Page images


high commissioner, he returned to London. What the purport CHARLES of the earl's commission was, the reader may see in the records.

See Records,

num. 114, On the 12th of August, the general assembly met at Edin- 115, 116. burgh; the commissioner and the lords of the council being every day present. And here the late proceedings at Glasgow The general

assembly at were all confirmed: episcopacy was declared unlawful, and Edinburgh contrary to the Word of God; and the covenant was approved, confirms the and ordered to be sworn and subscribed by the whole king- at Glasgow. dom; and—which is somewhat extraordinary—the commissioner Traquair lent them the force of his character, and gave his assent to all this.

If we inquire into the reason why the bishops had so many The motives enemies, of all degrees, in Scotland, it may be observed, that tion to the

disaffecone prejudice against them was their abetting the Arminian Scottish

bishops. side in the late controversy in Holland. But this cannot reasonably be interpreted to be any approach towards popery: for the Protestants of the Augustine confession hold the questions the same way. Further : the Scotch ministers and people had a very scrupulous regard for the observation of the Lord's-day, insomuch, that the morality of this festival was generally reckoned an article of faith. Now, the bishops, not going along with them to all the lengths of this opinion, lost their esteem. Besides, their declaring themselves so forward for the liturgy and ceremonies of England drew misconstructions upon them : for the ignorance of many of the Scotch zealots was such, as to account this form of worship no better than popery. The ministers thought themselves ill used by their

. bishops, for putting a new oath upon them at their admission to a cure, by virtue of which they were obliged to own the articles of Perth, and conform to the liturgy and canons. They pretended likewise the prelates carried their authority too far, and encroached upon the presbyter's jurisdiction. As for the nobility, they seemed to grudge them their interest with the king ; complaining that favours were bestowed on their recommendation; that they were preferred to places of the greatest dignity and trust in the civil government; for Spotswood, archbishop of St. Andrew's, was lord chancellor, and nine For this of the bishops were privy-councillors. But that which galled several prethem most, was an apprehension the bishops might recover something of the patrimony of the Church, which was seized

[ocr errors]


Duke of

p. 29, 30.

LAUD, in the disorders of the Reformation. They had lately gotten

, Abp. Cant.

one Learnmonth, a minister, presented abbot of Lindoris ; and seemed not without hope that the rest of the abbacies, with the estates and jurisdiction annexed, might be recovered into the hands of churchmen. They are likewise said to have projected an attempt, that the College of Justice, pursuant to its first institution, should be half ecclesiastics. The nobility and barons, who had enriched themselves with the spoils of the Church, were probably very uneasy at the thoughts of restitu

tion, and that the government should return in some measure Memoirs of to its ancient constitution. Thus people that are wronged are Hamilton, commonly hated by those who gain by the injury; and it is

oftentimes an unpardonable provocation to move for equity and justice.

To proceed: the next business of the assembly was to furnish the universities with professors of their own complexion. The Anti-covenanters, it seems, finding these places too hot for them, had retired, and left the chairs empty. Now, since the generality of the Scots were not a little governed by the pulpits, the assembly found it necessary to provide a set of proper directors; that, by this precaution, the young divines might be serviceably seasoned, and bred true to the cause. Neither was this reinforcement more than necessary : for many of the old ministers began to see through

their designs, and desert the covenant. But these young Guthrie. divines were very seasonable recruits : nothing could be more

blind and bold, more furious and enterprising, than these


However, the disloyal part of the covenant was somewhat disabled by an explication of the band of defence, passed in these words by the assembly :

“ We do swear, not only our mutual concurrence and assistance for the cause of religion, and to the utmost of our power, with our means and lives, to stand to the defence of our dread sovereign and his authority, in the preservation and defence of the said true religion, liberties, and laws of this Kirk and kingdom; but also, in every cause which may concern his majesty's honour, we shall (according to the laws of this kingdom and duty of good subjects) concur with our friends and followers, in quiet manner, or in arms, as we shall be


[ocr errors]



required by his majesty's council, or any having his autho- CHARLES

1. rity.”

But then they refused to subscribe the declaration proposed Collections, by the high commissioner, which barred resistance, and tied part 2. p.955. them close to their duty. The remarkable clause is this : “ All the subjects of this kingdom, for vindicating themselves from all suspicions of disloyalty, or derogating from the greatness and authority of our dread sovereign, have declared this covenant to be one in substance with that which was subscribed by his father (of blessed memory), in the years 1580, 1581, 1590, and often since renewed.” Upon the 31st of August the parliament met, and confirmed and the

parliament all the acts of the assembly, changed the old form of choosing confirms the

acts of the the lords of the articles, erected a third estate of lairds or

Edinburgh barons in the room of the bishops; and, to all these bills, and assembly. several others derogatory to the crown, the commissioner assented.

To come back to England : much about this time, by the encouragement of archbishop Laud, the English Liturgy was translated into Greek by one Petly, as it had been into French by king James's order for the use of the Isle of Jersey. And,

789. to secure the hierarchy from being overrun by the covenanting Scotch, and English Puritans, who acted in concert with them, he thought it necessary to raise some further defences. To this purpose, he prevailed with Hall, bishop of Exeter, Bishop

first to compose a treatise of “The Divine Right of Episcopacy ;” draught of this was to serve as a counter-battery upon the late Presby- his book en

, terian assemblies at Glasgow and Edinburgh. Exeter having Divine Right

of Episcostruck out the lines of this scheme, sent them up to the arch

pacy." bishop, to be altered as he thought fit. The two main propositions he designed to make good were:

First, That episcopacy is a lawful, most ancient, and divine institution, (as it is joined with imparity and superiority of jurisdiction ;) and therefore, where Providence has settled it, it cannot be thrown off by human power, without manifest violation of God's ordinance.

Secondly, That the Presbyterian government, though challenging the glorious distinctions of Christ's kingdom and ordinance, has no foundation either in Scripture, or the practice of the Church for the first fifteen hundred years. And



[ocr errors]


LAUD, though (to speak in bishop Hall's own words) it may be of use Abp. Cant.

in some cities and territories, wherein episcopal government, through iniquity of times, cannot be had, yet to obtrude it upon a Church, otherwise settled under an acknowledged monarchy, is altogether incongruous and unjustifiable.'

To make good these two propositions, he laid down some postulata, as he calls them, to superstruct his reasoning upon. These principles, which he concludes cannot be contested, are as follows :

“1. That government, which was of apostolical institution, cannot be denied to stand upon divine right.

“ 2. Not only a government, which was expressly commanded, but that which was practised and recommended by the Apostles to the Church, ought in reason to pass for an apostolical institution.

“3. A government set up by the Apostles, by Divine inspiration, was designed for perpetuity, and not only for the benefit of the age in which they lived.

“ 4. The universal practice of the Church immediately succeeding the Apostles, is the best comment both upon the practice and writings of the Apostles.

“ 5. We ought not to entertain so ill an opinion of the holy Fathers and primitive Martyrs of the Church, as to suppose that they who immediately succeeded the Apostles, had either inclination, or hardiness enough, to set up an exceptionable government, or so much as to change the kind that they had received.

“ 6. Supposing their presumption had been of this size, yet it would not have been in their power to have carried their novelty so universally through all parts of Christendom, in so short a time.

“ 7. That ancient records of the history of the Church, and the writings of the first Fathers, are of better authority for the primitive form of Church government, than those of this last age.

“ 8. That those condemned for heretics by the ancients, are no good vouchers for Church government.

“ 9. That the accession of privilege and honourable titles does not affect the substance of the episcopal function.

“ 10. Those places of Scripture, upon which a new form of


government is founded, had need be very clear and unquestion- CHARLES able, and carry a more demonstrative and indisputable evidence than those texts from which the old rejected hierarchy is inferred.

“ 11. If that order, which they (the Presbyterians) say Christ established for the government of the Church, and which they call the kingdom of Christ ; if this order is single and clearly distinguished, then they would have been agreed long before this time about the form and conditions of this institution.

“ 12. If this, as they (the Puritans and Dissenters) pretend, is the kingdom and ordinance of God; then in case it happens to be defective in any essentials, it will follow that Christ's kingdom is not set up in the Church.

“ 13. Christian polity requires nothing impossible or absurd.

“ 14. Those tenets, which in many essential points are new and unheard of, ought to be suspected.

“ 15. To revolt from the practice of the universal Church from the apostles to Calvin, and run into a modern scheme, can be no less than a scandalous singularity.”


This sketch, sent up to Lambeth, was in the main approved by the archbishop : some part of the draught notwithstanding he thought capable of being mended. And since bishop Hall had submitted the censure entirely to his metropolitan, Laud made some alterations in his main propositions, and assigned the reasons for taking this freedom. The archbishop, in his The archletter to Hall, takes notice that this prelate, in his first head, animadverhad affirmed episcopacy an ancient, holy, and divine institu- sions upon tion. Now Laud conceived these words ancient and holy were expressions of abatement, and diluted the strength of the assertion ; and therefore “thought it more advisable to give the passage fewer epithets, and affirm it more categorically of divine institution. In the next place, Hall defined episcopacy by joining it with imparity and superiority of jurisdiction : but this,” says Laud,“ seems short ; for every archdeacon's post has this advantage ; and that Henderson's chair at Glasgow was higher than the rest. And therefore, to do right to episcopacy, we must define it by a distinction of order. I draw the superiority,” continues the archbishop, “not from any jurisdiction vested in bishops, jure positivo ; not from any right

« PreviousContinue »