Page images

cute and destroy the people of God for their adherence to the covenants which himself had entered into as the fundamental stipulation of government, and to that reformation which he had sworn to maintain and practice, and for their bearing witness against the grand principle and foundation upon which he built his power of overthrowing religion, and setting up a new frame thereof in Britain, - namely, the blasphemous headship of ecclesiastical supremacy I.”

THE NOBLE HISTORIAN of the Grand Rebellion says of the period of the usurpation, that “Scotland lay under a heavy yoke, and their kirk and kirkmen were entirely subdued... If the king's nature could have been delighted to behold the op. pressions his rebellious subjects endured in all the three nations, he might have had abundant comfort and pleasure of this kind in all of them ;—first in seeing Scotland, which first threw off wantonly its own peace and plenty, and infected the other two kingdoms with its rebellion, now reduced and governed by a rod of iron, vanquished and governed by those whom they had taught the science of rebellion, and with whom they had joined, by specious pretences and vows, and horrible perjuries, to destroy their natural prince and dissolve the regal government, to which they had been subject ever since they were a nation--in seeing the pride and insolence of their people, which had used to practice such ill manners towards their king, suppressed, condemned, and exposed to slavery, under the discipline and castigation of men who were very few of them bred up gentlemen, but bred up in the trades and professions of common men. These men governed in their houses, and prescribed new laws which they had never been accustomed to, yet were compelled to obey upon penalty of their lives and estates, whilst their adored idol, PRESBYTERY, which had pulled off the crown from the head of the king, was TROD UNDERfoot and LAUGHED AT, and their preachers, who had threatened their princes with their rude thunder of excommunication, disputed with, scoffed at, and controled by artificers, and corrected by the strokes and blows of a corporal; and all this subjection supported at their own charge, their fierce governors being paid by them out of their own estates."

Cloud of Witnesses to the Royal Prerogatives of Jesus Christ : Preface,

p. viii.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

1662.-Presbyteries and synods licensed—but deprived of jurisdiction. The

presbyterians attempt to ordain and induct.- Petition of the presbytery of Kirkcudbright.- Arrival and reception of the primate and the other bishopsarrival of the lord commissioner. The consecration of the bishops-Nicol's account.—The English Liturgy and formulary of Consecration used-opinions of the bishops. -Meeting of parliament.--Redintegration of the spiritual estate.—Act of restitution.-Remarks.—The commissioner's speech.--A deputation to bring in the bishops-their procession to and from the parliament house—the unanimity of their restoration.—The Covenant burnt in England.

-Act for the preservation of his majesty's person-ministers summonedbishop Leighton's speech-the primate's reply.—Act to secure incumbents in their benefices.-Act concerning masters of universities, ministers, &c.—The primate compared to Julian the apostate—the declaration made by all in autho. rity.-Act of indemnity.-The 29th of May to be kept a festival.—The Covenant burnt.--Henderson's monument defaced. - Archbishop Fairfoul takes possession of his See-and is publicly entertained.–Archbishop Sharp's reception in Fife-and in St. Andrews.-Bishop Wisheart-bishop Mitchell-bishop Forbes-bishop Strachan.-Names and sees of all the bishops.- Proclamation for holding diocesan synods.—Meeting of synods—synod of Edinburghsynods of Glasgow and Galloway.—Progress of the council-arrival and acts at Glasgow.-Conduct of the Covenanters.-Act of Glasgow-its consequences.-Time for paying obedience to the law extended.—Skinner and Burnet's opinions.-Lord Clarendon's speech.--Act of uniformity—its effects.Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy.-A declaration.—Militia act-oath of allegiance and supremacy.-Christmas day observed in Edinburgh.— 1663.Intrigues against Middleton-his fall.-Changes in the government.--Remarks on earl Middleton.-Desertion of the ministers of the Covenant-their character—and of the new incumbents—their reception by their parishioners.Origin of field meetings.-Death of bishop Mitchell-consecration of bishop Burnet.—Lent observed.-Field meetings.-Ascension day and the king's birth. day observed.—Meeting of parliament-acts.-Acts for settling the constitu. tion of a General Assembly-its constitution unsatisfactory.-Scots mile act.

-Johnston of Warriston-sentenced to be hanged-his death.—Riot in Kirk. cudbright.-Death of bishop Sydserf.--Rising of parliament.-Death of arch. bishop Fairfoul.-Concluding remarks.

1662.-THE Act RESCISSORY replaced the church in the same position as that in which it stood before the Assem

bly at Glasgow in 1638; and therefore the meetings of presbyteries and synods in the exercise of their legislative and executive powers became unlawful, and were by that act virtually abolished; but that no inconvenience might arise, they were specially licensed to meet as formerly. But now that some of the bishops had been consecrated, and all of them had been nominated to the different sees, it was necessary to postpone the meetings of synods and presbyteries until they should be regularly summoned and constituted by their respective bishops. The privy council therefore issued a proclamation on the 9th of January, declaring the power of these courts to be void, until they were re-appointed by the bishops; and they likewise commanded all due deference and respect to be paid to the archbishops and bishops. In the absence of ecclesiastical authorities, the lord chancellor sent this proclamation to the sheriffs of counties, who sent notice to the parish ministers, and a general obedience was given to it. Only, Burnet says, “ the ministers, to keep up a shew of acting on an ecclesiastical authority, met once, and entered into their books a protestation against the proclamation, as an invasion on the liberties of the church, to which they declared they gave obedience only for a time, and for peace sakel.” Wodrow says, “ this proclamation razed presbyterian government quite; and we may observe a considerable difference betwixt prelacy now obtruded, and the old Scots episcopacy Presbyteries and sessions remained under the bishops during king James VI.'s reign, almost in the full exercise of their power, saving that presbyteries were cramped with constant moderators; but now presbyteries and sessions are made entirely to depend upon the bishops, and indeed materially abrogated, as may afterwards be noticed 2.".

IN THE DIOCESES of Glasgow and Galloway, where the presbyterians were most numerous, attempts were made to ordain and induct ministers of their own sentiments into vacant churches. A vacancy occurring by the death of the former minister in the parish of Yetholm, in the diocese of Glasgow, the earl of Lothian presented a minister to it; but the presbytery of Kelso, in which it is situate, met, and proceeded to ordain and induct their own man. On some previous intimation of their intentions, the earl of Lothian complained to the council of this invasion of his rights, when they prohibited the presbytery from admitting any person to be minister

I Own Times, i. p. 255.

? History, i. p. 250.

at that church, as they should be answerable. The presbytery of Peebles, in the same diocese, were summoned to appear before the privy council, on pain of rebellion, for having, in the face of the proclamation, ordained and admitted a Mr. John Hay to the church and parish of Manor, also in the diocese of Glasgow. This disobedience to the law was perfectly consistent with the principles of presbytery; and a presbyterian author laments the conduct of the episcopalian clergy and the moderate presbyterian ministers, in yielding obedience to the late proclamation. “It is a matter of sad regret, he says, that the most part of presbyteries, instead of making any stand for their religious liberties, silently yielded to the proclamation, and left off meeting in a judicative capacity; so that the wicked and unjust invasions made upon the crown and dignity of the Lord Jesus Christ brought many of the faithful of the land with sorrow to the grave; for now, if any presbytery did so much as petition for a fair hearing, no regard was paid to it?" And there cannot be a more decided proof of the unanimity of the clergy and ministers, and their people, than the melancholy remark of Wodrow:“ It is with regret I observe it,” he says, “ that too little of a spirit for this (the presbyterian principle] appeared either with joinisters or people. At the first defection to episcopacy in this church, after our reformation from popery, a considerable stand was made by ministers, then perfectly united; but now the most part of presbyteries silently obtempered this proclamation. In some places, when they did meet, they found they could do nothing; and the essays of some presbyteries to keep themselves in possessorio by meeting, were useless, and reckoned singular by others; and, by piece and piece, all the presbyteries of the church were deserted, save some few, very few, who subjected submitted] to the prelates' orders 2."

THE PRESBYTERY of Kirkcudbright,3 in the diocese of Galloway, met in the beginning of January, and, considering that they saw Zion defiled by the prelatic and malignant party, they drew up a petition, and sent two of their number to present it to the lords of the privy council, in which they lament the depression of the “ work of the Lord,” which had arrived at such a “height of perfection in the purity of doctrine, wor

i Crookshank's History of the Church of Scotland, i. 131. ? Wodrow's History, i. 251.

3 Commonly pronounced Kirkcubry; it is pleasantly situate on the banks of the Dee, in the stewartry of Galloway, and was originally a cell of St. Cuthbertcella Cuthberti.

ship, discipline, and government: and particularly we humbly beg that we may have liberty with freedom and safety to express our minds against the re-introduction of prelacy upon this church and kingdom;" and if his majesty would listen to the prayer of their petition, “ it is the firm resolution of our hearts to live in all dutiful obedience, praying that the Lord may long preserve his royal person under the droppings of his grace, and abundant loadenings of his best blessings and special mercies.” Wodrow is uncertain whether or not this petition was ever presented, and yet he denounces the government as most inhuman for rejecting it, although he acknowledges that he could find no traces of it in the council-books, and therefore there is not the least doubt that it was never presented; yet he justifies all the subsequent seditions and insurrections of the covenanters on account of its supposititious rejection, by saying, “ who can justly blame them for seeking a hearing to their grievances in an armed posture, when the oppression of their enemies had forced them to this ??"

BAILLIE says, that the primate “ had bought a fair new coach at London, at the sides whereof two lacqueys in purple does run;" in which the four prelates travelled northwards, and arrived at Berwick-on-Tweed on the 5th of April. The lord chancellor, and all the nobility and gentry, with the provost and magistrates, went as far as Cockburnspath, a hamlet about eight miles south of Dunbar, and thirty-two miles from Edinburgh, to meet and welcome them; and a vast assemblage of pedestrians of the humbler ranks went to Musselburgh, and escorted them into town. A procession was formed, preceded by trumpets, and on the 8th of April they were thus conducted into the capital, and “ with all reverence and respect received and embraced in great pomp and grandeur, with sound of trumpet, and all other courtesies requisite." Baillie says, “ When they came down, they were received by a number of noblemen, gentlemen, and the magistrates of Edinburgh, magnificklie: the commissioner's lady feasted them and the nobility that night, as the chancellor did the morrow after 2.” This triumphant and joyous reception of the Fathers of the church is an undeniable evidence of the re-action in the minds of the people of all classes, after the unnatural excitement, bloodshed, and anarchy of the covenant had ceased, and the tyranny of rigid presbytery was removed. It is a corroboration

1 Wodrow's History, i. 253.

2 Baillie's Letters, iii. 485.-Nicol's Diary, 363, 364.–Wodrow's History, i. 255.--Burnet's Own Times, i. 256, 257,

« PreviousContinue »