Page images

episcopalians; and he proposed that which in Scotland his party have ever since so severely censured Charles for acting on; namely, “ to leave the ecclesiastical government to the parliament, who, as it is to be hoped being men of conscience, will find themselves bound to settle according to the covenant;" but, alas! for that engine of extirpation, the majority of the new parliament were royalists, and consequently churchmen. On the 29th of March, Douglas enclosed to Mr. Sharp a long paper, in which he wishes to dictate terms to the English parliament, for settling the civil and ecclesiastical government of the empire ; he is indifferent whether the former should be a republic or a monarchy, but he has no hesitation in declaring for “ rigid presbyteryfor the latter, as being, he says, “most agreeable to the word of God, and being thereto obliged by their national covenant, and by the Solemn League and Covenant .... Though there may be some in England for episcopacy, and some for other forms, yet presbyterial government ought to be pitched upon for these reasons,-1, episcopacy and other forms are men's devices, but presbyterial government is a divine ordinance ; 2, the three nations are tied by the League and Covenant to endeavour the extirpation of prelacy?." Mr. Sharp assured this tenacious covenanter, “I fear the interest of the Solemn League and Covenant shall be neglected ; and for religion, I smell that moderate episcopacy is the fairest accommodation which moderate men, who wish well to religion, expect." Douglas again wrote, under date 26th of April, and represented the evils which he apprehended would result from the establishment of episcopacy. He concludes his lamentations with the following remarkable acknowledgınent of the public feeling of Scotland upon the subject of the church,* Whatever kirk government be settled there [in England] it will have an influence on this country; for the generality of this new upstart generation have no love to presbyterial government; but are wearied of that yoke, feeding themselves with the fancy of EPISCOPACY, or moderate episcopacy. Our desire is, that presbyterial government be settled ; if not, we shall be free of any accession to the breach of a sworn covenant?,” for the extirpation of the church.

The provincial synods in Scotland met generally on the 1st of May; and the mutual fears of the remonstrators and resolutioners produced a greater degree of harmony betwixt them than had ever before subsisted. Mr. Douglas preached before the synod of Lothian, from 1 Cor. iv. I, wherein he made a

i Wodryw's Introduction, i. 13-16.

Ibid, i. 21.

most violent attack upon that episcopacy which he had so recently admitted was so much desired by the people," for,” he said, “it is a plant which God never planted, and the ladder whereby antichrist mounted his throne. ... Kingly government in the state, and presbyterian in the church, are the greatest curbs to profaneness,” and “so confuted the foolish proposition, 'no bishop no king !!” The king was proclaimed at London on the 4th, and at Edinburgh on the 14th of May; when many went over to Holland to worship the rising sun. Monk sent Mr. Sharp over in a frigate, and he arrived at Breda on the 8th of May, where he was introduced to the king by the marquis of Ormond; and the following morning at nine o'clock had an audience of his majesty in his bed-room. Burnet says the earl of Glencairn gave him a letter to the lord chancellor Clarendon,“ recommending him as the only person capable to manage the design of setting up episcopacy in Scotland; upon which he was received into great confidence?." In the evening his majesty walked with him for an hour and a half in the garden, conversing on Scottish affairs; an account of which he communicated by letter to Mr. Douglas on his return to London, dated the 29th of Maya.

· Burnet's Own Times, i. 166.

“ London, 29th May, 1660. : “Reverend Sir,-Yours, that of May 22d, and of the 8th, with other letters, I received ; and by the last Saturday's post I could only give you notice of my safe return to London. General Monk gave the occasion for my journey to Holland, and I did observe a Providence in it, that his motion did tryst with your desire, which gave me encouragement to follow the Lord's pointing at my going thither, which, for any thing doth yet appear, hath been ordered for good. General Monk's intent for my going was, that I might give his majesty an account of all the passages of his undertaking, from the beginning of it in Scotland, to the progression he hath made at the time of the parliament owning his majesty's title; and that I might acquaint the king how necessary it was to follow the counsels of moderation, in the future management of his affairs : and, 3dly, that I might move his majesty for writing a letter to some of the eminent city ministers, to be by them communicated to the presbyterian ministers throughout the kingdom, intimating his majesty's resolution to bear down profanity, and to countenance religion in the power of it. My own special motive for going was to give a timeous information of the condition of poor Scotland, as to the several particulars of which yours of May the 8th doth bear. My thoughts at my going over did run upon divers of these, which digestedly and fully that letter doth mention, and it hath much satisfied me, that upon the perusal of yours at my return, I remember I hit upon some of those you touched. I came very seasonably in the beginning of the growth of the court, and was the first minister of the kingdoms who made an address avowedly to the king since his exile; which I did with the more confidence, that having your warrant before my going, I made it in the nanie of the body of the ministry of the church of Scotland, who had persevered in their integrity and loyalty in all revolutions. I cannot express what welcome I had, and with how kindly an acceptance my application was entertained by his majesty, who was graciously pleased to put such a respective [respectful] usage upon me, all the time I was there, as it was noticed by all at court. I do not VOL. II.

3 D

Mr. Douglas seems to have laboured under an invincible hallucination of judgment; for he still kept urging Mr. Sharp

mention this out of a tickling vanity, but as an evidence, amongst others, of our prince's affection to oar country and kirk, of which I am abundantly satisfied, though before my going over, he was falsely represented, even to some of the presbyterian judgment, as an enemy and hater of both. He did at Breda, at his [own] table, upon occasion, give his public testimony to the fidelity and loyalty of his kingdom of Scotland, and to me in private, more than once or twice; and I am persuaded, a sweeter and more affectionate prince never a people had. The first time he allowed me to speak to him in private, which was for the space of one hour and a half, I took it up in giving a full account of general Monk's proceedings, and of the activity of those of our nation to improve that opportunity for his majesty's service. The next time he called me to him in the garden, where he caused me to walk with him, almost 200 gentlemen being at his back. Almost two hours were employed in his moving questions, and my answering, about the affairs of the parliament; and in the close somewhat in reference to Scotland, and asking kindly how it was with the ministers who had been in the Tower, and with Mr. Hutchison, Mr. Wood, and Mr. Baillie, of which I gave you some touch in my letter from Breda. The third time he spoke to me (doing it upon every oce casion he saw me) was in the princess royal's room, where I was amazed to hear him express such knowledge and remembrance, both as to persons and things relating to Scotland while he was there, as if the passages had been recently acted. He mentioned ministers south and north, and other persons, not forgetting John Boswell, of Kinghorn, and another in Crail, where, he said, himself was provost ; asking how it was with them. There was opportunity of speaking of those with whom we have had so much vexation (the protestors or remonstrators], and of the condition of our kirk, and the carriage of honest men in it; and had he not been taken up by the interposing of a lord, come straight from England, I think I had said all was then upon my heart in reference to that matter. After this, the court thronging by multitudes from England, and the crowd of his affairs growing upon him, it was unbecoming for me to press for private conferences; but when he did call to me, which he was pleased to do twice more before his coming from Breda, and both those times, he asked me only about some of his concernments with general Monk, bidding me at the last time meet him at his first coming to the Hague, which was upon May the 15th, [and] wait upon [him], to receive my despatches immediately to England, both as to general Monk, and the letter to the city ministers. When I offered to speak a word in reference to Scotland, he told me he would reserve a full communing about that till his coming to England. And indeed it had been unseasonable and impertinent for me to have urged further, finding the necessity of his affairs in England so urgent : but this I can say, that by all these opportunites I had, in every one of which I did not omit the moving about Scotland, I found his majesty resolved to restore the kingdom to its former civil liberties, and to preserve the settled government of our church ; in both which I was bold expressly to move, and had a gracious satisfying answer. Upon the apprehension that I might be sent into England presently upon his majesty's arrival at the Hague, I hastened from Breda by the way of Dort, Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Leyden, to take a transient view of these goodly towns; and came next day after the king to the Hague ; about the very time of the reception of the commissioners from the two houses, and the city, to which I was an eye-witness. Dr. Reynold, Mr. Calamy, Dr. Spoistre, Mr. Case, Mr. Manton, were received privately in his bed-chamber. They delivered a letter, signed by above eighty ministers met at Sion College: I am promised a copy thereof, which I shall send unto you (and had done it before this, could they have given me one, because they had left it in the city). They expressed much satisfaction with his majesty's carriage towards them ; speaking him to be a prince of a deep knowledge of his own affairs, of singular sweetness and moderation, and great respectiveness towards them ; but they were much more satisfied as to these, after they had spoke with

to procure the establishment of rigid presbyterianism in England, with the beauty of covenant uniformity, although the latter had repeatedly informed him that it was not in the king's

him, two by two in private, three days after ; in so far, as they speak highly to his commendation to all their friends, as a most excellent prince, restored for a public blessing to these nations; and do profess it to be their duty to promote his interest among their people. They have often since said to me, they have no reserve nor hope, but in his majesty's good disposition and clemency. At my coming to the Hague, when I had gone to the lord chancellor, who, by the king's order was to give me my despatches, he desired me to stay so long as the London ministers stayed, telling me he would send by another, the king's pleasure to general Monk. I was ready to lay hold upon this motion, knowing that the king was speedily to go for England, and so kept in company with those ministers, and thereby had occasion to know what may give me ground of a probable conjecture of the tendency of matters, as to the ordering of religion in England. I have much to say of this purpose, which I cannot communicate in this way. At present, I shall only say this, that for me to press uniformity for discipline and government, upon the king and others, I find would be a most disgustful employment, and successless : for, though the king could be induced to be for it, it were not in his power to effectuate it ; the two houses of parliament, and the body of this nation, being against it, and, if I may speak what I know, and could demonstrate to you, it is already past remedying : I know very few, or none, who desire it, much less appear for it, and whoever do report to you, or believe, that there is a considerable party in England, who have a mind for covenant uniformity, they are mistaken; as you judge by what you write in that of May 8th, if they themselves will not press it, we are free. I see no obligation by covenant, to impose that upon them which they care not for. If you knew at a distance, what I have occasion to know since my coming hither of this matter, I am confident you would not be very urgent on that point. For my part, I shall have no accession to what may cross that uniformity; but I have no freedom to an employment which can have no other effect but the heightening of an odium upon our church, which is obnoxious already to many upon such an account, though I know cause. lessly. I have heard of your letter to Messrs. Calamy, Ashe, and Manton, which Mr. Ashe only hath seen, Calamy and Manton not being in town: and the rumour goes up and down the city, (I know not if occasion be taken by that letter), that the ministers of Scotland have declared their dissatisfaction that the king is brought in, but upon the terms of the covenant. I am afraid that such rumours are, at this juncture, studiously raised, and I see more and more the need we have of using caution with those here: we have had large experience of Anglorum, &c., and I have cause to think that we shall have a discovery of it, as much now as ever.

“I shall present your letter to his majesty at the first opportunity, which I think I cannot have till some clays pass over, because of the great press upon him at his first entry into Whitehall. God bath done great things for him ; I pray He may do great things by him. It hath been observed, that never did any prince enter upon his government with such a general repute and applause. The satisfaction expressed by the Dutch could not be more if he had been their own sovereign : and for England, the expressions of ecstatic joy and universal exultation are admirable. This day, from morning till seven o'clock, I have been a spectator of what the magnificence and gallantry of England could bring forth in testimony of the greatest reception, was, they say, ever given to their kings; the manner whereof you will have by the diurnal; and it hath taken up so much time to me, that the post calling, I have confusedly writ this, and must break off till the next, with commending you to the Lord's grace, who am,

" Yours, &c.,

" James SHARF."

power to effect it, eren although he had been so disposed. No man had a better memory than Charles the Second ; and he had neither forgotten the covenant itself, nor its most woeful effects, of which he had bitter experience during his mock royalty in Scotland. · The English nation and their representatives in parliament abhorred it as the cause of much of the misery they had endured during the late reign and the protectorate. Charles himself informed Mr. Sharp, and which he communicated to his constituents," that he was resolved to restore the kingdom to its former civil liberties, and to preserve the settled government of the Scottish ehurch,” which had been overturned in the late times of usurpation. The restoration of the liturgy in England seems to have alarmed Douglas even more than the return of the bishops to their suspended authorities; for it is a depository of catholic doctrine, and a constant witness against heresy, schism, and all calvinistic and unsound private opinions, and consequently has ever been hated and abused by all sectarians. He says, therefore, “if the Lord shall keep them from the service-book and prelacy, and settle religion among them according to the Solemn League and Covenant, we have all we desire, and shall look on it as a gracious return to our prayers in their behalf.”

At the period of the restoration, the condition of Scotland was wretched in the extreme; her treasury was exhausted, and her trade extinct; and the usurper had doubled her taxes. Johnston, the clerk of the Glasgow Assembly, was made lord Warriston by Cromwell, and called up to his house of peers. He was chairman of his council of state, and chiefly managed Scottish affairs. Argyle sat in the House of Commons as member for Aberdeenshire; but at the restoration, “slipped away home, with small credit or contentment,” for fear of arrestment for debt. “Our church lies as it was, full of grief for inward divisions and outward hazard. ... Being afraid for Warriston's incessant designs, the brethren of Edinburgh moved Mr. Sharp to go up again and attend his motions. ... Our town (Glasgow) has been in more peace than formerly : Mr. Gillespie's four months' absence, want of public judicatories, has helped to it; but no good will, in some, is lacking to keep in the fire. ... The most of our nobles, with very many of our gentry, run up to Whitehall: all were made welcome. Old places were restored to Crawford, Cassillis, and others. No wonder the chancellor's and secretary's places were taken from Loudon and Lothian, and given to Glencairn and Lauderdale; yet with recompense enough to them both, whom some thought deserved little. ... For judicatories he appointed the com

« PreviousContinue »