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danger of an oppressive synod is greater and more enduring than of a wicked or tyrannical bishop. All ranks of the people showed that they were of this mind, from the enthusiastic reception they gave to the four prelates on their arrival froin London ; but more particularly to archbishop Fairfoul at Glasgow, which had been the chief seat of the tyranny of Gillespie and the remonstrators, and of archbishop Sharp at St. Andrews, where the whole nobility and gentry of the county of Fife escorted him to that city. The disgusting cant which they used about submitting to and crowning king JESUS, meant nothing else than submitting to the intolerable insolence of all the different kirk judicatories, and suffering every troublesome, pragmatic, or agitating minister, to rail from his pulpit against his governors, individuals among his parishioners that were obnoxious to him, or that had incurred his private resentment, and all the loyal and obedient subjects who served their unfortunate sovereign. The frequent absence of the ministers from their parochial duties had the most pernicious effects both on themselves and on the morals of their people. In one of his letters Baillie complains that he had been absent from his charge seven weeks, without any prospect of release, attending on the commission in debating about the engagement, and trying to prevent the loyal part of the nation from making an effort to remove the disgrace from the nation, which the commission of the kirk and the Argyle faction had indelibly stamped upon their own party, of having sold their sovereign to their own progeny, the independents.
THE MOST VIOLENT accusations have most unjustly been brought against the earl of Middleton, for the acts of parliament and of council, which the tyranny of the rebel government had rendered necessary. The act rescissory was the only instrument by which the royal government could have been relieved from its multiplied embarrassinents, and the earl of Middleton deserves great credit for his firmness and resolution in effecting it. Had Lauderdale been the commissioner, all the evils of religious anarchy would have been continued, for he was then a presbyterian at heart, though he had not the honesty openly to profess it. Middleton had experienced the tender mercies of the commission of the kirk, and had been excommunicated by the remonstrators. He had lived the whole time of the rebellion in the kingdom, and knew the bearing of all the three religious parties in it; and he acted in the restoration of epis. copacy from the certain knowledge that two of these parties were decidedly favourable to it; and that a large synod of one of them had actually petitioned for it. It comes with a bad grace
from presbyterians to complain of the oath of supremacy, and the displacing a few of the most violent and untameable of the professors in the universities, when they themselves summarily ejected all the professors of colleges, and imposed the sacri. legious oath of the covenant upon all the students at matriculation, and on the people, beļore they were admitted to their sacraments. The procedure of the king's government in this was but the natural course of retribution, which never fails in this world to follow oppression and wrong. Middleton's ballotting act was neither so sweeping in its extent, nor so unjust and oppressive in its operation, as Argyle and the commission's Act of Classes, which excluded three-fourths of the kingdom from serving their sovereign in any capacity whatever, not even as common soldiers; whereas the balloting act was only intended to exclude twelve persons from power, to be ballotted for by parliament. But at the Restoration there were no violent ejectments nor arbitrary excommunications, which carried confiscation of property and peril to life in their train; and even the Glasgow act, which produced so much evil, was not intended as a punishment, but merely to declare that those ministers that had been elected by the people, or forced upon them by the remonstrators, had not a legal title to their churches. It was proposed to confer this legal title upon them on the easiest conditions; and although most of them had got possession by the forcible and illegal ejectment of the former episcopal incumbents, yet they would have received a legal title, and have been confirmed in their benefices, had not their fundamental principle of resistance to authority driven the remonstrators to the supposed necessity of deserting their charges. The resolutioner presbyterians accepted the terms proposed by government, and were all confirmed in their livings, and most of them were re-ordained to the priesthood, which was in strict conformity with the principles and practice of the primitive church. “ For,” we repeat the saying of an ancient father, “ do you think it sufficient to say that they are orthodox, and sound in the faith? Suppose they are, yet still their ordination is null and invalid; and then what can their faith, or any thing else, signify? Christians ought to contend as earnestly for valid ordination as they do for the very faith itself; for if it be lawful for every pretender to consecrate and make themselves priests, then farewell altar, farewell church, and priesthood tool.”.
WHENEVER WODRow and his imitators record any of the acts
· St. Chysostom, tom. ii. p. 822. Edit. Savil.
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND. [CHAP. xxix.
of parliament or council which were intended to curb the natural propensities of the presbyterian ministers, they invariably state, without the least evidence whatever, that they were made “at the instigation of the prelates,” which was a mere gratuitous assumption, arising out of that intense hatred which they bore towards the whole order, but in particular to the primate. The past history of the assemblies and the commissions will show how many deeds of blood, herryings, and oppression, were done not only at the instigation of the presbyterian ministers, but at their urgent demands and never-ceasing agitation. But the prelates were so far from instigating the council to the measures which they thought fit to adopt, that they acted as a drag upon their precipitancy, and tempered their severity with mercy. The mild steady government of the bishops will bear a comparison at any time with the many instances of cruelty that appeared in the judicatories during the “noon-tide" of the kirk. Those who would not sign the covenant were declared to be the enemies of God, the king, and the country, their persons were seized, and their property confiscated, and in 1643, when some of the nobility refused to sign the covenant, soldiers were ordered to arrest them, and with authority to kill then if they made resistance. All these cruelties were done at the instigation of the commission, which pretended always to be seeking the glory of God; but it was evidently the effects of a spirit at enmity with Him. For many years He visibly appeared to have had a controversy with that church and nation, and His anger does not yet seem to be turned away, but His hand to be still stretched out. It was evident that during the rebellion the leading ministers, and those who usurped the government, were given up to a reprobate mind and a spirit of delusion, for instead of teaching the people obedience and morality, they inculcated under colour of religion the fiercest hatred and animosity into their hearts, against the fathers of the church and against the Lord's anointed, whose authority they renounced; they abandoned and sold his person, cursed and excominunicated the loyalists, who engaged to rescue him, and at last tamely looked on while the independents murdered him. Hatred and wrath are antichristian, and works of the flesh; for “ he that loveth not his brother abideth in death : whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."
1664.-Impoverished state of some of the bishopricks.—King's letter to bishops
of Galloway and Edinburgh-their report—the king's approbation.-High commission court.-Burnet's egotism-Naphtali.—Precedence restored to the primate.-Troops sent to Dumfries.—Sir James Turner.-James Wood's book ordered to be burnt.-Buchanan's book burnt.--Consecration of bishops Scougal and Honyman—their characters.--Archbishop Burnet.—The king's birth-day.-Whitsunday.—Death of the chancellor.—Earl of Rothes made chancellor.-Primate's letter to bishop Sheldon.—Deposition of ministers. Letter of deposition of Donaldson-of Maxwell--and others.—Bishop Haliburton's death.-Bishop Guthry consecrated. — 1665.-A general fast.Presbyterians disarmed — some commitments. - A convention. - Violence against the clergy.-Deaths.-Bishop Leighton.-Number of convictions in the high commission court.-A proclamation.- A riot at the West Kirk. Marquis of Huntly placed under the primate's care.--Primate's letter to lord Kincardine.- 1666.-Bishop of Ross's letter.—Welsh proclaimed.Incidental notices of respect for the clergy.-The army.-Oath of allegiance. -Consecration of bishop Scroggie.-The plague and fire of London.—Burnet turns reformer-his circular letters.--A meeting of some of the bishops
-Burnet summoned before them-and rebuked.-Intrigues of the banished ministers.—Sir James Turner.-An insurrection—the rebels capture Turnertheir numbers increase-alarm of the government-measures taken for sup. pressing the rebellion-movements of the rebels.-Covenant renewed.-Ą manifesto.-Naphtali.-Rebels advance to the capital-take up a position on the Pentland hills.-—Wallace's imprudence.- Dispositions for the battle-the rout—the prisoners--Executions.—Hew Mackail—his trial-execution. The archbishops accused.—A supposititious letter from the king.--The wind up,
: 1664.-BY THE REFORMING zeal of the house of Argyle, the bishoprick of Argyle was so completely plundered of every vestige of its revenue, that Fletcher, whom the king had selected for it, refused to accept it because the rent was naught. The same eminent house had also laid their sacrilegious hands on the property of the bishoprick of the Isles, and bishop Wallace was obliged to apply to the privy council for a grant of the stipend of his former parish of Barnwell for the year 1663, which was then vacant, in order to eke out the scanty revenues of his see.
The petition bears, that “the provision of the bishoprick of the Isles is so mean that unless his majesty shall be pleased to take some course for helping of it, the petitioner shall not be able to subsist by it; by reason of the distance of the place, and the extraordinary expense he is put to in visiting it.” He received the stipend of the vacant parish for that time, and Mr. Annand, son of him who was so maltreated by the godly women at Glasgow, when he preached at the meeting of the diocesan synod in favour of the liturgył, received a small gratuity for the loss which his father sustained in having been forcibly and illegally ejected from his benefice, the parish church of Ayr.
Early in January the king addressed the following letter to bishops Hamilton and Wishart, which shews that he took a lively interest in the ecclesiastical affairs of his ancient kingdom
“ CHARLES R. “ Right REVEREND fathers in God, our trusty and wellbeloved, we greet you well. Having received from the archbishop of St. Andrews an account of the state and condition of the church of Scotland, we have thought fit to tell you, that we take special notice of your concurring in our parliament and in your particular stations for the furtherance of our service; and as we do expect that by your conformity in your church administrations, and your vigorous and unanimous endeavours in that subordination to which, by the rules of your order, you are bound, you will discharge the trust committed to you, for the good of that church and our service therein; so you may be confident of our princely protection and encouragement, and that we will be careful to employ our royal power for remaving these distempers, which the disorders of these late times have created, and preventing and remedying these evils which you apprehend to be prejudicial and obstructive to your pions and lawful designs.
“For the further settlement and weal of the church, we have commanded the archbishop of St. Andrews and the bishop of Aberdeen (whom we have presented to the archbishoprick of Glasgow) to acquaint you that we have granted a commission to be passed under our great seal to persons of known affection to our service, for a speedy and impartial execution of the good laws made in behalf of the church-government, and for
I Vide ante, vol. i. ch. xii. pp. 555-556,