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will light at last sickerly [securely] on some of your heads .”
As Dr. SHARP had always been held in such estimation by the whole body of the resolutioners, and his own abilities being of such a superior order, the king considered him the fittest person to be placed at the head of the church, and he presented him accordingly, of his own proper motion, to the see of St. Andrews, and empowered him to offer a bishopric to Mr. Douglas and to some others whom, from personal recollection, the king himself selected. He returned in August, and stated the king's proposal to Douglas, who declined to accept the episcopal office. Douglas himself, as cited by Wodrow, says, “ Sharp came to me before he went to London, and I told him the curse of God would be on him for his treacherous dealing. And that I may speak my heart of this Sharp, I profess I did no more suspect him, in reference to prelacy, than I did myself 2.” This confession is most inconsistent, after having given him his malediction; and it is strong evidence that the hatred and malignancy against Sharp arose after he had received the primacy from the king. But as the curse was uttered before he went to court, so on being offered preferment he gare the following temperate and respectful answer:-“ Brother, I render to his majesty a thousand thanks, but I have dipped so far in oaths and the concerns of the late troubles, and particularly in my sermon before the king at his coronation, and now being turned aged and infirm, I want strength to sustain the weight of the office and the difficulties which I should be obliged to encounter. But if you can comply who are young, and lie not under the same engagements, I neither can nor will blame you3.” Douglas's answer shews the general temper and feelings of the moderate presbyterians to have been sobered down from the high state of excitement in which they had formerly lived ; and as the liturgy was not introduced, but the same extemporary form of worship was allowed to continue, Douglas, and the few resolutioners who still adhered to presbyterianism, attended their parish churches, and received the eucharistic sacrament from the episcopal clergy, till the Indulgence or Toleration afterwards enabled them to meet in separate places of worship On the return of Glencairn the chancellor, and Rothes, they presented the king's letter to the privy council, dated the 14th of August, as follows:
1 Letters, iii. 474-478. 2 Wodrow's History, i, 228.
3 True and Impartial Account, 52-55.
“ CHARLES, R.
“ Right trusty and well-beloved cousins and councillors, we greet you well. Whereas, in the month of August, 1660, we did, by our letter to the presbytery of Edinburgh, declare our purpose to maintain the government of the church of Scotland, settled by law; and our parliament having since that time not only rescinded all the acts since the troubles began, referring to that government, but also declared all those pretended parliaments null and void, and left to us the settling and securing of church-government; therefore, in compliance with that act rescissory, according to our late proclamation, dated at Whitehall, the 10th of June, and in contemplation of the inconveniences from the church-government, as it hath been exercised these twenty-three years past, of the unsuitableness thereof to our monarchical estate, of the sadly experienced confusions which have been caused during the late troubles, by the violences done to our royal prerogative, and to the government civil and ecclesiastical, settled by unquestionable authority, we, from our respect to the glory of God, and the good and interests of the protestant religion, from our pious care and princely zeal for the order, unity, peace, and stability of that church, and its better harmony with the government of the churches of England and Ireland, have, after mature deliberation, declared to those of our council here, our firm resolution to interpose our royal authority for restoring of that church to its right government by bishops, as it was by law before the late troubles, during the reigns of our royal father and grandfather, of blessed memory, and as it now stands settled by law. Of this, our royal pleasure concerning church-government, you are to take notice, and to make intimation thereof in such a way and manner as you shall judge most expedient and effectual. And we require you and every one of you, and do expect, according to the trust and confidence we have in your affections and duty to our service, that you will be careful to use your best endeavours for curing the distempers contracted during those late evil times, for uniting our good subjects among themselves, and bringing them all to a cheerful acquiescing and obedience to our sovereign authority, which we will employ, by the help of God, for the maintaining and defending the true reformed religion, increase of piety, and the settlement and security of that church in her rights and liberties, according to law and ancient custom. And in order thereunto, our will is, that you forthwith take such course with the rents belonging to the several bishoprics and deaneries, that they may be restored and made useful to the church, and that according to justice and the standing law. And moreover, you are to inhibit the assembling of ministers, in their several synodical meetings through the kingdom, until our further pleasure, and to keep a watchful eye over all who, upon any pretext whatsoever, shall by discoursing, preaching, reviling, or any irregular or unlawful way, endeavour to alienate the affections of our people, or dispose them to an ill opinion of us and of our government, to the disturbance of the peace of the kingdom. So expecting your cheerful obedience, and a speedy account of your proceedings herein, we bid you heartily farewell.
“ Given at our court at Whitehall, August 14, 1661, and of our reign the thirteenth year. By his niajesty's command,
(Signed) “ LAUDERDALE.”
AFTER READING this letter, the counsellors sat mute for some time, when at last Tweedale and Kincardine proposed that the council should request his majesty to consult the provincial assemblies, so as to remove all blame from his majesty; but this was opposed, and eventually these gentlemen acquiesced. A proclamation was immediately issued, “ discharging all persons who owed any dues to pay them to any one else, conform to the king's letter; and a letter was returned to his majesty from the council, shewing their compliance and satisfaction; and it was appointed to be subscribed by all the counsellors, that they might testify their access sion to the restoring of episcopacy, which was settled after twenty-five years' interruption?.” The proclamation was a mere echo of the above letter; and on the 6th of September it was printed and published, and proclaimed at the cross by the lyon king-at-arms, with great solemnity. The temper of the times was so much changed for the better that no treasonable protests by treacherous barons, nor anathemas by presbyterian ministers, now insulted the royal proclamations; but, to give greater honour to the act of council, the lord provost and the whole of the town council were present in their robes and with their mace of office. Mr. Nicol, who lived and wrote at the time, and who spoke the opinion of the majority, shews that nearly the same unanimity prevailed out of doors as had characterised the debates on this subject in parliament:-“ Now,” says he, “ let the reader stay a little, and consider the change of the time, and the Lord's wonderful works and dispensation therein, and to call to mind the days of old; that is, in Novem
1 Memoirs of the History of Scotland, 59, 60.
ber, 1638, and in October, 1639, the covenant was solemnly sworn and ratified in several general assemblies and parliaments. Likewise the league anıl covenant was sworn and subscribed in October, 1643, and ratified and approved by sundry acts of parliament, wherein the hail archbishops and bishops of Scotland, by the acts of the Assembly were deposed, and eight of them excommunicated, as alleged troublers of the peace of the kirk and kingdom, in bringing in the Service Book, Book of Canons, and establishing a tyrannical power over the kirk; for establishing the articles of Perth, for observation of festival days, for kneeling at the communion, for administration of the communion in private places; for change of the government of the kirk; for their riding, sitting, and voicing in parliament; for sitting on the bench as justices of the peace; for their keeping and authorising corrupt assemblies at Linlithgow, Glasgow, Aberdeen, St. Andrews, and Perth; for restraining of free general assemblies; and for sundry more causes, specified and expressed in the acts of general assemblies and acts of parliament: for which they were extirpated, deposed, and eight of them excommunicated, and lying under the sentence of excommunication ever since; but now received and taken in as governors of the kirk, wherein a great change and alteration may be seen in a few years.
“ But now, since it has pleased his majesty, with advice of the honourable lords of his highness's privy council, to restore bishops to the government of the church in Scotland, as is now declared by the former proclamation, our prayers and supplications shall be to the great Lord of heaven, to bless his majesty with many and happy days, to be a nurse-father to his church, and to make choice of pious and modest men for that government; and that the Lord would endue them (the bishops) with the spirit of their callings and high functions of the ministry whereunto they are called to the glory of his holy name, and the profit of this poor kirk and kingdom.”
WODROW, however, called the removal of the screw which had so long pressed down the church, and this public act for its restoration,“ iniquity established by law.” The same day, the 6th of September, the council transmitted an account of this day's transactions to his majesty, with the following letter:-"We no sooner perused your majesty's letter of the date of the 14th of August last, but in the acknowledgment of your majesty's piety and care for the preservation of the protestant religion, the establishment of the right government of the church, and peace and happiness of all your subjects, we did immediately issue a proclamation, to be printed and published, fully relating to all your royal commands, whereof we have sent a copy herewith enclosed. We hope all your majesty's good subjects will acquiesce and give due obedience to them, and thereby testify their faithfulness and affection to your majesty's government and authority. We shall endeavour to have a watchful eye over all persons, and be ready to prosecute your majesty's commands in order to what is enjoined, as becomes."
i John Nicol's Diary of Transactions in Scotland. Printed for the Bannatyne Club, 4to. pp. 342, 343.
But as KIRKTON SAYS, “ episcopal ordination being a flower not (then) to be found in a Scottish garden,” it became necessary to apply once more to the church of England for that “ flower," which the covenanters had effectually extirpated from the garden of the Scottish church. All save one of the prelates, whom the violence of the usurpation of the Glasgow Assembly had driven into exile or into apostacy, had died without having provided for any succession. This may in some measure, perhaps, have been owing to the late king haring signified his desire to the bishops, that they should not hold meetings, nor enter into any synodical acts, during their exile, lest they might have given umbrage to their persecutors at home. Dr. Sydserf, bishop of Galloway, was alone permitted, by divine providence, to witness the restoration of the ark of God; and Baillie, in his letter to Dr. Spany of 31st January, classes him with Bramhall, or Bramble, as he usually calls him, and several other illustrious English divines, which is a contradiction to Burnet's malicious gossip, that“ he was little thought of?.” But single-handed he could not communicate the apostolic gift to those who were to be selected for the vacant sees; for ever since the days of the apostles three bishops have always concurred in the consecration of another bishop. Charles therefore followed his grandfather's example, and summoned to London James Sharp, lay-minister of Crail, and eldest son of Mr. William Sharp, sheriff's clerk of the county of Banff; James Hamilton, parish priest of Cambusnethan, in the county of Lanerk, and diocese of Glasgow. He was the second son of sir John Hamilton, of Broomhill, in the same county, and brother of the first lord Belhaven. He was ordained priest by archbishop Lindsay in the year 1635; and it was entered in the synodical books of the diocese of Glasgow, that he was severely handled by the remonstrators in
| Baillie's Letters, iii. 444.