Scotland, and which was made the ostensible foundation of the rebellion ; but now, when the presbyterians had succeeded in fulfilling the vow of their covenant of extirpating the church, their very first effort was to force, by the sword, their covenant, their discipline, and their directory for worship, upon the kingdom of England. It was made the price of their military assistance. In a circular letter which the commission published, entitled “A necessary Warning to the Ministry of the Kirk of Scotland," the enemies of religion are declared to be “ of three sorts,-papists, separatists, and malignants :" the latter was the appellation which was fixed upon the clergy and members of the episcopal church, and one of their popular authors says, “the crying sins of the land, which we should confess with sorrow before the Lord, are, that the graceless prelates and curates are not hung up before the sun ; and that men should be so godless as to assist the king in his distress, before he had satisfied the kirk by public penance, for opposing the work of God in the covenant."
Along with the establishment of presbytery and the covenant, irreverence for sacred things and subjects became extensively prevalent ; Spalding mentions several instances which occurred in Aberdeen alone. He relates that William Strachan, the new presbyterian minister there, demolished the high altar of the cathedral, and commenced the work with his own hand. Behind the high altar there was a very elegant carved woodwork, “ curiously wrought of fine wainscot, so that within Scotland there was not a better wrought piece.” The minister demolished this in order to erect with the materials “a
beastly loft;" but the workmen refused to touch it till the minister had first began the demolition," which he did, and then the work began.” On an afternoon, during sermon, some children made a noise outside the church, when Cant sprung out of the pulpit and pursued them to some distance, and when he had dispersed them he returned and finished his sermon; but the people “wondered at his light behaviour.” The reverent posture of kneeling when receiving the holy communion was now set aside, and the people were made to sit at a table, and not to pray with the minister, “but all to be silent and dumb,” nor the bread to be broken and distributed as formerly," but baken in a round loaf like a trencher, then cut in long shieves (slices) hanging by a tack; first the minister takes one shieve after a blessing, and breaks a piece and gives to him who is nearest, and he gives the shieve to his neighbour, who takes a piece and then gives it to his neighbour, while it be spent ; and then an elder gives another shieve where the first shieve left, and so forth. The like bread and service was never seen in Aberdeen before the coming of Andrew Cant to be their minister?.” This is the custom prevalent among presbyterians at present; cups of wine pass from hand to hand, and when empty a lay-elder goes round with a flaggon and fills them up.
Spalding says, the people were “ wearied,”—“ grievously tormented,”-“vexed to the death with their continual fasts and thanksgivings.” They commenced praying and preaching at pine in the morning, and continued without intermission till past seven in the evening, “ under colour of zeal, which rather appeared a plain mockery of God; ... but no prayers to confound the armies raised against the king, but rather prayed for their good success.”—“ New income customs !" “ Cur ministers are become prideful, and great railers out of pulpit without respect of persons; and so rigorous their discipline, that the people might not bear their prideful behaviour, and none durst find fault with their disorders. They praise God for the king's overthrow 2.” So hearty were the presbyterian brethren in the rebellion, that they warned their parishioners from their pulpits to join the Argyle faction, in full equipment for the field, under the highest pains both spiritual and temporal; and Spalding says, it was “a note to be marked,” That the pulpit, which he calls “ the chair of verity, was now made a market-cross, and the preacher an officer for making of proclamations."
Along with the desecration of the sacred edifices, the presby
1 Spalding's Troubles, 106, 108, 158.
? Ibid. 244, 254, 282, 289.
terian party brought railing accusations and“ cruel mockings' against the episcopal clergy, the great majority of whom, in the midland and northern parts of the kingdom, still retained their livings; and they always denominated them malignants, papists, Arminians, and Amorites, with whom they held neither communion nor fellowship, and openly asserted they were the children of the devil. The presbyterian ministers were always the foremost in recommending harsh, bloody, and hostile measures, and lent all the assistance which superstition could command to forward the collecting of men and munitions of war to the rebel cause. “How untruly,” says the king, “I am charged with the first raising of an army, and beginning this civil war, the eyes that only pity me, and the loyal hearts that durst only pray for me at first, might witness, which yet appear not so many on my side, as there were men in arms enlisted against me. My unpreparedness for a war may well dishearten those that would help me: while it argues truly my unwillingness to fight, yet it testifies for me that I am set on the defensive part; having so little hopes or power to offend others, that I have none to defend myself, or to preserve what is mine own from their prereption. No man can doubt but they prevented me, in their purposes as well as their injuries, who are so much beforehand in their preparations against me, and surprisals of my strength. Such as are not for them, yet dare not be for me; so overawed is their loyalty by the others' numbers and terrors. I believe my innocency and unpreparedness to assert my rights and honour make me more guilty in their esteem, who would not so easily have declared war against me if I had first assaulted them. They knew my chiefest arms left me were those only which the ancient christians were wont to use against their persecutors-prayers ana tears. These may serve a good man's turn, if not to conquer as a soldier, yet to suffer as a martyri.”
1 Eikon Basilike, i. 37, 38.