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discover a more destructive principle to peace and good order, than that doctrine originally promulgated by John Knox, of its being lawful for private persons to execute vengeance on public delinquents when they consider the magistrate to be reiniss in his office. This species of “wild justice," as it is now called, puts a sword into a madman's hand, that exposes every man to the dagger of the assassin and the torch of the incendiary, and it is a direct contradiction to the moral law and the appointment of God. The sovereign is “the minister of God” for good to the obedient subject; but he is “a revenger," who bears the sword by divine authority, to execute wrath upon subjects who do evil. The divinely inspired teachers of religion taught obedience to the sovereign in every country wherever they introduced christianity, and commanded their disciples to live godly and quiet lives under their heathen governors, and not to persecute or disturb their fellow subjects even in the exercise of their heathen rites and worship. But in Scotland the church has ever been the subject of persecution, both of the clergy and the faithful people, of which the “turning off” of archbishop Burnet, and the personal assaults and house-breaking of the clergy in his diocese, are prominent instances. Their characters and reputations also have, ever since the restoration, been objects of the most unmitigated slander, not only by their avowed and open enemies, but by their pretended friends, particularly by him who was presbyterian in heart though not in habit.
THE ACT against conventicles was a disgrace to the government that introduced it into the legislature ; but before they consented to it, the parliament that passed it must have been driven to desperation by the wild fanatics who were the objects of it. The apostles recommended to the church submission and obedience to the laws, at a time when those that were saved by baptism were living under a heathen government, and therefore they were exposed to the imposition of laws that might be contrary to their christian profession, and so might become great trials of their faith and patience. The covenanters spoke of our blessed Lord as of a king at the head of legions of fighting saints, and were always ready to draw their swords whenever an opportunity offered of acquiring the supremacy over their civil or ecclesiastical rulers, for that was the real meaning of their crowning king Jesus, and thereby of maintaining their genuine popish original. They entirely mistook and misapplied that text, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin;" which means the suffering our own blood to be shed by persecutors, and to suffer the worst from our malicious adversaries, in imitation of those primitive worthies who confessed they were strangers and pilgrims on earth, and of Christ himself, who witnessed a good confession before Pilate, and “resisted unto blood.” But the covenanters imagined that resistance unto blood meant an armed resistance to the powers that be, a continual contradiction of all lawful commands that did not immediately corre. spond with their own ideas of the fitness of things; hence their ministers went armed to their pulpits, and the people to their field meetings, and their ministers were the foremost in all their insurrections and engagements with the king's troops. Therefore we must arrive at the unpleasant conclusion that a religion in which the breach of one at least of God's commandments was taught and practised, can neither have enjoyed divine inspiration, nor have been accompanied by divine grace. The wilful and habitual breach of any one of the commandments, justly renders a man a transgressor of the whole table of the divine law, even although he should not be guilty in other particular instances; for so long as a haughty and contentious spirit in religion prevents self government, all pretences to godliness and superior sanctity are but vanity and hypocrisy. Such carnal wisdom descendeth not from above, but is founded in sensual and worldly principles, and the practice resulting from it is, in the words of the apostle, “ earthly, sensual, devilish.”
THE ASSERTORY ACT was a most daring encroachment upon the liberty of the church, and in fact it was calculated most effectually to have extirpated her; but although the state can deprise bishops of their jurisdiction as respects any particular diocese, yet it cannot deprive them of their episcopal character; and their ordinations and all purely episcopal acts are as valid as if they still retained their jurisdiction. No authority less than that which gives a commission can stop the execution of it. Till the conversion of Constantine, all the states in the world attempted to stop the apostolical commission, which, if they had had power to have effected, christianity would have been strangled in the birth. Christ instituted a spiritual relationship or marriage betwixt the bishop and his flock, whom, as his ambassador, He empowered to marry the church in His name and stead; and he promised to ratify the marriage in his own person for ever in heaven, where the eternal marriage-feast will be celebrated. The diocese of Glasgow having been married by proxy to Christ in the person of their archbishop, the “ turning off” of Dr. Burnet was a putting asunder those whom God had joined together; and Dr. Leighton's having been put into the bishoprick, was like a woman marrying a second husband whilst her first one lives, and has not been divorced for a just cause and by a competent authority, and of course made guilty of the same sin. Presbyterian authors blame archbishop Burnet as mean-spirited, for meekly obeying the lawful ordinance of his sovereign ; whereas one of their ministers would have mustered their fighting “angels” and agitated the people.
THE INDULGENCE was a most insidious device of the presbyterian party for dividing the church, in the first instance, and, in the second, of completely presbyterianising it upon erastian principles. Although the established church had no other confession of faith than “ the uncatholic one of the Scotch reformers,” yet she required no other terms of communion but the apostles' creed; whereas the indulged ministers required a multitude of articles, not merely for peace and unity, but as a test of orthodoxy. They required subscription to the league and covenant, which was condemned by law and burnt by the common hangman, and to all the articles and propositions contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the larger and shorter catechisms, before they admitted any one to their so-called baptisms or the Lord's supper. It was therefore impossible to amalgamate the two systeins either in doctrine or in discipline, in theory or in practice, or to think of a catholic communion; for this Indulgence, in a most criminal and antichristian manner, created a perpetual and inextinguishable fund of schism and division. The ACCOMMODATION proceeded from the same party and with the same view. Bishop Leighton was a pious, benevolent, and credulous ascetic, and was easily drawn into the schemes of Tweeddale, without suspecting the ulterior views of that covenanted nobleman; but even he discovered that those who were still under the delusion of the covenant were not to be gained either by conciliation or concession. Nothing short of the absolute uuconditional surrender of all the rights, privileges, and even the very being of God's holy church, would satisfy them. And the worthy bishop, with sorrow, was obliged to say to the presbyterian ministers, “ Now that they had thought fit to reject these concessions, without either offering any reason for doing so or any expedient on their side; THEREFORE the con tinuance of our divisions must lie at their door, both before God and men."
1671.- Immigration of Jesuits.-Deaths and consecrations.- Notices of bishops
Laurie and Young—and Dr. Burnet.— 1672.-A riot.-Meeting of parliament-acts.-Cameron ordained.-Mr. Carstairs.-Another attempt to conciliate the presbyterians.-Meeting of ministers--more indulged, and the conditions--and voted to be no favour.–The doctrine of RESERVE.-Ministers' scruples. - 1673.—Mr. Young's case.-King's letter-king's birth-day.Ministers cited before the council. Blair committed.-Leighton's difficulties -his letter to his synod.—Burnet quarrels with Lauderdale.-Session of parliament-opposition.-Rev. Archibald Beith's case.-Riots, and assault on the clergy.-Dr. Burnet.-Motives of persecution.-Carstairs.--A conspiracy.
-Leighton intends to resign-the king continues him-his reasons for resignation, note.--Letters to bishop Hamilton.-Case of Mr. Forrester.— 1674.The opposition lords ordered to court-their proposals.--An act of grace—its effects.-Conventicles recommence.-James Mitchell arrested-examined minute of council-his trial postponed.Welsh's conventicles.-Magdalane Chapel-all conditions rejected.—Representation of the archbishop and synod of St. Andrews to the privy council.-King's letter-its object.-Conventicle in Fife.-Riotous meeting of women.-Council's letter to the king.-Conventicles at Glasgow-Torwood, &c.—Ministers outlawed.--Forrester arrested deposed—his complaint.-Petition of the synod of Glasgow.-Conditions for indulgences.-Reflections.
1671.- As IT WAS now evident that the presbyterians were not to be conciliated, the council made an act on the 26th of January, ordering all those indulged ministers to confine themselves to their respective parishes, who would not attend the episcopal synods and presbyteries; and the non-indulged were ordered to attend the parish churches, or else to remove their families to other places. The lord advocate made it publicly known that he was determined to execute the severe act against conventicles with the utmost rigour, in order to deter men from convocating at these illegal meetings, and so of incurring the sanguinary pains of it. What with the alleged connivance of Lauderdale, and the religious disputes and irregularities of the presbyterians themselves, the papists began to meet openly in their mass-houses, and multitudes of priests and jesuits
Tuberville Sessel was seices of the revival
entered the kingdom in hopes of the revival of their communion; and a vessel was seized in the Forth containing bales of Tuberville's Catechism, relics, beads, pictures, scapularies, and similar trumpery. Four popish priests were also arrested in the county of Moray, and sent out of the country. Even Wodrow admits that the episcopal clergy preached zealously against the errors and superstition of popery, and particularly the learned Mr. John Menzies, of Aberdeen, who published a treatise against them. But he is very angry with the primate, who, he says, “it was generally reported,” had said in the council, “ that his majesty's government was by far in greater hazard from presbyterians than from the papists; and that it was his opinion, the council ought more narrowly to look to presbyterian meetings, in which they were very slack, although the great danger lay there 1.”.
DR. DAVID STRACHAN, bishop of Brechin, and Dr. George Wishart, bishop of Edinburgh, died this year, and were succeeded by Dr. Robert Laurie and Dr. Alexander Young. On the 29th of August, the earl of Lauderdale wrote to the primate respecting the filling up of these sees, recommending that no presbyter should be raised at once to the see of Edinburgh, but that some of the other well-experienced bishops should be translated, and a priest chosen and consecrated for the see from which the other had been removed ; and requested the archbishop to name some one whom he considered fit for the bishoprick of Edinburgh. Notwithstanding Lauderdale's judicious advice, Dr. Alexander Young, archdeacon of St. Andrews, was elected, and the congè d'elire to the dean and chapter, and a royal letter to the bishop elect, are still preserved among the episcopal papers at Aberdeen 2. Bishop Wishart was interred in the abbey church of Holirood House, under a magnificent tomb, with a Latin inscription recorded by Keith, who says, “ he was a person of great religion ; and having been a prisoner himself, it is reported of him that he was always careful at each dinner to send off the first mess to the prisoners 3."
MR. ROBERT LAURIE was the son of Joseph Laurie, formerly one of the ministers of Stirling; and Baillie mentions his grandfather, “ Blasius Laurentius-born with us sat Glasgow], and long a regent in our house, one of the bravest philosophers and humanists in his time.” He was one of the
i Wodrow's History, ii. 187-8. ? MS. Papers in the Episcopal Chest at Aberdeen, No. A 8. 3 Keith's Catalogue, p. 62, 63—168.