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Middleton was a brave officer, and thought to be an honest man. . . . It would scarcely be credible that the temper and genius of a nation should be so entirely changed as the Scots were in ten years' time, did we not reflect, that the people looked back with horror upon the foreign subjection, and domestic tyranny, they had so lately endured: the former from the English, the latter from their own preachers. The differences between the resolutioners and the remonstrators facilitated the introduction not only of prelacy, but of arbitrary power. Lauderdale, though one of the worst and most unprincipled men of the age, would have willingly preserved presbyterianism in Scotland, because it would have given him a great sway among all the subjects of that persuasion. Middleton, who knew himself to be hated by Lauderdale, was a furious friend to episcopacy, that he might strengthen his own authority by that of the bishops. ... The third party, headed by Glencairn, and composed of the best and most moderate men of property, thought prelacy was absolutely necessary for preventing the return of the disorders which the nation had lately suffered from the covenanters; but they were for a moderate episcopacy,such as had taken place during part of the reign of James I.; and secretly imagined that they had numbers and interest sufficient to bring about such an establishment 1."
ON THE RISING of parliament, the executive government was placed in the privy council, which, in the intervals of parliament, had the privilege of explaining the intention and meaning of the acts; because they chiefly emanated from the government through the lords of the articles, and therefore the government best knew the meaning in which they had been enacted. Lord Middleton went to court immediately after the prorogation of parliament, to lay an account of his proceedings, and the state of the nation, before the king. At this period Charles appears to have been very popular; for Kirkton, a presbyterian, says, “the king's character stood so high in the opinion and idolatrous affections of the miserable people of Scotland, that a man might have more safely blasphemed Jesus Christ, than derogate in the least from the glory of his per fections.” And Douglas, in one of his letters to Mr. Sharp, says, the king“ is gifted to his people in return of their prayers, and their expectations are fixed on him, as the man of God's right hand, who will refresh the hearts of all the lovers of Zion." And Baillie says, that “the most desired it (the
Guthrie's General History, x. 93-96.
parliament] to rise without adjournment, and chose rather to be governed simply by the king's good pleasure, who was an equitable and wise prince.”
The ACT RESCISSORY was a radical remedy for a desperate disease, and presbyterians have not been sparing of their abuse of Charles and his ministers for having passed it in a full, free, and lawful parliament. “If any acts had been passed which needed to be reviewed, the opposilion agreed that might well be done ; but to annul a parliament was a terrible precedent, which destroyed the whole security of government ?." This was both wrong and weak reasoning, and certainly was the strongest condemnation of their own conduct that even their enemies could have produced. In the “noon-tide" of presbyterian glory they had annulled and repealed, in their treasonable Assembly of 1638, acts of parliament of thirty years' standing, besides « casting down the walls of Jericho," as they termed their extirpation of the church; and that, too, not by an act of parliament lawfully assembled, but by a convocation of presbyterian ministers and lay-elders, sitting not only unlawfully, but in express defiance of the royal authority, and which was the root of the subsequent rebellion, and of all the miseries of the three kingdoms. But that was not the only instance wherein the presbyterians had set the “ terrible precedent” of annulling parliaments, and not only“ destroying the security of government,” but of overturning and revolutionizing the executive government. In the parliament of 1640, although there was no visible force on the late king, nevertheless he suffered a real pressure from the unrepressed rebellion of the presbyterians, and the prospect of another by the papists and puritans, which compelled him to make unreasonable and destructive concessions; so that distress in his affairs was really equivalent to a force on his person. In that parliament, we are informed by the lyon-king-at-arms, who was himself a covenanter, that they exhibited “ the real greatest change at one blow that ever happened to this church and state these six hundred years past ; for in effect it overturned not only the ancient state government, but FETTERED MONARCHY WITH CHAINS, and set new limits and marks to the same, beyond which it was not Legal to proceed 2.” The act rescissory only patriotically struck off those fetters and chains which rebels and revolutionists had placed on the liberties of the subject, and on the just freedom and authority of the crown; for whilst these fetters remained it
· Burnet's Own Times, i. 214.
would have been impossible to have carried on the government but in subjection to a junta of ministers and elders, called a commission of the kirk. There cannot be a greater inconsistency than the condemnation by the presbyterians of Charles's government, for restoring the constitution to its former and legitimate state; for it cannot be denied that the civil and ecclesiastical proceedings of the preceding twenty years had been both violent and unconstitutional. The religious dissentions and fanaticism of the times made way for the conquest, by Cromwell and an insignificant force of not quite twenty thousand men, of this ancient and independent kingdom, which had hurled back the most warlike English monarchs, with all their most illustrious and ienowned chivalry at their backs, in disgrace and defeat. There was neither degeneracy in Scottish courage, nor defect in their generalship, according to the military knowledge of the times; but there was religious dissentimn; a bastard attempt at theocratical supremacy; a fear lest the loyal part of the nation should be permitted to rescue their sovereign from the grasp of militant ministers and would-be saints; a paralysation of their own strength by a most malignant party that remonstrated against allowing the loyal presbyterians and the churchmen to serve in the army or in civil affairs; and a hurling of excommunications which brought down civil pains and penalties, and confiscation of property, and the most envenomed and mendacious personal abuse and slander, upon every man, of whatsoever rank or profession, who loved his country and wished to serve his sovereign.
But the christian reader will not fail to see that retributive justice was meted out in the mildest form after the Restoration. The trials and executions of Argyle and Guthrie proceeded according to law and justice, and the number selected by parliament was small, when it is considered that the whole kingdom lay at the king's mercy. When we review the life of the former, from the time of his first appearance in public affairs, his condemnation cannot be called either vindictive or cruel; for he, with others, had with determined and persevering cruelty and revenge, compassed the death of the earl of Strafford, the archbishop of Canterbury, the marquis of Montrose, and the late king himself; besides numberless gentlemen, from sir Robert Spottiswood, president of the court of session, to John Stuart, the humble commissary of Dunkeld. The contrast is most remarkable between the restoration of the constitutional government and the revolutionary one in the last reign. Without involving any one in trouble, the act rescissory restored
the constitution to the state in which it existed before the commencement of the rebellion ; but the revolution effected by the covenant commenced by violently overturning and extirpating the church, threatening the lives of the prelates and their clergy, deposing and excommunicating them, forcing an obnoxious and a most impious oath on all ranks and conditions, and compelling men to perjure themselves; levying war on the king, and massacring his loyal subjects, whom they styled malignants; and establishing a republic and dictatorship. Guthrie was a type of his sect; and Baillie says, his “libel was tartly drawn, and wittily answered; yet he defended all he had done; justified the matter of the remonstrance, protestations, Causes of God's Wrath, and [justly) fathered all on the disCIPLINE of the church and acts of Assemblies ; even his declinature of king and parliament at Perth, when cited for treasonable preaching. After many days' hearing, persisting obstinately, he was condemned to be hanged, and his head to be set on the Nether Bow 1.”
1661.-Arts of the remonstrators.-Synod of Glasgow-of Fife—of Perth and
Stirling—of Dumfries—of Galloway-of Lothian.—The northern synods.Address of the synod of Aberdeen.—The earl of Middleton goes to court.Meeting of the council in London-account of its proceedings, and determination.-Anecdote.—Dr. Sharp.-Mr. Baillie's letter.-Some reflections.
-Different opinions.- Remarks on the king's letter.-Douglas's account.King's proclamation.- Baillie's advice. - Dr. Sharp made archbishop of St. Andrews.--Douglas offered a bishopric-but declines it.—The king's letter and proclamation.-Remarkable change in public opinion.—Council's letter to the king.–No Scottish consecrators remaining.–Four gentlemen summoned to London to be consecrated—some account of them.-Wodrow's object.Burnet's character of Leighton-remark on it.-Writ of summons.-Consecration of the bishops at Westminster.—The consecrators.-Two of the bishops elect ordained deacons and priests.-Nicols's account of the consecra. tion.-Extract from the Lambeth Register.—The surviving English bishops.New consecrations.-Church of Ireland-its devastation.—The new bishops
—their consecration-consecrators and succession.-Dr. Sharp's conduct.Baillie's account of the disappointment of the presbyterians, and of the restoration of episcopacy.-Survey of Naphtali, and account and defence of Dr. Sharp's negociations.-Act of council for presentation of ministers.—Bishoprics made donative.-Form of presentation. The appointments made.-The Book of Common Prayer not restored.-Bishop Sydserf translated to Orkney-not one of the consecrators.—Mr. Skinner's reasons.-Episcopacy traced back.Complaint of unchurching.- Presbyterians' definition of the Catholic church. - The Roman definition--their definition of the true church-their severities and abusive epithets to the episcopalians.-Opinions of the author of the Cloud of Witnesses and the earl of Clarendon.
1661.–FROM the nature of the proceedings of the last session of parliament, the remonstrators saw that their reign of violence was now at an end; and they made as little doubt that it was the intention of the king's government to restore that church which they had extirpated, although episcopacy had not yet been named. They accordingly used their active exertions to excite the old covenanting spirit in their hearers, and to influence the minds of men against episcopacy. “ Several essays were made by ministers to give such a testimony as their present ill circumstances would permit......